Canadian Company Invents Scratch-and-Sniff Jeans for Men

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When I was a kid, scratch-and-sniff stickers were the rage. We had all kinds of flavors and odors back then. While I have no idea if kids these days are still into such things, it does seem the in-thing for grown men, not with stickers, but jeans! Last week, a Canadian company launched a brand new line of scratch-and-sniff jeans.

Naked & Famous Denim, a company based in Montreal, has introduced the jeans at a price of $150. What’s special about them is that they smell like raspberry candy, when scratched. Unfortunately, the smell does fade over time, and you’ll be left with just a regular pair of denim pants. According to designer and company founder Brandon Svarc, the scent will last through at least five washings. But he says it shouldn’t be much of a problem since many of their male customers don’t wash their jeans very often, and some never wash them at all.

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Man Spends 25 Years, $10,000 Making Himself an Egyptian-Style Coffin

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People making their own coffin isn’t new to us here at OC. But the story of Fred Guentert sure is. Because he’s been building himself a coffin that’s fit for an Egyptian pharaoh – for the past 25 years.

Guentert, who is now 89 years old, has kept himself occupied for about a quarter of a century with his unusual hobby. And he sure does have something to show for it. The coffin he is to be buried in someday is 7 feet long and weighs 300 pounds. It is made of cedar and hand-painted in royal colors like gold, red, green and black. A hand-carved image of the Egyptian god Osiris adorns the lid. Near the base, you can see a colorful image of Isis. The interior has been decorated with a full-size painting of Nut – the sky goddess. On one side of the box is the Eye of Horus, looking on intently.

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Sweden’s Classroom-Free School – The Future of Education?

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It’s news like this that makes me wish I could become a kid and go back to school again. I mean, just look at the pictures. If school was like this, who wouldn’t want to go? To me, the school looks like it’s come out of the future, or from a sci-fi movie. It’s definitely surreal. But a closer look shows that it isn’t very different from, say, a Google office. Kids seem to be working independently on their laptops, in a place that’s comfortable and convenient for them. I do wonder if all that lounging around is good for their posture, though.

The school you’re looking at is the brainchild of Swedish Free School Organization, Vittra. They operate 30 schools around Sweden, with an aim to ensure that learning takes place everywhere on campus. So, they’ve eliminated classrooms all together. This particular school is the latest, called Telefonplan, and it was opened last August. It was designed and built by the architecture firm Rosan Bosch. At Vittra, students are free to work independently, and if they find the need to collaborate with peers on a project, they have a few options for that too. The ‘village’ is a tiny house meant for group work, and ‘organic conversation furniture’ allows the kids to interact with each other as well. Each student receives a computer from the school too, which is used as a major tool for learning.

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Woman Has 10 Plastic Surgeries to Look Like Anime Girl

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We live in a world where plastic surgeries and beauty ‘enhancement’ procedures have become the norm rather than the exception. Even so, spending $136,000 on 10 procedures just to get a certain look seems pushing it way too far. But that’s exactly what Jacqueline Koh, a 29-year-old fashion designer fro Singapore has done to herself, in an attempt to look like a typical anime girl, with big sparkling eyes, a small chin and nose, a slim face, and larger breasts.

When I looked at pictures of Koh’s original face, I wondered why she would have wanted to change anything at all. However, she had long been unsatisfied with the shape of her chin and her protruding mouth. The trigger to actually do something about it came two years ago when she had put on weight. Gaining 6kg in 1.5 years without any change to her diet got her worried. At 1.6m tall, she weighed 48kg. I don’t think that’s a weight to worry about at all, but she thought she looked chubby. When no amount of exercise would help her lose weight, she went for corrective procedures.

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Thousands of Iranian Women Training to Become Ninjas

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Ninjutsu is considered to be one of the deadliest forms of martial arts in the world. But this doesn’t deter the 3,500 odd Iranian women who are currently receiving official training in the sport.

In fact, when I saw a video of these women in action, I was awestruck by their agility and the ease with which they performed gravity-defying stunts and back flips. I couldn’t even tell that the ninjas were female until they removed the masks from their faces.  Iran, like many other Islamic countries, has stringent rules regarding the freedom and conduct of women. The laws severely restrict them from participating freely in society; perhaps this is where they derive their quiet strength from. The Ninjustu school in Iran was started in 1989 by Sensei Akbar Faraji. This was the first time the martial art was introduced to the country. While the club now has over 24,000 members, the number of female participants is slowly on the rise. According to Faraji, in Ninjutsu, men are called ninjas, while women are addressed as kunoichi.

