Man Takes Holiday from Being Human to Live as a Goat

Thomas Thwaites, a conceptual designer from England, is passionate about how humans could use technology to fulfill desires. So in September 2014, he spent six days at a farm in the Swiss Alps, using technology to realise his dream of living like a goat!

Thwaites designed special prosthetic limbs that allowed him to move on all fours, and even had a fake stomach fitted so he could graze on the open meadows. “My goal was to take a holiday from the pain and worry of being a self-conscious being, able to regret the past and worry about the future,” he said. He wanted to experience being a “nonhuman animal,” which he believed would be a lot “calmer and simpler” without the “existential terror” of everyday life.

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Hair Salon Teaches Fathers to Do Their Daughters’ Hair by Tempting Them with Beer

There’s something quite special about dads doing their daughters’ hair – celebrating the fact is Denver salon owner Calli Huebl-Bodilis. She regularly hosts a hairdressing workshop called ‘Beer and Braids’ for dads and their little girls at her salon, Envogue.

The workshop – priced at $55 – provides one-on-one training to six dads on ponytail, braid, and bun basics. They get hands-on practice on their own daughters’ hair, after which the little girls put on a fashion show that is judged by stylists. The winning dad gets a six-pack of beer, while all the girls are gifted goody bags with hair products.

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English Director Stages Shakespeare Play with Sheep instead of Human Actors

A new adaptation of the Shakespeare classic King Lear features a bizarre cast – one human and nine sheep! 24-year-old Alasdair Saksena plays the human, a director who tries to persuade his cast of sheep to perform the tragedy. ‘King Lear with Sheep’ is, needless to say, every bit as absurd and hilarious as it sounds.

The play is the brainchild of actor Saksena, writer Missouri Williams, and producer Lucie Elven – all in their early 20s. The idea came about after Missouri, having worked on a tour of King Lear with a human cast, got sick of them. “There’s little references to sheep within the text that I think planted the idea in Missouri’s head,” Saksena said. “And so she decided to do King Lear with sheep and me. And I thought, you can’t really say no to that, can you?”

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According to Saksena, the reason why this adaptation works is the thin line between tragedy and comedy. “Lear is so tragic and sheep are so untragic that it just sort of works – it comes together and is either desperately sad or desperately funny depending on what mood is catching at that particular point of time,” he explained. Read More »

Introducing Okilly Dokilly, the World’s First Ned Flanders-Themed Metal Band

Phoenix-based heavy-metal outfit ‘Okilly Dokilly’ call themselves the world’s first ‘Nedal’ (Ned+metal) band – a tribute to the well-meaning, yet super-annoying Simpsons character Ned Flanders.

The members of Arizona’s most ‘neighborly’ rock band are bespectacled, mustachioed, and always dressed in Flanders’ signature costume – pink shirt, grey trousers, and green sweater. They even have creative names for themselves – Head Ned – vocals; Red Ned – synth; Thread Ned – bass; Stead Ned – guitar; and Bled Ned – drums. Most of their songs feature ‘direct Ned quotes’.

Lead singer Head Ned revealed that the idea for the band came about when he was shopping for groceries one day. “Myself and our drummer were in line at a grocery store, entertaining ourselves by coming up with really cutesy names for really hardcore, brutal bands,” he said, speaking to Australian magazine Rip It Up. “The name Okilly Dokilly came up and was very funny to us.”

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Barber Gives Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him

Courtney Homes, a barber at Dubuque’s Spark Family Hair Salon, recently came up with unique way of charging children for haircuts – he asked for stories instead of money! He’s passionate about supporting kids reading, so he had his little clients read out loud to him as he worked on their hair.

“The kids would come in, and I would say, “Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can’t read it, I’ll help you understand and we can read it together,” Holmes told reporters. “To be honest, I was amazed, the line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.”

Homes conducted the unique initiative during the second annual Back to School Bash at the city’s Comiskey Park. Lots of kids showed up to get free haircuts and read to Homes in return.

