Guy Spends Six Years Making the World’s Largest Gumball

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This is one of the grossest world records I have ever covered, but it’s just so unusual I couldn’t resist sharing it with you guys. A man has kept the around 95,200 pieces of nicotine gum he has chewed over the last six years and put them all together in what is considered the world’s largest gumball.

50-year-old Barry Chappell, from California’s Palos Verdes Estates, has been busy over the last few years, building a 175-pound chewy monstrosity with a diameter of 62 inches, out of the tens of thousands of nicotine gum pieces he’s chewed. Barry is completely aware of the fact that most people who hear about his hobby are more or less disgusted, but that doesn’t make him less proud of his achievement. After all he did stick to the task for six long years, using every one of the approximately 95,200 pieces of nicotine gum he has used to help him stay away from cigarettes. Now his efforts are about to be rewarded, as Ripley’s Believe It or Not decided to acquire his giant gumball and present it as the largest medicated gumball in the world.

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Chololi – Japan’s Nose Hair Notification Service, Now Available in English

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Have you been dying to tell someone that their nose hairs gross you out? Do you find yourself facing them every day, unable to voice out your disgust? If your answer to these two questions is “yes” , Chololi is just the service for you. It allows anyone to email people anonymously, telling them that their pesky nostril hairs need to be trimmed soon.

Originally launched in Japanese, the web service is now available for the English-speaking as well. To use it, all you need to do is go to their website and fill out a form. Provide the person’s name, e-mail address, the nostril through which the hair is visible, the number of hairs and you’re done! The message will be conveyed in secrecy. Just for kicks, you can even choose the tone with which the message is delivered. There’s mild, strong, commanding, and the nastiest of them all, scornful.

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Man Devises Aerobic Exercises Based on House Cleaning

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If you’ve been wanting to get into shape but haven’t had the time to exercise, Aerobic House Cleaning might just be the thing for you. The fitness program was devised by Steve Markovich, who has been following it for the past 16 years.

The 57-year-old from Crescent Springs, Ky., has managed to make a heart-pumping workout out of ordinary chores such as vacuuming and washing windows. According to Markovich, the vacuum cleaner is the most versatile exercise machine ever. He’s found a way to combine squats, lunges and hip twists while he’s getting the floors clean. He says that he burns so many calories through house chores that he can afford to allow himself a few treats once in a while. A vanilla ice cream topped with peanut butter, for instance. He seems pretty fit for his age, although he does sport a tiny little paunch.

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Gardener Claims Viagra Makes Plants Perkier

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Celebrity TV Gardner David Domoney has made a startling revelation. The drug that has helped so many men spruce up their love-life apparently works wonders for flowers as well. And only 1/50th of a regular sized pill of Viagra is all that’s required.

Cut flowers that are placed in a vase end up wilting in no time at all. But now with Viagra, the life and freshness of flowers can actually be doubled. Although men might not find this piece of information very amusing, I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who would love to try out this simple, yet excellent tip. According to Domoney, “you only need a tiny amount of Viagra to stiffen things up nicely.” By ‘things’, I’m assuming he means the flowers.

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Meet the Man Who Gets Paid to Break Up with Other People’s Girlfriends

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If you can pay someone to help you get a date, then who says you can’t do the same when you want to dump them? Meet Jonathan Kiekbusch from Brighton, U.K., the 21-year-old who has managed to make a living out of breaking-up for others. Not surprisingly, he’s single himself.

Jonathan doesn’t charge the sun and moon for his services. You can avail them at a flat fee of £5 ($8) plus expenses. If he puts in more time, it’s at £20 an hour. Not so bad when you consider the prospect of facing your girlfriend/boyfriend, having to tell them you’re not so in to them anymore. Again, not surprisingly, most of Jonathan’s clients are male.

Of course, this isn’t his only job. Marketing executive by day, and relationship-breaker by night, Jonathan got into the profession when he realized his potential by helping a few friends. His first time was with a friend called Stuart, who was always fighting with his girlfriend. One night he spoke to the two of them during a fight, making them see that they weren’t really suited for each other. The couple parted ways on amiable terms. After a few more of such incidents, Jonathan had to break up with his own girlfriend, and it ended pretty badly. He wished he could have had someone else intervene and make things easier, and that’s when he realized the opportunity that lay before him. He instantly grabbed it.

