No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

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Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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World’s Only Public Diamond Mine Lets You Keep What You Find

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The Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public. Visitors get to go on a real-life treasure hunt and keep whatever they find!

According to park officials, over 600 diamonds of various colors and grades are found by visitors each year. Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed since the mine was discovered in 1906 – 19,000 of them since the mine became a state park in 1972.

Scientists believe that these diamonds were formed three billion years ago in the earth’s mantle, 60 to 100 miles below the earth’s surface. The precious rocks were brought up to the surface about 100 million years ago, by a rising column of magma. A huge volcanic eruption resulted in an 80-acer crater, filled with fragments of mantle rock that contained diamonds. Over the years, the rocks have eroded, leaving the diamonds and other semi-precious gems loose in the soil.

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Awesome DC Comics-Themed Cafes in Malaysia Have Superheroes on the Menu

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JT Network, a company that owns a chain of licensed DC Comics retail stores across Asia, has now ventured into the restaurant business. They’ve opened two new superhero-themed cafes in Malaysia which cater to comic-book fans in the country. A third ‘DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe’ is all set to open in Singapore on September 1.

“Fly, zoom or swoosh down to the DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe – yes, the official DC Comics cafe!” reads the description on Malaysia’s restaurant search website Offpeak. “Dine-in or chill out in our universe, surrounded by the awesome ambience that is home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and other members of the Justice League.”

Every dish on the menu at these theme cafes has a popular DC Comics character’s name attached to it. Some of the treats include the Aquaman Justice Jumbo Prawn Cocktail, the Superman of Steel BBQ Chicken Burrito, and the Dark Knight Mini Wagyu Beef Burger – a black bun treat emblazoned with the iconic Batman logo.

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The Petrifying Well of Knaresborough Turns Objects into Stone

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Located on the banks of the river Nidd, near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, is a mystical well that converts objects to stone. Any object touched by the well’s dripping waters – leaves, sticks, dead birds, and more – naturally turn to stone within a few months!

For many centuries, locals believed that the Petrifying Well was cursed by the devil – a myth fueled by the fact that the side of the well looks like a giant’s skull. They constantly lived with the fear that if they touched the well’s water, they would be turned to stone too.

A few adventurous people left everyday objects near the waterfall, only to witness the transformation occur over weeks. Some of these relics can be spotted even today, like a Victorian top hat and a lady’s bonnet from the 1800s – both converted to solid stone. More recently, people have left teddy bears, kettles, and even a bicycle in the petrifying well, with similar results.

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Abandoned Chinese Village Reclaimed by Nature Becomes Tourist Attraction

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It really doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to reclaim her territory, slowly obliterating all signs of human occupation, if we only allow it. Case in point is the abandoned Chinese village of Houtou Wan which, within a span of 50 years, has become a beautiful secret garden completely covered in lush vegetation.  

Houtou Wan village is located on one of the 394 Shengsi Islands of China’s Yangtze River. It used to be a thriving fishing town a few decades ago, but it was gradually abandoned as the number of fishing vessels outgrew the size of the bay and the population was forced to relocate. All but a handful of villagers left Hotou Wan in the last half century, leaving nature to work her magic on the settlement. The result is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Walter’s Coffee Roastery – A Breaking Bad-Themed Cafe in Istanbul

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If Breaking Bad’s Walter White ever decided to go into the coffee business and open his own cafe, it would probably look a lot like the awesome ‘Walter’s Coffee Roastery’, in Istanbul.

Inspired by the popular TV show Breaking Bad, Deniz Kosan, a young Turkish entrepreneur, has opened the “world’s first Coffee Super Lab.” Everything inside this unique cafe, right from the roasting equipment to the beaker-like espresso cups or the giant periodic table covering one of the walls reminds you of Walter White and his meth lab. The staff often don yellow hazardous materials suits and the menu features plenty of Breaking bad references, like pancakes with Walter White’s face powdered on them or Blue Sky-decorated cupcakes.



Eccentric Man Builds Giant “Chicken Church” in the Middle of Indonesian Jungle

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Buried deep inside the Indonesian jungle is a very odd structure, shaped like a giant chicken. The long abandoned construction, locally known as Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church), is a popular tourist attraction in the hills of Magelang, Central Java.

Word on the internet is this strange construction was designed to be a church, but according to its creator, the building is neither a chicken nor a church. Daniel Alamsjah, 67, revealed that he was working in Jakarta when he suddenly received a divine message from God to build a prayer room in the form of a dove. “Perhaps because of my Christian faith, people thought I was building a church,” he said. “But it’s not a church. I was building a prayer house, a place for people who believe in God.”

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Down Cafe – A Turkish Cafe That Only Employs Workers with Down Syndrome

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A café in Istanbul is making headlines for exclusively hiring people with Down syndrome. The aptly named ‘Down Café’ employs staff between the ages of 18 and 25, and aims to empower them with self-confidence and independence.

Saruhan Singen, who founded the café in the Sisli district of Istanbul, said that he was inspired by his own experience of raising a daughter with Down syndrome. She now works at the café as well. “I have Sezil and I think she is a gift to me  to understand others like her,” Singen said. “When we think about the number of people with Down syndrome, there is not a wide range of career paths available.”

