Iceland Brewery Makes Beer from Smoked Whale Testicles

We’ve seen some pretty weird things done with beer in the past – zombie beer brewed with smoked goat brains, garlic-flavored beer, and even a beer-based breakfast spread. But this Icelandic beer has got to be the most outrageous beverage we’ve ever come across. Believe it or not, it’s flavored with fin whale testicles smoked in sheep poop!

The special edition beer is a product of Icelandic microbrewery Steðji – they came up with the blend for the country’s mid-winter festival Thorrablot, which starts next week. Named Hvalur 2, the drink has an alcohol content of 5.2 percent. “We smoke the testicle by the old Icelandic way, with dried Sheep shit, and this method gives the beer a really unique smoke flavor,” said Steðji co-owner Dagbjartur Arilíusson. “At Thorrablot, we eat ram’s testicles, rotten shark, soured whale fat, etc, as we did in the old days. We think this product will suit the festival really well.”

Interestingly, Hvlaur 2 is actually the second whale-flavored beer from the brewery. Last year they teamed up with whale hunting firm Hvalur to make a beer out of whale meal, a byproduct of processing whale meat. That beer was temporarily banned by public health authorities. This year though, the brewery claims that they have all the necessary permits to sell Hvalur 2.

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Humane Bullfighting in Costa Rica – No one Can Hurt the Bull but the Bull Can Kill Anyone

While the bullfights of Spain and Mexico generally don’t end well for the bull, Costa Ricans prefer to do things differently. Since cattle are revered as a source of income for thousands of farming families in the nation, they don’t consider it practical to kill bulls for sport. Although bullfights are a main event at Zapote – the annual Costa Rican bull festival – the bulls always leave the arena unscathed.

Corridas de toros (bullfights) are held all through the year in Costa Rica, but Zapote’s is considered to be the country’s grandest event. At the end of each year, cattle farmers from all over the nation haul their bulls and gather at the capital, for the much-awaited celebration. And instead of glorifying man’s power over the beast, the bullfights during Zapote celebrate bulls. The animals are never to be killed, only dodged.

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Russia’s Lake Karachay – The Most Contaminated Place on Earth

Although breathtakingly beautiful, Russia’s Lake Karachay is probably the last place on earth you’d want to choose for a lakeside retreat. Just standing next to the picturesque shore for an hour would give you a radiation dose of 600 roentgen, more than enough to kill you. At its height, the lake was putting out more than 200,000 times the normal amount of radioactivity, due to poor waste disposal practices.

Nestled deep in Russia’s Ural Mountains, close to the modern Kazakhstan border, Lake Karachay falls within the Mayak Production Association, one of the country’s largest (and leakiest) nuclear facilities. Built in the 1940s, immediately after World War II, Mayak was one of Russia’s most important nuclear weapons factories and was inaccessible to foreigners for 45 years. But when President Boris Yeltsin signed a decree in 1992 that opened up the area, visiting scientists who gained access immediately declared it the most polluted area on the planet. It seems that in its long period of obscurity, Mayak was the site of numerous nuclear-related accidents, some almost as devastating as the Chernobyl meltdown.

Nuclear engineers at Mayak apparently dumped radioactive waste into the nearby Techa river quite regularly. The watered down waste that they discarded rather carelessly was a mixture of radioactive elements such as Strontium-90 and Cesium-137, each with a half-life of approximately 30 years.

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Former Khmer Rouge Child Soldier Has Spent the Last Two Decades Cleaning Cambodia of Mines, Alone and without Protection

Modern Cambodian hero Aki Ra has made it his life’s mission to rid his nation of land mines. The one-man army spends most of his day chopping vegetation in fields and delicately prodding the areas that set off his metal detector. More often than not, he uncovers hockey-puck sized antipersonnel land mines, and destroys them with a controlled explosion. “I want to make my country safe for my people,” he said.

There was a time when Cambodia was plagued by over six million land mines buried underground in paddy fields and lush jungles, ready to indiscriminately murder soldiers and innocent children alike. The devices were once used by the nation’s warring factions, including the notorious Khmer Rouge, to finish their enemies.

