World’s Largest Collection of Santa Claus Memorabilia

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Canadian Jean Guy Laquerre , a 74-year-old former geography teacher, is the proud owner of the World’s Largest Collection of Santa Claus Memorabilia.

Laquerre became addicted to Santa Claus memorabilia after his aunt gifted him with a beautiful 20th century papier-mache Santa Claus figure, over two decades ago. “It awakened the child in me” he says, but his fascination for Santa soon turned into an uncontrollable obsession. This “Santaphilia”, as he calls it, started back in 1988, and in the next 22 years he managed to put together an impressive collection numbering 25,139 items.

Laquerre confesses it is hard for him to restrain from buying more Santa stuff, “I can’t stop myself entirely, but I do restrain my urges. I surprise myself when I go into a store and I don’t buy any new ones…it’s because I just don’t have any more room for more figurines.” They are everywhere…and in every form imaginable, from jolly-dancing Santas to table-cloths, cushions, blankets, albums, and even a toilet-seat cover.

Although his name was listed in the Guinness Book of records in 2009, he broke the record in 2004 with this impressive collection.  “A Texas woman held the record for 30 years.  She had 1,039 items. It was time that I came along and broke the record.”

It is clear that he is very fond not only of his entire collection, but of every piece in particular as he is very meticulous in arranging and classifying them, every year. He is very hopeful that one day this will all be displayed in a museum, although his home on Christmas can already be perceived as a private Santa Claus museum.


Book Features the World’s Most Impressive Toilet Views

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A young English author has been touring the world for the last three years, looking for the best toilet views to put in his book “Good Loo Hunting“.

While most of us probably never think about it, toilets are a big part of our lives. In fact, every person spends around three years of their life in the bathroom, either reading a paper or staring at the back of the door. Not the most impressive sight, so 33-year-old Luke Barclay decided to show everyone it can only get better. He traveled to some of the most emote regions in the world, in his quest to find the loos with the best views.

Luke Barclay first documented toilets with views in his first book “Loos with Views”, two years ago, and following its great success, he decided to make a list of the best toilet views on Earth. And it was much harder than you think, considering the toilets didn’t only have to be located in a beautiful place, they had to have at least a window through which one could marvel at the stunning surroundings.

Good Loo Hunting features an impressive collection of great toilet locations, from the banks of the Zambezi River, in Africa, to Mount Sinai, in Egypt, or Lake Titicaca, in South America. Luke Barclay traveled to every continent in order to fulfill his dream of finding the most spectacular loo views in the world, and is now ready to share them with the world.

Who would have thought public toilets would be the subject of a book you’d actually want to own, right?


Cyber Granny – World’s Oldest Facebooker

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She’s two months away from her 104th birthday but age isn’t an impediment for Lillian Lowe, the world’s oldest Facebook user.

Lillian Lowe, from Tenby, Pembrokeshire, south Wales, may be a grandmother and great-grandmother at 103, but she is still young-at-heart and her online adventure on Facebook is proof of that. After 104-year-old Ivy Bean died in June, Lillian has become the oldest of over 500 million users of the popular social network.

Her grandson Steve is the one responsible with wetting her up with a Facebook account and he’s also the one who lent her his iPad, but she is planning to replace it with a newer version, seeing that she’s also up to date in terms of  gadgets, as she admits herself “At the moment I use my grandson’s iPad but I am very hopeful to get one of my own, there are some great new models out at the moment.”


Giant Frosty the Snowman Built in Poland

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It has been snowing for quite some time in Poland and with all that “raw material” at hand ,three inhabitants of  Trzebnica city, Poland started building a snowman. The problem is they didn’t know when to stop.

The 31ft giant, named Milocinek, was finished after 6 days of work and is now the pride and joy of the city, which is pretty normal, if you believe the rumors that this is not just the largest snowman in Poland, but  also the largest in the world. I hate to break it to them, but this doesn’t even come close to beating the record for the world’s largest snowman.  Milocinek is so large they had to use a barrel for a hat and a traffic cone for his nose, instead of the usual carrot.

