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Man Uses Donkeys to Tow Faulty Luxury SUV Back to Dealership

A Shenyang businessman made Chinese headlines the other day, after he used two donkeys two tow his faulty Range Rover back to the dealership, in protest.

Just two weeks after another dissatisfied car owner had his Lamborghini Gallardo smashed with jackhammers, in protest of poor quality vehicles that auto companies chose to sell in China, a similar incident took place in front of a Rover dealership. A man sick of having to repair his Range Rover every few months, rented two donkeys and had them tow his broken vehicle back to its manufacturer, and asked for a total refund.

The protester bought his luxury SUV in 2010, for 2 million yuan ($304,000), and it reportedly broke down six times before he eventually had to replace the entire engine. When the car died on him for the seventh time, the angry owner felt he had to do something to send a clear message to car makers about the shady quality of their products. So he rented the donkeys, glued a protest banner to the SUV and towed it back to the dealership.

Although his actions grabbed a lot of media attention, they weren’t enough to convince Rover to give him the total refund he asked for. They’ll probably just fix it for him, again.

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Indian Woodcarvers Give the Skateboard an Oriental Twist

What do you get if you combine the old fashioned skateboard with the talent of a dozen Indian woodcarvers? The answer can be admired in the photos below.

All commercially-available skateboards are artistically designed, but companies usually opt for spray paint, abstract graphics and prints to personalize the board. German curator Tobias Megerle teamed up with a dozen traditional woodcarvers from Mumbai to give the skateboard a brand new make-over inspired by traditional Indian patterns.

Megerle remembers “The very first time I drove past I was magically attracted to the carved wooden objects in Mahim, all the open workshops, the woodcarvers sitting on the floor with their traditional tools, working on their items, the whole atmosphere”. As an artist he wanted to do something with their work, and after several visits studying their craft, he picked the good old skateboard to undergo the carvers’ artistic treatment.

Tobias Megerle’s art project was named Final Cut, and its main goal was to keep the skateboards functional even after Mumbai’s carvers were done with them. The results are truly amazing, and the German curator hopes his project will lift India’s woodcarvers from the state of craftsmen to that of artists.

These traditionally carved Indian skateboards are currently on exhibit at The LOFT at Lower Parel, in Mumbai, where they will remain until April 12.

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Chinese Animal Lover Adopts 140 Stray Dogs

Li Zongwen, a former chef from Wuhan, has made online headlines after Chinese media discovered he has taken in 140 stray dogs from the outskirts of the city.

The 59-year-old man began adopting strays from the streets of Wuhan in 2009, and in just two years time he has taken-in an impressive 140 hungry dogs. He put a roof over their heads, but admits he couldn’t afford to feed all of them, without donations from other local animal lovers. Food and rent for Mr. Li and his big family of canines cost around 5,000 yuan ($760) which is way more than he could pay on his own.

Although sharing a home with 140 animals isn’t exactly an easy task, considering the noise he has to put up with at night, and the considerable mess he has to clean up after them, Li Zongwen doesn’t complain. On the contrary, he likes having them around as he prepares a big bowl of dog chow, using a garden shovel, and even eats his own meals in their company. Maybe he should get in touch with Ha Wenjin, the woman who looks after 1,500 stray dogs and 200 cats, I’m sure they have a lot to learn from each other.

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Maine Chefs Make World’s Largest Whoopie Pie

In an attempt to raise money for charity and claim the title for the world’s largest whoopie pie, a team of Maine confectioners have created a frosted dessert weighing over 1,000 pounds.

They say the Amish invented the simple but delicious whoopie pie, but that didn’t stop the state of Maine from trying to claim it as its official dessert. Back in September 2010, at the annual festival of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania confectioners made a 250 pound whoopie pie, but that record was practically pulverized last Saturday, when Maine managed to top it with their own giant whoopie treat, weighing 1,062 pounds.

Local pie makers Wicked Whoopies provided the necessary ingredients for creating the giant calorie bomb, and assembly began around 8 am. After hours of work, which included lifting the baked top and bottom with a forklift, the drooling crowd gathered in front of Coast 93.1 radio station could finally stuff their face with frosted goodness. The event was also used as an opportunity to raise money for Maine troops serving abroad, so whoever wanted a slice of the world’s largest whoopie pie had to make a small donation. The raised funds will be used by Wicked Whoopies to pay shipping costs for the whoopie pies they plan to send to soldiers serving far from home.

