Woman Donates Kidney to Her Boss, Gets Fired

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47-year-old Debbie Stevens, a divorced mother of two from Long Island, donated her kidney to help out her boss. You’d think the least she could receive in return was some gratitude, but instead she was promptly fired. The behavior of the boss in question truly seems unfathomable. Stevens now contends that she was being set up and used by her 61-year-old boss, Jackie Brucia.

Stevens and Brucia met as co workers at the billion-dollar Atlantic Automotive Group. At the time, Stevens was a clerical worker, while Brucia was one of the company’s controllers. Later, Stevens left the company in June 2010 and moved to Florida, but she happened to meet Brucia again on a visit to Long Island. It was then that she came to know of Brucia’s illness and difficulty in finding a kidney donor. As a ‘naturally generous’ person, Stevens offered to donate her own kidney if the need arose. To which Brucia replied, “You never know, I may have to take you up on that offer.”

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Guy Makes Life-Size Mummy Out of McDonald’s Food

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Ben Campbell, a dude who refers to himself as “some kind of artist from west Texas”, sent us these photos of a life-size mummy he created out of about $200 worth of McDonald’s food.

You’re probably thinking Ben needs a better hobby, but you have to remember he’s not just some guy with nothing better to do, he’s some kind of artist, so he has a pretty good explanation for creating his unique McDonald’s food mummy. Apparently, for the last couple of months, Campbell has been working on an art show to highlight the connection between ancient Egypt and modern society, and his meat mummy is the centerpiece. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it and Ben himself explains that “ancient Egypt was obsessed with achieving immortality through customs that included mummification and the construction of pyramids. Modern society is likewise obsessed with achieving a from of immortality through our own customs that include pursuing celebrity status and constructing corporations.” And since McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest corporations… See the connection?

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Russian Woman Aims to Become Most Realistic-Looking Human Doll

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I don’t know why, but there seems to be a sudden surge in the obsession over Barbie-like looks on the internet. It was only a few days ago that we did a complete feature on five different doll lookalikes, and now we have news of one more such woman. 21-year-old Valeria Lukyanova is an internet sensation in her home country of Russia. Her popularity stems from the fact that she might be the closest anyone’s ever come to looking like a real live Barbie Doll.

Valeria looks very unreal, almost plastic. Her face is expressionless, and her body proportions are quite abnormal. It’s highly unusual to find a woman with a naturally tiny waist, a huge chest and plasticy-looking blond hair. Many speculate that Valeria is either a product of plastic surgery, or her photographs have been doctored by photoshop. The girl has no qualms about discussing her looks though, and refers to herself as the most popular woman on the Russian-language Internet, on her blog.

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Gaza Zoo Puts Creepy Stuffed Animals in Cages to Cut Food Costs

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If you visited the Khan Younis Zoo in the impoverished Gaza strip, you would see quite a variety of animals, but on close inspection, you would realize that over half of them aren’t even alive. The ones that died have been stuffed before going on display to keep visitors entertained. It sounds pretty creepy but the zoo keepers really have no choice. They cannot afford to get new animals across the border, and don’t really wish to smuggle them illegally, and can barely afford the food costs for the few live animals they have left. So it’s up to the embalmed corpses of the zoo’s dead animals to entertain the 200,000 odd people of Khan Younis.

In total, the Palestinian zoo has only 65 live animals the rest of which have all been stuffed. The zoo owner, Mohammed Awaida, said that he lost several of his animals in December 2008, during Israel’s 3-week military offensive against Hamas. He could not reach the zoo during this period and the animals died due to starvation and neglect. “The idea to mummify animals started after the Gaza war because a number of animals like the lion, the tiger, monkeys and crocodiles died. So we asked around and we learned from the Web how to start.”

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Dead Dogs – World’s Creepiest Hot-Dogs Are Prepared in a Black Coffin

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What do you get when you combine hot dogs and coffins? Dead Dogs, of course! The name may be a bit of a put-off but going by popular opinion, but these hot dogs prepared and sold from the inside of a black coffin are to die for.

Dead Dogs was founded in the most unusual of circumstances. The owner, La Barbera, a car collector and shopping center developer, had no intention of going into the food business. It was his love for cars that led him into setting up this bizarre hot dog shop. He happened to win a lowball bid for a Cadillac hearse at $12,000 last year. What he didn’t know and found out only after the car was delivered, was that it came with a huge coffin. For a while he had no idea what to do with it, but then the idea to adapt the hearse for the food-truck revolution hit him. “It was just another idea that popped into my head,” says the 64-year-old.

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Baseball Fan Has Caught over 5,800 Home Run and Foul Balls

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Zack Hample, from New York, is a baseball fan and bawl hawk – he’s great at catching and stealing balls. But Zack isn’t an ordinary ball hawk, because no one else boasts a collection as impressive as his: more than 5,800 balls, both home runs and fouled balls. The way he goes after balls at matches can be characterized as almost professional.

