Interstate Dating – Single Entrepreneur Uses Highway Billboard to Find Love

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Finding true love can be really hard, but a young entrepreneur is hoping the giant billboard he recently put up in the Chicago area will make things a lot easier. It cost “a few thousand dollars”, but the man says finding his significant other is worth every penny.

“…I’m Gordon! Let’s have dinner!” is the simple message displayed on a new billboard overlooking the Stevenson Expressway, near Chicago, that Gordon Engle, a 40-something successful businessman hopes will help him find love. After becoming frustrated with online dating, Gordon decided to spend some real coin on the large advertisement that directs interested women to his website, where they have to answer a short questionnaire to qualify for an outing with the bachelor.  ”You’ll spend several thousand on education, a quarter-million on a house, money on a car, but what’s your most important thing?” he asked during a WGNTV interview. ”Your significant other. You’re going to go cheap on that? You can drop $19.95 for Match.com or drop some real coin for a billboard.” Although the billboard has only been up for a few weeks, Gordon says he already has about 15-20 “solid” applicants, with many other women getting in touch just to wish him well, even if they are not interested in a date.

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Cabinet Maker Spends 13 Years Building a Boat in His Backyard

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Mike Stock had always wanted to own a boat, but could never afford to buy one. 13 years ago he decided to build his own in the comfort of his backyard, using the skills he had acquired working as a cabinet maker in West Bountiful, Utah.

It was supposed to be a five-year project, but building the 35-foot-long boat took Mike longer than he anticipated. Part of the reason it took him so long was because he couldn’t heat the parts in order to apply glue and paint, so he didn’t work on it during the winter. The experienced cabinet maker says he built most of the vessel all by himself, at least all the wooden parts anyway, starting with the frame. That was his first task, and by far the most time consuming. Stock spent around 10 years building the frame upside down, and brought in a crane to flip it over when it was completed. He spent the last three years working on the topside, building the cabin and all the other rooms, and figures the boat will finally be ready for its maiden voyage by November. Believe it or not, Mike Stock didn’t have any kind of boat building experience, and built his massive three-floor boat by following a step-by-step plan he found online.

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Japanese Guy Earns $10,000 for Three Months of Gaming, Playing for 12 Hours a Day

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They say the secret to a successful career is doing what you love, but paying monthly bills when the thing you love most is playing video games all day has got to be pretty darn hard. Not for Moru-chan, a Japanese gamer who is currently earning  a decent $10,000 for basically spending three months of his life playing a video game and broadcasting his experience online.

If you enjoy spending your free time playing massive multiplayer online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft of Guild Wars, Moru-chan’s arrangement must seem like a dream job. Truth be told, there are probably thousands of gamers out there who do the same thing for free, but he is one of the lucky few who are able to support their livelihood by killing monsters, upgrading their virtual character and performing quests in a fantasy online universe. A long-time fan of online role-playing games, Moru Chans was chosen by the development team of Japanese MMO ArchAge to be the recipient of a ¥1 million ($10,000) check for spending three whole months cooped up in a one-room apartment provided by the company playing the video game and streaming it to Japanese video-sharing site Niconico. He spends all night in front of the computer, playing the game, and his days sleeping on a mattress on the floor, cooking in his very small kitchenette and doing the laundry.

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Georgian Woman Takes Care of Son Who Died 18 Years Ago

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Joni Bakaradze died 18 years ago, at the age of 22, but instead of burying him in a cemetery, his family decided to keep his body preserved so that his son, who was just two at the time of his death, could see his father’s face.

For the first four years after Joni died, his mother, Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia, used embalming fluid to preserve his body, but after having a dream on night in which someone told her to use vodka instead, the woman from Bashi village, Georgia, switched to spirit liquid poultices. She has to use them every night, or the corpse will turn black. During the first ten years, Tsiuri changed her dead son’s clothes on his birthdays, but as she got older her illnesses prevented her from taking care of Joni the way she used too. She says the lack of care quickly becomes visible on his body, but as soon as she uses her alcohol-based embalming formula, his face turns white again.

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Controversial Artificial Iris Implant Surgery to Permanently Change Eye Color

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People unhappy with the way they look have been using plastic surgery to change their appearance for years, but now they can take their obsession to a whole new level by changing the color of their eyes through a controversial procedure known as artificial iris implant.

