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Small Italian Town Lights Up World’s Largest Christmas Tree

For nearly three decades, Gubbio, a small medieval town at the foot of Mount Ingino in Italy’s Umbria region, has held the Guinness Record for the world’s largest Christmas tree.

In 1981, the 750-meter Christmas tree spread over the slope of Mount Ingino was lit up for the first time. Every year since, on the 7th of December (the Eve of the Immaculate Conception), the over 700 giant lights that make up the tree are turned on, and they remain active throughout the holiday season, until the day of Epiphany, on 6th January. Created in honor of the local Patron Saint Ubaldo, the Christmas tree of Mount Ingino was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘world’s largest Christmas Tree’ in the year 1991. Since then, no one has even come close to challenging its record.

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Talented Sculptor Creates Realistic Human Faces Out of Tiny Balls of Clay

A Chinese artist who can turn small lumps of polymer clay into realistic sculptures of celebrities and regular people has been getting a lot of attention on social media for his amazing skills.

The unknown artist behind Pandahappyed, an online service that allows people to order hand-made polymer clay dolls modelled after celebrities, loved ones or even themselves. According to the site’s “about us” section, Pandahappyed turned into a commercial service after the artist’s friends kept asking him to do custom projects that gave him confidence that there might be some real demand for skills such as his.

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Talented Cake Artist Creates the Most Amazing Gingerbread Sculptures

Norwegian cake artist Caroline Eriksson recently went viral for an awe-inspiring sculpture of Groot made exclusively out of gingerbread, but few people know that this is only the latest of her now traditional Christmas gingerbread masterpieces.

Everything started just before Christmas of 2013, when Caroline Eriksson showed off her edible Optimus Prime, a complex, edible sculpture made up of between 700 and 800 individual pieces of gingerbread. Photos of her very first gingerbread wonder got a lot attention on social media, particularly on Reddit, and even won Eriksson the grand prize of 40,000 NOK ($6,500) in a gingerbread contest. Since then, she has been dedicating all her free time in the two months leading up to Christmas every year to designing, baking and putting together the most amazing gingerbread sculptures.

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Man’s DNA Replaced by That of Donor Following Bone Marrow Transplant

Just three months after undergoing a bone marrow transplant to treat his acute myeloid leukemia, a Nevada man was shocked to learn that his DNA had been replaced by that of his donor.

For years ago, Chris Long, who happens to be working at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Department in Nevada, was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes and needed a bone marrow transplant. He was lucky enough to find a donor, a German man that he had never met and with whom he only exchanged a few messages before the surgery, but he had no idea that in a few months time he would turn into his donor, sort of. As soon as Chris’ work colleagues heard that he was undergoing a bone marrow transplant, they decided to “swab the heck out of him” to see how his DNA changed. And it’s a good thing they did, because the changes were fascinating.

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New Slanted Toilet Is Designed to Keep Workers from Spending Too Much Time in the Bathroom

Long, relaxing bathroom breaks that allow people to read the news or get up to date with their social media feed may be coming to an end due to a new and controversial toilet seat design that is supposed to make sitting on the toilet for more than seven minutes becomes uncomfortable.

Called the Standard Toilet, the new design thought up by English consulting engineer Mahabir Gill slopes at a downwards angle of 13 degrees forcing the person who is sitting on it to use their leg muscles in order to keep from sliding off. According to its creator, the longest someone can comfortably sit on such a toilet seat is 5 to 7 minutes. Gill  said that the 13 angle slant is ideal, as it’s enough to cause some feelings of strain in the users legs, making them want to get up faster than they would from a horizontal toilet seat, but not enough to cause serious health problems. While the designer said that the Standard Toilet was inspired by his personal experience, he also added that it would be a great asset for businesses wanting to maximize employee work hours.

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Just Room Enough Island – The World’s Smallest Inhabited Island

Just Room Enough Island, is an aptly-named private-owned island with literally just enough room for its owners’ house, a couple of trees and a miniature beach with a pair of bench chairs.

Part of the Thousand Islands archipelago on the border between the U.S. and Canada, Just Room Enough Island measures about 3,300 square feet (310 m2), which makes it the world’s smallest inhabited island. It was purchased by the Sizeland family in the 1950s, as a comfortable retreat, but they never expected it to become an internationally-recognized tourist attraction.

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Scorned Investors Want to Exhume Dead CEO Who Took Password to Millions in Bitcoin to the Grave

The unexpected death of 30-year-old Gerald Cotten, CEO of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, sent shock waves through the whole crypto currency last year, especially as he took the password to about $163 million USD in bitcoin to the grave with him. But now investors want his body exhumed to confirm Cotten’s identity and cause of death.

In January of 2019, QuadrigaCX announced that its 30-year-old founder and CEO had died about a month earlier, due to “complications with Crohn’s disease” and that he had taken the password to at least 180 million Canadian dollars ($137 million) in cryptocurrency with him. Following the shocking revelation, QuadrigaCX was forced to close and applied for creditor protection with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, while roughly 76,000 people were struggling to come to terms with the loss of their cryptocurrency. Some still haven’t been able to do that, as evidenced by their recent request to have Cotten’s body exhumed and his cause of death confirmed.

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How a Common Fruit Started a Blue Food Craze in Brazil

The ripe berries of the genipa tree, called genipapo, have long been used throughout Central and South America to make syrups and liquors, but for a few years now unripe genipapo berries have become highly sought after for their ability to turn foods blue.

The coloring properties of unripe genipapo berries have been documented since the colonization of South America, when Europeans reported its use by local communities like the Tupinambás and the Pataxós as a temporary tattoo dye, but it wasn’t until 2014 that people learned about its potential to turn food blue as well. It was then that professor and biologist Valdely Kinupp published his book, Unconventional Food Plants in Brazil, where he detailed a process for extracting an edible blue pigment from genipapo berries. Natural blue pigments are very rare in the food industry, so Kinupp’s discovery caused quite a stir which eventually turned into a blue food craze.

