Chinese Companies Renting White Guys to Look Successful

Believe it or not, in China white guys can get a job posing as businessmen for companies who hire them to look more international to their real partners. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing” and it’s apparently a very popular business tactic.

What makes this such a great job for white guys in China is that it has some really simple requirements: be white, don’t speak any Chinese, or speak at all unless asked, pretend like you just got off an airplane the day before, and look good in a suit. The people who usually go for this king of gig are part-time models and actors, English teachers and expats looking for a quick and easy paycheck. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing”, “The Token White Guy Gig”, or simply the “Face Job” and it’s so popular in China these days that there’s actually a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for “foreigner”) that helps businesses improve their image by providing fake white employees or partners.

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Woman Avoids Looking at Herself in Mirrors for a Year to Boost Self-Esteem

Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology, has gone mirror-free for an entire year, avoiding her own reflection in order to boost her self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on their physical appearance.

Can you imagine not checking how you look for an entire year? Most women can’t go a day without looking in the mirror, whether to check how their clothes fit, or if their make-up looks good, but one ambitious young student managed to avoid looking at her reflection for a full year. If you think about it, it’s hard not looking at yourself, when you’re surrounded by mirrors and all kinds of shiny surfaces, but Kjerstin Gruys somehow made it work. For months, she covered the bathroom mirror so she could wash her face and brush her teeth without accidentally catching a glimpse of herself, she learned how to apply make-up by touch and not by sight, and she even learned to use her car’s mirrors so that she didn’t have to see her face in them. It was hard in the beginning, but she quickly adapted and says the experiment made her realize looks are really not as important as most people think.

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The Facekini – China’s Bizarre Beach Sun-Blocker

Beach-goers usually use sunblock and umbrellas to make sure they don’t get burned, but in China they use something called a “facekini“. The fact that it makes you look like a Mexican wrestler doesn’t seem to bother anybody.

The facekini is being called “China’s latest beach craze”, but according to a Qingdao sales officer, the bizarre mask has been around for at least five years. But photos of Qingdaonese swimmers wearing the bizarre accessory have only recently gone viral on Chinese social sites, and were eventually picked up by Western photo agencies and websites sparking readers’ curiosity. The bizarre clothing item is made of elastic fabric, covers a person’s entire head and neck down to the collarbone and has holes cut out for the neck, nose and mouth. They look pretty creepy, if you ask me, but that’s apparently a very small price to pay in order to protect yourself from getting a tan while going for a swim.

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You Too Can Kill Osama bin Laden, in a Real-Life Navy SEALS Role-Playing Game

Ever wish you were the one pulling the trigger during the famous SEALS raid that rid the world of Osama bin Laden? Well, thanks to Larry Yatch and his realistic re-enactment, now you can. And it only costs you $325.

Retired Navy SEAL Larry Yacht opened Sealed Mindset, a 10,000-square-feet gun-safety and defense instruction center in New Hope, Minnesota, where he hosts a high-end role-playing game that offers people the chance to shoot and kill terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Since its inauguration in April, 137 people have signed up to take out the Al-qaida leader in a re-enactment of the famous Pakistan raid. A man wearing a white robe and fake beard plays the dreaded terrorist and the would-be SEALS led by Yacht himself have to infiltrate his hideout, reach his room and finally take him out with a few paintball rounds before he has a chance to shoot them. According to participants quoted by Minnesota Public Radio, the experience is “awesome” “intense” and gets the adrenaline going.

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Teenager Sets New World Record at Mobile-Phone Throwing Contest

Every year, the Finnish town of Savonlinna hosts a fun and relaxing phone-throwing contest where participants are invited to take out all their frustration on their handhelds by throwing them as far as possible. This year, a Finnish teenager managed to set a new world record, with a throw of over 101 meters.

Ever since 2000, when it was first organized, the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship has become an international event drawing in participants from all over the world. According to reports of Finnish insurance companies, there are lots of phones laying on the bottom of Finland’s lakes, causing a serious environmental problem due to the toxicity of their batteries. In an attempt to convince people there are better ways of getting rid of their faulty mobile devices, a Savonlinna-based translation and interpretation company called Fennolingua organized a mobile-throwing contest that immediately drew the attention of media all around the world. In the following years, the event became even more popular gathering throwers from every continent eager to show their hurling skills.

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Gotmar Mela – India’s Centuries-Old Stone Pelting War

For over three hundred years, the residents of Pandhurna and Sawargaon, two Indian villages located on the banks of the river Jaam, have been engaging in a bizarre stone-pelting ritual called Gotmar Mela that leaves hundreds critically injured and even dead.

