Indians Swallow Raw Fish to Cure Asthma

India is known for the wide variety of folk remedies for various ailments, and one of the most popular right now is the raw-fish-swallowing therapy practiced by the Goud family, in Hyderabad.

Asthma is one of the most serious respiratory conditions a person can have, and since conventional medicine doesn’t offer a permanent cure, many are willing to try any kinds of treatment, no matter how bizarre. One of these is the fish swallowing cure offered by the Goud family, for the last 166 years. Every year, during the month of June, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Hyderabad to try this unusual remedy, on the day of Mrigashira Karthi. Around 500 volunteers administer the miracle cure: live 2-inch to 3-inch long murrel fish which have been fed a drop of the secret herbal formula the Goud’s claim cures asthma within three years.

Ingredients for the medicine are collected two-three months before the big day, mixed the day before using water from the Goud family’s well, and administered to asthma sufferers free of charge. The patient is advised not to eat or drink anything four hours before swallowing the raw fish and two hours after. Also, he must be aware that he must come back for the cure three consecutive years, if he wants to get rid of the asthma permanently.

Read More »

15-Year-Old Has a Strange Passion for Vacuum Cleaners

Kyle Krichbaum, a 15-year-old boy from Adrian, Michigan, has been fascinated by vacuum cleaners since before he could talk. His passion stuck with him through adolescence, and he’s now known as the world’s youngest vacuum cleaner collector, with a collection of around 200 vintage devices.

Most teenagers don’t have that strong of a relationship with vacuum cleaners, or any other cleaning gadgets, for that matter, but Kyle Krichbaum doesn’t like anything more than using, fixing and collecting all kinds of vacuum cleaners. His mother, MaryLynn, remembers that when Kyle was only a baby in his little baby seat and she would start vacuuming the house, he would be mesmerized by it and follow her everywhere around the house. “Vacuum Boy” got his first vacuum cleaner at age 1, and when he was 2-years-old he dressed up hot Halloween as a Dirt Devil…

One of his former teachers remembers Kyle Krichbaum was vacuuming around school, during recess, when he was just 6 years old. It’s not that he didn’t like recess as much as the other kids, vacuuming was just his favorite pass-time. He would vacuum one side of a classroom one day, and finish the other side the next, and has even vacuumed the principal’s office.

Read More »

La Bonnotte – The World’s Most Expensive Potatoes

When you think about expensive food, potatoes aren’t exactly the first ingredients that come to mind, are they? Believe it or not La Bonnotte potatoes are one of the world’s most expensive foods, served only in the most luxurious restaurants.

The price of one kilogram of La Bonnotte potatoes can reach $700, making it the most expensive potato on Earth. Its ridiculous price doesn’t just have to do with its delicious salty flavor, but also with the fact that it’s very rare. This variety of potato is only cultivated on Noirmoutier, an island off the coast of western France, and just 100 tons are produced every year, mainly because they have to be picked by hand. La Bonnotte’s tuber remains attached to the stem making too fragile to harvest by machine, not to mention it also needs to be fertilized with algae and seaweed to give it that distinct earthy, salty flavor. Its fragile nature simply didn’t make it profitable enough for large agricultural companies, and it was only because of teh love and care of a few French potato lovers that it didn’t go extinct.

Also known as The King of Potatoes, La Bonnotte is planted in February and ready to be picked in the first week of May. The entire crop is usually exhausted by the first weekend of the month, because they retain all of their flavor if their picked and shipped to the restaurant the same day.

Read More »

Solar-Powered Bikini Charges Your Gadgets While You Tan

American designer Andrew Schneider has used conductive thread to sew photo-voltaic panels together in a Solar Bikini that allows you to charge your favorite gadgets while getting a nice tan.

30-year-old Schneider says ‘I use 40 individual paper-thin flexible, photo-voltaic panels for each bikini. I sew them together over a normal bikini using soft-conductive thread,’ adding that it takes him around 80 hours to painstakingly sew the panels. Every swimsuit is made to measure and costs as much as a conventional designer bikini, $200.

