Employees Get Company Logo Tattoo in Exchange for Raise

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A New York City real estate company has offered employees a 15% pay raise if they get a tattoo of its logo on their bodies. So far, 40 of the 800 employees took the deal and got a permanent Rapid Realty tattoo.

People usually get tattoos to show off their personality, but for the employees of Rapid Realty getting inked was simply a quick and sure way to get a 15% permanent bonus. Company owner Anthony Lolli has been more than happy to pay for tattooing fees, but doesn’t take credit for the idea. Surprisingly enough, it all started when one of his employees decided to do it for free. “He calls me up,” Lolli said “‘Hey Anthony, I’m getting the logo on me.’ I show up at the shop and I’m like ‘this is cool, how can I repay you?’” And it all pretty much snowballed from there, and now 40 of his 800 workers have the Rapid Realty logo inked somewhere on their bodies. There are no restrictions regarding the size and location of the tattoo, and that got people interested. For example, Brooke Koropatnick got hers behind the ear and says: “I had a paycheck coming in what was a substantial amount of money different, so it was nice.” Stephanie Barry went under the needle two weeks ago and got a nice bonus for every successful transaction. “I was like, why am I throwing my money away when I could give myself from a $25,000 to $40,000 for the same amount of work?” Barry told reporters.

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Urban Treasure Hunter Makes a Living Retrieving Stuff People Drop on the Street

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For the last eight years Puerto Rico native Eliel Santos has been making a living by reeling in jewelry, cash and electronics from beneath New York City’s sidewalk grates. It may not seem like a very profitable trade, but on great days he can earn over $1,000.

38-year-old Eliel Santos lives in the Bronx, but he spends every day of the week visiting various areas of the Big Apple and using dental floss and mouse trap glue to retrieve whatever valuable items people drop through the sidewalk grates. The urban treasure hunter spends most of his time looking down through the small metal holes hoping to spot something worth pawning. Whenever something grabs his attention, Eliel positions himself over the target and pulls out his trusty tools – a line of dental floss attached to different size weights covered in mouse glue. With expert precision, he lowers his sticky lure through the grating into the darkness below and quickly catches his “prey”. Sometimes it’s just quarters or useless shiny objects, but a lot of times Santos walks away with precious jewelry, cash and even trendy gadgets like iPhones or iPods. “If you drop it, I’m going to pick it up — so be careful,” he warns the pedestrians of New York.

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Looking for Time Twins – Man Travels the World to Meet People Born on the Same Day as Him

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Curious to know what other people who have spent the same number of days on Earth as him have achieved, English writer Richard Avis is traveling around the world looking for individuals who share his birthday.

Were you born on December 1st, 1974? Than you just might be on Richard Avis’ to-visit list. The oddball English writer has embarked on a journey to meet 40 of his “time twins” in different locations around the world and put his experiences down on paper for his new book. “I was not alone in being born on that day.  Families across the world celebrated their new additions on that day 38 years ago,” Richard writes on his website. “But what kinds of lives have these people lived?  With the same length of time on this planet as me, what have they achieved?  What have been their greatest achievements; and what are their burning ambitions?  Do they see themselves as young, middle aged or old?  Have they achieved their defining moment, or is that still to come? Are they married with children, or single, backpacking round the world?  Are they successful – and how is this judged?  How have their lives been affected by the accident of geography that led them to be born where they were?  Is our age a defining similarity, or does the concept of age change from country to country?” These are the questions he’s trying to find answers to through his unique Time Twins project.

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Jinichi Kawakami – Japan’s Last Real Ninja

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As the 21st head of the Ban clan, a line of ninja that can be traced back 500 years and the only living person who learned all the skills that were directly handed down from ninja masters, Jinichi Kawakami is considered by many the last real ninja in all of Japan.

63-year-old Kawakami, a retired engineer, says he started practicing the art of Ninjutsu at the age of six. He was just a young boy when he began training under master Masazo Ishida, a man who dressed as a Buddhist monk, and didn’t even realize what he was learning until years later. He was required to endure extreme heat and cold, as well as pain and hunger. To improve his concentration, he would have to look at the wick of a candle until he got the feeling he was inside it, and practice hearing the sound of a needle falling on a wooden floor. He climbed walls, jumped from great heights, learned chemicals and making explosives and even studied weather and psychology. “The training was all tough and painful. It wasn’t fun but I didn’t think much why I was doing it. Training was made to be part of my life,” Jinichi told AFP. Just before turning 19, he inherited his master’s title, along with his old scrolls and tools. Although he doesn’t claim the title of “last ninja” for himself in order to avoid disputes with other claimants and doubters, he is recognized as Japan’s last real ninja master.

