Couple Marry for the Second Time after Husband’s Sex Change

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Barry and Anne Watson first married in 2002, as husband and wife. Now, nine years later, they renewed their wedding vows, except this time they were wife and wife, and Barry was a woman named Jayne. A photograph of the couple shows he/she is much happier this time around.

Of course, things were not always a bed of roses for Jayne and Anne. Their relationship went through several upheavals, especially when Anne learned of Barry’s desire to have a sex change. But things worked out just fine in the end. 53-year-old Anne recollects being furious when Barry told her about the sex change. The 43-year-old was a bus driver at the time. Anne believed that Barry was cheating on her with another woman. She had absolutely no idea that what he actually wanted was to be a woman himself. They have come a long way since then, and are a happy couple now.

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Website Helps Icelandic Couples Avoid Incest

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In a country with only 300,000 people, the risk of two people who like each other being related is quite high. Throw in the absence of last names, and the confusion only increases. This is precisely the case in Iceland today. Luckily, they have a website that keeps them from committing incest.

So when a man and a woman begin dating in Iceland, the first thing they ask each other is, “Hverra manna ert þú?” which means, “Who are your people?” Obviously, none of them want to end up marrying their cousin. Even so, widespread rumors do the rounds about someone who knows someone who found out too late that the object of their interest was in fact, a long-lost cousin. Fortunately,  a website called  Íslendingabók exists to help Icelanders with the situation that almost seems unique to the isolated country.  Íslendingabók, which means the Book of Icelanders, is a genealogical website that carries a huge database of the people of Iceland and has been around for almost over a decade. When it was first launched, it turned out to be an instant hit.

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World’s First Park and Pray Chapel to Open in Austria

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With the launch of the new Park and Pray Worldwide Chapel Network, it is now possible for you to pray anywhere in the world, by simply stopping your car wherever you see  the Park+Pray sign.

The new concept is revolutionary in terms of making places of prayer available to all Christians, regardless of their confession. At places where the Park+Pray sign is displayed, one can find a chapel or church, a devotion or prayer room that all believers are welcome to make use of. Prayers will be provided with anonymity and privacy so you can comfortably make contact with God. The first chapel of the Park and Pray Network will open its doors to the public in August this year.

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Mom Uses Year-Old Cheeseburger to Keep Kids Away from McDonalds

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We’ve read several myths on the internet about the very questionable quality of food served at fast-food restaurants. A Canadian mom has actually gone on to prove some of these myths, in an attempt to discourage her teenage children from consuming ‘junk’ food.

Melanie Hesketh, from Windsor, Ontario, has a McDonald’s cheeseburger sitting on her kitchen counter. It looks as good as new, except that it’s been there for a year. That’s right, a whole year. Nope, no mould, no fungi, no maggots. Apparently, even bacteria won’t eat the food that millions of people around the world queue up for, each day. According to Melanie, who is a professional nutritionist at Windsor’s Lifetime Wellness Center, the meat patty has just shrunk a little but otherwise looks edible. It has a faint but lingering greasy, leathery odor, and still smells slightly like a burger. Her trick has worked pretty well. The sight of the burger in their kitchen every single day has helped her kids cut back on their intake of fast food. In fact, her oldest son has visited McDonald’s maybe only twice in the past year, in spite of growing peer pressure.

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Professional Wingman Services Help You Get a Date

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Remember Will Smith as Hitch, the guy who helps men woo women, for a living? Well, you can actually hire a similar service in real life. What’s even better is that your coach goes out with you, giving you practical advice and tips on dating.

“The Professional Wingman” is one such service run by Thomas Edwards. For $125  a night, you can get Edwards to go with you to social gatherings, posing as a friend of yours. He’ll then coach you through the evening, pointing out the flirtatious women, and also women who might be more compatible with your personality. In a prior meeting, you would establish with him exactly what kind of women you’re interested in, and also what stops you from approaching them with ease.

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Reverend Opens Tattoo Parlor inside Church to Attract Parishioners

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If this doesn’t bring people to Church, what will? A Church in Michigan has opened a built-in tattoo parlor, and the Reverend himself sports two tattoos.

