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.

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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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Simple Iconspeak T-Shirt Helps Break Down Language Barriers When Traveling Abroad

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If you’re the kind of person who loves travel but find it difficult to break down language barriers, you may want to check out Iconspeak, a T-shirt covered in basic pictographs ranging from clocks to bathrooms. Simply point to the symbol associated with your need, and hopefully, the person you’re talking to will understand. It’s better than having to play charades with strangers, I can tell you that.

Iconspeak is the brainchild of friends George Horn and Florian Nast. They were traveling through Asia in 2013 and found themselves in a remote village with “no infrastructure, zero tourism, and just some locals.” The problems they encountered while trying to communicate their needs to the locals inspired them to start working on a simple yet effective solution to the language gap. Two years later, they came up with the Iconspeak t-shirt.

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Guy Watches TV for 94 Hours Straight, Sets New World Record

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Binge-watching your favorite TV series sounds like an easy and enjoyable thing to do, but some people take the simple pastime to a whole new level, where it stops being fun and becomes painful and even dangerous. People like 25-year-old Alejandro ‘AJ’ Fragoso, who set a new Guinness World Record this week for the longest TV watching marathon – a whopping 94 hours. That’s two hours more than the previous world record of 92 hours, set in Austria just last month.

AJ, from Brooklyn, New York, started his epic TV binge-watching session with a couple of other contestants on Friday, as part of an event organised by multimedia software company CyberLink. He emerged as the last man standing, the following week, on Tuesday morning, having watched back-to-back episodes of shows like Game of Thrones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Battlestar Galactica, and Bob’s Burgers, for 94 hours straight. He later gave credit to his Mediterranean diet for his endurance and high energy level.

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French Baker Sells His Business to Homeless Person for Just 1 Euro

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In a heartwarming display of generosity and gratitude, French baker Michel Flamant recently sold his boulangerie to a homeless man for just €1. The man, Jerome Aucant, had previously saved Flamant from suffocating to death inside the bakery, during a fire.

Flamant admits to being a rather “piggish character”, but he’s proven that his heart is in the right place. In fact, long before his brush with death, he would greet Aucant outside his establishment every morning and treat him to a cup of coffee and a croissant. And his kindness eventually paid off on that fateful day in December when he nearly died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“If Jerome wasn’t around that day, I would have been a goner,” said Flamant, 62, recalling that a defective oven had started leaking carbon monoxide that morning. He was asphyxiating from the odorless fumes when Aucant noticed Flamant staggering around the bakery and immediately called emergency services. It took 12 days in the hospital for Flamant to recover from the ordeal, but he survived.

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Man Runs 370 Marathons in One Year, Proves Nothing Is Impossible

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For most people, running one or two full marathons a year is quite the feat,  but for 33-year-old Rob Young it’s merely a short warm-up. This British superhuman did the unthinkable last year, completing a whopping 370 marathons, which basically means he ran more than one marathon per day!

It all started as a silly bet with his partner Joanna Hanasz on a Sunday morning, in April 2014, as they watched the TV coverage of the London Marathon. It was, in fact, Young who had insisted that he’d rather stay in and watch TV than go for a walk in the park with their son. He obviously wasn’t very interested in running at the time, and actually considered it ‘boring’.

But something changed that morning, when Hanasz teased him that he couldn’t run marathons, even if he tried. Young jokingly replied that he would bet her ‘twenty pence’ that he could run 50, a challenge that he later took seriously. The very next morning he woke up at 3.30 am, printed out the route of the Richmond Marathon, and completed it before work. And he felt so good that he returned to it every day, running the equivalent of 10 marathons by the end of the week.

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Private School Alumnae Raise $185,000 as Gift for Retiring Security Guard

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30 years of dedicated service have finally paid off for Kifleab Tekle, a retiring security guard at an elite all-girl’s school in Dallas. While most people in his position would retire quietly, he’s going out with a bang – a $185,000 check gifted to him by members of the school’s alumnae.

When they first got to know of Tekle’s retirement, many of the staff members and former students of Hockaday School started reminiscing over his unwavering service to the school and a few members of the class of 2005 even decided to raise $2,000 for him as a small token of their appreciation. So they started a GoFundMe campaign, which got so popular that it surpassed the original goal in no time at all.

“We know how much Kief means to everyone!” the campaign page reads. “It wasn’t an April fools joke, he is really retiring. We would love to collect money for a retirement gift for him. We are so excited that alumnae, current students, and parents are all donating.” The original plan was to hold a private meeting with Kief in the school grounds on Monday, April 11, and present him with whatever money they had managed to raise. But the amount turned out to exceed everyone’s expectations – a whopping $185,000. Kief was obviously beside himself, not only because of the generous gift, but also the fact that over 200 people turned up on Monday to wish him well. “I was not expecting such a big farewell,” he said, in a statement. “It means stability for my family.”

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Identical Twin Brothers Who Married Identical Twin Sisters to Get Plastic Surgery So They Can Tell Each Other Apart

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Problems in identifying identical twins makes for excellent comedy, but in real life it can be quite frustrating, especially if you have two pairs of identical twins married to each other. That’s why these newlywed twins from China have decided to get plastic surgery in a bid to make themselves less identical and thus avoid the undesirable complications that could arise from failing to tell each other apart.

Zhao Xin and his twin brother Zhao Xun, from Yuncheng in China’s Shanxi Province, have been confounding relatives and friends ever since they started dating twin sisters Yun Fei and Yun Yang from a neighboring village. Although they went to the same high school in Shanxi, they only got together last year after being introduced by a matchmaker. A month later, the four of them were engaged.

Both pairs of identical twins look so alike that it’s apparently impossible to tell them apart, even by their voices.  On their wedding day, their guests and even their own parents had a tough time identifying them, checking and double checking that they weren’t marrying the wrong partners.

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