Japanese High-Tech Coat Imitates Girlfriend Hugs

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Studies have shown  that hugs can truly make lonely people feel better, so a group of Japanese students from Tsukuba University have invented a coat designed to imitate the feeling of a girlfriend hugging you from behind.

Hugging is all the rage right now. London has its own cuddling workshop for people in need of a hug and a professional cuddler in New York City will wrap her arms around you for a fee. But these solutions don’t work very well if you suddenly find yourself in need of a hug and there’s no one around to give it to you. Luckily, a team of Japanese geeks students have come up with a more practical, if weird, solution – a special hugging coat that emulates the sensation of a girlfriend putting her arms around you from behind. Called the Raiju Coat (Fulfillment Coat), this offbeat invention features motors attached to its back to operate the artificial “arms”, which are controlled through a computer using a USB connection. So whenever its owner feels lonely and in need of a fake girlfriend hug, all he has to do is put it on, close his eyes and imagine a cute anime girl putting her arms around him, as the coat takes hold of his waist. To make the experience even more realistic, the Raiju Coat comes with a pair of headphones that plays the sound of footsteps running from behind and pre-recorded sentences like “I’m sorry, were you waiting?”; “Watch your back!”; “Guess who?”; and “Blind side!” With such advanced hugging technology, who needs a real girlfriend?

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Indian City Introduces Cardboard Traffic Policemen

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They work seven days a week regardless of weather condition, never go on breaks, don’t take bribes and best of all, they require no pay. They are – wait for it – Bangalore’s new lifelike cardboard traffic policemen, and they’re watching you!

India’s tech-city of Bangalore has been facing serious difficulties dealing with traffic violations. Despite low car ownership, the rate of row fatalities has risen sharply in this city of 8.5 million people to at least two road-related deaths per day, in 2012. Some sources say Bangalore needs at least 6,000 traffic policemen to keep things under control, but it currently has a personnel of 3,000. Instead of supplementing their ranks, local authorities have come up with an ingenious idea to make drivers behave at the wheel that doesn’t require significant expenditures - life-size cardboard cutouts of traffic policemen strategically placed on the city’s busiest roads. Only three of them have been deployed so far, but results have been so encouraging that 10 more khaki-wearing fake cops will soon be rolled out to improve Bangalore’s chaotic traffic.

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Japanese Dude Needs Your Help to Travel the World and Take Photos of Beautiful Women

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Kei Akatsu is a Japanese student who wants to travel the world and take photos of beautiful women for his Beauties World Map project. But he needs your help to do it. Traveling isn’t cheap, so he’s turned to an online crowd funding service to fulfill his dream.

The Tokyo University of Science student spent half a year in Vancouver taking photos of cute girls from all over the world and putting together a collection for his Beauties World Map website. He actually managed to meet an impressive number of women, and organized their photos on his site according to their places of origin, age and height. But it was only the beginning of his great photographic experience. Kei Akatsu now wants to travel the world and capture feminine beauty on camera for everyone see. Sadly, he lacks the funds to journey across North and South America, so he turned to Crowdfire, a Japanese online crowd funding service similar to Kickstarter, for help. To attract sponsors, Kei mapped out the entire project and even posted a promotional video and sample photos.

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Something Smells Rotten – Zombie Perfume for That Perfect Undead Fragrance

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If you’ve always dreamed of smelling like a walking corpse, you’re in luck, because weird-perfume maker Demeter has recently launched Zombie for Him/Her, a new line of putrid fragrances for both men and women.

Say the Zombie Apocalypse happens tomorrow and you find yourself all alone in a world full of brain eating undead. What’s your best bet of staying alive when all odds are stacked against you? A Zombie Emergency Defense Station might work for a little while, but what if you didn’t have to hide in fear and wait for that inevitable moment when you run out of bullets and supplies? What if you could just blend among the walking dead without them even noticing the presence of your warm body? That’s where the Zombie for Him and Her perfumes can come in handy. Apparently the men’s fragrance is formulated with the scent of dried leaves, mushrooms, mildew, moss, and earth and will have you smelling like a decomposing body as soon as you spray it on. The ladies’ zombie perfume is a lighter version of the above “with a touch of Dregs from the bottom of the wine barrel for that feminine touch.” Since they’re only going to be available through April 30, you might want to stock up on zombie perfumes for the impending doom.