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An Old Story Revisited – Whatever Happened to the Star Trek Apartment?

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I first wrote about Tony Alleyne’s amazing Star Trek apartment back in 2009, but after seeing some photos of his ultimate Trekkie crib I decided it was worth another look. It’s yet unclear if the dedicated fan still owns the place, or if it even exists anymore.

It was 1994 when Tony Alleyne started redecorating the apartment he was living in with cream and metallic colors inspired by the interior of the USS Enterprise from 1979′s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His friend had just given him a Star Trek magazine and he became obsessed with having his own ship. But soon he realized the old Enterprise was a bit boring so he decided to start over and this time recreate the set of the starship Voyager from the 1990s series. Soon his conventional apartment featured a computerized flight deck, a voice-activated computer system, bleeping panels and fluorescent lights inspired by his beloved TV show. Even the windows had been replaced with layers of wood and perspex so they would appear to look out on outer space, and the doorbell played a sample of Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. It was a dream home for any real Trekkie  and Tony had spent just £4,000 ($6,000) sourcing the materials and building it himself. His only mistake was doing it in an apartment he didn’t own. And that apparently cost him everything…

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Man Leaves Water On All Winter Creating Spectacular Frozen Waterfall

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This amazing waterfall seen frozen on the side of a building in Jilin City, Eastern China, is the work of 58-year-old Wen Hsu, the only remaining resident, who left the tap on all winter to make sure his uninsulated pipes didn’t freeze.

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you left the water on for an entire winter, here’s the answer you’ve been waiting for – a giant frozen waterfall. The bizarre sight looks like an original work of art, but it was actually born from one man’s fear of being left without running water. 58-year-old Wen Hsu has been living in the same apartment building for the last 35 years. As was the case in many other cities around China, the property was recently scheduled for demolition, to make room for a new shopping center. Developers tried to settle the matter by offering apartment owners a sum of money so they could buy another home some place else, but Hsu says he refused their offer because it wasn’t enough to get a decent place, so even after all the neighbors moved out, he remained in his old apartment. The loneliness was hard enough to deal with, but this past winter he had a bigger problem to deal with. The cold temperatures threatened to freeze the water in the building unisulated pipes, leaving him without running water, and with no other choice than to leave. But he’s not one to give up easily, so he came up with a weird plan…

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Eyeball Scraping – The Vanishing Trade Practiced by Sichuan Barbers

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Barbers in China’s Sichuan Province have practiced the art of eye-cleaning with a sharp blade for centuries. Like many other ancient traditions, this dangerous trade is slowly vanishing, but you can still find a few barbers willing to scrape your eyeballs with a knife for as little as RMB5 ($0.80).

According to an old Sichuan saying, cleaning the eyes makes the beauty of life more visible, and some people are prepared to go under the knife to make sure they don’t miss a thing. Nicknamed “knife-blade eye cleaning”, the practice of scraping a person’s eyeballs and eyelids with sharp utensils has been a part of Chinese culture ever since ancient times. The craft was supposedly popularized by brothers Zhou Chengfu and Zhou Chengyin, who followed their father’s footsteps and excelled in the technique of servicing the eyeballs, ears and necks of clients, but in recent years it has almost died out. Still, if you look hard enough, you can still find eye-cleaning stands even in modern cities like Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu. 53-year-old Liu Deyuan has been successfully running his small eye-cleaning business for 7 years, offering a head shave and an eye scrape for just RMB5. With many long-term clients lining up to get their eyes cleaned every month, the skilled barber says business is still pretty good.

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The Fake Christian Priests of Japan – A Booming Business

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Christians make up only 1.4% of Japan’s 127 million population, but Western “white weddings” now account for around three quarters of all bridal ceremonies, which means Christian priests are in high demand. To meet their clients’ expectations bridal companies have given up on trying to find ordained ministers and have kept requirements to a minimal – men looking foreign-enough to pass as Christians who can speak a little Japanese and perform the ceremony in 20 minutes.

