Pyongyang Cafe – A Small Piece of North Korea on the Spanish Coast

Entering North Korea is not the easiest or safest thing to do for foreigners, but curious tourists can now experience a small piece of North Korean culture in the Mediterranean city of Tarragona, where a small bar founded to promote Kim Jong-Un’s totalitarian regime recently opened.

Alejandro Cao de Benos, the founder of Pyongyang Cafe, is the only Westerner to occupy a post in the North Korean regime, even if it is only honorary. A firm believer in communism, he became interested in North Korea after the fall of the Soviet Union, which coincided with meeting some North Korean families in Madrid. He started traveling to the isolated Asian country, managed to meet with the late Kim Jong-Il, and in 2002 he was appointed special delegate for international cultural relations by Pyongyang. The title is not official, but he has taken his mission very seriously. Cao de Benos, a.k.a. “Cho Sun-il” (which translates as “Korea is one”) went on to found the Korean Friendship Association which currently has delegates in 30 countries around the world.

As someone who regularly appears in the Spanish media to defend North Korea against what he calls Western propaganda and manipulation, Cho Sun-il decided to open Pyongyang Cafe as a way to offer people an authentic North Korean experience. “We want to break with all the myths, manipulation,” he says. “And as not many people can go to Korea, because it’s complicated and far, they can come to our cafe.”

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Shoyna – The Russian Village Fighting a Losing Battle against Sand

Shoyna, a small Russian village located on the edge of the arctic circle is often referred to as the world’s northernmost desert. The sand covers everything as far as the eye can see and the few people living here never dare shut their front doors at night, for fear of being buried alive by the ever-shifting dunes. But it wasn’t always like this…

Shoyna was settled in the 1930’s by fishermen drawn to the coast of the White Sea by the abundance of fish in the area. In just two decades, it had grown into a bustling fishing port with a population of around 1,500 people and a fleet of roughly seventy fishing boats. However, it wasn’t long before excessive trawling decimated the fish colonies and the fishery collapsed. The dozens of vessels lining the shore stopped coming and many of the families that had thrived in Shoyna slowly moved away. Today, the official number of inhabitants is 375, most of whom survive on unemployment benefits and pensions. Hunting is also a way to make ends meet, thanks to the large number of barnacle and Brent geese that use Shoyna as a stopover on their migration course, but the most lucrative job in the village is definitely that of bulldozer driver, as everyone needs their house dug up from the sand at one point.

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Tiny Belgian Village Gets Invaded by Thousands of Pokemon Hunters

Lillo, a tiny village of just 35 permanent inhabitants, used to be one of the most peaceful places in Belgium. But that was before the Pokemon Go phenomenon happened. Today the seven streets that make up the village are packed to the brink with Pokemon trainers looking to catch the many virtual critters that can be found here.

For some reason, Niantic, the the Nintendo subsidiary that created Pokemon Go, decided that the quaint village of Lillo would be a great place to hide a great deal of collectible Pokemon, but it wasn’t long before avid players discovered its hidden treasures, and now the place is teeming with people roaming the streets with their eyes fixed on their handhelds. The old military fort located near the port of Antwerp has become a sort of Mecca for Belgian Pokemon Go players who travel here by the thousands every single day.

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Man Repeatedly Vandalizes Childhood Friend’s Tombstone over 56-year-Old Grudge

They say time heals or wounds, but that’s definitely not true. Just ask Paul E. Donovan Jr., who admitted to repeatedly vandalizing the tombstone of a childhood friend against whom he had been holding a grudge for over five decades.

69-year-old Donovan, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of institutional vandalism of a cemetery, last week. He had been arrested and charged with theft and vandalism in November 2015, after police identified him as the perpetrator of “at least four” acts of vandalism against a single tombstone in the Saint Matthews Cemetery in Whitemarsh.

The investigation in this truly bizarre case began in march of 2014, when a woman reported that her father’s tombstone had the name “John” written over it in orange spray paint, according to the criminal complaint. On April 29, 2014, the same tombstone was vandalized again with the same name in the same color spray paint, the woman told Whitemarsh police. Then, in December, a third complaint revealed that someone had poured a “tar-like substance” over the tombstone, which prompted police to set up hidden cameras to catch the vandal in the act.

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Black Is the New White – People Are Brushing Their Teeth with Charcoal to Make Them Whiter

According to an increasing number of YouTube videos and social media posts, one of the easiest, most effective way to whiten your teeth is to brush them with pitch-black activated charcoal. It sounds like somewhat of a paradox, but some users claim a single brushing can have amazing results.

Activated charcoal has long been used in medical settings to treat poisonings and drug overdoses. Unlike the charcoal we use for barbecues, this stuff is created when carbon is treated with an oxidizing agent, which results in a fine dust with millions of pores and an immense surface area. It’s these pores that give activated charcoal its sponge-like qualities, reducing the body’s absorption of toxic substances by an estimated 47 percent. It’s not the most specific absorber of substances,though, meaning it will absorb both good and bad substances in your stomach, but as long as you consume lots of water after ingesting it, you should be fine.

