Japanese School for Mascots Teaches Tricks of the Trade

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You know those over-sized furry creatures that entertain kids at theme parks and special events? They’re called character mascots and being a good one is apparently about more than putting on a costume and acting silly. For professional training, there’s the Choko Group mascot school in Tokyo, Japan.

Probably the only school for mascots in the world, Choko Group was founded in 1985, by veteran mascot Choko Ohira. Students that go here are taught everything from traditional dance, which helps with goofy mascot dancing, to various walking styles that help illustrate different ages when wearing the funny costume. Wannabe mascots also learn how to interact with children, project a friendly or scary aura and using gestures to communicate when users are unable to see the wearer’s face. Right now,there are around 25 students at the Tokyo mascot school. Their ages range from early 20s to mid 50s, and while some are attending Ohira’s courses for pure fun, some are interested in pursuing mascot careers, and are hoping to some day work at a big theme park.

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World’s Longest Word Has 189,819 Letters, Takes 3.5 Hours to Pronounce

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The full chemical name of the world’s largest known protein has 189,819 letters and is considered the longest word in any language. If you’re one of those people who loves to watch paint dry, you can even watch a 3.5-hour video of a guy pronouncing the whole name.

Titin, also known as connectin, is a giant protein composed of 244 individually folded protein domains connected by unstructured peptide sequences. Also, the gene for titin contains the largest number of exons (363) discovered in any single gene. Titin is important in the contraction of striated muscle tissues, but it’s mostly known for its technical name, which is sometimes referred to as the longest known word in any language. The name “titin” is derived from the Greek “titan” (a giant deity, anything of great size), but it’s the full chemical name that really does it justice. I could just paste it in this post, but it would take you forever just to scroll through it, so I’m just going to say it starts with  methionyl and ends …isoleucine. You can fill in the middle part yourself. But if you’re really curious to hear someone pronounce the world’s longest word, there’s a boring cool video of some Russian-sounding guy who takes around 3.5 hours to go through all the letters, and even grows a beard in the process. After a while, it all starts to sound like mumbling, but you have to admire the poor guy for his effort.

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72-Year-Old Grandpa Finds Internet Fame after Modelling Teen Girl Outfits

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Photos of a 72-year-old Chinese man modelling stylish clothes for young women have recently went viral online, after his granddaughter posted them on China’s largest retail website. What started out as a silly joke turned into a massive advertising campaign for her store.

We’ve had posts about successful elderly fashion models before, but Liu Xianping, a grandfather from China, is the first elderly male model who reached Internet stardom for modelling girls’ clothes. Liu, 72, has been posing for his granddaughter’s female fashion store on Tmall and although the garments are designed for sweet and cute teen girls, featuring rosy shades, laces and ribbons, he totally pulled it off. His confidence in front of the camera, his slim physique and pair of long skinny legs have apparently gained the admiration of millions and made some girls green with envy. And most importantly, his granddaughter’s store sales have increased 5 times since his pictures went viral.

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Liars Face Off in World’s Biggest Liar Competition

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Every year, experienced liars from all over the globe gather in Santon Bridge, a tiny village in Northwestern England, to compete for the coveted title of world’s biggest liar. Before you make any suggestions about who should participate in this wacky contest, you should know politicians and lawyers are barred from entry, as they are considered to have an unfair advantage.

The World’s Biggest Liar competition is held every year, in November, in honor of of 19th-century Bridge Inn landlord Will Ritson, who was famous for his incredible stories. He always claimed his tales were true, although most of them sounded like this: the turnips in Wasdale (a valley in Cumbria) are so big that after locals quarry into them for their Sunday lunch, they can be used as sheds for their sheep. In honor of this legendary liar, the Santon Bridge pub has been organizing a competition to crown the world’s biggest liar. Competitors have just five minutes to tell the biggest and most convincing lie they can think of, without using any props or scripts, or telling jokes. Over the years, people have won the contest with stories about World War II German submarines invading England to capture digital television decoders, or magical journeys to Scotland in trash cans that went under the sea. It’s reported that one year, a bishop went on stage and won the contest with a single line: “I have never told a lie in my life!”