A typical game for Zack Hample goes kind of like this – running around the Major League ballpark, searching for foul balls or home runs, and sometimes even convincing coaches and players to toss balls into the stands. As you can imagine, being a ball hawk is no walk in the park. It involves a lot of athleticism, a bit of science and loads of luck too. All three of which Hample has plenty of. His collection of baseballs is the largest in the world. “Yes, I’m obsessed,” he admits.

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Eau de MacBook Pro: A Fragrance That Smells Like New Apple Products

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The Apple MacBook Pro is definitely not the most affordable laptop on the market right now, but thanks to custom scent developer, Air Aroma, you can now close your eyes, take a sniff of hour old machine and imagine you actually own one of Apple’s expensive devices.

This may very well be the weirdest perfume ever created… Oh, who am I kidding, we’ve had real fragrances synthesized from urine and excrements, but this one is pretty strange too. Apparently, the guys at Air Aroma have been working around the clock to make a perfume that combines the unique aroma of cardboard, printed ink, plastic wrap and a brand new aluminum laptop. The formula was commissioned by by Melbourne based artists Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer and Simon McGlinn, for their exhibition on the digital age and the rise of new technology, entitled “De Facto Standard”

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Monkey-Man Keinichi Ito – The Fastest Man on All Fours

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29-year-old Kenichi Ito, from Tokyo, says he has loved monkeys ever since he was a child. He has always been able to identify with animals, and harbored an ambition to adopt one of their traits. His deep desire has been fulfilled, now that he is actually able to move around quite comfortably on all fours, just like a monkey. It all started one day when he witnessed a monkey running quickly. From that point on, he claims he practiced running like the animal every day, until he became the fastest man on all fours.

“You know, my face and body kind of look like a monkey, so from a young age everybody used to tease me, saying ‘monkey, monkey,’” Ito said in his neat apartment, sitting in front of a large poster of a chimpanzee. But I wasn’t really bothered because I really liked them, and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits. When I saw a monkey that could run fast, I knew I’d found it – and from that point on I practiced running like a monkey every day,” Keinichi Ito says about how it all started.

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Man Tries Out To Become Cheerleader for Denver Broncos

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I don’t think there are any rules against men becoming cheerleaders. But even if there was one, it wouldn’t stop Sacha Heppel, from Colorado, whose dream is to join the ranks of professional NFL cheerleaders. His current mission, to become the first male cheerleader for the Denver Broncos, however, fizzled out when he was rejected by the judges. Heppel competed with 200 other women at the first round of the 2012 Denver Broncos Cheerleader tryouts last Sunday, dressed in a turquoise shirt and tight fitting black pants.

Heppel’s love for dance is what compelled him to try cheerleading. He is not a professional dancer, although he enjoys it very much. “When I dance, I lose myself,” he says. His previous job involved standing at a street corner with a sign where would do several dance routines to keep people entertained. He was disappointed when he didn’t make the cut, but he says he will try hard again next year.

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Dutch Insect Cookbook Will Have You Eat Bugs

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Some people will eat anything that moves or even crawls. While the rest of us are wrinkling our noses at them, they’re actually at an advantage, because insects are considered to be very rich in proteins. A group of Dutch insect munchers love their creepy crawly snacks so much they’re releasing a special Insect Cookbook, next week. Their creation is said to be dedicated to promoting insects as a great source of nourishment. I haven’t read it myself, but I’ve heard it contains some pretty unique recipes like how to add worms to your chocolate muffin mix, or grasshoppers on a mushroom risotto.

For obvious reasons, many people aren’t too enthusiastic about the Insect Cookbook, but a few feel that it couldn’t be coming out at a better time. According to Marcel Dicke, a professor at Wageningen University, the world population is expected to hit 9 billion by 2050, and there may not be sufficient land to raise livestock that meets everybody’s needs. We might just have to turn to bugs as a protein alternative. The university also said the nutritional value of insects is quite similar to that of meat, and it is more environmentally friendly to raise insects instead of livestock. “I see this as the next step towards the introduction of insects on restaurant menus in the Netherlands. I also expect people to buy the book and start cooking with insects at home,” says Dicke. However, he does admit that there might be some resistance towards insect foods, especially from the countries where people consume large portions of meat.

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Japanese Goggles Make Food Look Bigger, Help You Lose Weight

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A team of Japanese researchers at Tokyo University have invented a pair of “slimming goggles” that make food look larger to help you eat less and thus lose weight. Sounds simple and effective, doesn’t it?

We’ve posted our share of wacky Japanese inventions,  here on Oddity Central, from the creepy anti-aging mouthpiece and the brainwave-controlled Necomimi to the poop-powered toilet bike. But this latest creation might be a bit hard to swallow, literally, because it makes food look 50% bigger. Professor Michitaka Hirose and his team of researchers at Tokyo University have created a pair of special goggles that can be set to make food look bigger or smaller, while keeping your hands and surroundings at their original sizes. This supposedly tricks you into eating less and ultimately helps you shed some of that extra weight.

