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From Rags to Riches: How a Viral Photo Turned a Street Beggar Into an Online Celebrity

Four years ago, Rita Gaviola was a 13-year-old street beggar in the Filipino town of Lucban. Since then she has worked with some of the world’s hottest brands as a fashion model, starred on hit reality TV shows and gained over 100,000 Instagram followers. And it was all thanks to a random photo…

Rita Gaviola’s incredible ‘rags to riches’ story began in 2016. Back then, she was asking for alms on the streets of Lucban, to help her family make ends meet. Her father worked as a garbage collector and her mother stayed home to look after her and her five siblings. None of the children attended school at the time and the family barely managed to put food on the table, so Rita often went out to beg for change or food donations. That’s how she was spotted by Filipino photographer Topher Quinto Burgos, who happened to be attending the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, in May 2016. He was attracted by her natural beauty and posted the photos of her on the internet, changing the girl’s life completely with a single click of the ‘upload’ button.

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South African Politician Buried in His Beloved Mercedes

A prominent South African politician who passed away last week was laid to rest in his Beloved Mercedes limousine instead of a regular casket, as per his last wish.

Tshekede Bufton Pitso, a former leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) in Eastern Cape, died last week, after collapsing in his driveway as he was making his way to his second-hand 1990s Mercedes E500 limousine. The former businessman had once had an entire fleet of luxurious Mercedes cars, but was forced to sell them in recent years, after falling on hard times. He did manage to buy a used E500, and even though it had broken down and couldn’t be driven, he still enjoyed spending time in it and listening to the car radio. It was his favorite thing in the world and he even told his family he wanted to be buried in it when his time came. Last weekend, they honored his wish.

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3D Printing Expert Makes Eerily Realistic Mask of His Own Face

Twitter user Lalarstein (@silver_eel) recently stunned his followers with an insanely realistic 3D-printed mask of his own face, perfect right down to the tiniest detail.

Lalastein, a self-described “professional 3D scanning expert and professional camera man who has appeared in the credits roll of many Japanese films”, unveiled his insanely realistic 3D-printed on Twitter last month, and the photos went viral almost instantly. That’s not exactly surprising considering how incredibly realistic his creation turned out. As he is holding the mask next to his face, you can tell that it is nearly perfect, right down to the hairs on his eyebrows and the tiny moles on his cheeks.

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Pet Cat Survives 40 Days Locked in Apartment After Human Family Is Hospitalized with Coronavirus

Le Le, a British Shorthair cat from Wuhan, China, has become a symbol of resistance during the current pandemic, showing us human that if she could survive by herself in a locked apartment for 40 days, then we can handle a bit of social distancing and isolation too.

This story of feline endurance and survival began in January of 2020, when the Covid-19 crisis in Wuhan was still in its infancy. One by one, Le Le’s human family had to be hospitalized after becoming infected with the coronavirus, and before the Chinese New Year (January 25) rolled up, the heavily pregnant cat had been left by herself. Her owners had decided not to hire someone look after her, or even check in on her from time to time, because they didn’t known whether their home was contaminated with the virus or not. So they just opened a bag of cat food and hoped for thee best.

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Russian Jeweler Claims Coronavirus-Shaped Pendant As Talisman Against Real Coronavirus

Dr.Vorobev, a “medical jewelry” company based in Kostroma, Russia, has been getting a lot of attention for the sterling silver coronavirus-shaped pendants it has been selling since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sold online for 1,000 rubles ($13), the coronavirus pendant created by Dr. Vorobev has become a very controversial piece of jewelry on Russian social media. While some people buy it and post photos of themselves wearing it on their Instagram and VK accounts, other criticize the company for trying to make money off a global health crisis that has already killed tens of thousands around the world.  Pavel Vorobyov, the founder of Dr. Vorobev, insists that the pendant is a gesture of support for health professionals, not a way to exploit the current crisis.

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German Mayor Sparks Controversy by Deliberately Getting Infected with Coronavirus

Although health experts around the world strongly advise people to isolate themselves in order to minimize the chances of getting infected with the novel coronavirus, one German mayor did just the opposite, deliberately contacting the virus so he could then be immune to it.

Berlin District Mayor Stephan von Dassel sparked controversy in German last week after admitting to consciously contacting the novel coronavirus from his partner in order to self-immunize and be able to work while others were off sick. Even though his decision went against the general consensus of public health experts, most of whom strongly recommend social-distancing to avoid catching the virus, von Dassel claims that he saw his deliberate infection as a “contribution” toward the long-term goal of flattening the curve of the infection. He did admit that he underestimated the virus, though.

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Mysterious Sinkhole Causes Ecuador’s Largest Waterfall to Disappear Overnight

The San Rafael Waterfall, one of Ecuador’s most popular tourist attraction has all but disappeared after a mysterious sinkhole diverted the gushing Coca River into three small streams.

As part of the Cayambe Coca National Park, in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, the San Rafael Waterfall reportedly attracted tens of thousands of tourists every year. That’s all in the past, though, as the impressive 150-meter-high waterfall all but stopped flowing on February 2nd, after a mysterious sinkhole formed on the river fueling it, diverting the water into three small streams. All tourism to the site has been closed and the waterfall doesn’t even show up on Ecuador’s official travel website anymore.

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Online Shopper Pays $6 Million for His Own Commercial Rocket Launch

They say you can buy just about anything on China’s leading online shopping platform, Taobao. Well, you can now add “commercial rocket launch” to that list as well.