But while the toxin-absorbing properties of activated charcoal are well documented, its recent uses as an edible food ingredient and teeth whitening agent are not. No charcoal-based teeth whitening products have been evaluated and accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA) until now, but that hasn’t stopped proponents from recommending it as an excellent all-natural way to get a shinier smile.

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English Bar Disables Cell Phones to Get Patrons Talking to Each Other

Convinced that smartphones are ruining our social lives as well as the pub experience, the owner of a newly-opened bar in Brighton, England has decided to get people socializing the old-fashioned way by disabling their cellphone reception.

Instead of texting, checking emails or browsing the internet, patrons of the Gin Tub bar will have to pass the time by actually interacting with their friends, dates or even complete strangers. Owner Steve Tyler could have simply asked guests not to use their phones in his bar, but instead of banning them, he opted to disable them completely. The Gin Tub has a Faraday cage built into its ceiling, which makes getting a reception inside the venue impossible. He says it was the only exception in Britain’s 2006 Wireless Telegraphy Act that otherwise outlaws the use of signal blockers. So yes, it’s 100% legal.

“Mobile phones have killed pubs. When you go out socially, you don’t need social media,” Tyler says. “Rather than telling people they can’t use they phones we’ve basically disabled them.” He makes sure to clarify that the Faraday shield doesn’t jam phone signals, as that would be illegal. Instead the 19th-century device prevents the signal from getting inside.

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This Stunning Open-Air Hotel Room in the Swiss Alps Is Basically Just a Bed

Located 6,463 feet above sea level in the middle of the Swiss Alps, the Null Stern concept hotel takes the minimalist approach to the extreme, removing the walls, roof, basic amenities like toilets and leaving guests with just a king-size bed and a stunning 360-degree view to admire.

It might seem rudimentary, but setting up the Null Stern hotel room way up in the mountains actually required a bit of work. A construction crew, including an excavator, had to first flatten the terrain, before the bed, nightstands and bed lamps could be installed. I suspect having them transported through what looks like very rough terrain was no walk in the park either. So why go through the trouble?

Null Stern hotel co-founder Daniel Charbonnier says the goal was “to put the guest at the center of the experience and to focus on the intangible by reducing everything else to the minimum.” So they skipped building the walls and roof of the room, as well as the bathroom. That last one may be a big problem for a lot of people, but Null Stern mentions that there is a public bathroom available 10 miles down the mountain.

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This After School Satan Club for Kids Is Not as Bad as It Sounds

A group of political activists known as The Satanic Temple has announced its intention to establish After School Satan Club programs in public elementary schools in the United States, in an effort to compete with after school religious programs supported by various Christian evangelical groups.

And before you flip out, Satanic Temple leader and co-founder Doug Mesner assures parents that the already controversial after-school program will involve no demon summonings, Satan worshiping or any kind of satanic rituals. After School Satan Club meetings will include a healthy snack, literature lesson, creative learning activities, a science lesson, puzzle solving and an art project. Sounds pretty tame, and Mesner explains that the whole point of the program is to offer young kids an alternative. “It’s critical that children understand that there are multiple perspectives on all issues, and that they have a choice in how they think,” said Mesner, a.k.a Lucian Greaves.

Despite its name, The Satanic Temple doesn’t encourage the worshiping of the fallen angel, in fact it doesn’t even believe in the existence of a supernatural being that other religions refer to as Satan, or Lucifer, or Beelzebub. The group rejects all forms of supernaturalism and instead promotes scientific rationality. So why use Satan? Simply as a metaphor, a symbol against all forms of tyranny over the human mind. Yes, that obviously includes organized religion.

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Man Single-Handedly Repopulates Rare Butterfly Species in His Own Backyard

The California pipevine swallowtail is considered by many experts to be one of the most magnificent butterflies in North America, but the massive development around San Francisco has caused it to slowly disappear. However, one man’s DIY conservation efforts are bringing this beautiful creature back.

Tim Wong, a young aquatic biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, spends his free time raising butterflies, a hobby he fell in love with as a young boy. “I first was inspired to raise butterflies when I was in elementary school,” Wong told “We raised painted lady butterflies in the classroom, and I was amazed at the complete metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult.” Tim used to spend his days in the open meadows outside his home catching, raising and breeding any butterflies he found.

When he got older and learned about the pipevine swallowtail becoming increasingly rare in the San Francisco are, Wong made it his goal to do something about it. Researching the species, he found that while in caterpillar form, it feeds only on a single plant – the California pipevine – which, he realized, had become equally rare around San Francisco.

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Chinese Barber Uses Leftover hair to Create Awe-Inspiring Artworks

Wang Xiaojiu, a 31-year-old barber from Jilin city, China, doesn’t simply sweep shorn hair off the floor of his hair salon and dump it in the trash. At least not before painstakingly arranging it to create highly detailed works of art.

Seen from a far, Wang’s masterpieces look drawn with a pencil or charcoal, but a closer inspection reveals that they are made out of carefully arranged clipped hair. The talented barber told China Daily that he always thought throwing away leftover hair seemed like a pity, so one day he decided to do something creative with it instead. Armed with a hair brush and a plastic card, he started the piles of sheared hair on the floor of his salon into intricate portraits of popular cartoon and comic characters and, mythological heroes, and more.

