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Alleged “Sonic Attacks” at Cuban Embassy Shrunk Victims’ Brains, Study Suggests

Between 2016 and 2018 a number of US and Canadian diplomats working at an embassy in Havana, Cuba, reported symptoms like headaches, nausea and memory loss after hearing mysterious noises. The phenomenon became known as the “Cuban Sonic Attacks”, but Havana authorities have so far denied any wrongdoing. However, a recent study suggests something did affect the diplomats, as dozens of them showed structural changes to their brains, such as a 5 percent shrinkage.

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the disturbing study analyzed advanced MRI scans of the brains of 40 diplomats that reported strange symptoms while being stationed in Havana, and compared them to those of 48 healthy people with similar ages and ethnic backgrounds. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that the whole white matter volume -areas of the brain central nervous system that affects learning – of the affected diplomats was roughly five percent smaller than that of healthy individuals. Authors added that connectivity differences in the brain’s auditory and visuospatial areas were also noticed between diplomats and control participants.

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The Flogsta Scream – Screaming into the Night to Relieve Stress

For decades, students living in the Flogsta neighborhood of Uppsala, in Sweden, have been engaging in a unique tradition that has come to be known around the world as the “Flogsta Scream”. Every night, at 10 pm, they open their dorm room windows and scream out into the night as a way to relieve stress.

In most parts of the world, walking down the street at night and suddenly hearing human screams from the surrounding buildings would send cold shivers down your spine, but in the Swedish city of Uppsala, it’s just a part of daily life. Students attending Uppsala University have been practicing the Flogsta Scream since the 1970s, so everyone is well used to it by now. It’s become a campus tradition, and today universities actually remind students where and when they should scream.

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Father Pulls Son Out of School So He Can Focus on Video Games Full Time

In a time when parents around the world are becoming increasingly concerned about how much time their children are spending in front of the computer screen playing popular video games like Fortnite, one Canadian father is sparking controversy for supporting his son’s eSports career, going as far as pulling him out of school so he could dedicate more time to video games.

Dave Herzog, a 49-year-old entrepreneur from Sudbury, Canada, has been “breeding” his son, Jordan, for an eSports career for over a decade. A longtime gamer himself, Dave claims that he put a gaming controller in his son’s hands when he was just three years old, and it didn’t take long for him to show that he had a true gift for gaming. By age 7, he was already a skilled Halo player, and at age 10 he was already dominating local gamers that Dave himself had put him in contact with. But it was when Jordan won his first Halo tournament, which earned him $2,000 worth of gaming apparel, that Dave Herzog realized his son could make a career out of it.

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Desperate Pet Owner Offers His Home to Whoever Finds His Lost Dog

After spending months looking for his lost pet Chihuahua, a desperate Tucson man has announced that he is offering his one bedroom home and the plot of land that comes with it to whoever brings his dog back to him.

Eddie Collins lost his beloved pet, Jenny, back in April and he has spent every day since trying to find her. After searching every place he could think of, plastering posters all over Tucson and visiting dog shelters every day, he decided to increase his chances of finding Jenny by offering his most prized material possession as a reward. Whoever finds Jenny and brings her back, will receive Eddie’s one-bedroom apartment, his workshop and a plot of land in return.

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German Woman Tries to Buy Car with Fake Money Printed on Inkjet Printer

A 20-year-old woman was recently arrested in Germany for walking into a car dealership and trying to by a €15,000 car with fake banknotes printed on a cheap inkjet printer using regular printing paper.

The unnamed woman reportedly walked into the car dealership in the German city of Kaiserslautern on Monday wanting to buy a used 2013 Audi A3. At first, everything went smoothly. She inspected the car, took it for a test drive, but when the time came to pay the €15,000 price, dealership staff were stunned to receive a waddle of €50 and €100 bills that looked more like Monopoly money than actual currency. One employee told German media that he literally asked the woman if she wanted to play Monopoly or buy a car, but after seeing that she was serious, he called the police.

