When she was in high school, Lizzie Velasquez was dubbed ”The World’s Ugliest Woman” in an 8-second-long YouTube video. Born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent body fat and weighs just 60 pounds.
In the comments on YouTube, viewers called her “it” and “monster” and encouraged her to kill herself. Instead, Velasquez set four goals: To become a motivational speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a career for herself.
Now 23 years old, she’s been a motivational speaker for seven years and has given more than 200 workshops on embracing uniqueness, dealing with bullies, and overcoming obstacles. She’s a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State University in San Marcos, where she lives with her best friend. Her first book, “Lizzie Beautiful,” came out in 2010 winning the hearts of many around the world and her second, “Be Beautiful, Be You,” was published earlier September and In 2013 she’s hoping to write her third book.
“The stares are what I’m really dealing with in public right now,” she told Dr. Drew Pinsky in an interview on CNN’s Headline News. But I think I’m getting to the point where…
instead of sitting by and watching people judge me, I’m starting to want to go up to these people and introduce myself or give them my card and say, ‘Hi, I’m Lizzie. Maybe you should stop staring and start learning’.”
Velasquez was born in San Antonio, Texas; she was four weeks premature and weighed just 2 pounds, 10 ounces.
“They told us they had no idea how she could have survived,” her mother, Rita, 45, told the Daily Mail. ” We had to buy dolls’ clothes from the toy store because baby clothes were too big.” Doctors warned Rita and her husband, Lupe, that their oldest child would never be able to walk or talk, let alone live a normal life. (Her two younger siblings were not affected by the syndrome.)
Instead, she has thrived. Her internal organs, brain, and bones developed normally, though her body is tiny. Since she has no fatty tissue in which to store nutrients, she has to eat every 15 to 20 minutes to have enough energy to get through the day. One brown eye started clouding over when she was 4 years old, and now she’s blind in that eye and has only limited sight in the other.
If you ever doubted real X-Men were among us, check out the neat super-power of Nong Youhui, a young Chinese boy who can see in total darkness.
Riddick, the cool antihero played by Vin Diesel in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi movie characters, but I never dreamed of someday reading about somebody who could actually see in the dark. The first news about a little Chinese child with cat-like eyes who could see in the dark as well as normal people see in clear daylight, first broke out in 2009. Doctors who examined little Nong Youhui said he was born with a rare condition known as luekodermia, which leaves his eyes exposed to sunlight damage, but also allow him to see clearly in the dark.
An eye-specialist recently visited the boy, in his home village, in China’s Guanxi province, to examine his unusual eyes. the first thing he noticed when he arrived was that Nong’s eyes were light blue just like Westerners, but very unusual for Asians. He became even more intrigued when he noticed that when shined upon with a flashlight, the boy’s eyes would emit a kind of blue-green light, just like a cat’s. As it turned out, his eyes not only looked liked a feline’s they also allowed him to see and even read perfectly in total darkness.
Nong Shihua, the boy’s father, says two months after he was born, he was told there was something strange about Youhui’s eyes, but when they went to a hospital, the doctor told them not to worry, and that his eyes would be fine when he grew up. His eyes remained the same, but since they didn’t seem to bother the boy, his family began to care less and less about this abnormality. He would go to school, play outside with other kids, and pretty much everything else young boys his age do, but one day, a teacher noticed something peculiar – Youhui squinted his eyes in bright light and complained about blurry vision. Then one of the boy’s playmates told him his eyes were like a cat’s and that really got him intrigued.
The teacher shinned a flashlight and Nong Youhui’s eyes flashed back, just like a feline’s. He asked him if he could see in the dark, and the boy said yes. Then one night he invited him to catch crickets at night, and the Nong told him he didn’t need a flashlight to see the bugs. When rumors about his unusual gift spread, many reporters came and performed all kinds of tests to see if he was for real. They blocked out all light and had him answer some questions in the dark, while others showed him a series of playing cards, to see if he could recognize them. He past all tests, and his reputation of Cat-boy, Starchild, or real-life mutant kept growing.
NY-based photographer Shinichi Maruyama created these lovely photographs using nearly 10,000 individual photographs of a nude dancer in motion. The abstract images remind me of Japanese ink wash painting, as if the figures were cread by the stroke of a thick brush, which is not unsuprising considering Maruyama’s previous work with water sculptures. Of the photos Shin says:
I tried to capture the beauty of both the human body’s figure and its motion. The figure in the image, which is formed into something similar to a sculpture, is created by combining 10,000 individual photographs of a dancer. By putting together uninterrupted individual moments, the resulting image as a whole will appear to be something different from what actually exists. With regard to these two viewpoints, a connection can be made to a human being’s perception of presence in life.
An artist’s eye always sees things, as humble as a pencil, in a much different way than the others. While pencil is a mere writing and drawing instrument for most of us, artists such as Dalton Ghetti use them to create wonderful pieces of complex art for the rest of us to admire. Another artist, specializing in miniature artworks, is a Budapest-based artist and sculptor known by the name of Cerkahegyzo.
The sculptor, whose tools are nothing more than small carving tools, fine blades, needles, sandpaper and files, uses the wood and lead of a pencil as the base and body of the sculptures. Paying homage to Ghetti, the artist has also replicated his sculpture of heart, screw and linked chains. Other than this, the artist has also managed to pull off some impossible-looking pencil art sculptures.