Narayanan Krishnan – The Selfless Hero Helping India’s Helpless

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Hero is a very strong word, but it fits 34-year-old Narayanan Krishnan perfectly. During the last 12 years, he has served over 1.5 million meals to India’s homeless, mostly people abandoned by their families, either suffering from mental conditions or too old to care for themselves.

Back in 2002, young  Narayanan Krishnan was already an award-winning chef working in a high-class restaurant for the prestigious Taj Hotels, and close to securing a job with another 5-star hotel, in Switzerland. Just before heading off to Europe, he traveled to his home town of Madurai, to visit his parents, where witnessed a scene that changed the course of his life forever. ”I saw a very old man eating his own human waste for food,” Krishnan told CNN. “It really hurt me so much. I was literally shocked for a second. After that, I started feeding that man and decided this is what I should do the rest of my lifetime.”

Although he was a Brahmin – an upper class Hindu – destined for a successful career as a chef, Narayanan decided to give it all up and dedicate his life to helping those who couldn’t help themselves. Shaken by the scene he has witnessed in Madurai, he quit his job within a week, convinced his destiny wasn’t to cook elaborate dishes for the rich and famous, but provide sustenance to those who needed it most. “That night I thought, what am I doing? I am selling a plate of fried rice for ten dollars in my hotel where people come and have food for fantasy, fun, joy and recreation. Not for hunger. They eat only half portion of it and leave half of in the plate. It was a spark, a very powerful spark that I had,” the young chef said about the event that made him what he is today.

Narayanan-Krishnan2

..

The Barefoot Sensei – Former Marine Left Everything Behind to Live in the Forest, Barefoot

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Mick Dodge has spent the past 25 years away from civilization, living off the land in a rainforest. The former marine gave up his 9-to-5 job as a heavy equipment mechanic at Fort Lewis to take up this alternative lifestyle. “That’s my real life passion,” he says.

Dodge is actually a native of the Hoh Rainforest, located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington State. His great-grandparents settled in the region; Dodge grew up there and in several other places around the world. Eventually, thanks to his father’s influence, he became an extreme fitness freak.

But the 62-year-old doesn’t miss the gym in the outdoors. He has created a unique concept called the Earth Gym – a sort of YMCA in the forest with natural equipment. Dodge uses cargo nets, straps, stones and ropes to create a fitness regimen of his own. Students come to learn from him as well, and he teaches them exercises developed on a connection with nature. His extreme techniques include running barefoot upstream in the Sol Duc River.

Mick-Dodge4

..

Jeweler Born with No Fingers Creates Masterpieces Worth Thousands of Dollars

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

For a person born without fingers, 48-year-old Annette Gabbedey has the most unusual job – she is one of Britain’s most talented jewelry designers and an expert goldsmith. It is surprising that she doesn’t even use special tools to help her work around her condition. Instead, she adapts conventional crafting devices to make the most dazzling and intricate ornaments.

Because she has never had fingers, Annette says that she doesn’t feel like anything is missing. In fact she prefers it this way, insisting that she is not disabled. “I tend to look at people with fingers and think well how can you manage with fingers because they must get in the way,” she said. “It is just your own perception of how you look at yourself and for me I was born like it and I have never known anything different.”

Annette-Gabbedey

..

Meet Steven Kutcher – The Guy Who Gets Insects to Act on Camera

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Have you ever wondered how the insects in movies do exactly what they’re supposed to? How do they know they’re even in a movie scene and play along with the plot? Like the spider that bites Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) in Spiderman. The bees that swarm Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo. The spider that walks four feet and slips into a slipper in the cult classic, Arachnophobia. Or the giant mosquitos in Jurassic Park.

It turns out that there’s actually a person behind all these shots, manipulating the insects to do his bidding. That man is Steven Kutcher, 69, an entomologist who has been working in Hollywood since 1976. He has been a part of over 100 feature films, numerous commercials, music videos and TV movies.

“I think of myself as a bug wrangler, a consultant. I’m not the cheap guy who trains dogs and chickens and happens to have a tarantula,” he said. “I’m both a scientist and an artist. I think Steven Spielberg said I was the first entomologist in the film industry. I brought the science of insect behavior to the film industry.” It’s pretty obvious that Mr. Kutcher takes immense pride in what he does.

Steven-Kutcher

..

Human Air Pump Inflates Car Tires with His Nose

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If Nie Yongbing was in a comic book, he would probably be ‘Super-Lung Man’ (lame name, I know, but I’m open to suggestions). The 63-year-old has lungs of steel that allow him to inflate car tires using only his nose.

According to recent news reports, the Chinese man displayed his strength in Chengdu, Southwest China, by inflating four truck tires with two adults standing on each, in just 20 minutes. He held a 40-meter rubber hose to his right nostril and blew as hard as he could, gradually filling the tubes. He had his left nostril and left ear covered the whole time to prevent pressure leaks.

Nie-Yongbing2

..