Japan’s love affair with Christian wedding is believed to have started in the 1980s with the televised weddings of Prince Charles and Lady Diana and was fueled by the nuptials of Japanese pop star Momoe Yamaguchi. People, women especially, were attracted by the idea of celebrating their marriage through a ritual that revolved around love and that elevates the bride to the status of princess even for a short while. Traditional Shinto weddings, on the other hand, encase women in a wig and kimono, and are focused more on the merger of two families. The Japanese simply  fell in love with the sharp dress code, the kiss and the overall image of Western weddings over their centuries-old traditions. But in order to have a genuine-looking ceremony, they wanted Christian priests, which were pretty hard to find. That started the now famous “foreign fake pastors” trend that saw companies and hotels hiring average foreign gentlemen with minimal knowledge of the Japanese language to perform Christian weddings.

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Man Wraps Himself in Plastic Bag to Protect Religious Purity Aboard Plane

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A photo of an Ultra Orthodox Jewish man wrapped in a life-size plastic bag aboard an airplane recently went viral on news-sharing site Reddit, sparking an intense debate concerning his motives.

At first it was believed that the man had donned the bizarre see-through garb to distance himself from women, as some Ultra-Orthodox Jews obey strict rules of gender segregation in public. Now, however, it is believed the man dressed entirely in black and wearing a Jewish skullcap or “kippah” may be a member of the Kohanim, who believe they are descended from the priests of ancient Israel and cannot come in close contact with dead in order to protect their higher-than-average kedushah (holiness). Apparently, the strict religious code prohibits visiting cemeteries except for the funerals of close relatives, and even flying over burial grounds. However, the Haaretz newspaper reports that Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, leader of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, has recently ”found a solution to this issue, ruling that wrapping oneself in thick plastic bags while the plane crossed over the cemetery is permissible”, which would explain the man’s bizarre protective travel gear.

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Scary Mother Nature – Giant Wasp Nest Housing Millions of Stingers Found in Abandoned House

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Just one wasp hovering around is enough to make people go crazy with fear, so i can’t imagine what the people of San Sebastián de La Gomera, in the Canary islands, must have felt like when they discovered a 21-foot wasp nest housing millions of stingers, right next to their homes.

The unusually large hive was discovered by local police officers after they had received numerous calls from concerned members of the community regarding large numbers of wasps swarming around an uninhabited house in San Sebastián de La Gomera. After breaking into the abandoned building they were shocked to discover a giant wasp nest in the hallway that experts say is home to millions of aggressive stingers. Measuring no less than 7 meters in size, the gargantuan structure doesn’t seem to have been built by the common type of wasp found in European gardens, but by an invasive species that must have migrated from Africa. The Canary Islands are located less than 100 kilometers from Morocco by water, so that’s a very likely scenario. Police have been unable to locate the owner of the house, but they’ve sealed off the place for safety reasons, until they determine how to best handle the problem. How about “kill it with fire”?!?

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Thai Family Uses Crocodiles as Watchdogs to Fend Off Burglars

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Who needs watchdogs and alarm systems when you have two full grown crocodiles protecting your house? Awirut Nathip says no burglars have dared come anywhere near his home in the 15 years since his two crocodile pets have been keeping guard.

Burglaries are reported regularly in the city of Phitsanulok, where Awirut Nathip and his family live, but thanks to a perfect security system, they haven’t had any problems for a good fifteen years. Just like everybody else, they used to worry about their safety, until they bought their t pet crocodiles, Thong and Ngen. After that, no one dared set foot on the property uninvited. And for good reason, as Awirut’s unusual guard dogs are very aggressive, especially during the hot summer days. In order to keep them under control and make sure they don’t become frustrated by the unbearable heat, he sprays them with cold water at least 10 times a day, and even lets them cool off in his air-conditioned office from time to time. Even so, Ngen is kept in a ditch next to the house, because he is so aggressive, while Thong does his rounds in the yard. ”If we’re upstairs he’ll come and lie in front of the door. We’re not worried at all. No one would dare to get in,” Mr Nathip says.

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Man Self-Injects Snake Venom to Boost Up His Immunity

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Steve Ludwin, a 42-year-old snake obsessed rocker from California, is one of a just a handful of people who regularly inject venom from the world’s deadliest snakes into their bloodstream, in the belief that it will make them immune to it.

