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  1. Zhong Congrong, a successful businessman from Chongqing, China, has become known as the “the millionaire trash collector,” for his longtime habit of scouring the streets of his city armed with a trash-picking claw and picking up any garbage he finds. The 52-year-old entrepreneur began cleaning up the streets of Chingqing three years ago, after a family trip to southern China’s Hainan province, for the Chinese New Year. There, he met a retired university professor who had reportedly been picking up trash from one of the local beaches every day, for the last four years. He was so impressed with the woman’s dedication and commitment to trash collecting that he decided to replicate her daily habit in his home city, as soon as he got back from his vacation. Interestingly, in the beginning, Congrong’s trash collecting habit attracted a lot of negative attention both from locals and the media. People just couldn’t understand why a millionaire who owns real estate, car dealerships and several material processing factories would stoop to picking up trash by hand. They thought it was nothing more than a stunt to attract attention, but Zhong didn’t let the negativity distract him. Even his family was confused by Zhong’s behavior, at first. His wife and children were embarrassed by the negative media coverage of his “eccentric habit” and refused to be seen with him in public. But as time went by, people’s attitude changed. They noticed their neighborhood getting cleaner thanks to Zhong’s efforts and started praising and supporting him. His wife is now an anti-littering campaigner herself, and scolds everyone she sees throwing trash on the street. “Whether we throw away or pick up trash is unrelated to our academic degree, cultural background, age, or socio-economic status," Zhong Congrong told Sixth Tone in December 2017. The millionaire trash collector has been doing his best to inspire others as well. He wears an attention-grabbing orange t-shirt featuring anti-littering slogans whenever he goes on his garbage hunting missions, and fines all of his workers 10 yuan if they litter at the workplace. However, he is fully aware that broader measures are needed for a true change. Full article
  2. A newlywed couple from Singapore recently took to social media to express disappointment over their disastrous wedding photo album. Posting the unimpressive images online on Tuesday, Facebook user Ivan Tan lamented how the 2,700 Singapore dollars ($2,000) he paid for Reflection Photography’s services was wasted on a “devastating” wedding album filled with their overexposed, unflattering and misaligned photos. While he blamed himself for not reviewing the company’s portfolio thoroughly, he did question the capability and professionalism of the photographer who handled their wedding three months ago. “Take a closer look at our wedding day album. WHAT A HORROR! 90% of our outdoor shoot was overexposed,” Tan wrote. “Our brothers and sisters spent almost 2 hours under the scorching sun and that was the outcome we’ve got. We’re totally clueless as to how the photos will turn out to be, and all we heard throughout the shoot from the photographer was, ‘Oh good! Nice shot! Next! Yes, good.'” “All these overexposed are good? We can hardly see our faces. We can’t even see clearly our bodies. We literally look like ghosts,” he added. “They claim themselves to be professionals. The magic question is – Do they even know how to use the camera? If one doesn’t even have the knowledge of camera setting adjustment with respect to the environment, do you even call yourselves photographers?” According to Tan, the company’s chief photographer thought that the pictures were fine, even claiming that the person who took the photos is a “top photographer” who already serviced over 10 weddings. Tan, however, berated the so-called “top photographer” for his apparent lack of basic photography know-how. “Angles, lighting, directing your subjects to get the best shots. Our photographer did way lesser than the bare minimum of the above. Instead of being apologetic for their incompetence, they criticized the subject (my wife and I) and the environment for the bad photos.” Full article
