The Wild Parrots of Brooklyn – New York’s Cutest Immigrants

Among the brightest of Brooklyn’s diverse inhabitants are Quaker parrots – tropical green birds with blue wing tips, measuring about 12 inches from beak to tail. Although they’re native to the generally hot regions of central and southern Argentina, they’ve successfully managed to colonize the relatively colder New York borough over the past four to five decades.

No one knows exactly how these colonies of exotic birds came to live in the Big Apple, but as with all mysteries, there is a lot of speculation surrounding their existence. The most popular explanation has to do with an accident at JFK Airport, during which a number of birds escaped from broken shipping crates and ended up making a home for themselves in the city. Others believe the real answer to this mystery is much less dramatic, and actually has to do with clumsy bird owners. Quaker or Monk Parrots were very popular pets during the 70’s as they were very cooperative and easy to train, so it’s easy to assume that some of them escaped and founded the colonies that today exist all over New York – in Pelham Bay in the Bronx, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in eastern Queens in Howard Beach, throughout Staten Island, and sometimes in Central Park.

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Artist Carves Animal Skulls into Intricate Works of Art

American artist Jason Borders uses a simple Dremel rotary tool to turn creepy animal skulls into intricate works of art that sell for hundreds of dollars.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Borders always had an interest in bones and started collecting them at a very young age. “I always had a little cabinet of curiosities in my room, and in the garage,” he says, but he didn’t start using them as a medium for his art until much later in his life. He always an artistic streak and used to take art classes at the Lexington Art League in his spare time. He later attended the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, but only worked with traditional materials like clay and paper. That was until a few years ago when he discovered an elk carcass while driving through the desert.

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Ikaria – The Greek Island of Longevity

On the Greek island of Ikaria, longevity is the norm rather than the exception. It’s not uncommon to find elderly men and women who have easily crossed the normal life expectancy of the rest of Europe. In fact, one in three Ikarians ends up living well into their 90s, and many of them go on to become centenarians.

Not only do they have a long life expectancy, but the people of Ikaria are also healthier when compared to other Europeans – they have much lower rates of cancer and heart disease, are less likely to suffer from depression or dementia, are physically active into old age, and even maintain a healthy sex life. Over the years, several visitors have tried to uncover the Ikarian secret to good health and longevity, and have pinned it down to a series of factors, including the local diet and the locals’proclivity for afternoon naps.

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London’s First Clothing-Optional Restaurant Has a Waiting List of Over 15,000

A pop up restaurant in London is making waves nearly two months before its grand opening, thanks to its controversial ‘clothing optional’ policy. The Bunyadi, which all set to open in June for three months, will have two separate ‘clothed’ and ‘unclothed’ sections for patrons to choose from.

“The idea is to experience true liberation,” said Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, the company behind the venture. “People should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and even no clothes if they wish to. We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked.” And of course, the staff will be in the nude as well, with certain body parts strategically covered up.

The unconventional dining concept has proved so popular that over 15,000 people have already signed up to be on the waiting list through the restaurant’s website.

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The PodRide – A Four-Wheeled Electric Bicycle Disguised as a Tiny Car

Swedish designer Mikael Kjellman has created a unique vehicle that looks like a tiny car, but has the internal workings of an electric bicycle. He calls it the PodRide bicycle car.

“I really like to bike, but where I live in Sweden, the weather is not always very bicycle-friendly,” Mikael explained. “So I designed and built a four-wheeled bike with full fabric body to keep dry and warm in all weathers. I have driven it to work every day for a year now and it has proven to be a very practical and comfortable little vehicle.”

The ‘bicycle car’ has several advantages over a traditional electric bicycle – it comes with a waterproof body, heated windscreen, soft seat with back support, studded tires for snowy roads, and air suspension. It also has some trunk space in the back, as well as functional headlights and a tow bar in case someone wants to add a bike trailer.

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Smoking Scorpions in South Asia – A Dangerous Addiction

As bizarre as it sounds, smoking scorpions is not unheard of in South Asian countries, but according to regional media, the practice has recently been gaining popularity in several parts of Pakistan. The scorpion venom can apparently put the smoker on an intense high, becoming highly addictive with time.

So how does one smoke a scorpion, anyway? It’s a simple yet effective process – a dead scorpion is dried in sunlight for several hours or a live one is burnt on coal until it dies. The dried carcass is then lit on fire and the smoke is inhaled. Since it’s the tail that contains the poison addicts seek, some smokers prefer to crush the dried tail and mix it with hashish and tobacco, smoking it in the form of a cigarette.

