Would You Pay $30,000 to Have a Beer Tailored to Your DNA?

A London-based brewery has recently launched a unique service that uses cutting edge genetic profiling to create “the world’s most personalised beer”, based on the client’s DNA profile. And it “only” costs £25,000 ($30,550).

Ciaran Giblin, the brewmaster of Meantime Brewery, was the world’s first brewer to have a beer tailored to his own DNA, and was so satisfied with the result that he teamed up with a personal genetics company called 23andMe to offer this bespoke service to other beer enthusiasts with money to spare.

“Having been aware of the potential of at-home genetic mapping, I sent a simple saliva sample to 23andMe; the results gave me the tools I needed to develop a recipe based on the elements my senses are most attuned to enjoy,” Giblin said. “I’m delighted with the result and opportunity it has given us to really push the boundaries of innovative, personalised brewing.”

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Kissenger – The Smartphone Accessory That Lets You Kiss over Long Distances

Long distance relationships are always tough, and the lack of physical interaction is one of the main reasons for that. There’s no substituting human touch, yet, but rapidly-advancing technology already provides some intriguing alternatives. One such example is the Kissenger, a smartphone peripheral that allows users to kiss over long distances.

The concept of long-distance kissing has been an intriguing research concept for over half a decade now. Back in 2012, we wrote about the Kissenger, a solution created by Dr. Hooman Samani, Director of AIART Lab (Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Technology Laboratory) in Singapore. It consisted of two internet-connected bunny-shaped robots with big silicone lips that could send the touch of human lips between each-other to (sort of) simulate a kiss between two human beings. Samani described it as a “a physical interface enabling kiss communication”.

The Kissinger made international news headlines when it was originally revealed, but it never translated into an actual consumer product. However, the idea of transmitting human kisses over long distances remained popular, and, earlier this month, Emma Yann Zhang, a Computer Science PhD student at City University London, presented her own take on the idea, also called the Kissenger.

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Woman Falls in Love with 3D-Printed Robot, Wants to Marry It

Leading artificial intelligence expert David Levy recently said that he expects human-robot marriages to become commonplace by 2050, and the recently revealed romantic relationship between a French woman and a robot she 3D-printed herself seems to confirm the beginning of this trend.

The first time I saw this story circulating online, I was almost convinced it was just a prank, not because it seems impossible to believe, but because the media tends to blow things out of proportion to attracts as many eyes as possible. However, this one appears to be legit. The woman in question, known only as Lilly, or by her Twitter handle @LillyInMoovator, describes herself as a “proud robosexual” and told News.com.au via email that she is attracted only to robots and actually dislikes physical contact with human flesh.

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Amsterdam Introduces Contactless Payment Jackets for Beggars

It’s getting and harder and harder for beggars to survive on spare change handouts these days. People have become too reliant on alternative payment options to carry cash around with them, and those that still have a few coins in their pockets are often afraid that recipients will just spend it on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. However, a couple of Dutch advertising professionals have come up with an intriguing solution – a contactless payment jacket for beggars and homeless people.

Developed by Carsten van Berkel and Stefan Leendertse of N = 5, an Amsterdam-based advertising agency, the contactless payment jacket allows people to donate 1€ to the wearer using their contactless smart card. The unusual clothing item has a card reader sewn into it, and in order to donate 1€ to the wearer, all you have to do is hold the card close to the jacket for a few moments, and the sum is automatically debited from your bank account. The contactless payment jacket also comes with an LCD screen which constantly displays instructions of use.

“People have less cash in their pockets,” says Jan Jesse Bakker, the designer of the jacket. “And if you have a single euro on you and give it to a homeless person, then you do not know what happens to it.” That’s one of the big advantages of the contactless payment jacket. You’re not giving cash to a total stranger to do with it what he pleases. Instead, the fixed sum (one euro) goes into a bank account managed by a homeless shelter, and can only be used to purchase a hot meal, pay for a bath or spend a night at a homeless shelter (many such centers in the Netherlands require a contribution of 5€ per night). Homeless people who really want to turn their life around can also save money for various job certification courses or a down-payment for a home. “We can offer the homeless more than just a warm Christmas,” Bakker adds. “We give them back prospects.”

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Thousands Attend Mexican Girl’s Birthday Party After Online Invitation Accidentally Went Viral

Rubi Ibarra García, a 15-year-old girl from the small Mexican village of La Joya had arguably the highest attended quinceañera party in history, after thousands of people from all over Mexico, and even the U.S. turned up for the big event on December 26.