  3. 25-year-old Tomasz Nadolski, from Wroclaw, Poland, suffers from a rare and cruel disease that has not only made his life a living hell, but also left him stuck in the underdeveloped body of a 12-year-old boy. Tomasz’s health problems began when he was only 7-years-old. He would throw up after every meal and experience excruciating pain in his stomach, hands and feet. Because he couldn’t keep any food down, he lost a lot of weight and kids at school started teasing him about looking like a walking skeleton. For years, doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, and some of them even claimed that his problems were mental rather than physical. It took 16 years for Tomasz’s condition to finally be diagnosed, but, unfortunately, knowing what he was suffering from didn’t make the young man’s life any better. Tomasz Nadolski was diagnosed with Fabry Disease, a rare and cruel genetic condition caused by the lack of alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme responsible for processing biomolecules known as sphingolipids. These build up in the walls of blood vessels and other organs and cause a number of serious symptoms, including excruciating pain and organ failure. In Tomasz’s case, the disease has also stopped his physical development, leaving him looking like a 12-year-old boy. “I am 25 years old and I would like to look like a man of my age. I hate this boy who I see every day in the mirror, because it is not me,” the young man recently said, adding that sometimes people refuse to accept his real age, even after showing them his ID card. One time a policeman suspected him of having a fake one. But while he would love to look his age, Tomasz’s unusually youthful looks are not his biggest problem. His genetic condition leaves him unable to eat proper food, so he has to be connected to an IV for up to 20 hours a day in order to get enough nourishment. He also needs painkillers to deal with the incredible pain he feels in most of his body. It prevents him from sleeping soundly and night, and living a normal life during the day, as the simple act of walking can be excruciatingly painful. Because Fabry Disease is so rare, Tomasz constantly has to travel all over Poland to have various experts treat his symptoms. So far he has only seen minor improvements, but he is not giving up. Tomasz is currently taking special medication to keep his condition in check. It would cost him around $215,000 a year, which he and his family could never afford, but luckily he is receiving from the producer free of charge, for taking part in the test trials. However, he doesn’t know how much longer this will last. All he knows is that without proper medication, he would succumb to a slow and agonizing death. Unfortunately, Tomasz’s brother has also been diagnosed with Fabry Disease when he was 12, but his symptoms are not as severe. Full article
  4. A suspected murderer who was on the FBI’s ten most wanted list did Drake’s KiKi challenge for the cameras as he was carted off by cops. Brazen Antwan Mims pulled the corny dance move as he was escorted from a plane to an SUV by law enforcement officials at Southwest Michigan Regional Airport Tuesday. He made a heart gesture with his hands, and pretended to drive a car, just like other Drake fans who attempt the move to the Canadian rapper’s latest single In My Feelings. Mims – suspected of killing two people at a house party in March – began dancing after he noticed news crews filming him, but the stunt did not go down well with a local official. Benton Harbor Director of Public Safety Dan McGinnis told WNDU: ‘It’s almost like it was a joke. He’s taken two people’s lives.’ The fugitive was nabbed in Georgia Tuesday and has been denied bail. Full article
  5. A traditional jungle plant can create a 'near-death experience' when consumed, research has found. Ayahuasca, which natives in Central and South America drink in liquid form, is used to create the psychedelic drug known as Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). And while the drug is illegal in most countries, its link with spirituality is widely acknowledged. The powerful hallucinogen is usually used for ceremonial purposes in South America and has earned the nickname "the spirit molecule." A study has found a "large overlap" between the effects of the drug, and descriptions of so-called near death experiences (NDEs). Researchers from Imperial College London provided 13 volunteers with DMT and they completed a questionnaire afterwards. Their responses were compared to those of a sample of 67 people, who have previously had NDEs. Each of the groups reported visions of bright light and the feeling outside of the body. There was also an experience of travelling through a void, inner peace and a sense of transitioning to a new world. Full article
  6. Vending machines are very popular in Asia, with businesses using them to sell just about anything, even live crabs. However, one Honk Kong entrepreneur has found a way to take vending machines to a whole new level, by designing one that sells dates to singles looking for a low-tech alternative to online dating services like Tinder. The “Fate Capsule” vending machine outside BT Reptile, a small pet store in Kowloon’s Shek Kip Mei neighborhood, received worldwide attention earlier this year, when word of the original concept went viral online. It’s basically a multi-tiered vending machine with separate compartments for men and women which dispenses colored plastic capsules containing the contact details of singles looking for love. All you have to do is insert HK$20 ($2.5) in coins, and it will spit