In his 2007 book Drugs in Afghanistan, sociologist David MacDonald provides the account of a friend who witnessed first-hand the effects of scorpion smoke on an addict. “The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, much more than a hashish smoker. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position … the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer,” the book suggested.

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Germans Are Combining Yoga and Beer to Spice Up Their Exercising Routine

In a bid to make their workouts more exciting, German fitness enthusiasts in Berlin have come up with ‘Beer Yoga’ or ‘boga’ – a new form of yoga that integrates beer bottles into standard poses. Participants are welcome to use the bottles in any way they like, including holding it in their hands, balancing it on their heads, or even taking a sip in between poses!

Some of the students who have indulged in beer drinking during yoga class say that it’s fun at first, but becomes quite difficult after the second or third bottle. That isn’t stopping people from attending these classes, which are often described as highly amusing and interesting. Sure, yoga and beer don’t exactly go hand in hand, but yoga instructor Jhula, the inventor of boga, says she knew a lot of people who loved both yoga and drinking beer, so combining the two did make some sense. 

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World’s Smallest Mobile Phone Proves Big Hit with Prison Inmates

While Samsung and Apple are dominating the smartphone market with large, big-screened devices, some companies are making a nice profit by making phones as small as possible. The Zanco Fly, for example, is touted by many as the world’s smallest mobile phone and caters to caters to a niche customer base – prison inmates. At just 71.8 mm in length and 23.5 mm in width, the $40 nano phone is small enough to smuggle into prisons in the most unlikely of hiding places, including inmates’ rear ends!

You won’t find phones like the Zanco Fly at major electronics retail stores, but they’re widely available on web stores like Amazon and eBay. They are marketed specifically to prisoners, with claims of being 100 percent plastic and ‘beat the Boss’ taglines, which means that they are undetectable by B.O.S.S. body orifice security scanners. And if the obvious description aren’t proof enough for their intended use, the online customer reviews definitely are.

As one ‘customer’ aptly points out, the phone is “very small and easy/painless to hide.” The same buyer, however, claims that the model isn’t 100 percent plastic as claimed, so it can’t actually “beat the boss”. Another happy customer says that the Zanco Fly is a “great little phone that does exactly what it’s intended for and for who it’s intended for 😊”

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Russian Man Installs World’s First Personal Beer Pipeline That Runs Straight to a Tap in His Kitchen

In a bid to appease his insatiable desire for beer, A Russian man has installed a personal beer pipeline that runs from a beer store to a tap in his kitchen, giving him unlimited access to the foamy drink!

Andrey Eremeev, a mechanic from Chelyabinsk, had long been dreaming of having a beer tap installed in his home. The idea started off as a joke, but when a beer store opened on the ground floor of his apartment building, he started giving it some serious thought and working on ideas on how best to make it a reality. When he finally built up the courage to pitch his seemingly ludicrous idea to the owners of the store and convince them to provide him with his very own personal beer pipeline, they had a good laugh at first, but later agreed to his proposal.

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This Rainbow Grilled Cheese Sandwich Is All the Rage in Hong Kong These Days

This colorful grilled cheese looks like it belongs in a My Little Pony show, but it’s actually a real treat that’s all the rage in Hong Kong. It’s called the Rainbow Sandwich and consists of two slices of bread four different types of cheese, flavorings and, obviously, a lot of food dye.

The sandwich, a creation of Kala Toast, recently got its five minutes of fame after Instagram user @hkfoodiexblogger posted a photograph of the snack along with a brief review on his account. It got shared by his fans and eventually went viral after being picked up by major websites.

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Man Has Been Eating Sausages and Potato Chips Every Day for the Last 22 Years

British lifeguard Daniel Pennock has been eating sausages and chips for dinner every night for the past 22 years. But the 26-year-old father-of-two is now so desperate to kick the habit that he’s pleading for someone to come forward and help him in any way possible.

Daniel says he ate a normal diet as a baby, but his obsession with junk food began at age four, when he simply refused to have anything else for dinner. Worried that he might give up eating all together, his mother agreed to give him sausages and chips every evening, and the habit stuck. “I don’t eat anything apart from junk and I’m fed up,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever eaten a vegetable in my life. I do eat bananas and apples, but anything else makes me physically sick. I have sausage and chips every day. I’ve tried eating other things, but I just can’t keep them down. I want to get it sorted out, once and for all – not just for me, but for my family.”

