Woman Arrested for Posing as a Man to Marry Another Woman

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An Indonesian woman who went to great lengths to impersonate a man and even married another woman was recently detained by police after “his” wife alerted authorities about the deception.

40-year-old Surwati, who like most Indonesian goes by a single name, admitted to falsifying her identity and impersonating a man. She had taken the name Muhamad Efendi Saputra and told people “he” was a police officer. Her male impersonating skills were apparently stellar because she managed to full everybody and even convinced a woman into marriage. After a whirlwind romance lasting a couple of months, Muhamad married 25-year-old Heniyati in a ceremony on Java island. To avoid raising any suspicions, Surwati reportedly hired a number of people to pose as relatives of her male alter ego at the wedding.

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Scientists Draw Eyes on the Butts of Cows to Protect Them from Lions

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It might sound like a silly idea, but it turns out that drawing eyes on the rumps of cattle might deter lions from attacking and prevent human retaliation against the mighty predators.

It sounds like a strategy to protect the poor cattle, but the idea is actually to protect endangered African lions from human retaliation. The majestic felines are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with numbers currently in the range of 23,000 to 39,000 and rapidly declining. “As protected conservation areas become smaller, lions are increasingly coming into contact with human populations, which are expanding to the boundaries of these protected areas,” says Dr Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist from UNSW’s Centre for Ecosystem Science. The lions attack livestock, and with no non-lethal way of protecting their livelihood farmers often shoot or poison the predators in retaliation.

To help humans and their cattle coexist with lions, Jordan has come up with a low-cost strategy that he hopes will prevent attacks and retaliatory violence. The idea behind painting a pair of intimidating eyes on the rumps of cows is that they will trick the lions into thinking they’ve been spotted, causing them to abandon the hunt. Scientists know that being seen can deter some species from attacking their prey. For example, Indian woodcutters have long been wearing worn masks on the back of their heads to trick man-eating tigers that they’ve been spotted, and butterflies with eye-patterns on their wings ward off predatory birds.

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Electronics Enthusiast Spends $53,000 Building a Supercomputer That Only Plays Tetris

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Computer geeks spend ridiculous amounts of money on high-end rigs all the time, but one digital electronics engineer from Cambridge, England, poured a small fortune into building a giant computer that he only uses to play Tetris.

James Newman’s supercomputer took five years to build, cost over $53,000 and takes up an entire room, yet it is a million times slower and has a million times less memory than a typical desktop. That’s because it’s actually just a mega microprocessor. “Computers are quite opaque, looking at them it’s impossible to see how they work. What I would like to do is get inside and see what’s going on,” Newman explains on the Megaprocessor project website. “Trouble is we can’t shrink down small enough to walk inside a silicon chip. But we can go the other way; we can build the thing big enough that we can walk inside it. Not only that we can also put LEDs on everything so we can actually SEE the data moving and the logic happening.” And that’s exactly what he spent the last five decades doing. As of June 22, the Megaprocessor is finally complete.

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Gotta Catch’em All: Man Quits His Job to Hunt Pokemon Full Time

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Tom Currie, a 24-year-old Pokemon fan from New Zealand, recently quit his job so he could spend the next two months traveling all around the country to hunt all the Pokemon in the mobile game phenomenon Pokemon Go.

Currie was working at a Hibiscus Coast cafe in Auckland when he decided that in order to become the best Pokemon Go hunter the world has ever seen he would need to quit and focus all his attention on the app. Every morning, he fills up his flask with coffee, packs his lunch and heads out looking for new Pokemon to collect. He has already booked bus trips to various destinations around New Zealand, from Invercargill in the country’s South Island all the way up to Cape Reinga in North Island. When Newshub interviewed him two days ago, Tom had already managed to capture 90 of the 151 Pokemon released in the popular Nintendo app.

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Canadian Buddhist Monks Buy 600 Pounds of Lobsters from Restaurants, Release Them into the Ocean

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A group of Buddhist monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, on Prince Edward Island, recently bought around 600 pounds of live lobsters from various restaurants and released them into the ocean.

600 pounds of lucky lobsters were spared the boiling cooking pot last Saturday when Buddhist monks in Little Sands bought as many of them as they could find around Prince Edward island with the purpose of setting them free. Enlightened Dan, of the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society, said the purpose of this unique mission was not to challenge people’s dietary options, but merely to send a message of compassion. “We respect everyone’s dietary choice, so we’re not doing this to convert everybody to be vegetarians or vegans,” he said. This whole purpose for us is to cultivate this compassion toward others. It doesn’t have to be lobsters, it can be worms, flies, any animals, drive slower so we don’t run over little critters on the street.”

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Man Pays $11,000 for a Bunch of Grapes

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A grocery store owner in Japan recently paid 1.1 million yen ($11,000) for a bunch of grapes of the Ruby Roman variety. He now plans to put them on display in his store and then give them to customers as taste samples.

Special fruits are a status symbol in Japan, sort of like rare wines in the Western world. It’s also customary to give high-quality fruits for formal occasions like weddings, business meetings or hospital visits and there are specialized fruit shops that sell only the rarest, most perfect products, grown in special conditions to ensure they look and taste as good as possible. The truly exceptional fruits are regularly auctioned off to the highest bidder, who often gift them to people perceived to be of a higher status, as a sign of respect and appreciation.

