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Glass Doorknob Sparks House Fire

Solid glass or crystal doorknobs look pretty cool, but it turns out that they can literally set your house on fire if hit by direct sunlight. One family from the UK learned that the hard way last September, when one of their glass doorknobs focused the sun’s rays on nearby clothing, setting them ablaze.

Luckily  for Londoner Clare Thomson and her family , who were at home at the time of the fire, a smoke alarm fitted on the property went off before the fire got out of control, and they were able to safely leave the house. “I was amazed at how intense the low September sun could be and I was amazed at how quickly a small fire could take place,” Thompson said. “I would advise people not to buy crystal doorknobs, and I would advise home stores to be aware of the fire risk when stocking. Or, at least, such doorknobs should come with a warning.”

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This USB Stick Can Kill Your Computer Almost Instantly

The USB Killer is a commercially available USB stick that can fry almost any computer in seconds by rapidly collecting power from the USB power lines and then repeatedly discharging 240V into the host device until it dies. The whole process only takes a few seconds.

USB sticks have long been used infect unsuspecting users’ computers with all kinds of malware and spyware, but last year, a Russian hacker by the name of Dark Purple showed the entire world a new way USB drives can be used to effectively destroy virtually any PC or laptop equipped with a USB port. When it was first revealed, last year, the “USB Killer” was described as a proof of concept aimed at security researchers and folks who work on USB standards, to help them make devices immune to high voltage attacks. A few days ago, however, the USB Killer became a commercially available product that anyone can order online for just $56.

The USB Killer looks as harmless as any other pen drive, but it’s actually lethal for around 95% of consumer laptops and PCs. It is equipped with small capacitors that draw power from the USB power source to which it is connected, and when they are completely charged – it can take less than a second – the stick discharges over 200 volts of DC power to the host device multiple times per seconds until the machine is fried or the USB Killer is unplugged.

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This Is Probably the Most Precarious Vehicle Bridge in the World

There are plenty of dangerous-looking vehicle bridges around the world, but few as adrenaline-inducing as Kuandinsky Bridge, in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region.

Stretching 570 meters over the Vitim River, this precarious vehicle crossing is just over two meters wide and features no railing or other safety features to keep the cars from falling into the frozen water if anything should go wrong. Its decaying metallic structure is simply covered with old wooden railway sleepers that become very slippery when covered with ice and snow, which is almost all year round, since this is Siberia we’re talking about.

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Controversial Device Lets Users Inhale Alcohol, Become Intoxicated Much Faster

The ‘Vaportini’ is a controversial new device that promises a ‘revolutionary way of consuming alcohol’. People can to use it to speed up the effects of alcohol consumption, without the calories, carbs or impurities that usually come with drinking. The device heats up alcohol to 140 degrees F and allows users to breathe in the vapor through a straw. The crazy contraption can be purchased for just $45 from an American website.

Needless to say, inhaling alcohol is just as bad as it sounds. Professor Chris Day of Newcastle University and advisor to Drinkaware (a charity that promotes responsible drinking), said: “Inhaling alcohol is a very new trend so there isn’t yet any scientific data of the effects but it has the potential to be a very dangerous phenomenon and as such, we would advise people to be cautious if indeed they do decide to try it.” The professor also pointed out that the vapor bypasses the body’s natural defence mechanisms, so it has to be unsafe.

Professor Jonathan Chick, a psychiatrist from Edinburgh, was in agreement. “There is a greater ‘hit’ on the brain than when alcohol is taken by mouth, because some of it has not already been broken down on its way through the liver and this will increase the risk of damage to brain cells. So the method cannot be called safer to the body organs,” he said. He pointed out that there is an added risk of inhalation which is due to the direct impact on the brain – that is, risk of unsteadiness, falling or impulsive behavior. The vapor also bypasses the stomach (which limits alcohol intake through vomiting), making it dangerous and unsafe.

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Jacob’s Well – America’s Stunning-Yet-Deadly Diving Spot

Jacob’s Well, in Wimberley, Texas, is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Named after a biblical reference, the well has claimed the lives of over eight divers, but judging by the large number of thrill seekers who choose to dive in it, that doesn’t scare many people.

On the surface, Jacob’s Well looks like a harmless spring that feeds Cypress Creek. Its mouth is just four meters wide, and looks like a calm water body, revealing very little of the dangers that lurk within. The well has four chambers extending several feet below the surface. Local dive shop owner Don Dibble puts it perfectly: “This is the horror side of it.” The first chamber is a straight drop of about 30 feet, after which it angles down to 55 feet. This chamber gets sufficient sunlight, so it is bright and populated with algae and wild life.

The second chamber is 80 feet deep, and houses a false chimney that looks like a way out of the well, but in fact traps divers. Richard Patton, a student at Southwest Texas State University lost his life in the chimney in 1983. A restricted opening from the second chamber leads into the third, which is a small room with unstable gravel. Divers must be careful not to dislodge the gravel in order to navigate this chamber successfully.

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Innocent People Getting Punched for no Reason in Dangerous Knockout Game

The Knockout Game is a disturbing trend emerging among teens in the US. A group of teens, get together and punch random passersby on streets. Their aim is to knock people out cold in a single punch. The singular move is termed the ‘one-hitter-quitter’.

