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London Artisan Shop Sells Chopped Tree Branches for Up to $22 Each

London-based Botanique artisan shop recently sparked a bit of controversy online after it was revealed that it is selling small tree branch fragments for up to £18 each.

Botanique has apparently been selling these decorative sticks for a while now, but they were brought to the attention of the media a few days ago, when BBC presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted a picture of them to his 600,000 Twitter followers. The store, located in Stoke Newington, east London, sources the sticks from a professional woodworker and sells them for £12 to £18 ($15 to $22) depending on size and shape.

Made from birch or holly, the sticks are planed and sanded at the back and have holes drilled in them for easy mounting on the wall. Some of them have small notches that can be used to hang coats on.

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This Edible Prosecco-Flavored Nail Polish Makes Nail Biting Hard to Resist

If you’re looking for a way to shake off that nasty nail biting habit, this ain’t it. If anything, this prosecco-flavored nail varnish will only make it worse.

Prosecco Polish, “the world’s first edible prosecco flavored nail polish”, was created last month, by UK-based company Groupon, in celebration of Mother’s Day. It’s made with real Prosecco – a cheaper alternative to champagne – and apparently smells and tastes just like the popular Italian wine. The lick-able golden varnish not only makes your nails look pretty, but also places the flavor of prosecco literally at your fingertips to enjoy without fear of a hangover.

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This Chinese Boy Band Is Actually Made Up of Androgynous Girls

One of China’s newest pop sensations, a group called Acrush, puts a new twist on the concept of “boy band”, as its five members are in fact androgynous women.

Acrush is set to release their debut music video at the end of this month, but the band is already causing a stir online with its unique concept. The group was recently showcased to the public in a “Husband Exhibition” – an event organized by social media giant Tencent to promote pop stars who appear on its online streaming site – and the group’s popularity simply skyrocketed. With no single to their name yet, the girls already have 900,000 followers on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. That’s a pretty big deal, considering established stars like Katie Perry have around one million fans.

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Claw Machine Master Collects 15,000 Plush Toys in Just One Year

They say claw machines are rigged to prevent users from actually catching a prize, but one Chinese man seems to have learned their secret. In just one year, Chen Zhitong has amassed a collection of over 15,000 plush toys from claw machines.

When we first heard about Chen Zhitong, about a year ago, he was making headlines in China for his ability to control claw machines in his home city of Xiamen. He had already collected over 3,000 toys at the time, which is a lot more than most people catch in a lifetime. But our boy has been very busy this past year, and now his collection of claw machine toys stands at a whopping 15,000. That has to be some kind of record!

Chen’s reputation as a claw machine master has now transcended Chinese borders, and he was recently featured in a short documentary by Great Big Story. In it, he talks about how he chooses the claw machines he plays at, his relationship with claw machine operators and what he does with all the toys he wins.

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Belgian Cattle Breeder Treats His Cows to Four Liters of Beer a Day

Hugues Derzelle, a cattle breeder from Chimay, Belgium, believes that one of the secrets to great tasting, marbled beef could be beer, so for the past few months he has been giving some of his cows four liters of dark beer every day.

Derzelle says he came up with the idea after reading that Japanese Kobe beef producers massage their cows, play them soothing music and give them beer to drink. A quick Google search reveals that this is nothing but a myth, albeit a very popular one, but that doesn’t seem to have mattered very much to the Belgian breeder. Since November, he has been treating two of his cows to four liters of local Sara de Silenrieux dark beer, in the hopes that it would improve the marbling of their meat as well as the taste.

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These Photos Aren’t Censored, That’s Just an Object Painted with the World’s Blackest Black

People are freaking out over a series of photos of people holding something censored by what looks like a photoshopped black circle. Only that’s really just an object painted with Vantablack, the world’s blackest black.

Developed by UK-based Surrey NanoSystems three years ago, Vantablack has been fascinating both scientists and artists ever since. This amazing pigment is composed of a series of microscopic vertical tubes that deflect light between them, essentially trapping it. Vantablack apparently absorbs 99.96 percent of light that hits it, making any three-dimensional object coated with it look like a black two-dimensional flat surface. So the object in these photos could literally be anything and you could never tell unless looking it from an angle that reveals its texture and depth.

