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Monsieur Pingouin – The Man Who Thinks He’s a Penguin

79-year-old Alfred David has come to be known as “Monsieur Pingouin” by the people of Brussels because he almost always walks around in his big penguin suit and even “talks” like one.

People who see Mr. Penguin for the first time and don’t know his story might think he’s on his way to a costume party, but the truth is the pensioner puts on the bizarre outfit because it makes him feel like more of a penguin. Alfred’s story began in May 1968, when he injured his hip in a car accident which left him with a limp his friends and colleagues thought was more like a waddle, so they gave him the nickname Mr. Penguin. Some would be bothered being called that, others probably couldn’t care less, but our Mr. David took a real interest in the flightless bird and eventually became obsessed with it.

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Gregory Da Silva – The African Mad Hatter

Gregory Da Silva, better known as Egg Man, is an African comedian artist and storyteller famous for wearing an outrageous had adorned with 1,000 eggs.

Born in Benin, West Africa, Da Silva studied computer science but decided to follow his artistic calling and went on to found a theater group called Voice of Spirit. They performed political, comic and poetic theater shows in Benin, but he made a name for himself after he became the Egg Man and started giving street performances wearing his ridiculously large headgear. When he first started performing in Cape Town, South Africa, Gregory’s art was so unique it got him arrested by the local police, who had to call their superior for advice on what to do with him. They were told to let him go, and he’s been performing in the city’s Green Market Square ever since.

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Wannabe Actor Writes, Directs and Stars in His Own Films, Makes $400,000 a Year

Despite never acting in a big Hollywood movie, Dennis Woodruff is a living legend in Los Angeles, known for driving around town in his crazy art cars and advertising his acting services. But it appears the long-time wannabe actor is turning over a new leaf and making a fortune in the process.

For around 20 years he has been known as the guy driving along Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards in ridiculous art cars covered in hand-painted signs, portfolio photos and phone numbers, trying to land a movie part. Like Angelyne, he became a local celebrity that everybody seemed to recognize, but his dream was to star in movies and he wasn’t going to give up on it. Dennis visited over 200 casting agencies only to face rejection after rejection, but he was hellbent on leaving his mark on Hollywood, and recently decided the only way he could do that was t make his own movies.

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Chinese Mother Theresa Has Adopted 80 Children in 22 Years

In Yaopu village, Shanxi Province, Li Yanping is known as a one-person orphanages who has taken care of 80 abandoned children over a period of 22 years.

49-year-old Li Yanping lives in a modest 40-square-meter country house and barely survives on a meager income, but that hasn’t stopped her from taking care of dozens of abandoned children, most of them mentally or psychically handicapped.  Born in 1964, in Mu village, Li married at the young age of 21 and soon had her first baby. Her story as a modern-day Mother Theresa began in 1989, shortly after her natural child was born, when her husband found a toddler abandoned on their doorstep. After examining it more carefully, the two realized the child suffered from deformities, but they took it in, fed it and took care of it, despite their financial shortcomings. But they could only take care of two babies for a while, and when milk shortages and lack of money became too much too handle, they made a desperate decision to give their own healthy son up for adoption. They figured someone would adopt a healthy baby, whereas the disabled child had almost no chance of survival.

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English Student Has Tongue Lengthened So She Can Speak Korean

Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones, a young student from Nottingham, England, underwent surgery to have her tongue lengthened after her dentist suggested it might be the reason she couldn’t pronounce certain Korean sounds.

Although she’s never been to South Korea, Rhiannon is really passionate about the language and culture of the Asian country, and dreams of living and working there later in her life. Her fascination with everything Korean started a few years back, after she listened to Korean pop and watched some television shows at a friend’s house. Pretty soon, all her free time was taken up by anything related to Korea, and she even began attending a Korean church in Nottingham.

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Girl Has Half of Brain Removed, Now Paints Like a Pro

The human brain is a remarkable thing, and the incredible story of Taisia Sidorova, who gained an amazing artistic talent after having the left side of her brain removed, is proof of that.

