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Pay as You Flush – Landlord Allegedly Installs Coin-Operated Toilet in Rented Apartment

An apartment tenant in Melbourne, Australia, has recently taken to Reddit to complain about his landlord installing a system that allegedly requires him to insert one dollar every time he wants to flush the toilet.

“Is it legal for my landlord to have installed a coin-operated flusher on my toilet?” the title of the tenants Reddit post reads. He goes on to explain that he understands having to pay for the communal washing machine when doing the laundry, but since he pays the water bill for the rented apartment, having to pay extra every time he needs to flush the toilet seems a bit much.

“He said it was a government incentive to save water. But then why does he get to collect the money?” the Redditor asks. “I see nothing on google about this so I can’t work out if I’m being duped?”

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Introducing the Hamdog – The Crazy Hamburger-Hotdog Hybrid You Never Knew You Craved

From now on, when you get the munchies for a delicious street food snack, you’ll no longer have to choose between a hamburger and a hotdog, because you can have both in the same bun. Introducing the Hamdog, probably the craziest fast food hybrid ever.

Mark Murray, of Perth, Australia, came up with the idea for the Hamdog in 2004, and by 2009, he had already obtained a patent for the uniquely-shaped bun of the treat. Last year, he appeared on Channel 10’s Shark Tank show to pitch his idea to potential investors and secure enough funding to get his fast food business off the ground. The judges were not impressed, and even laughed when he described eating the Hamdog as “a party in your mouth”. But Murray didn’t let the experience bring him down, and one year later, he’s selling Hamdogs in his home city and wants to expand nationally.

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Australian Teens Are Taking Up Smoking So They Can Have Small Babies

In what is likely the most disturbing teen trend we’ve ever reported about – and there have been quite a few – pregnant young girls in Australia are turning to smoking tobacco cigarettes to keep their babies’ weight low and make childbirth less painful.

The shocking finding that young Australian pregnant women are more terrified of childbirth pain than the serious adverse affects smoking during pregnancy can have on the fetus – including higher stillbirth rates and increased risk of childhood asthma and allergies – was revealed by a recently published 10-year national anthropological study led by Associate Professor Simone Dennis from the Australian National University. She found that girls as young as 16 are either taking up smoking or increasing their daily cigarette intake in an effort to have smaller babies, due to fears that their young bodies will not be able to handle childbirth.

Even more disturbing is the fact that the teen mothers-to-be were inspired to take on this practice by the health warnings on Australian cigarette packs, some of which state that ‘smoking while pregnant can reduce the weight of your baby’. Rather than being deterred by this, they decided to embrace smoking as a way of keeping their unborn babies’ weight low in hopes of a less painful childbirth. Studies show that smoking mothers are twice as likely as nonsmokers to have lower weight babies, about 200g lighter, on average.

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Bar Themed After Seinfeld’s George Constanza Opens in Melbourne

A new bar in Melbourne is dedicated entirely to the balding and temperamental Seinfeld character George Costanza. ‘George’s Bar’, located in the north-east suburb of Fitzroy, features Costanza-inspired decor, including posters and quotes. A sign outside the bar even encourages patrons to ‘Be more like George’.

The owners came up with the idea because they like Seinfeld and couldn’t get over how perfect George was as a bar theme. “I think he is probably the most suited of any of the characters,” explained co-owner Dave Barrett. “His humour is fairly dark and dry and fits in with a bar, it probably works more than any of the other characters would.”

“Also, when we were developing this new venue, one of the names we came up with was George’s, and we to some extent worked backwards on ways to market that and so to some extent that is where George Costanza came into it as well,” he added. Their marketing strategy has apparently worked – barely two weeks after opening, stories about the quirky theme have gone viral online.

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The Australian Canine Heroes Protecting a Colony of the World’s Smallest Penguins

Middle Island, a picturesque outcrop located off the coast of southern Victoria in Australia, is home to a colony of the world’s smallest penguins. Originally known as fairy penguins, these adorable little birds are no taller than a foot and weigh only about 1kg. There used to be hundreds of them at one point, but their population dwindled as they were hunted by foxes. That is, until a chicken farmer came up with an ingenious solution to use dogs as bodyguards for the penguins.  

The problem was first noticed in the year 2000, when the sea’s natural current led to increased sand-build up, encouraging a growth in the fox population. The island is uninhabited by humans, and separated from the mainland by a 30-meter stretch of water. So at low tide, it’s easy for the foxes to cross from the mainland and reach the island, and hunt the adorable penguins.