The Solar Bikini allows its wearer to connect any modern gadget via the USB ports sewn into the fabric, meaning you’ll never run out of juice at  the beach, ever again. ‘Anything that you can power or charge through a USB connection you can power and charge using the solar bikini, assuming of course you’re out and about under the sun.’ This ingenious yet fashionable garment doesn’t take away the pleasure of going into the water, all wearers have to do is unplug their gadgets before going in and making sure the USB ports are dry before reconnecting them.

Read More »

India’s Ram Ram Bank Gives Whole New Meaning to Banking

It has no guards, no locks, offers no interest or credit schemes, and doesn’t event deal in money. Still, India’s unusual Ram Ram Bank, in New Delhi, serves over 5,000 happy customers, with more signing up every day.

Ram Ram Bank was established 25 years ago, by Tewari, a retired school teacher from Sitapur, who quit his job in 1983, after his guru advised him to devote his life to Lord Ram. He got the idea of opening a bank where people could deposit their “Ram naam” (pieces of paper with the Lord’s name scribbled hundreds of times). He didn’t need any security, since the writings were of no use to mere mortals, and all he had to do was deposit them and ocasionally take them to be displayed at a temple in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Ram.

Scribbling Ram naam notes has always been very popular in India. Some people say it helps them connect with God, others say the faith helps them work harder to achieve their goals, but all of them claim that writing Ram’s name just makes them feel better. In the past, everyone who wrote these holy notes traveled to Ayodhya themselves and deposited them at the temple, but in this day and age fewer people find the time to do it anymore. That’s where the Ram Ram Bank comes into play. All a person has to do is write his Ram naams every day and send them straight to the bank, or hand them over to one of the many volunteers around the city, at their own convenience.The pieces of paper are deposited in a small room, and taken to Ayodhya every six months.

Read More »

Oksana Mas’ Breathtaking Wooden Egg Mosaics for the Venice Biennale

Oksana Mas is a brilliant Ukrainian artist who uses thousands of hand-painted wooden eggs to create incredible mosaics that simply take your breath away.

The first time I read about Oksana Mas was in January of 2010, when she created this unique portrait of the Virgin Mary using 15,000 wooden eggs. It took her nine months to complete her masterpiece and you can admire it first hand inside the Saint Sophia Cathedral, in Kyiv. Apparently, the talented Ukrainian artist has been keeping herself busy since then, creating several other wooden Easter egg mosaics for the Venice Biennale, where she’s representing her country.

Her monumental installation is called ‘Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance’, features 12 separate pieces, measures a total of 92 by 134 meters and numbers an astonishing 3,640,000 wooden eggs hand-painted by people in 42 different countries. From inmates to intellectuals, thousands of people from all walks of life painted the eggs which were later assembled by Oksana, in her studio. The gigantic egg mosaics are currently on display inside the Church of San Fantin, in Venice, where they interact perfectly with the sacredness of the surroundings. When seen from up-close, every painted egg has its own unique design, but as the viewer backs away, they all come together to form a large scale representation of the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by the Van Eyck brothers.

Oksana Mas’ art was inspired by the old Ukrainian folk custom krashenki: wooden eggs covered in traditional Ukrainian designs used to celebrate Easter.

Read More »

Painting Horse Gets His Own Art Gallery Exhibition

Napoleon, a four-year-old Dutch Friesian stallion, has developed a talent for painting after working with artist Sergio Caballero and his worked are now on display at the Mutt art gallery, in Barcelona.

The Dutch Friesian horse breed is famous for being very responsive to dressage, but I doubt too many people thought a horse could be taught how to paint. One of those who did was Catalan artist Sergio Caballero, who one day got the idea of working with animal painters. he asked his friend, a horse owner, if he could teach a horse to paint, and that’s when he met the beautiful black stallion, Napoleon.

The two started working together; Sergio prepared the canvases and put the brush into Napoleon’s mouth and the horse would shake his head and make bold strokes of acrylic color. It doesn’t sound very complicated, but Caballero calls it abstract expressionism, and three private collectors have already bought Napoleon’s works for between €3,300 and €6,000.