out a fate capsule with the description and contact information of a prospective date. The romantic vending machine was brought to Hong Kong by Ben Tang, the owner of BT Reptile, after originally seeing the same concept become popular in Taiwan. He is also the one who, along with his girlfriend, spends up to five hours vetting people who want their details added into the fate capsules. Such candidates can leave their information – name, age, height, weight, hobbies, and a short self-introduction – in a Google document, the link to which is on his Facebook page, and he will then contact them on WeChat to verify that they are who they claim to be and to make sure “they don’t act too weirdly”. Tang launched the Fate Capsule vending machine just before Valentine’s Day, and it soon became a huge hit. Local news stations started writing about it, videos of people trying their luck with fate capsules spread on social media, and soon, the owner had to limit the number of capsules sold per day, just to maintain the romantic character of his device. “I can easily sell more than 1,000 capsules every single day if I want to,” Ben Tang told Coconuts Hong Kong. “But I’d rather not. I like to see people come by casually when they are free; It feels more destined.” Tang says that by controlling the number of fate capsules that the machine dispenses every day, and manually selecting whose contact information goes into the plastic capsules, he wants to slow down the speed of blind dating and increase people’s chances of success. If dozens of people add you in one day, you will feel nothing but disturbed. But I want them to have enough time to really know each other,” he said. “When people start to use dating apps, the first impression they will probably have is like, ‘wow that’s too much’. There’s really no time to know each person you meet well enough to consider dating.” While the popularity of the Fate Capsule vending machine is undeniable, it also has its share of critics. Several people have taken to Facebook, leaving poor reviews and describing it as a ‘fraud’, arguing that dates either never accepted their friendship request on WeChat or cut off contact abruptly. Obviously, this isn’t something Bent Tang can control and I feel it’s a risk that comes with the territory. Full article
  7. A 10-year-old Virginia girl’s fondness for dolls helped save her newborn cousin after her aunt unexpectedly gave birth in a bathroom on Monday. Chloe Carrion was in a Fairfax County home with her expectant 21-year-old aunt, who has not yet been identified, when the aunt complained she didn't feel well. The pregnant woman went into the bathroom with stomach pains only to realize she was actually in labor, WJLA News reported. “She screamed my name and she says, ‘I had a baby.’ And I said, ‘No you didn't,’ and she said, ‘Yes I did,’" Chloe told the news station, which reported the 21-year-old had been hiding the pregnancy from her family. When Chloe ran to the bathroom, she couldn’t believe what she saw: her aunt had given birth on the toilet. The woman handed Chloe her newborn son before falling and passing out. At that time, Chloe called her mother, April West, for help. West, who was in disbelief, saw the child for herself when Chloe used FaceTime to prove the child existed. “She turned the phone around because we were on FaceTime, and on the camera I saw this little face,” West recalled to WJLA News. While waiting for emergency medical officials to arrive, Chloe decided to put to use the same skills she's learned from taking care of her baby dolls. Much of what she's learned has been from watching videos on YouTube. "The videos helped me with swaddling and cleaning him up from everything," Chloe explained. Chloe, with help from 911 dispatchers, then used a pair of household scissors to cut the baby’s umbilical cord. "Chloe was just standing at the front door with the baby swaddled, and she was rocking him back and forth," said West, who arrived shortly before emergency officials. Full article
  8. In urban areas like New York, Denver, and Los Angeles, it’s become a trend for the elite to shy away from traditional pets such as dogs and cats, and to raise chickens instead. Although raising chickens used to be predominantly for rural farmers, it’s now not only chic to own these birds , but a status symbol as well. And Julie Baker, an enterprising woman from New Hampshire, is cashing in on the trend by making fashionable chicken diapers. That’s right, chicken diapers. In fact, she’s drawing in $50,000 a year from this business, which isn’t exactly small change. 