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Say Goodbye to That Morning-After Feeling with the Anti-Hangover Patch

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If you’ve ever had one drink too many at a party, you probably already know what a hangover feels like. Luckily, thanks to the new Bytox pathes, you never have to experience the morning-after feeling ever again.

When you consume too much alcohol, the vitamin B complex as well as other nutrients get depleted rapidly from your body, due to the diuretic effect of alcohol. This has some unwanted effects on the central nervous system, which translate into the dreaded condition we all know as “the hangover”. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and thirst, and are usually experienced the morning after a person has consumed alcohol. Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually do something to prevent hangovers, and still drink as many beers as you like? Well, apparently, all you have to do is apply a patch on your body and enjoy yourself. The makers of Bytox, an anti-hangover patch, say it replenishes all the vitamin B and nutrients lost during the drinking process, and prevent changes to the central nervous system and restoring the body’s natural balance.

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Russian Coupon Site Is Offering a 50% Discount on Redemption Just in Time for the Mayan Apocalypse

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Believe it or not there are people out there who actually believe they can buy their way into Heaven. A Russian coupon site is offering a 50% discount on indulgences offered by the Catholic Church, and so far over 100 people bought the coupon. The funny thing is Russia is an Orthodox country…

What’s the price of redemption, fellow sinners? Well, according to this offer posted on Russian site Kupon Klub, it’s just 500 rubles ($16). Come on, you have to admit that’s a bargain! But, truth be told, it’s 50% off thanks to the kindness of an Italian Catholic church that has offered to pray for the forgiveness of your sins at half price. All someone has to do is buy this holy coupon and send its unique number to an email address mentioned on site. No matter how much you’ve sinned over the years, you can buy just one coupon for yourself, but you can get as many as you want to have your loved-ones’ sins forgiven as well. According to Lifenews.ru, the organizers of this bizarre campaign believe the number of sold coupons will be in the millions, but with 37 days to go to expiry, only 110 people have bough the discounted indulgence vouchers. That’s right, 110 people believe paying $15 for a coupon will open their way into Heaven.

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FINALLY! Japanese Company Develops Gas-Deodorizing Underwear

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Thanks to Japanese company Inodore, the days when passing gas in public was seen as a social taboo may  soon be behind us. If you can keep the noise level down, their odor-deodorizing fabric does the rest, absorbing up to 99% of gas smell.

I know what you’re thinking, fart-proof underwear have been around for a while now, but according to Professor Hiroki Ohge of Hiroshima University they didn’t do such a great job of neutralizing smells. Ohge first got inspired to work on this unusual type of underwear when he traveled to America to study how diseases could affect the smell of people’s flatulence. In theory, by analyzing the smell of gas, along with its main component, hydrogen sulfide, one could be able to tell if he was suffering from a disease without having to succumb to more complicated examinations. While researching in the US, the Japanese professor noticed stores were selling various cushions and shorts that used activated carbon and charcoal to deodorize body smells. After analyzing them he identified some flaws in their design and technology, and upon returning to Japan, he began working on his own improved smell-neutralizing fabric.

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Chinese Airline Judges Pilot Candidates by Armpit Odor

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A Chinese airline has sparked controversy after it was reported it included a zero-body-odor requirement in its pilot recruitment tests. Applicants had their armpits sniffed by company staff, to check for any bad smells.