The 30 grapes bought by Takamaru Konishi were the first of the Ruby Roman variety harvested this season. They were the size of ping pong balls, and the buyer himself called them “truly Ruby Roman gems”. Well, they better had been, to be worth $11,000, or $370 per grape.

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Inspiring Norwegian Family Lives in a Sustainable Glass Dome in the Arctic Circle

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Inspired by a vision to create a sustainable and healthy home and way of life for their family, Benjamin and Ingrid Marie Hertefølger have built a unique all-natural house completely covered by a glass dome, on a plot of land on Norway’s Sandhorney island, in the Arctic Circle.

The Hertefølgers knew they wanted to live in an eco-home made of only natural materials – cob (a mixture of sand, clay and straw), wood and glass – but also that it had to withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Arctic Circle. Aware of the robust properties of geodesic domes, they contacted Solardome Industries about a bespoke dome to cover their new house. It had to withstand the heavy snowfalls common to Northern Norway, maintain a uniform temperature throughout the year, reduce ultraviolet radiation, minimise maintenance and act as a greenhouse for the family’s organic vegetable and fruit garden.

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The Last Prince of Italy Is Selling Pasta from a Food Truck in California

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One of the last places you would expect to find a real Italian prince is driving a food truck on the streets of Los Angeles, California. But that hasn’t stopped His Royal Highness Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, the only male heir of Italy’s exiled king, Umberto II, from trying his luck in the American mobile food business.

“I came to Los Angeles six months ago for an event and I realized there were various Mexican and Asian food trucks around,” the prince told Italian magazine, Chi. “I thought ‘why don’t I try it?’ With a food truck with fresh Italian pasta that is loved around the world.” So he bought himself a food truck, painted it in the colors of House Savoy and named it “Prince of Venice”, after one of his would-be titles which are not recognized by the Italian government.

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Entrepreneurs Sell Canned Ibiza Air as Souvenirs

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A pair of bold Ibiza entrepreneurs have come up with a way of making a bit of money by selling the island’s cheapest and most easily available commodity – air. “Aire de Ibiza” tin cans full of “pure and virgin” air cost just €5.90 ($6.5) and are apparently a big hit with tourists looking for special souvenirs.

Selling canned or bottled air isn’t exactly a new business idea. As far as we know, it all started in 2012, when Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao started selling cans of fresh air for about $0.80 a piece, as a way of raising awareness to the country’s air pollution problems. It wasn’t meant to be a real business venture, but it got people interested and before long, veritable bottled-air companies started popping out all across the globe. We even mentioned a few here on Oddity Central, like Vitality Air – a startup selling fresh Canadian air mainly to the Chinese market, Air de Montcuq – a company selling cans of fresh air from the French country side, or this group of Russian entrepreneurs selling air from Yeti’s cave.

But while the air cans sold by the companies mentioned above can be opened and savored, Aire de Ibiza tins are sealed shut on purpose, to prevent buyers from opening them. They are designed merely as souvenirs for tourists meant to bring back memories of their time on the island. While you’ll never be able to check for yourself, unless you’re willing to ruin the souvenir, the brilliant minds behind Aire de Ibiza claim that each can is filled with “100 percent pure air, no additives, made in Spain and gluten free”. The tongue-in-cheek description is a nice touch, but is it worth $6.5? Some people certainly don’t think so.

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Indian Man Rents Car, Sells It Online, Then Steals It Back on the Same Day

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A 28-year-old man from New Delhi was recently arrested for selling a rented car online and then stealing it back from the new owner on the same day. His scheme actually worked the first time, but he was apprehended when he got greedy and tried to pull it off a second time.

Mintoo Kumar, son of a retired Army captain and struggling entrepreneur, was looking for a way to make some money after his businesses failed, when inspiration struck. He rented a used Mahindra XUV 500 and soon also started looking for an identical one in New Delhi. Once he found it, the conman spent the next couple of months trying to get the registration details of the car and used them to forge a registration certificate for the rented vehicle. Once the paperwork was ready, he posted an ad for the car on an eCommerce website and waited for gullible buyers. He actually managed to sell the car pretty fast, but in order to complete his grand scheme he needed to steal it back again, fast. Using a GPS device, he managed to track down the rented vehicle to its new location, and since the owner hadn’t had time to change the locks, stole it using a duplicate key.

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Pablo EskoBear – The Legendary Cocaine Bear of Kentucky

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When it comes to weird tourist attractions, it’s hard to beat a stuffed black bear that died of what many people consider the worst cocaine overdose in history. Nicknamed Pablo EscoBear, the unique tourist attraction is currently on display at the Kentucky for Kentucky Fun Mall, in Lexington.

