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Indian Men Get Trampled by Cattle in Traditional Ritual

In villages around the Ujain region, in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh, men lay down on the ground and have their cattle trample all over them, as part of a bizarre centuries-old ritual.

There are a many things people will do in order to have their prayers answered by their gods, but until today, I didn’t know getting trampled by cattle was one of them. In a weird example of blind faith, dozens of villagers from Bhidawad village and neighboring settlements decorate their cattle with colours and henna in different patterns, then lay down on the ground and get trampled by the confused animals. The ritual takes place on the occasion of Ekadashi, a day after Diwali, the popular Hindu festival of lights, which was celebrated around the world on November 13. The whole village gathers in the streets to witness the painful event that they believe will make Hindu gods answer their prayers. “This is a traditional festival observed during Ekadashi fast after which the entire village’s cows are made to run over men lying on the ground, ” local Rekha Dubey told reporters. “We worship the cows before the ritual and also fast for five days and sing hymns during the festival.”

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World’s Worst Hotel Warns Visitors Not to Sue Before They Arrive

What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? Never mind, it couldn’t have been any worse than the Hans Brinker Budget Hostel in Amsterdam, which actually prides itself on being the “world’s worst hotel”.

While most other hotels go out of their way to convince potential clients they have the cleanest rooms, the most comfortable beds and the most incredible views, the Hans Brinker hostel lets everyone know just how awful their accommodations are. Some of their most popular advertising slogans include: “It can’t get any worse. But we’ll do our best” or “Improve your immune system – stay at Hans Brinker!” Pretty funny stuff and although a lot of people who stayed there confirm it’s pretty much all true, it apparently just adds to the charm of the place. Despite management’s best efforts to warn guests about the rudimentary facilities of their establishment, most of the hotel’s 511 beds in 127 rooms are occupied these days. Of course, the fact that no room costs more than €25 ($32) can be considered an incentive.

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The Mind-Blowing Sand Paintings of Ilana Yahav

Ilana Yahav is a world-famous Israeli sand animation artist who uses only her hands to create wonderful stories out of simple grains of sand. Her incredible videos have been watched by millions of people around the world.

Ever since she was a child, Ilana knew her destiny was tied to the art world, and she experimented with painting, sculpting other types of plastic art. But growing up on the shores of the Mediterranean, she was fascinated by sand. As a young girl, she would always visit the beach on her way to school, and draw a personal story on the sand. “I would draw quickly, trying to finish it all before the wave would come and wipe everything out,” the Israeli artist remembers. “I was totally spellbound. I would stand and watch until the drawing disappeared, realizing that everything is transient and temporary…” The ability to create a unique story using such a simple and natural medium as an exciting concept, so she decided to turn it into an art form.

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Say Goodbye to That Morning-After Feeling with the Anti-Hangover Patch

If you’ve ever had one drink too many at a party, you probably already know what a hangover feels like. Luckily, thanks to the new Bytox pathes, you never have to experience the morning-after feeling ever again.

When you consume too much alcohol, the vitamin B complex as well as other nutrients get depleted rapidly from your body, due to the diuretic effect of alcohol. This has some unwanted effects on the central nervous system, which translate into the dreaded condition we all know as “the hangover”. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and thirst, and are usually experienced the morning after a person has consumed alcohol. Wouldn’t it be great if you could actually do something to prevent hangovers, and still drink as many beers as you like? Well, apparently, all you have to do is apply a patch on your body and enjoy yourself. The makers of Bytox, an anti-hangover patch, say it replenishes all the vitamin B and nutrients lost during the drinking process, and prevent changes to the central nervous system and restoring the body’s natural balance.

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Famous Paintings Recreated with a Clothes Iron Make One Cool Advertisement

DDB Moscow, a creative ad studio from Russia, recently created a campaign for Dutch electronics maker Philips, in which it used the company’s new clothes iron and steamer to recreate a series of famous paintings. Didn’t think it was possible to paint with an iron? Think again!

