Indonesian Villages Use Piles of Sand Instead of Mattresses

The residents of three small fishing villages in the Batang region of Indonesia prefer to sleep on piles of sand than on modern mattresses. This ancient tradition that’s still practiced today for its supposed health benefits.

Taking a nap on a sandy beach is pretty relaxing, but can you imagine going to sleep on a pile of sand every night? For the people of Batang-Batang, there’s really no comparing mattresses to their amazing sand beaches. As the only thing they have in abundance, sand plays a crucial role in the life of these coastal communities. It’s everywhere around their homes, cooling their feet on hot summer days, and keeping them warm during the night, and it even enters their houses as comfortable beds. Even the richest of residents prefer sleeping on sand than on mattresses, and even if some own conventional beds, they are mostly for decorative purposes. The villagers, most of them fishermen, believe the sand brought in from nearby beaches has medicinal properties that can help with a variety of conditions, from rheumatism to itches, although there’s no scientific proof of this. However, it’s a known fact that the sand in the area is highly adaptive to air temperature. When the air is hot, the sand offers a nice cooling retreat, and on cold nights, it keeps the villagers warm.

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Prepare to Be Owned as Japanese Man Auctions Off Planet Earth

We see crazy and bizarre items auctioned off on sites like eBay or Yahoo Auctions, every day, but this is the first time someone actually thought about selling our planet. The starting price was a measly ¥69 ($0.86), but since the auction went viral, the price has surged to ¥9,889,899,888 ($123,000,000). I still think it’s a bargain.

I know, this might seem like a joke to you, but it’s apparently no laughing matter to the seller. In the product description, it’s mentioned the Earth was bestowed upon the seller by God, who appeared to him in a dream. And since these are tough times, he decided to sell it to the highest bidder and improve his financial status. He lists our planet as “authentic” and warns bidders there is a “no return” policy on the item. So if you end up placing a bid and wind up owning the Earth and its inhabitants, you’re kind of stuck with us. You might feel tempted to post a prank bid on this, but the seller instructs all potential buyers to include a message expressing there serious intention to buy planet Earth, otherwise he will consider it a prank bid. And if there are too many prank bids he threatens to close the auction and start over at ¥69. In fact, he already did that once already, so please, be careful.

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Conrad Engelhardt’s Stained Wine Cork Paintings

London-based artist F. Conrad Engelhrdt has set up an ingenious recycling scheme by collecting discarded wine corks from various restaurants around the English capital and using them to create unique paintings.

This isn’t the first time wine and corks have been used as art mediums. In the past we’ve featured artists who paint with wine, and other who turn simple corks into miniature masterpieces. F. Conrad Engelhardt uses both of them to create his wonderful paintings. He has partnered with a series of restaurants in Shoreditch, London, to collect their discarded wine corks and recycle them into beautiful pictures. Looking at his works, you’d be tempted to think Engelhardt uses paints to achieve certain color tones, but in reality he uses only the different shades of the corks and the wine stains on them. The secret lies in choosing the perfect corks and arranging them in the best possible way.

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Professional Mattress Jumper Is an Actual Job

You probably thought those high-end mattresses people pay thousands of dollars for are hand-made. As it turns out, they’re also foot made, as someone is actually getting paid to jump on them hundreds of times in order to compress no fewer than 28 layers of cotton batting.

Growing up, you probably dreamed you would one day find a job that would require nothing else than jumping on beds. Well, it turns out such a job actually exists, only those doing it insist it’s not child’s play. “It’s work,” professional mattress jumper Reuben Reynoso says. “It’s not for everybody. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.” It’s not about achieving a great height or doing back flips and somersaults, but using his soles to compress the mattress layers and detecting any pea-size lumps in the filling. To do that, Reynolds uses a very precise, grid jumping pattern, making sure he covers the entire surface. “This is not a game,” he says. “Not to me.” And I’m inclined to believe him. After all, we’re talking about $2,700 mattresses, here, not trampolines.

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Scientists Declare Buddhist Monk the Happiest Man in the World

Matthieu Ricard, a French researcher turned Buddhist monk was declared the happiest man on Earth by a group of scientists, after it was discovered his brain produces a level of gamma waves never before reported in the field of neuroscience.

A former molecular geneticist who left his life and career behind to discover the secrets of Buddhism, Matthieu Ricard is now one of the most celebrated monks in the Himalayas and a trusted advisor of the Dalai Lama. And while this transformation is impressive enough, there’s something else that makes Ricard a very special person. In 2009, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin, wired up the French monk’s head with 256 sensors as part of a research project on hundreds of advanced practitioners of meditation. The scans showed something remarkable: when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produced a level of gamma waves linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory that were never even reported before in neuroscience literature. Furthermore, the scans scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity. These results earned Matthieu Ricard the unofficial title of “happiest man in the world”.

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The Delicate Gourd Carving Art of Marilyn Sunderland

Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, Marilyn Sunderland is an artist in the finest sense of the word. She can take a common gourd and turn it into a spectacular work of art by carving all kinds of images onto its shell and enhancing them with her painting.

