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10 Coolest Finds of the Week #8

The Most Beautiful Sand Dunes on Earth (Environmental Graffiti)

Dog Has World’s Longest Ears (Orange News)

Real Starship Troopers Powered Suit Is as Badass as It Sounds (Dvice)

Fat Cat Photoshopped into Artistic Masterpieces (Geekosystem)

The Sick Collector and His 1,000 Pairs of Shoes (Asia Obscura)

10 Most Extreme Acrobatic Gymnastics (Oddee)

“Beauty Class” Chinese TV Show Teaches Women How to Be Perfect (China Smack)

The Abandones Cold War Listening Station Built on the Ruins of Nazi Berlin (Environmental Graffiti)

Pionen Data Center – The Internet as Provided by a James Bond Villain (Atlas Obscura)

Ben & Jerry’s unveils Schweddy Balls Ice-Cream (Topix)

Asylum Seekers Compete in Crazy Dutch Game Show

Weg van Nederland is a televised game show that supposedly pits asylum seekers against each other for the chance to win a cash prize before being deported to their home countries.

Translated as “Leaving the Netherlands”, Weg van Nederland will air on the VPRO channel this Thursday, and while it sounds like a big joke, VPRO editor-n-chief Frank Wiering says contestants are real unsuccessful asylum seekers who have to leave the country in a month or two. They are offered the chance to compete for a $5600 cash prize to take with them when they get deported. Contestants have to answer questions about Dutch culture, history and language, to prove which of them learned most about the Netherlands during their stay in the country. Losers get consolation prizes like tulip bulbs and bulletproof vests.

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Man Has Sinking Titanic Tattooed on His Back

Titanic enthusiast Steve Hide, from Southampton, England, had his entire back tattooed with the faithful moment the iconic ship sank into the Atlantic, in April of 1912.

45-year-old Steve has always been interested in the history of the Titanic, and since he’s also a big fan of tattoos, he figured a full-back ink-job of the Titanic sinking would be a great way of remembering it. Work on the stunning piece began five years ago, in a tattoo parlor in Eastbourne, and since then Steve spent around 40 hours in various tattoo shops getting his back inked. When he first got the idea, in 2006, he wanted to have it done for the 100th anniversary, and used books and pictures of the Titanic sinking in order to have a realistic replica tattooed on his back.

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Bridesmaid Attends Wedding via iPad

Although she “called dibs on being a bridesmaid” at her friends wedding, Renee Armstrong couldn’t actually be there in person to fulfill her promise, but thanks to modern technology she did it via iPad.

Jonathan Alberico and Jamie Wilborn looked beautiful on their wedding day, but something else attracted the attention of the guests throughout the whole ceremony. One of the groomsmen walked down the aisle and stood by the altar carrying an iPad with Renee’s face on the screen. Because she couldn’t physically attend her friend’s wedding, 1,600 miles away, she attended the ceremony, chatted with guests and posed for photos via Apple’s popular tablet.

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New Yorkers Can Now Rent Backyards for $50 an Hour

If you’re living in a crammed New York apartment but always dreamed of relaxing in a green backyard complete with white picket fences and a barbecue, you’ll be glad to know backyards are now available for rent right in your own city.

The Participation Agency, a group that unites “brands and investors with creative ventures that shape and challenge the cultural landscape.” has come up with a brilliant business idea that allows New Yorkers to experience life in the suburbs by renting an urban backyard, for $50 and hour. For the eight million people living in New York finding an open space where they can chill out and relax can be a challenge, but thanks to the Timeshare Backyard concept, that’s about to change.

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At Long Last – Underwear That Hides Your Beer Belly

Beer-mongers around the world, your prayers have finally been answered – English supermarket Asda has launched aspecial underwear that promises to sculpt your beer belly, tone your behind and hide love handles.

Called Manx, after the female underwear brand Spanx, this miracle undergarment will save you the effort of having to suck in your belly every time you go out. They may not be the sexiest underpants you’ve ever seen but if you’re not big on diets and exercising they may be the only way to get that streamlined silhouette you’ve always dreamed of.  Asda claims its specialists have been working on Manx underwear for an entire year, getting fabric percentages just right and adding control areas in problem areas.


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English Student Has Tongue Lengthened So She Can Speak Korean

Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones, a young student from Nottingham, England, underwent surgery to have her tongue lengthened after her dentist suggested it might be the reason she couldn’t pronounce certain Korean sounds.

