S Asia

Now, that’s spatial visualization! Indian barber cuts own hair with greatest of ease

I used to cut my own hair before becoming a big-shot RocketNews24 writer who can now go to the local value cuts for a 1,000 yen (US$9) cut every few months. I’m glad those days are behind me, though, because it was a royal pain.

Generally, I’m not a total klutz when it comes to working a pair of scissors. However, every time I got in front of the mirror and raised the blades to my hair, my coordination would suddenly devolve to that of a one-year-old who forgot which way up was.

I’m sure more experience working in a mirror would fix that, and with enough time I might even get as good as this guy from Kerala who is able to give himself a complete lightning-fast haircut. It’s all here in the video Kerala Got Talent; Indian Barbar Cutting His Own Hair recently posted on YouTube.

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Living tree bridges and other breathtaking scenery at the rainiest place on Earth

Now that we’re well into the sweltering, cicada-droning final days of summer in Japan, can you even remember what it felt like during the rainy season earlier this summer? If you complained nonstop about having to leave the house day after day with an umbrella in tow at the time, you may actually be thankful for those comparatively ‘dry’ rainy days after seeing these pictures from the rainiest place on Earth.

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Social experiment in India reveals smokers’ true feelings about their lethal habit

Cigarettes. They’re awful, stinking things that do nothing but make you want more and give you cancer. Yet millions of people continue to smoke, putting their lives even more at risk every time they light up.

But as this video from Indian youth entertainment channel YTV Network shows, when a kid approaches and asks for a cheeky cig, pretty much every smoker will refuse to give them one and immediately starts lecturing them about the dangers of smoking.

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A tree in India is bigger than the average Wal-Mart

It may sound hard to believe, but the world’s widest tree, located near Kolkata, India, is bigger than the average Wal-Mart.

The gigantic Banyan tree may look like a forest from far away, but it’s actually comprised of a myriad of aerial roots that cover 3.5 square acres of land, which equals roughly 156,000 square feet, or 14,400 square meters.

Compare that to data from the most recent unit count and square footage report from Wal-Mart, which says that the average store size (that’s not a Supercenter) is just under 105,000 square feet or 9,750 square meters.

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16 facts about India that will blow your mind

India is one of the world’s largest economies, and it has the second largest population. This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population. But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents. We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.
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Stunning murals bloom in an impoverished Indian school with the help of Japanese artists

Each year, volunteer artists from Japan travel to one of the poorest regions of India to share their talents with schoolchildren at the Niranjaya Public Welfare School. They join local artists at the annual Wall Art Festival to collaborate with the students on amazing works of temporary art in their school.

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Drone-delivered pizza in Mumbai sparks excitement, angers authorities

In theory it makes perfect sense: when you need to get something from A to B in a hurry and the roads are packed with cars, bikes and people, you fly over it. No traffic lights, no congestion, no fuss.

That’s precisely what Franceso’s Pizzeria, a restaurant in the Indian city of Mumbai, recently did. By strapping their pizza pie to a four-rotored drone about the size of a small coffee table, they were able to remotely pilot the food over the heads of pedestrians and traffic jams and get it to its destination 1.5 km away while still piping hot.

The authorities, however, were not quite as pleased about the stunt as netizens.

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20 signs you might be in India, according to the Internet

An Indian friend once told me that India is a country where “third world” and “first world” meet. You’ve got places that can generally be described by Westerners as “everyday,” and places that are a little more, er… interesting.

In many rural and poor areas – just like in parts of the U.S. – India sees a lot more jury rigging, improvisation, and otherwise unorthodox sights that are reminiscent of one of those “In Russia, hamburger eat you,” memes.

So, in no particular order, here are twenty photos we picked up on the Interwebs that supposedly describe India in a nutshell. Certainly, there’s a lot of cherry picking going on here, so take these pics with a grain of salt. Not all of India is like this. But, to be fair, “20 photos of regular Indian people enjoying brunch” would probably make for a much less interesting compilation.

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An Indian company is using a cartoon of the shooting of a 14-year-old girl to sell mattresses

In 2012, at the age of 14, a Taliban gunman climbed onto a bus Malala Yousafzai was riding in and shot her in the head. Though she nearly died in the attack, Yousafzai recovered, and courageously returned to advocating on behalf of girls’ education rights. She has become internationally famous for her activism in favor of allowing women the same educational opportunities as men, both in her native Pakistan and abroad.

Unfortunately, the Indian mattress company Kurl-on decided to use the shooting incident as fodder for one of its latest print ads.

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The Pissing Tanker: Fighting public urination in India one spray at a time【Video】

India has a public urination problem. And one vigilante group has taken matters into their own hands. Riding the streets of Mumbai on top of a bright orange tanker, masked members of activist group The Clean Indian patrol the city, giving anyone they find relieving themselves in an inappropriate place a public drenching with a water cannon.

In a video released by the group, who declare that the solution to public urination is public urination – “by the Pissing Tanker”, members of the public are seen laughing delightedly as the men get a shock soaking. It’s an extreme and apparently effective solution, but some have criticised the group, branding their actions too harsh, and accusing them of focusing on the perpetrators rather than the root problem.

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No chopping board? No problem! Genius device makes food prep a walk in the park, woods, hills…

One of the best things about camping is gathering around the fire at the end of the day to cook, eat and drink with friends and family. Free of the trappings of our modern life, we’re able to focus on the food, the nature around us, and – a something of a rarity in our paradoxically lonely social network-obsessed world – each other.

