Children born with facial deformities are always a sad tale. Whether or not it’s something correctable, such as a cleft palate, or something you just have to live with, like Moebius syndrome, it’s always gut-wrenching that a poor child has to suffer such a condition. One such example is Kangkang, a 14-month old born with a transverse facial cleft. What does this mean?

It means the baby essentially has a second face. Hailing from the Hunan province, all signs pointed to a normal, healthy baby for young Yi Xilian, but once Kangkang was born, the truth was revealed. The poor child looks like he’s literally wearing a mask, due in part to a massive cleft that extends almost all the way up to his ears. Unable to see her son upon birth, the unfortunate mother, who is employed at a company that manufactures electronics in the Guangdong Province, pleaded and pleaded with her husband to see the newborn. After finally be handed the child, she broke down into tears.


No one knows what causes this unfortunate condition, though theories abound. It could be caused by an infection, or even frequent drug use by the mother. According to one source, the only drugs the mother took while pregnant were prescribed anti-abortion agents her doctors prescribed. Sadly, this condition is incredibly expensive to treat, as Yi learned when she took Kangkang at 20-days old to a hospital in Changsha. The final tally: around 300-400,000 Yen, or approximately 80,000 to 100,000 dollars.


Thankfully, there is a happy ending, as Kangkang’s family has managed to gather together enough money for treatment at the People’s Liberation Army’s Military No. 163 Hospital.

weirdasianews.com
Twirling your pasta around a fork is an artform. Some people twirl it on the side of the bowl, other use spoons and people who are lazy and unimaginative cut their pasta up. And now, from Japan, a new option.



This crazy fork has a "thumb" of sorts to snag your past and keep it from falling off. It also has some bumps on the other side of unclear utility. Also, did I mention that two of these forks will set you back $44? Yes, that is a $22 pasta fork you're looking at.

Buy at Japan Trend Shop

gizmodo.com
New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year.

2. Fit in Fitness
The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better.

3. Tame the Bulge
Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year's commitment to shed extra pounds.

4. Quit Smoking
If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life!

5. Enjoy Life More
Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that "enjoying life more" has become a popular resolution in recent years. It's an important step to a happier and healthier you!

6. Quit Drinking
While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available.

7. Get Out of Debt
Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions of Americans who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It's a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead.

8. Learn Something New
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year's resolutions to keep.

9. Help Others
A popular, non-selfish New Year's resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help.

10. Get Organized
On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it.

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Most of you are familiar with American, Canadian and English Christmas customs, which are largely the same, including Santa bringing presents that sit below a lit up tree. But have you ever wondered just how Christmas is celebrated in China, or in Finland? Whether you’re just interested in learning more about other cultures or want to incorporate some new traditions into your holiday celebrations, this article is filled with all you need to know about international Christmases.

Greece:
Saint Nicholas is one of the most popular saints in Greece because he is the patron saint of sailors. For this reason, their Saint Nicholas is hardly the fur-wearing man celebrated by other cultures. Instead, he is depicted as being soaked with seawater and sweaty from working too hard to save ships.

Like France, Christmas trees never really caught on here. Instead, residents will fill a shallow bowl with water and then tie wire with a wooden cross and a sprig of basil over the bowl. Once a day the cross and basil are dipped into holy water, which is then sprinkled through the house. This ceremony is used to keep out goblins, known as Killikantzaroi out of the house. These mischievous goblins that come from the center of the earth only appear during the twelve days of Christmas. While bratty, they’re not really evil and tend to do bratty things like souring milk and extinguishing fires. Because they are said to enter the house through the fireplace, fires are left burning all day and night during this time of year.

Iceland:
Icelandic children were once told to behave or they would be eaten by a pair of ogres that lived up in the hills. The characters were considered to be so terrifying that a public decree banned the use of these stories to scare children into behaving. Instead of talking about the ogre couple, parents instead started telling stories of the ogre’s children, the Jolasveinar, who are bad, but not nearly as evil as their parents.

