University Graduate Lands Job as Human Scarecrow

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It’s not the kind of job students dream of during university years, but for 22-year-old Jamie Fox being a human scarecrow in a rape field really is a great gig. It gives him the chance to sit down, read a book and even improve his ukelele-playing skills.

Jamie graduated from Bangor University this summer, with a degree in music and English, but until he finds a job he likes in the music business, he’s more than happy to put on a bright orange suit and play a scarecrow in a rape field, in Norfolk, England. “The farmer said to me, ‘Bring a deckchair and a good book’,” Mr. Fox says, and that’s exactly what he did. Now he just enjoys the peace and quiet, and the fresh air while catching up on some reading, listening to podcasts and playing the ukelele during his daily 8-hour shifts. “I get to sit and read for a lot of the time but whenever I see the partridges, I have to get up and scare them off,” the young man said. “A couple of my friends in busier, more generously-paid jobs, are slightly envious.” And for good reason, who wouldn’t want to earn £250 ($400) a week just sitting around in the great outdoors?

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Clever Experiment Proves We Do Judge Books by Their Covers

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Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, hosts of the NSFW Podcast, managed to push their $0.99 e-book to the #4 position on iTunes, without having to write a single word. How did they do it? Easy, they included lots and lots of sex.

You’ve probably heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic novel that took the world by storm a few months back. At one point it was all everyone was talking about, although not all critics were impressed with the quality of writing. Still, it became a bestseller and managed to drag other erotic literature to the top with it, whether it was good or bad. Brian Brushwood, one of the hosts of the NSFW Podcast noticed this trend while he was trying to push his book on magic tricks, Scam School Book 2: Fire. Looking at the iTunes chart he discovered the top 10 was all erotic fiction. Even established contemporary writers couldn’t break into the top 10 because of all the erotic books that were capitalizing on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. He thought “hey, we could do that”, and that’s how their clever experiment began.

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Brewery Uses Man’s Beard Yeast as an Ingredient for Beer

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Something strange is going on at the Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport, Oregon. Brewers there are developing an ale made from wild yeast harvested from the beard of Rogue’s award-winning brewmaster, John Maier.

He hasn’t shaved since 1978, and that apparently makes his beard the perfect place to harvest yeast. I’m just kidding, it’s far from perfect, but Rogue Ales’ president, Brett Joyce said he was looking for a “different place that might have some magic yeast in it” and decided to try out Maier’s facial hair. The guys at Rogue had tried developing some new yeast strains from some of their own hopyard, but came up empty-handed, so as a joke they had their lab guy take a couple of Q-tip swabs from John Maier’s fluffy beard. Amazingly enough, he found a yeast cell, did some fermentation tests and the unique “beard beer” was born. What started out as a joke turned into something really special, since they never expected to find the new yeast they were looking for right in their brewmaster’s beard. “This really is the needle in the haystack” John Couchot, Rogue Ales’ self-described mad scientist said.

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Chinese Billionaire Sells Canned Fresh Air to Raise Awareness about the Environment

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It was bound to happen at some point, I guess. Chen Guangbiao, a famous Chinese businessman and philanthropist, has recently launched a line of canned fresh air collected from various parts of China and Taiwan. The product is called “Chen Guangbiao: Nice Guy” and sells for about $0,80.

It’s no secret China has a huge air pollution problem, but while authorities don’t seem to be taking any action to resolve it, billionaire Chen Guangbiao, aka “Brother Biao” is trying to raise awareness in a very original way. He has recently started selling canned fresh air collected from “revolutionary” areas of China, including Jinggang Mountain in Jiangxi Province and some ethnic minority areas and Taiwan. “One only has to open the can, directly ‘drink’ it or put the nose close to the can to breath deeply,” Chen said. He also mentioned there is a chip in the can, and during the “packaging process”, when the negative oxygen ions reach a certain concentration the lid is triggered by the chip and closed. And since the air is compressed, it stays inside the can even without a lid, the quirky philanthropist claimed. Before the big launch of “Chen Guangbiao: Nice Guy” canned air, Brother Biao said he was confident of its success, because there are lots of people in big cities inhaling air mixed with vehicle exhaust every day who are dying for a breath of fresh air.

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Japanese Divorce Newspaper Lets Your Loved-Ones Know You’re Happily Divorced

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Created by Japanese divorce guru Hiroki Terai, Divorce Newspapers are gaining popularity as a quick and painless way to let family, friends and acquaintances know your marriage is over. This saves couples the embarrassment of having to tell each one of them their marriage has failed and explain how it happened.

