Caga Tio – Catalonia’s Wacky Present-Pooping Christmas Log

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Caga Tio is a Christmas tradition in the Catalonian region of Spain. Caga is pronounced caca, and it means ‘poop’. Tio means ‘tree trunk’ or ‘uncle’. So it is basically a tradition of the pooping tree trunk. What does the trunk poop? Why gifts, of course!

The Caga Tio is a small log of wood with a painted face and two front legs. It makes an appearance in homes every year on the 8th of December, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Children keep the log as a pet until Christmas, feeding it and keeping it warm. They believe the log will grow if they feed it properly.

There is no such thing as a growing log, of course. The parents actually replace the logs every few days with larger ones. It’s easy for families who live in the country; they just go outside, find a piece of wood and paint a face on it. Urban parents have a tougher time. They have to trek into the woods to find larger Caga Tios. But mostly they just buy new ones from shops. The Caga Tio is done growing by Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The full grown log is placed in the center of the living room and covered with a large red blanket. Children gather around, sing songs and hit the Caga Tio with sticks repeatedly, until it ‘poops’ out the presents. Earlier, the tradition was to place the log partially in fire, ordering it to defecate. There aren’t many modern households with fireplaces anymore, so now it’s just down to hitting the log.

Caga-tio

..

Would You Eat Fish Caught in the Sewer? Yes, Sewer Fishing Is Actually a Thing

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Kyle Naegeli, a 15-year-old high school student from the city of Katy, in Texas, loves fishing with a twist. Instead of going to a lake far away from the city, he prefers fishing right beside his home – in a sewer. That’s right, sewer fishing is a real sport and Kyle is an expert at it.

The storm drain where Kyle goes fishing is located merely 40 feet from his home. He calls it an untapped fishing paradise. So far, he has managed to catch catfish and bluegills, species that you would hardly expect to find swimming around in a drain. Yet, he’s filmed himself getting a hold of these fish and posted the footage on YouTube. In the videos, Kyle drops a 10-foot line tied to a worm or a piece of hot-dog into the drain and returns later to pull out slippery, large fish. “I have a line out constantly, I set it and check it every night,” he said.

Many people have doubted his credibility, though, because of the time lag between putting in the bait and retrieving the fish. But some videos don’t have any cuts, because he catches the fish almost immediately. Kyle doesn’t think it’s hard to believe that he’s finding so many fish in the storm drain. “The pond is like 100, 150 yards away,” he said. “I think it connects somewhere and that’s how they’re getting in.”

sewer-fishing

..

Student Creates Hydrophobic Shirt That’s Impossible to Stain

4 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Silic shirt is an amazing garment that just doesn’t catch a stain. No matter what you spill on it – water, soda, or even ketchup – it just rolls right off the T-shirt. Invented by San Francisco based student, Aamir Patel, the shirts are made from a material with billions of silica particles bonded to the fibers on a microscopic level.

Despite the unique material used, Silic shirts are said to feel no different from regular clothing. Patel has created a Kickstarter page for his unique invention and has already exceeded his target of raising $20,000. The campaign closes on 26th January. The shirts are expected to go on sale online in May, at $50 apiece.

Patel has been working on the shirt project for a year-and-a-half now. For his first prototype, he simply sprayed a stain-resistant chemical on a shirt, but he realized it would last for only one wash. Then he started to think of a way to incorporate the technology right into the fabric. After several trials and errors, he finally managed to create a fabric that is stain-proof on a molecular level. Not only does the technology last longer,but  it doesn’t even irritate the skin, either. Patel says that most liquid molecules will not be able to touch the fabric because of a microscopic layer of air that forms between the liquid and fabric.

Silic-shirt

..

The Mind-Boggling Bird Suicide Phenomenon of Jatinga

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Jatinga is a small village located in Assam, a state in northeastern India. The village is lush green and scenic, surrounded by serene mountains. But that’s not what it’s famous for. In fact, Jatinga is well-known for an entirely different reason – its Bird Mystery.

