Unique ‘Pay as You Trash’ System Helps South Korea Cut Food Waste

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In a bid to control the nation’s growing problem with food wastage, the South Korean government has started a unique initiative – ‘Pay as You Trash’. Residents are required to separate their food waste from the rest of their trash and dump it separately in a centralised bin. And in order to access the bin, they actually need to pay by the kilo!

As of now, the South Korean government has three methods in place to charge citizens for the food thrown away. One is through an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card – when users tap this card – embedded with their personal tag – over a specially designed food waste bin, the lid will open, allowing them to dump their waste. This waste is automatically weighed and recorded in the user’s account. The user needs to settle this bill on a monthly basis. Each RFID bin costs 1.7 million won ($1,500) and can cater to 60 households.

The second billing method is through pre-paid garbage bags. These specially designed bags are priced based on volume. For instance, in Seoul, a 10-liter garbage bag costs around 190 won (less than $1). There’s also a bar code management system in place, in which residents deposit food waste directly into composting bins and pay for it by purchasing bar code stickers attached to the bin.

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Meet the Time Traveler Running for U.S. President

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Adding to the madness of the 2016 US presidential election is American lawyer Andrew Basiago. He claims to have traveled through time nearly all his life, and is pretty sure that he’s going to become “either president or vice president” between 2016 and 2028. Polling data is obviously of little use to this guy.

Basiago, a Washington-based attorney, first started talking about his experience with time travel in 2004, with Project Pegasus – a top secret organisation studying the effects of time travel and teleportation on children. So between 1968 and 1972, when Basiago was a young boy of seven, he claims to have participated in several experiments that transported him through time, space, and even parallel universes. His mission, supposedly, was to provide the US President at the time with important information about past and future events.

Now, Basiago is using the ‘knowledge’ gained over years of time travel to further his political ambitions – he’s running for president this year as an independent candidate, and is fairly confident he’s going to win. “I have prior knowledge that not only will I run for president, but that during one of the elections – which would have to be between 2016 and 2028, because I’m not running past that – I’m either elected president or vice president,” he explained, confidently.

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German Town Installs Ground Traffic Lights for People Looking at Their Smartphones

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While zombies thankfully still remain a figment of our imagination, ‘smombies’ – people walking while staring at their smartphones – are very real and a growing cause for concern. Fed up of having to constantly alert both locals an tourists to pay more attention to their surroundings to avoid serious accidents, authorities in a small German town have come up with a more proactive solution – embedding traffic lights in the pavement to make them visible to people constantly looking down at their phones.

The seemingly ridiculous safety measure was put in place after two pedestrians in the town of Augsburg were recently hit by quiet electric street trains as they crossed the street without looking up from their phones. They both escaped with only slight injuries, but a 15-year-old girl engrossed in her smartphone on a street in nearby Munich wasn’t so lucky. She was hit by a tram and dragged along for several feet before she died. So authorities in Augsburg decided to act, installing ground level traffic lights at two tram stops last Tuesday. The lights flash red every time a tram is approaching, or when the regular traffic light turns red.

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Meet the Incredible Jake Olson – A Completely Blind College Football Player

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After years of cheering for his favorite college football team, University of Southern California student Jake Olson has achieved the impossible dream – despite being completely blind, he is now a part of the team, playing as long snapper for the USC Trojans, approaching the game based on feel rather than sight.

Born with retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the retina, Jake lost his left eye when he was only eight months old. “When the doctors found my cancer, it was completely taking over my left eye,” he said. “The greatest fear is the cancer spreading through the optic nerve to the brain.” So the eye had to be removed entirely, followed by several rounds of chemotherapy and laser treatment to prevent the cancer from spreading to the right eye. Sadly, it kept coming back.  At age 12, Jake received news that he would have to lose his right eye as well. “Realizing what I was going to be confronting… a life without sight, it was difficult. I didn’t feel completely hopeless, but there was this sense of ‘I don’t know how I’m gonna do anything anymore.’”

Being a lifelong Trojan fan, one of Jake’s last wishes before he lost his eye was to watch them play at Notre Dame and also to witness a practice session the night before the surgery. “There were nights of crying and stressful times when I couldn’t get the thought of going blind out of my psyche,” he said, speaking to the LA Times. “But every time I was up at USC or talking to one of the players or just being around, it was just pure fun. And truthfully, peace.”

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The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn – New York’s Cutest Immigrants

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Among the brightest of Brooklyn’s diverse inhabitants are Quaker parrots – tropical green birds with blue wing tips, measuring about 12 inches from beak to tail. Although they’re native to the generally hot regions of central and southern Argentina, they’ve successfully managed to colonize the relatively colder New York borough over the past four to five decades.