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Twi-line – A Phone Line for Twilight Fans Struggling to Cope with the Series’ End

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One of the biggest film franchises ever made, the Twilight Saga came to an end with the launch of Breaking Dawn – Part 2. It was a celebrated moment by fans of the series, but now that all the hype is gone, many of them are struggling to accept the fact that their favorite blood-suckers won’t be returning to the silver screen. Luckily, now they have Twi-line, a special phone line that helps them relive their favorite Twilight moments.

It must be tough coming to terms with the fact that vampire heartthrob Edward Cullen will never show his pale face again in a Twilight film, although considering the state of the film industry today, a spin-off isn’t out of the question. For now though, the series is officially over, and apparently that’s really painful for a lot of fans. To celebrate the UK launch of the Breaking Dawn – Part 2 DVD, and to comfort Twi-hards, the film’s distributor has set up a special phone line where they can listen to memorable quotes from their favorite characters over and over again. I don’t get what the big deal is, when they could just replay scenes from the movie and also see their heroes speaking those lines, but it seems many fans actually love the idea of hearing vampire Edward, werewolf Jacob Black and their love interest Isabella Swan over the phone.

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Pregnant Woman Lets Online Voters Choose Baby’s Name for $5,000

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A 26-year-old pregnant woman from West Los Angeles, California, has agreed to allow online voters to chose the name of her child, in exchange for $5,000.

Natasha Hill, a young art teacher from LA, is expecting a baby in September, but she had already started thinking about his/her name. She considered naming her child Katorah or Winter, but since she couldn’t make up her mind, she decided to enter a competition organized by Belly Ballot, a Austin, Texas-based startup that lets parents-to-be crowdsource their babies names with friends and family. According to the online company, voter will be presented with a list of 10 names - five boy names and five girl names – chosen by Belly Ballot and sponsors of the contest. The one with the most votes by the time the ballot concludes will be the name Hill’s baby will legally have, at least until he or she turns 18. Belly Ballot founder Lacey Moler assured participants brand names or names that are “too crazy” won’t be included in the 10 options.

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Finland’s Shouting Men’s Choir Will Make Your Ears Bleed

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Shouting is what some men do best. And when a group of such men get together, you can hardly expect to hear something musical. But that’s what makes the Shouting Men’s Choir in Oulu, northern Finland, so special. The men shout, and it becomes music.

The choir consists of 30 men who generally dress in black suits for their performances. Most locals consider the choir to be a product of long nights in a town with little to do, the north-Finnish sense of humor that borders on the absurd, and of course, a steady supply of vodka. Mika Ronkainen, a local filmmaker, made a documentary film with the choir and its founder as the subject, called Mieskuoro Huutajat. That translates to Screaming Men. It was the first Finnish film to be accepted at the Sundance Festival, and also the first to get international distribution. I saw a short clip from the film on YouTube, in which Petri Sirvio, the founder and director of the Shouting Men’s choir says that the best part of the group’s performance is the element of surprise. “I trained them quite well,” he says rather unabashedly.

Shouting-Mens-Choir

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Young Japanese Women Rent Out Their Bare Legs as Advertising Space

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A good way to make sure your advertisement gets plenty of exposure is to place it where a lot of people are looking. With this important marketing rule in mind, one Japanese advertising service is offering brands a novel way to raise awareness to their business – placing advertising stickers on the bare thighs of young girls.

