New Zealand Campaign Offers Students Free Beer for Dead Rats

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Gareth Morgan, a philanthropist from Wellington, New Zealand, has come up with a unique initiative to get rid of the city’s rats. He’s offering university students a free beer for every rat they manage to catch and kill. He’s even giving away rap traps. According to Morgan, rats are a common urban pest that are ruining the native ecology of the country. In fact, he’s so passionate about preserving New Zealand’s wildlife that he’s willing to personally sponsor all the free beers. “We’re trying to make an offer that students just can’t refuse, and we’re trying to get them to be our army,” he said.

Morgan is currently running the campaign in association with Victoria University’s Science Society. According to the Science Society president Jonathan Musther, “There are obviously people who get behind it for the drinks, but then there are a lot of ecology students who are very passionate about trapping and very passionate about New Zealand native flora and fauna.”

“The lure of freebies usually gets people along,” said one student. “But when they find out what they have to do they might be a bit deterred.”

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This Why You Should Never, Ever Try to Kiss a Snapping Turtle

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Here’s a way to save thousands on Botox treatments and still achieve a perfectly natural swollen pout – just kiss a snapping turtle! A man from China’s Fujian Province tried it recently; I don’t know what he was thinking kissing a turtle that is known to have a vicious bite that can actually break a human finger. This guy locked lips with his pet and what happened next was pretty much expected – it latched on and refused to let go.

Pictures of the not-so-sweet kiss were doing the rounds of China’s social networking website, Weibo. Apparently, the man’s friends clicked pictures and found them too hilarious not to share with the world. They even updated ‘after’ shots of the injuries – the man is seen nursing a huge lip that can put the most bizarre plastic surgeries to shame. Ouch, that must have hurt real bad!

According to news reports, the ‘Alligator snapping turtle’ was a pet about to be released. It was not native to China, hence damaging to its ecosystem. These exotic pets require expert handling, which is obviously not this man’s forte. Just before letting the turtle go, he decided on the impromptu peck. As you can see, it wasn’t the brightest idea. I just think he’s incredibly lucky that the amphibian did not decide to keep a piece of his lip as a parting souvenir!

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Stinky Candle Company Challenges Classic Scents with Unique Manly Aromas

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Would you dare to buy candles that were labelled ‘Stinky’? Apparently, there are people who would! The Stinky Candle Company was set up by Jeff Bennett after he got sick of boring scents like vanilla, lavender and shea butter. He came up with 25 unique smells – including bizarre stuff like leather, pencils, wood, wet grass, money and even car exhausts.

The Chicago based inventor seems to have gone all out in choosing scents for his new collection. His range also includes food-inspired aromas like bacon, wine and fast food. The candles are priced between US $6 and $8. We’re not sure how well these candles are selling, but it doesn’t look like Jeff is too bothered about that. He’s more excited about the candles. Eventually, he aims at increasing the range from 25 to 200.

He spoke about his inspiration behind creating the candles: “A lot of people I knew really liked scented candles and they loved receiving them as gifts. I wondered why we only ever see the same fragrances in shops and thought it would be a fun idea to try and come up with some unusual ones.” So he got to work on the concoctions in his garage, sourcing specific odors from a fragrance house.

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Japanese Company Launches Pillow Specifically Designed for Pillow Fighting

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Did you know that pillow fighting is actually a serious sport in Japan? And that there exists a pillow specifically designed to be used in official pillow fights? And that it is the ‘Officially Recognized Pillow by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association’? I wish I’d known all this sooner. Perhaps I’d have considered moving to Japan to become a professional pillow fighter. Such a cool job.

The association even has official tournaments. Just last weekend, they had an All Japan Pillow Fighting Tournament in Ito City. The participating fee was $20 per team, and they all competed for a grand prize of $1,000. Japanese pillow fighting has its own set of rules: it’s a lot like dodge ball, but fluffier! Each team consists of five members, who have to remain within the team’s court (about 356 square feet) at all times. From the moment the whistle sounds, all they do is throw pillows like crazy, using blankets to shield themselves. Getting hit by a pillow directly sends a player out of the game.

Sounds all right so far, but this is where things get really bizarre. During the match, the referee calls out from time to time: “The teacher is coming!” One of the teams will have to take the cue and lie down immediately, pretending to sleep. One member from the opposite team can walk over and steal as many pillows as he can. Then the game resumes. Doesn’t it sound a lot like the crazy games we invented as kids?

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Facing Your Fears – Guy Tattoos Spider on His Face to Combat Arachnophobia

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Now here’s a guy who literally ‘faced’ his fears. To deal with his morbid fear of spiders, Eric Ortiz got a black widow spider tattooed on his face.

You’ve got to be either really gutsy or really stupid to put something so huge and permanent on your face. I’m not sure which one Ortiz is. The 24-year-old from Deltona, Florida, said: “Everybody fears spiders. That’s why I got it. Just to, like, make me know, that that’s what I fear, but not to fear it. You know what I’m saying?”

