Wealthy New Yorkers Are Hiring Professional Organizers to Pack Their Kids’ Summer Camp Bags

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As much as I hate packing, I do think this is overdoing it a bit – some rich mothers in New York are actually hiring professional organizers to pack their kids’ trunks for summer camp. Believe it or not, each bag takes a whopping four hours to pack and costs no less than $250 per hour.

So what exactly goes into a bag that needs four hours of packing, you ask? Well, the idea is to fit in all the comforts of home in the luggage, including scented candles, delicate soap and 1,000-thread count sheets (nope, not kidding).

According to Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants, several mothers have approached her to do the job. “For a lot of mothers, particularly when their child is going away for the first time, it’s very stressful,” she said. “Clients will say, ‘I need to touch and feel the sheets for softness.’ But these are the kind of things they can control. They’re paying $10,000 for sleep-away camp, so they shouldn’t feel so bad for their child.”

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Brazilian Man Has 10 Plastic Surgeries to Look Korean

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There’s no denying the fact that many Koreans are obsessed with plastic surgery – some of them will do anything to look more ‘western’. So imagine my surprise when I read about this Brazilian guy who underwent 10 cosmetic procedures to look more Korean! It seems like no one is happy with their own native looks anymore

This man was perfectly good-looking to begin with, but he wanted the Oriental look so bad, he put himself through a series of procedures – silicone implants, lip surgery, and more – that cost him a small fortune. The 25-year-old, from Novo Hamburgo city in southern Brazil, goes by the name Xiahn; he doesn’t want to reveal his true identity to protect his family from internet scrutiny. Xiahn originally had blue eyes and blond hair, a look that he was perfectly happy with until he spent time as an exchange student at Dongseo University in South Korea. It was there that he got bit by the plastic surgery bug.

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Chinese Village Located on Top of Methane Gas Pocket Could Be Ignited by a Single Spark

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The village of Nanjiawan, in south-west China is known as the Invisible Fire Village. The air over there is so thick with methane gas that a single spark can ignite a huge fire. Villagers have learned to live with and even make use of the methane, but they are also very cautious when working, so not to start fires accidentally.

The methane in the village air actually comes from the ground – it seeps out of the soil, causing the air to randomly burst into balls of fire. The concentration of the gas is so high that no one in the village can ever strike a match, light a cigarette or use any electrical equipment. They need to be careful while working in the fields as well, because their metal tools could create sparks if struck against a rock.

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Blind Followers Keep Dead Cult Leader in a Freezer, Claim He Is Just Meditating

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Swami Ashutosh Maharaj, a religious cult leader in India, was pronounced clinically dead, after doctors confirmed he died of heart disease. However, his followers are unwilling to accept the verdict. Instead, they claim that he’s simply meditating. They’ve put him in a freezer for now, and they say he’ll be returning to them soon.

Ashutosh Maharaj, over 70 years of age, was the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (DJJS) in Jalandhar city, Punjab. On January 29, he complained of severe chest pain, and is believed to have suffered a heart attack. Dr. Harpal, who examined Ashutosh along with a team of doctors on February 3, said: “After several check-ups, including an ECG test, the team concluded that Ashutosh is clinically dead.”

But his disciples have yet to be convinced. They insist that he is in a deep state of meditation, called ‘samadhi’. So he has been kept ‘spiritually alive’ on the sprawling, 100-acre DJJS premises, in a commercial freezer. “Maharaj has been in deep meditation,” said one of his followers. “He has spent many years meditating in subzero temperatures in the Himalayas, there is nothing unusual about it. He will return to life as soon as he feels, and we will ensure that his body is preserved until then.

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Woman Sick of Mowing the Lawn Turns Her Yard into a Giant Sandbox

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66-year-old Georgianna Reid, a resident of Kansas City, got so fed up of mowing her lawn that she converted it into a giant sandbox. She actually replaced her green lawn with 80 tons of sand, after contractors tore up her yard. The conversion cost her $4,000, including a low fence all around the perimeter of the sand-covered lawn.

“Now, being over 60, I’ve decided that I’ve owned the house for 33 years and that I wasn’t going to mow anymore or water,” she said. Georgianna’s corner house at East Meyer Boulevard and Walnut Street is so conspicuous now, passersby just cannot miss it. Unfortunately, not all the reactions are positive. A lot of her neighbors don’t think the house ‘fits in’ to the Brookside area.

