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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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These Russian Blue Cats Have the Most Mesmerizing Eyes

Xafi and Auri are two feline sisters taking Instagram with their contrasting neat, silver coats and mesmerizing ocean eyes.

Instagram has no shortage of animal superstars, from the angry-looking Pompous Albert, to Ghost, the singing samoyed, but when it comes to the most beautiful turquoise eyes to get lost in, there’s no competing with Xafi and Auri. The so-called “American Type” Russian Blue Cats share the most beautiful eyes you’ve ever seen, rivaled only by those of fellow Instagram stars Iris and Abyss.

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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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The Himalayan Balsam – An Invasive Flower That Spreads by Explosion

Impatiens glandulifera, commonly known as the Himalayan Balsam, is an invasive plant with a very peculiar colonizing system – its seed pods literally explode when touched or otherwise disturbed, shooting the seeds up to 7 meters in every direction.

A native of India and Pakistan, the Himalayan Balsam has managed to invade 23 European countries, as well as the United States, Canada and even New Zealand. Its exploding seed pods allow the plant to rapidly spread into nearly impregnable thickets that reach over 3-meters-tall, smothering all other plant life to death. However, humans have played a pretty big part in its successful colonization of the world. You see, this isn’t just another invasive weed, it’s a very attractive one. The Balsam has these beautiful purple flowers that people love so much that they historically spread seeds in the wild just so they could see them on the sides of roads. Today, many communities around the world are struggling to keep the plant in check, organizing seasonal “bashing” sessions to clear large swathes of land. and protect other plant life.

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Dog Walks 200Km Through Siberian Wilderness to Return to Her Owners

Maru, a one-year-old Bullmastiff traveling on train through the Siberian taiga, reportedly jumped off and walked over 200 km trying to return to the owner who had rejected her.

Born at a dog kennel in Novosibirsk, Maru was sold to a family in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, 800 km away, when she was only five months old. However, six months later kennel owner Alla Morozova received a call from the dog’s owners informing her that they were allergic to animals and could no longer look after their pet. The contract stipulated that in the case that the buyers no longer wanted a dog, they should inform Morozova first, so she could make arrangements to retrieve them. She had someone get Maru and accompany her on a train ride back to Novosibirsk, but 200 km into the journey, something went wrong.

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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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Tourists Won’t Stop Visiting Australia’s “Asbestos Town”

It’s considered the most contaminated site in the southern hemisphere and one of the most toxic in the world, but for some reason tourists just can’t stay away from the abandoned mining town of Wittenoom, deep in Western Australia’s remote Pilbara region.

In its heyday, between 1930 and 1966, Wittenoom was home to around 20,000 people, most of whom worked in the now abandoned nearby mines, extracting deadly asbestos every day. Today, it’s a ghost town surrounded by large ‘Danger’ signs designed to keep people as far away as possible. Even though asbestos mining ceased decades ago, Wittenoom is still surrounded by around three million tonnes of asbestos residue, enough to make the air there potentially deadly. The place is so dangerous that last year the Australian government decided to compulsorily acquire the properties of the last three people living in the area, just to get them to safety. And yet, there are thousands of tourists visiting Wittenoom every year and proudly posting photos of it on social media.

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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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Chinese Startup Creates App That Finds Lost Dogs Using Photos of Their Nose

Chinese facial-recognition startup Megvii has been making news headlines for an app that allows people to track down their lost dogs using photos of their unique noses.

The idea of using AI-powered facial recognition technology to identify pets isn’t new, but what makes Megvii’s solution special is that instead of analyzing several facial features, like the eyes or snout, it focuses solely on dogs’ noses. Apparently, the patterns on a dog’s nose are just as unique as the ones on out fingertips, allowing the company’s app to track down pooches by matching their noses against a database with 95 percent accuracy. Megvii claims that its method is both cheaper and less invasive than inserting identification chips under the animals’ skin.

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Pizza Chain Let’s Customers Orders Just the Crust of Their Delicious Neapolitan Pizza

Whether you’re the kind of person who gobbles up pizza slices just to get to the doughy crust as fast as possible, or you just can’t afford a full slice of pizza, you’re probably going this pizza chain’s ingenious new offering – Just the Crust.

Inspired by the frequent inquiries of its customers regarding the crust of its popular Neapolitan pizza and what makes it so delicious, Villa Italian Kitchen decided to give the people what they really want – just the crust. Starting tomorrow, the American pizza chain will start selling pizza crust pieces neatly packaged in triangular full slice boxes for only $2.75.

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