Chinese IKEA Customers Make Themselves a Little Too Much at Home

If you’ve ever walked through an IKEA store thinking about how cool it would be if you could just lay down on one of them soft beds, cover yourself with a fluffy blankets and nap, then you need to move to China, because that’s what IKEA visitors do over there.

The Chinese simply love IKEA! Millions visit the company’s mainland stores every year, but only a few of them actually end up buying something, as many just come to enjoy the air-conditioning on a hot summer day and take a nap on the comfy furniture on display. “Some of them even come in once the store opens in the morning, and won’t leave until the store closes in the evening,” a security staff from the IKEA store in Shanghai told Morning Star, but although this sometimes bothers employees, the company hasn’t taken any measures against people making themselves a little too much at home, because it sees it as a future investment. They believe when these people have more consumption power they’ll come back and buy something, but until then they’re free to loiter around.

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World’s Smelliest Man Hasn’t Bathed in 38 Years

A lot of people can’t imagine going through a day without taking at least one shower, but 66-year-old  Kailash Singh, from India, hasn’t taken a bath in over 38 years, and says he’s happier than a lot of people who wash their bodies every day.

But what can possibly make a man give up the daily ritual of bathing? Kailash says he told the decision in 1974, shortly after he got married, hoping this would help him have a son. He claims it was priest who guaranteed him a prized son if he followed his advice not to wash or cut his hair. Now, over 38 years later, Kailash Singh is probably the world’s smelliest man, has 6-foot-long dirty dreadlocks and is father to seven daughters and not a single son. despite having been failed by his religious guidance, the old man still doesn’t want to wash his body, and says only a son could change his mind. Although stranger things have happened, fathering a son at 66, with a 60-year-old wife is very unlikely.

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Thames Town – A Little Piece of England in China

It’s no secret the Chinese wrote the book on knock-offs, but did you know they copy whole towns these days? Thames Town, in Shanghai, is a replica of small English town complete with everything you might expect, except the people.

“I wanted the properties to look exactly the same as those in the United Kingdom. I think English properties are very special. When we decide to learn from others, we should not make any improvements or changes.” That’s what James Ho, the head of Shanghai Hengde Real Estate, the company in charge of building Thames Town, told Reuters back in 2006, when the weird settlement was inaugurated. The buildings of Thames Town copy the real ones in England so closely that complaints have been filed by English pub owners, and this genuine British look was exactly what was supposed to draw people to this place. Only, like many other ambitious and expensive Chinese projects, Thames Town failed to impress a lot of people and is now virtually a ghost town in Shanghai, the city that drive’s China’s economy.

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The Intriguing Skull Illusions of Istvan Orosz

Famous Hungarian artist Istvan Orosz creates intricate optical illusions that always hide a human skull. The presence of the eerie element is more obvious in some of his works than in others, but they are all equally impressive.

If you like optical illusions, you’ll love Orosz’s anamorphosis. The meticulously executed works of art will trick you into thinking you’re eyes are looking at Medieval-themed drawings before you spot the cleverly disguised skulls. I don’t know why the Hungarian graphic designer, poster artist and film director chose a skull as the main element of his works, but his talent or optical illusions is unquestionable.

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Tang Du Zoology – Dining in China’s Indoor Natural Habitat

There are plenty of cool places to eat at in China, but one of the most amazing has to be the Tang Dousheng State Park, also known as Tang Du Zoology. This unique venue spreads over 1,600 square feet and features over 1,500 exotic plants and various animals.

I don’t know about you but I haven’t yet had the chance to dine in a place larger than three NFL football fields, so the Tang Dousheng State Park in Taiyuan, an industrial city about 400km from Beijing, sounds pretty special to me. But it’s not just the size that makes this place stand out from other food joints in China. Inaugurated in 2005, Tang Du Zoology was meant to be an indoor “natural habitat” full of exotic plants, rugged rockery and rare animals, where people could experience fine Chinese cuisine in a wild-like environment. Usually you have to go outside for a breath of fresh air, but in Taiyuan, you have to step inside this amazing restaurant to let your lungs know what they’ve been missing out on. The place also serves wide range of Chinese food styles (Guangdong, Shandong, Sichuan, Anhui) but the food is not the first reason to dine at Tang Dousheng State Park.

