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Doll Addict Collects $2 Million-Worth of Antique Dolls

Kathy Libraty, an antique doll collector from Brooklyn, New York, has spent the last 25 years searching for antique dolls, and now has an impressive collection of over 1,000 items that’s worth around $2 million.

Believe it or not, Kathy’s fascination with dolls didn’t start when she was a little girl. In fact she remembers she was more of a tomboy and had no real interest in dolls or any girly stuff. Born in France, she and her parents immigrated to the US when she was only 4. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a BA in Art, her passion for photography took her to Europe and the Middle East, where she took a real interest in history and old art. When she and her husband, Frank, bought an old Victorian house, Kathy decided to pursue her love for antiques and started attending country auctions. She was intrigued that people sometimes paid large amounts of money for wigless doll heads, broken limbs and crooked-eye dolls, but not enough to start spending money on them, herself.

It wasn’t until one day, 25 years ago, that Kathy Libraty really became addicted to collecting antique dolls. She and Frank were driving around the neighborhood when they saw a man emptying boxes of antiques into a dumpster. She saw a doll’s leg sticking out and told Frank to stop the car. They went up to the man and asked him if he was going to throw all those things away, and he just replied “Yeah, it’s all dirty old junk”, so they offered to take it off his hands.  When they got home and looked through the “junk” they found a rare 24″ George Borgfeldt doll, several composition mama dolls, and a broken bisque Cuno and Otto Dressel Shoulder head doll. She often wondered what other treasures that man had thrown away in the dumpster that day, but the wonders she managed to get her hands on inspired her to go out into the world and discover her own priceless treasures.

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Meet Dusty, the Real Cat Burglar

He steals all kinds of stuff from them every night, but they don’t mind having a cat burglar around the neighborhood. In fact they love Dusty so much they wouldn’t dream of spoiling his fun by taking better care of their things. But this is only because this cat burglar is an actual cat.

Jean Chu, from San Mateo, California, first noticed Dusty’s klepto tendencies four years ago, about a year after they adopted him from the Peninsula Humane Society. She noticed a latex glove on her bed, one morning, and told her husband, Jim, he should do a better job cleaning his mess. He said: ‘It wasn’t me. I think it was the cat.’ After that, Jean and Jim found all kinds of other stuff, on their doorstep, every morning. Dusty would bring home anything from gloves to towels, bubble wrap, swimsuits, baseball caps and footballs, and along the way, his masters started keeping a log of his junk stash.

Dusty brings home an average of three, four items a night, but has an all-time record of 11 items in 24 hours. Jean goes to the front door every morning and picks the stolen goods as she would the daily paper. She cleans them and walks around the neighborhood looking for the rightful owners. If she can’t find them, she stores everything in boxes, which are starting to get full. But that doesn’t really bother anybody, because whenever something goes missing, all the neighbors know who did it. Dusty has become a local celebrity, and he’s even been featured in People magazine, on Animal Planet and even on David Letterman.

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Man Makes a Living Scraping the Sidewalk for Gold and Diamonds

Believe it or not, the streets of New York really are paved with gold, but you have to get down and dirty to get your hands on it. For urban prospector Raffi Stephanian this isn’t an issue, just a great way to pay the bills.

Using only a Styrofoam cup, a butter knife and tweezers, 43-year-old Raffi scours the streets of New York’s Diamond District searching for gold, diamonds and other precious jewels. You’ve probably walked on 47th Street countless times and didn’t realize the riches that were right there in front of you, but don’t beat yourself up about it, Raffi was probably the only one who ever thought there was something valuable on the sidewalk. And that only because he worked as a stone setter, years ago, when he found gold scraps on the floor of a diamond exchange. He realized if he could find gold inside, then people must have carried it outside, as well.

The gold and precious stones industry is a hectic one, and you can see people running from one shop to the other, from a diamond supplier to a diamond dealer, and so on, and in the process, they drop tiny valuables without even realizing it. Most of the fragments found by Raffi Stephanian were carried into the streets by diamond merchants who accidentally picked them up on their clothes or on the soles of their shoes. He also finds platinum chips, loops from broken necklaces, watches or bracelets, all of which were dropped by mistake.