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Mother Gives 8-Year-Old Daughter Regular Botox Shots

Keri Campbell, a beautician from San Francisco, gives her 8-year-old daughter Britney Botox shots every three months, to make her “popular” and “famous”.

According to British tabloid The Sun, the beauty-pageant-obsessed-mom is proud her daughter is probably the youngest child in the world to receive Botox injections and claims the treatment will help her become famous as a teenager. “I wish that I’d had the same advantages when I was younger. She is a lucky little girl and is going to be famous because of the benefits I am giving her so early,” Kerry says, adding that she just wants Britney to have the best start in life so she can become a superstar, easier.

What’s even more disturbing is the eight-year-old now asks to be given Botox shots, claiming she can see wrinkles: “I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections. They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much.” She says her friends think it’s cool she gets this kind of treatment, and want to be just like her.

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Chocolate Crack Pipes – A Sweet and Healthy Alternative to Tobacco

An Austrian chocolatier has invented an ingenious type of inhaler that could help people give up smoking and leave a sweet taste in their mouths, at the same time.

Created by confectioner Rouven Haas, Chococaps inhalers are small crack pipes the size of  normal cigarettes, containing a concentrated cocoa powder that can be inhaled, for a quick chocolate fix. They don’t contain nicotine or any other substance found in tobacco cigarettes, but the simple act of inhaling could help smokers give up the dirty habit, without any side-effects. And if you’re worried about gaining weight, forget about it. According to manufacturers, Chococaps allows you to enjoy the taste of chocolate, without putting on the pounds, so this could be a viable alternative to chocolate addicts worried about their figure.

It sounds like a really cool and innovative product, but it’s actually being criticized by health campaigners like anti smoking expert Otto Brandli, who said “it is a dangerous product that can only encourage the smoking of cigarettes or worse. It is idiotic to encourage this sort of behaviour”.

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Artist Makes Perfume Out of His Own Excrements

British artist Jammie Nicholas used his own faeces as the raw material for a perfume he calls “Surplus“. Believe it or nor, he has already sold 25 bottles of it, for $65 a pop.

In an interview with Viceland.com, Nicholas says he got the idea of producing his special perfume after reading “The History of Shit”, by Dominique Laporte, which “which analyses the theoretical and social implications of faeces, and its role as a building material for cosmetics. It suggested that pleasant smells were used to cover bad smells, so it could be suggested that a bad smell could be used to cover pleasant smells”. After doing some research and talking to a bunch of perfumers and scientists, he learned there are molecules that are common to both good and bad smells, just in different concentrations. For example, both faeces and white flowers like juniper or orange blossoms are made from the molecule Skatol. He also found out that many food companies use stuff like civet, an emulation of the anal secretions of the civet cat, and ambergis, which mimics a sperm whale’s gallstone.

Asked about the actual production process of his faeces perfume, Jammie says it all happened in his flat, where he worked with all the windows open and using nose plugs. It took him only a week to extract the “essential oils” from the excrements, then spent a lot longer setting up his distillation device and mixing the crazy concoction. He made a total of 85 bottles of 60 ml, and somehow managed to actually sell 25 of them.

Although the artist himself admits he has only used his Surplus perfume at private events, others who have tried it claim it actually smells pretty good. Well, it is eau de toilet(te)Read More »

Professor Splash Sets New Record for High Dive into Shallow Pool

Darren Taylor, better known as “Professor Splash“, has just set a new world record by swan diving 36 feet into a shallow kiddie pool.

Taylor, a professional diver from  Colorado, has been practicing high diving for the last 25 years, and already has 12 other Guinness Records under his belt. For his 13th one he traveled to Norway, where he jumped from 36 feet into just 12 inches of water. And if that’s not impressive enough, Guinness doesn’t allow the bottom of the kiddie pool to be inflated. “However, there are a couple of foam mats underneath the pool. Believe me, jumping and landing as flat as possible in 12 inches of water is tough enough as it is.” says the Professor.