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Real-Life Photoshop – Model Has 20-Inch Waistline

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30-year-old Ioana Spangenberg has something some skinny female models only dream of. A 20-inch waistline and a body that doesn’t accumulate fat, no matter what she eats. Now, isn’t that a dream come true? Not for Ioana, though. In a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side, the Romanian model says she wants to put on weight in order to be able to look normal.

Ioana seems to be blessed with the much-coveted ‘hourglass’ look, quite literally in fact. She says that she was of normal weight when she was a kid, and the transformation started to occur when she was a teenager. At age 13, her waist was only 15 inches and her friends could actually put their hands completely around it. In an attempt to put on weight, she would eat Mars bars and other sweets, but nothing ever worked. Ioana blames this on the small size of her stomach, which makes her feel sick if she eats too much. Perhaps her body’s constitution is too much of a good thing, because she was never happy with herself until she married. It was her husband who encouraged her to become a model, and she is now finally comfortable in her own skin.

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Brain Tumor Survivor Has Painted Every Sunrise for the Last Seven Years

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People find unique ways of storing and recording memories of the most important days of their lives. Some save cinema ticket stubs from their first date, some like to keep home videos and photo albums of family events. The methods of storing memories – both happy and sad – are endless. But the story of Cody Cox stands out from the rest. He chose to remember the last day his nephew Justin Tyler Berry was alive in a very different manner – by purchasing a painting depicting the last sunrise his nephew had ever seen. This was possible because brain tumor survivor Debbie Wagner has been painting the sunrise every single morning since December, 2005.

56-year-old Wagner is from Bennington, Kansas. In her healthier days, the mother of three loved to read long novels, cook up complicated recipes, take care of her family’s finances and always got nine straight hours of sleep every night. When she was diagnosed with not one, but two tumors in her brain in 2002, her life changed forever. Although the surgery to remove the tumors was successful, she lost the ability to do many of the things she loved. Wagner could no longer multitask, follow recipes or novel plots, balance a checkbook, or even sleep soundly through the night.

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English Astronomer Makes World’s First Meteorite-Aged Wine

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What do you get when you mix an interest in wine-making and a passion for astronomy? Why meteorite wine, of course. Meteorito, as it’s called, is a unique blend of wine that has been aged with a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite.

Meteorito, a Cabernet Sauvignon, is the creation of Norwich-born Ian Hutcheon. Ian has long been involved with wines as well as astronomy, and always wanted to find a way to combine his two interests. The Englishman now works out of Chile, where he owns a vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley. Out of his passion for outer space, he also opened an observatory in 2007, called the Centro Astrononomica Tagua Tagua. This is currently the only place in the world you can purchase Meteorito wine, although Hutcheon is interested in exporting it to other countries.

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Japan’s New Creepy Anti-Aging Mouthpiece

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Throughout the years, we’ve seen some pretty genius inventions from Japan, but every once in a while they come up with something so strange, so bizarre, you can’t help but ask yourself “what were they thinking?” The new Face Slimmer anti-aging mouthpiece is one of those things…

The so-called face Slimmer was launched in Japan, late last year, by a well-known cosmetic company called Glim. It’s a weird-looking rubbery thing that looks a lot like the mouth of a blow-up doll, and it supposedly solves your sagging face problem while giving you that coveted duck-face look. You know, the one every “cool” teenager poses with in their Facebook photos. Now, unlike most other Japanese inventions, the Face Slimmer isn’t high-tech. In fact it’s as low tech as they come, all you have to do is put it in your mouth and start exercising your face muscles. Think of it as a squeeze punch for your mouth…

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Kissenger – The Long-Distance Kiss Messenger

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Hooman Samani, an artificial intelligence researcher in Singapore, has developed a kiss-transmission robot messenger that can emulate and transmit a kiss over long distances. It’s called the Kissenger.

About a year ago, I wrote an article about young Japanese student working on an experimental device able to transmit  kisses over long distances. His machine looked pretty awful, and I remember thinking “the concept is interesting but that thing will never go into production”. Hooman Samani’s “Kissenger”,on the other hand, looks a lot more commercial, and could actually prove a hit, especially in some Asian countries where goofy technological breakthroughs are very popular. His new kiss-transmitting device is about the size of a softball, is shaped like a bunny, and features a pair of artificial lips that are highly touch-sensitive. Sound good? Wait till you see how it works.

