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Handless Magician Proves You Don’t Need Hands to Master Sleight of Hand

Meet Mahdi Gilbert, the 25-year-old Canadian magician making waves in the world of magic. He practices card manipulation and sleight of hand, a common skill set for a magician, but what sets him apart is his lack of hands.

Standing at four-feet-six inches, Gilbert’s left arm stops at the elbow, and he has an articulated appendage on his right arm. Gilbert was forced to reinvent magic for himself, individually recreating all of the techniques used in his illusions. “I had to become self-sufficient from an early age; there’s (sic) no magic books written for me,” Gilbert said in an interview for the documentary Our Magic.

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“Bird-Catcher Tree” Lures Birds with Free Meals, Then Accidentally Kills Them

Pisonia Brunoniana is a species of small flowering trees native to tropical regions from Hawaii to New Zealand, and as far west as India. The pisonia tree has soft brittle wood with large glossy leaves and a dark secret. If you search among its roots and branches, you’re likely to find thousands of delicate bones and tiny mummified corpses. It is this macabre feature that gives the tree its creepy nickname – “the birdcatcher tree”.

The pisonia tree produces long seed pods coated with a thick sticky mucus that entraps insects and the birds tempted to feast on them. The ensnared insects look like easy pickings to unsuspecting birds, but if they’re not careful, they can easily get entangled in the sticky seedpods themselves. Too many seeds caught among their feathers can weigh the birds down and prevent them from flying off the tree. If they’re not picked off by a passing scavenger, the birds are doomed to a slow death by starvation. Often, the birds die without ever escaping the pisonia’s branches, which means their withered corpses are left dangling like some strange fruit or a creepy Christmas ornament. In what can only be described as a vicious cycle, birds of prey tempted by the trapped birds sometimes also get entangled in sticky seeds and become trapped themselves.

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The Indian School Where All Students Learn to Write with Both Hands

A small school in rural India is gaining attention over the fact that all 300 students are ambidextrous. Data shows that only one percent of the global population is ambidextrous, but the ambitious founder of Veena Vandini School, in Madhya Pradesh, is aiming to change that, starting at a local level.

Former soldier and Veena Vandini School founder VP Sharma stated that he was inspired to focus on ambidexterity training by India’s first president Rajendra Prasad (in office from 1950 to 1962) who was ambidextrous. “I read in a magazine that Dr. Rajendra Prasad India’s first president used to write with both hands. This inspired me to give it a try,” Mr. Sharma said. “Later when I launched my school at my native village, I tried training the students.”

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Would You Pay $2,300 for a Designer Skirt That Looks Like a Car Mat?

Have you ever found yourself looking at the floor of your car and thinking ‘damn, this rubber mat would make an excellent skirt’? No? Well someone at luxury fashion brand Balenciaga definitely did, and not only did they make the car mat skirt a reality, but they made sure it was appropriately priced – $2,300.

While it might look like the brilliant minds at Balenciaga simply took a run-of-the-mill car mat and stitched it into a dress, they actually put a little more work into it. The controversial clothing item is actually 50% lambskin, instead of plain rubber, although it does have neoprene backing for a “utilitarian aesthetic.” But apart from leather replacing rubber – at least for the most part – the skirt actually looks just like a coiled car mat. So much so that British homeware retailer Argos recently stated that it was inspired by one of the car mats they sell.

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Arizona Ranch Owner Tired of Fighting Off Aliens Puts It Up for Sale

A sprawling 10-acre desert ranch in Arizona, aptly named Stardust Ranch, has come onto the market for $5 million (USD). Located in the scenic Rainbow Valley just outside of metropolitan Phoenix, the ranch includes a 3.436 square foot house, an in-ground pool, and allegedly a constant stream of extraterrestrial traffic.

Owner John Edmonds has grown tired of fighting off aliens, and recently decided to put it up for sale. Edmonds claims that over the past 20 years he has been abducted multiple times, and has had medical experiments performed on him by the aliens. He also alleges that his wife has been the subject of extraterrestrial abuse on several occasions. He originally purchased the property as a preserve for rescue horses who are unwanted or have experienced abuse. Allegedly the horses have also been molested by the aliens, with several turning up mutilated.

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Guy Flies 25 Km Tied to 100 Helium Balloons in Real-Life “UP” Journey

An English adventurer recently got to experience what most of us have only seen in the 2009 Pixar animated movie “UP” – flying 8,000 feet above ground while tied to colorful party balloons.

The Adventurists, an adventure company based in Bristol, England, offers unusual holidays to those seeking extraordinary experiences. Past projects have included, among several others, a rickshaw runs across the Himalayas and a motorbike race across the planet’s largest frozen lake in Russia. Every adventure raises money for charity, and in the past 12 years they have raised over £5 million. For their latest fundraising project, the company has taken inspiration from the critically acclaimed 2009 Pixar film UP, tying a lawn chair to 100 balloons and getting a crazy adventurist to sit in it at 8,000 feet above ground.

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Chinese Students Spend 6 Months Creating Stunning Dress Out of 6,000 Plant Leaves

Four sophomore students at the University of Hefei, in eastern China, recently proved that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on a designer dress to look stunning. You can make it yourself, for free, using only plant leaves.

Photos of the four students’ stunning leaf dress have been doing the rounds on Chinese social media for about a week, and people still can’t stop gushing over them. And who can blame them, really? Just take a look at what these kids were able to do with about 6,000 leaves, some thread and mountains of patience.

