Food Delivery with a Twist – Pop-Up Restaurant Parachutes Sandwiches to Customers

There’s nothing really speacial about toasted sandwiches, but when they’re delivered via parachute, people are bound to notice. Taking full advantage of this idea is a new Melbourne business called ‘Jafflechutes’. More pop-up eatery than regular restaurant, Jafflechutes is just a bunch of guys dropping wrapped sandwiches from their friends’ balconies, to customers down below.

The concept is quite simple – the owners first announce their next planned event. You then log on to the Jafflechutes website and buy a sandwich or ‘jaffle’ of your choice. The website tells you exactly where and when you can collect your order. You reach the venue on time, to find your sandwich floating down from the skies above. Then, you enjoy the said sandwich on the street.

Adam Grant, one of the co-founders, said that Melbourne is quite ideal for Jafflechutes, because of its abundance of inner-city laneways. “We try never to do it in the same place twice – we are usually doing it from friends’ balconies above the CBD,” he said. He started the business along with friends David McDonald and Huw Parkinson, last August.

Jafflechutes

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Japanese Pub Shaves Prices for Bald Customers

Bald is beautiful at ‘Otasuke’, a new restaurant in Tokyo that has recently introduced discounts for the follicly challenged. Its management seems to have a soft spot for the bald, so they’ve slashed prices for men struggling with a receding hairline. Located in the Akasaka district in central Tokyo, Otasuke has been making headlines since its grand opening earlier this month.

‘Otasuke’ roughly translates to ‘helping hands’ in the local language. A sign outside the shop declares that the business fully supports ‘hard-working fathers losing their hair’ over their stressful jobs. ‘Be bald, be proud,’ it says. According to owner Yoshiko Toyota, she came up with the idea after volunteering in the efforts to rebuild the Tsunami-struck Tohoku region. When she saw how hard-hit the area was, she wanted to find a way to support the white-collared workers who are in turn helping out in Tohoku by driving Japan’s economy.

“I was thinking of some way to help support salarymen, but without a theme the idea was lame,” she said. “Then one day I was walking downtown and kept seeing bald guys. That was it.” Baldness affects 26 percent of Japanese men, and stress is a major factor. 48-year-old Shiro Fukai, a customer at the restaurant, said: “When you first start to go bald, it’s a huge shock, no question. Japanese businessmen have it really tough. The stress accumulates, then your hair begins to fall out.”

Otasuke-Japan

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Guy Has Temporary Tattoo Done by 1,000 Bedbugs Feeding at Once

Don’t let the bed bugs bite, is what we’ve always been told. But Matt Camper, an urban entomologist at Colorado State University, is doing the exact opposite. He’s gone and created a unique ‘bedbug tattoo gun’ – made of a jar, some wire mesh and thousands of hungry bed bugs. You simply invert the jar onto your skin, let the bed bugs bite, and later admire the pink, temporary tattoo they leave behind.

Camper’s unique invention will be featured on an upcoming edition of ‘Outrageous Acts of Science’ on the Science Channel. There’s a rabbit pattern on the top of the jar, through which the bugs are allowed to access human flesh. According to wildlife expert Ellie Harrison, it takes two hours for the tattoo to really show up on the skin. “Two hours after the bed bugs have fed, the inflammatory response really kicks in and immune cells will flood into the tissues from the blood, producing redness and swelling and heat,” she says on the TV show.

“Bed bugs feed exclusively on blood,” she said. “They find us via two sources. Firstly, they detect our body head, and secondly, they detect our carbon dioxide emissions. And they don’t need to be that close, they can be 10 feet away and still find food.”

bedbugs-tattoo

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Kindhearted Artist Turns Trash into Tiny Mobile Homes for the Homeless

Gregory Kloehn is an artist who uses his skills for a really worthy cause – building homes for the homeless. Making use of recycled and reclaimed materials found on the street, he creates small mobile homes, each about the size of a sofa. These homes come with pitched roofs to keep out the rain and wheels at the bottom, for mobility. So far, he’s built about 10 shelters through the ‘Homeless Homes Project’, and hopes to create more in the future.