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World’s Smallest Park Is No Bigger Than a Flower Pot

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Mill Ends Park, in Portland, Oregon, currently holds the record for the world’s smallest park. With a diameter of just two meters, it only has room for one tree and a few tiny plants, but it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

Mill Ends was originally supposed to be the site of a light pole, but for some reason, the pole never arrived and weeds began to sprout from the hole. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, whose office overlooked the tiny park, noticed the derelict patch of land and decided to do something about it. He started planting foliage there and even came up with a special column in the local paper dedicated to Mill Ends Park. He managed to create a whole story around the place, including leprechauns living there that only he could see, and tiny shamrocks growing inside the other plants.

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Japan’s Bizarre Anti-Crime Orange Balls – A Unique Way to Stop Crime

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If you happen to visit shops, commercial establishments, and even police stations in Japan, you might be baffled to discover bright orange baseball-sized orbs, generally placed next to the cash register. But they won’t be for sale, because believe it or not, they’re actually anti-crime devices!

The balls, locally known as bohan yu kara boru, derive their bright hue from the orange paint that fills them. In the event of a theft or robbery, store employees are supposed to fling the balls at the perpetrator. When the balls hit the thief, they will burst, marking him with orange paint and making it easy for the police to identify and apprehend him.



Artists Carve Replica of “China’s Mona Lisa” into Giant Piece of Fossilized Ebony

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A group of Chinese artists recently immortalized the famous Chinese painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival by replicating it on to a giant piece of fossilized ebony. Over 800 people, 30 structures, 28 ships, a harbour, a town hall, and a market, were painstakingly carved on to the 30-tonne chunk of ebony. It took the artists a whopping 600 days to complete, and the final piece was displayed at the 11th Annual China International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen.

At 27.5 meters long and 1.92 meters tall, the ebony replica is more than double the size of the original scroll. The black fossilised ebony, known as ‘wumu’, gets its unique density and colors from being buried underground for thousands of years. This particular piece of wood  is 5,000 years old: It was discovered in the riverbed of Minjiang River.



Japan’s Macho Cafe Is Like Hooters for Women

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Women in Tokyo, Japan, recently got the opportunity to enjoy a visual treat at their very own Hooters-style café. The pop-up venue, called Macho Café, featured muscled men clad in tight vests, serving food to visibly flustered female customers.

According to Macho Café’s official website, the owners asked themselves a very puzzling question” “why are there cafes that offer coffee from carefully selected beans, but no cafes that offer carefully selected macho men?” So they decided to rectify the situation by offering “finest quality premium roast” handpicked bodybuilders to their female clientele.



World’s First Hello Kitty Chinese Restaurant Serves the Cutest Dim Sum

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The Japanese creators of Hello Kitty have decided to oblige the character’s massive Hong Kong fan base by giving them the world’s first Hello Kitty-themed Chinese restaurant. Sanrio Co. has teamed up with Chinese restaurateur Man Kwong to create an incredibly cute Hello Kitty dining experience in Hong Kong.

“Hello Kitty is more popular in Hong Kong than in Japan,” said Kwong, who started negotiations with Sanrio in 2013. The official nod came through in April 2014, and since then, he has worked hard experimenting on hundreds of recipes and varieties of dim sum. Each dish was individually inspected, taste-tested, and approved by Sanrio executives. The final menu consists of 37 dishes, ranging from fresh shrimp buns to stir-fried beef and noodles.



Tokyo Hotel Hopes to Attract Business with Godzilla-Themed Rooms

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In movies, the mere sight of Godzilla has people running for the hills, but a new Godzilla-themed hotel in Shinjuku, Japan, is hoping the iconic monster will actually draw in new business.

Set at the very top of the Toho Cinema, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, Hotel Gracery not only features Godzilla-themed rooms but also a 12-meter-high model of the monster’s head on its roof that can be admired from one of the six Godzilla View rooms. Interior decorations include a man-sized statue of Godzilla, a menacing claw hanging on the wall above the beds, classic movie posters and even custom Godzilla-themed toilets.

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World’s Friendliest Restaurant Serves Breakfast, Lunch and Hugs

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While it is common for restaurant owners to connect with their patrons, a restaurateur from Albuquerque is taking customer care to a whole new level. Tim Harris gives out free hugs to every single customer at the end of each meal. The atmosphere at his restaurant ‘Tim’s Place’ is so positive that patrons often call it the ‘world’s friendliest restaurant’.

The establishment has been around since 2010, and Tim has given out over 19,000 hugs in the past five years – he keeps count using a special Hug Counter. “I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends,” said Tim explained.

‘Tim’s Hug’ is actually an item on the menu, described as a “calorie-free”, “guilt-free” treat that guarantees to “improve your lease on life.” Which is true – Tim’s hugs are doubly special because of everything he has achieved in life. The 26-year-old is probably the only Down syndrome sufferer in the U.S. to own a restaurant, but he has several other things to be proud about: he’s an accomplished Special Olympian, an excellent sailor, and an experienced offshore fisherman. And, he was also elected homecoming king and Student of the Year in high school! So when a man like Tim hugs you, it is sure to be a special and unforgettable experience.



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