Author Launches $300,000 Book That Self-Destructs in 24 Hours

Have you ever read a book so engaging that you just couldn’t put it down, fearing that it might explode if you did? Well, bestselling author James Patterson decided to turn that fear into a reality with a self-destructing book that literally explodes 24 hours after it’s been opened.

The self-destructing book is actually a marketing scheme to promote Patterson’s newly released novel, Private Vegas. The unique book comes with a hefty price tag of $294,038, but includes a first-class ticket to an undisclosed location, two nights’ stay in a luxury hotel, 14-karat gold-plated binoculars and a five-course dinner with the author.

The promotional video for this one-of-a-kind book is really quite hilarious. “Welcome to an experience that will blow your mind,” its protagonist says. “Hopefully not literally.” It describes the feeling of reading the book as ‘the most thrilling experience money can buy, created by James Patterson’. Although it doesn’t clarify exactly how the book will explode once the time is up, the experience will involve a bomb squad for safety purposes.

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Sprayable Sleep – The Melatonin Spray That Promises to Give You a Good Night’s Rest

After their highly successful 2013 product Sprayable Energy, Silicon Valley startup Sprayable are back with a new product involving transdermal technology – ‘Sprayable Sleep’. It is the world’s first topical melatonin spray that helps you fall asleep naturally and wake up refreshed.

While melatonin pills have long since been used to treat sleep related disorders, the makers of Sprayable Sleep claim it has several benefits over the pills. Ben Yu, 22, and his partner Devan Soni, 35, say that the effectiveness of the hormone in the pill form could be lost to the digestive process, but this doesn’t happen with the spray.

“Sprayable gives you the exact level of melatonin you need (often 30 times less than you ingest with pills) and delivers it gradually over time – mimicking how your body naturally produces and uses melatonin,” the creators said. “Sprayable Sleep puts you in control of your sleep. Whether you’re traveling and have jet lag or are working the night shift, Sprayable will help you get sleep when you want so you’re refreshed and alert when you need it most.”

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Chinese Company Showcases Fully 3D-Printed Villa and Apartment Building

Only a few years ago, if someone had told you that it was possible to build a home without the noisy, dusty eyesore that is the construction site, you’d probably have thought they were crazy. Yet, Chinese company WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co has made this possible – they’re actually printing homes now, using one of those revolutionary 3D printers.

WinSun made headlines in March last year, when the printed 10 different one-story, 200 square-meter houses, using nothing but industrial construction waste and a 3D printer. Each building cost $4,800 to make. Now, they’re in the news again with two new additions – a five-story apartment building and a 1,100 square meter villa.

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Pay-It-Forward Restaurant Feeds Around 40 Homeless People Every Day

When 27-year-old business school graduate Mason Wartman quit his Wall Street job to sell $1 pizza slices, to many of his friends it seemed like the anticlimax of a brilliant career. But the man was simply trying to achieve a different sort of greatness with his no-frills pizza shop, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, in Philadelphia’s Center City. In the past one year, the shop has served 8,500 free slices of pizza to homeless people, by harnessing the generosity of its patrons.

The shop operates by a ‘pay it forward’ system – customers who walk in to buy pizza can also sponsor a slice for a homeless person. In this way, about 30 to 40 homeless people are able to eat for free at Rosa’s every single day.

Even before the pay-it-forward scheme was implemented, Rosa’s Pizza, which is located on an almost vacant block, used to always give away free slices to hungry homeless people in the neighborhood. But one day last March, a customer asked if he could pay for the next homeless person who walked in. Wartman immediately agreed, and then put up a sticky note on the wall, just to keep track of the pre-paid slice.

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Luxury Company Guarantees Good Weather on Your Wedding Day for $150,000

Luxury travel company Oliver’s Travels is offering its wealthy clients an innovative wedding service – a sky clean up. For a hefty fee of over $150,000, they actually offer to pop clouds and induce rain up to a week before their wedding, in order to ensure clear blue skies on the day of the ceremony.

It might sound ridiculous, but cloud seeding is actually a legit scientific technique. It involves the firing of rockets filled with silver iodide crystals into rain clouds from a light aircraft, or from the ground. The icy silver particles freeze the water droplets in the clouds so that they continue to grow in size and eventually fall out of the cloud as snow, turning into rain just before hitting the ground.