Soon, the fairy penguin population started dwindling to the point where they were in danger of being completely wiped out “We went from a point where we had about 800 penguins down to where we could only find four,” said Peter Abbott from the Penguin Preservation Project. “In our biggest bird kill, we found 360 birds killed over about two nights. Foxes are thrill killers. They’ll kill anything they can find. The colony really was on its last legs and just one more fox attack would’ve finished it off.”

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Controversial Hangover Clinic Opens in Australia

Sydney’s new ‘Hangover Clinic’ promises to instantly take care of terrible hangovers through a “revolutionary treatment” that involves an IV drip. Depending on how bad their night was, customers are hooked to the drip for 30 to 45 minutes and are given saline infused with headache and anti-nausea medication, along with vitamins B and C. Antioxidants and oxygen are also included in treatment, priced between $140 and $200.

“Sometimes we just overdo it. Might be a BBQ at a mate’s place, or a drink with the girls, but since time began we’ve all been known to overindulge on the drinks, or our hectic schedules just run us down,” the clinic’s website states. “In as little as 30 minutes, we’ll have you off the couch feeling fresh and ready to tackle the day ahead, so you can feel like the best version of yourself.”

The clinic offers three types of ‘Hangover Remedies’.  ‘Jump Start’, the basic package, costs $140 and includes one liter of IV hydration, Vitamins B and C, and your choice of headache or anti-nausea medication. ‘Energise’ provides an extra jolt at $165, with the addition of oxygen treatment. And ‘Resurrection’ is for the truly hopeless cases – at $200 it includes an antioxidant boost along with the rest of the basic medication.

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Man Spends 50 Years Visiting Every Country in the World

Calling Albert Podell ‘well traveled’ would be an understatement. 78-year-old Podell, a former Playboy editor, can truly say that he’s seen it all, after spending half a century visiting every country in the world. He’s encountered pretty much everything on his travels, right from guerillas in Yemen, to flying-crab attacks in Algeria, and police interrogations in Cuba. He has chased water buffaloes, broken his bones, and eaten all kinds of weird stuff. He’s been robbed, arrested, and almost lynched!

Podell was bitten by the travel bug at a very young age. “Aged six, I started to collect postage stamps, and where the other kids specialised in certain countries, I wanted a stamp from every country in the world,” he told Daily Mail. “Getting a passport stamp from every one may have been inspired by that.”

“Those little coloured bits of perforated paper also instilled in me a fascination with travel because I wanted to see the lands where all the objects, people, and places depicted on those stamps came from.” So he resolved early on that “there was more to life than hanging around in one city forever.”

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Game of Drones – Australia’s Awesome Underground Drone Racing League

Drone racing is a mushrooming trend in Australia, catering to a growing band of enthusiasts looking to fulfill their need for speed. The races, organised by underground ‘leagues’, generally take place in rundown warehouses, farms, and go-kart tracks in the fringe suburbs of various cities.

The relatively unknown sport is called FPV (first person racing). Participants spend countless hours custom building their quadcopters, fitting them with onboard cameras and ‘blinging’ them up with LED lights. During the actual events, racers don special goggles – sometimes held together with gaffer tape – to give them a drone’s-eye view as they steer their machines around the course. So it’s a lot like video gaming, except players get to control a real device instead of a virtual one.

“It’s addictive. It’s like playing a video game,” says drone racer Darren French, who has clocked over 60 kmph. “It’s fast. The more you do it, the more you want to fly.”

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Mother Still Breastfeeds Six-Year-Old Daughter, Plans to Do So Until She Is Ten

Six-year-old Amina Al Musa is a seemingly normal child: She goes to school and loves playing hide-and-seek. But her after-school snack is so unconventional that it has attracted media attention across the world. Amina happens to be breastfed by her mother every single day, and the little girl seems to love it!

Extended breastfeeding is highly unusual in today’s world, which is why Amina’s case is making headlines. At age 52, her mother – belly dancing expert and human rights activist Maha Al Musa – is one of the oldest women in the world to be breastfeeding. Although she’s garnering a lot of interest and some criticism, Maha says that she’s only responding to her daughter’s natural desire.

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Australian Town Completely Covered in Cobwebs after Millions of Spiders Rain from the Sky

Earlier this month, the residents of Goulburn – a small town in Australia’s Southern Tablelands – were spooked to discover their properties blanketed by millions of tiny spiders and mounds of their silky threads. The spiders had apparently rained down from the sky, silken thread and all, a phenomenon known as “Angel Rain”.

“Anyone else experiencing this Angel Hair or maybe aka millions of spiders falling from the sky right now?” wrote resident Ian Watson on the Goulburn Community Forum Facebook page. “I’m 10 minutes out of town, and you can clearly see hundreds of little spiders floating along with their webs and my home is covered in them. Someone call a scientist!”