You know those awkward moments when you bump into an acquaintance on the street and while making small talk you courteously ask them about their spouse, only to find out they got divorced? With the divorce rate on the rise, it’s becoming harder to avoid this kind of unfortunate situations. However, the resourceful Japanese have come up with an ingenious solution to this problem, called “the divorce newspaper”. Its creator, Hiroki Terai, got the seemingly-wacky idea after hearing many divorcees complain about having to tell everyone they know in person about their failed marriage, and wishing there was a quicker way to do it. Sure, you have social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but let’s face it, 80-year-old grandmas don’t usually have accounts on these platforms, and a simple status change doesn’t let everyone know how you feel about the whole thing.

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Cinema Uses Volunteer Ninjas to Silence Rude Moviegoers

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Unless you want to be confronted by a group of ninjas, you don’t want to break the code of conduct at London’s Prince Charles Cinema. They won’t run a katana through you or use throwing stars, but they will pop out of nowhere and give you a stern warning.

Invisible Cinema Ninjas, now there’s a cool concept! Well, they’re not really ninjas trained in the deadly arts, but really just volunteers dressed in all-black Lycra suits called “Morphsuits”. They’re offered free tickets by the Prince Charles Cinema, in London, and have the task of keeping an eye out for any misconduct from moviegoers, during screenings. “The ‘Cinema Ninjas’ may sound ludicrous, but they have been a real success in clamping down on those ruining films for everyone else with inconsiderate behavior,” says Paul Vickery, head of public relations for the theater. “Like every cinema, we were irritated and upset by the minority of people running films for everyone else.”

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How Much Is That Guy in the Window? French Shop Lets Women Go Window-Shopping for Dates

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French dating site Adopte Un Mec (Adopt a Guy) has recently opened a pop-up boutique in the heart of the Paris fashion district, where women can actually-window-shop for a date. Real men are displayed in glass containers that look like Ken doll boxes and have names like “Mr. Muscle” and “The Rocker.”

Can you imagine going shopping for fashionable clothes and instead coming home with a hot date? It can happen if you happen to pass by the Adopt-a-Guy shop on  Rue de La Bonheur (Street of Happiness), in Paris. This unique pop-up boutique has eligible bachelors displayed in the windows for women “clients” to admire. They are actually there only for promotional purposes, and are not really available for purchase, but the website that came up with this quirky idea really was built on the idea of putting women in the driver’s seat. Both men and women can register, but only the ladies are allowed to send messages. It was created this way so female users could avoid the “the constant bombardment of unwanted advances from men” and “hold the power of communication so they can focus on the men they desire.” Guys can only post their photos online and wait to be contacted. The site actually wants women to feel like they’re shopping for men, and the home page actually says ““There are 0 men in your cart.” Business is booming and Adopte Un Mec has over 300 million page views per month.

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Chinese Companies Renting White Guys to Look Successful

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Believe it or not, in China white guys can get a job posing as businessmen for companies who hire them to look more international to their real partners. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing” and it’s apparently a very popular business tactic.

What makes this such a great job for white guys in China is that it has some really simple requirements: be white, don’t speak any Chinese, or speak at all unless asked, pretend like you just got off an airplane the day before, and look good in a suit. The people who usually go for this king of gig are part-time models and actors, English teachers and expats looking for a quick and easy paycheck. It’s called “White Guy Window Dressing”, “The Token White Guy Gig”, or simply the “Face Job” and it’s so popular in China these days that there’s actually a company called Rent A Laowai (Chinese for “foreigner”) that helps businesses improve their image by providing fake white employees or partners.

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Teenager Sets New World Record at Mobile-Phone Throwing Contest

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Every year, the Finnish town of Savonlinna hosts a fun and relaxing phone-throwing contest where participants are invited to take out all their frustration on their handhelds by throwing them as far as possible. This year, a Finnish teenager managed to set a new world record, with a throw of over 101 meters.

Ever since 2000, when it was first organized, the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championship has become an international event drawing in participants from all over the world. According to reports of Finnish insurance companies, there are lots of phones laying on the bottom of Finland’s lakes, causing a serious environmental problem due to the toxicity of their batteries. In an attempt to convince people there are better ways of getting rid of their faulty mobile devices, a Savonlinna-based translation and interpretation company called Fennolingua organized a mobile-throwing contest that immediately drew the attention of media all around the world. In the following years, the event became even more popular gathering throwers from every continent eager to show their hurling skills.

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Swearing Hotline Lets Germans Blow Off Some Steam, for a Fee

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Boss giving a hard time at work? Wife can’t seem to stop nagging you when you get home? Do you feel like lashing out at people all the time, but are afraid of social consequences? Fear no more, as an innovative new hotline allows frustrated people to use their most fowl language as a way to blow off steam.

