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The Strange Case of a Man Who Couldn’t Burp for 34 Years

A 34-year-old man who lost his ability to burp when he was only a baby, due to a condition so rare it doesn’t even have a name, has recently been cured by Botox injections in his throat, and claims his life has improved more than anyone could ever imagine.

Most of us take burping for granted, or even consider it to be offensive, without considering the fact that without it, we would have to put up with agonizing pain. At least that’s what Neil Ribbens, a man who couldn’t burp for most of his life, claims. The young record label talent from East London, UK, was unable to release gas from his stomach, which caused him to experience excruciating pain, severe hiccups and bloating, especially after consuming large meals or drinking beer and other fizzy drinks.

Neil’s bizarre problem was caused by his larynx, which apparently became so tensed that it would prevent gases from escaping through his throat. Left unable to burp since he was a baby, the man saw various doctors throughout the years, hoping to find a cure to his condition. However, most physicians had never even heard of such a problem, and some didn’t even take him seriously. Neil remembers one doctor laughing at his inability to burp, while most of the others only recommended inefficient medication.

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Chinese Restaurant Forced to Close Down After Failed All-You-Can-Eat Promotion

The owners of a struggling hotpot restaurant in Chengdu, China, hoped that a month-long all-you-can-eat promotion would bring in new customers, but it actually put the place out of business in under two weeks.

On June 1st, Jiamener, a relatively new hotpot restaurant in Chengdu, China’s Sichuan province, kickstarted its cheap all-you-can-eat buffet in the hopes of gaining a new client base. Patrons were offered the chance to fill their bellies for just 120 yuan (US$19) per day, for a whole month. The two owners had anticipated that they would suffer a financial loss during this period, but they hoped that the promotion would pay off in the long run, with some visitors becoming loyal customers. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

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Incredibly Tall 12-Year-Old Basketball Player Can Dunk Without Even Jumping

At just 12-years-old, Olivier Rioux already stands at 6-foot-11 (2.11 meters) which makes him one heck of an asset for his basketball team. Not only can he shoot the ball without any of his opponents even coming close to a block, but he can literally slam dunk on the 8-foot-tall basket without his feet leaving the ground.

As you can imagine, Olivier Rioux is pretty dominant on the basketball courts, thanks in part to his skill, but mostly to the fact that all of the other players’ heads only come up to his bellybutton. That’s a pretty good advantage to have, in any situation. He can shoot whenever he wants, he’s literally always open for passes and as long as he’s close enough to his opponents, he can block any of their passes or shots. To say this Canadian 12-year-old is head and shoulders above his competition would be a pretty fair assessment.

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Artist Spends Three Days Buried Under Busy Road, with No Food

Mike Parr, a 73-year-old Australian performance artist, recently spent three days in a container buried under one of the busiest roads in Tasmania, with no food, as a “response to 20th-century totalitarian violence in all its forms”.

The unusual performance was apparently conceived a decade ago for an arts festival in Germany, but could not be pulled off due to health and safety concerns. However, the Hobart City Council, in Tasmania, approved it last month, as part of the Dark Mofo festival, as long as the organizers agreed to cover the roadwork bill. That included literally cutting a section of road and digging a large hole under it in order to lower a large metal container in it, and covering it up so that traffic could go on as usual for the three days Mike Parr spent buried inside.

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Seafood Rains Over Chinese City After Powerful Storm Sends Marine Creatures Flying

It’s not every day that you see octopuses, starfish and prawns literally raining down from the sky, but that’s exactly what happened Wednesday in the Chinese coastal city of Qingdao, after strong winds sucked the marine creatures from the sea.

On Wednesday, the seaside city of Qingdao, in China’s Shandong province, was hit by a severe storm that brought down trees and large sign posts, flooded the streets and brought traffic to a stand-still. But there was a particular phenomenon that captured the attention of motorists in the city during Wednesday’s storm – various sea creatures started falling from the sky.