Some of them have actually filed complaints with the city officials. A few went as far as stealing her volleyball net, lawn ornaments and a life-sized chest. “I think the house looks revolting with all that is out there,” said neighbor Edwin Bisby. “I’m sure it’s going to hurt the property values in this neighborhood.”

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New Pay-by-Picture Restaurant Lets Patrons Pay for their Food with Photos

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I always thought people taking pictures of their food was kind of silly, but at this new pop-up restaurant in the UK, I’d probably do it too. ‘The Picture House’ is the world’s first pay-by-photo restaurant – you order, click a photo of the food, share on Instagram and eat for free!

The restaurant belongs to frozen food giant Birds Eye, who came up with the idea to cash in on people’s obsession with photographing food and sharing the pics online. They conducted a survey and found out that more than half of the Brit population regularly took pictures of their meals, nine percent of them on a daily basis. So they realized, what better way to advertize their new dining range than with hashtags?

The pop-up eatery was open in Soho, London for three days in May, and is now moving to other major UK cities. They serve two-course meals that customers don’t have to pay for, if they snap and Instagram it. “We wanted to tap into this social media trend and create a new reason for people to talk about and sample our inspirations range,” said marketing director Margaret Jobling.

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South Korean Model Goes under the Knife to Look Like Supermodel Miranda Kerr

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It seems like the Koreans are always in the news for their outrageous plastic surgeries. The latest to get on board is young South Korean model Hong Yuh Reum, who completely changed her face to resemble her idol – supermodel Miranda Kerr.

Reum was recently featured on a Korean TV show called Alien Virus, which features all sorts of unusual guests. She admitted that Kerr was her only inspiration for going under the knife. “It really struck me when I first saw her in a magazine,” said Reum. “She has a baby face but she’s very sexy. I knew I wanted to be like her!”

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Who Needs a Car When You Have a Drivable Suitcase?

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If you thought suitcases with wheels were handy, wait till you check out this new invention. It’s an electric suitcase that not only has wheels, but is also equipped with a small motor – so instead of carrying or dragging it, and you actually get to ride it wherever you need to go. Getting by in an airport will seem a breeze with this bad boy. You just sit on it, start it up, and go!

The 15-pound, battery-operated, drivable suitcase is the brainchild of Chinese amateur inventor He Liangcai. On a full charge, the suitcase can transport two adults at 12 mph for a distance of up to 37 miles. It also has GPS navigation and a burglar alarm.

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Legally Blind Football Player Signs with Top College Team

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17-year-old Aaron Golub from Newton, Massachusetts, is legally blind. His right eye does not function at all, and he has very little vision in his left. But what he lacks in vision, the boy makes up with sheer determination. He recently achieved his lifelong dream – a chance to play football at university.

Getting a spot on a college football team is no joke, a lot of kids with perfect vision can’t make it. But Aaron, a senior at Newton High School, has gone and done it despite all the odds against him. Through sheer hard work, he’s managed to secure a preferred walk-on spot at Tulane University, one of the top college football teams in the United States. He has been signed on as a long snapper, a position that requires tremendous speed and accuracy.

While most people believe you need natural talent to be good at sports like football, Aaron was quite mediocre when he first started to play. According to his coach Chris Rubio, “He was very, very, very, we’ll say ‘average at best’ when he started. But the kid is just so determined. You tell him what to do, and consider it done.” For several years, Aaron relentlessly practiced snapping a ball into a target every morning before school and on weekends.

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Londoner Straps Seven Cameras on His Bike and Helmet, Plays Vigilante Traffic Cop

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It’s hard to picture a superhero on a cycle, but after watching self-styled ‘Traffic Droid’ a.k.a. Lewis Dediare in action, I have to admit it’s actually doable. Dressed from head to foot in black lycra, with seven video cameras mounted on his cycling helmet, Lewis rides around the streets of London with a single mission – to fight a ‘war of attrition’. You see, the man has taken it upon himself to rid the streets of ‘idiot’ drivers who are a threat to cyclists like himself.

Among the 39-year-old’s other weapons are a camera mounted on a three-foot pole protruding from his bicycle, and a measuring tape. The tape is used to measure the distance that larger vehicles maintain from him on the streets. If it’s anything different from the prescribed amount, he admonishes the drivers and shows them a ‘red card’.