The latest commercial for the Philips Azur GC4870 iron and the Philips ProTouch Steamer shows an artist making a series of folds with his hands and then using the new iron to fix them into place. As the video goes into fast forward, the simple piece of white cloth turns into a canvas for an original recreation of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. Then, once the masterpiece is complete, the artist uses the powerful steamer to clear all the folds and prepare the canvas for other famous Dutch masterpieces by artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt van Rijn. The whole commercial is just over a minute long, but I can only imagine how much time was really needed to painstakingly create every fold by hand, to make such detailed replicas. No wonder this Russian Philips ad was one of the most applauded at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the most important competition in the world of advertising.

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Russian Coupon Site Is Offering a 50% Discount on Redemption Just in Time for the Mayan Apocalypse

Believe it or not there are people out there who actually believe they can buy their way into Heaven. A Russian coupon site is offering a 50% discount on indulgences offered by the Catholic Church, and so far over 100 people bought the coupon. The funny thing is Russia is an Orthodox country…

What’s the price of redemption, fellow sinners? Well, according to this offer posted on Russian site Kupon Klub, it’s just 500 rubles ($16). Come on, you have to admit that’s a bargain! But, truth be told, it’s 50% off thanks to the kindness of an Italian Catholic church that has offered to pray for the forgiveness of your sins at half price. All someone has to do is buy this holy coupon and send its unique number to an email address mentioned on site. No matter how much you’ve sinned over the years, you can buy just one coupon for yourself, but you can get as many as you want to have your loved-ones’ sins forgiven as well. According to Lifenews.ru, the organizers of this bizarre campaign believe the number of sold coupons will be in the millions, but with 37 days to go to expiry, only 110 people have bough the discounted indulgence vouchers. That’s right, 110 people believe paying $15 for a coupon will open their way into Heaven.

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Man Creates Indestructible Football for Kids in Third World Countries

After seeing kids in poor and war-torn countries forgetting about their daily lives by playing football with balls made of trash, Tim Jahnigen dedicated his life to creating an indestructible ball that wouldn’t deflate in the hardest of conditions.

It’s called the One World Football and it can take any amount of punishment, from being run over by a car to being punctured with a knife, without deflating. Jahringen, from Berley, California, got the idea for this incredible football in 2006, after watching a documentary about children in Darfur who found refuge from their daily plight by playing with balls made of garbage of string, because regular balls donated by relief forces and sporting goods companies ripped and deflated within 24 hours, on the rocky terrain that doubled as a football field. Still, kids took so much pleasure in kicking a ball around that they played with just about anything that even resembled a football. In the next two years he searched for a material that could be morphed into a ball that wouldn’t wear out, go flat or need to be inflated. Many of the engineers he spoke with questioned his idea, but Tim eventually found what he was looking for. It’s called PopFoam, a type of hard foam made of ethylene-vinyl acetate, a material similar to what the popular Crocs shoes are made of.

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The Sad Story of a Man Who Refuses to Wear Pants and Only Puts on Skirts or Dresses

44-year-old Vladimir Fomin, from Kineshma, a town in Russia’s Ivanovo Region, is a very peculiar man. He became somewhat of a celebrity in his country after he was expelled from the University of Mathematics for refusing to wear pants and walking around in women’s clothing.

Vladimir certainly isn’t the only man in the world who prefers skirts and dresses to pants, but his reasons are definitely unique. He is not gay nor a transvestite, nor does he want to attract media attention. He just wants to stand up for the rights of men to wear whatever kind of clothes they like. After all, women are allowed to wear pants, so why can’t men wear dresses or skirts, why is that regarded as weird? But his fight for the rights of the stronger sex have brought him nothing but trouble. Despite being one of the brightest students at the Ivanovo University of Mathematics and earning a scholarship, he was expelled because of his fashion choices, he was shunned by most of his friends and relatives and even verbally abused and beaten by locals in his home town for walking around in women’s clothes. But in spite of all these problems, Vladimir Fromin continues his fight for the right to dress any way he likes, and hopes to one day be able to walk around in his skirts without being discriminated against. And he has a wardrobe of over 30 women’s garments prepared…

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FINALLY! Japanese Company Develops Gas-Deodorizing Underwear

Thanks to Japanese company Inodore, the days when passing gas in public was seen as a social taboo may  soon be behind us. If you can keep the noise level down, their odor-deodorizing fabric does the rest, absorbing up to 99% of gas smell.