Using his own special technique, Professor Splash leads with his hands, which breaks the impact on his face and pushes him forward as he hits the thin layer of water. “With my unique technique I can make each jump a world record one, but I must admit they are not getting any easier. You have to judge the wind, the cold, the time of day and become calm so that each jump is a success.” says the diver, who manages to remain unhurt, every time.

In Norway, he wanted the water to be as close to freezing point as possible, so it was dense enough to slow his descent when he impacted the water. He also had to land as flat as possible to “dissipate as much water for a cushion effect”.

Check out the video of his amazing stunt, after the jump.

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Animal Lovers Go on a Month-Long Dog Food Diet

Alison Weiner and Hanna Mandelbaum, co-owners of Evermore Pet Food, will eat their own dog food for an entire month, in a bid to convince the world their product is one hundred percent organic and healthy.

Hanna, 30, and Alison, 38, claim their dog food, which looks like  mixed with chili, is made with meat from chicken and cows raised on farms where gourmet markets get their meat from, and that it’s completely antibiotics and hormones free. According to the duo “a lot of pet foods claim to be human grade, but none of those companies put their mouth where there money is,”, so they’ve decided to stand up to the challenge and eat their own dog food for an entire month, and document the experience on their website.

Alison Wiener, who is a chef by training, says she and her friend couldn’t eat this dog food non-stop, because humans and canines have different nutritional requirements, with dogs needing a lot more protein, but they do eat at least one dog food meal a day. When they aren’t consuming the product they themselves created, the two women eat select ingredients that are actually found in the dog chow, like yams, kale, blueberries and dandelion greens. Although they admit their Evermore dog food isn’t exactly a delicacy for us humans, the two daredevils say “it really doesn’t taste that bad”.

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Chilean Taekwondo Instructor Opens Real-Life Jedi Academy

Following a dream of combining his passion for martial arts with his love for the Star Wars saga, a Chilean taekwondo instructor has opened the first Jedi school in South America.

William Berrueta has been a fan of the Star Wars franchise for a very long time, but it was the Star Wars Exhibition Tour, which came to Chile in 2005, that inspired the martial arts instructor to start a training program for young sci-fi enthusiasts, based on Jedi powers. It took a while for the 46-year-old to fulfill his dream, but last Thursday, the “Jedi Temple” school, in Quilpué, finally opened its doors to 20 would-be Jedi warriors, aged between six and twelve. Now, after being featured on BBC, it has already gained international acclaim.

“The idea is to make these children into Padawan,” said Berrueta, who will work with the young apprentices for a period of three months, teaching them yoga, self-defense and meditation. “In this period they will learn relaxation techniques, so they can concentrate and improve flexibility and mobility, so that they understand their bodies better.” Students of the Quilpué Jedi school will train dressed as Jedi fighters and practice with shatter-resistant lightsabers designed by William Berrueta himself. During exhibitions, they will use special sabers, imported from the US, for about $250 each.

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Japan’s Cat Island Safe after Quake and Tsunami

Tashirojima, also known as “Cat Island” was believed to have been devastated by the recent 9.0 earthquake and following tsunami, but a recent report shows both the human and feline population are safe.

I’m sure you’re as happy as I am to finally hear some good news after the disaster that recently struck Japan, but you’re probably wondering why I’m posting such news on a blog that’s supposed to be about oddities. You see, Tashirojima isn’t just some island off the coast of Japan, it’s somewhat of a cat haven where the human inhabitants believe their purring companions bring them luck and protection from harm. After the recent events, and the population’s miraculous survival, many are inclined to agree.

Cats were apparently brought to Tashirojima Island a long time ago, to eradicate the rodent population that prevented the successful breeding of silk worms. The felines did their job, but they also began gathering at fisherman inns and begging for scraps. Over time the people of the island became so fond of cats that they started studying their behavior and interpreting it as weather predictions and fish patterns. They even built a small cat shrine in the middle of the island, which has become a popular tourist attraction for cat lovers.

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Radio Contest Winners Walk Down the Aisle in the Nude

Kelly Clinton and Lee Wiggets have been together for 11 years, but financial priorities always prevented them from having the wedding they both dreamed of. Now, thanks to an unusual contest held by local radio station BRMB, they got their fairytale wedding, with a twist.