Aki Ra, who used to be a child soldier for Khmer Rouge, has spent over 22 years of his life single-handedly removing land mines that were left behind unexploded. Between 1992 and 2007, he was able to rid his homeland of a whopping 50,000 mines, armed with nothing but a pocket knife, pliers, a stick, and his bare hands.

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Handimals – Italian Artist Can Turn His Hands into Incredibly Realistic Animals

Award-winning Italian artist Guido Daniele has an exceptional talent – he can transform human hands into ‘handimals’, hyper-realistic animal portraits.

With a career as an illustrator spanning over 40 years, Guido began to explore and experiment with body art and using the human body as a canvas in 1990. Gradually, he perfected the art of making his models contort their bodies into specific positions and using his painting skills to turn them into realistic portraits and scenes.

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At This Chinese Restaurant Good-Looking People Eat for Free

Who needs money when you have a pretty face, right?. At Jeju Island, a Korean eatery in Zhengzhou city, China, people are allowed to dine at no charge if they happen to be among the five most beautiful patrons of the day. Hanging outside the establishment last Saturday was a bold sign that stated: “Free Meal for Goodlooking”.

If you think the practice is bizarre, wait till you hear who the judges are – a panel of local plastic surgeons! All those hoping to earn a free meal are taken to a ‘beauty identification area’, where they are photographed. The doctors then evaluate the potential diners on the quality of their faces, eyes, noses, and mouths.

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Meet Philly Jesus – The Former Drug Addict Who Became a “Walking Billboard for the King of Kings”

Once a heroin addict, young Michael Grant managed to turn his life around and become Philly Jesus, one of Philadelphia’s most iconic characters. Since April last year, the 28-year-old has been hanging out at LOVE park, in Center City, dressed as Jesus Christ. “I’m not the real Jesus,” he admits upfront. “I’m just a huge fan. I’m doing it as a walking billboard for the King of Kings.”

Every day, Grant walks seven miles to LOVE Park, carrying with him a 12-foot wooden cross with wheels at the bottom that he made himself. “This is my way of letting my light shine, by carrying a cross in the ‘hood’,” he explained. “This is my way of sharing Jesus without preaching a blow horn and condemning people. It’s like making a statement. When they look at me, I don’t want them to see Michael, I want them to see Jesus.”

Grant, who was raised in a Catholic family, is the older of two brothers. His mother says that he was always a creative child, did theater and loved drawing. He even went to a clown school, where he learned to juggle knives and torches. “He liked people’s reactions, so he always liked reaching people that way,” she said.

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Iranian Designers Create Salt Restaurant That Filters Polluted Urban Air

The aptly named Salt Restaurant in Shiraz, southern Iran, is completely made of salt. The walls, bar, tables and chairs are entirely made of the white mineral; even the stairs have a smooth, salty coating.

The unique restaurant is the brainchild of Iranian firm Emtiaz Designing Group, who used salt as the main construction material in order to promote the concept of green construction. They created the building using environmentally sustainable, locally sourced, affordable salt, powder and rock. “In this particular case, the walls, structural sculptures and ceilings are made from salt sourced from the nearby salt mines and salt lake of Shiraz which was mixed with natural gum to harden it,” said a spokesperson of the firm.

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Guy Quits Office Job to Become Professional Zombie

When 26-year-old Alex Noble realied that his job in finance was taking the life out of him, he decided to quit and pursue a career with the undead. The horror fan from Cardiff now works as a professional zombie – in case you’re wondering, that is a real job.

Alex explained that he has always been interested in zombies. For five years, he worked as a zombie extra in films, TV, and games. He mostly worked for free, but the experience finally paid off when he was offered a position at Slingshot, the company that runs the zombie chase game ‘2.8 Hours Later’.

“People started noticing me, because I was doing things differently,” he said. “I had a niche look and I was doing the movements and noises differently.”