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Extreme Marathon Runner Adopts Stray Dog That Ran with Him through Gobi Desert

When he signed up for a grueling 7-day marathon through the Gobi Desert, ultra-runner Dion Leonard thought the only thing he would end up taking back home with him would be a medal. But he got so much more  – a cute, furry friend that ran alongside him for 125 kilometers of the 250-kilometer race.

Leonard remembers seeing Gobi the stray dog hanging around the runners’ camp on the first day of the Gobi March. When the race started, the tiny dog, which turned out to be just 18 months old, decided to join them and managed to keep up the pace despite the harsh terrain. On the second day, Gobi started running with Dion and the two of them became inseparable. “Once we had begun the stage Gobi seemed to like the bright yellow color of my gaiters and proceeded to run next to me,” the 41-year-old British runner told 4 Deserts. “When she came into camp she followed me straight into my tent, laid down next to me and that was that – a bond had been developed.”

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Russian Man Almost Blinds Himself for Fear of Cyber-Surveillance

A man from the Russian city of Perm recently made national headlines for cutting his own eyes in search of micro surveillance equipment and posting a video of the gruesome procedure online.

Alem Kulakhmedov’s story sounds like the topic of a modern cyber-surveillance thriller. A few months ago, he started experiencing bizarre symptoms like eye pains, stomach sickness and extreme tiredness. Alem says he went to see a doctor, but he couldn’t find anything that would explain his symptoms. This gave him some peace of mind and for a while, he managed to ignore his problems, but only until they started getting worse. The man recently told REN TV that he began losing consciousness for more than a day at a time. Whenever he woke up, he would find multiple scars on his body that looked like healing cuts.

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Professional Joint Roller Earns Thousands of Dollars for His Smokable Masterpieces

At just 26 years old, Tony Greenhand is considered the master of artistic joint rolling. From smokable renditions of Pokemon and popular superheroes, to birds and dinosaurs, there is virtually no shape that he couldn’t roll a joint into.

Greenhand has been a crafty guy for as long as he can remember, but he wasn’t always good at rolling joints. His first attempt, as a teen living in rural Washington state, was a total disaster. It was supposed to be a basic cone-shaped joint, but after living too much saliva on the rolling paper, it turned out hideously deformed. He remembers feeling pretty humiliated, but he didn’t let the experience bring him down. He bought an ounce of weed and spent an entire weekend rolling up every last bit of it. By Sunday night, he had mastered the conical joint, but that was only the beginning.

After dropping out of high-school, Tony became more involved in the underground weed business, and his reputation for perfect rolls made him the go-to guy for joints among his grower friends. He soon started experimenting with more complex shapes, and he says that his first creation was a “non-spectacular” rocket. Soon he was creating alligator or dragon-shaped joints, and after a friend urged him to post a photo of a pipe-shaped joint on Reddit – a site he had never even heard of – he managed to blow the minds of potheads who never knew artistic joint rolling was actually a thing.

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Chinese Businessman Turns Boeing 737 Airplane into a Restaurant

China’s very first airplane restaurant was recently unveiled in Wuhan. Named “Lilly Airways”, the unique eatery is located in the cabin area of an old Boeing 737.

Businessman Li Liang acquired the aircraft from Indonesian airline Batavia Air, in May 2015, but then had to go through six months of exhausting custom procedures in order to get the aircraft into China. “Demounting, port, shipping, business license, trade declaration…all these procedures were never done by anybody before, which means I had to go through them one by one,” Li said, adding that the Boeing 737 had to be disassembled a total of eight times in its four-month journey from Indonesia to Wuhan, China. Getting the plane split into parts that then had to be packed in around 70 containers and shipped multiple times apparently cost the eccentric businessman a whopping 3 million yuan ($452,325). Add that to the 5 million yuan ($5.28 million) he paid for the plane itself and you have one of the most expensive restaurants in the world.

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Beer Mile Race Proves Running and Beer Go Well Together

Well, not always, as having to chug beers between multiple 400-meter laps can upset the stomach, but that’s all part of the charm of the Beer Mile, a unique race that has participants competing in running and drinking.

The beer mile started off as a frat tradition in 1990, when a group of Canadian thought it would be fun to race each other while chugging a few beers. But it has come a long way since then, as the Beer Mile Race is now a major sporting event with around 100,000 official entries, brand name sponsorships, and extensive media coverage. In 2015, the first Beer Mile World Classic was held in San Francisco, where all of the record holders from Canada and the United States came together for an epic showdown, but this year, the event was organized in London, in an effort to raise awareness about the sport outside North America.

The rules of the race are pretty straightforward – runners have to consume four beers before each of the four 400-meter laps making up the famous Beer Mile. The beers can come in bottles or cans but should not be less than 355ml in volume and must be at least 5% alcohol by volume. Ciders or radlers (beer and lemonade) will not do, the beverage of choice must be a hard beer brewed from malted cereal grains and flavored with hops. Runners must chug the beers within a “transition area” – a 10 meter zone before the start/finish line on a 400m track – and are advised to tip the bottle/can over their heads to confirm it’s empty.

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