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Esplendor Buenos Aires Hotel – An Art Gallery You Can Sleep In

Usually, we only feature hotels on Oddity Central if they’re built on an old oil rig or if they look like a hamster cage, but the Esplendor Hotel in Buenos Aires isn’t weird like that. The only reason we decide to write about is because of incredible collection of portraits made from unusual materials located inside.

Although it’s known as one of the best hotels in the Argentinian capital, the Esplendor Buenos Aires Hotel is worth visiting just for the impressive portraits displayed around the hotel, including in the lobby, restaurant or all over the corridors. And while many hotels do their best to treat their clients to some fine art, what the Esplendor offers is truly special – portraits of various South American celebrities, from football legend Diego Armando Maradona to revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, made from all kinds of unusual materials.

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World’s Most Generous Vegetable Seller Dedicates Life to Helping the Needy

You’ve probably never heard of her, but Taiwanese vegetable seller Chen Shu-chu has done more for the needy than many of the world’s rich and famous. Earning a modest living selling vegetables at the market, the Asian hero has so far managed to donate over $322,000 to various charities.

“Money serves its purpose only when it is used for those who need it,” Chen Shu-chu once told a newspaper, and throughout the years, the dedicated philanthropist made sure her hard earned cash was indeed used for the right causes. Inspired by her own difficult and impoverished childhood, Chen decided to dedicate her life to helping those less fortunate than her. Even though she earned a modest income selling vegetables in Taitung County’s central market, in eastern Taiwan, the 61-year-old led a frugal life and donated almost all of her money to charities. You’d think there wouldn’t be much to give away, but Chen Shu-chu has so far made substantial donations, including  $32,000 for a children’s fund, $144,000 to build a library at a school she attended and $32,000 to a local orphanage where she also offers financial support to three children. In total, the world’s most generous vegatable seller has so far donated over $300,000, and she’s not planning on stopping.

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Geeky Fan Builds Real-Life Wall-E Robot

Mike Senna, a computer programmer from Orange County, California, has spent the last two and a half years building a real-life Wall-E robot, from scratch. It moves around, rolls and talks, but he doesn’t collect trash.

In 2009, shortly after the movie Wall-E was launched, we featured some photos of cool Wall-E computer case mod, but that feat simply pales in comparison to Mike Senna’s awesome achievement. The robot aficionado spend between 3,200 and 3,800 man hours building his very own version of the adorable Pixar trash-collecting hero. His computer programming skills definitely came in handy, but seeing as there were no Wall-E parts available anywhere on this planet, he had to construct the whole thing from scratch. He worked on it about 25 hours a week, after his day job, but all the hard work certainly paid off.

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School Children Dress Up Dead Animals in Bizarre Competition

Fund-raising school competitions usually involve cake baking and sporting events, but at one particular school in New Zealand it’s all about dressing dead possums in funny outfits for a bizarre best dressed furry animal contest.

Looking at the photos taken at the Uruti School, on New Zealand’s North Island, you’d think this was a taxidermy competition, but in reality, the furry corpses were part of a weird display of dead possums, for a charity event. Basically, small children let their imagination run wild and tried to dress the furry critters as best they could. One was actually skinned to look like a posing boxer, while others sported bikini costumes and princess dresses. As you can imagine, the event enraged animal welfare groups who accused the school of encouraging cruelty to animals, but the teachers defended it saying it was “lots of fun”and that it helped raise $6,000 for the school.”There was an amazing crowd and it was lots of fun. Animals aren’t the only species who are dressed up after they die. We do it to humans too,” Principal Pauline Sutton told the Taranaki Daily News.

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Prends-Moi – The World’s First Weight Loss Perfume

Forget about painful diets and grueling exercise, from now on all you have to do to lose weight is spray on a little perfume. The magic fragrance is called Prends-Moi and is said to contain beta-endorphins that reduce the urge to overeat.

Developed by the French perfume house Robertet, the Veld’s Prends-Moi slimming fragrance was launched last year, but only recently made its debut on the English market, where women welcomed it with open arms. On July 30, the Daily Mail reported around 6,000 women had subscribed to the product’s waiting list, hoping this could actually be the miraculous weight-loss solutions they had been waiting for. It’s easy to understand why people would gladly fork out some cash on such an easy-to-use slimming product, but can shedding the pounds be as easy as putting on perfume? According to the makers of Prends-Moi, it sure can.