Although she’s never been to South Korea, Rhiannon is really passionate about the language and culture of the Asian country, and dreams of living and working there later in her life. Her fascination with everything Korean started a few years back, after she listened to Korean pop and watched some television shows at a friend’s house. Pretty soon, all her free time was taken up by anything related to Korea, and she even began attending a Korean church in Nottingham.

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Chinese Men Turn to Pole-Dancing to Tone Their Physique

After noticing the positive effects pole-dancing has on the bodies of female practitioners, a growing number of Chinese men decided to get past their inhibitions and started practicing pole dancing as a way to strengthen their muscles.

China is the home country of popular martial arts like Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and engaging sports like dragon boat racing, but young Chinese men seem to prefer more modern activities that, until recently, have been considered a feminine activity. According to Yan Shaoxuan, a young instructor at a pole-dancing school in Beijing, pole-dancing is a really effective workout that strengthens the muscles and helps define men’s chest and abdomen.

Until recently, pole-dancing was a taboo topic in Chinese society, associated with sex and nightclubs, but as more and more men take up these classes, general perception is starting to change. Some gyms have even started offering pole-dancing classes to attract clients. All around the world, pole-dancing experts are trying to change people’s minds and get them to see their passion for what it really is – a sporting activity that requires great skill and years of practice to master.

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Chinese School for Gold Diggers Proves Big Hit

Why bother building a successful career, when you can just marry yourself a rich guy that will pamper and take care of you, forever? A Chinese school, ironically named the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women, claims it can teach single ladies how to get their hands on a billionaire. I know, it sounds like new you’d expect to read on The Onion, but this one’s for real, folks.

According to a popular Chinese saying “Marriage is a career. A good marriage is the most successful career for a woman”. So, considering many Chinese women rate a marriage by how rich the husband is, it comes as no surprise that the courses offered by the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women have been pretty popular. Since the school first opened its gates, in August 2010, over 3,000 students, aged between 21 and 36 have attended its courses, hoping to find Mr Rich Right. Most of them are middle class women who can apparently afford to pay around 20,000 yuan ($3,100) for 10 to 30 husband-hunting classes.

But what does a gold-digger study at one of these schools, you ask? Well, instead of acquiring skills that would help them make a living, these young ladies study the art of being charming. Teachers at the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women are all top-class professionals in their fields; for example, one of them is a Beijing Radio host, and he teaches the girls how to speak with a soft and charming voice. Others teach the art of applying the perfect make-up, and tea-pouring techniques, in short everything a Chinese woman has to know in order to snag a rich husband.

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100-Year-Old Crowned Ms. Alabama Nursing Home

Felma Schrimshire, 100, was named the winner of the 2011 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home pageant, out of 75 grey-haired contestants from across the state.

They may have more grey-hair than your average pageant participants, but the ladies who competed in the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home contest proved they have just as much style and grace. The top ten finalists gathered at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, for the last stage of the competition. Here, the judges and an enthusiastic crowd evaluated the senior beauty queens on their outlook on life, as well as poise and personality. After a 15-minute interview in front of a panel of judges, contestants were asked to answer a surprise question. In case you were wondering, this particular pageant didn’t include a swimsuit competition.

100-year-old Felma Scrimshire won the judges’ votes with her incredible life story. She has traveled to every one of 50 of the US states, seen the Canadian provinces and much of Europe, served in the army for a year, during World War 2, and retired from a civil service job in 1976. A resident of the Andalusia Manor nursing home, Felma will serve as spokesman for nursing home residents throughout Alabama.

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Iowa Welder Hopes to Break Record for World’s Largest Bicycle

Lewis, a small town in Iowa, US, may soon be acknowledged as home to the world’s largest bicycle. A local welder took the task of building a giant bike after hearing the annual Great Bike Ride across Iowa was passing through his town.

Duane Weirich is either one of the biggest cycling fans on the planet or a simply a welder with too much free time on his hands. After learning the Great Bike Ride across Iowa was going to pass through his home town, he decided to honor the even by making a giant bicycle. Although he’s not exactly sure if it qualifies for a new world record, his 32-feet-long, 18-feet-high bike has so far attracted the attention of Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Even though the verdict on whether this is the world’s largest bicycle isn’t out yet, cyclists engaged in the cross state bike race haven’t missed the opportunity to have their picture taken with Weirich’s creation. Pleased with the public’s reaction to his efforts, the welder said he plans to complete the bike by actually making it rideable. You’re going to need some longer legs, though.

