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Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

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Faecal Transplant – A Stomach-Turning Medical Procedure

Here’s something I never thought I’d hear, let alone write an article about – faecal transplants. Yes, it’s exactly what you think  it is. Taking the poop out of one person and putting it into another. It’s a lot, more disgusting that it sounds, but this medical procedure actually has the potential to save lives. And would you believe, it’s been around since the late 1990s?

Dr. Alisdair MacConnachie is perhaps the only doctor in the UK to have ever performed the transplant. Calling it a proven treatment, this is how he says it’s done. A patient is put on antibiotics up until the night before, after which pills are given to control the stomach acids. The next morning a donor will come in and provide a stool sample. The donor is usually a close relative who tends to eat the same kind of food and lives in the same environment as the patient. Next, 1oz of the sample is taken and churned with salt water in a blender. Eww, right? No wait, it gets worse. The fluid is then poured through a coffee filter to produce a very watery liquid. And now, for the worst part – a tube is inserted up the patient’s nose that goes all the way down to the stomach. 1fl oz of the liquid is poured right in. I will now give you a moment to recover.

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The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments

This group not only plays music, but builds the instruments from scrap. That’s right, they make their ‘recycled’ instruments out of things like kitchen spatulas and cookie cutters. Their music, nonetheless, is wonderful to listen to.

The Orchestra of Recycled Instruments is from Paraguay, a majority of them so poor that they had to resort to creating their own instruments. However, their love for music was never hindered by their economic condition. The members of the orchestra are students at the “Sonidos De La Tierra,” which is an organization dedicated to running music workshops and schools in the lesser privileged areas of Paraguay. This is where these talented musicians learned the skill of recycled-instrument-music making. Some of them were so passionate about the art that they even quit their jobs as recyclers at a major dump site, in order to pursue their music full time.

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The Berezka Ensemble – Russia’s Floating Dance Group

Trade secrets are common in many areas of life, but dancing? I wondered how it could be possible for a dancer to have a secret step, when their art is plain for all to see. Turns out there is a particular dancing group from Russia that has a secret technique – the floating step – that no one can really see.

The Berezka Ensemble was set up in 1948, by choreographer Nadezhda Nadezhdina. Since then, it has become a symbol of sorts, something that Russia has been identified with. Having traveled to over 80 countries for performances, the troupe has recently made the news for something other than their famous floating step. The dancers have covered over 47,000 dancing kilometers, through their signature step. That’s longer than the diameter of the Earth!

Photo © Berezkadance.ru Read More »

Amazing Indian Girl Is Friends with Six King Cobras

India has long been known as the land of the snake charmers. But here’s something very unusual. An 8-year-old Indian girl who plays all day  not with other girls, but with her pet King Cobras.

Kajol Khan lives in the village of Ghatampur in Uttar Pradesh, with her parents, six sisters, two brothers and six pet Cobras, her best friends. She comes from a family of snake catchers and hopes to carry on in her father’s footsteps someday. Her father, 55-year-old Taj Mohammad has been working as a snake catcher in Ghatampur for the past 45 years. While he has already passed on his skills to his son, he’s unexpectedly found himself a mentor to his daughter Kajol. The little girl has been used to snakes crawling around her since she was a baby, and hence feels nothing out of the ordinary in their presence. In fact, she prefers hanging out with her slithering buddies rather than go to school. She has been bitten – on her stomach, cheeks and hands – but this is hardly of any concern to her. Kajol has always been able to make a full recovery, thanks to her father’s herbal medicine, which has been a family secret for generations. “I have a lot of fun with the cobras. It hurts when they bite me but sometimes it’s my own fault because I tease them. It’s quite funny.”

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Blind Tennis – Yet Another Amazing Sport from Japan

The Japanese really do seem to invent a lot of sports, especially for the disabled. Not long ago, we told you about Doglegs, a wrestling sport for the handicapped. Now, we’re going to introduce you to Blind Tennis, which is of course, tennis played by the blind.

The creation of the sport is largely credited to Miyoshi Takei, who in spite of his blindness, started to play tennis as a kid with the encouragement of his high school teacher. His only aim at the time was to hit a ball that was flying through the air as hard as he could, even though he couldn’t see it. After several trials, he finally invented a special kind of tennis ball that is spongy and light in weight. The ball rattles, so that blind players can track its movement with their ears. Miyoshi’s endeavors met with success and the first national blind tennis championships were held in Japan in the year 1990. Today, hundreds of Japanese players take part every year and a few from other countries too, such as China, Korea, Taiwan, Britain and the United States.

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Ferret Legging – A Truly Bizarre Animal Sport

Most people couldn’t stand something as small as a cockroach up their trousers. And then there are the brave ferret leggers who endure not one, but two fully grown adult ferrets trapped in their pants. The weird sport, called Ferret Legging, is a test of endurance or just the ability to “have your tool bitten and not care”.

Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, the rules of the sport are pretty tight. Competitors have two ferrets placed inside their trousers, which are tied firmly at the ankles and belted up at the waist, thereby eliminating any point of escape for the furry creatures. The competitor then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the razor-sharp claws and teeth of the ferrets. Other rules state that competitors cannot be drunk and the ferrets must not be sedated. Also, the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that have not been blunted or filed. The man who stands the longest, wins.

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Shijiao – Where Christmas Lights Go to Die

Ever wonder what happens to Christmas lights once you toss out into the trash at the end of every holiday season? Turns out a lot of things are made from them, including slipper soles.