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Busted Bingo – A Controversial Game Where the Players Are Alleged Offenders and the Prize Is Jail Time

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, in Tennessee, has become famous for coming up with a unique approach to catching wanted people. They’ve created a weekly online game show called “Busted Bingo”, where wanted people are assigned numbered balls and randomly selected for an all-inclusive stay in a county jail cell. It’s probably the world’s first game show that no one wants to win.

The first episode of Busted Bingo aired on November 15, 2017, and generated quite a bit of media coverage, especially on a local level. Sheriff Wayne Anderson, the host of the unusual game said that the game was an innovative way of getting the public involved in the process of catching wanted offenders. The idea was that if someone recognized the selected “winner” of the game, they could call the police to turn them in and save officers the trouble of locating them. Believe it or not, it actually worked. The first ever winner of Busted Bingo was busted just a few hours after the episode aired on YouTube.

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Woman Gets Eyeliner Pencil Stuck in Her Eye While Doing Makeup in a Taxi

Most women think that the worst thing that can happen while doing their makeup in a moving vehicle is to mess up and start over, but as this poor woman in Bangkok recently learned, there are worse things than makeup smudges.

Emergency service rescuers in Bangkok, Thailand, were summoned to the scene of a minor car crash in the Ratchathewi District, yesterday. A cab had crashed into the back of a slow moving truck, but while such accidents are quite frequent and rarely result in serious injuries, in this case, the passenger in the back of the taxi had sustained a piercing wound to her left eye. Rescuers reported that the woman was using an eyeliner when the crash happened, so the pencil jammed into her eye socket.

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Meet Norman, the World’s First Psychopath AI

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have trained an artificial intelligence algorithm  to become a psychopath by exposing it to gruesome and violent images on popular social network Reddit.

Called Norman, after the iconic Anthony Perkins character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic “Psycho”, the AI was trained to perform image captioning, a popular deep learning method of generating a textual description of an image. But there was a fun twist – for an extended period of time, Norman was only exposed to gruesome and violent images from an infamous subreddit dedicated to documenting and observing the disturbing reality of death. Researchers then used Rorsach inkblots to compare Norman to other AI which hadn’t been exposed to the same gruesome images.

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Chinese City Introduces Special Walkway for Smartphone-Using Zombies

Authorities in the Chinese city of Xi’an recently inaugurated a special sidewalk lane designed for “phubbers” – people who walk while staring at their smartphones and ignore everything around them.

Painted red, green and blue and featuring pictures of smartphones, the special lane is located on the busy Yanta Roan, in Xi’an, and is 80cm wide and 100m long. Chinese media reports that a large shopping mall overlooking the smartphone-user lane had been asking authorities for it over a month, which suggests that it’s just a marketing scheme. However, it turns out that the special sidewalk lane is actually a safety precaution for “phubbers”. Cars often come onto the pavement in front of the mall, sometimes barely missing pedestrians who have their eyebvalls virtually glued to their smartphones, so the lane is supposed to keep them out of harm’s way.

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Russian Fashion Blogger Conquers Social Media with Her Huge Eyebrows

Anzhelika Protodyakonova, a young fashion blogger from Russia, shot to social media flame after photos of her huge eyebrows, which cover most of her forehead, went viral on the internet.

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and the story of how Anzhelika Protodyakonova became a popular online fashion blogger and a social media star in her native country is a perfect example of that. Seven years ago, while riding on a bus in Yakutsk, Russia’s Sakha Republic, Anzhelika drew the attention of another passenger who just couldn’t take her eyes off her unusually large eyebrows. The woman took a photo of her and posted it online, where it quickly went viral. Anzhelika soon became known as “Bushy Angie”, and while she admits being embarrassed by the photo at first, the young girl quickly embraced her new-found popularity and even managed to make a living off of it.

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Allegedly Self-Taught Pilot Flew Passenger Planes Without Ever Attending Aviation University

Russian media recently featured the story of Taras Shelest, a highly-regarded passenger jet pilot who turned out to be a complete fraud. Despite having never attended aviation university and instead faking his diploma, Shelest allegedly flew thousands of people all around the world for several years, until a bizarre incident finally exposed him.