Around 100,000 people around the world die from snake bites every year, and another 250,000 are permanently disabled, but these statistics don’t seem to scare Steve Ludwin. Every week for the past 23 years he has been injecting a venom cocktail from the world’s most dangerous snakes, trying to train his antibodies to resist the poison. By gradually increasing the quantity and frequency of the injections, he believes one day he will become immune not only to snake poison, but other viruses as well. Steve currently has a collection of 28 potentially deadly reptiles in his home, but he is always on the lookout for new additions, scouring European countries for missing specimens and attending snake conventions. On injection days, he expertly milks his snakes for a few milligrams of venom and visits an immunologist to have his killer shot. Within minutes, the muscles in his arm quadruple in size for around 24 hours, as his white blood cells struggle to fight off the poison. The doses he can take these days would kill the average person, but Steve usually goes to a rock concert right after the injection…

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Extreme Kidnapping – Detroit Company Abducts Clients for Fun

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Extreme Kidnapping is a low-profile Detroit company that offer clients the chance to get abducted and spice up their mundane lives. The realistic experience includes getting handcuffed, slapped by goons, zapped with a stun gun and even attacked with police pepper spray.

If you need a break from your boring life and feel that extreme sports like bungee jumping or jumping out of an airplane just won’t cut it, you need to look into the services of Extreme Kidnapping. According to founder Adam Thick, “this service caters to the extreme sports adventurer who is bored with what’s currently available; this takes it to a whole other level. If you don’t feel like you’re really being kidnapped and your life is in danger, then we’re not doing our job.” To make sure he offers customers their money’s worth, Adam says he’s not afraid to hire henchmen with a criminal background, who can get mean and rough when they need to. Thick himself is a convicted counterfeiter so you can say that staging an illegal act is right up his alley. It’s hard to describe what an average fake abduction is like, because Extreme Kidnapping offers custom services designed according to clients’ requests, but one thing you can expect is to be genuinely scared.

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Dead Delicacies: The Man Who Eats Roadkill

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72-year-old Arthur Boyt from Bodmin Moor, England is an unusual man who eats unusual food. His preference in meat leans towards roadkill – the dead animals that lie on the side of highways after being hit by speeding vehicles. This has earned him a bad reputation, but he just considers it a waste to eat anything else.

Over the years, Boyt has taken on the fancy title of ‘Roadkill Connoisseur’. “I am often asked how did this all begin,” he says in an interview. “After 1976, when I was living on my own, I didn’t have to bother with anybody else’s feelings in the matter. The food was there to be bought home and eaten. I would pick up roadkill in those days to bring home, I’m a taxidermist, I skin things and stuff them. And instead of throwing the body away, I decided to start eating them. I think that’s how it came about.” Boyt isn’t queasy about eating a lot of things, including Polecats, whose meat he says has a vile stink. But he’s figured out a way to get rid of the nasty smell – just place the meat under running water for four days, and it’s good to eat for him. He’s eaten badgers and once even a swan, which “tasted like mud.” One of his favorites is Labrador. “It has a pleasant taste and flavor that is a bit like lamb. It turns people off when I say that Labrador is my favorite thing to eat but the point is, I would never kill an animal.” True enough, Boyt is not a wasteful person by nature. “I don’t believe in waste,” he says. “I’m a freegan, I try to eat all my meals for free.”

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Chinese Student Staged Her Own Funeral So She Could Enjoy It

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Zeng Jia, a 22-year-old student from Wuhan, China, shocked family and friends when she invited them to a rehearsal of her own funeral so she could take part in the festivities while she is still alive.

The young student told members of the press that she got the idea for the morbid event after realizing that people spend a lot of time and effort on someone when they’re gone, and they never get the chance to appreciate and enjoy it. Determined not to let that happen to her, Zeng Jia used up all her saving to arrange an elaborate funeral service complete with a coffin, flowers and origami birds, as well as photographers and a crowd of mourners. She then invited her family and friends to take part in the unusual festivities. Believe it or not, some of them actually attended, and got the chance to look at the young girl as she lay in her coffin, with a Hello Kitty doll on her chest. To make the whole thing look and feel realistic, Zeng even hired makeup artists who specialize in working on dead bodies to give her that coveted past-away look. She spent an hour playing dead, as all her relatives and friends passed by her coffin to say their final goodbyes, after which she jumped out to attend the wake and even delivered a eulogy in her honor.

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