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Egyptian Man to Fight Full-Grown Lion with His Bare Hands

Sayed al Essawy, an Egyptian who claims to be the world’s strongest man, announced he will be fighting a 10-year-old, 230 kg lion, in front of the pyramids, to boost his country’s tourism business.

I know it sounds silly, but Sayed is very serious about his plan, despite international outrage from animal activists. He claims he discovered his incredible strength when he was only 13, and almost immediately afterwards promised himself he would one day fight a lion. With the current state of the economy in Egypt, because of the recent revolution, Sayed al Essawy thought this was the perfect time to fulfill his childhood dream and at the same time boost his country’s tourism business by promoting the fight.

In an interview with Al Masry Al Youm, Essawy confessed there is also a very serious political message that he wants to send. After he has vanquished the lion, he wants to place an Israeli flag on its body and put his foot on it. He says it was Israel who pushed him to do this, with all the atrocities they committed while he was growing up, and now he wants to prove that even though Israel and America are as strong as lions, they can still be defeated by the Arab youth, which is about to explode…

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Chessboxing – The Thinking Person’s Contact Sport

Chessboxing is a very unique sport that consists of alternating rounds of boxing and chess, allowing players to win either by knockout or check mate.

You probably think it’s a joke, but those who actually practice chessboxing take it very seriously. In order to be a world class chess-boxer, one must have extensive boxing experience and be at least a Class A strength chess player. The basic idea in chessboxing is to combine the top combat sport with the number one thinking sport into a hybrid that requires competitors to give it their best both physically and mentally.

The history of chessboxing can be traced back to 1992, when French cartoonist Enki Bilal created The Nikopol Trilogy, a comic book that depicted a futuristic world where men boxed on a chessboard floor. The concept inspired Dutch artist Iepe Rubingh to create chessboxing and organize the first world championship, in 2003. Since then, the sport he been constantly gaining popularity and new members from all walks of life join every year.

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Destruction Club Allows Members to Let Off Some Steam by Smashing Stuff

The Destruction Company is a member only Fight Club-like organization that allows rich Americans to smash stuff to smithereens, using an arsenal of weapons.

Destruction has been used as therapy to relieve stress for a few years now, and people seem willing to pay top dollar to take out their frustrations on stuff that can’t fight. Clubs offering people the chance to destroy old refrigerators, washing machines and things like that have been around for a while, but The Destruction Company only addresses frustrated rich folks who can afford to smash brand new things.  From a $10 set of plates to a $2,000 grand piano and even luxury cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, The Destruction Company offers whatever items you feel like releasing all your frustrations on.

This exclusive club is based at a secret location in New Jersey and new members can only join if they receive an invite from a current Destruction Company member. They are then called for an interview to decide if they have what it takes to join the club. They have to sign a legal waiver and respect the organization’s rules: no use of firearms, no living things or paperwork can be destroyed and no alcohol or drugs can be used during the destruction session. Members pay a confidential annual membership fee, plus the cost of every item they wish to destroy.

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World’s Most Pierced Woman Gets Married

When your body is covered with almost 7,000 metal piercings, one more ring really doesn’t seem that important, but for Elaine Davidson it was the most important one so far.

Looking at her, you’d probably think most normal men would run for the hills the minute they laid eyes on Elaine Davidson, the world’s most pierced woman, but she actually got a decent looking civil servant named Douglas Watson, who doesn’t have any visible piercings, to marry her. The 42-year-old former nurse was dressed in a classic white wedding dress that covered all of her body, except the face which was painted green and covered with 192 piercings. In case you’re wondering, no, she didn’t scare off the minister.