No one knows exactly how these colonies of exotic birds came to live in the Big Apple, but as with all mysteries, there is a lot of speculation surrounding their existence. The most popular explanation has to do with an accident at JFK Airport, during which a number of birds escaped from broken shipping crates and ended up making a home for themselves in the city. Others believe the real answer to this mystery is much less dramatic, and actually has to do with clumsy bird owners. Quaker or Monk Parrots were very popular pets during the 70’s as they were very cooperative and easy to train, so it’s easy to assume that some of them escaped and founded the colonies that today exist all over New York – in Pelham Bay in the Bronx, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in eastern Queens in Howard Beach, throughout Staten Island, and sometimes in Central Park.

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London’s First Clothing-Optional Restaurant Has a Waiting List of Over 15,000

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A pop up restaurant in London is making waves nearly two months before its grand opening, thanks to its controversial ‘clothing optional’ policy. The Bunyadi, which all set to open in June for three months, will have two separate ‘clothed’ and ‘unclothed’ sections for patrons to choose from.

“The idea is to experience true liberation,” said Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, the company behind the venture. “People should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and even no clothes if they wish to. We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked.” And of course, the staff will be in the nude as well, with certain body parts strategically covered up.

The unconventional dining concept has proved so popular that over 15,000 people have already signed up to be on the waiting list through the restaurant’s website.

Bunyadi ..

Smoking Scorpions in South Asia – A Dangerous Addiction

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As bizarre as it sounds, smoking scorpions is not unheard of in South Asian countries, but according to regional media, the practice has recently been gaining popularity in several parts of Pakistan. The scorpion venom can apparently put the smoker on an intense high, becoming highly addictive with time.

So how does one smoke a scorpion, anyway? It’s a simple yet effective process – a dead scorpion is dried in sunlight for several hours or a live one is burnt on coal until it dies. The dried carcass is then lit on fire and the smoke is inhaled. Since it’s the tail that contains the poison addicts seek, some smokers prefer to crush the dried tail and mix it with hashish and tobacco, smoking it in the form of a cigarette.

In his 2007 book Drugs in Afghanistan, sociologist David MacDonald provides the account of a friend who witnessed first-hand the effects of scorpion smoke on an addict. “The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, much more than a hashish smoker. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position … the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer,” the book suggested.

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Germans Are Combining Yoga and Beer to Spice Up Their Exercising Routine

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In a bid to make their workouts more exciting, German fitness enthusiasts in Berlin have come up with ‘Beer Yoga’ or ‘boga’ – a new form of yoga that integrates beer bottles into standard poses. Participants are welcome to use the bottles in any way they like, including holding it in their hands, balancing it on their heads, or even taking a sip in between poses!

Some of the students who have indulged in beer drinking during yoga class say that it’s fun at first, but becomes quite difficult after the second or third bottle. That isn’t stopping people from attending these classes, which are often described as highly amusing and interesting. Sure, yoga and beer don’t exactly go hand in hand, but yoga instructor Jhula, the inventor of boga, says she knew a lot of people who loved both yoga and drinking beer, so combining the two did make some sense. 

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World’s Smallest Mobile Phone Proves Big Hit with Prison Inmates

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While Samsung and Apple are dominating the smartphone market with large, big-screened devices, some companies are making a nice profit by making phones as small as possible. The Zanco Fly, for example, is touted by many as the world’s smallest mobile phone and caters to caters to a niche customer base – prison inmates. At just 71.8 mm in length and 23.5 mm in width, the $40 nano phone is small enough to smuggle into prisons in the most unlikely of hiding places, including inmates’ rear ends!

You won’t find phones like the Zanco Fly at major electronics retail stores, but they’re widely available on web stores like Amazon and eBay. They are marketed specifically to prisoners, with claims of being 100 percent plastic and ‘beat the Boss’ taglines, which means that they are undetectable by B.O.S.S. body orifice security scanners. And if the obvious description aren’t proof enough for their intended use, the online customer reviews definitely are.

As one ‘customer’ aptly points out, the phone is “very small and easy/painless to hide.” The same buyer, however, claims that the model isn’t 100 percent plastic as claimed, so it can’t actually “beat the boss”. Another happy customer says that the Zanco Fly is a “great little phone that does exactly what it’s intended for and for who it’s intended for 😊”

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Russian Man Installs World’s First Personal Beer Pipeline That Runs Straight to a Tap in His Kitchen

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In a bid to appease his insatiable desire for beer, A Russian man has installed a personal beer pipeline that runs from a beer store to a tap in his kitchen, giving him unlimited access to the foamy drink!

Andrey Eremeev, a mechanic from Chelyabinsk, had long been dreaming of having a beer tap installed in his home. The idea started off as a joke, but when a beer store opened on the ground floor of his apartment building, he started giving it some serious thought and working on ideas on how best to make it a reality. When he finally built up the courage to pitch his seemingly ludicrous idea to the owners of the store and convince them to provide him with his very own personal beer pipeline, they had a good laugh at first, but later agreed to his proposal.