I’m not too sure I know what he’s saying. How can putting a spider tattoo on your face make you less scared of spiders? Well, it’s his face and if it works for him, who am I to judge? But a lot of people are judging Ortiz for his rash decision. “Everybody looks at it like, ‘Damn spider’ ‘cause if you’re going around your house, you know what I’m saying, you see those spiders, you’re going to jump, so putting one on my face, I say you know what, I’m going to see what people think.”

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Outrageous Korean High-School Yearbook Photos Yield Hilarious Results

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Let’s face it – no one’s particularly proud of their high school yearbook picture. Or are they? We just found out that South Korean schools are allowing kids to get away with all kinds of bizarre poses. The phenomenon is not just limited to one school – these pictures from several yearbooks are doing the rounds on the internet.

You really have to hand it to these kids, they are absolutely hilarious. In some of the pictures from Jeonju Haesung High School, the students appear to be posing in costumes of their future professions. So you can spot a diver, a farmer, a fisherman, an archer and a barber, all sporting weird expressions. But soon they begin to lose the plot. There’s Ironman, followed by The Joker, and a boy dressed like a nun.

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Got No One to Make-Out with? Give This Creepy Kissing Pillow a Try

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Whether you are perennially single or need to get some practice before that big date, this kissing pillow might be of great use to you. The ‘Make-Out Practice Pillow’ comes with a creepy built-in plastic nose and mouth, designed to give you the illusion of kissing a real person.

Florida-based designer Emily King created the pillow as a solution for inexperienced kisser. “When I was in middle school, everyone joked about making out with pillows for practice. I’m assuming that I was not the only one for whom the jokes had some truth,” she said.

26-year-old Emily said that she was inspired by CPR dummies and some removable rubber dummy mouths that she found in abandoned suitcases near her apartment. So she went and got herself a few ‘mouth pieces’. “The mouths sat in a bin in my studio for a while,” said the DIY-expert. “They whispered to me as I worked in my studio. ‘We are waiting,’ they said, ‘and we are creepy. Don’t you want to get us out of your studio?’ After many months the rubber lips exhaled the idea of make-out pillows. I’ve been avoiding the insistency of the mouths, but as we near closer to Valentine’s Day I know the time has come,” she wrote on DIY community website, Instructables.

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The Old Eat-Bananas-through-Pantyhose Challenge Is Making a Comeback

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I don’t know what the real challenge is – people eating bananas through pantyhose, or having to watch them do it. The disgusting trend is back and the internet is flooded with videos of men and women shoving bananas into their pantyhose covered mouths.

‘The banana challenge’, according to BuzzFeed, has been around for about five years. Videos of people taking part in the challenge have always been there to watch, but nobody really paid them much attention before. We’re not sure why, but these old videos are going viral now.

I tried watching a few and honestly, it gives me a sinking feeling that there is no hope for humanity. There’s more banana going out than in, thanks to the pantyhose barrier. I suppose the fabric acts as some kind of mesh to strain the fruit through. But it obviously doesn’t do a very good job of letting the bananas in, which is the whole point, I suppose.

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Chinese Students Tie Their Hair to the Ceiling to Prevent Falling Asleep while Studying

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Now this is what I call pure genius. Why didn’t I think of this when I was a college student struggling to stay awake all night? As you can see in the pictures, these Chinese university students have resorted to tying up their hair using clothespins. Every time they nod off, the pins will pull on their hair, jerking them awake.

The technique became popular after two students at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University in Fujian province uploaded pictures of themselves on Weibo. Chen Tang, 20 and her roommate Huang Lu, 21, had been struggling with a huge workload and needed a quick fix to fight the urge to nap.

They had tried the regular methods – caffeine, push-ups and cranking up the air-conditioning – but none of that worked. That’s when they decided to hit the history books for a solution. Chen and Huang read about two famous Chinese scholars who practiced extreme methods to keep their minds alert.

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Mr. Incredibeard and His Truly Incredible Beard Styles

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29-year-old Isiah Webb is blessed with amazing genes that have helped him grow a truly legendary beard. It’s rare to find men these days with such a thick overgrowth of facial hair. But Webb isn’t content with just having a long beard. He has transformed it into various weird shapes and styles, posted pictures online and watched them go viral.

Webb calls himself ‘Mr. Incredibeard’. “Beards run in my family, so I’ve always really known; it’s kind of tradition,” he said. “One of my ancestors, Jay Gould, was a railroad tycoon with a pretty awesome beard, and we actually look alike in many ways. Maybe one day I will be able to make a few billion dollars as a beard tycoon.”

I must say, he does look like he’s well on his way to becoming a ‘beard tycoon’, if there really is such a thing. He wears it in so many creative ways – a bowl to eat noodles from, a ‘bearded elf beard’, a ‘stairway to heaven beard’, and even a ‘fries & a beard shake’. Yes, he actually uses his beard to hold a burger, some fries and a shake so that his hands are completely free. I think that’s just for the photograph though, I don’t suppose he’d really eat food off of his beard. Oh, wait, he would.  Isiah puts up these photographs every Monday, on his various social media profiles.