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New Zealand Woman Wants Your Tattoo on Her Backside

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The things people would do for money. Would you believe it if I told you a woman is willing to have anything you like tattooed on her bottom? Unlikely story, but it’s true.

Through her profile on trademe.co.nz, Tina Beznec is auctioning off a 9×9 cm space on her buttock to be tattooed according to the winner’s choice. In her own precise words, “You might think I am crazy for doing this! But yes, the winner of the auction gets ANYTHING they like tattooed on my bum!” Tina’s innovative plan to raise money has garnered quite a bit of attention in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, where she lives. If you’re still finding it hard to believe that a person would do something like this, let me tell you that she’s pretty hard pressed for cash right now. She has been made redundant twice in the past one year and has been unemployed for four months. Tina promises to donate 20% of the highest bid to a charity of the winner’s choice, but she would be keeping the rest because she ‘deserves it’. She plans to use the money to pay all her bills and visit her mother in Australia.

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New York Subway Workers Run “Rate My Rat” Photo Contest

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For those of you who have used the subway in New York, the sight of rats must be quite common. Those pesky rodents are spotted quite frequently on subway tracks and platforms. Apparently, subway workers have had enough of this and want their workplace to be completely free of rats. And they’ve come up with a totally unique idea to accomplish this – a rat photo contest.

New York subway workers are holding a photo contest – for the “nastiest” shot of a rodent. Subway commuters are being urged to click pictures of the rats they see every day and upload them to the website http://www.ratfreesubways.com. The grand prize is a monthly transit pass. The site was created by the largest union in the city, the Transport Workers Union Local 100. The winning photograph is to be selected by popular opinion. Visitors to the website are able to vote for the most repulsive picture on the ‘Rate my Rat’ section. They have five options to choose from – Handsome, Cute, Plain, Ugly and Beastly. Most of the rat-pictures have been rated between 3 and 5, while a few actually have been called cute.

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File Sharing Becomes Official Religion in Sweden

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Kopimism – a belief in the sacred right to share files – has been recognized as an official religion in Sweden, at the end of last year.

“Information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members.” This is how Kopimism is described on the official website of the Missionary Church of Kopimism. Apparently, ever since 2010, a groups of self-confessed file-sharing pirates have been trying to get file sharing recognized as an official religion. After having their claim denied several times, they’ve finally seen their dream fulfilled in late December 2011, when Kompimism was officially acknowledged as a legal religion. The Church hopes its new sacred status will remove the legal stigma  associated with file sharing.

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Researcher Proves You’re Washing Your Clothes More Often than You Should

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Would you dare to sniff a pair of jeans that haven’t been washed in three months? If the very thought of it seems disgusting, wait till you hear this. This March, there’s going to be an exhibition of thirty such pairs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

The unusual collection of dirty jeans is the result of an experiment conducted by Tullia Jack, a researcher from Melbourne. In an effort to prove that people wash their clothes way too often, she recruited thirty volunteers to wear their jeans unwashed, five days a week, for three months. Ms. Jack is a student at the Melbourne University and a fashion lecturer at RMIT. “Not washing your jeans isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds,” she says. The experiment is a part of her Master of Philosophy thesis and she wants to use the findings to challenge our ‘extreme clean’ culture.

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Ferret Legging – A Truly Bizarre Animal Sport

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Most people couldn’t stand something as small as a cockroach up their trousers. And then there are the brave ferret leggers who endure not one, but two fully grown adult ferrets trapped in their pants. The weird sport, called Ferret Legging, is a test of endurance or just the ability to “have your tool bitten and not care”.

Also known as ferret-down-trousers and put ‘em down, the rules of the sport are pretty tight. Competitors have two ferrets placed inside their trousers, which are tied firmly at the ankles and belted up at the waist, thereby eliminating any point of escape for the furry creatures. The competitor then stands before judges, enduring the misery of the razor-sharp claws and teeth of the ferrets. Other rules state that competitors cannot be drunk and the ferrets must not be sedated. Also, the ferrets must have a full set of teeth that have not been blunted or filed. The man who stands the longest, wins.

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Man Spends $16,000 for Virtual Video Game Sword

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For those of us who aren’t online gaming enthusiasts, the actions of a Chinese gamer this holiday season may seem a tad bizarre. But for him, it’s perfectly normal to spend $16,000 on a sword that isn’t even real.

