German Town Is Offering Unemployed Alcoholics Beer as an Incentive to Clean the Streets

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A special project in the town of Essen, Germany, is designed to engage alcoholics and drug addicts in cleaning up the city’s streets, giving them a chance to pick themselves up and rejoin society. The project is called ‘Pick-Up’, and it pays the participants with a small hourly wage, along with free beer!

Although the beer is meant to be an incentive, the amount given away is small, so it won’t really cause a lot of damage. “The beer is distributed on the individual needs of the participants,” read a fact sheet from the organisation that manages the project. “Not everyone gets beer. Only the participants who aren’t able to do their work without it.”

The statement also mentioned that “Pick-UP isn’t about just cleaning the streets. The project has nothing to do with exploiting people. The idea is to allow participants, who are not forced to take part, to contribute to society in a way they otherwise wouldn’t.”

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Woman Drunk on Chinese Vodka Goes Swimming in a River, Wakes Up 75 Kilometers Downstream

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When 57-year-old Shen Ailan got drunk on two whole bottles of baijiu – a type of Chinese vodka – she decided that a dip in the river was just what she needed to ‘clear her head’. So she dived into the waters of the Yangtze River at Huangshi city, Hubei Province, and passed out soon after. When she finally opened her eyes, she found herself in Ruichang City, Jiangxi province - roughly 75 kilometers away from where she had went into water!

“I decided a dip in the water would clear my head and I remember wading into the water,” she said. “It was the middle of the day and the next thing I knew was everything had gone black.”

Having blacked out in the water, it’s a real miracle that she survived. She was found suffering from acute hypothermia, and the medics who treated her speculated that she might have become semi-conscious after going into the cold water. They added that her body must have acted automatically to keep her head above water as the river’s current swept her downstream.

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The Rope-Sleeper – Chinese Uses Single Rope as a Hammock

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While the rest of us roll around in bed all night trying to find that elusive ‘sweet spot’, 51-year-old Liang Yanguo can make himself quite comfortable on a single-rope hammock. That’s right, his favorite resting spot is actually a sling made of a single nylon rope tied between two trees.

Nicknamed the ‘Kungfu Man’, Liang has been spotted lying on a rope at a park in Huangyan, China’s Zhejiang Province. Sometimes he hangs on with one hand while the other rests on his chest. He is also able to kick up his legs and open his arms, or even bring his palms together to salute passersby. Irrespective of the position he assumes, he always appears calm and Zen-like.

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Couple Accidentally Build $680,000 Dream Home on Lot Owned by Someone Else

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You can’t help but feel sorry for this Florida couple – their newly constructed dream home is now turning out to be a mega-nightmare. Although Mark Voss and his wife own eighteen residential lots in the gated Ocean Hammock community, their house was accidentally built on one that doesn’t belong to them!

“We’re in total disbelief,” said Mark, who is the owner of a property management and real estate company in Missouri. “We may have moved someday. But, with this headache and grief, we’re not so sure. The Midwest is looking pretty good now.”

The couple said that they purchased the lot – with the address of 23 Ocean Ridge Blvd. – in 2012. Then they hired a company called Keystone Homes to build the three-story, five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot vacation rental that cost them a whopping $680,000. Six months after the custom house was built, however, a survey crew working nearby realized the error – that the house actually stands on the lot next door to the Vosses’ – 21 Ocean Ridge Blvd. North. This one belongs to a North Carolina couple who bought it way back in 2003.

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This Man Is on a Quest to Have Coffee with Each of His 1,088 Facebook Friends

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It seems that all it takes to make the news these days is a social media account and a bizarre quest of some sort. Like this Australian man, who is making headlines with his quest to have coffee with all 1,088 of his Facebook friends. His project is called ’1000+ Coffees’ and he describes it as “an exercise in remembering to socialize with and get to know people”.

“I plan to have a one-on-one coffee with every single one of my 1000+ Facebook friends over the space of the next three years, or as long as it takes to complete,” 28-year-old Matt Kulesza wrote on his Tumblr page. “I obviously don’t have 1,000 real-life friends. The point of the project is to see who these people actually are and get to know them.”