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Alabama Church Opens Gun Range “in the Name of Jesus Christ”

An Alabama church has shocked the nation by converting an unused patch of land on the church grounds into a gun range for parishioners. It appears that the members of Rocky Mount United Methodist Church, in Jemison, unanimously voted to mix religion and guns, “in the name of Jesus Christ.”

“We have had this large hole in the back of our property at the church for quite some time, and we thought it would be neat to start a gun range,” said Pastor Phil Guin. “The hole was primarily filled with kudzu, and had been used at one time to get fill dirt for the new facility that was built on the end of our church building.”

“We started working on the gun range about a year ago with some of the members of our church helping to clean out the hole,” the pastor added. “Not only did we think it would be a good outlet for members of our church to be able to learn more about gun safety, but it would be a good outreach for the community.” According to pastor Guin, a lot of the church’s female members owned or carried firearms but didn’t know how to use them.

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New York Lawyer Charged with Fraud Demands Trial by Combat

In a real-life story that seems taken out of George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, a New York lawyer accused of fraud is actually asking for a trial by combat to settle a legal dispute.

Richard Luthmann says his bizarre request may sound ludicrous to most people, but it certainly isn’t against the law. He pointed out that the right to Trial by Combat was technically never outlawed in the state of New York, or anywhere else in America. “The common law of Britain was in effect in New York in 1776,” he told reporters “And the Ninth Amendment of the Constitution recognises the penumbra of those rights. It’s still on the books.” Historically, trial by combat was indeed a little-used but accepted aspect of English common law.

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Abandoned Chinese Village Reclaimed by Nature Becomes Tourist Attraction

It really doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to reclaim her territory, slowly obliterating all signs of human occupation, if we only allow it. Case in point is the abandoned Chinese village of Houtou Wan which, within a span of 50 years, has become a beautiful secret garden completely covered in lush vegetation.  

Houtou Wan village is located on one of the 394 Shengsi Islands of China’s Yangtze River. It used to be a thriving fishing town a few decades ago, but it was gradually abandoned as the number of fishing vessels outgrew the size of the bay and the population was forced to relocate. All but a handful of villagers left Hotou Wan in the last half century, leaving nature to work her magic on the settlement. The result is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Guy Known as “Captain Beany” Gets 60 Baked Beans Tattooed on His Head

Last year, an eccentric Welshman celebrated his 60th birthday by having 60 baked beans tattooed on his bald head! It sounds strange, but it was for a good cause.

Barry Kirk has loved baked beans all his life. So much so that in 1986, he spent 100 hours in a bathtub filled with beans, and earned a world record for it. Since then, Kirk has always associated himself with baked beans, earning himself the nickname ‘Captain Beany’. “Having the bean tattoos is just another step in my lifelong love of the baked bean,” Kirk said with a smile. “Now everywhere I go, people can see that I am full of beans – with the tattoos on my head.”

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Texas Judge Sentences Man to Marry Girlfriend or Go to Jail

A Texas Judge recently sparked controversy for making young Josten Bundy choose between spending 15 days in jail or marrying his 19-year-old girlfriend Elizabeth Jaynes. He took – what he thought was – the easy way out. 

It all started in February, when Bundy got into a fight with Jaynes’s ex-boyfriend. “[He] had been saying disrespectful things about Elizabeth, so I challenged him to a fight,” Bundy said. “He stepped in and I felt like it was on and I hit him in the jaw twice.” The ex, according to Bundy, did not require medical attention, but he pressed charges anyway.  “I took matters into my own hands and I know that’s wrong,” he later admitted. “I know I was raised better, but it happened.”

At one point during the hearing, Judge Randall Rogers asked Bundy if his girlfriend was worth it, to which he replied: “Well, to be honest sir, I was raised with four sisters and any man was talking to a woman like that I’d probably do the same thing.” And that’s when the judge threw Bundy a curveball. He’d have to marry Jaynes within 30 days, or spend 15 days in jail.