Three years ago, 21-year old Taisia Sidorova, from Sankt Petersburg, Russia, suffered a severe car accident that left her with a smashed skull and bone fragments wedged in her brain. Doctors were skeptical about her chances of survival, and was even given the last rites, but even after she had the left hemisphere of her brain removed, she hung in there. The part of her brain responsible for logic and analysis was replaced with a protective metal place, but even though her family was warned that a long, painful recovery period was to follow, and that Taisia may never be the same, they never gave up on her.

Irina Sidorova, the girl’s mother, remembers she was like a vegetable in the beginning, and doctors didn’t believe she would survive. But she stayed by her bedside praying, massaging her limbs and talking to her. The miracle she was waiting for occurred on New Year’s Eve, while she was crying on Taisia’s bedside. The girl moved her arm trying to wipe away her mother’s tears. It was the breakthrough nobody expected anymore, and in two years’ time she regained her strength, started to speak and even learned to hold a pencil and paintbrush.

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Woman Hasn’t Used Money in 15 Years

Heidemarie Schwermer, a 69-year-old woman from Germany, gave up using money 15 years ago and says she’s been much happier ever since.

Heidemarie’s incredible story began 22 years ago, when she, a middle-aged secondary school teacher emerging from a difficult marriage, took her two children and moved to the city of Dortmund, in Germany’s Ruhr area. One of the first things she noticed was the large number of homeless people, and this shocked her so much that she decided to actually do something about it. She had always believed the homeless didn’t need actual money to be accepted back into society, only a chance to empower themselves by making themselves useful, so she opened a Tauschring (swap shop), called “Gib und Nimm” (Give and Take).

Her small venture was a place where anyone could trade stuff and skills for other things and skills they needed, without a single coin or banknote changing hands. Old clothes could be traded in return for kitchen appliances, and car service rendered in return for plumbing services, and so on. The idea didn’t really attract many of Dortmund’s homeless, because, as some of them told her to her face, they didn’t feel an educated middle-class woman could relate to their situation. Instead, her small shop was assaulted by many of the city’s unemployed and retired folk eager to trade their skills and old stuff for something they needed. Heidemarie Schwermer’s Tauschring eventually became somewhat of a phenomenon in Dortmund and even prompted its creator to ask herself some questions about the life she was living.

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Thai Cook Fries His Own Hands, Doesn’t Get Burned

Kann “Superhands” Trichan got the cool nickname for his incredible ability of scooping pieces of chicken from burning-hot oil with his bare hands.

The 50-year-old Chiang Mai-based street cook can sink his fingers into 480 degrees hot grease without getting so much as a blister on his hands, and his amazing ability has won him international fame. People from all over the world come to his “Fried Chicken Iron Hands Man” food stall to see Kann use his hands to scoop out the chicken and he and his wife travel the globe showing off his gift. Superhands has no idea why he can do what he does, but he’s just happy it brings more and more customers for his business, every day.

Kann Trichan first discovered his unusual gift seven years ago, when he accidentally got hot oil splattered all over his body. While attending his giant woks, he noticed a squirrel eating a mango on a branch just above him. The squirrel dropped the big fruit right in the oil splattering it all over Kann’s body and head. A taxi took him home and when he got up the next day ready to go see a doctor, he took a look in the mirror only to see he had no burns. The redness was fading away and his skin was practically intact, so he just decided to go back to work, to the astonishment of his fellow street vendors.

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Meet Iggy, the World’s Biggest Neytiri Fan

Iggy, also known as Mr. Avatar, from Edmonton, Alberta, is a fan of James Cameron’s blockbuster who loved the main female character, Neytiri, so much that he covered his entire back with tattoos of her.