Pioneered by Dr. Kenneth Rosenthal, as a way to correct various eye defects (heterochromia, ocular albinism, etc.), the artificial iris implant procedure is now also being advertised as cosmetic surgery for people who want to permanently change the color of their eyes. The artificial iris is a thin, non-toxic prosthesis made of the same ophthalmic grade silicone used in intraocular lenses. Since the fake iris is very flexible, it can be folded and inserted into the eye through a peripheral corneal surgical incision about 2.8 mm long, and unfolded over the natural iris. According to the website of BrightOcular, the company behind the increasingly popular cosmetic eye surgery, the procedure is “short, safe, and painless”, taking about 15 minutes for each eye. The surgery has a purely cosmetic purpose, it does not fix vision defects, so patients will still need to wear refractive instruments to correct their vision. Unlike other laser-based procedures that remove a layer of melanin from the iris in order to permanently change its color, BrightOcular claims their iris implant can easily be removed in case of complications or if the patient so desires.

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Lonely Bachelor Wanders around Manhattan Looking for a Rich Wife

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For the past 12 years, Robert Darling, a 58-year old unemployed man from New jersey, has been traveling to Manhattan in search of a life companion. To make it easier for women to notice him, he carries a sandwich board which reads “Looking for a rich lady to be my wife”, along with his phone number and email.

Robert Darling has never had much luck with the ladies. He has never been in a serious relationship, and never realized he wanted someone to spend the rest of his life with until his middle age. And because he got such a late start in his quest for love, he decided extreme measures were necessary to find a suitable companion. Ever since 2001, Robert has been traveling to Manhattan twice a week to advertise himself to potential wives using a sandwich board. It might sound like a joke o a lot of people, but the lonely bachelor says that every time he leaves home he tells himself that could be the day he finally meets the woman he will settle down with. The sign is pretty clear about his intentions, but so far it hasn’t worked quite as well as he would have hoped. Many women have stopped to have a talk with Darling or have their picture taken with him, but he has been on a single date, and that was with a woman who actually wanted him to marry a friend of hers so she could get a green card.

Robert-Darling

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No Internet, No Cable, No Problem – Canadian Family Lives Like It’s 1986

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Most people couldn’t imagine a day without their fancy smartphones, but a family in Guelph, Canada has decided to shun all post-1986 technology from their lives for a whole year, as part of a social experiment.

It all started last year when Blair McMillan asked his five-year old son if he wanted to come outside and play, only to realize that even on a perfect summer day the child preferred to stay indoors and play video games on an iPad. He started thinking about his own childhood and how today’s youth have become so dependent on modern technology like computers, mobile phones and the internet. The 26-year-old father-of-two talked to teens and young people in their 20′s, most of which confessed they couldn’t even picture their lives without all their different gadgets, and began questioning contemporary public service announcements that encourage parents to get their kids active outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day. He remembered that when he was a child, it was nearly impossible to keep kids siting quietly indoors for half an hour. And that’s when it hit him – what if he could go back in time and give his own children a taste of how life was back then? Since April, the McMillans have given up all modern-day technology, and went back to living in 1986 (the year Blair and his wife were born) with its bad hair, cassette tapes and most importantly, real social interaction.

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Girls Squeeze Limes in Sunlight, Suffer Severe Caustic Burns on Their Hands

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Squeezing a slice of lime into a refreshing drink on a hot summer day isn’t as harmless as you may think. Fredrikke and Selma, two young Norwegian girls, found that out first hand after they suffered from severe Margarita Dermatitis during their vacation in Spain.

Fredrikke and Selma, both seven years old, were vacationing with their families in the Spanish resort of Marbella. One day, during an outdoor lunch, they spotted a lime tree and thought it would be fun to squeeze juice out of its fruits. They went at it for about an hour, enthusiastically squeezing dozens of limes, before going to the beach for a swim, one of the girls’ parents told Norwegian website, Klikk.  But when Fredrikke woke up the next morning, both her hands were swollen and the skin felt tender to the touch. Thinking it might be a reaction to mosquito bites, her mother, Kathryn, gave the girl an allergy pill. Only when they met up with Selma’s family and noticed she presented the exact same symptoms, it became clear that what ever was affecting them had something to do with the limes they had squeezed the other day. After a few hours, both Fredrikke and Selma started complaining of burning pain and their hands began to blister. On the morning of the third day, Fredrikke’s hands looked even worse and her parents knew they had to seek medical help as soon as possible. They jumped on the first plane home, gave the girl painkillers so she could sleep during the flight, and rushed her to the emergency room as soon as they landed in Oslo. Selma and her family had another week of vacation left so they went to the hospital in Marbella.