10 years ago, on her small Claremont farm, Julie was raising a whole flock of chickens with her daughter. They they happened upon a YouTube video of a chicken wearing a diaper so it wouldn’t leave droppings everywhere. Julie recalls thinking something like ‘Oh my goodness, I so need to do that,’ especially since her daughter often brought her favorite chicken Abigail into the home. Julie then set out on a mission to sew multiple cotton diapers for the Old English hen; other chicken owners soon were contacting her, wanting such chicken diapers for their farms as well. Wanting to create a bonding experience, Julie opened an online store with her daughter in 2010 called “Pampered Poultry”, as something for her to learn from while being homeschooled. Much to her surprise, her venture exploded in popularity.It began with her fellow poultry-loving friends, but her customer base soon grew into urban chicken owners as well. Currently, Julie sells anywhere from 500 to 1,000 diapers a month in all 50 states, with each retailing at about $18. Eventually, Julie branched out from just selling chicken diapers. She told The Outline that she now also makes feather guards and diaper dresses as well. You may think it’s crazy for people to go so far as to buying dresses for their chickens, but this is just the tip of it. Apparently, poultry owners have gone so gaga over their pets that they even hire “chicken whisperers” at $225 per hour in order to make sure that they’re happy. Some chickens even get personal chefs: “We thought we’d feed them leftovers, but our chickens end up eating grilled salmon, steak, fresh lettuce and organic watermelon,” owner Amina Azhar-Graham said. Full article
  9. Thieves in Georgia must have been craving a savory snack as they made off with nearly $100,000 worth of ramen noodles, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office said. The thieves, who have not yet been located, took the packages of noodles between July 25 and August 1, Fox 5 reported. The noodles were located inside a 53-foot trailer, which was parked at a Chevron store. The owner of the trailer, who said he was given permission to park the trailer there, said it was locked at the time the food was allegedly stolen, the Star-Telegram reported. Full article
  10. A Japanese tourist’s patience was put to the test as he ended up stuck in what appeared to be the most crowded time of the year on Mount Fuji this weekend. Mikio Kiura, who goes by the username @kur on Twitter, took a snap of the seventh station of his trail on Sunday. The sight does not exactly promise moments of solitude on the country’s most iconic natural beauty. “There’s a crazy traffic jam, and we can’t move forward at all,” he posted. Kiura updated his status after a while, saying that he was finally moving “a few steps every few minutes.” Climbing Mount Fuji — the highest peak in Japan — is restricted to specific seasons of the year, which means hopefuls all year round are expected to mark target dates on their calendar. This year, visitors are allowed between July 1 or 10 and Sept. 10, the period that coincides with the safest weather conditions, as per the Council for the Promotion of the Proper Use of Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately, Kiura’s visit was also the beginning of the obon holiday, a Buddhist custom celebrated to honor ancestors. This time, students and workers in the country take a week off. To make matters more challenging, he was also on the Yoshida Trail — the most popular route to the summit. Full article
  11. A loyal pet dog in China displayed human-like characteristics when it boarded an ambulance after its owner fainted on the street and patiently waited outside a hospital’s treatment room. The incident took place in Daqing in Heilongjiang when the pet’s owner, who had been drinking the night before, suddenly fainted. Passersby immediately went to the woman’s aid, but her dog remained by her side, circling her like a gentle guard as people waited for the ambulance, according to ThePaper via South China Morning Post on Sunday. After the emergency response unit arrived, the dog immediately boarded the ambulance as it waited for its owner to be carried in. That’s when the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) figured out that the dog would never leave its owner’s side until she is back to normal. Instead of leaving the animal on the street, the EMTs let it be with its owner and ride the ambulance along with them. Upon arriving at Daqing People’s Hospital, the dog refused to leave as it patiently waited outside the treatment room. Hospital staff ultimately kept the dog in the building, with a security guard taking care of the canine while its owner recovers. “Normally it’s not allowed [for dogs to ride in ambulance],” nurse Yu Jingjing said. “But considering dog owners regard their pets as family members and the woman’s family or friends couldn’t be contacted, we didn’t have the heart to just leave it there.” Full article
