X

Man Cuts His Daily Commute from One Hour to 6 Minutes by Paddle-Boarding Across River

A 29-year-old insurance agent from Chongqing, China, has come up with an ingenious way to beat rush hour traffic. By paddle-boarding across the Yangtze River every morning he has cut his daily commute time from one hour to just six minutes.

Liu Fucao sells insurance in Chongqing’s Wanzhou District, but lives on the other side of the Yangtze, the longest river in Asia. Up until six months ago, he used to drive or catch a bus to work like everyone else, but then authorities started doing maintenance work on the bridge he had to cross every morning, and his daily commute got even longer than usual. It would take him an hour or more to get to work, and at one point he just couldn’t stand being stuck in traffic for so long. He has been paddle-boarding competitively for two years, and one day he decided to use it as an alternative means of transportation. It took him less than six minutes to paddle from one side of the river to the other, so he’s been doing it every morning since.

Read More »

Vietnamese Businessman Builds Himself a Magnificent Palace Worthy of a King

The last thing you’d expect to find in the center of a Vietnamese rural district is a spectacular European-style palace, complete with a gilded roof, stunning facade and intricately decorated walls, and yet that’s exactly the sight you’re treated to in the heart of Gia Vien, in Vietnam’s Ninh Binh province.

I know what you’re thinking, Vietnam was a French colony for more than six decades, so this European-looking marvel must be a well-preserved relic from that period. But Thanh Thang Palace has nothing to do with French colonialism or Vietnamese history in general. This opulent complex is merely the residence of a local billionaire who reportedly spent between 300 and 400 billion dong ($12 – $17 million) to fulfil his dream of living in an actual palace. While the interior has yet to be completed, the outside is finished and it looks absolutely stunning.

Read More »

Mother Hand-Feeds 13-Year-Old Son Addicted to Video Games Because He Refuses to Stop Playing

A viral video of a Filipino mother who goes to an internet cafe and hand-feeds her 13-year old son because he refuses to end his 48-hour gaming binge to eat has once again reignited the debate on youth video game addiction.

37-year-old Lilybeth Marvel first noticed there was something wrong with her son Carlito about two years ago, when he began staying up late at an internet cafe near the family home in Nueva Ecija, the Philippines. Things got progressively worse as time went by, to the point where the 13-year-old now spends days on end with his eyes glued to a monitor playing his favorite “battle royale” video game, Rules of Survival. Last week, Mrs. Marvel was filmed delivering her son’s breakfast to the internet cafe and hand feeding him while he continued to play, because he had been there for over 48 hours.

Read More »

China Unveils World’s First AI Female News Anchor, And She Looks Eerily Realistic

China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, yesterday unveiled its newest news anchor, Xin Xiaomeng. Why is this newsworthy? Well, because Xin isn’t a real person, but an ultra-realistic computer generated model powered by advanced AI technology.

The perfectly coiffed Xin Xiaomeng introduced herself to Xinhua’s viewers in a short clip, announcing that she will make her professional debut as news anchor in March. She was developed by the state-run news agency in collaboration with search engine Sogou, and her appearance and voice were inspired by those of a real-life Xinhua broadcaster named Qu Meng. In her introduction video, the perfectly coiffed AI news anchor spoke only in Chinese, and it’s unclear if she’ll be able to tackle English news reports as well.

Read More »

Guy Who Always Forgot His ID Card Has It Tattooed on Forearm

A young man from Vietnam allegedly had his ID card tattooed on his arm, because he always forgot it when going out drinking with his friends and couldn’t prove he was old enough to buy alcohol.

Photos of what looked like an ID card tattooed on someone’s forearm went viral on Vietnamese social media. The person who posted it claimed that a friend of theirs had had it done after becoming exasperated with failing ID checks at nightclubs. He almost always forgot his national identity card at home and couldn’t prove he was old enough to drink. To make sure he never got kicked out of nightclubs again, he decided to have his ID card tattooed on his forearm.

Read More »

Conch Island – A Man-Made Island Built Out of Millions of Conch Shells

Conch “Island” isn’t technically an island, but a mountain of conch shells discarded by fishermen in the same place over hundreds of years.

Located just east of Anegada, the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean, Conch Island is both a stunning tourist attraction and a testimony to the popularity of conch meat in this part of the world. For centuries, local fishermen have been diving in the shallow waters on this side of Anegada in search of these, slow-moving, edible marine snails and many of them have been throwing their large shells in the same spot. The shell mountain that is Conch Island is a result of their perseverance.

Read More »

Rare Condition Causes Cat’s Fur to Go From Black to Almost Completely White in Just One Year

Vitiligo, a condition that causes the loss of skin color in blotches, affects around 1% of humans and is even rarer in animals. Elli, one of the few known cats suffering from Vitiligo, was born with a mostly black coat, but just one year after being diagnosed with this mysterious condition, her fur is almost completely white.

Nicole, the cat’s owner, found Elli and her sister on a farm in Germany, when they were only four-month kittens. They were both in poor shape and in desperate need of medical attention, so Nicole adopted them and nursed them back to health. Both cats were black with white spots on their chests, which made them look like they were wearing fur tuxedos, but one day, Elli’s tux started losing its color. It was just a tiny white spot at first, but as months went by, her black coat turned into a black and white mosaic.

Read More »

Company Wants to Send Coffee into Space and Roast It with the Heat Generated by Atmosphere Re-Entry

A Dubai-based startup has its eyes set on literally taking coffee roasters to new heights by launching a space capsule full of coffee beans into space and use the heat generated by atmosphere re-entry to roast them.