The Bird Mystery is a unique phenomenon that occurs at Jatinga between September and November each year. During these late monsoon months, several migratory and local birds commit mass suicide at the village. Just after sunset, between 7 and 10 pm, hundreds of birds descend from the sky, plummeting to their deaths by crashing into buildings and trees. Since birds aren’t known to be suicidal, the phenomenon has baffled villagers, visitors and scientists alike. For many years, locals believed that evil spirits living in the skies were responsible for bringing down the birds .

Of course, this isn’t true. After several scientific studies and experiments, it has been concluded that the birds are generally disoriented by the monsoon fog. So they are attracted by the village lights and fly towards them, sometimes hitting walls and trees during the descent. Some of the birds die, while others are grievously injured, becoming easy prey for the villagers to capture. These birds are often dazed and disheveled, and do not put up any resistance when villagers attack them with catapults or bamboo sticks.

Jatinga-bird-mystery

..

Guy Wins $40 Million Lottery Jackpot, Is Giving It ALL Away

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A man from Calgary, Canada, who won the jackpot of $40 million in a lottery, has decided to give away all his winnings. After keeping the news secret from his children for several months, he finally decided to break his silence. Thankfully, his kids are supportive of his decision.

Tom Crist, a widower of two years, won the Lotto Max jackpot this year in May. He retired in September, and he says he had always known what he was going to do with the money. “I was fortunate enough in my career to set myself up and my kids anyway,” he said. “There was no doubt in my mind where that money was going to go.”

Crist’s lost his wife, Jan, to lung cancer in 2012. “She was fairly young and stuff,” he said. “She beat it for six years before it finally caught up to her.” Jan was 57 years old when she died. So Crist is definitely going to give a part of his winnings to the Tom Baker Cancer Center, because they had treated his wife. But he is still undecided about where the rest of the money will go.

Tom-Crist

..

Ugly Christmas Sweater Stores Prove Big Hit This Holiday Season

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Remember those ugly sweaters your mom or aunt would buy you for Christmas? If you still have them hiding at the back of your closet, it’s time to get them out because they’re in style! That’s right, ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage in the U.S. and Canada. Stores all over North America are stocking up on the most hideous novelty sweaters this holiday season.

F as in Frank, a vintage store in British Columbia, is one of the places selling the tacky woolen garments. Co-owner Drew Heifetz says that he has sold over 30,000 sweaters this year alone. “We’re trying to breathe new life into them and everyone is really coming together creating a culture around these sweaters and it’s been an amazing resurgence,” he said. “Really, it’s about having a good time, getting wild wearing the craziest sweater you can.”

Photographs on the internet show people wearing the most hideous sweaters conceivable. Some of them have Christmas tree ornaments hanging off them, others light up and some even have Santa with a furry beard. These sweaters were in fashion last year too, with the sweater industry reporting record sales during Christmas. But it looks like this year’s sales will break all records.

ugly-christmas-sweater-store

..

Guy Spends a Year Tracking Down Woman He Met Last New year’s Eve after She Tells Him “Find Me”

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

25-year-old New Zealander, Reese McKee, started a social media campaign that fired the imagination of thousands of romantics on the internet. His plea for help in locating the whereabouts of his soul-mate went viral within hours. In fact, he had to delete the campaign because it all started to spiral out of control.

I’m not quite sure what to make of Reese – sweet romantic dude, or crazy internet stalker. Maybe I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s his story:

In his original campaign, Reese said that he met a girl on New Year’s Eve, 2012, in Hong Kong. He spotted her crying alone on the side of a road; she was lost and couldn’t find her friends. “I just cheered her up,” Reese said. “I sort of have this undeniably bad sense of humor that no one can resist laughing at.” The two spent the night partying, dancing and talking, before the girl caught up with her friends again. As they parted, she told Reese that her name was ‘Katie’ and she was from DC. She let him take a picture of her, and left with these final words: “Find Me.”

The next morning, as Reese looked at Katie’s photograph on his phone, a flood of great memories came back to him and he was determined to find her. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the e-mail address she’d given him, so he decided to turn to Facebook for help.

Reese-McKee

..

Rosemary Jacobs, the Woman Whose Skin Turned Silver after Using Nose Drops

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

71-year-old Rosemary Jacobs has had silver-colored skin for the past 60 years. At age 11, she developed a rare condition called argyria – caused by exposure to chemical forms of the element silver that makes the skin turn blue or bluish-grey. For Rosemary, the exposure occurred from nasal drops containing colloidal silver.

