French Bakers Hide Two Diamonds in Their Pastry to Boost Sales

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In a bid to attract more customers and boost sales, a husband-and-wife baker duo in France have decided to hide diamonds in their pastry products. Nicolas Lelut, 35, and his wife Julie, 30, are expecting a mad rush outside their bakeries – ‘Délices de Belleville’ in Paris, and ‘L’Amandine’ in Custines, where the two diamond-containing pastries will go on sale among 800 ‘plain’ ones.

The promotional sale is all set to take place on January 6, on the occasion of The Epiphany, a Christian feast day that celebrates the incarnation of God the Son as Jesus Christ. Customers who visit either Délices de Belleville bakery on the day will have a 0.25 percent chance of winning a 0.20-carat diamond worth 600 euros. The pastry at Délices de Belleville will contain a white diamond, while the one at L’Amandine will carry a blue one. Both the rocks have been provided and certified by a reliable local jeweler.

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Bar Themed After Seinfeld’s George Constanza Opens in Melbourne

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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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Back-Hair Art – Man Uses Bushy Back as a Canvas for Art

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Meet Mike Wolfe, the man who has not only embraced his bushy back, but also uses it as a means of creative expression. He comes up with quirky designs and gets his old friend Tyler Harding to ‘manscape’ them into his back hair every few months.

Up until a few years ago, Mike, like millions of other men, was embarrassed by the thick overgrowth on his back and felt compelled to get rid of it. In fact, he was actually afraid to admit it to his wife on their first date 16 years ago.

“He said, ‘I have to tell you something,’” recalled Jamie, Mike’s wife. “And I’m kind of getting nervous, my heart’s beating a little bit. He leans over and whispers, ‘I’ve got back hair.’”

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Kamikatsu – Japan’s Aspiring Zero-Waste Town

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We’ve heard many stories of individuals across the world who’ve adopted a zero-waste lifestyle, but it’s not often that we come across an entire community that is trying to become waste-free. The residents of Kamikatsu, Japan, take recycling so seriously that they actually hope to become the nation’s first zero-waste community by 2020.

Kamikatsu has no garbage trucks – so residents need to compost their kitchen scraps at home. They also have to wash and sort the rest of their trash into 34 different categories, and bring it to the recycling center themselves where workers make sure that the waste goes into the correct bins. It apparently took some time for the residents to get used to this rule, but they eventually managed to adapt to the drastic changes and  are now seeing them as normal.  

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Meet the ‘Detanglers’ – A Community of People Who Love Untangling Yarn Disasters

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If tangled headphone and charger cords irritate you, you’re never going to understand this group’s passion for knotted yarn. These devoted ‘detanglers’ are part of an online community called ‘Knot a Problem’, dedicated to untangling the most complicated yarn disasters. They love untangling so much that some are actually willing to pay money in exchange for your knottiest balls of yarn.

Daphne Basnet, from Melbourne, once spent $50 on eBay for a 25-pound box of hopelessly twisted string, just for something fun to do. That was before she even knew of the existence of the Knot a Problem. It took her five long weeks to ‘detangle’ the 120 balls of yarn-worth of knotted mess, a time that she looks back on fondly. “I was so happy, I can’t tell you,” she recalled.

Later, Basnet found out about a whole community of knot-lovers like herself formed within an online group of knitters and crocheters called Ravelry. Frustrated knitters post messages calling for help with their messed up and often expensive yarn, and Knot a Problem always comes to the rescue. They willingly offer to untangle the mess for free, just so long as shipping costs are covered. Sometimes the competition for tangled yarn projects gets so crazy that detanglers check for posts multiple times a day. “People will jump in and say, ‘Send it to me!’” said Mary Enright, a 56-year-old detangler and Knot a Problem member.

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3D Printing Foundation Pen Promises to Exactly Match Your Skin Tone

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With the Adorn 3D makeup pen you will apparently no longer have to worry about the dreary mission of hunting for the right shade of foundation. This revolutionary gadget is a scanner-3D printer combo that uses its inbuilt sensors to accurately scan and precisely match the color of your skin regardless of ethnicity and skin tone, even in total darkness.