In August of 2015, Taras Shelest was a co-pilot on a passenger flight from Moscow to Cyprus. When entering Ukrainian airspace, he contacted the ground controller as per protocol, only instead of sticking to the strict technical language, he used a very peculiar greeting – “Glory to Ukraine!” This was apparently so unusual that Shelest was reported to his company’s security service, which in turn contacted the FSB, Russia’s federal security service. Taras’ fellow pilots were whispering to each other that he had lost his mind, for using that bizarre greeting, but the result of the investigation into his background revealed something even crazier – the man was not even a real pilot, but a flight enthusiast who had taught himself to fly using flying simulators and faked his aviation university diploma.

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Rare Condition Makes 18-Year-Old Student Look Like an 80-Year-Old Grandpa

Looking at Xiao Cui for the first time, you could swear he is at least 80 years old, but in fact he is only an 18-year-old high-school student suffering from a very rare health condition that has caused his facial muscles and skin to droop, making him look a lifetime older than he really is.

18-year-old Xiao Cui is a senior at a top high-school in Harbin, China, but you couldn’t tell just by looking at him. He looks more like a pensioner than a young man in the prime of his life, but it’s all due to a mysterious condition that has been causing his facial muscles and skin to sag. In a Pear video that went viral in China at the end of last month, Cui says that he noticed the first symptoms during middle school, and that his face has been getting saggier ever since, to the point where he now looks many decades older than his classmates. Doctors have yet to understand his condition, let alone find a way to stop it or undo its effects, so Xiao has no option but to accept it and stay positive.

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3-Year-Old Israeli Boy Baffles Doctors by Speaking English Without Ever Having Learned It

O’Neal Mahmoud, a 3-year-old from an Arabic-speaking Druze  family in the Golan Heights, Israel, has amazed doctors with his ability to speak English with a British accent without ever having been exposed to the foreign language.

Named after legendary basketball player Shaquille O’Neal, O’Neal Mahmoud didn’t speak at all until he was 2-years-old. Then he started making these unintelligible noises, and at one point started speaking fluent English and using phrases like “my dear” and “oh my goodness”, which are hardly ever used in his home village, near the Druze town of Majdal Shams, in northern Israel. Stranger still is the fact that O’Neal doesn’t actually know the Arabic equivalents of the English words he speaks. A speech therapist and clinical linguist who examined the toddler concluded that his level of English was that of a three-year-old who grew up in an English-speaking family, while his level of Arabic – his native language – was far below that.

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The Sad Case of a Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison Over a Bag of Herbal Tea

Ordering a bag of herbal tea on the internet sounds harmless enough, but, as one young Russian man learned a couple of years ago, it can sometimes land you in prison for a very long time.

Alexei Novikov’s incredibly sad story began in September of 2015. The 34-year-old man was going to pick up his wife and daughter, who were living in Russia’s Samara region at the time, and decided to hitchhike instead of taking the bus. To cut his trip short, Novikov decided to cut through neighboring Kazakhstan, and in order to avoid any unnecessary trouble, he headed to the Isikul Road border post. Once there, he asked the border guards if he could cross the border on foot, but before answering him, they demanded that he present his backpack for inspection. And that’s when everything started going downhill for Novikov.

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The Man Who Became a Millionaire by Selling Fake Dog Balls

Gregg Miller is living proof that a crazy idea can sometimes turn out to be pure genius. He is the inventor of Neuticles, silicone implants for male dogs to replace testicles after neutering so they don’t lose their manly look, and he is a millionaire.

Miller came up with the idea for a purely cosmetic replacement for animal testicles in the early 90s, when he bought a bloodhound puppy named Buck. He refused to have him neutered simply because he didn’t want to put the dog through surgery, but after Buck went missing for four days after picking up a female’s scent, the witty inventor had a change of heart. He describes those four days as the most hideous of his life, and knew that if he didn’t neuter his dog, he risked losing him again. But he still wanted Buck to maintain his “God-given naural look”, so he asked the vet if someone made testicle implants. The veterinarian told him that it was the dumbest thing he had ever heard of, but Gregg knew he was on to something.

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