Controversial Weight Loss Device Lets You Eat Like a Pig Then Pumps Your Stomach

Cashing in on people’s desperation to lose weight is a new device that’s pretty much the medical equivalent of bulimia. Its main function is to pump out the contents of a user’s stomach, right after a heavy meal.

The makers of ‘AspireAssist’ claim to have already helped hundreds of patients in the US shed copious amounts of fat, some dropping as much as a 100 pounds. The controversial product will also be available in the UK within a few months, but hundreds of critics are speaking up against the outrageous device, warning that it is a stop-gap measure that fails to address the real cause of obesity.

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The Man Who Made Millions by Selling Rocks as Pets

Gary Ross Dahl, who died earlier this year at age 78, will always be remembered for inventing the ‘Pet Rock’, a 1970s novelty toy craze. The brilliant salesman essentially sold rocks for a living, and managed to make millions through his “ridiculously successful marketing scheme.”

Although he began his career as an advertising copywriter, Dahl quickly turned entrepreneur when his idea of selling rocks as pets took off. It all started one night in the mid-’70s, while having a drink at a local bar in Los Gatos, California. People around him were talking about pets, and about how difficult it was to feed, walk and clean up after them.

Struck by sudden inspiration, Dahl declared that he had no such trouble with his own pet. “I have a pet rock,” he told the crowd. And his response was so well received that he began to toy with the idea, eventually setting up a business around it.

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This Wasp’s Sting Is So Excruciating You can’t Help but Fall Down and Start Screaming

The Tarantula Hawk is a type of wasp with an excruciatingly painful sting that lasts only three minutes, but feels like a lifetime. The pain, rated four (highest) on the Schmidt sting pain index,  is best described as “fiercely electric”. Bug experts and people who have been stung claim the pain is a lot like getting electrocuted. And the best strategy to deal with it is – get this – to lie down and start screaming!

According to a report in the Journal of the Kansas Entomology Society, “Tarantula hawks produce large quantities of venom and their stings produce immediate, intense, excruciating short term pain in envenomed humans.” The report adds that “the instantaneous pain of a tarantula hawk sting is the greatest recorded for any stinging insect,” but “the venom itself lacks meaningful vertebrate toxicity.” In other words, the wasp’s sting isn’t deadly, but it’s so painful that it’ll make you want to die.

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Legendary Artist Transforms Himself into His Late Wife

When artist and musician Genesis P-Orridge met his future wife for the first time, in 1993, she dressed him up in her clothes, makeup, and a wig, transforming him into her lookalike. That, in essence, was his first step towards self-transformation, two decades in the making. To this day, even though his wife Jaye has passed on, Genesis continues their love affair by trying to become her.

Genesis, who was born Neil Megson, was already a controversial musician, artist, and a pioneer of modern body transformation in the ’70s and ’80s, long before he met his wife. His 1976 art collective COUM Transmissions, staged an exhibition called ‘Prostitution’, which featured pornographic photographs, sculptures made of used tampons, and transvestite security guards. He had his genitals pierced in the early ’80s, making it to the front page of many British publications.

But his highly unconventional life got even more bizarre after his first meeting with Jacqueline Breyer, a.k.a Lady Jaye. Genesis fell hard for the tall, blond registered nurse, who shared his passion for body modification.  “She told me she saw me as a mirror image of her, and that we were meant to be two halves of one,” Genesis recalls of that first meeting. Since then the two became inseparable.

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Controversial Mayor Called ‘The Punisher’ Turns Philippines’ Most Violent City into the Most Peaceful

Rodrigo Duterte, the Mayor of Davao City, Philippines, is being hailed as ‘The Punisher’ for his controversial crime fighting strategies. Despite being a government official, Duterte allegedly uses vigilante methods that have elicited severe criticism across the world. But in Davao, he’s considered a hero. During his long mandate, he’s transformed the city once known as the murder capital of the Philippines into what many call “the most peaceful city in Southeast Asia”.