Rosemary’s story is unbelievable;  Whoever heard of a real person turning silver after using silver nasal drops? You only get to see skin color changing in cartoons,  but apparently the condition is real, and Rosemary has had to live a life of stigma because of it. Of course, her skin didn’t change color overnight. In fact, she was diagnosed with argyria four years after she began using the medication.

Rosemary, a retired Spanish teacher from Vermont, U.S., said: “When I was 11 years old, my mother mentioned to an ENT specialist that I always had a cold. He told me that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver, recommending that I take them ‘as needed’.” She did as she was told, using the drops every time she had a stuffy nose.

At first, no could notice any difference in Rosemary’s skin, not even her parents. “The change in my color was so slow, I didn’t notice. My family and friends didn’t notice either because they saw me every day,” she said.

Rosemary-Jacobs-argyria

..

Politeness Goes a Long Way at French Café That Charges Extra for Rudeness

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The French aren’t exactly world-famous for being polite, which is why I was quite surprised when I read about this. A French Café is actually charging customers extra for being rude to its staff, and offering discounts to those who are nice.

The Petite Syrah Café, located in the French Riviera city of Nice, has the new pricing scheme on display. If you walk in and simply ask for “A coffee,” you will be charged €7 ($9.5). For “A coffee please,” the price is much lower – €4.25 ($6). And if you decide to go the distance and say, “Hello, a coffee please,” that will make the folks at the Petite Syrah so happy they’ll only charge you €1.40 ($2).

The concept is so awesome – I think it’s a win-win. I’m sure the patrons love $2 coffees; they’d keep coming back for more and be polite each time. It’s great for business and makes a nice work environment, so the staff at the café must be happy too.

La-Petit-Syrah-cafe

..

Court Decides Man Has to Pay Ex-Fiancée $50,000 after Breaking Their Engagement

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A jilted fiancée from Georgia has finally had her revenge. At the end of a relationship that lasted over 10 years, a state appeals court has ordered that Melissa Cooper be paid $50,000 towards compensation. Her ex-partner, IT employee Christopher Ned Kelley, was accused of breach of promise to marry.

Kelley and Cooper had been living together since 2000, with their child and Cooper’s child from a previous relationship. In December 2004, he had proposed marriage with a $10,000 ring, and the couple moved into a new home. The relationship was great for a while. Cooper even left her job at Kelly’s request to care for the children. But things started going wrong when she spotted signs of infidelity.

Cooper found out that Kelly had been in a relationship with another woman for two years before he had proposed. She confronted him, and he begged for her forgiveness. Eventually, she agreed to continue their relationship, “because of his pledges not to see the other woman again and his promises to marry her soon.” But things got worse in April 2011, when Cooper figured out that Kelly was up to no good again. He had started to see another woman. This time around, Kelly was clear about what he wanted – he asked Cooper to move out with the children so he could live with his new love.

broken-engagement

..

The Tragic Story of Rebecca Méndez Jiménez, ” La Loca de San Blas”

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Mexican rock band Maná released a hit single in 1997 – En el muelle de San Blas (In the Wharf of San Blas). The song is based on the true and tragic story of Rebeca Méndez Jiménez, the woman who waited for her love for 41 long years. She died in September last year, at age 63. Local authorities are planning to erect a statue in her honor at the San Blas Port.

I read Rebeca’s story in bits and pieces across various Spanish websites. No one seems to know exactly what happened to her; she was suffering from several mental disorders during her final years.

Local legend states that in her youth, she fell in love with a fisherman named Manuel. He went out to sea, promising to return to her soon and marry her. Rebeca was so excited that she put on her bridal clothes and waited for his return. Unfortunately, Manuel fell victim to a hurricane, never to return to his love. Since then, Rebeca had been spotted roaming the streets at the port of San Blas. Locals have seen her wandering without any direction, sometimes sitting before the lighthouse and listening to seagulls. She always wore a white dress, with a veil covering her head.

en-el-muelle-de-San-Blas

..