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Spanish Comedy Club Charges Customers Based on the Number of Times They Laugh

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The Teatreneu comedy club in Barcelona has come up with an innovative way of charging customers; they’re calling it ‘Pay-Per-Laugh’. The concept is as simple as it sounds – the club has reduced its entry fee to zero, and instead, users are charged every time they laugh. A special facial-recognition software helps track the exact number of laughs per customer.

The bizarre idea is actually an experiment in partnership with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann – it was set up in response to increased government taxes on theatrical performances from 8% to 21%, which led to a 30% drop in audience members in just one year. So Teatreneu decided to look at the situation with humor, and that’s how pay-per-laugh was born. Each seat is fitted with a facial recognition system that detects the smiles of the person seated behind. Entrance is free, and if the show produces no laughs, customers don’t pay anything. But if they do, each smile is charged 0.30 euros with an upper cap of 24 euros.

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This Man Is on a Mission to Have Coffee at Every Starbucks in the World

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Winter, a 42-year-old coffee fanatic from Houston, Texas, is on a mission to have coffee at every Starbucks coffee-shop in the world. Given that Starbucks operates on almost every corner of every street of every city in America, not to mention thousands of shops around the world, Winter seems to have set himself an impossible goal. Yet, he’s already been to 11,676 Starbucks branches, and he won’t rest until he’s been to each and every one in the world – that’s at least 10,000 more to go.

Born Rafael Lozano, he legally changed his name to ‘Winter’ because he didn’t want his credit history confused with his father’s. Over the years, Winter, a computer programmer, has spent over $160,000 on Starbucks coffee and on traveling to cafes across 38 different countries – including shops in London, New York, Paris, Egypt, Kuwait, Turkey, Japan, and Lebanon. That’s about 25 percent of his earnings and three months of travel a year on coffee runs.

He’s a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, who at one point, used to guzzle 29 cups of coffee a day. Interestingly, he actually prefers artisanal coffee from independent stores, but he appreciates that Starbucks tastes the same everywhere. His first visit was in 1997, and he almost immediately decided that he had to go see all the branches in the world. “It was a completely random idea that came to me when I was in Plano, Texas while discussing the growth of Starbucks in the greater Dallas area,” he said.

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Beggar Turned Millionaire Offers Passer-By Who Once Showed Him Kindness $160,000 Reward

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This heartwarming rags-to-riches story is guaranteed to restore your faith in humanity. A Chinese businessman who was once helped off the streets by a passerby, is now repaying the kindness by offering his benefactor a whopping one million yuan (over $160,000).

This story began in 1993, when 17-year-old He Rongfeng was forced to beg on the streets of Taizhou city in China’s Zhejiang province, to support his poor family. “Two friends and I had gone to Taizhou looking for work, but we were unsuccessful and ended up roaming the streets, penniless, starving, and without even shoes,” Rongfeng recalled. “We were in the pits and couldn’t see a way out, and then this young woman turned up.”

The woman was Dai Xingfen, who ran a local noodle shop with her husband. She took Rongfeng and his friends back to her modest one-room apartment and offered them food and a place to sleep. She gave them hot water to soothe their blistered feet, and then called a few acquaintances to find work for the boys in another city. Before they parted, she even gave them money for the train fare.

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Man Wants to Swap His Detroit Home for an iPhone 6

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A homeowner in Detroit, Michigan, recently put his property up on the market – and when he failed to make a sale, he decided settle for a trade. He is now after Apple’s latest product offering – the iPhone 6. And if he can’t have that, he’s willing to settle for a 32-gigabyte iPad or an Android in exchange for the house.

Understandably, the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom brick house isn’t exactly in the best condition. It does have a finished basement and a plush garden, but neighbors strongly believe that it needs to be torn down. The bungalow was initially listed for $5,000, but there weren’t any takers. So the current price is down to $3,000 or an iPhone 6.

“It’s a real listing,” insisted realtor Larry Else. “My client is overseas and he told me he would be willing to trade the property for an iPhone 6. It sounds to me like he wants the Plus version, but I think he’s willing to negotiate.”

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Chinese Tycoon Gifts Custom iPhone 6 Smartphones to All His Former High-School Classmates

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Chinese businessman Qian Fenglei is the kind of friend everyone would want. This real-life Richie Rich has recently gifted specially embossed gold iPhone 6 smartphones to all his former high school classmates, at a reunion dinner. The inscription on the phones reads: ‘Class of 1992, Maoshan Middle School’.