Seeing how this Halloween a lot of websites are focusing on pumpkin art, like that of sculpting master Ray Villafane, I thought I’d show you something a bit different. Meet Marilyn Sunderland, a wonderful artist who’s become known for her intricate gourd carvings. Drawings inspiration from the beautiful landscapes in the Utah valley surrounded my mountains, where she’s been living for the last 30 years, this incredible artist etches incredibly detailed shapes into the shell of gourds creating awe-inspiring masterpieces. “Art has always been a part of my life. I have painted portraits, landscapes, and various other subjects with oils, acrylics, and pen/ink mediums. I also do wood carving and glass engravings,” Marilyn says on her site. She only took up gourd sculpting a few years ago, after buying an ultra-speed carving/etching tool, because she thought it was a versatile material. Turns out it was the right decision.

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The Bone Collector – Man Amasses Creepy Collection of over 7,000 Animal Skulls and Bones

Ray Bandar, a retired biologist from San Francisco, has spent the last 50 years collecting thousands of animal bones. He estimates he has 7,000 skulls, 200 pelvises and countless other limbs from animals he mostly found and cleaned himself.

“I enjoy removing the flesh from the skull and disarticulating the jaws,” Bandar recently said in an interview for National Geographic’s Taboo series. “I see nothing gross about this, whether it’s a fresh animal or a badly decomposed animal, makes no difference to me.” The native San Franciscan grew up in the Richmond District and started collecting different animal specimens in junior high. That’s when he got the nickname “Reptile Ray”. As time passed, his passion for collecting and cleaning dead animals grew, and he is now the proud owner of a collection of over 7,000 skulls, including 2,600 from California marine mammals. Over the years, his own discoveries have been supplemented from local zoos, museums, taxidermists, roadkill, and trips to Australia, Africa and Mexico. His house is like no other on Earth – every room is virtually crammed with bones and skulls from animals Ray decapitated himself, but he still roams the beaches of Northern California looking for new and exciting additions to his museum home.

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For English Family Living in the Middle of a Cemetery Every Day Is Halloween

Would you be brave enough to spend a night in an old mortuary chapel surrounded by dozens of graves? One English family is more than happy to sleep in such a house every night, and say it’s actually their dream home.

Jayne Stead and partner Mike Blatchford didn’t seem to mind the creepy graves and spooky statues when they decided to move into an old cemetery keeper’s lodge, in Southampton, England. The cemetery didn’t put us off. We don’t spook easily, in fact I love watching scary films and television shows,” 52-year-old Jayne told reporters. When we first had a look around it was really run down, there were graves everywhere but it never really felt scary, there was very nice feeling about the place.” Self-employed builder Mike Bletchford spend a whole year and about £100,000 ($160,000) turning the chapel into a home for his family, and today you couldn’t tell the living room was once a mortuary… But, while they’ve never seen a ghost in their unusual home, the couple admit they have witnessed some bizarre occurrences:  “I’ve been sitting on my own in the living room and I’ve felt like there was someone standing behind me a few times,” Ms Stead said. “I’ve also found the dog barking at nothing in the corner of the room, but it’s not scary.”

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Woman Who Only Eats Junk Food and Milk Says She Has Never Eaten Fruits or Vegetables

54-year-old Marla Lopez, from New York City, says the supermarket snack aisle has become her dinner aisle, as she will only consume three types of foods (potato chips, white breads and milk), and has never even tried fruits or vegetables.

Recently featured on Good Morning America, Lopez said her picky eating started as a baby, when she would gag on her baby food, and today, foods that most people consider mouth-watering, like spaghetti, sandwiches or omelets are just repulsive to her. Not to mention fresh produce – “When I look at this, I don’t see food. I would no sooner eat any of this, than I would your shoe,” she told correspondent Linsey Davis about fruits and vegetables. When it comes to her favorite food, there’s no doubt in Marla’s mind: potato chips. “They’re so salty, and fresh, and potato-y, I love them,” she said. Her daily diet is primarily made up of three basic foods: milk, white breads and potatoes. She enjoys eating ice-cream, crackers, pancakes, tortillas, chips and french fries. Sometimes she spices up her heart-stopping meals with a few slices of crispy bacon.

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Armageddon-Proof Survival Pod Proves a Big Hit

You may be all happy and carefree today celebrating Halloween, but don’t forget that according to the Mayan calendar the end of days is less than two months away. Luckily, there’s a way around it – a survival pod built by a Chinese inventor who claims it can withstand the end of the world.

It’s big, it’s round, and apparently it will keep you alive in case of a natural disaster or a nuclear meltdown. Officially, it’s called the “Atlantis”, but everyone has started calling it a modern-day Noah’s Arc. Chinese entrepreneur and inventor Yang Zongfu worked on his survival pod for the last two years and spent around $150,000 making it as durable as possible. Back in August, he announced a series of public tests which would prove his Armageddon-proof survival pod was ready for the end of the world. On August 6, he climbed inside the Atlantis and was pushed down a 50-meter obstacle course on the side of a hill, over a bed of rocks and into a pool. Sadly, as soon as it hit the water, the arc’s door opened proving it was less than water tight. the inventor himself came out in one piece, but with a cut on his chin. But that didn’t discourage Yang, who moved on to the fire test, in which he set a smaller version of the Atlantis on fire, and pulled out a frozen ice-cream that had been perfectly preserved inside.