The Punisher is a comic book and movie character who will stop at nothing to keep criminals in check. He resorts to violence, torture and even murder in his war against wrongdoers. Some say Duterte isn’t very different. Although he has never openly admitted being involved in the kidnappings and executions of various crime lords in Davao, his controversial comments on crime and encouragement of vigilante activity have convinced a lot of people that he is indeed a real-life Punisher.

“If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination,” Mr Duterte said in 2009. Three years later, during a press conference, he reportedly offered a $120,000 reward to whomever brought him the head of an alleged gang leader, and a $24,000 bonus if it was brought in a bag of ice, “so it won’t smell so bad”.

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Stupid ‘Sunburn Art’ Trend Puts People at Risk of Skin Cancer

Thousands of Instagrammers around the world are risking skin cancer in a bid to follow the latest online craze – ‘sunburn art’.

One of the unhealthiest trends to hit social media in recent years, sunburn art involves using sunscreen or stencils on parts of their body to burn various designs into their skin. The sunburn patterns range from straight lines to floral themes and abstract shapes. Some designs cover a small patch of skin, while others span the entire body.

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World’s Most Exclusive Site Can Only Be Accessed by One Person per Minute

With his online experiment, Reddit user Justin Foley is demonstrating the power exclusivity. He’s proving how people will fall for pretty much anything – or nothing – by merely tagging it ‘exclusive’.

Foley set up a portal called ‘mostexclusivewebsite.com’, consisting of just a few lines of text and a counter. Access is granted to only one person at a 60-second interval. With the click of a button, you will be added to a virtual line of over 2,500 people (at the time of this writing), waiting to gain access. If you close the website window, the ticket is lost.

“The internet was designed to be open and accessible; what if I made a design that was the antithesis of one of the defining qualities of the internet?” Foley told The Washington Post. He added that about one in nine people are making it inside the website – the rest leave before their number is called. And Wired.co.uk explaines why: “The website is simple, and the concept both alluring and incredibly frustrating.”

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Teen Dies of Leukemia, His 7 Friends Look After His Lonely Mother for 11 Years

This heartwarming tale from Hefei, in East China, proves that true friendship has the power to transcend death. For the past 11 years, Sheng Ru-zhi, a lonely mother who lost her son to leukemia, has been looked after by seven of his friends!

It all started in 2001, when Zhang Kai, a teenager, was diagnosed with the deadly disease. Seven of his closest friends from school constantly visited Zhang at his home, taking care of both mother and son. When Zhang passed away in 2004, the devastated Sheng thought she’d have to spend the rest of her life in solitude. But the seven friends had other plans. They continued to visit her as usual, caring for her as Zhang would have.

Sheng still remembers the moment she realised she wasn’t going to spend her life alone after all. “I was alone at the time,” she recalled. “They came into my house and filled it with life again.”

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Russian Homeless Video Blogger Finds Fame and Fortune Online

A homeless man in Moscow has steadily been building himself an army of followers online ever since he started video blogging in May. The self-confessed ‘bum-blogger’ says his videos are so popular because they “show you the Moscow you have not yet seen “.

Many of the homeless blogger’s videos have gone viral in Russia, and his YouTube channel – where he goes by ‘Zhenya Yakut’ – now has over 35,000 subscribers. His most-viewed videos have nearly half a million hits, and he has over 3,000 followers on Instagram. Yakut, 43, says he’s been homeless for five years now. Through his videos, he tries to give people the low-down about life as a homeless man in Moscow, including “where to eat for free, to sleep, to wash up, where to go, what to see.”

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Artist Paints Incredibly Realistic Portraits on His Palms, Then Stamps Them on Paper

California-based Russell Powell is without a doubt one of the most talented and original artists we have ever featured on Oddity Central. The young artist is able to paint incredibly detailed portraits on the palm of his left hand, before stamping it on a paper canvas to create a permanent imprint of the artwork.

Powell calls the process ‘hand-stamping’; it’s a tricky technique because not only does he use the irregular surface of his palm to create detailed works of art, he also needs to work fast to complete the portrait before the paint dries, for a clear imprint. The end result, however, is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Architecture Graduate Builds His Office Out of 8,500 Beer Bottles

Li Rongjun, an aspiring architect from China, has built himself an spectacular office. In a bid to showcase his mad construction skills, he’s used 8,500 beer bottles to make the entire upper floor of a two-storey building!