While it has become common practice for many people to spend small amounts of money on online games, this gamer from China has indeed outdone most others. He won a bid for a virtual sword to be used online. What’s even more surprising is that the game for which the sword was purchased hasn’t even been released yet. Age of Wulin is a martial arts MMO that is set to release its first Chinese beta version in the spring of 2012. The English version will follow soon after. Snail Games, the developers of Age of Wulin, organized an online auction of various exclusive virtual items that players could bid for. While the sword was by far the costliest one to be sold, several other items fetched good amounts of money. A sheath for a Lordly Spear went for $2,500, while the Hook of Departure sheath followed closely at $1,600. Pre-paid time cards and enhancement materials were sold for smaller amounts.

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Pink-Obsessed Woman Changes Her Name to Pink Sparkly And All Things Nice

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100,000 Brits changed their name this year, but the one that stands out from the crowd is a woman from Nottingham, who calls her self “Pink Sparkly And All Things Nice.” Yes, that’s her actual name now.

Born Charlotte Price, the mother-of-three has renamed herself according to her obsession with the color pink. She lives in a pink house decorated and furnished with pink, wears pink most of the time and even works in a pink salon. The color of the wax used in the salon? You guessed it, it’s pink. The shortened version of her name is Pink Nice, which is what she goes by these days. Quite understandably, her three kids aren’t very pleased. “Everyone is still calling me by my old name. My mum thinks I’m a bit mad really and so do my children. They stick to ‘Mum’,” said Pink Nice, who hopes her crazy name change will boost up her business.

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Tickets for Noah’s Ark 2012 Are Holiday Bestsellers on Chinese Shopping Site

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It’s been long said that the year 2012 will see the end of the world. The movie 2012 even makes an attempt to show us the catastrophic events leading up t0 the worldwide disaster, and a modern version of Noah’s Ark, a ship in Tibet where people will be safe. While tickets for the movie ship cost a billion Euros each, in real life they can be purchased  for less than $0.5.

Chinese online shopping portal, Taobao, has several online stores selling these counterfeit tickets at 3 RMB a piece. The tickets have been popular as a new year’s gift, a comical way of ensuring one’s safety in the face of the 2012 Armageddon. Thousands of tickets have been sold so far. Physical stores are printing up and selling these tickets, too. One store in Jingsau has sold 2,500 train and ark tickets at 3 RMB each. Another one sold 1,700 Chinese Noah’s Ark passes in a month, at 2 RMB each.

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Father Videotapes Children Coming Down Stairs on Christmas Morning, for 25 years

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Every family has its own traditions for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Writer Nick Confalone recently shared on YouTube, a particularly endearing tradition followed by his dad during Christmas.

Starting in 1985, Nick’s father made home videos of his kids coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. He continued this practice for 25 years, chronicling the growth of his children over a quarter of a century. Nick recently edited the footage filmed by his father and posted it on YouTube. Apart from Nick and his sister, other members of the family are also seen in the video. Pets come and go, as do boyfriends, and you can clearly see how the kids evolve from little toddlers to teenagers and then young adults. Initially the kids are seen to be excited to find out what Santa Claus has left them under the tree. Nick is a cute kid making silly faces at the camera. As years go by, their reluctance to be a part of the videos is quite evident. Of course, Nick now considers the videos to be nothing short of magical.

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Human Spit Could Cause Indian Bridge to Collapse

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Howrah Bridge, located in Kolkata,  India, is a cantilever bridge that spans over Hooghly River. Built during the British rule, in 1943, it is one of the most famous symbols of Kolkata.

The nearly 70-year-old bridge however, is in danger of collapsing, not from age, but from human saliva. It is common to find many locals chewing paan (a mild intoxicant containing betel nuts and leaves), and then spitting out red-tinged saliva on the steel hangers of the bridge. This is not only unsightly, but the corrosion caused by the accumulation of several years worth of saliva, is a cause of serious concern. Bird droppings are also a major cause for the corrosion of the bridge, and regular cleaning was undertaken ever since this threat was identified. The cleaning is apparently not good enough to work its way through the layers of spit and local authorities say the corrosion has caused so much damage that the thickness of the hangers has reduced to half of the original, from 6mm to 3mm.

Photo: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP

Efforts are being made to salvage this old Indian monument from disgrace. Engineers have come up with an idea to cover the steel with sheets of fiberglass. There are other factors that are a cause for concern in the maintenance of the bridge, such as damage from vehicles due to rash driving. Over 100,000 vehicles are known to cross the bridge every day, along with around 150,000 pedestrians on the walkways.

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