You probably thought being a hardcore fan of Avatar meant watching the film more than 10 times, buying the DVD and Bluray versions, hunting for all kinds of memorabilia, and stuff like that. Well, Iggy does all that too, but he’s taken his passion for the world of Pandora and Neytiri to a whole new level. Back in March 2010, Geekologie first introduced “Avatar Tattoo Guy”, after he had just gotten his first back tattoo. That was only the beginning, because meanwhile he added 10 more (all of Neytiri) and planned his 11th, a big Toruk on his chest. For now, he’s hitting the gym more often, so he can get better places for his Neytiri tattoos.

But while tattoos brought him Internet fame, his obsession with Neytiri isn’t limited to ink on his body. Some of the latest photos he posted on his TypePad profile show his truck got a Neytiri makeover, as well, and a NEYTIRI license plate to boot. He also has photos of the 9-feet-tall alien beauty all over his house.

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Students Stage Most Romantic Break-up Ceremony Ever

Break-ups are almost never pretty, but two Chinese students have managed to melt the hearts of millions around the world, with their romantic break-up ceremony.

Xu Minyu and Xiao Ying, two students from Wuhan’s University of Science and Technology, had formed a couple for the last four years, and even though everything was great between them, they decided to break up upon graduating college. It wasn’t an easy decision for either of them, but they both agreed their careers were more important at this point in their lives, and a long distance relationship just wasn’t going to work. Xu Minyu will join the civil service in Hangzhou, while his girlfriend, Ying, has already signed a contract with a Beijing-based company. This puts 1,200 km between them and makes a normal relationship impossible.

But, unlike most couple who usually just decide to simply put an end to their relationship, or worse, have a terrible break-up fight, the two students decided to commemorate their love with a memorable with a memorable ceremony. It all went down last Thursday night, when, surrounded by burning candles and a crowd of fellow students, Minyu went up to his beloved girlfriend, carrying a bouquet of 99 roses, got down on one knee and asked for a break-up. Just like during a wedding proposal, the crowd shouted “Say yes, say yes”, and after a two-minute silence, Xiao Ying accepted the flowers and the proposal.

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Man Makes a Living Scraping the Sidewalk for Gold and Diamonds

Believe it or not, the streets of New York really are paved with gold, but you have to get down and dirty to get your hands on it. For urban prospector Raffi Stephanian this isn’t an issue, just a great way to pay the bills.

Using only a Styrofoam cup, a butter knife and tweezers, 43-year-old Raffi scours the streets of New York’s Diamond District searching for gold, diamonds and other precious jewels. You’ve probably walked on 47th Street countless times and didn’t realize the riches that were right there in front of you, but don’t beat yourself up about it, Raffi was probably the only one who ever thought there was something valuable on the sidewalk. And that only because he worked as a stone setter, years ago, when he found gold scraps on the floor of a diamond exchange. He realized if he could find gold inside, then people must have carried it outside, as well.

The gold and precious stones industry is a hectic one, and you can see people running from one shop to the other, from a diamond supplier to a diamond dealer, and so on, and in the process, they drop tiny valuables without even realizing it. Most of the fragments found by Raffi Stephanian were carried into the streets by diamond merchants who accidentally picked them up on their clothes or on the soles of their shoes. He also finds platinum chips, loops from broken necklaces, watches or bracelets, all of which were dropped by mistake.

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Slavisa Pajkic – A Real Life Human Battery

Slavisa Pajkic, from Serbia’s Pozarevac county, is known as “Battery Man’ for his amazing ability to withstand high voltage without getting hurt.

Biba, as his friends know him, says electricity has no friends, except for him. He apparently discovered his amazing capabilities when he was 17, and he’s been in an incredible relationship with electricity, ever since. Voltages of over 50 volts can cause dangerous levels of electricity to flow through the human body, and that’s precisely why your mother once told you to never stick your fingers in the power outlet, but Slavisa can withstand a lot more. He actually set his first Guinness record in 1983, when he took a hit of 20,000 volts like a champ. His second record dates back to 2003, when he was able to heat up a cup of water to 97 degrees Celsius, in 1 minute and 37 seconds.