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Indian Man Hasn’t Cut or Washed His Hair in 40 Years

A 63-year-old man in India who hasn’t cut or washed his hair in over 40 years has to keep his tangled 6-foot-long locks wrapped in a head cloth just to walk around without stepping on them.

Sakal Dev Tuddu, a resident of Mandada village, in Eastern India’s Bihar state, claims he has been growing his hair long since he was 22. For some reason, he didn’t cut his hair for a whole year, and when he woke up one day he noticed his locks had become tangled into a ‘jatta’ (dreadlock). He considered it a blessing from the Hindu god Shiva, so from that day on he never cut or washed his hair again. Today, his impressive jatta measures around 6 feet and reaches all the way to the ground and trails behind him. To keep his hair from becoming even dirtier, Sakal keeps it wrapped in a white cloth on top of his head whenever he goes out.

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The Predator of Mukdahan – Thailand’s Real-Life, Chopper-Riding Predator

A longtime Predator fan in Thailand has been getting a lot of attention for dressing up as a real-life human-hunting alien and riding his custom-made, Predator-themed choppers on the roads of his home province.

A video of a someone wearing a realistic Predator costume and riding an alien-looking chopper on a road in Thailand’s Mukdahan province has been doing the rounds on social media since last month. Unfortunately, the viral video doesn’t offer any context whatsoever, relying solely on the impressive visuals to attract attention, but it turns out that this isn’t just a random cosplayer, but a dedicated Predator fan known by the local communities as the Predator of Mukdahan.

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Christian Family Refuses to Pay Income Taxes Because It “Goes Against God’s Will”

A pair of Christian missionaries in Australia were recently ordered to pay over AUD$2 million to the Australian Taxation Office after failing to pay income tax because Australian taxation law was contrary to the law of Almighty God.

Fanny Alida Beerepoot and her brother Rembertus Cornelis Beerepoot were brought in front of a judge at the Supreme Court of Tasmania on Wednesday after they both failed to pay $930,000 in 2017. Prosecutors showed that they pair had been served notices on two separate occasions, but they still failed to lodge their tax returns. In their defense, the two siblings argued that the law of Almighty God was supreme in Australia and they didn’t owe anything to the Commonwealth because they belong to Him.

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Ireland’s Most Prolific Petty Criminal Racks Up Conviction Number 648

Jennifer Armstrong, a 44-year-old woman from Ireland, is considered by many the country’s most prolific petty criminal, with a record of 648 convictions.

Armstrong recently made headlines in her home country, after showing up in front of a judge for trying to steal a bottle of wine while intoxicated just two days after being released from a 16-month prison sentence. Among her many past offences, the 44-year-old was convicted for crimes like stealing from and harassing people around Dublin city center, assault and public intoxication. During her latest visit in court, the serial thief asked the judge for “one last chance”, and managed to leave with a suspended six-month sentence.

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Restaurant in Japan Bans Japanese Customers, Only Serves Foreigners

A restaurant owner on Ishigakijima Island, Japan, has had enough of his countrymen’s bad banners, so he banned all Japanese customers, serving only overseas tourists instead.

Yaeyama Style, a small ramen restaurant in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture should be packed this time of year, but owner Akio Arima says he only serves a couple of bowls of ramen on some days. But it’s not that people don’t want eat there, but rather that Arima doesn’t want to serve them, even if it means losing money. Starting this month, he posted a recent notice on the front door of his restaurant letting would-be Japanese patrons know that they are no longer welcome at Yaeyama Style due to their bad manners.

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Tourists Play with Tiny But Deadly Octopus With Enough Venom to Kill 26 People

Two British backpackers fishing in Australia can consider themselves lucky to be alive after stupidly playing with a tiny blue-ringed octopus, whose painless bite can kill up to 26 adults in minutes.