You think requirements stink in your line of work? Think again. Chinese company Hainan Airlines demanded to smell under the arms of students interviewing as trainee aircrew. Obviously, there were other requirements as well, including 20/20 vision, a maximum height of 1.87 meters and a very good knowledge of the English language, but meeting them and failing the bad odor test meant instant elimination for candidates. “I passed everything, but I was doomed by my armpits, which are always a bit whiffy”, said one of the applicants. Asked about the purpose of this unusual requirement, one of the Hainan Airlines testers said “our staff works very closely with the public, and no passenger wants to smell a pilot’s armpits. And if they can keep their cool min this test, they aren’t going to sweat in the cockpit.” The photos below paint a pretty clear picture of how the BO test was conducted.

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Prepare to Be Owned as Japanese Man Auctions Off Planet Earth

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We see crazy and bizarre items auctioned off on sites like eBay or Yahoo Auctions, every day, but this is the first time someone actually thought about selling our planet. The starting price was a measly ¥69 ($0.86), but since the auction went viral, the price has surged to ¥9,889,899,888 ($123,000,000). I still think it’s a bargain.

I know, this might seem like a joke to you, but it’s apparently no laughing matter to the seller. In the product description, it’s mentioned the Earth was bestowed upon the seller by God, who appeared to him in a dream. And since these are tough times, he decided to sell it to the highest bidder and improve his financial status. He lists our planet as “authentic” and warns bidders there is a “no return” policy on the item. So if you end up placing a bid and wind up owning the Earth and its inhabitants, you’re kind of stuck with us. You might feel tempted to post a prank bid on this, but the seller instructs all potential buyers to include a message expressing there serious intention to buy planet Earth, otherwise he will consider it a prank bid. And if there are too many prank bids he threatens to close the auction and start over at ¥69. In fact, he already did that once already, so please, be careful.

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Armageddon-Proof Survival Pod Proves a Big Hit

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You may be all happy and carefree today celebrating Halloween, but don’t forget that according to the Mayan calendar the end of days is less than two months away. Luckily, there’s a way around it – a survival pod built by a Chinese inventor who claims it can withstand the end of the world.

It’s big, it’s round, and apparently it will keep you alive in case of a natural disaster or a nuclear meltdown. Officially, it’s called the “Atlantis”, but everyone has started calling it a modern-day Noah’s Arc. Chinese entrepreneur and inventor Yang Zongfu worked on his survival pod for the last two years and spent around $150,000 making it as durable as possible. Back in August, he announced a series of public tests which would prove his Armageddon-proof survival pod was ready for the end of the world. On August 6, he climbed inside the Atlantis and was pushed down a 50-meter obstacle course on the side of a hill, over a bed of rocks and into a pool. Sadly, as soon as it hit the water, the arc’s door opened proving it was less than water tight. the inventor himself came out in one piece, but with a cut on his chin. But that didn’t discourage Yang, who moved on to the fire test, in which he set a smaller version of the Atlantis on fire, and pulled out a frozen ice-cream that had been perfectly preserved inside.

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Japanese DVD Lets You Go on a Dinner Date without an Actual Date

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Getting a girl to go out to dinner with you isn’t as easy as some people think. Luckily, now there’s a DVD that allows single men to experience a dinner date, without having to convince a woman to go out with them. It’s called “Amateur Dinner Time – Let’s Eat Together! -, and it’s hilarious.

Maybe you’re too shy to ask a girl out, or maybe you’re just too cheap to take her to a restaurant. Whatever your reason, you’re probably a bit curious about what it must be like to have a pleasant conversation with an attractive girl, over dinner. Now, thanks to a series of original DVDs released by Japanese media company K-NETWORK, you can (sort of) interact with cute girls from in front of your TV screen. Each of the three Amateur Dinner Time DVDs features a number of attractive ladies as they sit across the table from the camera enjoying their meal and engaging in small talk. They probably don’t answer your every question, or laugh at your stupid kokes, but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

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Man Sues Wife for Being Ugly, Gets Awarded $120,000 in Damages

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In what may be the weirdest divorce trial in recent history, a man in China sued his wife for being ugly and actually won the right to divorce her and a substantial settlement of $120,000.