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Real-Life Pennywise the Clown in Ukraine Risks Spending 5 Years in Prison

A mysterious prankster who has been dressing up as Pennywise the evil clown from the popular “It” films and trying to scare passers-by has been getting a lot of attention in Ukraine, including from prosecutors who think the people behind the stunt deserve to be locked up.

The real-life Pennywise was first spotted on the streets of Mukachevo, in Western Ukraine, on December 9th, when local media published photos of a scary looking clown walking through the streets and hiding behind a bridge, waiting to pop in front of unsuspecting passers-by. Then, a few days later, a video shot at a gas station shows the mysterious clown pretending to pour gas over people’s cars after they go inside to pay. Some run for the hills abandoning their vehicles, while other just get behind the wheel and drive away. In another video, the clown opts for the classic popping-out-of-a-trash-can stunt, which doesn’t work quite as well as intended, but is apparently enough to get him in trouble with local authorities.

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The Hyper-Realistic Pencil Portraits of Alena Litvin

Moscow-based artist Alena Litvin has a very special gift – she can recreate a detailed photographic portraits using only colored pencils and mountains of talent. The results are often so impressive that you can barely tell the drawing apart from the photo.

Looking at her amazing drawings, it’s very hard to believe that Alena is a self-taught artist who has only been exercising her craft for the last eight years. From portraits of celebrities like Scarlett Johansson or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to regular people who commission her to draw portraits of their loved ones, there’s nothing the young Russian artist can’t pull off. She can take up to 10 days to finish a portrait, which may sound like a long time, but just look at the level of detail in some her artworks…

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Megachurch and Family of 2-year-Old Girl Who Died Suddenly Try To Bring Her Back to Life Through Prayer

Following the tragic death of their young daughter, a California family has asked members of their church, the Bethel Church in Redding, California, to help them attempt a miraculous resurrection through prayer, singing and praise.

Early on Friday, 2-year-old Olive Alayne Heiligenthal stopped breathing in her sleep, and despite the best efforts of paramedics, who arrived on the scene after the girl’s parents called 911, she could not be resuscitated. Her body was taken to the Shasta County Coroner’s Office, but her parents refuse to believe that their daughters time on this Earth has truly come to an end, and have appealed to their church to attempt a resurrection through prayer. Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal, both of whom are members of the Bethel Church in Redding, hope that through mass prayer, music and praise, Olive can be revived.

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Man Claims to Have Cooked Pork Roast Inside Car on Scorching Hot Day

A Western Australian man claims to have successfully cooked a whole pork roast by leaving it inside a car for about 10 hours on a very hot day. Although he conducted the experiment for fun, the man did warn people not to leave their kids or pets in their cars during the summer.

Stu Pengelly, from Perth, in Western Australia, decided to see what would happen if he left a 1,5 kg pork roast on the front seat of his old Datsun for ten hours on a hot summer day. He put the meat in at around 7 a.m, when the thermometer showed a bearable 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) inside the beat-up vehicle, but by midday, temperatures reached a scorching 81 degrees Celsius (more than 177 Fahrenheit). Pengelly monitored the temperature throughout the day, and when the ten hours were up, he took the pork, sliced it and even took a few bites to show that it was cooked.

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Man Who Spent Decades with Face Stuck to His Thighs Can Finally Stand Up Straight

A 46-year-old man who reportedly spent the last three decades of his life with his face pressed against his thighs, after being diagnosed with a rare condition called ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Luckily he is now able to stand straight again after undergoing  life-changing surgery to fix his hunched back.

Li Hua was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis when he was only 18-years-old, and over the years his condition worsened to the point where he literally became a “folding man” with his face pressing against his thighs. Mr Hua’s family, who hails from the city of Yongzhou in Central China’s Hunan Province, did not have the money required for treatment, but his case became so severe that it attracted the attention of Professor Tao Huiren, head of spinal surgery and orthopaedics at Shenzhen University General Hospital. He had treated people of ankylosing spondylitis before, but had never seen such a severe case. Still, he took it upon himself to help Li stand up straight again.

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11-Year-Old Athlete Wins Multiple Gold Medals Running in Makeshift Shoes Made from Bandages

Rhea Ballos, an 11-year-old student of Salvacion Elementary School in Balasan, the Philippines, has become an overnight sensation after winning three gold medals in a provincial sports event, despite not having proper running shoes.

The young athlete managed to win the 400-meter dash, the 800-meter run and the 1,500-meter run in the girls’ categories while wearing strips of bandage over her feet instead of proper running shoes. Rhea basically ran barefoot, with the thin bandage offering minimal protection against the running track, but that didn’t stop her from beating all the other girls, all of whom were wearing running shoes, and taking home the gold at the inter-school sporting event held in Iloilo, central Philippines. Photos of the girl’s makeshift shoes, complete with a hand drawn swoosh logo, and the “Nike” brand scribbled on the side quickly went viral, wining her praises from all around the world.

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Father Makes 10-Year-Old Son Beg at Train Station to Teach Him a Life Lesson

A Chinese father sparked outrage on social media after it was reported that he made his son beg at a Shanghai train station as punishment for not doing his homework.

Lat Thursday morning, Shanghai police responded to an emergency call about a young boy with a schoolbag on his knees begging for food in a local train station. When officers found the 10-year-old, he was holding a small bowl and asking people for food. Asked how he had gotten there, the child told them that his father had left him at the station about 45 minutes earlier, put the bowl in his hands and told him to beg from strangers as punishment for not doing his homework.

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