“They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” an Adorn spokesperson said. “We like to say it’s in one clever pen. No longer will ladies have to settle for coverage that’s too light or dark. With Adorn, they can print catwalk worthy coverage, at the touch of a button.”

According to the company’s website, the device is so accurate that you’ll never be able to tell the difference. It first scans the user’s face and matches the detected shade to its database of over 75,000 tones. Once the scan is complete, it lets out a small beep, and then prints foundation of that exact color from its pre-filled foundation cartridge onto your fingertips ready to be applied.

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The Chinese Hospital That Became a Permanent Home for Its Patients

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What started off as a hospital in the 1960s in eastern China’s Wuyi County has, over the years, transformed into a self-sufficient commune where patients and their families live with the medical staff in perfect harmony. 36 patients have made Yangjia Hospital their permanent residence, working alongside their family members to grow their own crops and cook their own food, while receiving medical treatment for their illnesses.

The hospital was founded nearly five decades ago by the state-run Dongying quarrying company for its workers, who ended up with an occupational lung disease known as pneumoconiosis. When the company went bankrupt in 2000, the local government took over its administration and continued to pay the doctors and staff. But funds were tight and many of the 400-odd patients ended up moving to other hospitals. The number of patients continued to dwindle until only 36 remained. Some of their family members live with them, at an additional cost of 6 yuan ($1) per night.

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Abandoned Greyhound Acts as Guide and Protector for His Blind Sister

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A couple of animal shelter workers in the municipality of Navalcamero, near Madrid, Spain, recently came across the most heartwarming sight – a five-month old greyhound helping his blind sister cross the road. The two dogs were apparently moving very slowly through traffic, with the female resting her head on the male’s back. When the two women approached the dogs to help them out, they were visibly nervous, but the male greyhound stuck with his sister instead of running away to safety.

The women quickly realised that the female greyhound was visually impaired because she had thin white films over both eyes. They eventually took the canine pair to the shelter where they work and ran a few health tests, confirming that she was indeed blind. Further tests revealed that the female became blind as a result of a virus, and that her condition might be treatable. It seems that the two pups have been abandoned and have stuck with each other since then, with the male acting as his sister’s guide, never leaving her side and protecting her from danger. Caregivers at the ‘El Refugio’ dog shelter have named the female ‘Blinder’, and her brother ‘Pisper’.

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These Floating Trashcans Could be the Answer to Cleaning Polluted Oceans

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A couple of Australian surfers have come up with a creative solution to clean up polluted oceans – they’ve designed an automated trashcan that can suck up floating garbage, right from plastic bottles, to paper, oils, fuel, detergent and more.

Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski, who spent their childhood around the ocean, said they were frustrated with the increasing amount of rubbish they encountered in the water. So they quit their jobs to design a prototype bin in Perth, with the help of seed investors Shark Mitigation Systems. Once ‘Seabin’ was ready, they introduced it in Mallorca, Spain, the marina capital of Europe. They’re now trying to raise more money through crowd funding for commercial production. The idea’s been very well received – they’ve already raised over $70,000 and a Seabin promo video has attracted over 10 million views.

So how does it work? Seabin, a cylinder made from recycled materials, is fixed to a dock with a water pump running on shore power. It floats upright with the open end level with the water’s surface. The pump creates a flow of water into the bin, sucking in all the floating rubbish into a natural fibre bag and then pumping clean water back out. “It essentially works as a similar concept to a skimmer box from your pool filter,” explained Richard Talmage, a spokesperson for ‘Seabin’. “But it’s designed on a scale to work and essentially attract all that rubbish within a location within a marine harbour.”

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Outfitter Donates High-End Suits to Men in Need to Help Them Get Back on Their Feet

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Recognising the importance of first impressions, a Baltimore-based charity is hooking up men in need with “gently worn” suits, just so they can have a fighting chance at a better life.

‘Sharp Dressed Man’ was started in 2012 by local businessman Christopher Schafer and his son Seth, the owners of custom clothing store Christopher Schafer Clothier. They make high end-suits for a living – usually priced at $1,200 and up – and many of their customers always bring back old suits to be donated. When one client gave them $10,000 worth of used custom suits a few years ago, they began thinking of ways to make a difference.