It all started earlier this month, when Rubi’s father, Crescencio, posted a video on Facebook inviting everyone to the girl’s birthday party. “We invite you on December 26 to our daughter Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s quinceañera in La Joya, everyone is cordially invited,” he wrote. Only he didn’t really mean “everyone”, just everyone in the village, but after setting the video to ‘public’ instead of ‘private’, people from all over Mexico started sharing it and Rubi eventually ended up with with over 1.2 million RSVPs from people she had never met before.

Crescencio later revealed that the invitation was meant for neighbors and friends only, but acknowledged his mistake, adding that he would not tun anyone away. In the weeks that followed, Rubi’s quinceañera became one of the most popular topic in Mexico, with the #XVdeRuby trending on social media and getting millions of shares, and TV stations scrambling to cover the story and get interviews with the García family. Actor Gael Garcia Bernal made a parody of the invitation video, while singer Luis Antonio Lopez “El Mimoso” composed a song especially for the birthday girl. Mexican airline Intejet even offered a 30% discount on flights to her home state for people wanting to attend. 

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Rejoice, You Can Now Buy a Solid Gold, Diamond-Encrusted Donald Trump iPhone

Goldgenie, a luxury goods company famous for gold-plating just about anything for its wealthy clients, has recently launched a unique Donald Trump-themed iPhone 7 made out of solid 24K gold and encrusted with diamonds. And the best part is that this gem costs only $151,000.

The Goldgenie retail store in Sharjah, a city near Dubai, came up with the idea for this unusual product after it was specifically requested by a Chinese woman, last month. Frank Fernando, managing director of Goldgenie, declined to identify the customer by name, but said that he believes her family wants to give it to Trump himself after his inauguration, as a present. Anyway, Goldgenie loved the idea so much that they made it available to their other clients as well.

I guess I can see some of the world’s super-rich spending a whopping $151,000 on a gold iPhone 7 embellished with over 450 VS1 white diamonds within the Apple logo and around its edges, but who would want Trump’s grinning face stamped on it? Well, it turns out that the idea was very inspired, as Goldgenie claims that it has had nine more orders for its unique Trump iPhone.

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Chinese Students Are Forced to Take Tests Outdoors in Thick Smog

A school principal in China’s Henan province was recently suspended for making young students take tests outdoors in smog so thick that they could barely see their papers, despite receiving orders to close the school.

On December 20th, 480 students from the No. 1 Middle School in Linqi town, Linzhou, were forced to take their tests on the school’s an outdoor football field, in heavy smog. Photos taken by concerned parents and later sent to local media outlets show the children struggling to make out the writing on their papers, but the principal apparently decided that the smog was not “severe”.

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Artist Creates World’s Pinkest Pink, Makes It Available to Everyone but One Person

Pink is a nice color, but PINK is way better. Created by British artist Stuart Temple, after a decade of working with paint manufacturers from around the globe, PINK is the world’s pinkest pink. If you’re interested, you can buy 50 grams of it for $4.95, unless your name is Anish Kapoor.

In 2014, Indian artist Anish Kapoor shocked the art world when he acquired exclusive rights to use the world’s blackest black in his art. Developed by a company called NanoSystems, “Vantablack” is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes, and when light hits it, it is continually deflected between the tubes, essentially becoming trapped. Vantablack absorbs 99.96 per cent of light, which makes it the darkest pigment known to man.

Originally created for military and astronomic purposes, Vantablack also sparked the interest of artists around the world, who dreamed of using it in their works. So when NanoSystems announced that Indian artist Anish Kapoor had been granted exclusive rights to use the world’s darkest black, everyone was furious. That includes Stuart Temple, who is trying to make a point by making his pinkest pink available to everyone, except Anish Kappor.

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No Joke: Russian Online Store Auctions Off 21-Year-Old Man to Recover Debt

After failing to deliver on the contract he had signed with Russian online gift store Pich Shop, a 21-year-old entrepreneur agreed to be auctioned off to the highest bidder and marry a complete stranger for at least one year, in order to avoid being sued.

A week ago, a strange listing showed up on PichShop.ru – a young man named Aleksandr Kramarenko available for marriage, with a 1 year warranty. The “product” was listed as “in stock” and featured a detailed description – including age, height, weight, zodiac sign and interests – and photos (both dressed and topless). The listing mentioned that Aleksandr was going to be auctioned off to be married to the highest bidder, and invited women no older than 35 to bid for the chance to become his wife for at least one year. The minimum bid was set at 10,000 rubles.

This all sounds a bit too corny to be true, and, to be fair, such pranks are not exactly uncommon around the holidays. Some of them are actually pretty elaborate and end up attracting a lot of media attention, which translates into free publicity for companies, but this particular story seems legit.