The two were voted winners of BRMB’s Naked Wedding competition, by 65% of voters, and won an all expenses paid wedding ceremony, as long as they showed up naked. It might not have been exactly as they pictured their big day, but you can’t let an opportunity like this just fly by. So on March 15, Kelly and Lee showed up at the Honiley Court Hotel, in Warwick, almost completely naked. The bride wore some skimpy underwear, a veil and a tiara, while the  groom used a top-hat to cover the family jewels.

The happy couple, who met when Lee was a door supervisor and Kelly was out with her friends, said they were a little nervous about showing up naked in front of their family and friends, but they’d recommend the experience to anyone who wants a special kind of wedding. Read More »

German Funeral School Offers Recession-Proof Job Training

The funeral business is probably the only one that hasn’t been affected by the recession, and people are turning to undertaker classes to make sure they find a job in these troubled times.

The Theo Remmertz Academy in Münnerstadt, northern Bavaria, claims it’s the only official funeral school in Europe. It offers a three year training course which teaches future undertakers the secrets of this creepy but profitable business. Students learn everything from how to dig a proper grave, and cement a vault, to how to deal with grieving families and write death notices. Most of the 525 apprentices currently attending the German funeral school have worked in completely different fields before, but the recession pushed them to find a more stable and secure area.

Trainers of the Theo Remmertz Academy admit that funeral skills used to be handed down from father to son, but times have changed, and with more and more people drawn to this recession-proof business, the need for an undertaker school became a business opportunity in itself. Now, groups from as far as China and Russia have contacted the school regarding their methods of training.

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Lamborghini Gallardo Owner Destroys His Own Car in Protest over Poor Service

A Chinese Lamborghini Gallardo owner decided to have his supercar destroyed in public, to show his dissatisfaction with the car maker’s services.

The businessman from Qingdao, Shandong Province, says the engine of his luxury sports-car, a Lamborghini Gallardo L140, failed to start on November 29, 2010, just six months after he bought it. As any other car owner would do, he contacted the Lamborghini dealer in Qingdao, and the trailer of a maintenance service provider entrusted by the dealer was sent to carry the car to a designated maintenance shop. When his Lamborghini was returned, the owner noticed the engine problem still hadn’t been fixed, and that the bumper and chassis had been damaged, probably during the towing.

When the owner pointed out the problems at the maintenance shop, they denied his claims and simply ignored his consumer rights, so the owner tried to work things out with Mr. Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini’s China division, with the auto-maker’s after-sales service manager for Asia-Pacific region, and even with brand owner Volkswagen Group, but no one took responsibility for what had happened. Under the circumstances, the outraged car owner felt there was only one thing he could do.

He decided to hire a group of construction workers to publicly destroy his faulty Lamborghini Gallardo L140 on World Consumer Rights Day, to attract attention to the consumer rights problem in China. He stated that, in recent years,  the Chinese people have been more than capable of consuming luxury goods, but international brands seek only to exploit the Chinese market and ignore the interests and rights of consumers. He feels that, in his case, Lamborghini failed to bring their famous high quality service to China, and this was the only way left he could protest.

In China, a Lamborghini Gallardo retails for between $529,000 and $757,000, depending on specifications.

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Man Lives on Beer and Water Alone, for Lent

J. Wilson, a blogger from Adams County, Iowa, is giving up solid food for Lent, as he investigates and old story about Paulaner monks who lived on beer and water only, during fasting periods.

Wilson, who has been a home beer brewer for more than 14 years, says he’s been considering testing the story of the Paulaner monks firsthand, for a few years now. According to old tales, this order of monks would use a dark, calorie-rich beer known as “liquid bread” to sustain themselves during fasting, when they weren’t allowed to consume solid foods.This happened in mid 16th century Germany, and no one really knows if this mysterious dopplebock ale actually replaced food, so Wilson is trying it out for himself.

Working with the guys at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, in West Des Moins, the young beer aficionado has created the Illuminator Dopplebock, which has 288 calories per 12-ounce pint, and an alcohol content of 6.67%. Lucky for J. Wilson, the state law has recently changed, allowing beer with more than 5% alcohol to be commercialized. He will consume four pints of Illuminator ale every day (around 1,200 calories) and a lot of water in between, to prevent dehydration.

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