Read More »

Gold-Plated Barbecue Grill Is World’s Most Expensive

If you have money to burn, this $164,000 gold-plated barbecue-grill made by BeefEater Barbecues should be at the the top of your spending list.

Sure, this hand-made Signature Series 6 Burner SL400 looks good has some nice built-in features like a wok burner, warming rack and roasting hood, but will it make your steaks taste better? Probably enough, and the creators of the grill themselves say they made it for people ‘want to make a statement with their barbecue and have the money to burn’. ‘Why would anyone want to make a statement with their barbecue?’, you ask? Maybe because they just got bored of gold phones, gold-plated cars, have eaten enough gold-plated food and need something new to attract attention.

The one-of-a-kind barbecues is covered with 24 carat gold, except for the actual grilling surface, and was created for the 2008 Sydney Home Show, for an estimated $60,000. Now, the price has gone up to $164,000. Somebody better buy it soon, before the gold price rises even more.


Read More »

World’s First Amphibious Ice-Cream Truck Sails the Thames

HMS Flake 99, the world’s first floating ice-cream truck, was seen sailing the river Thames, yesterday, trying to attract attention to the decreasing number of land ice-cream trucks in the UK.

The mobile ice-cream business in England has definitely seen better days, as the number of ice-cream trucks has dropped from 20,000 to around 5,000, in the last 50 years. They have been banned in areas like housing estates, parks and outside schools due to concerns regarding childhood obesity and noise pollution, and the rising prices of ingredients and fuel don’t help much either. The bizarre HMS Flake 99 was created by Fredericks, the company who makes Cadbury’s ice-cream, hoping it will attract attention to the problem of ice-cream trucks in Britain.

The world’s first amphibious ice-cream truck has sailed past the British Parliament, in London, yesterday, and after a tour of Britain’s beaches, it will embark on a voyage across the English Channel and on to the canals of Venince, next year. It has a top speed of just five knots so you’ll have no problem catching up to it in pretty much any motorized boat, and asking for a refreshing treat, wherever you are.

Read More »

The World’s Coolest Website Made Entirely from Real Chocolate

This is something you don’t see every day – Portuguese beer maker Sagres has recently released a chocolate flavored beer and decided to celebrate by creating a launch website entirely out of chocolate (and I don’t mean the flash kind).

Sagres is Portugal’s no. 1 beer brand, so when they launched the new Sagres Preta Chocolate, a stout beer with chocolate flavor, they really went all out. With the help of a web design company and master chocolatier Victor Nunes, renown in Portugal for his amazing chocolate sculptures, they managed to create the world’s most awesome interactive website made entirely from chocolate. I really can’t think of a better way to launch a chocolate product online.

As you can see in the ‘baking of’ video at the bottom, every element of the Sagres Preta Chocolate site, except the actual beer bottle, was first crafted from chocolate, then photographed and put together into a functional, delicious-looking website. When they were done, they offered their first online visitors pieces of the real chocolate site, and sent them directly to their homes together with a six-pack of chocolate beer. How awesome is that?

Read More »

New York Hosts Rat Fashion Show

I thought rats were the most hated creatures in New York City, but it seems now it’s become fashionable to actually have them as pets.

On Sunday, dozens of rat lovers gathered in Manhattan to attend the world’s first Fancy Rat Convention, where pet fashion designer Ada Nieves showed off her rodent clothing collection, featuring rat tuxedos, wedding dressed, bridesmaids gowns and other exclusive designs. Her creations come complete with crystals or feathers and sell for about $80 each. ‘The rats look very cute and seem to like wearing them. Rats are very popular these days and the owners love to dress them up,’ the pet fashionista said.

According to rat owners present at the Fancy Rat Convention, despite the negative stereotype people have about rats, these creatures have amazing personalities which make them much more suitable pets than cats, dogs or ferrets. They are very sociable, intelligent, loving, and can be trained to do all kinds of tricks, from dancing to fetching stuff.