Inspiring Doctor Dresses as Homeless and Makes House Calls to People without Homes

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Dr. Jim Withers, from Pittsburgh, Pa., has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to treating the city’s homeless. He is known as the ‘street doctor’ because he dresses up like a homeless person and goes out at night to provide medical care to the real needy.

The extraordinary doctor started his unusual practice in 1992, along with Mike Sallows, a former homeless man. The two of them went out at night with backpacks of medicine. Withers estimates that he has treated over 1,200 homeless people a year since 1992.

Today, his initiative has evolved into a national network of medical students and volunteers who treat the homeless, four nights a week. The nightly service is now a nonprofit – Operation Safety Net. It is one of the first full-time street medicine programs in the United States.

Jim-Withers-street-doctor

..

Meet Inri Cristo, the Man Who Thinks He Is Jesus Reincarnated

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A 66-year-old Brazilian man believes he is the reincarnation of Jesus. He has been preaching the word of God for the past for the past 35 years. Born Alvaro Theiss, this controversial religious figure now goes by ‘Inri Cristo’.

Inri is derived from the Latin acronym inscribed on the cross during Jesus’ crucifixion (INRI – Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum, which means: Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews). Cristo, his last name, means Christ.

Cristo experienced his first revelation that he was Christ during a religious fast in Santiago, Chile, in 1979. Although he had a powerful voice in his head guiding him since childhood, on this occasion it told him clearly: “I am your Father. The God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.” He has hundreds of followers around the world, and his own church, ‘Soust’, based on a lush farmland outside Brasilia. Soust is an acronym for Suprema Ordem Universal da Santmssima Trindade.

Inri-Cristo

..

World’s Dirtiest Man: 80-Year-Old Iranian Man Hasn’t Bathed in 60 Years

29 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

80-year-old Haji believes that “cleanliness brings him sickness.” That’s why he hasn’t bathed at all in the past 60 years. He lives in isolation in Dejgah village, in the Southern Iranian province of Fars.

Haji hates contact with water. Even the suggestion of a bath makes him very angry. And all these years of escaping bath time have taken their toll – Haji is almost the color of earth. He has managed to completely blend in with his surroundings. In fact, it’s easy to mistake him for a rock statue if he sits very still.

It’s not just bathing that Haji dislikes. His disgust for fresh food and clean drinking water is unmistakable. Instead, he prefers his favorite meal of rotten porcupine meat. He drinks 5 liters of water a day for health purposes, but only from a large rusty oil can. He likes to fill his smoking pipe with animal feces instead of tobacco. To trim his hair he doesn’t use clippers; he just burns it off over an open flame. An old war helmet keeps his head warm during the winter.

Amou-Haji2

..

14-Year-Old Can Lift Twice His Body Weight, Is Probably the World’s Strongest Kid

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

To be the ‘strongest kid in the world’ is a childhood dream that never translates into reality for most kids. But Jake Schellenschlager has managed to come very, very close to this goal. Inspiration hit him when he was 12 years old – when he saw his dad working out one day. Jake hasn’t looked back ever since. The 14-year-old American is now a weightlifter who can lift more than twice his own body weight.

At 5 foot 3 inches and 119 pounds, Jake has been setting world records for his weight class (under 123 pounds). Last June, he broke the world record for the squat for his age and weight at the Powerlifting Bench Press Championships in York, Pennsylvania. He lifted 136 kilograms (that’s 300 pounds – more than twice his body weight). Jake has been training for the past two-and-a-half years, without missing a single day. He gets the courage to keep going from his father. “My dad is super strong,” he says. “When I see him, it gives me motivation.” Jake and his dad work out together at their gym in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

According to Jake’s trainer, Mike Sarni, the teenager has displayed astounding mental strength. “He doesn’t feel he can be defeated,” said Sarni. “It is that inner strength that tells him, ‘I can do this.’ Usually, you get that in older, more mature people.” While his face is still that of a sweet little boy, his body is completely the opposite. Jake’s muscles are ripped and you can see the determination etched on his face in his weight lifting pictures.

Jake-Schellenschlager

..

Rosemary Jacobs, the Woman Whose Skin Turned Silver after Using Nose Drops

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

71-year-old Rosemary Jacobs has had silver-colored skin for the past 60 years. At age 11, she developed a rare condition called argyria – caused by exposure to chemical forms of the element silver that makes the skin turn blue or bluish-grey. For Rosemary, the exposure occurred from nasal drops containing colloidal silver.

Rosemary’s story is unbelievable;  Whoever heard of a real person turning silver after using silver nasal drops? You only get to see skin color changing in cartoons,  but apparently the condition is real, and Rosemary has had to live a life of stigma because of it. Of course, her skin didn’t change color overnight. In fact, she was diagnosed with argyria four years after she began using the medication.

Rosemary, a retired Spanish teacher from Vermont, U.S., said: “When I was 11 years old, my mother mentioned to an ENT specialist that I always had a cold. He told me that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver, recommending that I take them ‘as needed’.” She did as she was told, using the drops every time she had a stuffy nose.