Although the three men who built Milocinek started of out of pure boredom, they became more and more enthusiastic as their work progressed., and didn’t stop until they realized their snowman was taller than pretty much all the surrounding houses. In fact, Milocinek is so large they had to use a barrel for a hat and a traffic cone for his nose, instead of the usual carrot.


Need a Drinking Buddy? You Can Hire One!

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With the holiday season fast approaching, if you haven’t yet found a drinking partner, your chances of actually finding one in time for the celebrations are getting very slim. But no need to worry, a Ukrainian firm has come up with the perfect solution – you can hire a drinking buddy.

The “employer” will definitely get his money’s worth, as this firm not only offers a swell drinking companion but someone with whom you can engage in conversations about all kinds of different subjects, like sports, politics, art, philosophy and even women.

The Kind Fairy used to be just another firm specialized in organizing weddings and birthday parties, but ever since they launched their “drinking buddy for hire” service, last December, business has really taken off. The fact that most of their drinkers have different talents, like singing, reciting poems or playing the guitar, offering a variety of choices that guarantee they will be able to liven-up employers’ evening, is considered partially responsible for the success.

But there is also a less obvious reason why people like this weird service – there are those who still consider therapy taboo and  would much rather discuss their problems with a stranger than seeing a psychologist.

Yulia Peyeva, head of the Kind Fairy, claims the services offered by her firm are nothing like dating or matchmaking,  nor do they encourage heavy drinking. Right, like Ukrainians need encouragement to drink heavily…


Russians Go Swimming at -36 Degrees Celsius

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Members of a Russian winter swimmers’ club went for a swim into the Yenisei River, at a temperature of around -36 degrees Celsius.

Russians are no strangers to cold, and most of them cope pretty well with it, especially after a few shots of vodka, but under -35 degrees is extreme, even for them. Winter swimming is very popular in Russia, and the ritual of the Epiphany has thousands of people bathing in ice-cold water to purify their bodies, but this particular group of swimmers, from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, did it simply for fun. That’s right, they stripped down to their bathing suits and dived into the Yenisei River at -36 degrees Celsius, because that’s what they call a good time.

In case you were wondering, they all survived this crazy stunt, which means they’ll probably survive the next ice age.


“For God’s Sake Don’t Blow The Damn Thing Again!”

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I don’t know about you, but for me it is enough seeing the vuvuzela and I can actually hear that horrific sound it makes.

Well, at least I’m not the only one who doesn’t get why this “instrument of torture”, with which even the loudest group of supporters can’t compete, was such a hit during the South African World Cup. And the sound is not only annoying but also bad for your health, as Dr. Katijah Khoza-Shangase, professor of speech pathology and audiology at the Univeristy of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, says, quoted by CBS News: “We are not saying, ‘ban the vuvuzelas.’ The vuvuzela is part of the festivities of the game, it is part of what makes the soccer in this country, but people need to be aware that they need to just wear ear protection.”

In an attempt to transform the vuvuzela into something decorative or useful,after the end of The World Cup, Matt Blitz and some of his co-workers at Leftfield, an advertising firm, put up a blog called Wozela on which people could post their ideas on transforming the leftover vuvuzelas.

Although they started of with a few of their own ideas and were hopping to get just 20 maybe 50 more, they had to make this into a competition as they received 150 submissions in just a few months. There was also a prize of 10,000 Rand, around $1500, for the best idea.

The ideas were ranged from practical to absurd, from vuvuzela light fixtures to vuvuzela educational table or Christmas trees, but the top prize was won by a simple one: vuvuzela earrings, idea belonging to Megan Bernstein from Cape Town. She considers this as a form of redemption “Out of one vuvuzela you can make 10 earrings so there’s quite a return of investment there.”

Matt Blitz affirmed: “We’re trying to change perceptions a little bit. In the way people might have reacted and the amount of positive comments we’ve got I think we have done quite a good thing in busting the negative image of it.”