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Artisanal Currency, a Refreshing and Totally Legal Way to Pay

Have you ever seen currency notes so beautiful that you’d actually hesitate to spend them? Well, they’re called ‘artisanal currency’, and they’re all the rage in several parts of the world, including London, Amsterdam, and New York. The concept is quite similar to artisanal coffee, cheese, or chocolate that is handmade, not mass produced.

According to The New York Times, “these are small-batch currencies designed by locals and lovingly handled by millennials, who came of age during the rise of the Internet.” Interestingly, this local currency is not meant to be a collectible, but is legally accepted at cash-only community businesses so that the money stays within the town or district.

London’s Brixton district, for example, has its own artisanal currency designed by award-winning artist Jeremy Deller. His £5 notes feature a “fuzzy, psychedelic image of an androgynous face surrounded by rainbow clouds and swirling etchings.” Deller said that he wanted to create “something old-fashioned looking, something almost pre-currency.” And the people of Brixton are quite pleased with their own special pound notes. “I’d be more inclined to save money if it all looked like that,” said Ewan Graham, a 31-year-old architect.

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The WalkCar, a Japanese Gadget Designed to Make Walking Obsolete

Thanks to Japanese engineer Kuniako Saito’s new invention, walking could soon become a thing of the past. He’s created a portable transportation device called ‘WalkCar’, which he describes as the world’s first ‘car in a bag’.

The WalkCar is about the size of a laptop, and is somewhat similar to a skateboard in terms of functionality. According to Saito, the gadget is very easy to use – just stand on it and it starts, step off it and it stops. To change directions, users simply have to shift their weight towards the left or right. Uphill or downhill travel can be achieved by applying pressure forwards or backwards.

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Manipur, the Indian State Ruled by Korean Pop-Culture

Despite being a part of India, the northern state of Manipur can culturally be described as Korean. Ever since local authorities banned Bollywood movies and Hindi TV channels in a bid to “stamp out Indianisation”, a vast majority of the local population have turned to Korean pop-culture. They are now big fans of Korean films and music, and have adopted various elements of Korean culture. 

It all started with Airarang TV, a 24-hour network from Seoul, being broadcast in Manipur. As the channel grew in popularity, so did the demand for more programming from Korea. It wasn’t long before Korean cinema caught on as well, with pirated DVDs flooding Manipur’s markets.

To understand the Manipuri fascination with Korean pop culture, it make sense to first look at why the ban on Indian cinema was imposed in the first place. “Since the late ’90s, the people of Manipur are facing a cultural forbiddance imposed by a radical, fringe institution in the name of preserving the local culture,” writes Mahitha Kasireddi, in an opinion piece in the Indian online publication, Youth Ki Awaaz.

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Texas Industrial Worker Has Welding Down to an Art

There are plenty of artists out there who use welding as a part of their creative process, but none that I can think of actually make the welds their artworks.

That’s what makes Scott Raabe so special. The Texas-based industrial welder is so good at what he does that his welding works are pieces of art in their own right. I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure pipe welding isn’t supposed to be this visually appealing. However, there’s something about the seemingly perfect way Scott weaves the welding beads between two pieces of metal that makes you want to stare at his works for hours on end.

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Chinese Millionaire Gives Up Fortune, Lives in Isolation for Two Years to Become Buddhist Monk

We thought Indian millionaire Bhanwarlal Raghunath – who gave up his fortune to become a monk – was one of a kind, but we were wrong. Meet Liu Jingchong, a rich Chinese businessman who has also renounced his wealth for monkhood.

Jingchong, 39, was bitten by the spiritual bug in 2012, after a freak car accident. “It is true that I earned a lot of money and I can’t say I hated my life,” he told the media. “I would say that I even loved it, but all that changed when friends of mine and I had a car accident in a remote part of the country in northwestern China’s Qinghai province.”

“We needed to get a new car and not all of us were fit to travel immediately,” Jingchong recalled. “But as I was relatively okay, I stayed in a hotel where about the only thing to do was read a book on Buddhism. I have to say it changed my life.”

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