  12. An ancient bronze statue of Buddha, stolen from an Indian museum 60 years ago is to be returned to the country after being spotted at a London antiques fair. The 12th-century bronze sculpture was one of 14 statues stolen in 1961 from the Archaeological Museum in Nalanda, eastern India. It was spotted at the trade fair in March after being sent there by a dealer on behalf of the owner. Neither was aware of its chequered history and have agreed for it to be returned to India. The statue was identified by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, an organisation which works to preserve cultural heritage, and the India Pride Project, which aims to recover stolen artefacts. Detective Constable Sophie Hayes, of the Metropolitan Police's Art and Antiques Unit, said: "We are delighted to be able to facilitate the return of this important piece of cultural heritage to India. "This case has been a true example of co-operation between law enforcement, the trade and scholars. Full article
  13. This is 26-year-old Parisa Pourtaherian. She's an Iranian photojournalist, who has covered international soccer matches in Germany, Sweden and Austria. At the beginning of the month, pictures of her doing her job went viral. The picture, which was taken by her colleague Abolfazl Amanollah, showed Pourtaherian getting a shot of an Iranian soccer team — from a rooftop outside the stadium. It was the first week of the Iranian league, Nassaji FC, and the team were playing ZobAhan FC of Isfahan. Pourtaherian's ingenuity was needed because since 1979 women have not been allowed inside Iran's soccer stadiums. This rule was briefly relaxed during the last World Cup when — eventually, and after some pressure from protesters outside the stadium — women were allowed inside the Azadi stadium to watch Iran's team play Spain on a giant TV screen. But that wasn't stopping Pourtaherian. Amanollah told BuzzFeed News that Pourtaherian had searched for hours to find a spot to work. "All of a sudden, her presence on top of that building caught everyone’s eyes including myself. We were all very happy and deeply excited to see such thing happen." Full article
  14. A job seeker has been sent a message rejecting her application because her name was allegedly ‘ghetto.’ Hermeisha Robinson, in, Missouri, USA, posted the insulting response to her application for a customer service representative role on social media on Monday. It has already gone viral, getting over 7,000 shares and 2,000 comments. The firm in question claim the response was the result of hackers to their computer system. The ‘discriminatory’ response came from a person claiming to be called ‘Jorden Kimler’ of company ‘Mantality Health’ in response to a posting on job site Indeed.com. It reads: ‘Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health. Unfortunately we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish the best in your career search.’ When she posted the message, Hermeisha said she was ‘very upset’ and her ‘feelings are very hurt.’ She also claimed the company ‘discriminated against me because of my name’ and said ‘discrimination has to stop.’ Her Facebook post said: ‘I have a public service announcement I am very upset because today I received an email about this job that I applied for as a customer service representative at Mantality Health I know I’m well qualified for the position as they seen on my resume! ‘They discriminated against me because of my name which they considered it to be ‘ghetto’ for their company! My feelings are very hurt and they even got me second guessing my name trying to figure out if my name is really that ‘ghetto’ I would like for everyone to share this post because discrimination has to stop!’ Jack Gamache, Clinic Director of the St Louis Mantality location, said: ‘Our Indeed account was hacked, that’s where everything was sent from. That’s all we can say right now because of the ongoing investigations.’ Full article
  15. Indonesian authorities are looking into a viral video that shows divers riding a whale shark, a species that is considered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as endangered. The 22-second clip, which was first posted on Twitter by rock band Slank frontman Akhadi “Kaka” Wira Satriaji, shows the divers touching and riding the endangered species as they swim together with the massive yet gentle animal, according to AsiaOne. “Someone informed me that the video [was taken] in Cenderawasih Bay [National Park],” Kaka wrote, tagging Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti. Pudjiastuti then replied to the tweet saying that the careless action is prohibited and that they would investigate the incident and try to identify the people doing “this shameful recreation.” Bakar echoed the same sentiments, telling Kompas that her office is now investigating the viral video and admitted they do not know the people in the clip. The national park, which is located in Nabire, Papua Province, Indonesia, also replied to Kaka’s post on Twitter stating that they always accompany visitors who want to interact with whale sharks in their natural habitat and brief them before diving. Full article
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