Man With 12 Family Members Only Gets One Vote in Local Elections, His Own

A Gujarat man who ran for a decision-making position in his village during last month’s local elections made international headlines for receiving just one vote despite having at least two dozen family members eligible to cast a ballot.

Santosh Halpati ran for the position of Sarpanch in the Chharwala village of Vapi district, and even though he wasn’t really expecting to win, he certainly didn’t expect to receive just one vote, his. The middle-aged man broke down near the counting center when he heard the news, telling reporters that he had 12 close family members who were eligible to vote but either didn’t bother to cast a ballot or chose to vote for someone else.

Read More »

Mafia Member on the Run for 20 Years Arrested After Being Spotted on Google Maps

A convicted Italian mafia member who has been on the run for almost two decades was recently arrested after being spotted by chance on Google Maps in a small Spanish town.

Gioacchino Gammino, a convicted murderer listed among Italy’s most wanted gangsters, had been on the run for nearly 20 years when he was arrested in Galapagar, a town near Madrid, last month. He had escaped Rome’s Rebibbia jail in 2002 and in 2003 he had been sentenced to life in prison for a murder committed years earlier. A European arrest warrant was issued in 2014, and authorities had managed to track Gammino to Spain, but it was a Google Maps screenshot of two men chatting outside a fruit and vegetable shop that helped police confirm his exact location and make the arrest.

Read More »

Controversial Artist Uses Naked Women as Paintbrushes

Albert Zakirov, an artist from the Russian Federation’s Tatarstan Autonomous Republic has an original, albeit controversial painting technique – he uses women’s naked bodies as his paintbrushes.

Albert Zakirov started drawing and painting at an early age and spent much of his childhood preparing for art school. After studying with an excellent teacher for a couple of months in tenth grade, he picked up the necessary knowledge to get admitted into art school, where he quietly studied the basics while experimenting with all sorts of unusual techniques and mediums. He never graduated from art school, but it was there that he first used a woman’s body to paint on canvas, and it was this experience that inspired him to make the technique his own.

Read More »

Farmer Makes His Cows Wear VR Goggles to Increase Milk Production

In an attempt to increase the daily milk yield of his cows, a farmer in Turkey is experimenting with virtual reality goggles that make the bovines think they are in the middle of a green pasture in summer.

İzzet Koçak’s family has been rearing cattle on a farm in Aksaray, Turkey for three generations, and the business has endured for so long because they have always tried to keep up with the times. Now it’s Izzet’s turn to make sure the family business does well enough to be passed on to the next generation, and he is going all-in on unconventional solutions. After experimenting with soothing music designed to relax the cows, the Turkish farmer is now experimenting with special VR goggles that allegedly make the animals believe that they are grazing in a sunny pasture, instead of a gloomy indoor farm in the middle of winter.

Read More »

Da Shuhua – The Art of Spraying Melted Iron to Create Fireworks

Known as ‘the poor man’s fireworks’, Dashuhua is a 500-year-old pyrotechnic ritual used in Nuanquan, China, to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

The small town of Nuanquan, in northwestern China’s Hebei province, is home to one of the world’s most dangerous yet mesmerizing fireworks displays. Although fireworks have been a part of Chinese celebrations since around the year 800 A.D., they haven’t always been as widely available and affordable as they are today. So about half of a millennia ago, local blacksmiths came up with a viable alternative that was cheaper, but just as impressive as conventional pyrotechnics – throwing molten iron at cold walls to produce a waterfall of bright sparks that are at the same time beautiful and dangerous.

Read More »

Researchers Claim to Have Developed Artificial Intelligence Capable of Replacing Criminal Prosecutors

Researchers in China claim to have developed an advanced AI that is reportedly capable of identifying crimes and filing charges against those suspected of committing them.

There is no denying that advancements in artificial intelligence are being made at breakneck speeds and that many of us will one day lose our jobs to a tireless machine, but I doubt anyone imagined prosecutors would find their jobs threatened by machines anytime soon. And yet, if Chinese researchers are to be believed, there is already an AI system that can replace human prosecutors “to a certain extent” and file a charge with over 97 percent accuracy, based on a description of a suspected criminal case.

Read More »

Introducing the Bus-Train, the World’s First Dual-Mode Vehicle

Japan recently unveiled the world’s first Dual-Mode Vehicle (DMV), a contraption that runs both on roads, like a bus, and on rails, like a train.

The unique bus-train hybrid was unveiled last month, in the town of Kaiyo, Japan’s Tokushima Prefecture. The mini-bus-like contraption didn’t win anyone over with its looks, but it definitely made an impression in terms of practicality. It runs with normal rubber tires on the road, but when it needs to switch to train mode, a pair of metal wheels drop down from the vehicle’s underbelly. The front tires are lifted off of the track, while the rear wheels stay down to propel the vehicle. Switching between road and train modes takes only about 15 seconds.

Read More »

Don’t Trust Your Eyes! Hirothropologie’s Photorealistic Paintings

A talented artist working under the pseudonym ‘Hirothropologie’ has become world-famous for his ability to create photo-like portraits using paint, brushes and lots of skill.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but having to distinguish between one of Hirothropologie’s paintings and an actual photo of his model is a very challenging endeavor. Every little detail in his paintings, from loose strands of hair to freckles or creases in his subjects’ clothes, are expertly reproduced on canvas, creating an almost eerie hyperrealistic illusion. It’s hard to believe Hirothropologie is able to achieve this with just paint and a set of fine brushes, but then again, as he puts it, “I put my entire life into this”.

