Have a nICE Stay At Finland’s Igloo Village

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in an igloo? Well, you have the chance to find out at the Kakslauttanen Igloo Village, in Finland. A hotel located in the northern part of the country, high up above the arctic circle,  is being touted as one of the coziest romantic getaways in the world.

Holidaying couples have three options at the hotel – Log Cabins, Snow Igloos, and Glass Igloos. Of course, the snow igloos get my vote for the most interesting of the three. Let’s find out more about them. Built to fit 1 to 5 people, it is literally like sleeping inside a room made of snow Of course, while the temperature outside may be dangerously cold at below -30 C, all the necessary amenities are provided indoors to keep you warm and cozy. The temperature inside ranges between -3 and -6 C. Warm down sleeping bags, woolen socks and hood are provided. The ice itself illuminates the igloo.

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Coolest Finds of the Week #23

(NSFW) The Daily Routine of a World Champion Masturbator (YouTube)

China’s Giant Snow Sculpture Festival (Environmental Graffiti)

How to Make a Giant Snow Ski Rapm Off of Your Roof (Laughing Squid)

Cardboard Cop Cars Slow Chinese Traffic (Orange News)

Remote-Controlled Motorised Shoes Save You the Effort of Walking (Daily Mail)

Giant Wave-Shaped Clouds over Birmingham, Alabama (Life’s Little Mysteries)

World’s Shortest Woman Is Just 2-Feet-Tall (People Magazine)

Asia Obscura Tests China’s weirdest Potato Chip Flavors (Asia Obscura)

10-Foot Story Rocket Burried in Swamps of Florida (Environmental Graffiti)

Seoul’d Balancing Expert Is Awesome (YouTube)

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The Miniature World of the Holiday Train Show, in New York

The New York Botanical Garden has put up a new  Holiday Train Show, which has been attracting several visitors. Held in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the show isn’t very far from the entrance to the garden. The display does feature some trains, but the real attractions are the models of famous buildings made entirely from plants.

The miniature trains weave around the lush plants and flowers, and replicas of the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, TWA Terminal at JFK and a few other buildings that are made entirely of plant parts. What’s special about these models is that they aren’t exact replicas of the structures themselves. Rather, artists have tried to capture the defining characteristics of these buildings. Creator Paul Busse, along with his team of artists gathers the material from woodlands around their studio situated in Kentucky, making an effort not to disturb the natural environment. The 100% natural models are created from plant material, with acorn chimney tops and magnolia leaf roofs. The reproduction of Washington Irving’s home has pink orchids surrounding it, one of the branches wrapped like a vine around the entrance. Small plants and flowers are used to depict trees and bushes on a perfectly manicured front lawn.

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Man Wins Lamborghini Murcielago, Crashes It in a Matter of Hours

David Dopp was in the news last month, for winning a Lamborghini. Then again last weekend, for wrecking it.

Dopp, a resident of Santaquin, Utah, won a lime green Murcielago Roadster worth $380,000 at a giveaway contest held by Maverick store. Sometime last month, the official announcement was made by the contest organizers at a college football game. On learning that he had won the car, Dopp was jumping up and down excitedly, a spectacle that was videotaped and broadcast on the local news. He received the car last Saturday, and 6 hours later, had crashed it. “Yeah, I got it on Saturday and I wrecked it on Saturday,” he said to local TV stations.

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Eat Like a Caveman at Berlin’s Sauvage Restaurant

A new restaurant in Berlin insists upon feeding its customers with the food that cavemen devoured. So basically, no bread, sugar, or cheese on the menu.

The Sauvage Restaurant proudly announces their ‘Real Food Revolution – Paleolithic cuisine!’ Guests are served dishes that contain ingredients most-likely used by hunter-gatherers. The owners of this place unsurprisingly adhere to the Paleolithic movement, which prescribes a lifestyle of a Paleo diet, lots of exercise, high contact with nature and sunlight, minimal clothing, plenty of sleep and spending a lot of time barefoot. Diners are served their meals at candle-lit tables. The food served consists of organic, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and herbs. Some of the exercises of the caveman-era are also mimicked by the owners such as  lifting boulders and running barefoot. To emulate the loss of blood that cavemen endured in their hunt for food, they regularly donate blood. These practices are recommended to guests as well, but they could just stick to the Paleo food if they wish.

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Beer Makes Its Way onto the Candy Market for the Holidays

Chocolate has traditionally been seen as a gift appropriate for women. But here’s something that gives it a manly twist – beer flavored candy.

Beer has been used as a candy flavoring for quite some time now and is something that many chocolatiers are experimenting with. The earliest known beer candy was introduced around three years ago, by Nicole Green. Ms. Green is the proprietor of Truffle Truffle, an online confectioner. Their top-selling product is the “Beer and Pretzel Collection.” The collection consists of goodies such as the beer-and-pretzel truffles and caramels, beer brittle and beer marshmallows.

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Scottish Bar Serves Heart-Stopping Deep-Fried Butter

We’ve heard of deep-fried Mars bars, ice-cream and butter that originated in the US. A Scottish Bar has now invented a new twist to deep-fried butter, something they say is quite popular with a few customers. Dubbed by some critics as a coronary on a plate and even a heart attack in the plate, this dish is being served at the Fiddler’s Elbow, perhaps for the first time ever in Scotland. The Scottish twist, being an Irn Bru batter.

The entire dish put together consists of the deep-fried butter balls, with an accompaniment of Irn Bru ice cream and coulis. The dish has been named quite aptly, as the “Braveheart Butter Bombs”. The folks at the Fiddler’s Elbow also plan to introduce a variation, using deep-fried whisky instead of Irn Bru. The head chef of the Scottish bar,  Simon Robertson, has been credited with the invention of this dish, along with the help of Paul Fitchie, a former chef at Harvey Nichols. The dessert is created by freezing balls of butter and then dipping them in an Irn Bru batter. These balls are then fried in hot oil, till the golden brown delicacies emerge.