It’s called “Schimpf-los” (German for “swear away”) and it’s an innovative new hotline that has operators standing by 24/7 ready to take serious verbal abuse from people who feel like blowing off steam by swearing. “We don’t judge people who are angry,” said Ralf Schulte, one of the creators of this offbeat service. “It happens. It’s natural. With us you can blow off steam no strings attached.” The 41-year-old entrepreneur set up Schimpf-los along with partner Alexander Brandenburger, after drawing inspiration from their own stressful daily routine. They realized their idea would help people avoid altercations at the workplace or at home, by providing an alternative place to release all tension. “If you’re stressed out at work, you go home and your partner gets an earful,” Schulte comments. “Even though it’s not her fault.” With Schimpf-los, angry folks need not worry about this kind of scenarios anymore.

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Germany’s Trendiest People Converge on Berlin for the Hipster Olympics

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With the real Olympic Games about to start in London, Berlin’s self-proclaimed hipsters though they’d organize their own competition to find the most athletic hipster in Germany – the 2012 Hipster Olympics.

The tongue-in-cheek event took place last Saturday, and drew a crowd of over 6,000 hipsters to a club in east Berlin, for a series of nine ironic sporting events. Ironically, there were a lot of applicants who wanted to join the game, but a panel of hipster judges had the difficult task of choosing only 60.  “We had to select the coolest ones,” said 24 year-old Alexander Bernikas, head of the Original Hipster Olympics Committee. The skinny-jeans-wearing, jute-bag-carrying contestants were split into twelve teams of five, and pitted against each other in ironic events like a horn-rimmed-glasses-throwing contest,  a vinyl-spinning marathon or a skinny jeans tug of war.

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Deodorgrams – An Anonymous Way of Telling People They Stink

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It’s never easy telling someone they smell, but a new service called Deodorgrams plans to make it a little easier by anonimously sending friends and acquaintances a scented deodorant.

I remember back in high-school we would get stinkers deodorants for their birthday, which was kind of cruel, and didn’t really work on clueless colleagues. Man, how I wish a service like Deodorgrams was available back then, it would have probably saved me from days of smelly torture. The first deodorant messaging system of its kind, Deodorgrams was created by an Arizona-based natural body products company and will probably become a big hit, because let’s face it, sending an anonymous deodorant beats looking your friends in the eye and telling them they smell bad. The unique service will let your friends know exactly how you feel, without telling them who you are.

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Professional Cuddler Charges $60 Per Hour of Cuddling and Snuggling

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A lot of people like to snuggle and cuddle, but Jacqueline Samuel, from New York’s Rochester area, actually opened her own business charging $60 for an hour’s worth of non-sexual cuddling and snuggling.

There are moments in life when you feel the need to cuddle, but you have no one to do it with. That’s where 29-year-old Jackie Samuel comes in. Last month she set up The Snuggery, a unique business that offers total strangers the chance to snuggle and cuddle with Jackie, for $60 an hour. “What I like to do is cuddle, so I figured it was a good thing to do. A lot of people didn’t like the idea so I figured it would be kind of an underground small-scale operation and provide a little extra income,” the young entrepreneur says. But her nutty idea already started attracting national attention and she’s already been featured on FOX, CNN and is set to make an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

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Man Sits on Toilet for Two Straight Days to Prove He Gives a Crap

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Sitting on a toilet isn’t the best way to get things done, except for one particular thing, but it was the perfect way for Simon Griffiths to raise $50,000 for his commendable project.

Australian Simon Griffiths is a man on a mission. He’s planning to solve a big part of the world’s sanitation problem by building toilets where they’re needed the most, and he started his big plan by spending two days sitting on a toilet bowl, with his pants around his ankles. You’re probably thinking this guy must be crazy, but Simon is actually a man with university degrees in engineering and economics, who chose to turn his back on a white-collar career in order to try and change the world, one flush at a time. He’s traveled to places where toilets aren’t what you’re used and by sitting on a bowl for 50 straight hours he tried to attract attention and funds to a worthy cause.

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Woman Addicted to Mayonnaise Will Use It for Everything. And I Mean Everything!

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Philippa Garfield, from London, England, loves mayonnaise so much she will eat it with pretty much anything, and even wash her hair with it.

We’ve featured some pretty weird addictions here on Oddity Central, from the guy addicted to sausages, to the woman who loved drinking her own urine, but Philippa Garfield takes things to a whole other level. While mayo might not be the strangest thing a person can become addicted to, it’s the way she uses it that makes her story really bizarre. Although she loves eating mayo and pours it over anything she eats, and even in her morning coffee, Philippa also uses the fatty condiment as a cheap moisturizer and conditioner for her hair. She also sees it as the perfect alternative to shaving cream.

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