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Kumitaiso – Japan’s Controversial Human Pyramids

Kumitaiso, a gymnastic formation in which students climb on top of one another to create a pyramid, has at the center of growing controversy in Japan, due to the high number of serious injuries reported by schools.

At its core, kumitaiso is a routine supposed to encourage teamwork and endurance among young students, and as such it has been a mainstay of annual school sport festivals across Japan. However, problems began to occur as the human pyramids organized by schools started getting higher and more difficult to support by the students at the bottom. Seeing dozens of students working together to create these complex structures is undoubtedly impressive to behold, which is why many schools kept pushing the limits over the years, with some devastating results. With hundreds of reported injuries reported every year, many in the Asian country are asking authorities to ban kumitaiso.

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Restaurant Fined $62,000 for Giving Women Who Dined with Men Price-Free Menus

A famed restaurant in Peru was recently fined $62,000 for discriminating against women by giving ladies who dined with men menus that didn’t feature any prices.

La Rosa Nautica, a pricey restaurant built on a peer overlooking the ocean in the Peruvian capital, Lima, was ordered to pay a 210,000 sol ($62,000) fine for offering women a different menu when they dined with men. While gentlemen were given a blue menu that featured both the dishes available and their prices, ladies got a gold version that mentioned no prices at all. The owner of the high-end restaurant defended the practice by calling it a way for women to enjoy a romantic night out without having to worry about costs, but Peruvian authorities ruled that it was discriminatory against women.

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Futurist Creates Creepy Life-Size Doll of What Office Workers May Look Like in 20 Years

We all know sitting at a desk for long periods of time has negative effects on our health, but if this life-size model of what an office worker could look like in 20 years is any indication, the future doesn’t look too bright.

Emma, as her creators have named her, doesn’t look so good. She has dry and red eyes from hours staring at a computer screen, a hunched back that makes you think she’s been ringing the bell at a recently burned down French cathedral, excess weight, swollen limbs due to poor circulation, and stress-caused eczema, among other alarming symptoms. Luckily, Emma is just a life-size doll created by a team of researchers led by behavioral futurist William Higham, but the world could be full of Emmas if we don’t do something to change the office environment and culture.

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Real-Life “Sleeping Beauty” Can Fall Into Deep Slumber for Up to Two Months at a Time

The mother of a 17-year-old Colombian girl diagnosed with a very rare condition known as “Sleeping Beauty” syndrome has appealed to authorities for help as she is struggling to look after her.

Sharik Tovar, a 17-year-old girl from the Colombian town of Acacías, has been suffering from Kleine-Levin syndrome ever since she was two. The ultra-rare condition – only 40 cases have been reported worldwide – is characterized by recurrent episodes of excessive sleep as well as cognitive and behavioral changes. In Sharik’s case, hypersomnia episodes can last up to two months, during which time her mother, Marleny, has two liquefy her food and feed her every few hours. To make matters worse, after these long bouts of hypersomnia, the 17-year-old suffers from temporary or permanent memory loss.

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Man Collects Nail Clippings for a Year to Create Unique Engagement Ring “Diamond”

If you can’t afford a diamond ring, or if you simply want to propose to your beloved in a really special manner, you may want to check out this tutorial for creating an engagement ring out of a year’s worth of nail clippings.

Kiwami, a Japanese DIY master famous for posting detailed how-to videos for making sharp knives out of virtually anything imaginable, recently took on a different kind of challenge – creating an engagement ring with a gem made out of nail clippings he allegedly collected for a year. He kept them all in a jar, and this summer turned them into a black gen that any woman would consider herself lucky to wear on her finger, provided she didn’t know what it was made of, of course.

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Inventor Accused of Conning Farmers by Promising to Bring the Rain, But Not Explaining How

David Miles, an Australian inventor who has been peddling weather modification technology for almost 20 years, has been accused of preying on desperate farmers by charging up to $50,000 Australian dollars for delivering rain on demand without so much as explaining the technology behind his business.

On the official Miles Research website, controversial inventor David Miles explains that in the 1990’s he realised that “it was possible to incrementally influence weather patterns using a variant of the Einstein – Rosen Bridge hypothesised in the 1930’s, to effectively create a bridge between ‘the present’ in the physical space-time continuum, and a near-future event, forecast to exist from one to ten days ahead in time”. He found that by applying small amounts of energy intelligently, even a large, chaotic weather system approaching from the future could be mitigated.

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Known Criminal’s Tomb Features Life-Size Statue of Him and Replica of Audi Q5

The marble tomb of a notorious truck hijacker is set to become one of the most famous attractions in the Spanish province of Granada, because of two bronze eccentricities – a life-size statue of the man buried there, and a realistic replica of an Audi Q5, the car he used to carry out his hijackings in.

Antonio “El Tonto” (The Fool), also known as “The Pirate of Trucks”, was one of the most successful criminals in the history of Granada, having racked over 60 arrests over his fruitful career. He was mostly known for hijacking trucks and getting away with millions in merchandise, including perfumes and computers, but he had also pioneered legal marijuana trade in the Spanish province, as well as opened a supermarket to sell whatever he stole in. El Tonto died last year, at the age of 46, soon after being arrested for allegedly stealing seven trucks, but he remains in the memories of the people of his home town, Pinos Puente, as well as through some pretty unique tomb decorations.

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French Researchers Build Creepy Phone Case That Mimics Human Skin

A team of French and English researchers recently showcased a prototype phone case called Skin-On, which not only mimics the look and feel of human skin, but also enables interaction communication through gestures like pinching or tickling.