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Prison Restaurant Staffed by Inmates Voted the Best in Cardiff, Wales

The Clink has recently been named the number one restaurant in Cardiff, Wales, by TripAdvisor, after getting more votes than all the other 945 restaurants in the Welsh capital. I know that doesn’t seem like the kind of news you normally read on OC, but The Clink isn’t your average restaurant – it’s staffed by inmates at HMP Cardiff, a Category D men’s prison!

Approximately 30 prisoners work a 40-hour week at The Clink, either in the kitchen or waiting tables, before returning to their cells at the end of each day. The restaurant also employs a team of trainers who work closely with the prisoners to come up with seasonal dishes made from locally sourced fresh ingredients. Some of the typical menu options include ‘venison and wild boar ragout with game sausage, chargrilled polenta and seasonal vegetables’ and ‘a celebration of rhubarb’.The inmates are paid £14 ($20) a week, but their biggest reward is the chance to turn their life around. Over time, the restaurant has managed to help reduce the reoffending rate of prisoners who worked there to 12.5 percent, compared to the national average of 47 percent.

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Perfectly Healthy Man Is Addicted to Wearing Plaster Casts

Kevin, a 27-year-old man from Chicago, has a very strange hobby – he wears body casts, even though he has no injuries! Kevin has been addicted to  plaster casts for the past 21 years, and he has spent over $50,000 on his bizarre fixation. Although he realizes it’s ridiculous, he has no idea how to stop.

On an episode of TLC’s popular My Strange Addiction show, Kevin explained that wearing the casts makes him feel snug and comfortable, and that the very act of putting one on gives him a rush. “It really gives me this high that I just can’t really get any other way. My blood starts pumping and I get really nervous. It’s just a rush.”

“I don’t have any broken bones, but I’m addicted to putting orthopedic casts on my body,” he said. “I’m perfectly fine, perfectly healthy. I like the feeling of the cast around me. I’ve done two full arm casts, two full leg casts. I’ve done two full leg casts and an arm cast. I’ve put on so many casts, it’s ridiculous.”

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World’s Largest Barbecue Is 76-Feet-Long, Can Cook Four Tonnes of Meat at a Time

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and you’ll have a hard time finding better proof that the “Undisputable Cuz”, a humongous barbecue pit located at the Folsom residence along highway 290, in Brenham. The 40-ton, 75-foot monstrosity ventilated by seven chimneys is the world’s largest barbecue pit. It’s so huge that it needs to be carried around in a large truck and Local authorities have to issue special permits and escorts just to move the cooker down the road!

“It has 24 doors – 12 on this side, 12 on the other,” said owner Terry Folsom, proudly describing his prized possession. The pit can cook four tons of meat at a time, and also has a walk-in cooler with space for kegs attached to beer taps on the outside. Surprisingly, the heat that powers the beauty comes from a small fire that burns only a couple of cords of wood. A tube carries the heat along the length of the entire pit.

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In This Small Alaskan Town Everyone Lives under the Same Roof

Most of the 200-odd residents of the Alaskan town of Whittier all live in the same 14-story condominium – Begich Towers – located on the edge of town. The former Army barracks is often described as a ‘vertical town’ with walls so thin that keeping secrets is simply out of the question.

Apart from residential apartments, the one-of-a-kind settlement also houses a police station, a health clinic, a convenience store, a laundromat, and a church in the basement. It really is inconceivable how missionaries, bartenders, city council members, policemen, and even drug dealers can co-exist in the same building, share the same facilities, and ride in the same elevator.

As eccentric as this living arrangement sounds, it really does seem to work out for the residents of Whittier, mainly because of its size and the weather conditions. The town is rather inaccessible – you can only get there by sea, or take a long, one-lane tunnel through the mountains, which only runs one way at any given time. At night, the tunnel is closed completely.

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For Some Reason, This Guy Is Filming Himself Just Sitting and Smiling for Four Hours a Day

Benjamin Bennett probably has the most bizarre YouTube channel. For the past six months, he has been sitting in front of a camera in zen-like silence, smiling, for hours on end! He’s put out at least 120 hours of footage of himself doing nothing but sitting, without offering any explanation whatsoever.

Ben’s videos made no noise at all – literally and figuratively – until he reached the middle of his 25th live stream. Once he started getting a decent number of views, everybody wanted to know what he was doing and why. Some thought it was art, while others speculated that he was meditating. A few were convinced that he was mentally ill.

The mystery was finally solved a few days back when Vice published an interview with the man himself. When asked why he was doing this, he was quite vague about it. “I don’t know,” he said. “It seemed like something the internet was lacking. It seemed like it needed to be done, and nobody else was going to do it.”