A viral video posted on a Facebook group for backpackers shows daredevils Ross Saunders and Johnpaul Lennon dangling a blue-ringed octopus and letting it touch their skin, completely oblivious to the fact that a single bite could result in a painful death. The two adventurers had been fishing in Australia when they caught the yellow and blue spotted octopus, only instead of keeping it as far away as possible, they decided to play chicken with it, dangling the creature against their bare arms while laughing.

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Man Spends Almost Five Days Sitting on a Toilet Bowl, Sets World Record

48-year-old Jimmy De Frenne, from Belgium, recently set a new world record for the longest time spent sitting on a toilet, after spending five days on a toilet bowl in a bar.

After breaking the world record for the longest time spent ironing non-stop (82 hours) in 2016, Jimmy De Frenne recently set his sights on another bizarre world record attempt – the longest time spent sitting on a toilet bowl. There was no official record to break as Guinness World Records had no such category, but De Frenne had heard of a man who had allegedly spent 100 hours sitting on a “throne” and thought he could do better. He set himself a goal of 168 hours and spent almost five days last week sitting on a toilet bowl at Filip’s Place bar in Ostend, but had to quit after only 116 hours as his body just couldn’t handle it anymore.

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Kryptos – The Coded Sculpture No One Has Been Able to Decipher for 30 Years

The CIA headquarters in Langley is home to lost of mysteries, but one in particular has captured the attention of professional code breakers and puzzle enthusiasts for the last three decades.

Kryptos, a coded sculpture created by American artist Jim Sanborn has remained unsolved ever since it was originally installed at the CIA headquarters in November of 1990. The agency’s code breakers as well as other professional puzzle solvers around the world have been struggling to unravel the secrets of the 1,800 characters carved into the 12-foot block of copper, and although they’ve succeeded in cracking three of the coded messages created by Sanborn, the fourth and final one remains unsolved. Experts have tried every technique in the book, transposition, binary, polyalphabetic substitution, even Morse code, but so far no one has been able to decipher the 97-character-long fourth part of the Kryptos Sculpture.

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Mayor Disguises Himself as Disabled Person to Test Public Servants

As part of an unusual social experiment, a Mexican mayor disguised himself as a disabled person in need of assistance to test the attitude of local public servants first-hand.

After receiving a number of complaints from disabled and other socially disadvantaged people about the treatment they received from social workers, Carlos Tena, the mayor of Cuauhtémoc, a town in Mexico’s Chihuahua state, didn’t know who to believe, the alleged victims or his co-workers. So he devised a plan to test the attitude of local social workers himself. Tena spent two months putting together a believable disguise and then visited public servants at both the Mayor’s Office and Social Services posing as a disabled man in need of help.

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Woman Loses Her Voice for 12 Years After Accidentally Swallowing a Coin

Marie McCreadie was just 13 years old when she lost her voice to what doctors could only assume was a freak virus. 12 years later, she was shocked to discover that her sudden loss of voice had been caused by an old coin stuck between her vocal coins, which prevented them from vibrating. This is an old story that is once again getting a lot of attention because of Marie McCreadie ‘s newly published book, “Voiceless”, in which she details the traumatic experience of losing her voice at a young age and regaining it after 12 long years.

When 13-year-old Marie  – then Marie Heffernan – suddenly lost the ability to speak one day in 1972, doctors put it down to a bad bout of bronchitis, but even after recovering from the illness, she still couldn’t utter a sound. They performed all kinds of tests but nothing appeared to be wrong, so they eventually put it down to a virus and told the 13-year-old girl to just go back to school and lead a normal life, as a mute. She was frightened and confused, and her parents didn’t really know how to handle things in the beginning either. Luckily, Marie and her friends started finding new ways of communicating, like passing written notes to each other, which was fun and made getting used to a voiceless life easier. Things got worse as time went by and her voice didn’t recover, but the other children’s reactions were nothing compared to the treatment she got from her teachers.

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