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Real Estate Magnate Hides Envelopes of Cash around San Francisco as a Way of Giving Back to the Community

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A mysterious San Francisco philanthropist has found a unique way of giving back to the community –  leaving hidden cash all over the city.

According to a Bay Area online magazine called The Bold Italic, an ‘anonymous real estate magnate’ emailed them to “say that they’d launched a campaign just last night where they’re hiding cash all over San Francisco, including outside our office.” The email stated that the gesture would continue indefinitely, with no commercial interest whatsoever.

“There is nothing commercial about this,” wrote the benefactor. “It is a social experiment. Our Twitter page will show people where the money is hidden. There are a few hundred dollars hidden last night already, and this will continue. We have two $100 bills hidden and some $20s.”

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Elderly People in China Are Committing Suicide to Make Sure They Get Buried in a Cemetery Instead of Cremated

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Many cultures view old age as a time for peaceful reflection and a preparation for the final journey of life. However, a few elderly people in China are being forced to hasten the process of ‘passing on’. Dozens have been voluntarily taking their own lives for a chance to be buried in a cemetery, before a government ban on burials takes effect.

The authorities of China’s Anhui province plan to close all cemeteries after June 1, simply because there isn’t any space left. The public was informed of the new rule on April 1: “Before June 1 people can still consign their bodies for burial, but after that the only option offered will be cremation.” The announcement has caused quite a stir among the elderly residents, especially in rural areas.

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Izhikhothane – South Africa’s Bizarre Money-Burning Sub-Culture

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Izikhothane, which loosely translates to ‘brag it’, is a South African subculture of youths who dress themselves in designer clothes they can barely afford. They arrive in minivans at public spots and participate in elaborate dance-offs against rival gangs. During these performances, they indulge in burning wads of cash, destroying their clothes and spilling expensive food and alcohol on the streets. Why, you ask? To show off, obviously.

“To be Izikhothane, you have to be like us. Buy expensive clothes, booze, fame, girls, driving, spending. And when you are dressed in Italian clothing it shows that you’re smart,” said one gang member. In a nation where almost 50 percent of youths are unemployed, this sort of blatantly extravagant act is rather surprising. Most of the Izikhothane are funded by their working class parents with modest incomes.

There’s also a huge generation gap between these youths and their parents. Most of the Izikhothane belong to a generation that grew up after the end of white minority rule, unlike their parents. According to one kid, “Being born free means we can shop where we want and the country is no longer under oppression. We can express our views without being imprisoned.” Some use the extravagance as a means to escape their poverty, and for others it is just a culture of bling.

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Chinese Monk Who Has Been Praying for Up to 1,000 Times a Day for 20 years Leaves His Footprints Ingrained in Wooden Floor

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HuaChi, a simple monk from China, has achieved something that only few are able to – he has left a mark in this world, quite literally. The pious man has knelt to pray in the exact same spot for nearly 20 years now. He’s performed the ritual so many times that his footprints are deeply ingrained in the wooden floor of his temple, in the monastery town of Tongren, in Qinghai Province.

The highly disciplined monk follows a never-changing routine – he arrives at the temple steps every day before sunrise, places his feet on the footprints and prostrates a few thousand times in prayer. Having done this for two decades, the wood beneath his feet has softened considerably, transforming into perfect footprints that are 1.2 inches deep.

When Hua Chi was younger, he would prostrate 2,000 to 3,000 times a day. “But I have grown older, so in recent years I have only done around 1,000 each day,” he said. Sometimes, during winter he can only manage 500. But even that is seriously impressive; I couldn’t imagine doing a handful of prostrations without exhausting myself. After completing his prayers, he walks around the temple as well.

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The ‘Avatar Fare’ – Russian Taxi Drivers Are Punishing Clients Who Refuse to Pay by Painting Them Blue

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Taxi drivers in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod have taken it upon themselves to punish misbehaving clients. These drivers simply pour blue paint all over passengers who complain about the taxi fare or flat out refuse to pay. Their idea is to make the customers resemble Avatar characters, with a sign on the back that says: “Avatar Fare”.

Cabbies all over Nizhny have been struggling for quite some time now with non-paying customers. “We have repeatedly brought them to the police station, they were released there,” one driver said. So the drivers decided to dole out some ‘harmless’ punishment themselves. They force bad customers to strip, douse them with blue paint, stick a sign on their backs, and release them on to the street.

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