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The Anarchists Illegally Fixing the Streets of Portland

Sick of waiting for the local authorities to fix the streets and roads of their pothole-riddled city, a group of self-described anarchists decided to patch the pesky holes themselves, even if it means breaking the law.

The Portland Anarchist Road Care (PARC) was founded by a small circle of friends in response to the deteriorating road conditions in the Oregon city, which they believed made driving or cycling more costly and dangerous for citizens. They grew tired of waiting for the city to fix this pesky problem, and decided to do it themselves, using a well-known technique called cold patching. The anonymous anarchist have fixed potholes on three Portland blocks so far, but are constantly on the lookout for new crevices to fill.

“The roads in Portland were getting worse and worse, and like everyone else, we were just waiting for someone else to fix it,” a member of PARC told The Huffington Post. “We sort of reflected on the situation, and asked ourselves the questions made famous by John Lewis: ‘If not us, then who? If not now, then when?’ Two days later we were patching holes.”

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Cheapest House in San Francisco Costs $499,000, Is Uninhabitable

You know housing prices in San Francisco are absolutely insane when the cheapest house on the market costs half a million dollars and is virtually uninhabitable.

It’s no secret that buying a house in the Bay Area is next to impossible for the average person. According to Zillow real estate experts, the median listing price for a detached home in San Francisco is $1.15 million, and the median monthly rent is around $4,000. That’s a lot more than most people can afford, but if you keep an eye out, you can sometimes find better deals. Like this house in the Excelsior District of San Fran currently on sale for “just” $499,000. Half a million bucks is not pocket change, but compared to most of the houses listen on real estate sites, it’s practically a steal. The only problem is that you can’t really live in it.

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Cuddling with Cows Is the Cutest Form of Therapy

If you’re looking for a unique but sure way to let loose and forget about the stress of your daily life, head off to the Swiss country side for a session of cow cuddling therapy. It’s sure to do the trick!

Sibylle Zwygart’s family runs a dairy farm in Tenniken. Switzerland’s Basel-Landschaft canton. Three years ago she and her father were watching over one of their cows during calving, and while the birth of three adorable calves was usually a joyous event, this time was different. Her father’s trained eyes immediately noticed that two of the calves were sterile females, and the third was a bull, so none of them were of any use for their dairy business. Sibylle’s father planned to sell them all to the slaughterhouse, but she pleaded with him to let her keep them.

It took some convincing, but the farmer finally gave in to his daughter’s heartfelt pleas, on one condition – that she somehow find the money to cover the cost of their feed and veterinary bills. Sibylle agreed, and has spent most of her time since then looking after and training the three animals, which she named Svea, Sven and Svenja. As soon as they were old enough, she started putting them to “work”.

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Young Woman Lands Dream Job Testing Sofas for 10 Hours a Day

26-year-old Anna Cherdantseva, from the city of Ufa, in Russia’s Bashkortostan Republic is a full-time sofa tester, spending up to 10 hours every day trying out new sofas for comfort and safety.

Last month, Russian furniture giant MZ5 Group announced that it was taking application for a new position – full-time sofa tester. Although all new products are tested in a specialized laboratory, management decided that in order to better meet the needs of consumers it needed some feedback on real-life use of its sofas. In just a few days, MZ5 received over 5,000 job applications from people eager to spend most of their time sitting and lying on sofas.

“We were selected candidates in several stages,” MZ5 Group spokesperson Anastasia Russkih said. “Initially we checked their CVS, and then we let them tell us why they wanted the job.” Eventually, the furniture company shortlisted just 7 candidates, out of which Anna Cherdantseva, a 26-year-old marketing expert, proved to be the most suitable for the job.

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New Taipei Restaurant Uses Bikini-Clad Waitresses to Attract Customers

A hot-pot restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan, recently got a lot of attention online after photos of young bikini-clad waitresses serving and interacting with customers went viral.