Read More »

Scientists Discover Blue Glowing Snow in the Russian Arctic

Russia is home to a number of unique and wonderful things, and apparently, the list also includes bioluminescent snow that glows blue.

Last month, Russian biologist Vera Emelianenko went for a walk to the White Sea coast, high in the Russian Arctic, and noticed something very unusual in the snow – a blue glow that looked like Christmas lights. With Emelianenko were Mikhail Neretin, the son of a molecular biologist working at the same remote field station, and two dogs. It was Neretin wh first noticed the strange blue glow, and as they walked to investigate, they noticed that their footsteps created streaks of ethereal blue “like blue Christmas lights in the snow”. Even the dogs left a glowing trail as they raced ahead, and squeezing the glowing snow in the hand only made it glow stronger.

Read More »

Woman With World’s Longest Name Has Two-Foot-Long Birth Certificate

An ambitious mother who wanted to set a unique Guinness World Record gave her daughter a 1,019-letter name which resulted in her getting a two-foot-long birth certificate.

Over the years, we’ve featured some pretty unconventional baby names here on OC, but most of them at least made some kind of sense. The world’s longest name recorded on a birth certificate, on the other hand, is just that, long, and pretty much impossible to pronounce, but then again, that was basically the point. The mother who gave her daughter this incredibly long name told Oprah Winfrey that she just wanted to set a Guinness record and at the same time make sure that her girl had a unique name.

Read More »

Man Falls in Love With Humanoid Robot, Hopes to Marry It

An Australian man who has given up on finding a human partner claims to have found the next best thing – a humanoid robot named Emma.

Ever since his mother died a decade ago, Geoff Gallagher from Queensland, Australia, had only his dog, Penny, to soothe his loneliness. But then, a couple of years ago, he read an article about robots powered by artificial intelligence and decided to look into them. He found some intriguing commercially-available models, but at $AUD 6,000 ($4,350) each, they weren’t exactly cheap. Still, they looked so lifelike, could move their head and neck, smile, and even talk, so he decided they were worth the shot. He was not disappointed…

Read More »

Two Thirds of Japanese Men Pee Sitting Down, New Data Shows

The number of Japanese men who admit to sitting on the toilet seat while peeing has been growing steadily since the late 90s, and today over 60 percent of men reportedly urinate sitting down.

Japan is home to the world’s most advanced toilet systems, with several manufacturers competing to deliver all sorts of outrageous features such as built-in wireless internet, or the capacity to remotely collect and analyze urine samples, and then send the results to a pre-selected hospital. To find out what people want and thus remain competitive, toilet seat manufacturers like Toto or Matsushita Electric Works routinely carry out surveys that reveal some weird, albeit interesting information. For example, the results of one survey recently revealed that most Japanese men urinate seating on the toilet seat.

Read More »

Man Kidnapped as Child 33 Years Ago Finds Mother With Map of His Village Drawn From Memory

A 37-year-old man from Henan Province, in Eastern China, recently found his biological mother 33-years after being abducted, thanks to a map of his home village that he drew from memory.

Li Jingwei was only four years old when he was abducted outside his family home in Yunan and sold to another family thousands of kilometers away. It was a neighbor who lured him with a toy and then drove him 2,000 kilometers to Henan Province, where he sold him to a family that raised him as his own. It’s unclear if he ever tried to run away, but what is known is that he spent many nights remembering what his parents and his home looked like, which ended up helping him reunite with his mother 33 years after his abduction. Li used his childhood memories to draw a crude yet detailed map of his home village and then turned to social media for help, asking people where they thought it could be.

Read More »

Canine Has Such Luscious Hair People Think It’s a Wig

Lola, a 3-year-old cocker spaniel from Leeds, in the UK, has a head full of stunning blonde hair that often stops people in their tracks asking themselves if she’s wearing a wig.

Cocker spaniels are known for their beautiful curly locks, but Lola’s hair is special, even for this breed. Her lucky owner, 22-year-old Rebecca Dobson, says that because the hair on the dog’s head is so long and such a different color to the hair on her body, people assume it’s either fake or that it’s dyed. But it’s actually all-natural, which many are shocked to hear. Not only does Lola’s hair get a lot of attention from dog lovers every time Rebecca takes her out on walks, but some people apparently ask to take photos of her just so they can show their hairdresser how they’d like their own hair done.

Read More »

The Story of the Most Over-the-Top Christmas Tree in History

Harold Lloyd is known as both one of Hollywood’s legendary stars of early 1900s silent comedy, and as the owner of a year-long Christmas tree adorned with over 5,000 colorful decorations.

If you think yourself the kind of person that goes over the top when decorating the family Christmas tree, don’t beat yourself up too hard, as you’ll probably never be as obsessed with Christmas decorations as Harold Lloyd. The Hollywood legend, who starred in such films as Safety Last! (1923) and High and Dizzy (1920), is said to have had a collection of over 8,000 decorations collected from all over the world. But what he is most famous for is using most of these eye-catching baubles to decorate an impressive Christmas tree that is now regarded by many as the most adorned Christmas tree that ever was.

Read More »