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The Unlikely 25-Year Friendship Between a Human Diver and a Fish

Tateyama Bay, in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture, is the meeting place of two very unlikely friends – local diver Hiroyuki Arakawa and an Asian sheepshead wrasse by the name of Yoriko. The pair met 25 years ago and have been visiting each other ever since.

Arakawa has been looking after an underwater Shinto shrine located in Tateyama Bay for over a quarter of a century, also acting as a guide for tourist who want to visit it. During that time, he has become unusually close with a giant friendly fish who comes to greet him whenever he calls. All he has to do is call – by knocking with a hammer on a piece of metal – and the fish shows up. They’ve been friends for 25 years now, and Hiroyuki has even named the fish Yoriko.

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This Exceptional 32-Year-Old Can Speak 56 Languages Fluently

It’s not unusual for youth nowadays to speak more than one language, but 32-year-old Muhamed Mešić is not your typical polyglot. He can communicate fluently in 56 different languages and claims to understand over 70 of them.

Ever since he was a little boy growing up in Tuzla, an industrial city in the former Yugoslavia (currently in Bosnia Herzegovina), Muhamed Mešić was fascinated by languages. His exceptional talent for quickly learning to communicate in different languages was discovered by chance, when he was just 5-years-old. He was on vacation with his family, in Greece, and recalls being able to listen to their local neighbor speaking Greek and figuring out what he was saying from the situation they were in.

“This was the first time I met people whose language I couldn’t recognize,” Muhamed remembers. “I could listen to our neighbors talking and then figure out the meaning from the situation. At the end of the vacation, I was able to help my father to communicate with a local mechanic who repaired our car. My parents were shocked.”

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The Dog Father – Indian Man Takes Care of 735 Dogs That Nobody Else Wants

45-year-old Rakesh Shukla is a talented software engineer and CEO of a successful tech company, but among India’s animal lovers he is known as “The Dog Father”, an exceptional man who founded the country’s most advanced dog rescue center and who personally takes care of 735 abandoned pooches that nobody else wants.

10 years ago, Rakesh and his wife founded The Writers Block, a technical communication outsourcing company which today works with some of the biggest names in the tech industry – Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.. The Bangalore-based company quickly became successful, and over the next few years the software engineer got to travel the world, buy expensive cars and lead the fancy lifestyle he always thought he wanted. But he still didn’t feel happy and fulfilled. It wasn’t until 2009, when Kavya, a beautiful Golden Retriever, came into his life that he truly felt that his life had meaning.

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Adult Wrapping – The Japanese Therapy Craze That Recreates the Comforting Feeling of a Womb

Otona Maki, or ‘adult wrapping’, is a Japanese therapeutic method of correcting posture and alleviating body stiffness by wrapping the human body in a large piece of cloth that emulates the comfortable feel of a mother’s womb.

Well-known for their long work hours, many Japanese people develop posture problems and body stiffness. For a long time, getting massages and stretching have been the most popular ways of dealing with these issues, but now someone claims to have come up with an even better solution. Otona Maki is a new and intriguing way of improving posture and making your body more flexible than ever, while at the same time helping practitioners relax by recreating the comfortable feel of a mother’s womb.

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Student Sells Positive Pregnancy Tests Online to Pay Her Way Through School

A 6-months-pregnant Florida student has found a very simple yet highly controversial way of paying her college fees – selling positive pregnancy tests online for $30 a piece.

“Very self explanatory: I am 6 months and I am providing a product in which the consumer is able to purchase positive pregnancy tests or urine for your own use,” the woman’s Craiglist ad states. “Whether you are using it for your own amusement such as a prank, or to blackmail the CEO of Apple who you are having an affair with I DON’T CARE AT ALL.” As if it wasn’t clear enough already, the woman assures potential clients that this is an “absolutely no questions asked type of deal”.

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Meet New York’s 11-Year-Old Subway Therapist

If you’re in need of some emotional advice, but have neither the time or the money to waste on a qualified therapist, this 11-year-old kid has you covered. Ciro Ortiz has set up shop in a New York subway station, and for a measly $2, he offers five-minute “emotional advice” sessions.

Every Sunday, Ciro Ortiz spends about two hours at the Bedford L subway station, sitting at a folding table with a cardboard sign that reads “emotional advice $2”. Believe it or not, people actually do stop by for some pearls of wisdom from the “emotional advice kid”. They ask him about all sorts of things, from relationships and career advice, to Donald Trump, and he does his best to help them find the answer to their problems.

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