Although they’re not made of much, the tiny homes are more than enough for someone with no other place to sleep. They are painted in bright colors and have a few quirky elements – like washing machine doors for windows and minivan tops for roofs. Gregory, 43, is a sculptor by profession, but he went on a construction spree after building his five-unit live-work condominium from scratch. Originally from Denver, he now lives in Oakland, California, where he carries out his philanthropic construction project.

“Before, I was all about sculpture, but I realized it just sits there,” he said. “And you’re just peddling it to rich people. I kind of think if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it did something.” So with his new-found fascination for architecture, Gregory began to study homeless shanties in his neighborhood. He wrote a book called ‘Homeless Architecture’ at the time, admiring how they were able to recycle all day and make homes out of almost nothing.

homes-for-homeless

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Honorable Man Borrows Money from Neighbors to Save Sick Wife, Spends the Next 24 Years Paying Back Every Penny

24 years ago, when this poor Chinese man’s wife got sick, he had no money to pay for her treatment. Mei Guanghan, 66, had no choice back then but to borrow 70,000 yuan ($11,000) from hundreds of neighbors. Since then, he’s had just one mission – to repay every neighbor, down to the last penny. And here’s the good news – after years of sacrifices and living in poverty, he has managed to achieve his goal.

A long time ago, the Gunaghans were quite the happy couple with a 15 year old daughter, but their lives changed forever in 1990. Ren Chun’ai woke up early one morning in April and rode the tractor into town to buy some food. On her way back to the village, she was involved in a horrible accident. “In the mountains, two tractors were traveling in the same direction,” she said. “I took a sharp turn, the tires slipped and I fell into the valley.” She hit a rock and slipped into a coma soon after.

The medical fees required to save her life were huge, so he went from door to door, begging people for whatever cash they could spare. He carried a little brown book with him, carefully noting down the name of each person and the amount they had loaned him. He made a promise to all the donors: “One day I will be back, knocking on your door with your money.”

honorable-man

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Yanar Dag – The Eternally Burning Mountain of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, a small nation located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, is well known for its rich culture and history. The country is a great tourist destination, with a unique cuisine, ancient monuments, modern architecture, and mud volcanoes. And the most well-known of its volcanoes is Yanar Dag, also known as ‘Burning Mountain’. True to its name, the mountain has been burning for as long as anyone can remember, and the fire isn’t showing signs of going out any time soon.

Situated on the Absheron Peninsula, 25 kilometers northeast of the capital city of Baku, Yanar Dag is a 116-meter hill located on top of a pocket of natural gas that constantly erupts into flames. These flames jet out at least three meters into the air, through a porous layer of sandstone. Unlike the other mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan, Yanar Dag has no seepage of mud or liquid, so the fire always burns.

A 10-meter long wall of fire continuously burns alongside the edge of the hill. This makes for the most spectacular view, especially at night. The air around this open fireplace is always thick with the smell of gas. The heavy Absheron wind, twisting the flames into bizarre shapes, adds to the mystery of the region. Tongues of fire also rise from the surface of the streams located around the hill. These streams are called Yanar Bulaq, or ‘Burning Spring’.

Yanar-Dag

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Indians Fight Public Urination by Attacking Offenders with Water Canons

At first glance, you might mistake this large yellow tanker fitted with hoses for a fire engine. But look closer at the symbols painted on the sides, and you’ll realize that this water truck is meant to serve a different purpose. It’s called the ‘Pissing Tanker’ and it is currently roaming the streets of Mumbai, India. Its goal – to fight public urination with public urination. Well, sort of. The truck is actually full of water, but the message is pretty clear - Urinate in public and get pissed on yourself.

The idea is really quite simple an eye for an eye. I say that’s brilliant, because years of campaigns to stop public urination in India have never really had much success. Re-painting the walls, putting up sign boards, setting up public urinals, collecting large fines, and even the threat of police arrests have never worked – Indian men just aren’t able to shake the habit (pun very much intended).

pissing-tanker

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Araras, the Brazilian Village Where People Melt Away under the Sun

The village of Araras, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, has the world’s largest population of people suffering from a rare skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). The condition is hereditary and makes its victims extremely sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. People suffering from XP become highly susceptible to skin cancer and are unable to repair the damage caused by the sun, leaving their skin red, raw and unsightly.