And the end of the online contest doesn’t mean the end of the vuvuzela make-over ideas. New ones can still be submitted and the initiators of the “Wozela movement” plan to organize exhibitions featuring the submissions first in Cape Town and then Johannesburg.


Wikileaks Founder Makes Appearence in Nativity Scene

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A wooden miniature figure of Julian Assange, the controversial founder of Wikileaks has been placed right in the middle of the Nativity scene, by an Italian sculptor.

Christmas creches depicting various religious themes are very popular in the area around Naples, Italy and in later years, Neapolitan sculptors have made it a habit to include something contemporary in their wooden masterpieces. While most artists chose to use the city’s longtime garbage crisis as a theme, Genaro di Virgilio stayed true to his habit of featuring at least one of the year’s most important figures right in the middle of Jesus’ Nativity scene.

Placed between the three wisemen, next to Mary and Joseph, is non other than Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange, portrayed in a black suit, holding a laptop and sporting a wide smile on his face. To Genaro di Virgilio, he is the man of the year and fully deserves the spot in his beautiful Christmas creche. The Julian Assange figurine is one-of-a-kind and priced at 130 euros.


Janet Esteves – The World’s Biggest Mickey Mouse Fan

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Janet Esteves has proved to the whole world that she is the biggest Mickey Mouse fan, by putting together the world’s largest collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Janet has turned her home into a virtual museum dedicated to Disney’s adorable character, featuring well over 2,500 items. She has everything from Mickey Mouse plush toys, snow globes, keychains and , all carefully organized and put on display around the house.

Janet Esteves first started collecting Mickey Mouse stuff in the early ’70s, when she and her husband visited Disneyland, on their honeymoon. She bought her first Mickey Mouse toys that time, but the collection really blossomed when her daughter was born, in 1978. She kept buying new Mickey stuff for her, until she realized she had made a goal of collecting memorabilia. Now, Janet has grandchildren, and they love Mickey Mouse too, so the collection keeps growing with each passing day.

As of December 2008, Janet Esteves’ impressive collection featured 2,760 different Mickey Mouse items, and it’s just going to get bigger.


Spanish Woman Claims She Owns the Sun and Wants to Collect Taxes

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Angeles Duran, a woman from the Galician region of Spain, claims she is the rightful owner of the sun, and intends to have everyone pay taxes if they want to keep enjoying its rays and warmth.

It sounds crazy, and the notary Angeles Duran consulted in the matter thought the same thing, but her arguments had him questioning the possibility of someone actually becoming the owner of the burning star. There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals. An American was quick to pronounce himself owner of all planets and the moon, but he forgot to mention the sun, so she’s now claiming possession.

Angeles Duran is also considering asking people to pay a tax if they want to keep in enjoying the sun’s benefits. She has already consulted the Spanish Ministry of Industry and explained that her claim isn’t outrageous at all. If you can place taxes on rivers, why couldn’t she do the same with the sun, right. In her infinite generosity, the woman is prepared to give 50% to the state budget, 20% to the minimum pension budget, 10% to research, and another 10% to end world hunger. She is only considering keeping 10% for herself.


Son of Road Kill Calendar 2011

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If you’ve had enough of those boring calendars featuring gorgeous women, cute puppies, or peaceful settings, the Son of Road Kill Calendar 2011 is just the thing for you.

The wacky idea for a road kill calendar belongs to 58-year-old Kevin Beresford, an English courier always on the lookout for an original calendar idea. His job has him driving around the country all the time, so he has seen his share of animal carcasses, lying on the side of the road, and he thought he’d give his idea for a road kill calendar a shot. he started taking photos of squashed squirrels, dead dogs, stiff birds and battered badgers, made a selection of the 12 best ones and launched his calendar.

Believe it or not, Kevin Beresford’s road kill calendar was a huge hit. He has already sold hundreds of them already and is struggling to keep up with incoming orders. Asked about his crazy idea, Kevin said it’s dedicated to “all the courageous critters that never quite made it across the road in time.”