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Man Has Been Eating Sausages and Potato Chips Every Day for the Last 22 Years

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British lifeguard Daniel Pennock has been eating sausages and chips for dinner every night for the past 22 years. But the 26-year-old father-of-two is now so desperate to kick the habit that he’s pleading for someone to come forward and help him in any way possible.

Daniel says he ate a normal diet as a baby, but his obsession with junk food began at age four, when he simply refused to have anything else for dinner. Worried that he might give up eating all together, his mother agreed to give him sausages and chips every evening, and the habit stuck. “I don’t eat anything apart from junk and I’m fed up,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever eaten a vegetable in my life. I do eat bananas and apples, but anything else makes me physically sick. I have sausage and chips every day. I’ve tried eating other things, but I just can’t keep them down. I want to get it sorted out, once and for all – not just for me, but for my family.”

His current diet consists of toast for breakfast, a chip sandwich for lunch, and four sausages, fries, and bread for dinner. This has caused his weight to balloon up to 266 pounds in the past, although he has managed to lose some weight recently. His bad eating habits have also affected his romantic relationships because he wouldn’t take any of his girlfriends out for meals. “My ex-partner and I have spoken about it and she said ‘if you were normal and we could have gone out for meals and stuff it might have been different,” Daniel told the Pontefract and Castleford Express. “But I was coming home and she was having her food, and I was making mine – it wasn’t really like we were a family.”

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The Washing Machine Collectors Club – A Community of Men Who Love Doing the Laundry

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It’s hard to believe, but there is such a thing as men who love doing the laundry. They are part of a unique community known as the ‘Washing Machine Collectors Club’ currently numbers over 3,000 members worldwide. The guys meet several times a year, a few of them coming in from as far away as Madagascar and Australia, for three-day ‘wash-ins’, which is essentially male bonding over dirty laundry.  

Laundry is a rather unusual interest for both men and women, given how boring most people find it. But within this eccentric group, the excitement over a wash-in is usually off the charts. “Everybody’s got their favorite part of the cycle,” Jon Charles, one of the club founders and self-proclaimed ‘washer collector enthusiast’, explains. “We’ve got people who love the wash, they love the rinse or the spin, or the drain. I’m a spin guy. I love the spin.”

“Now we have like 3,000 members from all over the world,” he added. “We get together for washes. We do laundry until like 4:00 in the morning. We do our margaritas and our laundry together. We ‘cheers’ to laundry. We’ll watch the cycles. A lot of us – we’ll sit there and watch the whole cycle go through. All 3,000 of us come in with a story, like ‘I thought I was the only one. I thought I was the only person in the world that did this.’”

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Dutch Designers Create Anti-Surveillance Clothing

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KOVR, a new Dutch apparel brand, specialises in creating clothing that can make the wearer completely untraceable by modern tracking devices. The anti-surveillance line is made of a metalliferous fabric used to render computer chips in identification cards and credit cards unreadable, and even effectively take a phone off the grid.

Founded by performance artist Marcha Schagen and graphic designer Leon Baauw, the company focuses on how surveillance systems monitor people and their behavior. While developing the clothing line, the co-founders discovered that various surveillance systems, including computer chips the size of a rice grain, can send and receive information when placed at the right proximity.

anti-surveillance-clothing ..

The Inspiring Story of a Blind Boy Who Built a Company Worth Millions

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At age 23, Indian entrepreneur Srikanth Bolla is the CEO a company valued at INR 50 crore (over $7.5 million) . That’s a wonderful achievement in itself, but what’s truly inspiring is that he managed to do it despite being born completely blind. Today, he considers himself the luckiest man in the world, not for his success, but for having supportive parents who always stood by him.

When Srikanth was born blind, several of his parents’ friends and relatives advised them to abandon him. That would indeed have been the easier thing to do, given the fact that they were poor and uneducated, earning a mere INR 20,000 ($300) a year. But they chose to not only keep the boy, but also raise him in a positive, loving environment. “They are the richest people I know,” he often says.

And their excellent parenting has paid off – today, Srikanth is the CEO of Bollant Industries, a Hyderabad-based company that employs physically challenged staff to manufacture eco-friendly consumer packaging solutions made from leaves and recycled paper. The company has four manufacturing units in three states in southern India – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Srikanth’s hard work and unprecedented success has impressed the business world, attracting investments from the likes of Indian business tycoon Ratan Tata.

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Spanish Company Creates High-Tech Mattress That Detects Infidelity

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Thanks to Smarttress, a brand new product from Spanish company Durmet, keeping tabs on unfaithful partners is now easier than ever. This special, infidelity-detecting mattress is embedded with ultrasonic sensors that can capture even the slightest ‘suspicious movement’ in bed.

The company came up with the idea for the strange mattress when they came across a statistic showing that Spaniards are the most unfaithful people in Europe. “One day we saw the latest figures on infidelity that said Spaniards were the most unfaithful in Europe and we thought of an idea that would bring peace of mind to men and women, not just during the night but also during the day while they are out at work,” company spokesperson José Antonio Muiños said, speaking to The Local.

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