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Louisville Mega Caves – America’s First Underground Mountain Bike Course

Mega Underground Bike Park is a one-of-a-kind underground bike trail in Louisville, Kentucky. Spanning 320.000 square feet, with over 45 trails, Jump Lines, Pump Tracks, BMX, Cross Country and Single Track, the park is entirely located 100 feet or 10 stories below the ground!

The bike park is one of the many attractions at Louisville Mega Cavern, a man-made, privately-owned limestone cavern that encompasses an area of 100 acres beneath the streets of Louisville. Founded by Ralph Rogers in the 1930s, the cavern is currently used as a business park, entertainment center, and tourist attraction.

All set for a soft opening in early February, the bike park will be the nation’s first underground mountain bike course, and the largest indoor park ever built. In fact, it is nearly twice the size of America’s current largest indoor park – Ray’s Indoor Bike Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

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21-Year-Old Girl Suffering from Cerebral Palsy Writes Fiction Novel Using Only Her Left Leg

Typing with one hand when the other one is occupied can be a real pain, so imagine having to type with just one foot. It’s got to be a nightmare, but 21-year-old  Hu Huiyuan from China’s Anhui province is using her only functional foot  to write not just a few sentences, but an entire fiction novel!

Born prematurely, Hu was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was only 10 months old. This left her permanently paralyzed – the only parts of her body she can move are her head and left foot. As she grew older, she learned how to perform everyday tasks using her foot.

Despite not having received formal education, Hu is surprisingly well-spoken. Over the years, with the help of her mother, she taught herself to read and write. “I’m not a genius, but I’m very focused,” she said, modestly. “When I watched TV in my childhood, I often learned words with subtitles.”

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Being Stung by the Gympie Gympie Tree Is the Worst Kind of Pain You Can Imagine

‘Gympie-Gympie’ is hardly the name you’d expect for a stinging-tree. It looks quite harmless too, but in reality, the Gympie-Gympie is one of the most venomous plants in the world. Commonly found in the rainforest areas of north-eastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia, it is known to grow up to one to two meters in height.

In fact, the Gympie-Gympie sting is so dangerous that it has been known to kill dogs, horses and humans alike. If you’re lucky enough to survive, you  only feel excruciating pain that can last several months and reoccur for years. Even a dry specimen can inflict pain, almost a hundred years after being picked!

With the exception of its roots, every single part of the deadly tree – its heart shaped leaves, its stem and its pink/purple fruit – is covered with tiny stinging hairs shaped like hypodermic needles. You only need to lightly touch the plant to get stung, after which the hair penetrates the body and releases a painful toxin called moroidin. Sometimes, merely being in the presence of the plant and breathing the hair that it sheds into the air can cause itching, rashes, sneezing and terrible nosebleeds.

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Only in Japan – The LED-Illuminated Upskirt Skirt

Japanese designer Kiyoyuki Amano has combined fashion and technology to create futuristic short skirts that illuminate the wearer’s thighs. Aptly named ‘Hikaru Skirt’, which means ‘Shining Skirt’, the garment comes equipped with LED lights and the miniature gyro sensors on the inside. So the skirt lights up, and the color and pattern of the light changes every time the wearer moves.

Amano said that he first placed light bulbs inside a skirt on a whim, and that’s when he noticed that it created a pleasant illumination of the thighs. So he worked on the design some more and soon created a whole line of LED-illuminated minis. The Hikaru skirts, he said, are meant to bridge the gap between everyday fashion and cosplay.

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No Girls Allowed – The Greek State That Forbids Both Human and Animal Females

Mount Athos, formally known as Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, is located on the Greek peninsula of Halkidiki. The monastic traditions of the mountain date back to 800 A.D. and the Byzantine era. Today, it is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries, and 2,000 monks from Greece and other eastern orthodox countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia. These monks live an ascetic life, isolated from the rest of the world.

Although technically part of the European Union, the Holy Mountain is largely self-governed. This prohibits the free movement of people and goods in its territory, unless formal permission has been granted. As a result, a number of traditions at Mount Athos might seem odd to people outside. The keeping of Byzantine time, for instance, means that their day begins at sunset. But perhaps their most bizarre practice is the centuries-old ban on women entering the sacred peninsula.

For over 1,000 years, women have been forbidden from setting foot on the mountain. In fact, females of other species such as cows, dogs and goats aren’t permitted either. Only birds and insects are exempted from the rule – scanning the skies and grounds for female body parts would surely be too absurd, even by Mount Athos standards.

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