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The Fake-Head Waitresses of Japan’s Anime Cafe

Maid cafes are a dime a dozen in Tokyo’s geeky Akihabara district, but Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t. one-ups them all by introducing waitresses wearing full-body suits and creepy plush heads to reallybring anime characters to life.

Wikipedia defines cosplay as a performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. You’ve probably seen cosplayers dressed as popular video game or anime characters at geeky events, or at least photos of them posted online. But few people know there’s an extreme type of cosplay known in Japan as Animegao or Kigurumi. It implies not only wearing a character’s costume, but also an oversize fake head complete with giant anime-style eyes to bring popular 2D drawn girls into our 3D world. If you’ve seen my post on Anna Amemiya, the half-human half-anime model, you already know what I’m talking about, if not, get ready to be freaked-out.

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Dung Spitting Competition Will Leave a Bad Taste in Your Mouth

Kudu Dung Spitting is an African sport popular enough to have its own official competition, in which contestants have to put a kudu dung pellet in their mouth and spit it as far as possible.

Some people use dung to make coffee taste better, but in some parts of Africa it’s used to fuel a weird pastime called Bokdrol Spoek. Roughly translated as “spitting buck droppings  this quirky tradition has people putting dung pellets in their mouth and spitting them as far as they can. The origins of kudu dung spitting can be traced back to tribal hunters who had difficulties catching the fast antelope. Most times the only sign of the animal was a trail of dung, which meant it had been there but it was long gone. Apart from swearing at the elusive kudus, hunters would engage in a contest of pellet spitting, to pass the time. In countries like South Africa, the disgusting custom is so popular that there’s even a championship held every year to find out who can spit a piece of antelope poop the farthest.

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The Daily Talk – Liberia’s Blackboard Newspaper

The Daily Talk is a unique news medium published on a blackboard in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. As most Liberians lack the money and means to access conventional mass media, this chalk-written daily “newspaper” is the most widely read report in Monrovia.

In the Western world, many are already talking about the death of written media, and the coming age of online information, but in some countries, access to old-fashion newspapers is still a thing of the future. Many Monrovians can’t afford to buy real newspapers or electricity to access the internet, so Alfred J. Sirleaf, the founder of this blackboard newspaper had to come up with a way to bring information to the people in an inexpensive way. He believes a well-informed people is the key to Liberia’s rebirth so ever since he started his unique venture  on Tubman Boulevard, in 2000, in central Monrovia, he’s been providing valuable news every single day. For local news, he relies on a team of volunteer reporters who come to him with stories, while for international events he goes to an internet cafe to access sites like the BBC, because he doesn’t own a computer. Then, in the newsroom, a small wooden shed attached to the back of his blackboard, he updates The Daily Talk with chalk. He’s the editor, the designer and sole employee of the unique newspaper, yet he manages to get his message across.

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Japanese DVD Lets You Go on a Dinner Date without an Actual Date

Getting a girl to go out to dinner with you isn’t as easy as some people think. Luckily, now there’s a DVD that allows single men to experience a dinner date, without having to convince a woman to go out with them. It’s called “Amateur Dinner Time – Let’s Eat Together! -, and it’s hilarious.

Maybe you’re too shy to ask a girl out, or maybe you’re just too cheap to take her to a restaurant. Whatever your reason, you’re probably a bit curious about what it must be like to have a pleasant conversation with an attractive girl, over dinner. Now, thanks to a series of original DVDs released by Japanese media company K-NETWORK, you can (sort of) interact with cute girls from in front of your TV screen. Each of the three Amateur Dinner Time DVDs features a number of attractive ladies as they sit across the table from the camera enjoying their meal and engaging in small talk. They probably don’t answer your every question, or laugh at your stupid kokes, but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

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Man Sues Wife for Being Ugly, Gets Awarded $120,000 in Damages

In what may be the weirdest divorce trial in recent history, a man in China sued his wife for being ugly and actually won the right to divorce her and a substantial settlement of $120,000.

No, this is not a joke. Earlier this year, Jian Feng, a man from northern China took his spouse to court for being ugly. But you couldn’t really tell that by looking at her, in fact the unnamed woman could be considered attractive by most standards. To make things even weirder, the judge actually ruled in his favor, granting him the right to a divorce and a settlement of around $120,000. This probably makes no sense to you right now, but I’ll try to clarify things as best I can. Jian Feng’s problems began when he and his wife had their first baby. The man described his daughter as “incredibly ugly” and told the court she resembled neither of the parents. Now, most fathers would just hold their piece and love that little angel as if she were the most beautiful baby ever born, but not Feng. He started accusing his wife of cheating on him, and he kept at it until she couldn’t take no more and finally admitted she might have something to do with the baby’s appearance.

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