No, this is not a joke. Earlier this year, Jian Feng, a man from northern China took his spouse to court for being ugly. But you couldn’t really tell that by looking at her, in fact the unnamed woman could be considered attractive by most standards. To make things even weirder, the judge actually ruled in his favor, granting him the right to a divorce and a settlement of around $120,000. This probably makes no sense to you right now, but I’ll try to clarify things as best I can. Jian Feng’s problems began when he and his wife had their first baby. The man described his daughter as “incredibly ugly” and told the court she resembled neither of the parents. Now, most fathers would just hold their piece and love that little angel as if she were the most beautiful baby ever born, but not Feng. He started accusing his wife of cheating on him, and he kept at it until she couldn’t take no more and finally admitted she might have something to do with the baby’s appearance.

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Woman with Toilet Phobia Is Terrified She Will Be Swallowed Up When She Flushes

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Can you imagine having to ask someone else to flush the toilet for you because you’re too terrified it will swallow you up? That’s exactly what 20-year-old Ney Decino, from Church Village, Wales, has to go through every day.

“The sound of the water sends shivers down my spine. It’s awful. I swear it will swallow me up. Once I’ve flushed, the sound of it and the look of the water going down, it freaks me out,” Ney says. She has had an irrational fear of toilets ever since watching a scene in the 1990 film Look Who’s Talking Too, starring John Travolta and Kirsty Alley. It showed an imaginary big-eyed, sharp-toothed character called Mr. Toilet Man, who screams it wants the child’s pee. I actually remember that scene, it freaked me out a bit as well, but I got over it pretty quickly. Ney, on the other hand, hasn’t, and she has had to deal with her phobia for most of her life. The young mother says she only goes to the toilet in public if it’s an absolute emergency, and always tries to find work close to home, so she can use the only toilet she feels safe on. And even there, she has problems flushing if she’s by herself. She will use a friend’s toilet if she has to, but only if they or a family member flush for her. Now, she’s trying to face her fear by setting up a Facebook group and getting in touch with other phobia-sufferers.

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University Graduate Lands Job as Human Scarecrow

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It’s not the kind of job students dream of during university years, but for 22-year-old Jamie Fox being a human scarecrow in a rape field really is a great gig. It gives him the chance to sit down, read a book and even improve his ukelele-playing skills.

Jamie graduated from Bangor University this summer, with a degree in music and English, but until he finds a job he likes in the music business, he’s more than happy to put on a bright orange suit and play a scarecrow in a rape field, in Norfolk, England. ”The farmer said to me, ‘Bring a deckchair and a good book’,” Mr. Fox says, and that’s exactly what he did. Now he just enjoys the peace and quiet, and the fresh air while catching up on some reading, listening to podcasts and playing the ukelele during his daily 8-hour shifts. ”I get to sit and read for a lot of the time but whenever I see the partridges, I have to get up and scare them off,” the young man said. ”A couple of my friends in busier, more generously-paid jobs, are slightly envious.” And for good reason, who wouldn’t want to earn £250 ($400) a week just sitting around in the great outdoors?

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Clever Experiment Proves We Do Judge Books by Their Covers

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Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, hosts of the NSFW Podcast, managed to push their $0.99 e-book to the #4 position on iTunes, without having to write a single word. How did they do it? Easy, they included lots and lots of sex.

You’ve probably heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic novel that took the world by storm a few months back. At one point it was all everyone was talking about, although not all critics were impressed with the quality of writing. Still, it became a bestseller and managed to drag other erotic literature to the top with it, whether it was good or bad. Brian Brushwood, one of the hosts of the NSFW Podcast noticed this trend while he was trying to push his book on magic tricks, Scam School Book 2: Fire. Looking at the iTunes chart he discovered the top 10 was all erotic fiction. Even established contemporary writers couldn’t break into the top 10 because of all the erotic books that were capitalizing on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. He thought “hey, we could do that”, and that’s how their clever experiment began.

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