Since Araras is mostly made up of tropical farming communities, outdoor work is inevitable. Most residents have no choice but to spend long hours out in the sun, letting XP take over their lives in the most horrifying ways. Out of the 800 residents, over 20 people suffer from the condition. That’s one in 40 people, far higher than the United States, where the rate of occurrence is one in 1 million. One of the reasons for this is that Araras was founded by only a few families with several carriers of the disease, who passed it on as the villagers intermarried.

38-year-old Djalma Antonio Jardim has been an XP victim for several years. “I was always exposed to the sun – working, planting, and harvesting rice and caring for the cows,” he said. “As the years passed, my condition got worse.” For Jardim, XP showed early signs of manifestation. When he was just nine years old, he developed an unusually large number of freckles and small lumps on his face. If he had had the opportunity to protect himself from the sun back then, things could have been very different today.

xeroderma-pigmentosum

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Awesome Dad Builds 50-Meter-Long Rollercoaster in His Backyard

I’ve seen a lot of parents flatly refusing to indulge their kids’ outlandish ideas. That’s why I find 50-year-old Will Pemble’s spirit and child-like enthusiasm quite extraordinary. The father-of-two actually gave in to his son’s bizarre request – to build a rollercoaster in their own back yard.  It really makes Will a strong candidate for the title of best dad in the world, don’t you think?

Will is an e-commerce professional, living in San Francisco with his wife and two children (Lyle, 10 and Ellie, 12). He said that he took on the rollercoaster project because he wanted to show his kids that anything is possible if you’re willing to put in the effort. And he’s also a bit of a physics enthusiast, so he thought the project would be a great time to teach his children a fair bit of science.

backyard-rollercoaster

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Can You believe These Are Hyper-Realistic Acrylic Paintings and Not Actual Photographs?

We’ve seen lots of artists creating portraits that look like photographs, but very few have come as close to the real thing as Sheryl Luxenberg. Her work is fittingly called ‘hyperrealism’ – her paintings are just too real to be true. You probably need to stare at them for hours to spot one feature that doesn’t look utterly lifelike.

Sheryl is an award-winning visual artist living in Ottawa, Ontario. On her websites, she says that she tries to present the objectivity of her subjects, taking advantage of illusionistic depth and emphasizing with paint a flattened three dimensional look. I’m an art-dummy, so I really have no idea what that means. But it’s apparently the hallmark quality of the Photorealism Art Movement that began in the United States in the late 1960s.

Sheryl-Luxenburg-art

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This Collection of Bat-Eating Spiders Is Probably the Scariest Thing You’ll See Today

It’s hard to imagine a fragile spider killing and eating a full-grown bat. I mean there’s no way a tiny spider could have any sort of muscle power over a fully grown bat, right? Believe or not, there are eight-legged bugs out there that can pounce on bats and eventually devour them. And when they can’t, they rely on their superior web-spinning skills to get the job done.

One of the earliest sightings of bat-eating spiders occurred way back in 1941, when Indian scientist G.C. Bhattacharya (of the Bose Research Institute) walked into a cowshed in a village near the city of Calcutta. In a letter to an unknown publication, he wrote a detailed account of his experience: “Entering into the cowshed, I noticed a pipistrelle bat struggling to drag itself out of a crevice between two bamboo strips of a wall and a big house-spider was seen firmly gripping the former by the neck with its powerful mandibles.” No matter how much the little bat kicked, and screamed and flailed, the spider held on with a death-grip. “There was intermittent gasping and screaming of the bat,” Bhattacharya wrote.

Eventually, he focused a torch on the spot and as soon as the light fell on the pair, the bat screamed loudly and managed to drag itself through a certain distance on the matted shed wall. About 20 minutes later, the bat, thoroughly exhausted, stretched out its wing and gave in.   Bhattacharya then captured both victim and predator in a glass jar and took them home for closer observation. The next morning, he found the spider resting peacefully at the top of the jar, while the bat lay dead at the bottom, untouched. It had visible injuries to its neck and had died sometime during the night.

bat-eating-spider

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Rare Skin Disease Hasn’t Stopped This Beautiful Girl from Becoming a Successful Model

19-year-old Chantelle Brown-Young is perhaps the world’s first and only model with vitiligo, a condition that causes depigmentation of the skin. Vitiligo is the result of a malfunctioning immune system, has no cure and affects less than one percent of the world’s population. It’s the same disorder that pop icon Michael Jackson suffered from. In Chantelle’s case, the condition almost ruined her life. That is, until she decided to turn it around.