Incidents of the Knockout Game have been reported throughout the US, mostly from the New York metro area and Washington. Media reports suggest that the elderly and women with children are not exempt from this brutal game. Some reporters think that the crimes have a motive; almost all the victims seem to be white, Asian, Jews, homosexuals, and sometimes even vegan. Earlier this month, CBS covered the Knockout Game in detail. One teen told reporters, “You just knock them out. You hit them with a blow and you take their belongings.” While some say that they participate simply for the fun of it, others are wannabe tough guys who want to test their strength.

One of the most recent victims of the game was Phoebe Connolly from Washington D.C. As she was riding her bike in the Columbia Heights section, a teen rushed up to her and punched her face with brute force. “My whole head went flying to the side,” she said. “One kid came from the side and pretty much cut me off. He threw a hook with his left hand and got me right in the face and he said, ‘Wapow!’”

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Svolværgeita: Jumping the Goat’s Horns in Norway

Up until a century ago, the Svolværgeita or Goat’s Horns rock tower had never been conquered, but these days not only has it become one of the most popular climbing pinnacles in Norway, but thrill-seeking mountaineers defy death by jumping between its granite horns.

Goat’s Horns peak was first climbed in 1910 by Carl Rubenson, Alf B. Bryn, and Ferdinand Schjelderup, a fantastic trio who managed to conquer two other virgin summits (Trakta and Stetind) on the very same trip. Climbers can go up Svolværgeita on the original route of its first climbers, just to see how good these three pioneers were in their time. There are several routes up the Goat’s Horns, but once at the top, many members of the mountaineering community follow the decades-old traditions of jumping from Storhorn (big horn) to the Lillehorn (little horn), over a 1.5 meter gap. It’s considered the perfect mountain climbing stunt, because it’s possible to pull off, but hard enough to get your heart pumping. Jumping 1.5 meters across may not seem like a very difficult task, but one wrong move and you’ll have to rely on the safety harnesses to save you from a 150-meter fall to the foot of Goat’s Horns pillar.

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India’s Dangerous Human-Powered Ferris Wheels

How do you keep the fun going at fairs in a country affected by frequent power cuts and blackouts? Simple, just hire a bunch of workers to dangle from the bars of manual ferris wheels to keep it in motion.

India’s human-powered ferris wheels recently made headlines in Western media after a video of one such contraption at a fun fair in New Delhi went viral on YouTube and various news sharing sites, but the truth is the phenomenon is very common in Asian countries where electricity is unreliable. Some fairs use generators or even car batteries to power ferris wheels, but the simplest and most cost-effective way to keep people entertained is to hire a couple of daredevils to climb a manual ferris wheel and dangle from its metal bars to keep it spinning. The simple installations are made up of a simple metal frame and a few open-air cages, and without a power source they look like non-functional decorations when not in use. But as soon as people climb in the cages and the fearless wallahs start working their magic, you get pretty much the same feeling as you would from a modern ferris wheel.

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Sidewall Skiing – Saudi Arabia’s Latest Driving Craze

Nobody does dangerous driving stunts quite like the youth of Saudi Arabia. Sure, drifting is pretty cool, and Ken Block’s Gymkhana is awesome, but they’re nothing compared to the latest driving craze in the Middle East. It’s called “sidewall skiing” and it basically means driving a car on its side wheels at high speed.

A few years back, footage of Saudi daredevils skating on the country’s dessert highways while clinging to speeding cars went viral on video sharing sites like YouTube. But that got old really fast, and the bored youth had to come up with something even more dangerous exciting. These days they get their kicks by driving around on two wheels, while passengers perform all kinds of tricks, like standing on top of the car, or even changing tires at high speed. The life-threatening stunt was apparently popularized by action films like “The Dukes of Hazzard” or “Diamonds Are Forever”, and was recently featured in rapper M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” video. Sidewall skiing has also become a spectator sport, with crowds of young men and women sitting on the side of the road cheering on the adrenaline junkies. Some even take part in their death defying routines by laying down on the asphalt and allowing the vehicle to pass over them at breakneck speeds. Drivers use a ramp to tilt their cars on two wheels, then rely on their maneuvering skills to keep it from flipping over and potentially killing their balancing passengers. Somehow, saying this sport is extremely dangerous seems like a huge understatement.

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Samantha Young – The World’s Youngest Alligator Wrestler

Growing up on a farm, with 350 alligators has made Samantha Young take up alligator wrestling at a very young age.

The 9-year-old was also inspired by her parents, both professional alligator wrestlers. Samantha began wrestling alligators when she was just 6 years old, but says her father beat her to it, starting the dangerous practice at age 5, after he was bit by one. She admits being scared, at first, but her dad was always there watching over her, ready to intervene if things got out of hand.

Now, this girly version of Crocodile Dundee teaches grown men how to tackle eight-foot alligators, at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and has even trained US marines, in this deadly art. She says all you have to do is position yourself on the alligator’s back, in such a way that you have its mouth and neck under your control, then pull its head back and voila, you have yourself a tamed alligator.

Erwin and Lynn Young started their alligator farm, in 1987, when they brought in 100 one-year-old reptiles. As the news spread, people began poking around the gators’ pools, and to avoid any accidents, the Young family began charging people to see the alligators. Nowadays, 25 of the original 100 are still around, and visitors pay $104 for the chance to see Samantha tackle them, and even try it themselves.

via Zimbio

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