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Eccentric Sheikh’s Name Can Be Seen from Space

We’ve all scribbled our name in the sand, at the beach, when we were little, but whereas our writing were washed way by the first wave, sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan’s name will last a while longer.

The 63-year-old Saudi Sheikh decided he wanted his name carved into the dessert of Al Futaysi Island, so he had a team of experts working for weeks to fulfill his wish. The name “HAMAD” is 1,000 meters high, 3,000 meters long and can actually be seen from outer space. I guess this way the aliens will know what to call us… And if you thought the giant signature was at the mercy of the sea, think again; the letters form waterways and absorb the power of the tide and carry the water inland.

Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is part of the ruling Abu Dhabi family and boasts a fortune second only to the Saudi King himself. Known as the “Rainbow Sheikh” for his collection of seven Mercedes 500 SELs painted in the colors of the rainbow, this powerful man has a taste for doing things on a large scale. He has a giant collection of around 200 cars, which he keeps in a giant pyramid, he has built the world’s largest truck, with a four-room bedroom fitted inside the cabin, and owns a custom-made motor home in the shape of our planet, which is exactly one millionth the size of Earth.

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Chilly Willy – A Naughty-Looking Type of Chilly Pepper

If you’re looking for something hot and naughty-looking to spice up your meals, look no further than the willy-shaped Chilly Willy pepper.

I know what you’re all thinking “Photoshopped or genetically modified”, but in fact, Chilly Willy is a completely natural pepper variety that hasn’t been altered in any way. That’s just how they look… The plant itself is very rare species and while it was originally native to American states like Texas and Louisiana, it was mostly found in the private collections of very few gardeners. Luckily, now you too can grow your own phallic-shaped chilly peppers thanks to Chilli Willy kits that come with growing instructions.

Also known as Peters Peppers or Penis Peppers (for obvious reasons), these funny-looking bad boys also pack quite a punch; they have a heat level similar to Tabasco peppers and are 10 ten times hotter than Jalapenos. Chilli Willy is a registered trademark and the company behind it sells all kinds of products and accessories based on the shocking shape of the pepper. Read More »

Guy Walks 1,000 Miles in the Name of Love

Liu Peiwen took his girlfriend’s challenge seriously, after she jokingly told him she would only marry him if he walked 1,000 miles for her.

Remember these lyrics from Scottish band The Proclaimers’ song: “But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles, to fall down at your door”? Apparently they inspired Liu’s girlfriend, 23-year-old Ling Hsueh, to say she would convince her mother to let her marry him, if Liu walked 1,000 miles. Before she could tell him she was only joking, her beloved had already bought a backpack and set off from the city of Anyang, Henan Province, towards Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

The distance between their two cities is 1,600 km, exactly the 1,000 miles in Hsueh’s request, and since he enjoys walking and always wanted to see more of China, he gladly accepted the challenge. He expects it will take him around six weeks to complete his journey, and hopes the love of his life will be waiting for him at the end and will say “yes” when he pops the big question. “Life is short,” he said, “and for love, there’s no challenge too great.” He is now walking across China with only a rucksack and a red flag that reads “Valiantly, full of mettle, setting out to visit my wife’s mother”

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Meet the World’s Biggest Harry Potter Fan

Harry Potter fans around have crowned their king and his name is Steve Petrick. The 22-year-old, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has won the title of World’s Biggest Harry Potter Fan after entering an online contest, last year, and posting a video of why he should get first place.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is the most successful film series in history, grossing billions of dollars at the box office and influencing the lives of millions of children around the world. But Steve Petrick was a die-hard fan of the fantasy world way before it was cool, and even though it pains him the movie series is coming to an end, he’ll be a fan even after its popularity wears off. A freshman fine arts major at Kent State, Petrick has been striving to become Harry Potter’s biggest fan since he first discovered Rowling’s books, and even though it took him 12 years to get the recognition he deserves, it’s never too late.

Steve Petrick got hooked on Harry Potter when he was just 11 years old. He had failed English class and his parents banned him from playing outside, so he found refuge in the wonderful world of Harry Potter. He has learned from the Harry Potter books than anything or anyone else in his life, and says “they might not mean something to everyone else, but they mean something to me.”

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