Guy Spends 9 Years Digging His Basement with Remote-Controlled Earthmovers

Who could have thought that videos showing tiny amounts of dirt being pushed around by remote-controlled earthmovers would receive nearly 3 million hits on YouTube? Unbelievable, but true. The videos are those of Canadian Joe Murray digging a basement in his home. He’s been doing so for the past 9 years.

Okay, so 9 years seems absolutely unnecessary to do something as simple as excavate a basement. But not where Murray lives. In Saskatchewan, Canada, winters get as harsh as -15C for several weeks. So what he did was convert the seemingly small job into a long-term hobby, by using small tools. Murray works as a farmer of grains and cattle by day. Toying around with the basement is what he describes as his “escape from everyday realities.” Just take a look at the videos and you’ll realize how much fun he’s having with his little remote-controlled toys. The plus side is that his house gets a new basement. In a few more years, of course. After all, the excavators shift only about three cubic meters of soil every year.

Read More »

Man Installs Wood Stove in His Volvo to Beat the Cold

Wouldn’t it be great to have a car-companion that simply radiates warmth on a cold, cold winter’s day? Well, Pascal Prokop has just that, except his companion isn’t human. While most people complain about the cold, this guy from Switzerland actually decided to do something about it by putting a stove in his car – a real, wood-burning stove, complete with a chimney and everything.

The sight of Prokop driving his 1990 Volvo 240 station wagon around the streets of Mettmenstetten, a town 25km south of Zurich, is a strange and funny one. With the chimney sticking up about 2m above the roof, the car looks like it’s smoking, and the effect produced is kind of cartoonish. To Prokop however, this doesn’t matter one bit, since he’s warm and happy. Temperatures across Europe have been declining steadily, especially in the past couple of weeks. So Prokop came up with the ultimate heating solution. He simply removed the passenger seat in the Volvo and replaced it with an oven, the perfect passenger. He feeds the oven occasionally with wood sticks and in turn it keeps him nice and warm all the time. Prokop likes it so much inside his car that he sometimes ends up spending the night too, mostly when he’s tired or has had too much to drink.

Read More »

Purga Nightclub – Where Every Night Is New Year’s Eve

The holiday season is a truly magical time around the world. New Year’s Eve, especially, is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings, a time to forget the old and embrace the new. Most people are in high spirits, celebrating the coming of the new year with much pomp and gusto. But what if you got to celebrate it every single night of the year? Would it still be as much fun? Apparently it would, going by the success of ‘Purga’ – a nightclub in St. Petersburg, Russia, where every night is New Year’s Eve.

Everything that’s needed for a typical Russian New Year’s Eve celebration is available at the club. The Russian national anthem, the new year’s speech of Vladimir Putin on TV, fun costumes, decorations, contests, dancing and singing. Professional actors work at the club as ‘bunnies’, who are basically there to entertain people and make sure they forget all their worries. Ever since Purga was started way back in 2002, it has been popular in town, with table reservations being made at least a week in advance.

Read More »

Meet the Man Who Lived on His Bicycle for 382 Days

It’s difficult to imagine someone living, eating, sleeping and even washing clothes on a bicycle for over a year. But that’s exactly what French artist and copyeditor Guillaume Blanchet from Montreal has done. He even cooked his own food and flirted with women, while perched on the narrow bicycle seat. And that’s not all.

A three-minute film depicting Blanchet’s life on the bicycle, starts off with a dedication to his 64-year-old father who rode his bike for over 120,000 km. Going by the film, Blanchet does everything on the go, and he never stops pedaling. As he rides hands-free, he is occupied with the various mundane activities of life. Numerous items make an appearance, such as frying pans, shaving kits, laptops, telephones, Rubik cubes, and even musical instruments. It’s pretty amazing how he’s able to handle all these things with ease, as though he were sitting on a couch.

Read More »

Thousands of Iranian Women Training to Become Ninjas

Ninjutsu is considered to be one of the deadliest forms of martial arts in the world. But this doesn’t deter the 3,500 odd Iranian women who are currently receiving official training in the sport.

