Viking Chess: A Simple Outdoor Family Game With Interesting History

Legend has it that “viking chess,” or Kubb (Swedish for wooden blocks), is a 1,000-year-old game originally played with leftover firewood bits or the bones of viking enemies. It could also be of French origin. Or it could just be a few decades old.
Either way, the game is popular in Sweden and the world over and easy to add to your family hiking or camping outings. You just need a few sticks and knowledge of the basic rules.
Sticks and Dirt
For a game of improvised viking chess you need a minimum of two players and a collection of 12 tall sticks, about 10 inches (30 centimeters) each.
Draw up a 15-by-25-foot field (about 5 by 8 meters) in the dirt or otherwise mark your field. Drill one stick in the earth right in the middle (known as the king). Break five sticks in half so you can draw two lines of soldiers (kubbs) spaced evenly in a line at the far sides of the field. Take six sticks (batons) per team to throw at the soldiers.
Watch this video, by Franziska Casanova, to learn the rules:

Kubb playing pieces: field markers, kubbs, the king and batons. (Serych via Wikimedia Commons)

Mutant Superpowers Not a Myth; You Won’t Believe What These Real Life Humans Can Do

Natasha Demkina, Superpower: X-Ray Vision

Like all humans, Natasha has what we call ‘normal vision’ – that is, she is able to see with her physical eyes the materialism of the objects around us.
However, Natasha allegedly has use another type of vision, which she calls her ‘medical vision’.
When she switches on medical vision, Natasha is able to see within the human body and see with clarity human organs, the circulation of blood, and even structures at an atomic level.
Natasha has purportedly had this ability since the age of 10, when she claimed to have seen the condition of her mothers organs, and has been making accurate medical readings ever since.
She has claimed to successfully detect cysts, ulcers, and cancers in numerous patients asking for health checks.
Though she has been brought in by skeptics numerous times for testing, the science behind her ability has never been solved. She has purportedly failed some tests of her abilities, however.

Tim Cridland, Superpower: Pain-Free Human

Nicknamed Zamora the Tortune King, you’d have a tall task if you were asked to torture him.
Cridland has tried eating fire, electrocuting himself, and skewering himself, all without so much as a wince.
He has even been driven over by a carwhilst laying on a bed of nails (below).

Garry Turner, Superpower: Rubber Human

The name of Turner’s medical condition is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome — a connective tissue disorder.
Because of this, Turner has the Guinness World Record as the stretchiest human in the world.
If you want to see him turn his belly into a table capable of holding three pints of beer, check out the video below.

Liew Thow Lin, Superpower: Magnetic Man

Liew Thow Lin of Malaysia is able to make metal objects weighing up to 2kg, and to a total of 36kg, stick to his body.
In the last clip of the above video, we see Lin pulling a car with his ability.
Though no magnetic field was detected in Lin’s body during scientific testing, his skin was determined to have very high levels of friction, producing a “suction effect“.

Wim Hof, Superpower: Ice Man

The Netherlander is the holder of 20 world records, including the record for the longest ice bath by having submerged himself in ice for 1 hour 52 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Hof holds many other otherworldly feats.
In 2007, he climbed Mount Everest to a height of 24,000 ft wearing just a pair of shorts.
In 2009, again just shorts, he completed a full marathon above the polar circle in Finland. His finishing time was 5 hours and 25 minutes.
Interestingly, Hof attributes his feats to a mental, rather than physical aspect.
Accordingly, there is now a Wim Hof method for sale: “a 10 week online course that will show you how boost your immune system, increase your energy levels, and turbo charge your health and fitness.”

Sulbin, Superpower: Aquaman

Watch Sulbin, a Bajau fisherman, dive 20 meters underwater.
Despite extreme pressure at these depths, he is able to catch a fish and return to the surface in 2 and half minutes — all done in one breath.

Michael Lolito, Superpower: The Ability to Eat Everything

Lolito most certainly does not have a normal appetite, as he has the ability to eat metals, glass, and even toxin.
He has taken apart and eaten bicycles, television sets, and shopping carts.
But perhaps his most impressive feat, Lolito has taken apart and eaten a Cessna 150 Airplane, a meal that took him two years.
As far as the science behind his unusual abilities, scientists have discovered that his stomach lining is twice as thick as normal, though they aren’t sure why.
As a performer, Lolito’s stage nickname was Monsieur Mangetout(“Mister Eats All”).

Woman Writes With Hands and Feet Simultaneously (Video)

Not long ago Chen Siyuan made headlines for her ability to write with both hands at the same time, penning a different language with each.
Recently, she appears to have expanded her abilities and now simultaneously writes with both her hands and her feet.
Her preferred subject matter is Chinese poetry, which she pens in both Chinese and Roman characters.
As if that isn’t remarkable enough, each appendage transcribes a different literary selection.
According to Chen, the process is quite mentally exhausting as it requires a significantly higher degree of focus than typical single-handed, single-subject writing.
She’s committed to further developing her ability and exploring its full potential in hopes of helping others in both their daily lives and loftier pursuits.
Chen said, “Maybe it can bring some new results in education and scientific research. I think this is very meaningful.”
She first started to share her unique skill among those living in her town of Handan, which is located in China’s Hebei province.
Chen says she discovered her talent while trying to finish the loads of English homework she’d been assigned at school.