Rev. Steve Bentley opened a small place called “Serenity Tattoo” in “The Bridge”, a church located inside a shopping center in Flint Township. The move was made in an effort to reach out to people who are uncomfortable with traditional places of worship. According to Bentley, mainstream religion is now irrelevant to most people and has actually become ineffective. So he came up with this unique solution to reach out to a few people who would otherwise never step into  a church.

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File Sharing Becomes Official Religion in Sweden

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Kopimism – a belief in the sacred right to share files – has been recognized as an official religion in Sweden, at the end of last year.

“Information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members.” This is how Kopimism is described on the official website of the Missionary Church of Kopimism. Apparently, ever since 2010, a groups of self-confessed file-sharing pirates have been trying to get file sharing recognized as an official religion. After having their claim denied several times, they’ve finally seen their dream fulfilled in late December 2011, when Kompimism was officially acknowledged as a legal religion. The Church hopes its new sacred status will remove the legal stigma  associated with file sharing.

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Ball Cutter Fish Kills Fishermen by Biting off Their Testicles

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Man-eating predators have always been part of legend and folk-lore. But here we have news of a real-life monster, interested in only one part of the human anatomy – the testicles.

The monster in question is in fact a 40lb fish called Pacu, found in the waters of Papua New Guinea. The Pacu are notorious for having eaten up the testicles of swimmers and anglers caught unawares, leaving them to bleed to death. This has led to the creatures being nicknamed ‘Ball Cutter’ fish. Initially, the villagers could only describe the monster-fish as something mysterious, like a ‘human in the water’. They finally got to see the predator up-close when a Pacu fish was recently caught by Jeremy Wade, a 53-year old British Fisherman, as a part of his TV series called River Monsters. The muscular fish was hard to catch, but Wade managed to track it down, reel it into his boat and wrestle it into submition. When he opened its jaws up with his hands, the teeth of the Pacu were found to be quite similar to human ones.

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Man Would Turn to Rehab to Shake Diet Coke Drinking Habit

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Most people check into rehab to get rid of alcohol problems. But here’s someone who wishes for rehab to kick his Diet Coke addiction of over 20 years.

Darren Jones, 38, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, easily consumes 42 liters of  Diet Coke a week. His fizzy addiction costs him around £100 ($155) every week. He first started to drink Cola when he was 13. When the sugary version started to make his teeth ‘furry’, he switched to Diet. He says that in the beginning it wasn’t much of a problem, except that he gained a lot of weight. Things got worse as years went by. Jones was eventually diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and his weight made it difficult for him to move around. Soon he lost his taxi driver job.

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Researcher Proves You’re Washing Your Clothes More Often than You Should

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Would you dare to sniff a pair of jeans that haven’t been washed in three months? If the very thought of it seems disgusting, wait till you hear this. This March, there’s going to be an exhibition of thirty such pairs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

The unusual collection of dirty jeans is the result of an experiment conducted by Tullia Jack, a researcher from Melbourne. In an effort to prove that people wash their clothes way too often, she recruited thirty volunteers to wear their jeans unwashed, five days a week, for three months. Ms. Jack is a student at the Melbourne University and a fashion lecturer at RMIT. “Not washing your jeans isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds,” she says. The experiment is a part of her Master of Philosophy thesis and she wants to use the findings to challenge our ‘extreme clean’ culture.

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Mysterious Female Superhero Helps Beijing’s Poor

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Ever fancied meeting up with a superhero? Well you could have, had you been in Beijing this past Christmas Eve. For that was the day a real-life superhero walked the streets of the city, helping out the poor. She calls herself the ‘Chinese Redbud Woman’.

Dressed in low-cut black tights and wearing a blue mask, her pictures leave us wondering if she attracted attention for more than just her generosity. Jokes aside, she did do a pretty good job of helping out – handing out food, warm clothing and gifts to beggars and homeless people. Why she didn’t put on some of the warm clothing herself on a cool December night, is something we don’t have an answer to. The appearance of this mysterious woman did cause a stir of sorts among the residents of Beijing. People started talking about her on the internet and in local media. Pictures of her acts of kindness at public places such as the Xidan subway station and in front of the Wangfujing bookstore have been doing the rounds ever since the night of Christmas Eve. The superlady herself communicates with the world through a microblog, written in Chinese. She currently has over 7,000 fans online.