The stone war of Gotmar Mela, as its sometimes referred to, takes place every year, on the second day to “Bhadrapad’ (the new moon day). A tree trunk is fixed in the middle of Jaam River, and a flag tied on top of it. On the day of the bloody event, people from Pandhurna and Sawargaon gather on each of the river banks and arm themselves with stones. The bravest of them run towards the tree and try to climb high enough to grab the flag, while the mob on the other side tries to prevent them from doing so by showering them with large stones. The village who manages to snag the flag is declared winner. The rules of Gotmar Mela are pretty simple, but who ever takes part in it knows full well it might be the last thing they do, as hundreds are critically injured and even killed, each year.

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A Chinese Farmer’s Epic Rickshaw Journey to the London Olympic Games

Chen Guanming, a 57-year-old farmer from China, spent over two years travelling about 60,000 kilometers, through 16 countries, enduring floods, war zones and extreme temperatures,  to reach London in time for the games and “spread Olympic spirit”.

The 2012 London Olympic Games may have ended, but remarkable stories related to the monumental event are still popping up. One such story is that of Chen Guanming, a simple farmer from a village in China’s Jiangsu province, who traveled all the way to London the only way he could afford to, by rickshaw. The daring traveler said he was inspired to go on this epic journey when he watched the English Prime-Minister accept the Olympic flag, in 2008, and the media invited those watching the live broadcast to the next edition of the games. Chen took that invitation quite seriously, and in 2009, he started putting all his papers in order and preparing for an unforgettable adventure. His long rickshaw ride began on May 23, 2010, in the village where he grows rice and other crops, and took him through 16 different countries, including Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan or Italy.

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The Heat-Painted Wonders of Dino Muradian

I discovered pyrography, the art of painting with heat, six month ago, after seeing the wonderful artworks of Julie Bender, but after I got an email from renown pyrography master Dino Muradian, I just had to write about it once again.

Dino Muradian, or Dumitru Muradian, as he is known in his native country of Romania, has made pyrographic history with his innovative tools and painting techniques. The 60-year-old self-taught artist started experimenting with this awe-inspiring art in 1965, but for approximately 20 years it remained nothing but just a fun hobby. It was only after he left Romaina, to escape Ceausescu’s communist regime, and achieved his dream of living in America that he truly discovered his potential as a pyrography artist. He dedicated a lot of time to developing a new heat-painting technique he had imagined and building custom tools needed to create the shading and effects he desired. He had felt for some time that he could take pyrography beyond its known limits and began doing so. After years of work Dino invented a new technique that burns the wood with shading, rather than lines, at a very high temperature. His great precision and control insures the shading is embedded deeply in the wood, but at the same time the “canvas”remains as smooth as glass.

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“Who’s Your Daddy?” Van Offers DNA Tests on the Go

Believe it or not, there’s actually a van dubbed “Who’d Your Daddy?” driving through New York offering men the chance to find out if they are really the fathers of their babies. As you might expect, business is going well.

You could say this unique RV parked randomly on the streets of New York sells on-the-spot piece of mind to fathers who want to know if the children they’re raising are really theirs, but Jared Rosenthal, the driver of “Who’s Your Daddy?” describes it as “heartbreak hotel”. He charges $299 to $575 per test and gives clients the choice of having the results delivered in person or by mail. The unique van has shocked quite a few New-Yorkers since it first started operating in the Big Apple, but for fathers looking for an answer to their burning question it’s been a welcomed solution. “Something about the RV makes it more intimate and people open up. It makes it easier for them,” Rosenthal said.

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New York Panini Shop Serves Alcoholic Sandwiches

I bet you never thought you’d ever be able to get drunk on sandwiches, yet here we are. The Salumé panini shop in New York City has created the world’s first line of alcoholic sandwiches, infused with different kinds of liquors, like scotch or gin.

I’ve covered a few really weird ways to get wasted, like vodka eye-balling or drinking hand-sanitizer, but I never thought I’d be writing about alcoholic sandwiches actually sold by a sandwich shop. At New York’s Salumé panini shop, customers can fill their bellies and get wasted at the same time, and I don’t mean by washing down the food with some beer. This innovative establishment is serving the alcohol inside the sandwich, so you’re sort of eating and drinking at the same time. Their unique menu includes items like prosciutto & gin sandwiches, Surryano ham & rye whiskey or prosciutto & beetroot with scotch, and prices range from $11 for a scotchwich to $18 for the Bulleit bourbon and ham.