The hot-pot restaurant business in Taiwan and mainland China is very competitive, and it’s very hard for newcomers to get an edge by relying solely on the quality of the food and impeccable service. So the owners of ‘Fresh Feast’, a new restaurant that opened in the Songshan district of Taipei, decided that they needed some extreme marketing in order to get the word out about their eatery and attract customers. For the grand opening, they hired five good-looking models and had them serve customers dressed only in skimpy bikinis.

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In Switzerland Onion Skins Are More Expensive Than Actual Onions

With Easter just around the corner, Christians around the world are stocking up on eggs and dyes for the traditional egg dyeing. But while most of us have grown used to chemical dyes, some still prefer the natural approach, like boiling white eggs with onion skins. This is apparently very popular in Switzerland, where people actually pay for bags of onion peels selected specifically for egg dyeing.

Dyeing Easter eggs with onion skins is not a Swiss tradition. In fact, I remember my mother used to do it when I was little, taking differed plant leaves, and placing them on the eggs before wrapping them in a large onion skin, putting them in a sock and boiling them in a pot of water with more skins thrown in for a more intense coloring effect. But she used orange skins saved up for weeks in advance, instead of buying them from the supermarket, like some Swiss do nowadays.

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This Drip-Proof Wine Bottle May Be the Greatest Scientific Breakthrough of Our Time

If you’ve ever poured wine out of a glass bottle, you’re already familiar with that annoying yet inevitable stream of spillage on the side of the bottle. It’s been a bane of wine aficionados for centuries, but no more, thanks to this drip-proof wine bottle created by a biophysicist.

Humanity has come a long way in the last two centuries. We’ve found cures to deadly diseases, sent people into outer space and connected the world through the internet, but we still had to put up with the frustration of pouring wine. There’s no way to avoid spilling that delicious liquid when pouring it out of a classic glass bottle. Sommeliers know this and wrap a napkin around the neck of the bottle when they pour. But that just wasn’t a good enough solution for Daniel Perlman, a wine lover and biophysicist at Brandeis University. So he set out to find a cheap and effective fix to this centuries-old problem.

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Grocery Store Owner Has Been Offering Free Bread to the Needy for the Last 8 Years

For the last 8 year, about 200 residents of Strunino, a small town in Russia’s Vladimir Oblast region have not had to worry about buying bread, thanks to the generosity of a local grocery store owner who has been giving it away for free.

Mamoud Shavershyan came to Russia, from Armenia, 25 years ago. He worked as an engineer, before setting up his own business, a small grocery store no different than other such stores in Strunino. But everything changed one day, 8 years ago when, sitting behind the counter, Mamoud saw an old lady counting dozens of coins to pay for a couple of loaves of bread. He found it humiliating for the pensioner and ended up giving her the bread for free. That day, he made the decision to print coupons that pensioners in Strunino could exchange for white or black bread at his store. To make sure that people knew about his offer he advertised it a local paper.

But that was only the beginning. Soon, Mamoud extended his generous offer to people with disabilities, large families with low income, and the generally poor. News spread like wildfire, and soon poor people from neighboring villages started coming by his shop to receive coupons. Today, the “Eric” grocery store in Strunino gives away around 2,000 loaves of white bread and 1,000 loaves of black bread, every month. They also regularly donate gingerbread to local kindergartens, and to coupon holders during holidays. And for their kindness, Mamoud and his family are “rewarded” with insults, racial slurs and accusations of theft…

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Man in Colorful Parrot Costume Helps Sell House Online

If you’re looking for a way to to make your property stand out on a real-estate website, dressing up as a colorful parrot and posing for photos seems to work wonders.

At least it worked for the owner of a house in Blackrod, UK, who had asked his estate agent to come up with a way of selling his home faster. Steve Laycock, of Platinum Properties, claims that he came up with the idea while talking with the unnamed property owner. “We came up with the idea as the owner asked us ‘what are you going to do to help sell the property?’ he told The Bolton News. “I said ‘are you up for a laugh? – What about a parrot in fancy dress?'”

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