Tickets for Noah’s Ark 2012 Are Holiday Bestsellers on Chinese Shopping Site

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It’s been long said that the year 2012 will see the end of the world. The movie 2012 even makes an attempt to show us the catastrophic events leading up t0 the worldwide disaster, and a modern version of Noah’s Ark, a ship in Tibet where people will be safe. While tickets for the movie ship cost a billion Euros each, in real life they can be purchased  for less than $0.5.

Chinese online shopping portal, Taobao, has several online stores selling these counterfeit tickets at 3 RMB a piece. The tickets have been popular as a new year’s gift, a comical way of ensuring one’s safety in the face of the 2012 Armageddon. Thousands of tickets have been sold so far. Physical stores are printing up and selling these tickets, too. One store in Jingsau has sold 2,500 train and ark tickets at 3 RMB each. Another one sold 1,700 Chinese Noah’s Ark passes in a month, at 2 RMB each.

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Father Videotapes Children Coming Down Stairs on Christmas Morning, for 25 years

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Every family has its own traditions for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Writer Nick Confalone recently shared on YouTube, a particularly endearing tradition followed by his dad during Christmas.

Starting in 1985, Nick’s father made home videos of his kids coming down the stairs on Christmas morning. He continued this practice for 25 years, chronicling the growth of his children over a quarter of a century. Nick recently edited the footage filmed by his father and posted it on YouTube. Apart from Nick and his sister, other members of the family are also seen in the video. Pets come and go, as do boyfriends, and you can clearly see how the kids evolve from little toddlers to teenagers and then young adults. Initially the kids are seen to be excited to find out what Santa Claus has left them under the tree. Nick is a cute kid making silly faces at the camera. As years go by, their reluctance to be a part of the videos is quite evident. Of course, Nick now considers the videos to be nothing short of magical.

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Human Spit Could Cause Indian Bridge to Collapse

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Howrah Bridge, located in Kolkata,  India, is a cantilever bridge that spans over Hooghly River. Built during the British rule, in 1943, it is one of the most famous symbols of Kolkata.

The nearly 70-year-old bridge however, is in danger of collapsing, not from age, but from human saliva. It is common to find many locals chewing paan (a mild intoxicant containing betel nuts and leaves), and then spitting out red-tinged saliva on the steel hangers of the bridge. This is not only unsightly, but the corrosion caused by the accumulation of several years worth of saliva, is a cause of serious concern. Bird droppings are also a major cause for the corrosion of the bridge, and regular cleaning was undertaken ever since this threat was identified. The cleaning is apparently not good enough to work its way through the layers of spit and local authorities say the corrosion has caused so much damage that the thickness of the hangers has reduced to half of the original, from 6mm to 3mm.

Photo: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP

Efforts are being made to salvage this old Indian monument from disgrace. Engineers have come up with an idea to cover the steel with sheets of fiberglass. There are other factors that are a cause for concern in the maintenance of the bridge, such as damage from vehicles due to rash driving. Over 100,000 vehicles are known to cross the bridge every day, along with around 150,000 pedestrians on the walkways.

Man Wins Lamborghini Murcielago, Crashes It in a Matter of Hours

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David Dopp was in the news last month, for winning a Lamborghini. Then again last weekend, for wrecking it.

Dopp, a resident of Santaquin, Utah, won a lime green Murcielago Roadster worth $380,000 at a giveaway contest held by Maverick store. Sometime last month, the official announcement was made by the contest organizers at a college football game. On learning that he had won the car, Dopp was jumping up and down excitedly, a spectacle that was videotaped and broadcast on the local news. He received the car last Saturday, and 6 hours later, had crashed it. ”Yeah, I got it on Saturday and I wrecked it on Saturday,” he said to local TV stations.

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Eat Like a Caveman at Berlin’s Sauvage Restaurant

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A new restaurant in Berlin insists upon feeding its customers with the food that cavemen devoured. So basically, no bread, sugar, or cheese on the menu.