Developed by researchers at the University of Bristol in partnership with Telecomm ParisTech and Sorbonne University, Skin-On consists of a layer of stretchable copper wire in between two different forms of silicone layers. The materials are mass-produced, and the creators of Skin-On claim that the cost of a commercial version of the case would be around $6.5. While anyone could build it, project leader Marc Teyssier admitted that finding the right balance to create what is essentially artificial skin was challenging, considering the case was also supposed to detect touch. But why bother making a smartphone case that everyone generally agrees is “decidedly creepy”. Dr Anne Roudaut, Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction, explains:

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81-Year-Old Man Gets Jailed Time for Working as Gangsters’ Getaway Driver Because He Was Lonely

Ian Hemmens, an 81-year-old former burger van worker from West Sussex, in England, was recently sentenced to nine months behind bars for aiding an alleged drug dealer flee the country while allegedly working as his getaway driver.

Life as a pensioner can get pretty boring and lonely, so much so that some people will do anything for a chance to chat with another human being, even act as an accomplice in serious crimes. Ian Hemmens’ layer recently told a Portsmouth Crown Court that his client was prepared to act as a driver for drug dealers Mahamud Sami and Akeem Adebayo, because it simply gave him the chance to talk to someone. The criminals in turn were glad to have him, because a man of his age, with his unassuming physique, was less likely to draw cops’ attention. Despite hearing the explanation for Hemmens’ involvement with the known criminals, Judge Roger Hetherington convicted the 81-year-old to nine months in prison.

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Red Lady of Bosnia – Woman Has Been Surrounding Herself with the Color Red for 40 Years

Ever since she was 18 years old, Zorica Rebernik, a 67-year-old woman from Breze, a small town in Bosnia, has been surrounding herself with the color red, even getting married in a red gown, and attending funerals in red clothing.

Rebernik, a retired schoolteacher, lives in a bright red house filled with red furniture, eats from red plates, drinks from red glasses and sleeps on red bed sheets. All the clothes in her wardrobe are red and she even dyes her hair red. The only non-red appliance in Zorica’s home is a white heater, which she only agreed to after her husband, Zoran, insisted. She has been surrounding herself with the color red for the last four decades of her life, and today she is somewhat of a local celebrity because of it. Everyone knows her, and some even offer her red things as gifts, the woman said, adding that she would reject anything that wasn’t red.

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Five So-Called Hitmen Convicted After Subcontracting Deal to Assassinate Businessman To Each Other

A Chinese businessman and five would-be hitmen were recently issued prison sentences after the former reportedly hired one of the assassins to take out one of his competitors only to have the contact passed along to other hitmen until the fee got so small the last of them decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

Six years ago,Tan Youhui, a real estate company owner in Nanning, China, decided to hire a hitman to eliminate a local competitor, surnamed Wei, who had filed a civil court case against his enterprises. The businessman was willing to pay a total of 2 million ($282,000) to have Wei taken out, and contracted the services of a man Xi Guangan to get the job done. Only Xi decided that it was easier to just subcontract the job to someone else, pay them half of the 2 million fee, and just ask the client for more money. He passed the job over to another man named Mo Tianxiang along with 1 million yuan ($141,000), and then went back to Tan to ask for another 1 million yuan. The businessman agreed, but only after getting proof that his rival had been dealt with. Then things got complicated…

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“Quantum Reading” Allegedly Helps Students Memorize 100,000 Words in Five Minutes

A student learning center in China, recently sparked controversy for claiming to have developed a “quantum speed reading” method that allegedly helps students read and memorize around 100,000 words in just five minutes.

Can you imagine reading hundreds of written pages simply by rapidly flipping through them for a few minutes, sometimes blindfolded? That’s what the Beijing Xinzhitong Qiguang Education Technology in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, is allegedly promising to teach young students, through a method advertised as “quantum speed reading”. The controversial reading technique recently garnered worldwide attention after a video showing kids seemingly “scanning” books went viral online.

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College Allegedly Makes Students Wear Cardboard Boxes on Heads to Prevent Cheating

A private college in the Indian state of Karnataka has sparked controversy after photos of its students wearing cardboard boxes during a chemistry exam went viral on social media.

After photos of the students wearing cardboard boxes on their heads to prevent cheating started doing the rounds online, regional officials in Karnataka rushed to Bhagat Pre-University College to complain about the “inhumane” treatment of students. Different version of the story started circulating online, including one that claimed the college only turned to cardboard boxes after having repeatedly caught students cheating, despite multiple warnings.

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20-Year-Old Man Claims to Have Been Living On Macaroni and Cheese for 17 Years

Austin Davis, a 20-year-old man from Keystone Heights, Florida, claims to eaten almost nothing but macaroni and cheese for the last 17 years of his life.

We’ve featured picky eaters before, people who only enjoyed things like pizza or french fries, but Austin Davis isn’t one such person. Even if he tries eating something other than macaroni and cheese, and actually enjoys it, his body will immediately reject it and he’ll start to gag. Doctors say he is suffering from a psychological condition known as avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, where new foods trigger negative physical side-effects. This condition is often linked to traumatic events, and Davis was indeed diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and removed from his home, after being physically abused by his father. This has negatively impacted his social life as well as his eating habits, but he wants to change.

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Belgian Restaurant Serves Drinking Water Recycled from Its Toilets

To highlight a new type of water purification system, a restaurant in Kuurne, Belgium, has started serving its customers free drinking water recycled from its sinks and toilets.

The water served at the Gust’eaux restaurant in Kuurne these days is the same as any other potable water – it has no smell, no taste, no color – so it’s impossible to tell that it’s source is actually the restaurant’s toilets. By using a complex, five-step purification system, Gust’eaux is able to turn its sewage into a water so pure that it has to be enriched with minerals before being served to clients.

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