Banker Spends 35 Years Collecting Beer Cans

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Nick West, 1 51-year-old banker from Clevendon, Britain has spent the lats 35 years putting together an impressive collection of 6,788 beer cans.

The banker from North Somerset started his British beer can collection when he was only 16 years old. His wife-to-be, Dorothy, bought him a book about collecting beer cans, not knowing she would spend the next 35 years regreting her bad taste in presents. Nick became quite fond of collecting all kinds of beer cans, and before long, the couple had to move to a larger house, one that would be roomy enough for his ever-growing collection.

Dorothy doesn’t approve of her husband’s hobby, and she’s sure that if they would have remained in their old home, they could have paid off the entire mortgage by now. Instead, the largest room in their new house is now occupied by 6,788 cans of beer. To top things off, Nick spends serious amount of money on vintage beer cans, as much as $1,975 for one of the first cans ever produced in Britain.

Nick West usually drinks the contents of the beer cans he collects, but he doesn’t do it the usual way…Instead of pulling the key, he makes two holes in the bottom of the can, empties the content, drinks it, and ads the can to his collection. That’s kind of a hassle, but I guess it’s worth it, if you can live every guy’s dream of having a house full of beer cans.


Meet the “Smartest” Man in China

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With nine educational diplomas under his belt, Zhou Baokuan can definitely claim the title of “smartest man in China.”

When it comes to education, we all want the best for our kids, but I think Zhou Baokuan’s parents might have pushed him a little to far, when he was a child. I mean, the man started studying and even though he is now 53 years old, he has no intention of stopping.

In recognition of his incredible desire to study, an organization known as China World Records Association decided to award Zhou the title of “man with most diplomas in the world.” Over the course of 35 years of intense studying (sometimes without sleep) the man earned a total of nine diplomas, including three doctoral diplomas and two masters degrees. Zhou, a resident of Shenyang City, admits it wasn’t easy getting this many diplomas, and reckons he spent around 126,500 hours studying for them

Believe it or not, Zhou Baokuan is currently studying to get his fourth doctoral degree, at Fudan University.


Korean Chick Is World’s Biggest Chocolate Addict

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Kim Do-yeon, a 21-year-old woman from South Korea, has become an overnight celebrity in her native country, after admitting to being a chocolate addict on live television.

On November 2nd, Kim Do-yeon made an appearance on a Korean TV show, where she confessed to consuming large quantities of chocolate every day. You couldn’t tell by her slim figure, but the young Korean says she has eaten over 1.2 tons of chocolate in the last six years alone. As she demonstrated in the television studio, Kim Do-yeon loves chocolate in all its forms. Whether she’s drinking it from a glass, eating it mixed with noodles or steamed rice, she just can’t get enough of it. To quench her craving for chocolate, Kim Do-yeon says she melts small pots of chocolate every day and mixes with everything she eats, even meat.

Her TV appearance scored a record audience, and chocolate addict Kim Do-yeon became a real overnight celebrity.


Young Taiwanese Woman Plans to Marry Herself

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30-year-old Chen Wei-yih is set to defy Asian perception of single independent women as failures, by marrying herself, on November 6.

The young Taiwanese from Taipei has been dreaming about getting married ever since she was just a little girl. Now that she’s all grown up, she’s ready to put on the traditional white dress and veil and finally tie the knot…with herself. Like many other Asian women, Chen Wei-yih focused most of her attention on her career and hasn’t been able to find a suitable partner. While other girls go as far as stripping in public to find husbands, Chen decided it’s more important to first love herself before she loves others, and asked her own hand in marriage.

The wedding ceremony is set to take place on November 6, when Chen Wei-yih will put on her wedding dress and go out for a gourmet meal with family members and 30 of her closest friends. After the wedding, Chen and her beloved self will leave on a romantic honeymoon to Autralia.

Chen-Wei-yih courage to challenge social perception in such an original way has inspired many, and her Facebook wall has been assaulted with messages of encouragement and appreciation, sent mostly by young Asian women like herself.


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