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Airplane Enthusiasts Build Realistic Boeing 737 Cockpit and Flight Simulator

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For as long as he can remember, Kjetil Mathisen has been fascinated with flying machines. As a kid he spent most of his time playing with model airplanes, helicopters and virtual flight simulators, but as an adult he has taken his passion to a whole new level by building his very own scale replica of a Boeing 737 cockpit.

32-year-old Kjetil, from Norway, had been talking with his buddy Stian Alexander Hoddevik about building an airplane cockpit for a long time, until one day, about two years ago, when they finally decided to go through with it. At first they wanted to build a McDonnell Douglas MD88 but quickly gave up on their plan after realizing the necessary parts were hard to come by and they would have had to build most of them from scratch. The Boeing 737, on the other hand, was much more popular and they could easily get their hands on all kinds of hardware, for the right price. They worked in Kjetil’s home for a few hours every day, building the cockpit from scratch and later installing all the necessary equipment, but as their creation took shape, it became clear they needed more room. The day Mathisen had to move his wife’s coffee table out of the living room to work on his project was the day they were forced to set up shop somewhere else. Luckily, the two airplane enthusiasts found an empty space close to Norway’s main airport that proved to be the perfect home for their “baby”.

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Croatian Confectioners Create White-and-Blue Ice Cream, Name It Facebook, Make a Killing

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Facebook, the world’s most popular social network, has just passed the 100 billion valuation mark, but thanks to a couple of business-savvy ice-cream makers from Croatia, anyone can have a slice of it for as little as 1 euro.

Brothers Admir and Ibi Adili run the Valentino ice cream shop in Tisnom, on Croatia’s Murter island. After noticing his 15-year-old daughter Bibi spent a lot of her free time on Facebook, Admir came up with the idea of creating a Facebook ice cream to attract other fans of the social network. All he had to do was make a plain white ice cream, decorate it with blue syrup, slap a “Facebook” sign on it and wait for the new business to roll in. Believe it or not, his plan actually worked. The treat has been a big hit with tourists this summer, and Adili told reporters it’s been going like crazy. His Facebook ice cream apparently tastes like chewing gum and candy, but it’s not the flavor that has customers begging for more, but the name and the trademark “Facebook” logo on the sign.

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The Pavlov Poke – A Shocking Way to Cure Facebook Addiction

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Frustrated by the amount of time they spent on Facebook during workdays, two MIT doctoral candidates have created the Pavlov Poke, a keyboard palm rest that sends electric shocks whenever the user spends too much time on ”email, social networking, or other online distractions”.

Robert R. Morris and Dan McDuff are both Ph.D. candidates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but like millions of other internet users out there, they are also social media addicts. After estimating they waste a combined 50 hours a week on Facebook, the two decided to take a new approach to fighting social media addiction by using electroshock therapy to keep users from wasting most of their days on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Named after the well-known Russian psychologist who performed behavioral experiments on dogs, the Pavlov Poke is a keyboard accessory programmed to send electrical shocks into users whenever they spend too much time scrolling through their Facebook news feed or browsing on distracting websites. The shocks are strong enough to make you react, but while they are unpleasant they are not dangerous.

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Japanese Social Club Cleans Public Toilets as a Weekend Hobby

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Most people would rather their bladder burst than walk into a public toilet to do their business, let alone to clean it, but the members of Tokyo social club Benjyo Soujer do it for free, with their bare hands, as a therapeutic hobby.