In fact, when I saw a video of these women in action, I was awestruck by their agility and the ease with which they performed gravity-defying stunts and back flips. I couldn’t even tell that the ninjas were female until they removed the masks from their faces.  Iran, like many other Islamic countries, has stringent rules regarding the freedom and conduct of women. The laws severely restrict them from participating freely in society; perhaps this is where they derive their quiet strength from. The Ninjustu school in Iran was started in 1989 by Sensei Akbar Faraji. This was the first time the martial art was introduced to the country. While the club now has over 24,000 members, the number of female participants is slowly on the rise. According to Faraji, in Ninjutsu, men are called ninjas, while women are addressed as kunoichi.

Read More »

Real-Life Photoshop – Model Has 20-Inch Waistline

30-year-old Ioana Spangenberg has something some skinny female models only dream of. A 20-inch waistline and a body that doesn’t accumulate fat, no matter what she eats. Now, isn’t that a dream come true? Not for Ioana, though. In a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side, the Romanian model says she wants to put on weight in order to be able to look normal.

Ioana seems to be blessed with the much-coveted ‘hourglass’ look, quite literally in fact. She says that she was of normal weight when she was a kid, and the transformation started to occur when she was a teenager. At age 13, her waist was only 15 inches and her friends could actually put their hands completely around it. In an attempt to put on weight, she would eat Mars bars and other sweets, but nothing ever worked. Ioana blames this on the small size of her stomach, which makes her feel sick if she eats too much. Perhaps her body’s constitution is too much of a good thing, because she was never happy with herself until she married. It was her husband who encouraged her to become a model, and she is now finally comfortable in her own skin.

Read More »

Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

Read More »

Faecal Transplant – A Stomach-Turning Medical Procedure

Here’s something I never thought I’d hear, let alone write an article about – faecal transplants. Yes, it’s exactly what you think  it is. Taking the poop out of one person and putting it into another. It’s a lot, more disgusting that it sounds, but this medical procedure actually has the potential to save lives. And would you believe, it’s been around since the late 1990s?

Dr. Alisdair MacConnachie is perhaps the only doctor in the UK to have ever performed the transplant. Calling it a proven treatment, this is how he says it’s done. A patient is put on antibiotics up until the night before, after which pills are given to control the stomach acids. The next morning a donor will come in and provide a stool sample. The donor is usually a close relative who tends to eat the same kind of food and lives in the same environment as the patient. Next, 1oz of the sample is taken and churned with salt water in a blender. Eww, right? No wait, it gets worse. The fluid is then poured through a coffee filter to produce a very watery liquid. And now, for the worst part – a tube is inserted up the patient’s nose that goes all the way down to the stomach. 1fl oz of the liquid is poured right in. I will now give you a moment to recover.

Read More »

Amazing Indian Girl Is Friends with Six King Cobras

India has long been known as the land of the snake charmers. But here’s something very unusual. An 8-year-old Indian girl who plays all day  not with other girls, but with her pet King Cobras.

Kajol Khan lives in the village of Ghatampur in Uttar Pradesh, with her parents, six sisters, two brothers and six pet Cobras, her best friends. She comes from a family of snake catchers and hopes to carry on in her father’s footsteps someday. Her father, 55-year-old Taj Mohammad has been working as a snake catcher in Ghatampur for the past 45 years. While he has already passed on his skills to his son, he’s unexpectedly found himself a mentor to his daughter Kajol. The little girl has been used to snakes crawling around her since she was a baby, and hence feels nothing out of the ordinary in their presence. In fact, she prefers hanging out with her slithering buddies rather than go to school. She has been bitten – on her stomach, cheeks and hands – but this is hardly of any concern to her. Kajol has always been able to make a full recovery, thanks to her father’s herbal medicine, which has been a family secret for generations. “I have a lot of fun with the cobras. It hurts when they bite me but sometimes it’s my own fault because I tease them. It’s quite funny.”

Read More »

Ferret Legging – A Truly Bizarre Animal Sport

Most people couldn’t stand something as small as a cockroach up their trousers. And then there are the brave ferret leggers who endure not one, but two fully grown adult ferrets trapped in their pants. The weird sport, called Ferret Legging, is a test of endurance or just the ability to “have your tool bitten and not care”.

Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, the rules of the sport are pretty tight. Competitors have two ferrets placed inside their trousers, which are tied firmly at the ankles and belted up at the waist, thereby eliminating any point of escape for the furry creatures. The competitor then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the razor-sharp claws and teeth of the ferrets. Other rules state that competitors cannot be drunk and the ferrets must not be sedated. Also, the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that have not been blunted or filed. The man who stands the longest, wins.

Read More »

Olive – The First Cinema Film Shot with a Cell Phone

It had to happen sooner or later. Olive is the world’s first feature film of cinematic-quality to be shot using a smartphone. The film was released in Santa Monica’s Nuart Theatre this week.

Olive is the first film of director Hooman Khalili. He shot the entire film with the Nokia N8 smartphone, which has a high-resolution camera. The camera was adapted with a 35-mm lens to give the film additional depth. The project was quite low on budget, costing just $500,000. It was partly funded by Chris Kelly, a Silicon Valley attorney and former Facebook executive. According to Kelly, films that are shot using smartphones are important because they give everyone access to creating high-quality content. In this context, Olive may just have marked the beginning of a change in the way the film industry functions. Kelly points out that with this kind of film-making, big studios wouldn’t control the industry anymore, and the very pricing and economics of making a film could change.

Read More »

93-Year-Old Proves You’re Never Too Old for Yoga

For people like Tao Porchon-Lynch, old is the new young. There’s literally nothing about her that suggests she is 93. The woman has been practicing yoga for over 70 years now, and teaching it to students in India, France, and the US for more than 45 years. What’s more, she participates in ballroom dancing in her free time, an activity she took up at the age of 87.

If the mere mention of her physical prowess is awe-inspiring, wait till you hear the story of how she took to dancing. When Tao Porchon-Lynch had just turned 87, she fell down outside a grocery store and broke her hip. She had to undergo a major hip-replacement surgery, something that would leave most people confined to bed for the rest of their life. But Tao would have none of that. Completely disregarding her doctor’s advice to slow things down, she walked into a ballroom-dancing studio merely one month after the surgery, starting lessons that very night. Today, at the age of 93, Tao participates in ballroom-dancing competitions in New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico along with her 23-year-old dance partner. All this, while teaching 12 Yoga classes a week.

Read More »

Father Videotapes Children Coming Down Stairs on Christmas Morning, for 25 years

Every family has its own traditions for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Writer Nick Confalone recently shared on YouTube, a particularly endearing tradition followed by his dad during Christmas.

Starting in 1985, Nick’s father made home videos of his kids coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. He continued this practice for 25 years, chronicling the growth of his children over a quarter of a century. Nick recently edited the footage filmed by his father and posted it on YouTube. Apart from Nick and his sister, other members of the family are also seen in the video. Pets come and go, as do boyfriends, and you can clearly see how the kids evolve from little toddlers to teenagers and then young adults. Initially the kids are seen to be excited to find out what Santa Claus has left them under the tree. Nick is a cute kid making silly faces at the camera. As years go by, their reluctance to be a part of the videos is quite evident. Of course, Nick now considers the videos to be nothing short of magical.

Read More »

Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

Read More »

English Vicar Raps Nativity Story

Now here’s an extremely interesting and catchy version of the Nativity Story. For those of you who feel that the traditional ways of telling the story have become rather monotonous, an English Vicar from Devon has made a rap song out of it. The video put up online has already been watched thousands of times.

40-year old Reverend Gavin Tyte gets it just right, as he raps the story of Jesus’s birth to a beatbox backing. The song is called ‘The Beatbox Nativity.’ The video clip is three-and-a-half minutes long. For the video, Reverend Tyte dresses up in three different costumes – a shepherd, an angel, and himself, as the narrator. The song goes on to describe the entire story of the birth of Jesus, in perfect rap. He says he has been beatboxing since the age of 8 and was even a professional performer before be was ordained. The Reverend has been in the company of rappers for a long time, but he admits it was a little tricky to create a rhyme out of each and every verse. “You are constrained by what is written and what sounds good, so it does not flow as well as if you were rapping from scratch.”

Read More »