Jolasveinars were originally said to play tricks on people and steal food, but now they are responsible for giving gifts to children. Bad children don’t get presents though, they get potatoes or other items that remind them that they weren’t forgotten, but don’t deserve real presents.

Italy:
In Italy, there is no Santa, but instead there a woman called a Befana that performs the general duties of Saint Nick. The story is that the three wise men stopped during their travels and asked a woman for food and shelter. She said no, but later realized her mistake when it was too late. She now travels the earth looking for the baby Jesus and on Januaray 6th, she leaves kids a sock filled with candy or a lump of coal.

Japan:
While most Japanese residents are not Christian, the majority of people still celebrate Christmas just for the fun of it. Unsurprisingly, the rituals are slightly different than those we are used to. Because KFC has marketed the idea that fried chicken is the traditional meal for the holidays, the restaurants are so busy on Christmas Day that reservations are required.

Most of the holiday celebrations revolve around romantic love more than family relationships and bakeries even sell cakes for sweethearts.

Children still have a Santa figure though, only in this case, he is a traditional Japanese god who is known for his generosity. Hoteiosho is a heavy-set Buddhist priest who carries a large sack of presents. Children know they have to be good because Hoteiosho has eyes in the back of his head.

Netherlands:
The Netherland’s Christmas traditions are subject to a lot of controversy as their version of Santa, Sinterklaas, is accompanied by a one-time slave known as Black Peter. These days, the Dutch try to play down the racism of the matter by claiming that Black Peter’s cartoonish appearance is a result of his going down dirty chimneys all the time and he’s no longer referred to as a slave, but a “helper.”

The naughty man in blackface is a mischievous character who may kidnap naughty children and whisk them away to his home in Spain.

Norway:
Norwegian folklore says that Christmas Eve is kind of like Halloween and brings about a number of evil spirits and witches. The brooms of the houses are hidden to keep them away from witches and men will often go outside and shoot their guns to ward off evil spirits.

Pagan winter celebrations used to revolve around Thor’s pet goat and a person would arrive at the parties wearing a goatskin and carrying a goat head. He would eventually fake his death and then return to life. As Christianity started to take over the area, the goat was recast as a form of the devil and he was eventually banned. Since then, the goat character was morphed into Julebukk, a “yule goat.” The new story of the goat involved him traveling from door to door where he would get gifts for keeping the evil spirits away. Nowadays, kids dress up and play the role of the Julebukk, where they get treats as they visit the houses.

Slavic Europe:
Most Slavic countries don’t rely on Saint Nick for presents, but instead count on Ded Moroz, which translates to “Grandfather Frost”. He’s a magical character who delivers presents on New Year’s Eve. He was banned at the start of the Communist Revolution, but because he wasn’t officially a Christmas character, Stalin allowed him to come back, only he was required to wear blue so he wouldn’t be confused with Santa Claus. In modern times, this ruling has been reversed and he can wear any color he wants.
Spain:

Spain’s celebrations vary greatly depending on the region. In the Basque regions, the Santa role is filled by Olentzero, a fat man in a beret who smokes a pipe. He used to be an enforcer against naughty children who was said to throw a sickle down the chimney to cut the throats of kids who didn’t sleep. Nowadays though, he is a positive character like Santa that only brings good presents.

In the Catalan region, families “feed” a little log called a “Caga tio” every night from the 8th to the 23rd. On Christmas Eve, the family hits the log with a stick to release sweet treats that have been hidden in his hollow center. If you hadn’t guessed yet, “Caga tio” translates to “pooping log.” The celebration ends when the log poops out something decidedly not sweet, usually a dried herring, an onion or a head of garlic.

Catalans must enjoy poop jokes because aside from their pooping log, they also celebrate with a “Caganer,” a nativity scene character that is seen to be pooping in the corner of the scene.