On December 23, 1985, the New York Times reported about a 175-pound black bear that had apparently died of an overdose of cocaine in Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. Three months earlier, drug smuggler Andrew Thornton II had dropped large quantities of drugs from an airplane over that area, before jumping from it himself. Unfortunately, Thornton got tangled in his parachute and fell to his death in someone’s yard, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Before turning to a life of crime, Kentucky blue blood Andrew Thornton II had worked as a narcotics officer of all things, and then as a lawyer. It is believed that he had built his network of connections during his time on the right side of the law, before becoming a drug smuggler. He was on a coke-smuggling run from Colombia when he dropped 40 plastic containers full of cocaine in Chattahoochee National Forest.

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Chinese Woman Nearly Loses Eyesight After Undergoing “Punching Therapy”

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An old woman from Harbin, China, has almost gone blind after enduring numerous beatings as a form of therapy. The simple-minded lady actually believed that by getting hit in the head and other parts of her body would actually improved her health.

The woman, known only by her surname – Bao – started attending “punching therapy” sessions in 2011, at the recommendation of a therapist  from the “Natural Shock Health Club.” Somehow, receiving heavy blows to the head, eyes and body didn’t convince Bao that the treatment was a seriously bad idea, so she kept attending the painful one-hour sessions twice or three times a week. She was apparently convinced that getting hit repeatedly could cure all illnesses, although anyone with a bit of common sense would probably realize the beatings would only cause illnesses, not cure them.

After enduring punching therapy about 160 times in 18 months, Bao started noticing that not only was the bizarre treatment not curing her health problems, but it was also affecting her vision. After receiving hard blows to the head and eyes, the woman found that she couldn’t see clearly out of her right eye. She apparently informed her Natural Shock Health Club therapist, who reassured her that it was a “normal reaction” of her body and that it would go away eventually. So she kept playing punching bag in the name of health, only her sight gradually got worse. She could barely see anything with her right eye, and after visiting an eye doctor, she was diagnosed with cataracts.

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Company Recycles Coffee Grounds into Durable Coffee Cups

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German company Kaffeeform combines dried coffee grounds and biopolymer to create stylish-looking coffee cups and saucers that are not only durable and dishwasher-safe, but even smell a bit like coffee.

For every cup of coffee you brew, about two tablespoons of grounds wind up in the trash. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but just think about the millions of coffees consumed around the world every single day, and you’ll start to see the problem. Sure, some of those coffee grounds are recycled as fertilizer or beauty products like face masks, but most of it ends up at landfills. It was while contemplating this issue that German designer product designer Julian Lechner came up with a radical new and sustainable way of recycling coffee grounds – turning them into tableware.

Lechner first came up with the idea of using coffee grounds to create eco-friendly crockery while attending university in the Italian city of Bolzano. “We were always drinking coffee at university,” he remembers. “Before classes, after classes, meeting friends, hanging out at espresso bars—all the time. And that’s how I started to wonder, What happens to all that coffee? It was all just getting thrown away.” He began consulting with his professors about ways of using coffee grounds to create a solid material, but it took him years to actually come up with a viable solution.

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Japanese “Zoo Jeans” Are Actually Designed by Lions

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How much would you pay for a truly one-of-a-kind pair of jeans featuring an abstract pattern of scratches and bite arks designed by lions at a Japanese zoo? Only ten pairs will be available this year, so you’d better be ready to break the piggy bank.

Zoo Jeans are part of a revitalization campaign for Japn’s Tohoku region, and were originally thought up at Sendai City’s Tohoku Gakuin University. The first pairs were originally launched in 2014, when lions, tigers and bears were given a series of toys wrapped in denim and allowed to literally leave their mark on the fabric. The toys were then retrieved and the denim was passed over to jeans makers who made sure the placement of claw and bite marks on the pants was just right. Although very pricey, Zoo Jeans proved extremely popular, so this year, the Tohoku Gakuin University is selling another 10 pairs designed by lions, via online auction.

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Computer Repair Shop Owner to Close His Business Because Technology Has Made Him Sick

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36-year-old Richard Kimberley, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, has been running his “csmicros” computer repair business for the last 20 years, but he plans to close it down on July 22nd, claiming radiation signals from wireless technology have given him a rare condition known as electro-hypersensitivity (EHS).

Ever since he launched his business in 1996, Richard has been working around phones, computers and Wi-Fi signals on a regular basis, and he believes the constant exposure to technology has taken a toll on his health. “Due to an over-exposure to the radiation from wireless technology, my health has declined to the point where I cannot continue with the business that I have spent my life building,” he says. “I’d wake up five or six times in a night, my joints were aching, I’d have headaches during the day and my memory was awful – I felt atrocious and I had no idea why. I’ve had to rely on staff for the past 18 months since becoming EHS. I have persevered, battling with electro-hypersensitivity for as long as I can.”

Mr. Kimberley said that his problems began in 2013, when he moved into a dual shop and house premise on Stourport Road, Kidderminster. He started experiencing black outs, headaches and extreme tiredness, yet his condition improved when he removed wireless technology from the house. But wireless technology is everywhere these days, and his electro-hypersensitivity has made it really hard for Richard to live a normal life. Since October last year, he has been living in a van fitted with aluminium lining to block out radiation signals. He says the only way to avoid feeling sick is to park the van in spots he feels are safe, every night.

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