Qian is the chairman of Universal International Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited, and is quite well known for his generosity. He was previously in the news for donating two million yuan towards relief work after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. And he also gave all his former classmates an iPhone 5 during a previous reunion. Guess they know what they’ll be getting when Apple launches their new generation of phones.

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Man Loves Broadway Show So Much He Has Seen It 500 Times in the Last 5 Years

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38-year-old Abe Calimag is so hooked on the Broadway musical Rock of Ages that he’s seen it 500 times in the past five years. His obsession has taken him to six different countries, just to watch various productions of the same show. And he’s spent a whopping $25,000 along the way.

Abe, a business consultant from Virginia, bought his first Rock of Ages ticket in 2009 because his favorite actress Amy Spanger was supposed to be in it. He later realised that she wasn’t in the cast anymore, but he decided to go see the show anyway. It turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, and thus began Abe’s love affair. During the last five years, he has traveled to London, Toronto, Australia, Manila and to several states in the US, and even taken a few cruises just to watch the production over and over again.

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Japanese Company Creates Creepy Hugging Chair for the Lonely

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Nothing compares to the warm hug of a real person, but when there’s no one else around, this nifty little Japanese invention can do the job quite well. It’s called the ‘tranquility chair’ – its back is shaped like a giant human doll with a friendly face and long arms that can wrap around you in an affectionate embrace.

The chair is the brainchild of Japanese company UniCare – they’re selling the product for 46,000 yen ($ 419) at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo. “It makes you feel safe,” said a UniCare spokesperson. “Anyone can use it, but it is designed for older people.”

Given that a quarter of Japan’s population is currently over the age of 65, and the number is expected to rise to 40 percent in coming decades, the tranquility chair is really quite apt for the Japanese market. The company has come up with a host of similar products, like ‘Life Rhythm Dolls’ that are programmed to remind owners to take their medicine or go to the toilet.

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Japanese Reality Show Launches Girl Band That Fans Can Actually Date and Even Marry

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‘Happening Girls’ is a new reality TV show in Japan, featuring a girl group that fans can date and potentially even marry. The band currently consists of four girls who always wear bikinis or swimsuits in public. Male fans interested in dating the girls can apply to the producers of the show and take part in X-Factor style auditions and interviews for the chance of winning a date.

The four bachelorettes who currently make up the band are: Manaka, 20, Saaya, 22, Kaori, 26, and Eri, 25. If one of them gets married and leaves the show, her place will be taken by a new band member. The show’s producers are recruiting replacements under strict conditions – applicants must be between 17 and 30 years of age, living in Tokyo, and must have no objections to wearing bikinis in public at all times.

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Veterinary Student Stitches ‘I Love You’ into the Skin of Dog He Operated on

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In a bizarre display of love, a Polish veterinary student recently stitched the words ‘I Love You’ on to the skin of a dog that he operated on. The fourth year student at the University of Warmia and Mazury, in Olsztyn, then posted the image on to his girlfriend’s Facebook wall, so she could admire his handiwork. The grisly picture was immediately criticized by the couple’s friends and college mates for being grotesque and unethical.

The girlfriend, who is a member of the student council at the same university, defended the photograph: “What’s so unethical about it? He learnt to sew in order to help and is just showing his skill.”

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Woman Says She Feels Completely Free When Acting Like a Horse

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Meet Leanne, a 40-year-old Australian website designer who loves dressing up like a horse. She goes by the name ‘Shyanne’ in her pony get-up, which includes a saddle, bridle and bit. Once the transformation is complete, she likes to trot about and pull her friend Grace behind her in a custom-made trap.

Each of her ensembles costs anywhere between £5,000 and £10,000 (that’s $8,000 to $16,000). “Once the bit’s in, the tongue is out so you’re not speaking,” she explained. “If you drool while wearing a bit, you’ve got to be wearing the wrong-size bit.”

As bizarre as it sounds, Leanne insists that behaving like a horse is fun and that it takes her to a wonderful place where she can relax and be herself. “When I’m in the pony gear, I feel freer,” she said. “It’s about who you are, it’s about expressing yourself. I become me.”

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