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Woman Marries 107-Year-Old Warehouse to Save It from Demolition

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Babylonia Aivaz, from Seattle, fell in love with an old warehouse where she and other activists protested inside the building, during an Occupy Seattle event. Now, the 107-year-old facility has been scheduled for demolition, so Aivaz decided to marry it to show her love, and hopefully save it.

It sounds like a pretty bizarre situation, especially after you read all the jokes and comments by various media outlets, regarding Babylonia Aivaz’s decision to marry a warehouse. Some joke about the awkward wedding night, others about the solid foundation of their relationship, but the fact is she’s doing it as a form of protest against gentrification. ’I'm doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification,’ Aivaz said in an interview. ’If corporations can have the rights as people, so can buildings,’ she added, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising.

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Rent-a-Girlfriend Services Are Becoming Popular in China

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In recent years, young men and women pressed by their families to bring their girlfriends home with them for the seven-day Spring Festival prefer to rent total strangers, just to avoid long lectures and appease their relatives.

Single men and women have it tough in China, a country where most parents go to any lengths to see their offspring settled down with the right person. We’ve had posts about a school teaching girls to land rich powerful businessmen, about Shanghai’s famous marriage market, and about the Love Supermarket, but those were permanent fixes to the being-single “problem”. Nowadays, Chinese bachelors are looking for a temporary solution, and this led to the creation of a whole new niche – girlfriend/boyfriend rentals. All they have to do is go online, access Taobao (China’s version of eBay) and choose between the different sellers offering the unusual service.

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Man Trains to Become Real-Life Tarzan

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DeWet Du Toit, a 24-year-old South African man obsessed with Tarzan, spends his days swinging on vines and tree branches, riding elephants and eating fruits of the bush, just like his celluloid hero.

He traveled to England where he worked as a security guard and delivery driver for a year, but returned to his native South Africa where he exchanged the uniform for a loin cloth and decided to become a real-life Tarzan. DeWet Du Toit became a fan of the jungle warrior as a child, when he lived in Namibia and his father collected Tarzan books and comics. Over the years, he realized he is like his hero in so many ways – his best friend is an elephant called Shaka and he spends more time with monkeys, zebras and crocodiles than he spends with people. Although DeWet admits some people might think he’s crazy, he says he knows this is what he was born to do.

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Florentine Artist Fights Pollution by Painting with Smog

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If you’re ever in Florence, Italy, and see a grown man on a ladder wiping the dust off statues and building, don’t worry, it’s just Alessandro Ricci gathering material for his famous smog paintings.

40-year-old Ricci is not your average artist, and I don’t say that just because he used smog as the main medium of his artworks. Unlike other painters seeking fast recognition of their talent, he doesn’t really care about “being this big artist”. Instead he is more concerned about bringing attention to how much smog there really is in his home town and how it’s destroying both its monuments and people. Although he did take a couple of art classes a few years back, he is mainly self-taught, doesn’t work in a studio, donates most of his work, and refuses to play by the rules of the Florentine Art Gallery, which he considers corrupt. Alessandro Ricci believes selling his smog paintings  would not only compromise his principles, but also contradict the very thing he’s trying to do – raise awareness about smog pollution in this great Italian city.

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17-Year-Old Girl Has Eaten Chicken Nuggets Every Day for the Last 15 Years

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Everyone craves fast food every once in a while, but for 17-year-old Stacey Irvine, chicken nuggets have been a part of her daily diet ever since she was 2 years old. Although you wouldn’t think so by looking at her.

I’m a big cheeseburger fan myself, though I try not to eat more than one a month, but for young Stacey, chicken nuggets are the most delicious things on Earth. Her mother, Evonne, 39, made the mistake of introducing her to the tastiness of chicken nuggets when she was just two years old, and she loved them so much, she refused to eat almost anything else after that. Mum even tried starving her at one time, in an attempt to get her to eat more nutritious foods, but to no avail, so she gave up trying to get her off nuggets a long time ago.  For a while they were all she would eat, but she later expanded her daily diet to fries, chipss and an occasional piece of toast for breakfast.

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