On Sunday mornings, a group of 35 adults and children gather at public lavatories around Tokyo, to clean them. They are members of Benjyo Soujer, a social club founded on Facebook, and their main mission is to clean themselves by cleaning cubicles. They start by mixing their own cocktails of cleaning agents, then huddle into the toilets spraying and scrubbing everything from the urinals and toilet bowls to the facility’s walls and floor. By the time they’re done, the place is as clean as the day it first opened its doors, maybe cleaner. The 35 members of the unique group don’t think of themselves as volunteers helping the local administration keep public restrooms sanitary, instead saying they do the work for themselves as a sort of spirit cleansing ritual similar to the ones practiced by Buddhist monks to find peace of heart. For some, it’s also also a fun way to blow off steam before the coming week.

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Smog-Covered Hong Kong Installs Clear Skyline Banners for Vacation Photos

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Hong Kong has one of the world’s most stunning skylines. The problem is it’s becoming barely visible behind the dense curtain of smog that has engulfed several of the city’s districts, and even harder to capture in vacation photos. Unable to fix the air pollution problem, tourism authorities have instead decided to install clear skyline banners where tourists can have their pictures taken.

This week, Hing Kong’s Air Pollution Index reached “very high” levels in Central and Western District, Causeway Bay and Mongkok, with very high concentrations of toxic ozone and nitrogen dioxide recorded by local monitoring stations. Apart from the obvious health-related issues, the heavy smoke covering the island city is also hurting the local tourism business. According to Chinese newspaper China Daily, the frequent air pollution has contributed greatly to the decline in tourist numbers, with a recent survey revealing a rise in “complaints focused on the environment at scenic spots” around China. After all, what good is a city’s magnificent skyline if you can barely see it? Luckily, Hong Kong authorities have come up with a novel solution to this problem – they installed a number of panoramic banners displaying a clear view of the city at various scenic spots. Here, people can take smog-free photos of the skyscraper-studded waterfront, to have as souvenirs.

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Loving Husband Buys His Wife 55,000 Dresses in 56 Years

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If love was measured in dresses, Paul Brockman would probably be the most loving husband in the world. Over the past 56 years, the German-born contractor from Lomita, California, has gifted his wife Margot with 55,000 dresses, all of which he picked out himself.

The first 10 dresses in Paul Brockman’s impressive collection were free. He got them while working at a seaport in Bremen, Germany, where workers could pick out anything they wanted when the merchandise bales were opened. He gave them all to his then-girlfriend, Margot. After going steady for a while, Paul asked the girl’s parents for her hand in marriage, and they agreed, on one condition – that they leave struggling Germany and move to America. They left for the Land of Opportunity during the 50′s and Paul was disowned by his own family for going against their wishes. The two arrived in Ohio and moved to Arizona before finally settling in California. Brockman started working in construction. No stranger to hard labor, he was soon able to build a construction company and pretty soon the money started coming in. He and Margot shared a passion for dance and went ballroom dancing every week, but Paul wanted her to have a different dress every time, so he kept buying her new ones. By the time they arrived in Los Angeles, in 1988, Margot Brockman already had between 25,000 and 26,000 dresses.

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Guy Drinks Human Toe Cocktail, Swallows the Toe

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There is a bar in Dawson City, Canada, where patrons can opt to have their liquor spiked with a very unusual ingredient – a severed human toe. Those brave enough to try the world-famous Sourtoe Cocktail are required to pay a $5 toe tax and touch the human digit with their lips without swallowing it. Last Saturday night, someone broke the rule…

The Yukon tradition of downing drinks containing a severed toe dates back to the early 1970s, when an eccentric river barge captain by the name of Dick Stevenson found a human digit in an old cabin, dropped it in a glass of champagne and created the Sourtoe Cocktail. In the last 40 years, the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City has served over 52,000 such bizarre drinks to customers from all around the world. Terry Lee, the bar’s “Toe Captain”, says toes have been ingested by mistake in the past,  but he never imagined someone would swallow the “gross looking thing on purpose”. To make sure that didn’t happen the bar also had a $500 fine policy for swallowing the toe, as a deterrent. The unthinkable happened last Saturday, when a man identified only as Josh from New Orleans walked into the place around closing time, and paid the usual $5 to have the toe added to a shot of whiskey. He was a card-carrying member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, which means he had tried the unique cocktail in the past. Terry told reporters he downed the drink fast, slurped the toe into his mouth, slammed $500 on the table and walked away. “I said, ‘Where’s the toe?’ and he said, ‘I swallowed it’ . . . I was shocked,” the bartender remembers.

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