Ukraine:
While the story about German families hiding a pickle ornament on their tree is false, Ukrainians actually do hide a spider web ornament on their tree and it is supposed to be good luck for the person who finds it. The story behind the tradition is that an old widow had no money to decorate her tree and went to bed upset that her children would have an undecorated tree the next day. While she was asleep, a spider decorated the tree with a beautiful web. When the first light of day hit the webs, they turned to silver and gold and the widow and her children never went longing again.

Venezuela:
Venezuelans celebrate Christmas similar to many other cultures, in that they generally go to mass early on Christmas Day. The difference is that Venezuelans go to church in roller skates. In the capital, Caracas, streets are even closed off to traffic in order to keep the skaters safe. On Christmas Eve, children tie strings to their toes and let them dangle into the street, where they are tugged on by skaters as they go by. It’s certainly a different way to wake up on Christmas morning.

Remember that in all countries, celebrations and traditions can vary greatly by region, so if you have lived in any of these countries and not experienced a tradition named on this list, it may just be experienced elsewhere.

All Christmas Celebrations Around The World You Need To Know (part 1)

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Most of you are familiar with American, Canadian and English Christmas customs, which are largely the same, including Santa bringing presents that sit below a lit up tree. But have you ever wondered just how Christmas is celebrated in China, or in Finland? Whether you’re just interested in learning more about other cultures or want to incorporate some new traditions into your holiday celebrations, this article is filled with all you need to know about international Christmases.

Austria:
Austrian children still get to celebrate the arrival of Ol’ Saint Nick, but they also have to brace themselves for the arrival of his evil counterpart, Krampus. Where Saint Nicholas rewards good behavior with treats and toys on December 6, the demonic Krampus arrives on December 5, looking to punish all the bad children. His weapons of choice are birch switches to beat children with and burlap sacks to kidnap them and throw them into the river.

The worst part is that local men actually dress up like Krampus (just like many men dress up as Santa in America) and terrorize the streets. In some villages, kids are even made to run what is known as a Krampus-gauntlet, in an attempt to outrun the switches.

Czechoslovakia:
The Czechoslovakian version of Saint Nick is known as Svaty Mikalas, who is said to climb down to Earth from the heavens using a golden rope. Mikalas is accompanied by an angel and a devil who help him decide which girls and boys deserve treats and toys, and which ones deserve a swatch.

There are a lot of fortune-telling traditions that are associated with Christmas as well. One involves a family member cutting a branch from a cherry tree and putting it inside in water. If it blooms in time for Christmas it is good luck. It also may represent that the winter will be short, or if a single woman picked the branch, it could mean she will get married in the next year.

On Christmas Eve, single woman also try to see if they will get married in the next year by standing outside with their back to their front door, removing one of their shoes and throwing it over their shoulder. If the shoe lands with the toe facing the door, then she will marry in the next year. If not, she will have to wait at least another 12 months.

Finland:
Finnish people honor their departed loved ones on Christmas Eve by visiting the cemeteries and leaving candles on the graves of their family members. If they live too far away to visit their loved one’s graves, most graveyards have an area you can light a candle to remember those buried in other cemeteries. The soft snow and gentle glow of the candles make graveyards a very beautiful place to visit on Christmas Eve.

France:
Children of East France have an evil visitor, similar to Krampus, to keep them behaving all year long. Le Pere Fouettard, which translates into “The Whipping Father,” accompanies Saint Nicolas in on December 6. While St. Nick gives good children presents, Le Pere Fouettard gives coal and whippings to the naughty children. One of the most popular origin stories of the character say that he was a greedy inn keeper who killed three rich boys on their way to boarding school. In many versions of the story, he even eats the children. Whether or not he cannibalizes the boys, the story ends when Saint Nick finds out and resurrects the children and forces Le Pere Fouettard to act as his servant throughout time.