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Guolizhuang – Beijing’ Famous Penis Restaurant

They couldn’t pay me enough to try a bite of cooked animal genitalia, but there are people who would spend hundreds of dollars on delicacies like cooked yak penis or sheep gonads. These are the kind of foods that have made the Guolizhuang Restaurant so popular in China’s capital city.

According to a well-known saying, “Chinese eat anything with four legs, except tables. And everything that flies, except airplanes,” and the food served at the Guolizhuang Restaurant, in Beijing is proof of that. This bizarre establishment opened its gates in 2006, offering all kinds of dishes with animal genitalia as the main ingredient. Many Chinese believe animal penises increase male potency and do wonders for women’s skin, so word about the culinary wonders served at the restaurant on Dongsishitiao Street spread quickly, and the owners were happy to expand their business. There are now several franchises throughout Beijing and one in Atlanta’s Chinatown.

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Japanese Photographer Tries to Keep Love Fresh Forever by Wrapping It in Vacuumed Plastic Bags

Some couple try all kinds of romantic tricks to keep love alive for longer, but Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi takes a more literal approach – he wraps people in plastic wrap, sucks out the air and takes photos of their distorted bodies.

The bizarre images of people huddled together in weird positions, in vacuumed plastic wrap may look like stills from a a sado-masochistic practice, but they are Haruhiko Kawaguchi way of showing and preserving the love between two people. His project, “Flesh Love”, is pretty straightforward. Two people, usually couples, are “packaged” in a 100 by 150 by 74 centimeters plastic bag the artist buys from the Internet. After carefully arranging their body parts so he can get the best shot, Kawaguchi uses an old vacuum cleaner to suck out all the air and make the subjects look like a pack of packaged meat you buy at the supermarket. It takes about 10 to 20 seconds for hit to take the photographs, during which time the shrinkwrapped couple has to endure the pressure and lack of air. But it’s all in the name of love.

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Pray-O-Mat – The Simple Solution for Getting Blessings on the Go

We live in such a busy world that some people don’t even have the time to go to church anymore. Luckily, there’s the Pray-O-Mat, a converted old photo booth that features 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 different languages, and lets you get your blessing on the go.

Waiting for the service at the local church or temple takes time, and in this day and age that’s a valuable commodity. But thanks to German artist Oliver Sturm, you don’t have to skip out on getting closer to the supreme being you happen to be worshiping. Known as the “Gebetomat” in Germany, the ingenious device has been branded as a “Pray-O-Mat” for its transition to England, where it’s gotten quite a lot of attention since being installed at the University of Manchester, as part of a study into “multi faith spaces”.

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Germany’s Trendiest People Converge on Berlin for the Hipster Olympics

With the real Olympic Games about to start in London, Berlin’s self-proclaimed hipsters though they’d organize their own competition to find the most athletic hipster in Germany – the 2012 Hipster Olympics.

The tongue-in-cheek event took place last Saturday, and drew a crowd of over 6,000 hipsters to a club in east Berlin, for a series of nine ironic sporting events. Ironically, there were a lot of applicants who wanted to join the game, but a panel of hipster judges had the difficult task of choosing only 60.  “We had to select the coolest ones,” said 24 year-old Alexander Bernikas, head of the Original Hipster Olympics Committee. The skinny-jeans-wearing, jute-bag-carrying contestants were split into twelve teams of five, and pitted against each other in ironic events like a horn-rimmed-glasses-throwing contest,  a vinyl-spinning marathon or a skinny jeans tug of war.

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Jim Power – The Mosaic Man of New York City

For the past 26 years, Jim Power, known by most as The Mosaic Man, has been decorating the light posts of New York’s East Village with intricate tile and mirror mosaics. And the homeless 64-year-old is still at it.

“When I got into this, I was immortal all a sudden,” Power says about how he felt when he first started creating his art, in the late 1980s. The Vietnam veteran set out to make East Village a known arts destination by creating a trail of 80 mosaic-decorated light posts, each with its own theme and design inspired by local history and culture. At the height of his career as a street artist, The Mosaic Man was up to 70 light posts, but in the later part of the 80s and into the 90s, mayor Rudy Giulianni started a clean-up-the-city anti-graffiti campaign and took down 50 of his beautifully-adorned artworks. It was pretty hard to bear, but Jim never gave up on his dream of completing the trail, and managed to rebuild every one of them.

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