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Stores Prove Big Hit This Holiday Season

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Remember those ugly sweaters your mom or aunt would buy you for Christmas? If you still have them hiding at the back of your closet, it’s time to get them out because they’re in style! That’s right, ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage in the U.S. and Canada. Stores all over North America are stocking up on the most hideous novelty sweaters this holiday season.

F as in Frank, a vintage store in British Columbia, is one of the places selling the tacky woolen garments. Co-owner Drew Heifetz says that he has sold over 30,000 sweaters this year alone. “We’re trying to breathe new life into them and everyone is really coming together creating a culture around these sweaters and it’s been an amazing resurgence,” he said. “Really, it’s about having a good time, getting wild wearing the craziest sweater you can.”

Photographs on the internet show people wearing the most hideous sweaters conceivable. Some of them have Christmas tree ornaments hanging off them, others light up and some even have Santa with a furry beard. These sweaters were in fashion last year too, with the sweater industry reporting record sales during Christmas. But it looks like this year’s sales will break all records.

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Chinese Businessmen Sprays Fire Extinguisher into His Mouth during Promotional Stunt

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Chen Guangbiao, a high-profile Chinese millionaire and philanthropist, made headlines once again this week, after he sprayed liquid from a fire extinguisher into his mouth to show everyone that it’s non-toxic and completely safe. I’m pretty sure there’s a valuable PR lesson in there somewhere.

Chen Guangbiao, who you might now as the guy who sold canned fresh air last year, is no stranger to shocking PR stunts, but no one present  at his training center for disaster relief, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Wednesday, expected him to go as far as spray fire extinguisher liquid into his mouth. Chen was there to promote some new equipment for disaster relief, when, in an attempt to show the advantages of his “green” fire extinguisher, he swallowed a hot curry and sprayed the small canister directly into his mouth to quell its burning effect. “Ok, it’s not the sort of thing fire extinguishers are made for, but it proves the point – that it is non-toxic and harmless,” Chen told reporters present on the scene.

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French Student Sells Canned Fresh Country Air, Makes Big Profit

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Apparently, people will pay for anything as long as it’s packaged well – even a can full of nothing. French student Antoine Deblay figured this out over the summer, and is making huge profits from the idea. ‘Air de Montcuq’ costs 5.5 euros (that’s about $7.5), plus shipping. It is basically just a tin can that Deblay fills with air from his hometown – Montcuq.

22-year-old Deblay put up a proposal on French crowdfunding site kisskissbankbank.com. He didn’t really expect anything to happen, but the idea ended up raising over $1,000. The amount was perfect for him to set up a website and pay for packaging. When the French press got wind of the idea, they reported it extensively and helped the orders to roll in. Deblay started receiving more orders than he anticipated. He was shocked to report 1,000 orders in just three weeks. “Of course I knew it was going to sell, but not so much in so little time,” he said.

I think the popularity of Air de Montcuq has more to do with its marketing plan than the actual product. On the website, Deblay chooses to be funny with product descriptions. A blurb reads: “Air de Montcuq is 100 percent organic, it immerses you in the depths of the city to refresh your ideas. Ideal when you are in need of creative inspiration.” There’s a warning as well: “Attention, irreplaceable content, consumable once. Do not leave it open.”

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South Koreans Use Bedroom Tents to Keep Warm This Winter

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Indoor tents are all the rage in South Korea this winter. Apparently they keep you really warm and save electricity as well. In fact, some tent-users say their heating bill has been reduced by half. While the temperature in rooms gets as low as 19 degrees Celsius, the 40,000 won (US$37) tents are quite cozy at 23 degrees.

Given their multiple benefits, these tents are flying off shelves in South Korea. One tent maker claims to have sold 4 million in just a couple of weeks. Thousands of tents are on back order, and manufacturers are rushing to make more. We don’t know who came up with the ingenious idea, but it looks like almost everyone has caught on.

This winter has been pretty harsh for the South Koreans; they are facing power blackouts and surging energy costs with six of 23 nuclear reactors being shut down. People have been looking for cheaper heating methods that save electricity, and the tent is apparently working wonders for them. Families are sleeping in tents setup within their homes to keep themselves warm. Some of them have placed tents on top of beds for extra warmth.

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How Bad Do You Have to Go? Extreme Toilet Perched on a Cliff in Siberia

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The world’s most extreme toilet is located in Siberia, 2,600m (over 8,500 feet) above sea level. It’s not just the height that makes it scary; the toilet is perched rather precariously on the edge of a cliff. I think it looks like it might fall right off if a very heavy person used it.

What’s this lonely lavatory doing up there all by itself, you ask? Well, it’s meant to serve just five people – employees at the remote weather station at Kara-Tyurek.

Kara-Tyurek, which means ‘Black Heart’ in the local language, lies in the Russian Altai Mountains. Its weather station has been operational since 1939, and the five people working there have just the one toilet to use.

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