The Sauvage Restaurant proudly announces their ’Real Food Revolution - Paleolithic cuisine!’ Guests are served dishes that contain ingredients most-likely used by hunter-gatherers. The owners of this place unsurprisingly adhere to the Paleolithic movement, which prescribes a lifestyle of a Paleo diet, lots of exercise, high contact with nature and sunlight, minimal clothing, plenty of sleep and spending a lot of time barefoot. Diners are served their meals at candle-lit tables. The food served consists of organic, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and herbs. Some of the exercises of the caveman-era are also mimicked by the owners such as  lifting boulders and running barefoot. To emulate the loss of blood that cavemen endured in their hunt for food, they regularly donate blood. These practices are recommended to guests as well, but they could just stick to the Paleo food if they wish.

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Beer Makes Its Way onto the Candy Market for the Holidays

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Chocolate has traditionally been seen as a gift appropriate for women. But here’s something that gives it a manly twist – beer flavored candy.

Beer has been used as a candy flavoring for quite some time now and is something that many chocolatiers are experimenting with. The earliest known beer candy was introduced around three years ago, by Nicole Green. Ms. Green is the proprietor of Truffle Truffle, an online confectioner. Their top-selling product is the “Beer and Pretzel Collection.” The collection consists of goodies such as the beer-and-pretzel truffles and caramels, beer brittle and beer marshmallows.

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Scottish Bar Serves Heart-Stopping Deep-Fried Butter

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We’ve heard of deep-fried Mars bars, ice-cream and butter that originated in the US. A Scottish Bar has now invented a new twist to deep-fried butter, something they say is quite popular with a few customers. Dubbed by some critics as a coronary on a plate and even a heart attack in the plate, this dish is being served at the Fiddler’s Elbow, perhaps for the first time ever in Scotland. The Scottish twist, being an Irn Bru batter.

The entire dish put together consists of the deep-fried butter balls, with an accompaniment of Irn Bru ice cream and coulis. The dish has been named quite aptly, as the “Braveheart Butter Bombs”. The folks at the Fiddler’s Elbow also plan to introduce a variation, using deep-fried whisky instead of Irn Bru. The head chef of the Scottish bar,  Simon Robertson, has been credited with the invention of this dish, along with the help of Paul Fitchie, a former chef at Harvey Nichols. The dessert is created by freezing balls of butter and then dipping them in an Irn Bru batter. These balls are then fried in hot oil, till the golden brown delicacies emerge.

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Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

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With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

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English Vicar Raps Nativity Story

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Now here’s an extremely interesting and catchy version of the Nativity Story. For those of you who feel that the traditional ways of telling the story have become rather monotonous, an English Vicar from Devon has made a rap song out of it. The video put up online has already been watched thousands of times.

40-year old Reverend Gavin Tyte gets it just right, as he raps the story of Jesus’s birth to a beatbox backing. The song is called ‘The Beatbox Nativity.’ The video clip is three-and-a-half minutes long. For the video, Reverend Tyte dresses up in three different costumes – a shepherd, an angel, and himself, as the narrator. The song goes on to describe the entire story of the birth of Jesus, in perfect rap. He says he has been beatboxing since the age of 8 and was even a professional performer before be was ordained. The Reverend has been in the company of rappers for a long time, but he admits it was a little tricky to create a rhyme out of each and every verse. ”You are constrained by what is written and what sounds good, so it does not flow as well as if you were rapping from scratch.”

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Belarusian Schoolboy Builds Impressive Electric Car

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Alexander Kozlov, an 11th grader from Belarus, has recently made headlines, after spending and entire year building an impressive electric car, with the help of his family and friends.

At a glance, the white two-seat vehicle built by Alexander may look a little strange, with an unpolished finish and only three wheels, but make no mistake, it’s a working car that cost just 8,000,000 Belarusian rubles. That may seem like a lot, but it’s only $950. The boy, who lives in Grodno, originally started working on his home-made electric car as a project for an urban Olympics, but encouraged by his family and friends, he continued tinkering with parts until he completed it. He also got some help from teachers from his school, like Natalia Sakuta, who specializes in physics, and although the car really wasn’t very expensive to make, Alexander Kozlov admits he wouldn’t have been able to finish the project without such contributions.