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Real-Life Hansel and Gretel – You Can Now Dine in a Life-Size Gingerbread House

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You can now be Hansel or Gretel for a day, thanks to this life-size gingerbread house made of hundreds of pounds of sugar, spice, and all things nice. Located in a resort in Marana, southern Arizona, the house is actually a restaurant that serves its very own three-course menu. Fear not, there’s no wicked witch inside waiting to eat you!

The one-of-a-kind house is the creation of three pastry chefs at the Ritz Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana – they decided to get together this holiday season to make a gingerbread house that’s more than just a display. “There’s a lot of gingerbread houses out there but usually it’s just a facade and the inside is forgotten about,” said head pastry chef Daniel Mangione. “But this year we really wanted to see if we could make it different.”

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Company Creates Self-Drying Jacket Inspired by ‘Back to the Future’

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In a weird ‘art-inspires-life’ type scenario, the self-drying jacket that Marty McFly wore in 2015 in the movie Back to the Future II has actually become a reality this year. A prototype has already been created and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for mass production. 

The jackets – named SDJ-01 – are classified as wearable tech, because of the internal air circulation system that expedites the drying process from the inside out. “The self-drying jacket is real,” the campaign page states. “They actually do dry. Under normal circumstances, you can expect the jacket to dry in about 1-2 minutes after being exposed to rain or a spilled drink. If you jump into a pond to escape some maniac on a hoverboard, that will probably take longer.”

“Think of how quickly your clothes dry when you turn a standard fan on them. Now imagine how quickly breathable, water resistant material dries when exposed to concentrated, high-pressure air. In lab tests, our jacket consistently experienced noticeable drying effects after just 30 seconds, with the average time of about a minute to achieve 90% drying effect.”

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Greek Cafe Serves Coffee by Day, Shelters Stray Dogs by Night

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The kind owners of a cafe in Greece are making headlines for their extraordinary generosity towards dogs. ‘Hot Spot’, located in Mytilene, on the island of Lesbos, serves as a coffee place during the day and doubles up as a shelter for dogs at night!

Kindness towards animals is apparently quite common among the Greeks, but the generosity displayed by the management of Hot Spot is being hailed as unprecedented, even by local standards. They began their practice of letting strays spend the night indoors in July, when a waiter took pity on a dog that was stranded outside at around 3 am. Since then, they’ve been opening their doors to the dogs every single night.

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Birdly – A Unique Virtual Simulator That Lets You Fly Like a Bird

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If you’ve always dreamed of soaring the skies like a bird, here’s your chance. You can’t fly for real, of course, but you can experience what it feels like thanks to a futuristic virtual simulator called Birdly.

According to the inventor, Swiss artist and software developer Max Rheiner, Birdly stimulates all the user’s senses to give the user a sense of flying, based on human dreams. “People who have dreams about flying, they can just fly without training and they have great feelings,” he said. “We tried to model this experience like those dreams.”

To use the machine, users are required to lie flat on their stomachs with their hands sprawled out. They also strap on special VR goggles that are programmed with real skylines and landscapes of American cities. Tilting the body up and down produces the effect of ascending or diving. The machine even blows wind with the appropriate force and recreates smells that relate to the landscape below. So users experience a salt-air aroma as they fly over the sea, and and industrial odors while gliding over cities.

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Controversial ‘Wall of Shame’ in Peru Separates the Rich from the Poor

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Everyone talks about the gap between the rich and poor, bit nowhere is this barrier more clear than Lima Peru, where a 10-kilometer concrete wall topped with barbed wire separates one of the cities richest communities from one of the poorest.

Located on the outskirts of Lima, the Wall of Shame’, also nicknamed ‘Peru’s Berlin Wall’, was erected to provide protection to the wealthy by preventing the poor from entering their neighborhood to commit crimes. It is so long that it can actually be plotted as a line on a satellite view of the area. The line separates Las Casuarinas, home to some of the nation’s richest citizens, from the suburb of Vista Hermosa, where the vast majority lives in poverty, without even the most basic amenities.  “The wooden houses illuminated by candles and the broken roofs are contrasted by multi-million pound houses within a few kilometers,” a local media news station recently described the situation.

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