Rare Interaction With Amazon Tribe (Video)

It’s an almost unheard-of encounter – caught on video. A group of “uncontacted” indigenous people came out of the Brazilian-Peruvian forest along the Amazon river and entering a nearby modern community.
That video shows a translator communicating with the young men and giving bananas as gifts.
It’s estimated about 77 isolated tribes willingly live in deep within the Brazilian Amazon – the most in the world, according to Survival International. These indigenous are typically very healthy – never having been exposed to modern day ailments. They live off the land – hunting and picking fruit.
And the tribes and supporting organizations take special steps to keep it that way. So, what brought this rare meeting? According to a translator, it was an effort to gain safety from drug traffickers and illegal loggers.
The tribe described an attack during the exchange, according to LiveScience.
“The majority of old people were massacred by non-Indians in Peru, who shot at them with firearms and set fire to the houses of the uncontacted,” LiveScience reported. “They say that many old people died, and that they buried three people in one grave. They say that so many people died that they couldn’tbury them all and their corpses were eaten by vultures.”
Researchers suspect the main reason for the encounter was to find weapons and allies to help to fight off modern day people who they’re surely outgunned by. And unfortunately, as the Telegraph explains, violent attacks are just one of many worrisome issues facing the indigenous. Because they have never been exposed there immune systems aren’t equipped to deal with what the modern world would think of as common illness.
So, if one person catches such an illness then goes home to their tribe, not only can that person die but the spreading illness could kill off the entire tribe.
“This is extremely worrying and it seems that neither government is fully prepared for this type of contact. … Much more needs to be done to train people … because I think it’s going to happen more and more.”
However, in a report released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights the group made recommendations to help indigenous people keep their desired isolation.
Some of those recommendations include implementing a health protocol to deal with infected peoples and creating legislation that would keep indigenous territories and its resources unharmed.
There’s been no word on what actions the Peruvian government might take, but Brazil has reportedly flown in emergency medical aid. Shortly after the video was taken, the indigenous people retreated back into the forest.

Top 5 Highest Paid Actresses of 2014 (Video)

Forbes released the highest earning actresses in Hollywood and we’re counting down who made it into the top five spots on the list.
Nominated at number five with $18 million we actually have a tie between Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz.
And number four is Gwyneth Paltrow, with an estimated $19 million. The 41-year-old made her fortune thanks to her role in Iron Man 3, endorsement deals for Max Factor and Hugo Boss.
Jennifer Aniston is at number 3 with $31 million.
Number two is Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. At just 23 years old, The Hunger Games star took in $34 million.
On top of this year’s list with $51 million is Sandra Bullock.

Zoo Animals Enjoy Bubble Baths, Toys and Cologne (Video)

From bubble baths to soothing music to a spritz of their favorite cologne.
“Our male jaguar really likes Obsession for men. We tried Obsession for women, he wasn’t interested in that.”
Zoo animals appear to have gotten a taste for the exotic.
“We don’t know what they are going to react to so we try all sorts of different scents and different spices, even with toys we try all sorts of different toys.”
Across the country, zoos are finding creative ways to engage the animals and spice up their environments. At the Milwaukee County Zoo that includes a Mrs. Potato Head for Ethel, who’s all arms.
“She has to kind of work for her food and that’s another great way to stimulate animals in a zoo facility.”
Some days they like some scents more than others. When zookeepers spread elephant dung and sprayed old spice, they stopped briefly by the dung. But B’alam and Zean loved the lemongrass on the log.
But it’s the bubble baths that have been a big hit for the hyenas.
“We are trying to get them to breed. Hyenas are extremely hard to breed in captivity. It doesn’t happen all that often. So any kind of anything we can try to encourage the natural behaviors.”

Hyperrealistic Painting of Gandalf Shown in 1 Minute: Time-Lapse Video

Here’s a look at a time-lapse video showing hyperrealistic speed painting of Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings.
The portrait was painted by Pol Art and posted on his Youtube page on August 10, 2014. Over 100 hours of work is compressed this one minute time-lapse. The painting was created using pastel chalk and a MDF art panel.
Pol Art seems to be the account belonging to a tattoo artist who describes himself on Twitter as: “Tattooist, painter, and graffiti artist, currently working in [Jerez de la Frontera,] Cadiz, Spain.”
Gandalf will return to the big screen on December 17, 2014 when the last in The Hobbit trilogy will be released nationwide. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies carries on from the “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy which was also written by J. R. R. Tolkien and directed by Peter Jackson.
Warner Bros. Pictures recently released the teaser trailer for the film at the San Diego Comic Con.

Baby Elephant Rescued After Wandering Away From Family (Video)

This is Ndotto, a new born elephant so young he thought a herd of cows were his family. Rescued from the remote Ndoto Mountains in northern Kenya on Thursday 7th August, the tiny new born and his herd had become entangled in a group of livestock belonging to Samburu community which caused the herd to panic.
Left behind, the youngster (who was just hours old) followed the herders and cows home thinking they were his family and too young to know anything different.
With a fresh umbilical cord and ears still pink and having not yet mastered how to walk, the Samburu community who he accompanied cared for him overnight and the following morning set off on a 24 hour journey by foot down the mountainside to find help.
Due to the remoteness of the location, a helicopter was chartered -– the only means possible to get the baby elephant to the safe haven of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant nursery (DSWT) which specializes in caring for orphaned baby elephants.
“As just one of four special elephant orphans that have ever been transported by helicopter directly to the DSWT’s nursery, upon arrival he was carried off the aircraft. At no more than 50Kg, the Keepers could easily carry him in their outstretched arms before they laid him in blankets in the stockades providing special formula milk and a glucose drip,” says Rob Brandford, director at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Named “Ndotto” after the place of his rescue, as a new born, he will be given elephant plasma which is vital to trigger his immune system, especially if he had not had a chance to ingest his mother’s milk.
Rob Brandford also says, “Unfortunately, whilst he was cared for by Samburu community, he was fed cow’s milk –- potentially life threatening for elephants who cannot tolerate this type of milk. We’ll do all we can to remedy any side effects and be by his side all the way through the weeks, months and hopefully years to come.”
A rescue mission like this is a huge financial cost and until his reintegration little Ndotto will require full time care and support.