We’ve featured some pretty bizarre advertising techniques here, on Oddity Central. We’ve had people renting out their last names to the highest bidder, tattooing brand names on their faces, and even using animals as living billboards, But so far, women’s legs have been off limits. Well, not anymore; Japanese PR company Absolute Territory PR has begun paying young women to wear advertising stickers on their “absolute territory” – the part of their thighs between the edge of their miniskirts and their high socks. Apparently this area of the female thigh is very popular with Japanese men, as evidenced by the fact that it even has its own Facebook page. You’d think such a daring way of advertising would be frowned upon by most girls, but as of November of last year, over 1,300 girls had applied for the agency’s service, and their number is growing fast.
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Star Wars Fan Turns Living Room into Large Scale Battle of Hoth Diorama

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What would you do if you had 140 feet available in your living room? You’d probably do something lame, like get a couple of armchairs, a sofa and a coffee table right? But then again you’re not an awesome Star Wars fan like Barry “Zipidi Doodah”. He turned his living room into an awe-inspiring diorama of the Battle of Hoth, from the Empire Strikes Back.

Looking at the photos below, you’re probably thinking something like “wow, this guy has sick Photoshop skills”, but the truth is none of the pics are altered in any way. The special effects you see exist in real life and were built by hand, by Barry himself. It’s unbelievable, I know, and I’m not even that big a Star Wars fan. This guy somehow got his wife to agree to let him use the 140-feet living room space, and went on to recreate the iconic Battle of Hoth with almost perfect detail. Giant AT-ATs, Imperial Probe Droids, tauntauns, gun turrets, stormtroopers, gliding starfighters, he has them all right there in his living room. Sure it’s a bit difficult to maneuver around, especially when you’re in a hurry to get to the bathroom, and there are wires hanging from the ceilings to support some of the decor, but like Barry himself admits, nothing attracts the ladies like having a big Star Wars diorama in your living room.

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Dad Agrees to Pay Daughter $200 if She Stops Using Facebook for Five Months

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A Boston father and his 14-year-old daughter have recently made the headlines after the man posted a photo of a Facebook Deactivation Agreement that states the girl will receive 200$ if she doesn’t log into her Facebook account for the next five months.

Facebook addiction is one of the most talked-about issues of the moment, and when it comes to teens, the problem is even bigger. But one Boston parent may have found the perfect way to convince his daughter to take a nice long break from the popular social media platform – he’s paying her $200. The enterprising young girl has managed to strike a deal with her father, Paul Baier, that involves him paying her $50 in April and an extra $150 in June, if she respects her part of the agreement. “It was her idea, which I fully support,” Paul told the Daily Dot. “She wants to earn money and also finds Facebook a distraction and a waste of time sometimes.”

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Japanese Company Offers Valentine’s Day Insurance for the Lonely

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Valentine’s Day, the most romantic celebration of the year, is fast approaching, and while some people can’t wait to declare their love and shower their partners with gifts, flowers and chocolate, for others it’s just a day of painful loneliness. However, Japanese bachelors no longer have to worry about being the only ones at the office who never gets anything on Valentine’s, thanks to a new service called Valentine’s Day Insurance.

So how does this service work, you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. All a person has to do is visit the Valentine’s Day Insurance website, purchase the ¥500 ($5.50) policy and provide an address where their Valentine’s gift should be delivered. Once they’ve done this, they’re guaranteed to receive a package on February 14, containing chocolates and a personal message from a self-professed beautiful woman called Rieko. I know what you’re thinking, having to buy your own Valentine’s Day present is pretty lame, but for some Japanese men it’s a lot better than having to cope with the uneasiness of being the only ones who didn’t get anything. Well, them and every woman in the Land of the Rising Sun, because here only men receive presents from women, usually in the form of chocolate. In fact, so much chocolate is purchased for the occasion that some Japanese chocolate companies record half of their annual sales in the few weeks before Valentine’s Day.

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Grown Men Have Been Playing a Game of Tag for 23 Years

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23 years ago, nine boys were playing a fun game of tag around the campus of Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington. Fast forward to present day, they’re sill playing the very same game, but with a few exciting twists.