I know what you’re thinking, fart-proof underwear have been around for a while now, but according to Professor Hiroki Ohge of Hiroshima University they didn’t do such a great job of neutralizing smells. Ohge first got inspired to work on this unusual type of underwear when he traveled to America to study how diseases could affect the smell of people’s flatulence. In theory, by analyzing the smell of gas, along with its main component, hydrogen sulfide, one could be able to tell if he was suffering from a disease without having to succumb to more complicated examinations. While researching in the US, the Japanese professor noticed stores were selling various cushions and shorts that used activated carbon and charcoal to deodorize body smells. After analyzing them he identified some flaws in their design and technology, and upon returning to Japan, he began working on his own improved smell-neutralizing fabric.

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Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball Takes Gym Sport to New Heights

The first trampoline dodgeball court was inaugurated in 2004, and the sport has been growing in popularity ever since. Now, the world’s first Ultimate Trampoline Dodgeball Championship might finally bring it into the spotlight.

There are a lot of popular sports played on giant trampolines these days, including basketball and volleyball, but trampoline dodgeball has to be the most exciting one yet. Created by Sky Zone Sports, this revolutionary game is played by the same rules as traditional dodgeball, with some slight differences. Instead of just trying to dodge and catch the balls by running around the court, in trampoline dodgeball the playing surface is made up of several trampolines, allowing the players to jump 10 feet in the air or bounce off the walls and “floor”, and making the experience even more fun. Two teams of five go against each other in 4-minute-long matches, with the one knocking out all opposition players being declared the winner. If at the end of four minutes, both teams have players on the court, the match goes into sudden death, until the first player is knocked out. In the upcoming championship, the team who wins two matches out of three will advance into the next stage of the competition.

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Can You Handle the Red Dog Saloon’s Ultimate Hot Chicken Wing Challenge?

If you’re a fan of spicy food, you may want to try the Red Dog Saloon’s Viper Challenge – eat six chicken wings smothered in sauce made from Naga Viper chillies, known as the world’s hottest chili peppers, in ten minutes. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

I mean how hard can it be to munch on six wings in 10 minutes, right? I can go through a whole bucket of spicy wings in half that time. But these are six little piece of Hell that will make you feel like you’re feasting on molten lava. The Red Dog Saloon, in Londons’ Hoxton district, introduced its Viper Hot Chicken Wings Challenge in December 2011, and since then it’s really been separating the men from the boys. The requirements are pretty straightforward: in order to beat the challenge, a person has to eat six hot wings in ten minutes, and last an extra five minutes after taking the final bite without leaving the table or putting any other liquids or solids in their mouth. It’s that Burn Time that really affects daredevils crazy enough to take on the Viper Challenge. Just to give you an idea of how hot a Naga Viper chili is, Tabasco sauce ranks about 5,000 units on the Scoville Scale, whereas the tiny pepper is ranked at 1,359,000 units. That’s 2,500 times hotter than a Jalapeno.

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The Mind-Blowing Installations of Bloemencorso, an Annual Flower Parade in the Netherlands

Held every year in the Dutch town of Zundert, Bloemencorso is the world’s largest flower parade made entirely by volunteers. Millions of flowers are used to decorate giant floats built from steel wire, cardboard and papier-maché.