Read More »

This Is What I Call a Smoking Car

In celebration of the World Anti-Tobacco Day, campaigners in Mumbai, India, have created an impressive life-size car model from 200,000 cigarettes. The smokable installation was placed on display in a Mumbai shopping mall, where it attracted the attention of everyone who passed by. But it was the message in the background that really caught my eye; apparently an average smoker will make short work of the 200,000 cigarettes in just a few years…

India is currently the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco, after China. At least one fifth of India’s population (roughly 241 million people) consume tobacco in some form.

Read More »

Thai Temple Offers the Ultimate Chance at Rebirth

Wat Prommanee, a Buddhist temple, 66 miles northeast of Bangkok, offers believers the chance to lay in a coffin for a few moments, then rise up and feel reborn…

I for one find coffins to be really creepy and I wouldn’t dream of lying down in one if someone paid me all the money in the world, but at Wat Prommanee people actually wait in line and pay a fee for a chance to do just that. It’s one of the strangest ceremonies in the world, but one that has been rising in popularity ever since the temple started practicing it, over six years ago. Nine colorful coffins dominate the main hall of Wat Prommanee Temple, and hundreds of people lie down in them every day, playing dead for about a minute and a half, listening to religious chants, and rise up at command feeling cleansed and relaxed.

Wat Prommanee basically offers a daily resurrection service that many Thais believe washes away bad luck and helps prolong their life. It makes sense that people wish for a second chance in life, especially when confronted with serious issues, but lying down in a decorated coffin hardly seems like a solution. I mean, what if it doesn’t change anything, right? Well, they just go back and do it again. The ceremony apparently relaxes them and gives them positive thoughts, so many people come back to Wat Prommanee Temple for the chance to be reborn several times over a few years. All they have to do is pay a small fee.

Read More »

Swarovski-Studded Cadillac CTS Coupe Unveiled in China

A one-of-a-kind Cadillac CTS Coupe covered with 350,000 Swarovski crystals was unveiled last weekend, during the Qingdao International Auto Show.

I don’t know what it is about Swarovski bling and cars, but tuners and designers seems to think they make a good team. Just last week, I posted about an Audi A5 covered with 450,000 Swarovski crystals, presented at a Moscow exhibition, by Russian tuner Shampar, and now the Chinese show off their own blinged-out ride. Their Swarovski-studded Cadillac is 100,000 crystals short of the Russian A5, but it doesn’t look at all less glamorous.

A you can imagine, the so-called ‘Diamond Cadillac‘ stole the show in Qingdao, attracting the eyes of everyone attending and giving new meaning to the phrase ‘diamond finish’. According to brand representatives, this unique CTS Coupe took nine workers a whole week to finish, with each Swarovski crystal mounted to the body of the car with a special fixer. To whom it may concern, they added that the stones “are guaranteed to stay on even in a car wash”.

Read More »

Rolex Collar Makes Border Terrier a Real ‘Watchdog’

I’ve written about pampered pooches before, but border terrier Smike is the only canine I know of who wears a Rolex luxury watch.

Karen Denney, a shop assistant from Crawford, a village close to St. Helens, England, wanted to buy her dog Smike something really special for his seventh birthday, and when she saw a designer collar that included a Rolex watch, she just couldn’t help herself. “Over the years I’ve seen a lot of accessories for cats and dogs but I wanted something a bit different. I wouldn’t usually go for something this flashy but when I saw this design I just had to have one,” Karen said, adding that her beloved Smike has become a local celebrity.

I’m not exactly sure if Smike’s Rolex is genuine, though…According to The Sun it costs £2,500 ($4,130), but reports it’s actually a £200 Rolex replica. Whatever the case, Smike’s ultimate accessory has become an instant hit and Karen gets asked where she got it whenever she takes her border terrier out for a stroll. It was the work of local designer Alisone Jones, who specializes in luxury accessories for pets.

Read More »

Page 236 of 388« First...102030...234235236237238...250260270...Last »