As a child, Chantelle became an easy target for bullies. “While growing up, I was teased, ridiculed, and bullied and called names like cow, zebra, and all manner of other disparaging slurs,” she said. “The continuous harassment and the despair that it brought on my life was so unbearably dehumanizing that I wanted to kill myself.” Her mother, Lisa Brown, said: “Chantelle is a sweet, beautiful, outgoing teenager and while she was being abused, I didn’t stop praying that God would help me find a way.”

Eventually, Lisa’s prayers were answered. The family moved from Canada to California, and Chantelle decided that in her new life, she wouldn’t be limited by her condition. She realized that she was in control of her destiny, if only she was prepared to change the way she saw herself. So instead of blaming her skin condition for all her troubles, she started to embrace the flaw. She also pushed back the negative energies and the negative people who surrounded her.

Chantelle-Brown

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Japan’s Valley of the Dolls – Artist Repopulates Deserted Village with Creepy Dolls

When Japanese artist Ayano Tsukimi returned to her village 11 years ago, it wasn’t the place she once knew it to be. There were hardly any people around anymore, so she decided to repopulate the place herself – with handmade dolls. These dolls can be seen strewn across the village, on benches, in the street, outside her home, working in farms, and even lounging about the abandoned school compound. Over a span of 10 years, she has sewn about 350 life-size dolls, each one representing a former villager.

Nagoro is a remote village, nestled deep in the valleys of Shikoku Island. It was once a bustling center with a dam, a big company and hundreds of inhabitants. But the residents moved to bigger cities over the years, in search of better jobs, abandoning the village permanently. Its population is dwindling as the residents left behind continue to die. Today, Nagoro has only 37 living  inhabitants, and of course, many times more dolls. And Ayano believes that a time may come when she will have outlived everyone in the village.

Valley-of-the-Dolls

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Meet the Man Who Gave Up His Job to Earn a Living from Playing Dead

56-year-old Chuck Lamb is quite literally dying to succeed. In 2005, he quit his job as an IT engineer to pursue a very, very bizarre hobby – playing dead. Today, he earns up to $1,500 a day for playing the dead guy in various films and TV shows. Who knew there was so much money to be earned in the afterlife, right?

It all started one evening when Chuck was watching an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, with his wife Tonya. He suddenly realized that he could actually put his corpse-like appearance to use. In the next one week, he set up his own website and uploaded a series of photos and videos with elaborate setups and one common element – ‘dead guy Chuck’. Tonya was brilliant with creating the scenes, making fake blood and having Chuck pose as being run over, crushed under a garage door, electrocuted by a toaster, and more.

“It started as a joke, we live in the mid-west and there aren’t many film opportunities,” said Chuck. “I just thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to be on TV?’ How could we do that being nobodies. I had a dream that I was the dead body on Law & Order. I woke up and realized: you don’t need any talent to play dead! So Tonya made up fake blood and started photographing the poses. She’s the brains behind it, I’m just the hunk of meat that lies around ‘getting slaughtered’.”

Dead-Guy-Chuck

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165-Meter-High Swiss Dam Is the World’s Tallest Non-Natural Climbing Wall

Diga di Luzzone is considered to be the Everest of wall climbing. The 540-foot artificial structure is the tallest vertical climbing wall in the world. It is actually part of the functioning Luzzone dam, but while  it was never built for climbing thrill-seekers around the world have made it their own. Nestled among the Alps, the wall offers a terrific view of the surroundings, although climbers don’t really get much time to enjoy it.

Access to the Diga di Luzzone costs about 20 CHF, which is quite cheap. The cost includes a ladder that you can use to gain the first 20 ft. right up to the holds of the first pitch. There are five pitches in total – each one long enough for you to feel the weight of the rope as you clip the higher bolts. Look down, and the exposure is simply mind blowing. All through the climb, you are exposed to the elements, making the man-made route feel as natural as possible.

Diga-di-Luzzone

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