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High on Art – Brazilian Artist Paints with Marijuana Smoke

For his latest series, aptly entitled “Blow Job – Work of Blowing”, Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque has created images of political and religious icons using marijuana smoke. Needless to say that has sparked a great deal of controversy in the art world.

We’ve seen some pretty unique works of art created with smoke, like the ghost paintings of Rob Tarbell or the smoke-painted bottles of Jim Dingilian, but none as controversial as Fernando de la Rocque’s. The daring artist using a unique technique to paint images onto a white canvas – he blows marijuana smoke on pre-cut stencils laid down on the canvas to dye paint and shade the desired areas. The results are pretty impressive, but it’s the bizarre technique that attracted the most attention, with many wondering how he must feel after completing one of his smoky artworks.

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Vegetarian Designer Opens Special Butcher Shop with Fluffy Meats

It’s called “Aufschnitt” (German for “cold cuts”) and it’s a unique butcher shop created by designer Silvia Wald, who is actually a vegetarian. What’s even more bizarre is that she makes all the “meats” herself, by hand, out of fabric…

Every item on display at Silvia Wald’s Aufschnitt shop looks good enough to eat, only nothing is really edible. The young designer creates all her products from textile material and sells them as pillows, cushions or cool decorations. An engineer for clothing technology, Wald started making her delicious fluffy meats in 2009, as a small project, but after seeing how popular her few sausages were, she started making all kinds of other textile foods, from salami to large pieces of ham, from materials like cotton stretch velvet, lycra, wool or micro fibre. Then she opened her own little butcher shop in Berlin, where she sells her creations to both meat lovers and vegetarians. The designer says her favorite clients are the kids who always like to take a bite of her forever-fresh products,  just to see if they’re edible.

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TreT – The Amazing Parkour Dog from Ukraine

Parkour is cool when performed by humans, but when it’s a dog that doing the stunts, it’s simply amazing.  TreT, a 5-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier from the Ukraine jumps over railings, climbs walls and sprints, proving he’s a Pakour master on four legs.

TreT is one of only two known Parkour dogs around the world. His owner, Evgeny Elchaninov, says he knew nothing about the other dog from Hawaii when they started training, and that TreT’s moves are much more spectacular, anyway. The young man from western Ukraine used to practice Parkour himself, until a bad knee injury ruined his career, Suddenly he had to give up his biggest passion in life, but his unfulfilled dreams reincarnated in his six-months old dog, who loved to run and jump. He began training TreT in the art of Parkour, both in urban landscapes and at historic landmarks, and posted videos of his amazing stunts online. Now the pooch is a true Internet celebrity.

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San Pedro Prison – Bolivia’s Most Bizarre Tourist Attraction

San Pedro Prison is the largest in La Paz, Bolivia, housing around 1,500 inmates,  but that’s not what makes it special. Unlike most penitentiaries around the world, this place is a self-organized community with its own market stalls, restaurants, hairdressers and even a hotel. Oh, and no guards.

You’ve probably heard of or seen special prisons before. A few months ago we wrote an article on Norway’s Bastoy Island, where prisoners have hotel-like accommodations, are allowed to walk around freely and engage in a variety of relaxing activities. Today we take you on a tour of San Pedro, in La Paz, Bolivia, a sort of jail town where prisoners are free to live with their families and buy whatever they want without fearing repercussions from the guards. In fact there are no guards inside the large prison, or bars on the cell windows, so inmates have the relative freedom of going wherever they please. The police don’t interfere with the affairs of the inmates, who are expected to resolve their own issues with the help of representatives elected democratically.

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Farmer Who Lost Both Arms in Accident Spent Eight Years Building New Ones from Scrap Metal

Sun Jifa, a Chinese farmer who lost both his arms after a homemade bomb exploded prematurely, built his own functional prosthetic limbs after he couldn’t afford to buy the one offerd by the hospital.

A few years back, 51-year-old Sun Jifa, from Guanmashan, Jilin province, northern China, was working on explosives designed for blast fishing when a bomb blew up prematurely leaving him without both his arms. He was taken to the hospital and treated, but when doctors proposed he wear a pair of prosthetics designed to make his everyday life easier, Sun realized he just couldn’t afford them. At the same time he knew he needed both his arms in order to work on the farm and provide for  his family. That’s when he decided to built his own artificial arms out of scrap metal. After eight years of planning and several prototypes, He finally has a pair of functional arms.

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