English Bar Disables Cell Phones to Get Patrons Talking to Each Other

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Convinced that smartphones are ruining our social lives as well as the pub experience, the owner of a newly-opened bar in Brighton, England has decided to get people socializing the old-fashioned way by disabling their cellphone reception.

Instead of texting, checking emails or browsing the internet, patrons of the Gin Tub bar will have to pass the time by actually interacting with their friends, dates or even complete strangers. Owner Steve Tyler could have simply asked guests not to use their phones in his bar, but instead of banning them, he opted to disable them completely. The Gin Tub has a Faraday cage built into its ceiling, which makes getting a reception inside the venue impossible. He says it was the only exception in Britain’s 2006 Wireless Telegraphy Act that otherwise outlaws the use of signal blockers. So yes, it’s 100% legal.

“Mobile phones have killed pubs. When you go out socially, you don’t need social media,” Tyler says. “Rather than telling people they can’t use they phones we’ve basically disabled them.” He makes sure to clarify that the Faraday shield doesn’t jam phone signals, as that would be illegal. Instead the 19th-century device prevents the signal from getting inside.

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This Stunning Open-Air Hotel Room in the Swiss Alps Is Basically Just a Bed

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Located 6,463 feet above sea level in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the Null Stern concept hotel takes the minimalist approach to the extreme, removing the walls, roof, basic amenities like toilets and leaving guests with just a king-size bed and a stunning 360-degree view to admire.

It might seem rudimentary, but setting up the Null Stern hotel room way up in the mountains actually required a bit of work. A construction crew, including an excavator, had to first flatten the terrain, before the bed, nightstands and bed lamps could be installed. I suspect having them transported through what looks like very rough terrain was no walk in the park either. So why go through the trouble?

Null Stern hotel co-founder Daniel Charbonnier says the goal was “to put the guest at the center of the experience and to focus on the intangible by reducing everything else to the minimum.” So they skipped building the walls and roof of the room, as well as the bathroom. That last one may be a big problem for a lot of people, but Null Stern mentions that there is a public bathroom available 10 miles down the mountain.

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This After School Satan Club for Kids Is Not as Bad as It Sounds

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A group of political activists known as The Satanic Temple has announced its intention to establish After School Satan Club programs in public elementary schools in the United States, in an effort to compete with after school religious programs supported by various Christian evangelical groups.

And before you flip out, Satanic Temple leader and co-founder Doug Mesner assures parents that the already controversial after-school program will involve no demon summonings, Satan worshiping or any kind of satanic rituals. After School Satan Club meetings will include a healthy snack, literature lesson, creative learning activities, a science lesson, puzzle solving and an art project. Sounds pretty tame, and Mesner explains that the whole point of the program is to offer young kids an alternative. “It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think,” said Mesner, a.k.a Lucian Greaves.

Despite its name, The Satanic Temple doesn’t encourage the worshiping of the fallen angel, in fact it doesn’t even believe in the existence of a supernatural being that other religions refer to as Satan, or Lucifer, or Beelzebub. The group rejects all forms of supernaturalism and instead promotes scientific rationality. So why use Satan? Simply as a metaphor, a symbol against all forms of tyranny over the human mind. Yes, that obviously includes organized religion.

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Man Single-Handedly Repopulates Rare Butterfly Species in His Own Backyard

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The California pipevine swallowtail is considered by many experts to be one of the most magnificent butterflies in North America, but the massive development around San Francisco has caused it to slowly disappear. However, one man’s DIY conservation efforts are bringing this beautiful creature back.

Tim Wong, a young aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, spends his free time raising butterflies, a hobby he fell in love with as a young boy. “I first was inspired to raise butterflies when I was in elementary school,” Wong told VOX.com. “We raised painted lady butterflies in the classroom, and I was amazed at the complete metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult.” Tim used to spend his days in the open meadows outside his home catching, raising and breeding any butterflies he found.

When he got older and learned about the pipevine swallowtail becoming increasingly rare in the San Francisco are, Wong made it his goal to do something about it. Researching the species, he found that while in caterpillar form, it feeds only on a single plant – the California pipevine – which, he realized, had become equally rare around San Francisco.

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Russian Man Almost Blinds Himself for Fear of Cyber-Surveillance

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A man from the Russian city of Perm recently made national headlines for cutting his own eyes in search of micro surveillance equipment and posting a video of the gruesome procedure online.

Alem Kulakhmedov’s story sounds like the topic of a modern cyber-surveillance thriller. A few months ago, he started experiencing bizarre symptoms like eye pains, stomach sickness and extreme tiredness. Alem says he went to see a doctor, but he couldn’t find anything that would explain his symptoms. This gave him some peace of mind and for a while, he managed to ignore his problems, but only until they started getting worse. The man recently told REN TV that he began losing consciousness for more than a day at a time. Whenever he woke up, he would find multiple scars on his body that looked like healing cuts.