The Netherlands is inextricably linked to tulips, but at the annual Bloemencorso flower parade, it’s all about dahlias, as these are the only flowers used to decorate giant floats made of steel wire, cardboard and papier-maché. Every year, members of 20 hamlets from the tiny town of Zundert (population 20,000) work hard to win the title of most beautiful flower float in show. Preparations begin months before the big event, as the older members of the hamlets are tasked with  planting and growing the colorful dahlias needed to cover the larger-than-life installations. Although Bloemencorso takes place on the first Sunday in September, tents are set up around town in May and June, and from then on, members of the competing hamlets start working on their masterpieces. They discuss design ideas and building techniques, but it’s the three days before the big event that are the most stressful. Because the flowers have to be fresh, contestants can only start applying the dahlias on the Thursday before Bloemencorso. If need be, hamlets will work night and day putting needles through the flowers, and sticking them in just the right spots on the cardboard body of their mobile installations. But all the effort pays off once these mind-blowing creations make their way through the streets of Zundert leaving crowds of spectators in awe.

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Edible Deodorant Tastes Sweet, Makes You Smell Like Roses

Did you ever think there would come a day when the sweets you eat actually make you smell sweet as well? Well, my friends, that day is today! Introducing Deo Perfume Candy, the edible deodorant that makes you smell like fresh roses from a stunningly beautiful valley in Bulgaria.

Actually, the concept has been around for some time, but food company Beneo is finally introducing it on the US market, in the form of Deo Perfume Candy. Humans have known about the connection between what we eat and what we smell like for a while, but it was a group of Japanese researchers who discovered that eating geraniol makes people smell sweet. There was even a chewing gum called Otoko Kaoru (“man scent”) launched years ago, but it didn’t really catch on and it was soon discontinued. Now Beneo has teamed up with Bulgarian confectioner Alpi to create Deo, a special candy that will apparently turn you into a walking air-freshener for up to six hours. “Geraniol is a natural antioxidant and its fragrance, once consumed as a candy, leaves the body through its pores, creating a naturally sweet smell that can last for hours,” a press release on Beneo’s website explains. The company recommends one serving size for a person weighing 145 pounds.

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WOW Orc Assassin Wins Seat in State Senate

“So I’m a level 68 orc rogue girl. That means I stab things…a lot! Who would have thought that a peace-lovin’, social worker and democrat would enjoy that?!” This was the statement that won World of Warcraft gamer Colleen Lachowicz a seat in Maine’s State Senate.

Democrat Colleen Lachowicz has recently won a seat representing Maine’s Senate District 25, and believe it or not, her Republican adversaries helped her to it. It just so happens that Colleen is an avid gamer who spends a lot of time playing the incredibly popular online multiplayer video-game World of Warcraft. In this fantasy universe she is known as Santiaga, a level 85 orc rogue assassin, who as the player herself admits, spends a lot of time stabbing things. Little did she know that her gaming antics would actually help her win a seat in the State Senate. Apparently, her Republican Party rivals thought it would be a good idea to set up a website portraying Lachowicz as someone with a “bizarre double life”, and making her look like a violent person by describing her in-game behavior. This uninspired smear campaign actually won Lachowicz international support from the gaming community and eventually helped her won the race for the Senate.

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Artist Recreates LOTR Bag End with 2,600 Balloons

If you think balloon animals are cool, this inflated replica of the Baggins family residence, from the Lord of the Rings, will probably blow you away. Famous balloon artist Jeremy Telford recently spent 40 hours recreating Bag End from 2,600 balloons.

We’ve featured some pretty cool balloon-made stuff here on Oddity Central, from balloon costumes, to life-size dinosaurs and even giant spiders, so this latest creation by Jeremy Telford is in good company. The talented artist from Pleasant Grove, Utah spent a whole weekend twisting balloons and tying them together, ultimately transforming his living room into a unique replica of Bag End, the famous Bagging residence, featured in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Sure it’s not as accurate as the one depicted in Peter Jackson’s movies, but I’d like to see anyone do a better job, using only balloons. Paying great attention to details, Telford created the actual Hobbiton smial, as well as interior accessories like the small candle chandelier, a cozy fireplace and all the furniture described by Tolkien in his books. In a comment left on The One Ring community website, Jeremy said: “I planned it out a little bit. I googled 18th English furniture styles to give me a platform to jump from. I read the Hobbit again (not a chore!) to gleen what I could of the description of Bag End. Then I did some initial sketches before starting the big build.”

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