Anders Cavallini and Hatem Alkhafaji, the two founders of Space Roasters, believe that the absence of gravity could be the secret to roasting coffee perfectly. On Earth, beans tumble around, break apart and are roasted unevenly as some of them come into contact with the hot surfaces of a conventional roaster, but in zero-gravity conditions, beans would float freely in a heated oven, with heat being distributed evenly, resulting in a near-perfect roast. That’s just a theory, but they’re prepared to put it to the test by sending a capsule filled with 300kg of coffee beans to a height of 200km.

Read More »

Woman Eats Live Bugs Every Day as a Way to Prevent Cancer

A California woman swallows about five live Chinese weevils every day as a way to prevent the growth of cancerous tumors and boost her immune system.

Marcela Iglesias, a mother-of three from Los Angeles, California, believes that consuming live Chinese Weevils every day could be the best way to prevent cancer, treat chronic pain, arthritis and various digestive problems. Swallowing them alive is critical as these bugs allegedly release a toxin called “coleotoxin” when they die, and you want that to happen when they reach your digestive system. This theory is supported by a 2011 study which found that coleotoxin reduced tumor cell growth by more than 70 per cent. That research is heavily contested by many in the scientific community, but Iglesias doesn’t really care, saying that even if the bugs don’t actually help prevent cancer, they are still a great source of protein.

Read More »

Japanese Business Specializes in Plucking Customers’ White Hairs

Shiraganuki Main Store, a white-hair-removal specialty shop in Tokyo, Japan, charges people for the service of removing white hairs by hand, leaving them looking years younger.

Pulling out your own gray hairs is tedious work, and constantly asking someone else to do it for you can become embarrassing after a while, but luckily, the staff at Shiraganuki Main Store is more than happy to do it for you, if you’re willing to pay them for it. The store charges 3,980 yen ($36) for 30 minutes of white hair plucking, 7,480 yen ($67) for 60 minutes, and an extra 1,000 yen ($9) for every 10 additional minutes spent ridding your head of those pesky signs of aging. That’s not cheap, but let’s face it, pulling hairs one by one using tweezers is not the easiest thing in the world.

Read More »

Woman Who Always Set Phone’s Screen Brightness to Max Ends Up with 500 Tiny Holes on Her Cornea

A young woman from Taiwan who had been using her smartphone at maximum screen brightness for two years ended up with serious damage to her left eye, including around 500 small holes on her cornea.

The 25-year-old woman, surnamed Chen, works as a secretary, a job that requires her to frequently check her phone and respond to work-related messages as soon as possible. A few years ago, Chen discovered that by setting the screen brightness on her smartphone to maximum, she was able to easily read her messages even in bright sunlight. Her mistake was keeping that brightness level at all times, even when watching her favorite drama series on her phone for several hours at a time, with the light off. She got used to her ultra-bright screen, but her eyes did not, and in March of last year she started experiencing discomfort.

Read More »

Woman Wants Leather Handbag Made Out of the Skin on Her Amputated Leg

A 55-year-old woman from Manchester who suffers from peripheral arterial disease and will soon have her left leg surgically removed is looking for a manufacturer willing to make her a leather handbag from the skin on her amputated limb.

Sewport, an online marketplace that connects brands and manufacturers, received a bizarre request from a woman looking to get in touch with a leather processing expert about having a leather handbag made from the skin on the leg she’s about to have surgically removed for medical reasons. Instead of dismissing her inquiry right of the bat, Sewport experts read the woman’s message and determined that her reasons were valid, so they decided to help her with her search. Apparently, the 55-year old, referred to simply as Joan, cannot come to terms with the idea that her leg will become medical waste after the surgery, so she came up with this unusual plan to at least keep part of it.

Read More »

Japanese Speed-Dating Event Has Potential Matches Sitting in Silence While Robots Do the Talking for Them

Based on the premise that people who are having trouble finding a romantic partner probably lack the confidence and experience to properly interact with a potential match, a Tokyo-based robotics association recently hosted a speed-dating party where human participants sat in silence across a table from each-other while tiny robots spoke on their behalf.

The bizarre event took place in Tokyo, Japan, and was organized by the Contents innovation Program (CiP) Association, which specializes in developing AI, robotics and other technology, according to The Japan News. In a series of videos posted on YouTube, potential matches can be seen sitting across from each other, but instead of talking, they just sit there quietly with their gazes focused on two little robots placed on the table between them. They just sit in silence while these robotic assistants ask each other questions and provide answers, based on information pre-loaded into their system from a 45-question survey participants completed prior to the event.

Read More »

Girl Uses “Handwriting Robot” to Complete Homework Faster

The story of a young student who used a so-called “handwriting robot” to complete her Lunar New Year holiday homework in record time made news headlines in China last week, sparking a heated debate.

The Qianjiang Evening News reported the case of a junior high-school student from Harbin who spent 800 yuan ($118) on a copying robot that allowed her to complete her transcribing assignments and essays in no time at all. The girl’s mother, surnamed Zhang, became suspicious when her daughter turned in her holiday homework, neatly written and with absolutely no errors, despite having very little time to do it, due to Lunar New Year festivities and traveling. Then, while cleaning the girl’s room, Zhang found a bizarre metal contraption as well as its packaging, which claimed that it could imitate any handwriting.

Read More »

Star Wars-Inspired Lightsaber Dueling Recognized as Competitive Sport in France

In an effort to get the younger generation off the couch and exercising, the French fencing federation recently recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport.

Just like medieval tales like The Three Musketeers once inspired youths to take up classic fencing sports, so too can Star Wars save young people from the clutches of the evil currently plaguing public health – sedentary lifestyle. Or at least that’s how officials from the French fencing federation explain their decision to acknowledge lightsaber dueling as an official sport. They even included some specific rules designed to make battles between Jedi Knights and Sith Lords more visually appealing and get young people interested in taking up the sport.

Read More »