The 300-square foot office, located in Chongqing city, consists of 40 layers of bottles that Li and his father laid out over four months. Pictures show how he cleverly stacked the bottles in rows with the bottoms facing inward sand filling the gaps with stones and cement.

“I wanted to build an artistic and usable office,” said Li, who graduated from the Inner Mongolia University of Science and Technology this year. “This building is also my calling card for my future business plans. It will allow investors to see my products in real life and see my talent.”

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Deep Springs College – An Exclusive All-Male College in the Middle of a California Desert

One of the most exclusive colleges in the world is located bang in the middle of the remote high California desert. The institution accepts only 12 male students a year, and believe it or not, it consistently tops Harvard’s yield rate!

Deep Springs College, founded in 1917, is unusual in every imaginable way. It has a miniscule student body, an alfalfa-farm-and-cattle-ranch campus, and a mandatory 20 hours of manual labor per week. In fact, the college was built on the concepts of self-governance, manual labor, and rigorous academics. So the 24-odd guys up there spend their college years studying hard and, farming even harder.

Located in the Inyo-White Mountains, just east of the Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, the campus spans 50 square miles in Deep Springs Valley. It offers a two-year liberal arts course, technically making it a junior college. But according to Vanity Fair, “Roughly 80 percent go on as juniors to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Oxford, while the remainder typically embark on a year of service first.” This places Deep Springs college in a category of its own.

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Spanish Town That Runs on Twitter Shows Off the Power of Social Media

Twitter, along with countless other social media websites, is often viewed as a productivity killer. But a small town in Spain has actually been using the platform to improve communication between authorities and the people. In fact, Twitter is so important to the people of Jun that they actually built a monument of the iconic ‘blue bird’ in the town’s square.

Since September 2011, the 3,500-strong community has used Twitter to spread local news, developments, job opportunities, orbituaries, and even school dinner menus! Residents book doctor’s appointments, register consumer complaints, and report crimes through their tweets. Jun’s Mayor, José Antonio Rodriguez Salas, has his own account, with a massive following of over 340,000. Locals can contact the Mayor by tweeting him directly.

All the town’s public services, including the police force, have their own Twitter accounts. The force, consisting of only one officer, drives a squad car with [email protected] painted on the bonnet. In fact, the bird logo can be seen everywhere, including the Mayor’s office. Even the guy who sweeps the streets tweets amusing messages, with before and after shots of his handiwork.  The town’s elderly aren’t ignored either – there’s a special program in place to teach them how to use the internet and social media.

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Down Cafe – A Turkish Cafe That Only Employs Workers with Down Syndrome

A café in Istanbul is making headlines for exclusively hiring people with Down syndrome. The aptly named ‘Down Café’ employs staff between the ages of 18 and 25, and aims to empower them with self-confidence and independence.

Saruhan Singen, who founded the café in the Sisli district of Istanbul, said that he was inspired by his own experience of raising a daughter with Down syndrome. She now works at the café as well. “I have Sezil and I think she is a gift to me  to understand others like her,” Singen said. “When we think about the number of people with Down syndrome, there is not a wide range of career paths available.”

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Guy Tries Wearing High Heels for a Day to Prove Women Are Whiners, Fails Misearbly

Sick of listening to women constantly complain about having to wear high heels, one man challenged himself to wear high heels for a whole day to prove “that girls are huge complainers.” It didn’t go exactly as he planned…

As any woman will tell you, high heels can make your legs look sexy, but wearing them for long periods of time is no picnic on your feet. Even single-sole pumps and platforms will prove painful if you stand or walk in them long enough, but Brandon Cohen, a video correspondent with BroBible.com, actually went for the worst possible option – full-fledged stilettos. He meant to spend a whole day in them, doing all kinds of activities to prove his point, but only managed to keep them on from 8:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m, most of which he spent sitting, because he couldn’t stand anymore.

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