Scientists Create Candy That Doesn’t Cause Cavities

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Dentists have always warned us that too much candy will cause cavities. But all that could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new experiment by scientists from the Berlin biotechnology firm, OrganoBalance.

It turns out that candy doesn’t cause cavities at all. The bad guys are actually the bacteria that remain on our teeth after we eat sugary treats. So the scientists’ logic was simple – reduce the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria in candy, and the chances of cavities should naturally decrease.

After you eat a normal piece of candy, the bacteria on your teeth slowly release an acid that eats into tooth enamel. When the enamel wears down, it causes cavities to develop. One of the most common strains of bacteria responsible for cavities is mutans streptococci. When you chew candy, this bacteria is released into the saliva. If you swallow or spit, some of the bacteria is removed, but the remaining sits on your teeth and causes them to rot.

candy

..

Rare Condition Causes Woman to Cry and Sweat Blood

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

19-year-old Delfina Cedeno has been suffering from a rare disorder for the past four years – she has been crying and sweating blood. Occasionally, blood also seeps out of her fingernails, belly button and nostrils.

Doctors at Delfina’s home town of Vernon, in the Dominican Republic, were baffled for a long time. Even after hundreds of tests, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. In fact, no one believed Delfina until they actually saw her bleeding.

“At first, no one could help me and they looked at me like a crazy person when I told them what was going on,” the teenager said. “It was only when I started bleeding in front of a doctor one day that they began to take me seriously.” Things got totally out of hand when she bled for up to 15 days and was in such a critical condition that she needed a blood transfusion.

Delfina herself was scared to death and extremely stressed out with her horrifying condition. “When this started happening, I didn’t know what to think. I was terrified and in complete shock.” She also felt ashamed to leave home.

Delfina-Cedeno

..

Chinese Restaurant Allows Patrons to Pay What They Want, Is Obviously Losing Money

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

A small, self-service restaurant in China’s Fujian province runs on a unique concept – no bills! The owner expects diners to pay whatever they think is the true price of the meal. Predictably, many people don’t pay anything at all.

The restaurant, called Five Loaves and Two Fish, opened this August in downtown Fuzhou. It is named after the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people by multiplying fish and bread. Patrons are required to wash their own plates and bowls after eating, and place money in a drop-box before leaving.

50-year-old interior designer Liu Pengfei, the majority investor, said he got the idea for the restaurant after heard about the ‘suspended meals’ projects in some countries. These projects allow people to pay in advance for a beverage or meal, for someone who really needs it. “Hearing about it, I was deeply moved,” Liu said. “I felt a heartwarming sense of trust because of it.” And that’s the concept Five Loaves is based on – trust.

While the concept sounds really amazing, things aren’t exactly going as expected for Liu and his team. According to Peng Yong, chef and co-investor, around 20 percent of diners walk out without paying anything. The restaurant has been running losses – 250,000 yuan ($41,170) – even though it is packed every day. Just maintaining the place, which is located in a central location, costs 60,000 yuan a month.

Chinese-food

..

Meet Erik Weihenmayer, the World’s Most Accomplished Blind Adventurer

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Erik Weihenmayer became blind at age 13, but he has never let this life-altering event limit him in any way. He is one of those rare individuals who have not just managed to overcome a disability, but live like it never happened. He is also the only blind person in the world to have scaled Mount Everest, among other achievements.

At age 44, Erik is the world’s most accomplished blind adventurer. To be honest, his accomplishments are on par with any other exceptional normal person. He is a role model even for people with normal vision. He has managed to completely disregard his blindness; it’s like he’s been everywhere and done everything. Mountaineering, wrestling, cycling, skiing, kayaking, paragliding, skydiving – the list of Erik’s activities are seemingly endless.

When he was younger, Erik focused on just one sport – wrestling – and he was brilliant at it. He represented his state in the US National Freestyle Wrestling Championships. He graduated college in 1993 with a Master’s degree and soon became a school teacher. This was when he took up rock climbing and trekking on the side. He was amazing at that too – he summited Mount McKinley (the tallest peak in the US) and then Kilimanjaro (tallest in Africa).

Erik-Weihenmayer

..

Page 28 of 129« First...1020...2627282930...405060...Last »