‘I give advice to strangers’

Matt Stillman, a writer and personal coach from Harlem, has sat with about 3,500 people in Union Square since 2009

‘I remove tattoos from gang members’

Suyapa Bonilla, a neighbourhood nurse in Honduras, helps ‘mareros’ blend in and hopefully get jobs

‘I make educational pancakes’

With a condiment squeeze bottle and a good non-stick pan, Nathan Shields has made about 1,000 – from a portrait of Newton to nudibranchs

‘I make skulls out of old cassette tapes’

Artist Brian Dettmer hopes that by transforming old media into something new, he’s granting it a form of immortality

‘I’m one of the last Bollywood film poster painters’

K Chinnappa learnt how to paint from a neighbour as a child in Bangalore; he’s now 77, and has worked on about 4,000 films

First Person: ‘I used the world’s oldest fossil find as a doorstop’

Ross Fargher found the 560-million-year-old fossil as he was rounding up sheep on a remote area of his family’s farm in Australia

First Person: ‘I’ve got 1,271 airline uniforms in my closet’

Cliff Muskiet: ‘Pan Am stewardesses always had interesting headwear, as do Emirates and Etihad today’

First Person: ‘I’m a world champion thumb wrestler’

Dayna ‘Big Digit’ Hunt studies at university to become a theatre nurse but secretly dreams of winning her third title in a row

©Christopher Nunn

First Person: ‘I’m a professional knife thrower’

John Taylor spent 30 years as a policeman trying to protect people from knives; now he throws bladed weapons for fun

Bruce Campbell with his Boeing 727 dream home

First person: ‘I live in an airplane’

Former electrical engineer Bruce Campbell’s home for the past 10 years has been a Boeing 727 in rural Oregon

‘I run the sneaker stock market’

Joe Diorio founded SoleXChange for collectors to buy, sell and barter for rare, limited-edition shoes

‘I drive a cryonics ambulance’

Tim Gibson believes that cryonics – freezing people for preservation – is ‘a shot at life’

‘I drive from Poland to engrave the trophies at Wimbledon’

Roman Zoltowski, a 76-year-old Polish craftsman, drives his 52-year-old MG from Poznan

‘I saved a bear from drowning’

Adam Warwick was working as a wildlife biologist in 2008 when he rescued the 375lb bear

‘I’ve got the match ball from England’s 1990 semi-final’

It could be worth £10,000, but Nick Stone will never sell it because of its sentimental value

‘I’m rescuing Iceland’s pinball machines’

These ‘beautiful mechanical artworks’ are expensive but Throstur Hoskuldsson keeps most for himself

‘I built a coffee bar for birds’

Thirty thousand people a day watch ‘Piip Show’, a live stream from Lars Aurtande’s Oslo cafe for birds

‘I help run a museum of bad art’

Louise Sacco co-founded the museum to celebrate the fact that artists have the right to fail too

‘I found a way of saving the US millions, at 14’

Suvir Mirchandani discovered that using a lighter font in government documents economised on printing costs

‘I’m driving a Grand Prix race practice session’

Susie Wolff will become the first woman since 1992 to drive an F1 car at a race weekend

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