Playing tag is fun when you’re a child, but men in their 40s can’t really chase each other on the playground, screaming “you’re it!” So Bill Akers, Patrick Schultheis, Sean Raftis, Mike Konesky and their other five childhood friends devised a plan to keep playing their game without making people around them nervous. The last time they played the tag in their home town was on the last day of high-school. Joe Tombari remembers that day in 1982 when he plotted to tag a friend that had left school early. Little did he know that his buddy had been tipped off and was waiting for him in his parents’ car with the doors locked. There was no time to tag someone else, so Joe was “it” for life. ”The whole thing was quite devastating,” Tombari told the Wall Street Journal. But that wasn’t going to be the last tag session of their lives, not by a long shot…

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Meet Jon Gnarr, By Far the Coolest Mayor in the World

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The coolest mayor in the world never went to university, is an ex-taxi driver and used to be in a local punk rock band called ‘Runny Nose’ before he became a comedian and actor. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as Jon Gnarr is concerned, a man whose achievements in life are so bizarre that it is truly a wonder how he became the mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city and home to over half of the nation’s population.

You’d think that a goofy guy has the chance to be President for the day only in the movies, but it seems in Reykjavik anything’s possible. Jon Gnarr, who was diagnosed with severe mental retardation and ADHD as a child, started his own political party in 2010 after refusing to join up with any of the existing parties. Funny enough, he named his party ‘The Best Party’. Simple, yet brilliant, isn’t it? It had to be, because he won his very first election to the office of mayor with 34.7% of the popular vote. According to what Gnarr told the media, his first real challenge as a politician was deciding between the names ‘The Best Party’ and ‘The Cool Party’. He ultimately settled for the first because it sounds dorkier, which was the vibe he was looking for. Called ‘Besti Flokkurin’ in the local language, the party is a motley group of artists, comedians and punk rockers, none of whom have had any prior experience in city-planning or politics. The only thing they did do well before the elections was record an Icelandic take on the Tina Turner song ‘Simply the Best’ and use it as their official campaign song. With lines like “We want a city that’s cuddly and clean and cool,” and “Tell the squatters in-charge that it’s time to leave,” the song was both silly and attention-grabbing at the same time. If the goofy mayor is to be believed, the city was being run by ‘blathering loons’ and it’s no surprise at all that the Best Party won.

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Sound of Silence CD Sold by Church Proves Big Hit

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St Peter’s Church, in East Sussex, England, has found a novel way to found its repairs – selling CDs with the sound of silence recorded inside the 800-year-old house of worship.

Believe it or not, the 30-minute recording featuring only dull sounds like squeaking pews, soft footsteps and the hum of distant traffic proved a hit not only with local parishioners eager to contribute to the repair fund, but also peace and quiet lovers from countries like Germany, Austria and even Ghana. It seems that in this day and age, chill-out music like Buddha Bar just doesn’t cut it anymore. People have such busy and noisy lives they often feel the need for simple silence.  ”There are a few noises here and there – if it was total silence people might get bored,” said one East Sussex churchgoer. “Those who have bought it have enjoyed it.”

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Male TV Hosts Go Through the Agony of Giving Birth

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Two male Dutch TV hosts known for performing outlandish stunts on their program, “Proefkonijnen” (Guinea Pigs), have recently experienced agonizing pain similar to that of labor, by strapping electrode emitting machines to their abdomens.

Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno first caused international controversy in 2011, when they consumed cooked pieces of each other’s flesh, on live television. Now, they’re back with another crazy experiment. Not satisfied with just sympathizing with women who go through labor, the two crazy hosts wanted to go through the same experience, to see what it feels like. And since actually giving birth was out of the question, they went for the next best thing – strapping a number of electrodes to their bellies, which sent electrical charges meant to simulate cramps and contractions. The controlled experiment lasted two hours and had the two crazy men screaming, groaning and curling into the fetal position from the pain.

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