That sounds positively frightful, but experts say that arachnid rains are actually a natural phenomenon, and not as uncommon as you’d think. It is referred to as ‘spider rain’ or ‘angel hair’ in scientific circles, and is actually a form of spider transportation called ‘ballooning’.

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Being Stung by the Gympie Gympie Tree Is the Worst Kind of Pain You Can Imagine

‘Gympie-Gympie’ is hardly the name you’d expect for a stinging-tree. It looks quite harmless too, but in reality, the Gympie-Gympie is one of the most venomous plants in the world. Commonly found in the rainforest areas of north-eastern Australia, the Moluccas and Indonesia, it is known to grow up to one to two meters in height.

In fact, the Gympie-Gympie sting is so dangerous that it has been known to kill dogs, horses and humans alike. If you’re lucky enough to survive, you  only feel excruciating pain that can last several months and reoccur for years. Even a dry specimen can inflict pain, almost a hundred years after being picked!

With the exception of its roots, every single part of the deadly tree – its heart shaped leaves, its stem and its pink/purple fruit – is covered with tiny stinging hairs shaped like hypodermic needles. You only need to lightly touch the plant to get stung, after which the hair penetrates the body and releases a painful toxin called moroidin. Sometimes, merely being in the presence of the plant and breathing the hair that it sheds into the air can cause itching, rashes, sneezing and terrible nosebleeds.

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Bizarre Open-Air Urinals Spark Criticism in Australia

After nearly a decade of trying to manage public urination in a busy nightclub strip, Australia’s Gold Coast City Council finally hit upon an idea – temporary outdoor urinals. The loos are primarily aimed at drunken men who tend to relieve themselves in front of businesses and in alleyways. But the ingenious solution has sparked disgust among locals, who find the urinals ugly and offensive.

According to councillor Lex Bell, these urinals are the only way to manage the problem of public urination that has plagued Cavill Mall and Orchid Avenue in Surfer’s Paradise, southeastern Queensland. Authorities simply do not have the manpower to fine all the people who urinate in public in these areas and don’t have the authority to arrest them.

“We cannot arrest such people – we don’t have the power, so the thought was if we put urinals in places where the inebriated people have to stagger past, they may well use them. When people are staggering from nightclubs, they won’t seek out public toilets – even if they are there,” he explained.

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Photo: Twitter
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The Wandering Stormtrooper – Man Walks 5,600 Miles across Australia in Iconic Star Wars Suit

For over a year, 47-year-old Scott Loxley has been walking across Australia dressed as a Stormtrooper. He started the quest on Nov 2 last year, with a goal of covering 15,000 kilometers on foot, non-stop, with no support crew. His unique journey has taken him from Melbourne to Tasmania, through the debilitating Nullarbor Plain, and up the west coast to Bourne, leading up to Darwin. He’s walked a whopping 9,000 kilometers so far, and with 6,000 more to go, he has no intentions of stopping.

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Two Australian Friends Turn Their Van into Free Laundry Service for the Homeless

Fresh, clean laundry is one of the most comforting things in life, but unfortunately not everyone has access to it. A couple of engineering students from Brisbane are trying to change that. They’ve started Orange Sky Laundry – Australia’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.

20-year-old Lucas Patchett and his friend Nicholas Marchesi were inspired to start the service during an overseas trip. When they got back in July, they decided to stop talking about it and just do it. So they got an old van fitted out with two donated industrial washing machines and two dryers, which can wash and dry 20 kilograms of laundry in an hour.

Getting the machines to fit in the van wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, but they managed it pretty well. “The architect who helped us said: ‘they’ll probably fit’, but we found we needed to build a platform above the wheel arches – it wasn’t very scientific but we ended up banging the wheel arches out a bit and taking some panels off. We squeezed them in,” said Lucas.

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Australian Cafe Charges Different Prices for Coffee Depending on How Nice You Ask for It

The Seven Mile Beach Kiosk Café in Gerroa, New South Wales, doesn’t just serve its customers good coffee, but also a lesson in politeness. In order to reinforce the importance of being nice, the café’s owners are actually charging people different rates for coffee, depending on how they ask for it.

Just so this doesn’t confuse their customers, they’ve put up a sign outside the café explaining their innovative pricing policy. According to the sign, merely asking for “A coffee” will set you back by $5.00. But saying, “A coffee, please” will bring the price down to $4.50. And if you want to go the whole mile, you could say “Good morning, a coffee please.” Then they’ll only charge you $4.00.

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