But cooking out in the wilderness can be a fiddly affair. With none of our modern kitchen appliances or shining stainless steel countertops on which to prepare meals, doing something as simple as chopping up an onion for the pot can be a real pain, least not for the poor soul who has to carry a wooden chopping board and knife in their backpack.

This genius device from India, however, does away with the need for a knife and chopping board altogether making campfire cooking an absolute breeze.

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UNICEF produces 4-minute-long song about poop【Video】

The newest song to hit India is about an unprecedented topic: poop. The song was written by Shri, celebrated composer of the promo song for Life of Pi, and the animated video features hordes of poo piles assailing horrified people holding their noses and running for their lives. Now why is UNICEF involved with something that sounds like the plot from a niche B-movie horror flick?

While most people in developed countries take it for granted that they can find a functioning bathroom anytime they need one, that is not true everywhere. In developing countries like India, sanitation has not always kept up with exploding populations. It’s estimated that half the country’s residents defecate in public, leading to a daily addition of 65 million kilograms (71,650 tons) of feces in public places. Almost none of the poorest 20% ever have access to toilets and have no choice but to defecate outdoors.

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Revisiting Songkran: the best water festival EVER!!!

From the ball drop in America, to the first shrine visit in Japan, each culture rings in the New Year in their own special way. Thailand’s Songkran, or commonly known as the water throwing festival, may be the most carefree and fun tradition though. RocketNews24 has brought you the story from last year’s festival, but we couldn’t resist sending a crew back this year. Click on through to see if they were able to avoid getting wet this year, and the plight of their electronic equipment!

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Meet Bluefin-21, the robot that’s searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines plane

Underwater operations company Phoenix International has a contract with the U.S. Navy to use a robot called Bluefin-21 to search the Indian Ocean for signs of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

The 21-foot-long robot is capable of staying submerged for 25 hours at a time, deploying its sensors to search and map 40 square miles of sea floor per day.

We spoke to David P. Kelly, President and CEO of Bluefin Robotics, the Massachusetts-based company which manufactures Bluefin-21, to learn more about it.

“It’s a 4,500-meter-rated vehicle, so it can descend to 2.5 miles underwater,” he told us. “Once it goes down, it ‘flies’ above the seabed and uses sonar acoustics to image the ocean floor. It also moves in a ‘mowing the lawn’ pattern, running in parallel lines that overlap and cover the entire bottom to form an image of the sea floor.”

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Bollywood-style commercial for snack company goes viral in Japan

The latest commercial making a splash in Japan involves the unlikely combination of Bollywood and a Japanese snack! A young boy who recently participated on India’s Got Talent advertises curry-flavored rice crackers while showcasing his incredible dancing skills despite being adorably plump. Just a word of caution: after watching this video, you may be tempted to get up and start dancing!

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Here’s a satellite photo of debris that could be from the missing plane

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says satellite photos taken over the Indian Ocean may show parts of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The plane has been missing for 12 days and it had 239 people on board. There are numerous theories about what happened to it.

The satellite photos show two objects located about 1,400 miles off the coast of Perth, Australia. The larger object appears to be 75 feet across.

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Here’s what pilots think about the new idea that the missing plane flew for hours after a fire killed the pilots

It’s been a week and a half since Malaysia 370 disappeared, and the theory du jour comes from a former pilot.

In a Google+ post, Chris Goodfellow argued that smoke filled the cockpit, maybe from a burning tire on the front landing gear.

The pilots turned the plane toward an airport that could handle the 777, turned off the transponder along with other electronics in an effort to isolate the source of the fire, and were then overcome by smoke, he theorized.

The plane’s autopilot kept the course until it ran out of fuel and crashed hours later.

Goodfellow’s theory is appealing, we noted, because it fits the facts we have on MH370. It impressed The Atlantic’s James Fallows, himself a pilot: “His explanation makes better sense than anything else I’ve heard so far … It’s one of the few that make me think, Yes, I could see things happening that way.”

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What pilots think about the crazy new theory that the missing Malaysia jet used another jet to hide

Not surprisingly, the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 with 239 people on board more than a week ago has led some people to come up with very interesting theories about what might have happened.

On his Tumblr, self-identified hobby pilot and aviation enthusiast Keith Ledgerwood put forward the most elaborate and interesting suggestion we’ve heard yet.

He argues the 777 could have flown over India and Pakistan, avoiding military radar detection by turning off its communications systems and following a Singapore Airlines 777 so closely the two aircraft “would have shown up as one single blip on the radar.”

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The best night views in the Maldives are on its magical shores

The Maldives has always been a popular honeymoon destination, known for its crystal clear waters, gorgeous beaches and glamorous, resort-style accommodation. As if the area wasn’t romantic enough, at night there’s a breathtaking natural phenomenon that transforms its shores into glimmering waves of iridescent blue. One visitor who stumbled on the unbelievable sight likened it to the starry night skies of the Milky Way and took to the internet to find out the cause of the mysterious occurrence.

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21 breathtaking photos of Asia

We here at RocketNews24 know there’s a lot to love about Asia. With unique traditions, fascinating people and awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s a certain atmosphere and sense of beauty that has us hooked.

While it’s not always easy to translate the magic onto film, one photographer from Thailand is leading the way with an amazing collection of stunning photos and an open invitation for others to join him on his photo travels across the Asian continent. From Myanmar’s mist-shrouded temples to the quiet rivers of China and India, these photos will simply take your breath away.

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