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Man Spends $16,000 for Virtual Video Game Sword

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For those of us who aren’t online gaming enthusiasts, the actions of a Chinese gamer this holiday season may seem a tad bizarre. But for him, it’s perfectly normal to spend $16,000 on a sword that isn’t even real.

While it has become common practice for many people to spend small amounts of money on online games, this gamer from China has indeed outdone most others. He won a bid for a virtual sword to be used online. What’s even more surprising is that the game for which the sword was purchased hasn’t even been released yet. Age of Wulin is a martial arts MMO that is set to release its first Chinese beta version in the spring of 2012. The English version will follow soon after. Snail Games, the developers of Age of Wulin, organized an online auction of various exclusive virtual items that players could bid for. While the sword was by far the costliest one to be sold, several other items fetched good amounts of money. A sheath for a Lordly Spear went for $2,500, while the Hook of Departure sheath followed closely at $1,600. Pre-paid time cards and enhancement materials were sold for smaller amounts.

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MIT Develops Suit That Lets You Feel What It’s Like to Be 75 Years Old

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If you’ve ever wondered why your ageing parents or grandparents aren’t as fit and fast as they used to be, here’s a way to find out exactly what they go through each day. An age suit developed at MIT allows the people wearing it to live life as an aged person.

The MIT AgeLab is a part of the Engineering Systems Division, and works on improving the way services are delivered and products are designed for the elderly. The recent creation of the AgeLab is AGNES (Age Gain Now Empathy System), a suit designed to provide an experience of the flexibility, dexterity, strength, motor and visual skills of a person in their mid-70s. AGNES comes at a highly relevant time, when the population of people over 65 years of age has been rapidly on the rise. It is expected to hit 72.1 million by the year 2030. This increases the design challenges faced by engineers and designers to create products that cater to the older demographic.

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Meet Qamar Hashim, an 8-Year-Old Professional Photographer

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Qamar Hashim looks like any other 8-year-old. But the cute Iraqi lad has a unique talent of his own – he’s a national celebrity for his photography skills.

Qamar is the youngest certified photographer in Iraq. He has several beautiful photographs to his credit, many of which have been displayed in prominent exhibits in Baghdad. He showed interest in the art and began to take pictures at the age of four. At the time he was only imitating his father who is a photo journalist. He started by taking pictures of the Tigris river, birds, old houses, and places of historical importance. While Qamar’s father does not permit him to photograph violent happenings in the city, he did manage to make his way through security detail once, and took a picture of the Mayor of Baghdad. After this incident, the government official presented him with his very first digital camera. In his sweet, innocent child’s voice, he tells reporters, “When I see something I like, I look at it through my lens, zoom in if it’s far away and click. As for my height, I am not short, I can reach.” He says that the biggest difficulty he faces is when the camera runs out of battery.

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Bavarian Villagers Build Church Entirely Out of Snow

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A church built entirely out of snow and ice – sounds magical, and looks pretty too. It was built this year in the Bavarian forest by the villagers of Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany. Located close to the Czech border, the church is bathed in a beautiful blue light. It was opened to public on Wednesday evening, blessed by Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser. Although the villagers had hoped to have it open before Christmas, the lack of sufficient snow caused a delay in their project.

The snow church was constructed in commemoration of a similar church built in 1911, exactly 100 years ago. The older one was actually a sign of protest. In those days, the nearest church was in Mauth, a 90-minute hike away, which wasn’t always easy to complete. The residents of the secluded Mitterfirmiansreut village then came up with the idea to build the snow church, in the hope that it would draw attention to their plight. The winter of 1910/1911 was rich in snow, and the construction of the church began in Feb, 1911. Both men and women worked hard to place blocks of solid snow bricks, building a strong and sturdy church. The final structure was 14m long , 7m wide and 4m high. The first worship was held on the 28th of March, 1911.

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