Aside from The Whipping Father, another popular French tradition involves making a cake that looks like a traditional Yule log, known as buche de Noel. Christmas trees never really caught on in the country and while most people don’t have any use for an actual Yule log, the cake is a fun and festive substitute. Some of the buche de Nol can get fairly elaborate and even involve meringue mushrooms and edible flower decorations.

Germany:
Belsnickel is the German Santa’s dark enforcer, but he’s not nearly as evil as Krumpus or The Whipping Father. Instead he just wears fur from head to toe and gives good girls and boys candy and bad children coal and switches.

Many are decorated with a wreath known as an “Adventskranz.” These wreaths have four candles which serve as a sort of weekly advent calendar, as each Sunday marks the opportunity to light a new candle.

On December 21, St. Thomas Day is believed to be the shortest day of the year and anyone who arrives late to work is called a “Thomas Donkey.” They are also given a cardboard donkey and made fun of throughout the rest of the day.

Like many places in Europe, the Christmas tree is kept secret from the children until Christmas Eve. The parents bring the tree in, decorate it with candies, tinsel, lights and toys, put presents and plates of candy treats under the tree and then ring a bell signaling that the children can enter. The children then get to eat snacks and the whole family opens presents.

All Christmas Celebrations Around The World You Need To Know (part 2)


neatorama.com

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KARACHI: A group of students set a new Guinness World of Records by accommodating 19 girls in a Smart Car.

This historic event took place at DHA Creek Club, Karachi in front of a Jury and reported worldwide Wednesday in the presence of Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khoro who was chief guest on the occasion and Wasim Akram former Pakistan Cricket captain.

Aymen Saleem Yousuf who is the leader of the team squeezed into a standard Smart Car to smash the record ealier set by the Climb Fit Team of Australia when 18 students compressed into a standard Smart Car at Sydney Australia on January 25, 2010.

The jury comprised of Nisar Ahmed Khoro, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig Advisor to Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sharmila Farooqui Advisor to CM Sindh on Information, former Pakistan cricket captain Waseem Akram, former hockey captain and olympian Islahuddin and Ishtiaq Baig Hon. Consul General of Morocco.


allvoices.com

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The child eats 10,000 calories a day, she cannot walk or bear physical strain and his cardiovascular system is at risk.

Seven-year-old Jessica Gaude differs greatly from her pals. With 222 kilograms, she is the fattest child in the world.

She eats 10,000 calories each day in Coca-Colas, 15 hamburgers with fries and several kilograms of chocolate. What she eats in one day some children eat in half a year. Her breakfast consists of white bread, potato chips and two litres of coke. And she wants more.

When she last visited the doctor four years ago she had 110 kilograms. Unfortunately, she can no longer run and instead of walking she drags herself on the floor. Under such bodily weight her bones have already become distorted.

Mother Carolyn gives her daughter whatever the child wants. In the first week after she was born, when the baby cried because of stomach pains, the mother calmed her by feeding her with a bottle because she thought the child was hungry. “I gave her the bottle and she wanted more and more. It was not enough for her and she was constantly hungry”, Jessica’s mother says.

The doctors warn that the child’s health is already dangerously at risk and could die if not treated.

Unfortulately, Jessica’s mother does not understand medicine, her child is prescious to her and continues to feed her sweets.

Thankfully, child protective services took this kid away and forced her to lose weight to not die at a fat camp.

Jessica lost 300 pounds WITHOUT surgery, but still struggles with a clear addiction to food, lying in her bed, yelling about peanut butter and such.

VIDEO: Jessica - WAS Worlds Fattest Child

fun-on.com

1. Totally embarrass yourself.
After the publication of my book Reviving Ophelia, in 1994, I was invited to a prestigious party. I got all dressed up; I was so excited to make connections. I had a wonderful time and was elated as I was walking back to my car. Well, that is, until I felt something on the back of my skirt. While I had gotten dressed for the function, I had apparently sat on a stack of clean laundry, and a pair of underwear had affixed itself. I had spent the entire night that way! I was mortified, but at the end of the day, it just didn’t matter. I went to other similar events after that, and as far as I could tell, that incident didn’t change people’s impression of me one little bit.