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World’s Most Expensive Pair of High-Heels Costs a Whopping $15 Million

UK Designer Debbie Wingham has unveiled the world’s most expensive pair of shoes. The stiletto heels are encrusted with precious metals and rare stones — and feature a whopping $15.1 million (USD) price tag.

Wingham is famous for her opulent creations and has worked for many celebrities, royals, and wealthy elite over the course of her career. She is known for crafting the world’s most expensive dress, a Red Diamond Abaya gown, which was encrusted with over 2000 diamonds, including the world’s most expensive red diamond, and priced at $15.45 million (USD). Wingham also owns a baking company, Couture to Cakes, and is known for having also crafted a $64 million (USD) diamond-encrusted cake for a UAE client.

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Designer Creates High-Tech Mirror That Only Works When You Smile

A new high tech mirror, designed specifically for cancer patients, will only become reflective when a user smiles into it.

The plug-in device, which closely resembles a tablet, comes equipped with a mirror, a built-in camera, and an opaque smart material triggered by propriety software. Facial recognition technology captures the face and prompts the surface of the mirror to change when a smile is detected. It can hang on a wall or sit on a table, much like a conventional mirror. Unlike a regular mirror, however, the price is currently standing at a staggering $2000-$3000 (USD).

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Wedding Invitation Goes Viral Because It Features One Groom and Two Brides

Polygamy, the practice of taking several wives, is legal in Indonesia, but it usually implies marrying one woman at a time. However, one impatient polygamist decided to beat the system by marrying two ladies at the same time and even sent out bizarre wedding invitations where he can be seen posing with both his brides-to-be.

The unique wedding invitation has been doing the rounds on Indonesian social media for the past week, with the vast majority of users condemning the event for being degrading to the two women. Interestingly, even polygamists are against it, as most of them believe that a Muslim man must learn to live with one woman before taking second wives. Some made fun about how the wedding night would play out, while a few just thought it was just a prank. It isn’t.

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11-Year-Old Nepalese Girl Claims She Can Recognize Colors by Smell

Deepti Regmi, an 11-year-old girl from Nepal, spontaneously developed a peculiar ability last year. She is, inexplicably, able to smell colors, and can supposedly even identify them while blindfolded. Although she does not have an official diagnosis, her ability appears to be related to the sensory phenomena known as synaesthesia.

Synaesthesia causes the person’s senses to become confused, causing sensation to one sensory input (such as the eyes) to stimulate sensation in another (the nose). This is what causes Deepti to smell color, and others to visualize color when they hear music, or to taste flavors when they hear certain sounds. Any combination of this sensory “cross-wire” is possible however, and not at all limited to the examples above.

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World’s First Holiday Resort for Plus-Sized Tourists Features Reinforced Beds, Extra-Wide Chairs

Known as a sanctuary for plus-sized people looking to have a good time without feeling embarrassed about their weight, The Resort is believed to be the world’s first and only vacationing retreat for the obese.

Hidden away on the island of Eleuthera, in the heart of the Caribbean, The Resort opened its gates two years ago, and has since become popular among overweight tourists looking for an exotic and judgement-free holiday destination. The entire complex was built from the ground up with obese people in mind. The doorways are wider than usual, the extra-strong beds are reinforced with  two bars of steel to support hundreds of pounds, and the chairs and loungers are a meter wide and made of a particularly strong wood. Even the toilets are custom made to support heavier frames.

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Japanese Company Creates Smart Fork That Cancels Out Noodle-Slurping Noises

In an attempt to battle “noodle harassment”, a Japanese company created a smart fork that can cancel out a user’s noodle-slurping noises.

Any ramen connoisseur will tell you that proper Japanese ramen etiquette entails slurping your noodles while you eat them, as doing so allows for aeration and full flavor development. This practice, however, can be
disturbing for Westerners and is officially referred to as “noodle harassment”, or “noo-hara” in Japan. The Japanese, however, have no intention of giving up this much loved cultural practice, and so an impasse has been reached. Enter Nissin, the 69-year-old Japanese company that invented instant noodles, and their revolutionary, albeit cumbersome, slurp canceling gadget the Otohiko fork.

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British Ex-Pat Who Loves Taiwan Tattoos Its Name on His Forehead

Paul Ferrell, a British ex-pat who has been living in Taiwan for the last 13 years, recently decided to show everyone how much he loved the small Asian country by getting a tattoo of its Chinese name on his forehead and its green independence flag inked on his chin.

Ferrell became the talk of the town in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where he owns a popular bar, after getting the unusual tattoos inked on his face. He claims to have made the “rash decision” after a night of heavy drinking and a passionate discussion about Taiwan’s independence. The British ex-pat recently told reporters that he was inspired by his love for Taiwan, but insists that he would not have gone through with his impulse, had he not been so drunk at the time.

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Woman Earns Over $70,000 a Year Showing Her Feet on Instagram

Some people can barely make a living working 9-to-5 jobs, but that’s definitely not the case of Jessica Gould, a 32-year-old woman from a small town in Ontario, Canada, who makes upwards of $70,000 by taking photos of her feet in various positions and posting them on Instagram.

Gould discovered the lucrative albeit unusual source of income completely by accident. While casually searching for a hobby to fill her free time, the young Canadian came across a local job ad for female foot fetish models. She scoffed at the idea that anyone would be interested in her feet, but some part of her was curious and intrigued by the idea. So she had some professional photos of her feet taken and started posting them under the name that became her alter ego, Scarlet Vixxen. It didn’t take long for her to realize that she had accidentally discovered a virtual gold mine.

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