Brazilian-born Davidson first broke the record for most piercings in 2000, when Guinness examined her body and found 462 piercings, including 192 on her face. She’s come a long way since then and the last count revealed she now sports 6,925 piercings, weighing around three kilograms. Believe it or not, she never takes off any of her piercings. Read More »

Prague Zoo Sells Elephant Dung as Souvenirs

Something doesn’t smell right in Prague, and I’m pretty sure it’s the buckets of elephant dung the local zoo has started selling to visitors, as souvenirs.

That’s right, the Czechs have apparently found a way to turn mounds of crap into piles of cash, by selling it in 1,5 kg plastic buckets, for 70 koruna ($4.20) each . The idea belongs to zoo director Miroslav Bobek, whose last name actually means ‘piece of dung’ in Czech, and believe it or not, it proved a big success. The stinky souvenirs were only introduced last month and sold just on weekends, but sales have been so brisk that management has decided to offer them to the public all week long. It’s estimated the zoo sells around 200 ice-cream-like dung containers every week, most of them to Czech gardeners who use it as fertilizer.

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1,500 Unwanted Facebook Guests Show Up for Girl’s Birthday Party

Facebook is one powerful tool, and a 16-year-old German girl found that out the hard way, after she forgot to set her Facebook birthday party invitation as private and had her celebration crashed by 1,500 strangers.

The girl, known only as Thessa, had originally planned to invite only a few friends over at her house in Hamburg-Bramfeld, but mistakingly published the invitation on Facebook so that everyone could see it. Before long, the invitation went viral and around 15,000 people confirmed they would come to the party, even though they didn’t even know the girl. When Thessa’s parents found out, they made her cancel the invitation, announced the police and hired a private security firm to guard their house on the big day.

Even though public announcements that the party had been cancelled were made in hamburg, some 1,500 people showed up in front of Thessa’s house ready to party. Some of them had banners asking ‘Where is Thessa’, others brought presents, home-made cake, and plenty of alcohol, but they were all ready for a good time, and the 100 policemen present on the scene weren’t going to stop them. They started singing ‘Thessa, celebrating a birthday is not a crime’, in relation with the massive police presence on the premises, and although eleven revelers were detained, a police officer was injured and dozens of girls wearing flip-flops cut their feet on broken glass, Thessa’s party was abig hit.

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Father Waves Goodbye to His Son in 170 Different Costumes

Rain Price is probably the world’s most embarrassed son, after his father waved goodbye to him dressed in all kinds of wacky costumes, as he went away in the school bus. This happened every day, for the entire school year.

While the sixteen-year-old found his father’s daily ritual embarrassing, especially since this was his sophomore year, for Dale Price this was a special way of saying ‘ I love you’ to his son. On the first day of school, he went out of the house dressed pretty normally and waved goodbye to Rain, who thought it was going to be just another school year. But that all changed on day 2, when Dale came out wearing a San Diego Chargers helmet. Things just got worse from then on, as Dale started wearing ever stranger outfits, including a wedding dress, a Wonder Woman costume, a Star Trek Uniform and even sat on a toilet with pants pulled down reading the paper and waving goodbye.

Rain’s colleagues actually loved his father’s goofy habit and were looking forward to seeing what he was dressed in, every day. They would laugh, roll down the windows and wave back at him. But the teenager isn’t planning on rewarding his father for his efforts, as he says his year-long feeling of embarrassment is reward enough. Luckily, the end of the school year finally came on June 2, and Dale saw him off one last time, dressed in a pirate costume he had stored from a Halloween celebration.

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15-Year-Old Has a Strange Passion for Vacuum Cleaners

Kyle Krichbaum, a 15-year-old boy from Adrian, Michigan, has been fascinated by vacuum cleaners since before he could talk. His passion stuck with him through adolescence, and he’s now known as the world’s youngest vacuum cleaner collector, with a collection of around 200 vintage devices.