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15,000 Czechs Put Down “Jedi” as Their Faith, in Census

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A shocking discovery about the religious beliefs of Czechs was made in a census held in March this year. Over 15,000 people, the size of a small town, registered themselves as Jedi Knights, a faith from the Star Wars movies. This is certainly not being dismissed as nominal by the Statistical Office.

Of the rest of the Czech population, it is interesting to note that while 1,083,899 said they were Roman Catholics,  707,649 said they didn’t believe in God. Also, 5 million people just didn’t have anything to say. They left the column empty. In Prague, the capital  city, 3,977 Jedi Knights were registered, which is 0.31% of the city’s population. It is perplexing as to why this option was included in the census for in the first place. Stanislav Drapal, deputy head of the statistical office, says that they included it despite a fierce debate over whether it’s serious or not. It’s not up to the statisticians to decide whether or not it’s a real religion, is what he feels.

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Chinese “Wolf Dad” Reveals Brutal Parenting Techniques

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This isn’t the first time the Chinese have been in the news for their strict parenting techniques. When Chinese-American Amy Chua came out with her book, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, it was met with a lot of criticism.

Now it’s Xiao Baiyou’s turn. Also Chinese, the 47-year-old businessman recently published a book called “That’s Why They Go to Peking University”, about his fathering techniques. He believes that his practice of hitting his children with a rattan cane helped them get into top colleges. He has been nicknamed “Wolf Dad” after his brutal methods, and he is actually proud of the title. “Wolves look ferocious and brutal, yet they have great wisdom and are exceptionally tender to their cubs,” he said. His brutality, according to him, is only out of love.

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Artist Faces Jail Time over Disturbing Taxidermy

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Enrique Gomez De Molina is an artist from Miami who creates bizarre sculptures, with the stuffed parts of dead animals. While taxidermy itself isn’t something new, what De Molina does is he mixes up parts from different animals to create a new one, a new species all together. The result is what some might call art, and others may find plain disturbing.

For instance, one of the strange beings created by De Molina is a combination of a squirrel and a crab. The head of a squirrel and the body of the crab. Another one has the heads of two swans placed on the body of a goat. The art is all fine, but the artist himself is facing the possibility of landing in jail for no less than 5 years. He may also have to cough up $250,000 in fines. The reason – he illegally imported the body parts of endangered species, a crime that he has pleaded guilty to. He was arrested in November.

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Dutch Television Hosts to Eat Each Other’s Flesh on Live TV

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It’s crazy what people will do on TV for ratings. Now , TV hosts on a Dutch channel are going to eat each other. Literally. Just to see what human flesh tastes like. This might just be the first time cannibalism is broadcast on Live TV.

Guinea Pigs is a show on the Dutch TV channel, BNN. Valerio Zeno and Dennis Storm, the hosts, are going to have their flesh extracted surgically from their sides and buttocks. And then the meat will be served to each of them. Gross! According to Valerio, ever since he saw a movie in which the survivors of a plane crash eat each other to stay alive, he’s always wondered how that would taste. Now he’s finally getting the opportunity to find out. Storm, however, says that he never wondered about this before, but now that he has his chance, he’s taking it. And he’ll always be able to tell people, in response to being asked about the scar on his butt cheek, that Valerio ate him.

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Woman Tattoos Favorite Rapper’s Name on Her Forehead

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How responsible is a tattoo artist for the strange things that people get tattooed on various parts of their body? This was the very question that Kevin Campbell faced this week, when he helped a woman get her favorite rapper’s name tattooed on her forehead.

While the name or identity of the woman remains unknown, her pictures have been circulating the internet and have turned viral. This woman has done the unthinkable, even for die-hard fans. She apparently wanted to show off her love for Drake, the Canadian rapstar, so she got his name etched in a place that no one could miss. The photographs themselves were taken by Kevin’s manager and co workers from Will Rise, the L.A. tattoo shop. A close-up shot shows that the woman has shaved off her hair and eyebrows. Kevin confirms this. He says that she came in to the shop that way, asking specifically for the tattoo to be made on her forehead. She had even picked out the font beforehand. According to Kevin, she seemed to be a little high, but pretty sure of  what she wanted. But when the tattoo job was nearing completion, she seemed to have lost a bit of her enthusiasm.

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