His current diet consists of toast for breakfast, a chip sandwich for lunch, and four sausages, fries, and bread for dinner. This has caused his weight to balloon up to 266 pounds in the past, although he has managed to lose some weight recently. His bad eating habits have also affected his romantic relationships because he wouldn’t take any of his girlfriends out for meals. “My ex-partner and I have spoken about it and she said ‘if you were normal and we could have gone out for meals and stuff it might have been different,” Daniel told the Pontefract and Castleford Express. “But I was coming home and she was having her food, and I was making mine – it wasn’t really like we were a family.”

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The Washing Machine Collectors Club – A Community of Men Who Love Doing the Laundry

It’s hard to believe, but there is such a thing as men who love doing the laundry. They are part of a unique community known as the ‘Washing Machine Collectors Club’ currently numbers over 3,000 members worldwide. The guys meet several times a year, a few of them coming in from as far away as Madagascar and Australia, for three-day ‘wash-ins’, which is essentially male bonding over dirty laundry.  

Laundry is a rather unusual interest for both men and women, given how boring most people find it. But within this eccentric group, the excitement over a wash-in is usually off the charts. “Everybody’s got their favorite part of the cycle,” Jon Charles, one of the club founders and self-proclaimed ‘washer collector enthusiast’, explains. “We’ve got people who love the wash, they love the rinse or the spin, or the drain. I’m a spin guy. I love the spin.”

“Now we have like 3,000 members from all over the world,” he added. “We get together for washes. We do laundry until like 4:00 in the morning. We do our margaritas and our laundry together. We ‘cheers’ to laundry. We’ll watch the cycles. A lot of us – we’ll sit there and watch the whole cycle go through. All 3,000 of us come in with a story, like ‘I thought I was the only one. I thought I was the only person in the world that did this.’”

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Dutch Designers Create Anti-Surveillance Clothing

KOVR, a new Dutch apparel brand, specialises in creating clothing that can make the wearer completely untraceable by modern tracking devices. The anti-surveillance line is made of a metalliferous fabric used to render computer chips in identification cards and credit cards unreadable, and even effectively take a phone off the grid.

Founded by performance artist Marcha Schagen and graphic designer Leon Baauw, the company focuses on how surveillance systems monitor people and their behavior. While developing the clothing line, the co-founders discovered that various surveillance systems, including computer chips the size of a rice grain, can send and receive information when placed at the right proximity.

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The Inspiring Story of a Blind Boy Who Built a Company Worth Millions

At age 23, Indian entrepreneur Srikanth Bolla is the CEO a company valued at INR 50 crore (over $7.5 million) . That’s a wonderful achievement in itself, but what’s truly inspiring is that he managed to do it despite being born completely blind. Today, he considers himself the luckiest man in the world, not for his success, but for having supportive parents who always stood by him.

When Srikanth was born blind, several of his parents’ friends and relatives advised them to abandon him. That would indeed have been the easier thing to do, given the fact that they were poor and uneducated, earning a mere INR 20,000 ($300) a year. But they chose to not only keep the boy, but also raise him in a positive, loving environment. “They are the richest people I know,” he often says.

And their excellent parenting has paid off – today, Srikanth is the CEO of Bollant Industries, a Hyderabad-based company that employs physically challenged staff to manufacture eco-friendly consumer packaging solutions made from leaves and recycled paper. The company has four manufacturing units in three states in southern India – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka. Srikanth’s hard work and unprecedented success has impressed the business world, attracting investments from the likes of Indian business tycoon Ratan Tata.

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Spanish Company Creates High-Tech Mattress That Detects Infidelity

Thanks to Smarttress, a brand new product from Spanish company Durmet, keeping tabs on unfaithful partners is now easier than ever. This special, infidelity-detecting mattress is embedded with ultrasonic sensors that can capture even the slightest ‘suspicious movement’ in bed.

The company came up with the idea for the strange mattress when they came across a statistic showing that Spaniards are the most unfaithful people in Europe. “One day we saw the latest figures on infidelity that said Spaniards were the most unfaithful in Europe and we thought of an idea that would bring peace of mind to men and women, not just during the night but also during the day while they are out at work,” company spokesperson José Antonio Muiños said, speaking to The Local.

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