I tend to think that we are all always one static-cling mishap away from looking like a total idiot—and believing that helps me keep gaffes in perspective. And, of course, these grand embarrassments eventually loosen their grip anyway, leaving you with an ace-in-the-hole story to crack up your friends with for years to come.

Mary Pipher, Ph.D., has been a psychotherapist for more than 30 years. Her latest book is Seeking Peace ($16, amazon.com).

2. Ruffle people’s feathers.
Years ago, when I began working at a business school, I sat in meetings quietly, afraid I would say the wrong thing. Some people spoke up and were scoffed at. I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I held my tongue. I soon realized that my silence implied that I was on board with whatever was being said. I started voicing my opinion, even on controversial subjects, regardless of how my comments would be received. Occasionally colleagues would roll their eyes, but I found that even those who disagreed with me came to respect me for not backing down. Sometimes my ideas will make me unpopular, sure, but that’s better than being a blank slate.

Mary C. Gentile, Ph.D., is a senior research scholar in business management at Babson College, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She is the author of Giving Voice to Values ($26, amazon.com).


3. Follow trends blindly.
Looking back on my life, I find it hard to think of a fad I did not embrace. When glam rock glittered, I bleached my hair and wore a dangly earring. When punk rock raged, I donned black leather. Not until my 50s did I find my look—I call it Carnaby Street mod circa 1966—which allowed me to hop off the trend merry-go-round. But I am grateful for this process: It took a fashion odyssey to help me find out who I really am.

Simon Doonan has been the creative director of Barneys New York since 1986. He is the author of Eccentric Glamour ($15, amazon.com).

4. Be willing to fail—doing something you love.
In 1997 I had just graduated from law school (with tons of student-loan debt) and was interviewing for high-paying positions at big firms. The problem was, my heart wasn’t in it. So I took myself out of the running in order to build a small Internet publishing company with a friend. After a year of barely staying afloat, our venture went the way of a 404 ERROR message. I was broke and unemployed, and Sallie Mae was hot on my tail. I wondered what endeavor I should try next.

It sounds crazy, but once again I decided to throw caution to the wind and just do what I wanted. I began working as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the next few years, I held a wide array of fascinating jobs that I took because they captured my imagination: serving in the military, reporting from Iraq for the Washington Post, and, most recently, becoming a full-time author. Some might consider me flighty for changing careers so often, but I contend that the key to professional happiness is asking yourself two simple questions every single day: Are you passionate about what you do? And if not, what are you going to do instead?

Bill Murphy Jr. is the author of The Intelligent Entrepreneur ($27.50, amazon.com).

5. Carelessly put yourself at risk.
I’m a terrible skier, and I’m not being hard on myself when I say that. Small children and monkeys are more coordinated than I am. So it was with unbridled terror that I once found myself alone on a black-diamond ski trail in the middle of a blizzard. (Long story.) With nobody to carry me down, I didn’t have a lot of options. So I wept—and had a fairly supplicating talk with God about my imminent death. (I believe I made a series of promises involving church attendance, reduced alcohol intake, and forgoing swearing.) And, finally, I skied—slowly, with zero elegance, and whimpering like an infant the entire time—down the mountain. It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.

The point being, sometimes you have to get in over your head to realize that you’re not really in over your head at all. Two years ago, I got a job that I desperately wanted but had no idea how to do. So I took it, endured several panic attacks, and eventually learned the ropes. My choices were either figure it out or get fired. The bottom line: Most of the time, a high-risk situation won’t kill you, because you are stronger than you think. And it’s never a bad thing to be reminded of that.

Amy Ozols is a cultural commentator and writer for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

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Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day