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Dutchman Flies to China to Meet Online Girlfriend, Spends 10 Days in Airport Waiting for Her

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41-year-old Peter Cirk, from Holland, was recently hospitalized after spending 10 days at Changsha Airport, China, hoping to meet a Chinese girl he had met online.

Cirk had met his 26-year-old love interest known only as Zhang on a social network, 2 months ago. The two apparently hit it off, and sick of having 4,500 miles between them, the Dutchman decided to apply for a Chinese visa and go meet Zhang for the first time. He told her he was coming, and even sent her a photo of his travel papers, but when he arrived at Changsha airport, she was nowhere to be seen.

Convinced something was holding Zhang off, but that she would eventually arrive to meet him, Cirk decided to wait for her in the airport. Photos gone viral on Chinese social media show the Dutchman patiently waiting on one of the benches, barefoot and with his baggage by his side. With each passing day, his hopes of meeting his Chinese sweetheart deteriorated, and so did his health. After 10 days spent in Changsha airport, Peter Cirk was exhausted and had to be hospitalized. One photo shows him being taken away in a wheelchair with an IV drip in his arm.

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Modern-Day Caveman Has Been Living in a Mountain Cave for the Last 40 Years

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Pedro Luca, a 79-year-old man from Argentina is what you would call a 21st century caveman. He has been living in a grotto high up in the mountains of Tucuman Province for the last 4 decades.

Pedro says he had always wanted to live isolated in the middle of nature, even as a young boy. He was born and raised in San Pedro de Colalao, a small town about three-hours walking distance from his current home, but left home at 14 to make a living by transporting coal to Bolivia. When he cam back, 40 years ago, he decided to go through with his childhood dream, and set up camp in a mountain grotto, where he has been living ever since.

“Alcohol and violence can ruin a man,” Pedro says, remembering his days spent in civilization. “I prefer the wild. Now my only family are the animals.” He shares his cave home with 11 chickens and 2 goats who roam the mountainside all day long and return to the cave at nigh, seeking shelter from mountain lions and other predators living in the area.

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Brazilian Drug Lord Turns Prison Cell into Luxurious Suite

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Jarvis Chimenes Pavao, considered one of the most dangerous drug traffickers in South America, was serving an 8-year sentence in Tacumbu Prison, when police raided his cell to find it was actually a luxury suite.

Pavao was due to complete his sentence for money laundering next year, at which point he was likely to face extradition to his home country of Brazil, but Paraguayan police recently learned that he planned to escape by blowing a hole in the prison wall. To prevent Pavao from pulling an “El Chapo”, they raided his cell only to find that instead of an austere room, he was living in a luxurious three-room suite complete with air-conditioning, private bathroom, conference room, kitchen, library and multiple flat-screen TVs.

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SymGym – A Video Game Controller That Offers a Full-Body Workout

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The SymGym may look like a combination between a rowing machine and a stair stepper, but it’s actually a revolutionary video game controller that allows gamers to get a full body workout while doing what they love most.

Chicago-based startup SymGym describes its innovative device as “a resistance-based game controller and gaming platform” that adjusts the level of resistance according to gameplay. The joysticks and buttons are replaced with levers and pedals that you have to either push or pull to play the game. For example, if you have to walk uphill in a video game, pushing the pedals is going to be significantly harder than when walking on flat terrain. Picking heavy objects in the game is also going to require more strength when operating the levers than say pushing a door open.

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Mistress Dispellers – The Controversial Services Keeping Chinese Families Together

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In the Western world, when a wife finds out her husband is having an affair she they either confronts him directly about it asking him to stop, or just gets a divorce. But things are a bit more complicated in China, due to the social stigma and financial burden associated with divorce, so an increasing number of women are turning to companies specializing in driving away mistresses. Introducing the “mistress dispellers”.

It’s not uncommon for Chinese businessmen and high ranking officials to signal their status by maintaining a mistress, and with the country’s economy growing at a rapid pace, it’s no wonder that “mistress dispeller” services that combat cheating are becoming very popular. For a considerable fee – typically starting in the tens of thousands of dollars – these companies will coach scorned wives how to strengthen their marriage while employing a variety of tactics to drive away the problematic mistress.

While it may sound like a scam to cheat the poor wives out of serious sums of money, mistress dispellers, or “xiaoshan quantui”, are apparently very good at what they do. Shu Xin, director of  Weiqing International Marriage Hospital Emotion Clinic Group, a mistress dispeller company based in Shanghai, says that every case starts with thorough research on the mistress. An investigation team will analyze her family, friends, education, job and daily habits looking for any information that could help them meet their goal.

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Hypno-Parenting – How One Hypnotherapist Uses Hypnosis to Manage Her Kids’ Behavior

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Hypnosis has been used to treat conditions like anxiety and pain, but Los Angeles hypnotherapist and mother of three Lisa Machenberg says it can be a very effective parenting technique. She’s even given her unusual method a name – hypno-parenting.