Shijiao, in China, has been designated as the world’s capital for recycling old and unusable Christmas tree lights that are thrown away by Americans each year. There are at least nine factories in this small town that process large volumes of tree lights. Yong Chang Processing is one of them, the company recycles 2.2 million pounds of lights each year. Overall, the factories of the town go through over 20 million pounds. Shijiao is known for its cheap labor costs and low environmental standards. These factors make it an ideal place for a recycling zone. It has been so for around 20 years now. Needless to say, the burning of the wire from the lights causes huge amounts of black smoke to rise up in the air, which is clearly visible from the fields around town. The process adopted is the fastest way to extract copper from rubber and plastic, and hence there isn’t any alternative.

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Olive – The First Cinema Film Shot with a Cell Phone

It had to happen sooner or later. Olive is the world’s first feature film of cinematic-quality to be shot using a smartphone. The film was released in Santa Monica’s Nuart Theatre this week.

Olive is the first film of director Hooman Khalili. He shot the entire film with the Nokia N8 smartphone, which has a high-resolution camera. The camera was adapted with a 35-mm lens to give the film additional depth. The project was quite low on budget, costing just $500,000. It was partly funded by Chris Kelly, a Silicon Valley attorney and former Facebook executive. According to Kelly, films that are shot using smartphones are important because they give everyone access to creating high-quality content. In this context, Olive may just have marked the beginning of a change in the way the film industry functions. Kelly points out that with this kind of film-making, big studios wouldn’t control the industry anymore, and the very pricing and economics of making a film could change.

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93-Year-Old Proves You’re Never Too Old for Yoga

For people like Tao Porchon-Lynch, old is the new young. There’s literally nothing about her that suggests she is 93. The woman has been practicing yoga for over 70 years now, and teaching it to students in India, France, and the US for more than 45 years. What’s more, she participates in ballroom dancing in her free time, an activity she took up at the age of 87.

If the mere mention of her physical prowess is awe-inspiring, wait till you hear the story of how she took to dancing. When Tao Porchon-Lynch had just turned 87, she fell down outside a grocery store and broke her hip. She had to undergo a major hip-replacement surgery, something that would leave most people confined to bed for the rest of their life. But Tao would have none of that. Completely disregarding her doctor’s advice to slow things down, she walked into a ballroom-dancing studio merely one month after the surgery, starting lessons that very night. Today, at the age of 93, Tao participates in ballroom-dancing competitions in New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico along with her 23-year-old dance partner. All this, while teaching 12 Yoga classes a week.

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Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

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English Vicar Raps Nativity Story

Now here’s an extremely interesting and catchy version of the Nativity Story. For those of you who feel that the traditional ways of telling the story have become rather monotonous, an English Vicar from Devon has made a rap song out of it. The video put up online has already been watched thousands of times.

40-year old Reverend Gavin Tyte gets it just right, as he raps the story of Jesus’s birth to a beatbox backing. The song is called ‘The Beatbox Nativity.’ The video clip is three-and-a-half minutes long. For the video, Reverend Tyte dresses up in three different costumes – a shepherd, an angel, and himself, as the narrator. The song goes on to describe the entire story of the birth of Jesus, in perfect rap. He says he has been beatboxing since the age of 8 and was even a professional performer before be was ordained. The Reverend has been in the company of rappers for a long time, but he admits it was a little tricky to create a rhyme out of each and every verse. “You are constrained by what is written and what sounds good, so it does not flow as well as if you were rapping from scratch.”

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Groin Ball – Fun to Watch, Painful to Play

Groin Ball is a crazy game that supposedly originated in Japan, is played by men, and obviously involves the hitting of testicles.

Curious to know how the game is played? Well, we’ll tell you. Two teams involved in a game of Groin Ball each consist of two players – a ball thrower and a target player. The target players of each team face each other, holding on to the other’s shoulders. Their feet need to be shoulder-width apart, all through the game. A supply of tennis balls is provided to each of the throwers, who have to hurl them between the legs of the target players, aiming of course, at the groin. The balls hit the ground and then bounce up to smash into the groin of the opposing target player.

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Doglegs – Japanese Pro-Wrestling for the Disabled

Physical disabilities have never stopped the resilient from pursuing their passion for sports. And wrestlers are not to be left behind. The Doglegs wrestling group founded in Japan gives the disabled an opportunity to fight, although it has been called a ‘freak show’ by some critics.

Unlike other sports for the disabled, Doglegs seems more oriented towards the entertainment value provided to audiences, rather than an actual skill or sportsmanship. Co-founder Yukinori Kitajima says that anyone can become a wrestler, provided they interest the spectators. For this, a special individuality is required out of each of them. ET, for instance, one of the popular wrestlers of the group, makes a scary face, which is his special attack. He suffers from cerebral palsy. The names adopted by the members of Doglegs are just as entertaining as their antics. Hard Rock, No Sympathy and Welfare Power are just a few of the wrestler’s names. No Sympathy, perhaps being the most apt of them all, since the fights are brutally real. It’s quite common that the wrestlers suffer injuries, spilling blood, splitting their eye, and more. Read More »

Restaurant Fines Customers if They Don’t Finish Their Food

The wastage of food is something we often don’t realize, because we tend to think of it as ‘just this once’. In reality we’re all guilty of ordering something on the menu we know we can’t really finish, just out of the temptation to see what it tastes like.

Well, one restaurant has finally decided to put the matter to rest. A Saudi food joint has started charging their customers extra if they order more food than they can eat. Fahad Al Anezi, the owner of Marmar restaurant in the city of Dammam says the move is an attempt to stop the wastage of food and reduce extravagance. According to Al Anezi, he routinely witnesses clients who order large quantities of food in order to impress those around them. He also says that the idea of fining people for leftovers, instead of making him unpopular, has actually been endorsed by the Saudis. In fact, a few customers have said that they’ve learnt their lesson and will only order food that they can finish.

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