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At China’s Most Hardcore High-School Teachers Employ Army-Style Tactics to Best Educate Students

Tucked away in the mountains of China’s Anhui province, in the sleepy little town of Mao Tan Chang, is one of the world’s most intense educational institutions. Over 20,000 students (that’s four times the local population) at Mao Tan Chang High School study day and night with very little rest to prepare for the gaokao, a highly competitive national college entrance exam.

Most of these students come from rural areas as their parents know that acing the dreaded gaokao could open up a host of opportunities, allowing them to escape a farmer’s life. Mao Tan Chang helps them achieve their goals by creating an environment that encourages serious study, and little else. The school’s strategy is simple – everything that isn’t related to academics is banned.

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Japanese Company Fills Offices with Cats to Help Employees Unwind and Improve Productivity

In a cramped city like Tokyo, where owning a pet is a luxury and most apartments have strict no-pets policies, it’s hard for cat lovers to spend quality time with their favorite animals. In response, cat cafés have cropped up all over the city, where people get to sip delicious beverages while petting a purring kitty. But even that doesn’t come close to having a cat in your own home, because the time spent with the furry creatures is quite limited.

That’s why a Japanese company has come up with a great idea to get its employees to interact with pets more often – a cat-populated workplace! The offices of Ferray Corporation, an internet solutions business, is filled with nine lovable rescued cats that are allowed to roam freely all through the day. The cats are so adorable that employees of Ferray are reporting considerably lowered stress levels.

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Indian Man Finally Gets Fired after Skipping Work for 24 Years

An employee of India’s Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been found guilty of ‘wilful absence of duty’ – believe it or not – for the past 24 years! Assistant executive engineer A.K. Verma went off sick from work one morning in 1990, and he simply never returned.

“He went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned, and defied directions to report to work,” the department told the media last Thursday. Verma is said to have joined the CPWD in 1980, and risen to the rank of executive engineer in 1990.

Although he came under investigation in 1992, he was only fired this month. Formal proceedings to dismiss him did not start until 2007, and it took seven more years for the department to actually reach a decision to sack him. Ultimately, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu ordered his dismissal, in order to ‘streamline the functioning of the CPWD and to ensure accountability’.

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Whiz Kids Use Imaginary Abacus to Solve Complex Math Calculations

In a highly impressive display of mental prowess, young South Asian children are able to solve complex math calculations within seconds simply by flicking their fingers through thin air. Their secret tool –  an imaginary abacus.

News reports on the Mind Mathlon 2014 program held at the Robotics Lab of the Karachi Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship in March described young children raising and flicking their fingers to keep track of long series of numbers and solve calculations with mind-blowing accuracy.  They were apparently taught to use their hands as the beads of an abacus – an ancient calculating tool – to add and subtract at the speed of a calculator.

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See the World through Animal Eyes with These Bizarre Metal Helmets

It’s easy to assume that there’s only one way to view the world, but in reality, different species perceive their surroundings very differently, based on the shape of their heads and the positioning of their eyes. We may never know if they see things that we can’t, but with this new range of immersive helmets, humans can finally get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in an animal’s shoes. Or head!

The fascinating aluminium helmets were created by Irish artists Anne Cleary and Dennis Connolly, from the architecture firm Cleary Connolly. Inspired by the pioneering experiments of psychologist George Malcolm Stratton in the early twentieth century, the duo spent several years trying to invent a device that could explore ‘the mysteries of visual perception’.

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Homeless Bodybuilder Uses the Streets of Paris as His Gym

50-year-old Sayagh Jacques has a rather unusual hobby for a homeless man – bodybuilding. Although he’s been living on the streets of Paris for years, he hasn’t let his homeless status stop him from training harder than most people, and maintaining his six pack abs. I suppose it goes to show that if you’re really passionate about something, you can make it happen under any circumstances.

Jacques has no qualms about working out right in the middle of the street. When people give him money, he doesn’t use it to smoke or drink. Instead, he tries to eat specific foods that will help him gain muscle. He’s also managed to procure a few pieces of makeshift equipment – a cable and a few ropes – that he ties to lamp poles and park fences. He uses these to do basic bodyweight exercises like pull ups, push ups, pullovers and rows.

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