Machenberg first started using hypnosis on her children to help them get through the night without wetting the bed, but has since then used the clinical technique to aid them deal with things like performance anxiety or focusing difficulties. The Malibu-based therapist also admits to using hypnosis on her kids and husband in order to make sure things run smoothly around the house. “I hypnotize my children and my husband to do things for my benefit all the time,” she recently told Barcroft Media. “We have a household to run. Many times, I exert influence so my children are able to get their chores done, so this house runs efficiently.”

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Introducing Pooper – An Uber-Like App for Dog Poop

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If you’re too busy or squeamish to pick up after your dog, you’re going to love this new smartphone app that connects you to someone willing to do it for you, for a fee.

A service that allows you to call someone to pick up your dog’s poop sounds unreal, which is probably why the announcement of Pooper has been met with skepticism. Articles claiming that the app is most likely fake have prompted the creators of Pooper to issue a statement saying that their service is real, but they are fine with all the doubts as long as it spreads the word and attracts more investors.

Here’s how Pooper works: after installing the app on a smartphone and opting for one of the monthly payment plans, a dog owner (referred to as “pooper”) can take a photo of the dog’s excrement, pinpoint its location on a digital map and call on a nearby “scooper” to come pick it up. They are then free to leave knowing that the dog’s business will be taken care of. You can opt to pay $15 a months for two scoops a day in 15-mile scoop radius, $25 for three scoops a day in a 30-mile radius, or $35 for unlimited scoops in an unlimited radius.

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Japanese Company to Start Selling Tear-Free Onions This Fall

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Onions may be one of the healthiest, most flavorful vegetables on the face of the Earth, but they’re definitely no fun to chop. However, your days of getting teary-eyed in the kitchen may be coming to an end as Japanese company House Foods Group prepares to launch the world’s first tear-free onion to the market.

Aptly named “Smile Ball”, because it puts a smile on your face rather than make you cry, this new type of onion is the result of two decades of research. In 2002, House Foods Group scientists published a paper in which they hypothesized that tear-inducing enzymes in onions could be weakened while retaining their full  flavor and nutritional value. Their research actually won an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny – but last year the company announced that their theory had finally become reality. Although the announcement mentioned that House Foods Group had no intention of producing Smile Ball onions commercially anytime soon, it appears the wonder vegetables will hit Japanese stores this fall.

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Daredevil to Jump Out of an Airplane at 25,000 Feet without a Parachute

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In his most insane stunt yet, professional skydiver Luke Aikins will jump out of an airplane flying at 25,000 feet without a parachute or wingsuit in an attempt to land on a special net designed to break his fall. No one has ever attempted anything like this. If he makes, it, Aikins will become a living legend, if he doesn’t…

Aikins, who has spent much of his life in the air and has over 18,000 parachute jumps under his belt, was approached about doing this extreme jump a couple of years ago by a couple of Hollywood guys looking to produce the all-time-greatest reality TV stunt. “You won’t believe these guys, they want me to jump out without a parachute,” he remembers telling his wife at the time. She said “Oh, with a wingsuit,” to which he replied “No, they want me to do it with nothing.” They had a good laugh about the preposterous proposition, but in the weeks that followed, Luke just could stop thinking about it. Could anybody actually perform such a stunt and live to tell the tale?

If anyone could, it would have to be Aikins. He made his first tandem jump when he was 12, followed by his first solo jump four years later. he’s never really stopped since, performing about 800 leaps a year. He has taught skydiving, performed all kinds of complex stunts and routines, but even when his parachute got tangled with that of another diver, he could always rely on his backup chute. That only happened about 30 times out of 18,000, but this time he would have no backup to turn to. “If I wasn’t nervous I would be stupid,” he says. “We’re talking about jumping without a parachute, and I take that very seriously. It’s not a joke.”

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Man Invests $3 Million Lotto Winnings into Illegal Crystal Meth Business

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Ronnie Music Jr., 45, is facing life in prison after pleading guilty to investing part of his lottery winnings into a crystal methamphetamine drug ring. In 2015, Music had won $3 million in a Georgia scratch-off lottery game. You know what they say about pushing your luck. Don’t!

Of all the things he could have done with his $3 million dollar lotto prize, Ronnie Music Jr., of Waycross, Georgia, decided to invest part of it in a drug business. Evidence presented in the case against him revealed that he had worked with a criminal group to gain access to high quantities of methamphetamine and distribute it all throughout Georgia. His co-conspirators were caught trying to sell approximately 11 pounds of meth, worth more than $500,000 on the streets, and during the investigation Music was identified as the supplier. At his home base in Ware County agents found over $1 million worth of methamphetamine, several firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and $600,000 in cash.

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