S Asia

‘Cows can marry’ and other fascinating bovine facts from India

You’ve heard about India’s sacred cow, the Mother of Civilization, a gift from God that has become a part of Indian iconography, religion and culture. The cow protection movement began in 1882, and ended the slaughter of the animals in what was then British India. The cow is revered because it is unique in that it offers five products to humans — milk, curds, ghee butter, urine and dung — all of which are useful to everyday life in India. In addition, the beast of burden has traditionally been used to help plow the fields and pull carts for transportation. If you’re one of those people who likes to dress up your dog, or cat, or buy them their own kotatsu, then we can only imagine what you’d do for a pet cow if you had one! You’ll have no problem understanding the high regard Indians place on the gentle bovines.

Because we at RocketNews24 love all animals, cows included (although some of us delight in their taste while others of us would rather give cow cuddles), we can totally understand the pampering, dressing up, and general all-round generosity the Indians heap upon their beloved cows. We just hope cats don’t catch on to any of this.

Just how far will Indians go to pamper their bovine friends? Glad you asked! Our bovine journalist is about to reveal some fascinating facts about cows in India.

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Five haunted places in India, as told by a local

For decades people have been trying to determine the existence of the supernatural. While science is inclined towards denying the actuality of subjects such as ghosts, psychic powers or celestial beings, I was taught at a young age that it’s better to believe in them than to not. After all, it’s undeniable that there have been spine-tingling events that science has yet to explain even to this today.

If your New Year’s resolution is to certify the existence or inexistence of supernatural spookies, to lead an exciting spook-busting lifestyle like Scooby-Doo and friends, or more simply, to visit an exotic Asian country, this list of haunted locations in India might just be the thing to get your plans started.

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10 things we love about living in Asia

If you have friends who moved to Asia and you can’t figure out why, this article is for you. If you’re the one who moved to an Asian country and you have a hard time explaining why to people back home, then this article is for you too. If you’ve visited Asia and absolutely loved it, then we think we know why, so please read on. And lastly, if you’ve never visited Asia, then you should read this article to find out why you should get your butt over here without delay!

A little while back, we listed 10 things we love about Japan. But we realized that many Asian countries have similar awesome traits. So today, we’re going to expand our love and share 10 things we absolutely adore about Asia!

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Indian man still insists on driving backwards at full speed after eleven years

There’s a particular type of male who when in possession of a vehicle strives to make it the most outstanding machine on the road for better or for worse. This generally involves painting obnoxiously loud colors onto their cars, which have been fitted with even more obnoxiously loud speakers. The result is a visual and audible horror show only appreciated by those with a similar mindset.

And then we have Harpeet Devi of India who has reached new heights of annoying car customization. He had his transmission customized to have four speeds in reverse and only one speed forward so he can drive backwards everywhere he goes.

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“Um, please don’t cremate me. I’m still alive.” Old man wakes up in the middle of his own funeral

Could it be another Christmas miracle? Black magic? Perhaps a work of “edotensei” reincarnation as seen in Naruto? Maybe it was just malpractice by the doctor. Whatever happened, one Indian man recently woke up from a deep slumber just moments before his cremation after his family thought he had died.

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Monkey pulls electrocuted buddy from train tracks, revives him as onlookers cheer【Video】

Tales of animals exhibiting unusual behaviour are too often the result of being kept in unnatural conditions in captivity – like that poor “headbanging” bear that was doing the rounds last summer. So we’re pleased to bring you today an interesting video of an animal being a total badass hero and rescuing his friend from a dangerous situation.

After a monkey was electrocuted and fell onto train tracks at a railway station in Northern India, another monkey spent 20 minutes resuscitating him, to the delight of cheering onlookers.

Join us after the jump for video of the dramatic rescue.

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Enter the double! This is “Afghan Bruce Lee”, and he’s a high-kicking sensation【Pictures】

A 20-year-old Afghan man is being described as “the reincarnation of Bruce Lee” after photos and videos of him striking iconic poses and wielding nunchucks were posted online.

Abbas Alizada, who goes by the name of Afghan Bruce Lee due to his striking resemblance to the star, hopes to show another side to his war-torn country. “The only news that comes from Afghanistan is about war,” he said in a recent interview.

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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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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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