In what was originally deemed an April 1st joke, Chinese media recently reported that an anonymous online shopper paid 40 million yuan ($5.6 million) for his very own rocket launch. The unique online auction was hosted by Chinese celebrity sales anchor Wei Ya and over two million people tuned in to watch the sale live on Taobao. Bidder swere told that winning the auction would allow them to paint the body of the commercial rocket and the launch platform, as well as the chance to visit the launch site and control the launch.

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Controversial “Class of Life” Has Primary School Children Eating Fish They Helped Raise

Japan’s “Class of Life” is a controversial school project that aims to teach students about valuing their food and the environment by having them raise and then eat animals like fish and chicken.

We first featured the Class of Life a couple of years ago, when a video showcasing its implementation at an agricultural high-school in Japan’s Shimano Prefecture went viral on Chinese social media, leaving most viewers in a state of shock. The footage showed students preparing chicken eggs for hatching, raising the chicks for several months, and finally killing, cooking and eating the chickens. The Class of Life has been a part of Japanese curriculum at certain schools for over six decades, so most Japanese people are familiar with it, but even they were stunned recently when they saw elementary school children taking part in the class.

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Dad Creates Custom Baby Safety Pod to Protect His Child from Coronavirus Infection

A young Chinese dad spent a month converting a cat carrier backpack into a safety pod for his baby. His invention allegedly protects the child from infection and pumps purified air into the pod with an electronic fan system.

30-year-old Cao Junjie, a tech-savvy father from Shanghai, China, wanted something that would allow him and his wife, Fang, to take their two-month old son on walks without worrying that he might get infected with the novel coronavirus. Even though babies and young people in general usually experience mild symptoms, they didn’t want to take a chance, so Junjie came up with a solution inspired by Hideo Kojima’s latest video game (Death Stranding), a carrier pod completely isolated form the outside.

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Social Distancing Has People So Bored They Are Littering Counting Seeds in Pieces of Fruit

Having to spend days on end indoors has so people so incredibly bored that they are coming up with all kinds of bizarre ways of passing the time.

Case in point one Vietnamese math student who recently spent a day meticulously extracting every single seed from a piece of dragon fruit and presenting her finding online. “So far, I found out that in a piece of dragon fruit weighing 13,867g (height: 46mm, length: 32mm) has up to 245 seeds and that, on average, a seed weighs 0.0045322449g ,” the student wrote on Facebook.

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Man Plays Dead to Circumvent Coronavirus Lockdown

You’ve probably seen people hiding in the bushes and wearing all kinds of silly disguises in order to go outside without being stopped by police, but now you can add faking death to the list of things people have resorted to in order to circumvent the coronavirus lockdown.

Just like Italy, India imposed nationwide lockdown from last Wednesday to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which left many citizens stranded hundreds of kilometers away from home, with no way to return. That was the case of Hakim Din, a 70-year-old villager from Poonch, in India’s disputed Kashmir region. He was being treated for a minor head injury at a hospital in Jammu, a few hundred kilometers away from home, when the lockdown was enforced, and he started looking for ways to get back. When an ambulance driver suggested that he play dead in order to get past the checkpoints, he jumped at the opportunity.

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Self-Described “Water Hater” Would Rather Dehydrate Than Drink Water

A New York woman who claims she hates drinking plain water has ended up in the ER several times with severe dehydration because she simply refused to put water in her mouth.

Lori Cheek is what is known as a “water hater”, a person who hates both the taste of water and the “slimy” sensation of it going down her throat. She is fully aware of the risks of not drinking enough water, as she has experienced severe dehydration more than once, but she would still rather not drink anything at all than have a sip of water. In her day to day life, Cheek relies on hydration tablets, Crystal Light and other flavored drinks to stay hydrated, but she won’t touch water.

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Japanese Artist Paints Simple Stones as Charming Figurines

Akie Nakata describes herself as a “stone artist”, but there is more to her craft than simply painting river stones into familiar animal shapes. Every one of her pieces goes through a complex process that begins with choosing the right stone and continues with bringing out the life in it.

The Japanese artist, who goes by Akie on social media, has a very special way of looking at looking at stones. While most of us choose to ignore them, she considers them similar to living organisms, in that there is a rich history behind them and they all have a story to tell. She is just someone enabling that story to come out with her paintbrush. She believes that every stone she chooses in turn chooses her, giving her the ok to paint what she sees on it. Akie feels that her art is a collaborative effort of hers and the stones’, and she always shows her respect by never altering or processing a stone to better suit her design.

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The World’s Toughest Cheese Is Hard as a Rock, Turns into Chewing Gum

I understand that the title reads a bit strange, but then again this is no ordinary cheese we’re talking about. It’s the hardest cheese in the world, and yes, it can be chewed like gum for up to two hours.

Chhurpi or Durkha is a traditional Nepalese cheese that has been a means of survival or many remote communities for centuries. Made out of the milk of yaks, or chauri (the cross of a yak and a cow), chhurpi comes in two varieties – soft and hard. The soft stuff is usually consumed as a side dish with rice, as filling for traditional dumplings, or ever as a soup. But it’s the hard variety that makes chhurpi famous all over the world. You may think you’ve tried hard cheeses before, but trust me when I say that this Nepalese staple puts them all to shame. It’s as hard as a rock, so you can’t even bite into it for at least an hour or so.

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