Slavisa claims he can be an insulator, a conductor, an accumulator or a heater, depending on the case, and so far scientists haven’t been able to figure out exactly how he’s doing all of these things. He can light up a light bulb, cook a sausage and even set alcohol-soaked things ablaze with his body, by storing or acting as a conductor for electricity. Some reports say that because of a genetic defect, Slavisa Pajkic has no sweat and salivary glands, and scientists suspect current isn’t really passing through his body, but passes on the outside of his skin, which acts as a natural insulation.

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Ivan Stoiljkovic – Croatia’s Young Magneto in the Making

Ivan Stoiljkovic, a six-year-old boy from a small town in norther Croatia, has been attracting media attention with his unusual gift of making large quantities of metal stick to his torso.

Young Ivan may not look to be in the best possible shape for his age, but that’s never stopped him from taking off his t-shirt and sticking metal objects on his chest and belly. “We always felt he was a bit different. At 15 months-of-age he was rollerblading, he started walking at eight months. He was less than two when he started driving a little motorcycle, and it was a bit weird,” says Ivan Surlovic, young Magneto’s grandfather. It all started as a joke, a few months ago, when Ivan’s grandmother was watching a show about a boy with magnetic capabilities. Her grandson took his shirt off and asked if he could do something like that, so they tried putting metal things on him and they just stuck.

According to Ivan Surlovic’s family, his powers are strongest in the morning and when he is calm and focused. They say he is capable of carrying up to 25 pounds of metal on his body, with heavier objects actually sticking better than lighter ones. His upper body appears to be more magnetic.

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Daphne Selfe – A Successful Supermodel at 82

In a world obsessed with physical beauty and aging, 82-year-old Daphne Selfe proves you’re never too old to have a successful modeling career.

The grandmother of four has been working in the fashion industry for over 60 years, and thanks to her perfect posture, incredible cheekbones and long, grey hair she’s now more popular than she’s ever been. Daphne has appeared in commercials for companies like Nivea and Olay, has modeled for designers the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and was featured in fashion magazines Vogue and Marie Claire. She has never had any cosmetic surgery done, and managed to earn up to $1,600 a day working as a model.

Daphne Selfe began her modeling career in 1950. She was 20 years old and her colleagues at a department store in Reading, England, convinced her to enter a local modeling competition, which she ended up winning. Selfe went on to become a house model for clothing manufacturers and furriers and appeared in a few advertising campaigns. She remembers she had a decent career for about five years, but she was nothing special back then.

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Indian Sadhu Has Kept His Right Hand Up for the Last 38 Years

Sadhu Amar Bharati is an Indian holy man who claims he has kept his right hand raised in the air since 1973. Now, 38 years later, his hand is just a useless piece of skin and bone, but has become a symbol for Shiva worshipers around India.

Until 1970, Amar Bharati was an average middle-class man who lived a normal life. He had a job, a home, a wife and three children, but none of that mattered when he woke up one morning and decided to leave everything behind and dedicate his life to serving the Hindu god Shiva. He began wandering the roads of India dressed in his simple Sadhu clothes and carrying only his trusty Trishula (a metal trident). After three years, in 1973, Amar realized he was still too connected to the fading luxury and pleasures of mortal life, and decided to separate himself from them by raising his right arm and keeping it raised. 38 years later, his arm is still up and he couldn’t use it, even if he wanted to.

Other sources claim Amar Bharati felt disillusioned by all the fighting going on in the world, and decided to raise his right arm for peace. A respected Sadhu at the Kumbh Mela, in Haridwar, Amar has inspired other Sadhus to raise their arms for peace and harmony, and some of them have kept them raised for the last seven, thirteen, even 25 years. But doing something like this doesn’t just mean giving up the functionality of an important body part, it also implies dealing with a lot of pain. Bharati himself says he went through excruciating pain for a long time, but not anymore. That’s because his arm is completely atrophied and stuck in a bizarre, semi-vertical position, a useless bony structure ending in thick, twisted nails that he never clips.

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