At first, no could notice any difference in Rosemary’s skin, not even her parents. “The change in my color was so slow, I didn’t notice. My family and friends didn’t notice either because they saw me every day,” she said.

Rosemary-Jacobs-argyria

..

Meet Erik Weihenmayer, the World’s Most Accomplished Blind Adventurer

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Erik Weihenmayer became blind at age 13, but he has never let this life-altering event limit him in any way. He is one of those rare individuals who have not just managed to overcome a disability, but live like it never happened. He is also the only blind person in the world to have scaled Mount Everest, among other achievements.

At age 44, Erik is the world’s most accomplished blind adventurer. To be honest, his accomplishments are on par with any other exceptional normal person. He is a role model even for people with normal vision. He has managed to completely disregard his blindness; it’s like he’s been everywhere and done everything. Mountaineering, wrestling, cycling, skiing, kayaking, paragliding, skydiving – the list of Erik’s activities are seemingly endless.

When he was younger, Erik focused on just one sport – wrestling – and he was brilliant at it. He represented his state in the US National Freestyle Wrestling Championships. He graduated college in 1993 with a Master’s degree and soon became a school teacher. This was when he took up rock climbing and trekking on the side. He was amazing at that too – he summited Mount McKinley (the tallest peak in the US) and then Kilimanjaro (tallest in Africa).

Erik-Weihenmayer

..

Woman Has Her Leg Cut Off So She Can Wear High Heels

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

21-year-old New Yorker Mariah Serrano was born with a painfully twisted club foot, and had never worn high heels in her life. She’d attended her high school prom in golden trainers, insanely jealous of her friends who wore heels.

Like many other girls from New York, Mariah dreamed of a job in fashion, but it seemed like her leg-situation was going to get in the way of that too. “When I was told I’d never be able to wear high heels and I should give up my dream career, I was devastated,” she said.

So when a specialist told her in 2009 that she had another option – to have her leg amputated, she seriously considered it. “Mum was horrified but I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. I had to give it some serious thought.”

mariah-serrano

..

The Inspirational Story of a Paralyzed Surgeon who Continues to Operate

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Dr. Ted Rummel thought his life was pretty much over when he was left paralyzed from the waist-down in 2010. The exceptional surgeon had been diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma – a blood filled cyst – in the middle of his spinal cord a year earlier. Neurologists told him the cyst couldn’t be surgically removed, as the procedure would paralyze him instantly. Instead he was told to rest, wait, and pray the cyst never ruptured.

Unfortunately for Dr. Rummel, the cyst did burst in September 2010, just a week after he performed a rotator cuff surgery on his wife Kathy – his last surgery for the next two years. He suffered a terrible back ache, followed by numbness and weakness in his legs. Within days, “a wave crashed over his lower body and took all feeling and mobility with it.” Dr. Rummel was paralyzed for life.

It’s sad that something so terrible should have happened to him, after he cured thousands of people in St. Charles County of pain and stiffness in their joints. In his best days, he had practiced over 1,000 surgeries per year in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Ted-Rummel-surgeon

..

China’s Best Mao Zedong Impersonator Is Actually a Woman

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

57-year-old Chen Yan used to be an average, run-of-the-mill homemaker. The only noticeable thing about her: her striking resemblance to Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong. Chen was teased mercilessly for this as a child, reducing her to tears. But in 2006 she made a decision that would completely change her life –  to embrace herself and her appearance. Chen is now a full time Mao impersonator, an extremely popular one.

Impersonating Chairman Mao isn’t exactly a piece of cake. It’s a demanding and controversial job, because female impersonators of Mao aren’t very common in China. To look the part, Chen has to touch up her face, wear a Zhongshan suit and arrange her hair like Mao’s trademark style. She has to walk on specially made 26cm stilts, camouflaged to look like a larger shoe size. A typical performance is about 40 minutes long – Chen waves to the crowds, smokes and stares solemnly into the distance. I must say, she does a damn good job of it. It’s almost impossible to tell there’s a woman behind the costume.

Mao-Zedong-impersonator

..

Concussion Turns Ordinary Man into Musical Genius, Overnight

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If getting hit on the head means that I’d get to be a kickass musician for the rest of my life, I think I would seriously consider it. It sounds impossible, but something of the sort happened to 41-year-old Derek Amato. He really didn’t have a choice about it, though.

Derek had no idea his life was about to change forever when he dove into the shallow end of a pool to catch a football at a party. He hit his head and had a concussion, resulting in Acquired Savant Syndrome – a rare condition where people display profound abilities (called savant skills) after suffering head trauma, abilities that they didn’t have at birth. In Derek’s case, the acquired ability is music.

Derek is one of only 30 people in the world with this rare condition and the only one to have acquired music as a savant skill. Before the fall, he just dabbled in guitar and had no idea how to read or write music. And now he can play eight different instruments with the ease of a professional musician. Watching him play on video, it’s pretty hard to believe this man has had no formal training in music at all.

derek-amato

..

Page 4 of 17« First...23456...10...Last »