Most teenagers don’t have that strong of a relationship with vacuum cleaners, or any other cleaning gadgets, for that matter, but Kyle Krichbaum doesn’t like anything more than using, fixing and collecting all kinds of vacuum cleaners. His mother, MaryLynn, remembers that when Kyle was only a baby in his little baby seat and she would start vacuuming the house, he would be mesmerized by it and follow her everywhere around the house. “Vacuum Boy” got his first vacuum cleaner at age 1, and when he was 2-years-old he dressed up hot Halloween as a Dirt Devil…

One of his former teachers remembers Kyle Krichbaum was vacuuming around school, during recess, when he was just 6 years old. It’s not that he didn’t like recess as much as the other kids, vacuuming was just his favorite pass-time. He would vacuum one side of a classroom one day, and finish the other side the next, and has even vacuumed the principal’s office.

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Gold-Plated Barbecue Grill Is World’s Most Expensive

If you have money to burn, this $164,000 gold-plated barbecue-grill made by BeefEater Barbecues should be at the the top of your spending list.

Sure, this hand-made Signature Series 6 Burner SL400 looks good has some nice built-in features like a wok burner, warming rack and roasting hood, but will it make your steaks taste better? Probably enough, and the creators of the grill themselves say they made it for people ‘want to make a statement with their barbecue and have the money to burn’. ‘Why would anyone want to make a statement with their barbecue?’, you ask? Maybe because they just got bored of gold phones, gold-plated cars, have eaten enough gold-plated food and need something new to attract attention.

The one-of-a-kind barbecues is covered with 24 carat gold, except for the actual grilling surface, and was created for the 2008 Sydney Home Show, for an estimated $60,000. Now, the price has gone up to $164,000. Somebody better buy it soon, before the gold price rises even more.

 

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Man Is Helplessly Addicted to Sausages

I suppose it could be worse, but 47-year-old David Harding has become the first man in Britain (and probably the world) who has undergone therapy to cure his addiction to sausages.

David has had at least one sausage a day ever since he was five years old – either in sandwiches, as fry-ups or main meals – and often eats as many as 13 of them. He spends around $1,150 on sausages every year, and has even bought a deep chest fridge just so he could store his favorite treats – McWhinney’s Irish pork sausages.

Last year, David realized he could be a sausage addict, when his wife Susan decided to cook something different for dinner, and he didn’t get his usual fix. He acted a little crazy in that particular situation which made him realize something was wrong, so he decided to seek professional help. So far, Harding has forked out $3,100 on four sessions with a professional therapist and two with a therapist, buts says he’s as far from curing his strange addiction as he was when he first started counseling.

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Austria Hosts Motorized Toilet Bowl Race

In an attempt to raise awareness to the seriousness of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, an Austrian association asked various celebrities to participate in a toilet bowl race, in Vienna.

Usually it’s always about the fastest way to the toilet, but yesterday, people were more concerned about being the fastest on the toilet. No, I’m not talking about a pooping contest, but a motorized toilet bowl race held in Michaelerplatz Square, Vienna. Musicians, cabaret artists, comedians and other sorts of celebrities agreed to participate in the wacky race in order to attract attention to chronic inflamatory bowel disease, a condition that affects around 80,000 Austrians.

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Spanish Gym Offers Naked Workouts

A gym in Spain’s Basque region has begun offering naked workouts, in order to beat the economic recession.

When Merche Laseca, owner of the Easy Gym, in Arrigorriaga, noticed fewer people were attending his gym because of the crisis, he knew he had to come up with something new to keep his business afloat. He did some research and discovered the area was a popular destination for naturists. In fact, two local swimming pools were already offering popular monthly nude swimming sessions, and since he discovered there are at least 12 nudist beached in the Basque region, and a mass naked run organized yearly in the nearby town of Sopelana, he figured a naturist gym wasn’t a bad idea.

“We’re always interested in new activities” and “doing sports without clothes is natural and much more comfy” argues Maite Vicuna, president of the Basque Naturist Association, but there are skeptics who are less than thrilled with the idea of a nudist gym. They claim clothes are important when working out, as they retain most of the sweat, whereas doing it naked means the swat goes on the machines, the floor and even on the people around you. Read More »