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The Amazing Oak Chapel of Allouville Bellefosse

The French village of Allouville-Bellefosse is famous for the Chêne Chapelle (Oak Chapel), which is literally a chapel built into an oak tree. The amazing architecture consists of a wooden staircase spiraling around the ancient tree, leading up to a couple of chambers. These rooms have always been used as places of worship, by the village locals.

The age of the tree has been a subject of debate, but everyone agrees that it is the oldest tree in France, without a doubt. The tree is known to have been growing as far back as the thirteenth century, during the rule of Louis IX, when France was a truly centralized kingdom. It is also known to have survived the Hundred Years War against the English, the Black Death, the Reformation, and Napoleon’s rule. Local folklore dates it a 1,000 years old, when it is said that the acorn took root. However, tree experts say it could only be around 800 years old, which means the thirteenth century saw it’s origins.

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Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

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English Vicar Raps Nativity Story

Now here’s an extremely interesting and catchy version of the Nativity Story. For those of you who feel that the traditional ways of telling the story have become rather monotonous, an English Vicar from Devon has made a rap song out of it. The video put up online has already been watched thousands of times.

40-year old Reverend Gavin Tyte gets it just right, as he raps the story of Jesus’s birth to a beatbox backing. The song is called ‘The Beatbox Nativity.’ The video clip is three-and-a-half minutes long. For the video, Reverend Tyte dresses up in three different costumes – a shepherd, an angel, and himself, as the narrator. The song goes on to describe the entire story of the birth of Jesus, in perfect rap. He says he has been beatboxing since the age of 8 and was even a professional performer before be was ordained. The Reverend has been in the company of rappers for a long time, but he admits it was a little tricky to create a rhyme out of each and every verse. “You are constrained by what is written and what sounds good, so it does not flow as well as if you were rapping from scratch.”

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Belarusian Schoolboy Builds Impressive Electric Car

Alexander Kozlov, an 11th grader from Belarus, has recently made headlines, after spending and entire year building an impressive electric car, with the help of his family and friends.

At a glance, the white two-seat vehicle built by Alexander may look a little strange, with an unpolished finish and only three wheels, but make no mistake, it’s a working car that cost just 8,000,000 Belarusian rubles. That may seem like a lot, but it’s only $950. The boy, who lives in Grodno, originally started working on his home-made electric car as a project for an urban Olympics, but encouraged by his family and friends, he continued tinkering with parts until he completed it. He also got some help from teachers from his school, like Natalia Sakuta, who specializes in physics, and although the car really wasn’t very expensive to make, Alexander Kozlov admits he wouldn’t have been able to finish the project without such contributions.

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Groin Ball – Fun to Watch, Painful to Play

Groin Ball is a crazy game that supposedly originated in Japan, is played by men, and obviously involves the hitting of testicles.

Curious to know how the game is played? Well, we’ll tell you. Two teams involved in a game of Groin Ball each consist of two players – a ball thrower and a target player. The target players of each team face each other, holding on to the other’s shoulders. Their feet need to be shoulder-width apart, all through the game. A supply of tennis balls is provided to each of the throwers, who have to hurl them between the legs of the target players, aiming of course, at the groin. The balls hit the ground and then bounce up to smash into the groin of the opposing target player.

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15,000 Czechs Put Down “Jedi” as Their Faith, in Census

A shocking discovery about the religious beliefs of Czechs was made in a census held in March this year. Over 15,000 people, the size of a small town, registered themselves as Jedi Knights, a faith from the Star Wars movies. This is certainly not being dismissed as nominal by the Statistical Office.

Of the rest of the Czech population, it is interesting to note that while 1,083,899 said they were Roman Catholics,  707,649 said they didn’t believe in God. Also, 5 million people just didn’t have anything to say. They left the column empty. In Prague, the capital  city, 3,977 Jedi Knights were registered, which is 0.31% of the city’s population. It is perplexing as to why this option was included in the census for in the first place. Stanislav Drapal, deputy head of the statistical office, says that they included it despite a fierce debate over whether it’s serious or not. It’s not up to the statisticians to decide whether or not it’s a real religion, is what he feels.

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Chinese “Wolf Dad” Reveals Brutal Parenting Techniques

This isn’t the first time the Chinese have been in the news for their strict parenting techniques. When Chinese-American Amy Chua came out with her book, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, it was met with a lot of criticism.

Now it’s Xiao Baiyou’s turn. Also Chinese, the 47-year-old businessman recently published a book called “That’s Why They Go to Peking University”, about his fathering techniques. He believes that his practice of hitting his children with a rattan cane helped them get into top colleges. He has been nicknamed “Wolf Dad” after his brutal methods, and he is actually proud of the title. “Wolves look ferocious and brutal, yet they have great wisdom and are exceptionally tender to their cubs,” he said. His brutality, according to him, is only out of love.

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Artist Faces Jail Time over Disturbing Taxidermy

Enrique Gomez De Molina is an artist from Miami who creates bizarre sculptures, with the stuffed parts of dead animals. While taxidermy itself isn’t something new, what De Molina does is he mixes up parts from different animals to create a new one, a new species all together. The result is what some might call art, and others may find plain disturbing.

For instance, one of the strange beings created by De Molina is a combination of a squirrel and a crab. The head of a squirrel and the body of the crab. Another one has the heads of two swans placed on the body of a goat. The art is all fine, but the artist himself is facing the possibility of landing in jail for no less than 5 years. He may also have to cough up $250,000 in fines. The reason – he illegally imported the body parts of endangered species, a crime that he has pleaded guilty to. He was arrested in November.

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