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Man Completes 5,000 Km Trek Dressed as Stormtrooper

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21-year-old Jacob French hates walking, and yet he completed a 5,000 km trek last year dressed in a stormtrooper costume. The 9-month trek was for the benefit of Starlight Children’s Foundation which works for sick children in Australian hospitals. Jacob’s journey was all the way from Perth to Sydney, and in the process he went through 7 pairs of shoes and lost 12kg in body weight. He also managed to raise $100,000.

Jacob was the one who came up with the idea in the first place. He had donned the stormtrooper costume for the first time during a half marathon in Oct 2010. The experience wasn’t very comfortable for him. “The suit was restrictive and got hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the Troopertrek idea.” Since that marathon, Jacob started training more regularly and also acquired a lighter and much more flexible set of armor. Last summer, he made the announcement about his charitable walk, once again dressed like a stormtrooper in order to get attention to the cause. The arduous trek began in July 2011. Jacob walked over 10 hours a day, Monday to Friday, along with a wooden cart around with him containing all his clothes and carrying equipment. The stormtrooper attracted a lot of attention and even received support from passing motorists. The Trooptrek Facebook page has become very popular, with thousands of likes and comments. People find his initiative inspiring and motivational.

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Hairy Man Poses in Pink Tutu for a Very Good Cause

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They’re silly, they’re awkward, and yes, these pictures will make you laugh. Because there’s something undeniably comical about a grown man dressed in a pink tutu, hugging trees or dancing in a meadow. The subject in the photographs is actually a New York photographer. Bob Carey has been posing for self-portraits across the US, wearing nothing else but the tutu. Before you jump into conclusions, he is neither gay nor a crossdresser. Bob is a happily married man who takes pictures of himself in a tutu to help his wife. Once you know more about the cause behind his photographs, they will seem less funny and all the more heart-warming and endearing.

The first time Bob took a picture of himself in the tutu was for a media campaign in 2003. It was just a silly idea back then, but the garment remained in his closet. Six months later his wife Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was cured at the time, but the illness returned in 2006 and she has been under chemo treatment ever since. Linda’s condition has served as a reminder to Bob that laughter is really the best medicine. So he started posing in the tutu once more in order to make his wife laugh, calling it the ‘Tutu Project’. He began taking self-portraits at beaches, parking lots, subway stations and even amusement parks. The unexpected strangeness of these photographs has been very well received. Bob’s pictures have become immensely popular, which has inspired him to work on a book of his images, called ‘Ballerina’. The book will be dedicated to women fighting breast cancer, survivors, relatives and physicians who work for the cause. He plans to donate the proceeds from all sales to breast cancer organizations.

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B-Style – Japan’s Fascination with Black Lifestyle

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Young Hina has what is most coveted by Japanese women – pale skin. And yet, she visits tanning salons every week. Not just for a sun-kissed look, but for a deeper, darker shade. Hina is one of many young Japanese women who are crazy about B-Style (Black Lifestyle). They adore the African American pop/hip hop culture to such an extent that they are ready to compromise everything natural about their looks. After all, as Hina herself admits, “part of B-Style is that you do not look Japanese.” So there are trips to the tanning salons along with hair braids, clothing and accessories that reflect B-Style to the core.

For Hina it all started when her hair turned frizzy in high school. She then got interested in Black artists and found them pretty cool. Soon she found herself in a tanning salon for the very first time. Today, she is an employee at a trendy Tokyo boutique called Baby Shoop, completely dedicated to B-Style fashion. The boutique goes by the tag-line ‘Black for Life’. Hina loves working there as she feels the shop is a “tribute to Black culture and also to their music, fashion and dance.” And it’s not just Hina but all the shop girls at Baby Shoop that undergo deep tanning on a regular basis. One of the shop girls points out, “Really, with a tan you look slimmer. You look healthy and of course great.”

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Masako Mizutani – Japan’s Lady of Eternal Youth

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With the extensive use of Photoshop and other editing software, it’s extremely difficult to tell the difference between real and fake these days. But if the photographs of this Japanese model are to be believed, then she couldn’t be a day over 20. Believe it or not, Masako Mizutani’s real age is 43, and she’s a mother of two. Her age-defying looks have become a sensation in Japan, especially on TV. She’s being called ‘Japan’s Lady of Eternal Youth’.

Now, I’ve always felt that Asians, especially the Japanese, have beautiful skin that doesn’t seem to age very much. Even so, Masako clearly stands out from the rest of her countrymen. In the pictures, her skin looks unbelievably soft, supple and practically flawless. During her TV appearances last month, Masako revealed a few of her beauty secrets to the world. She supposedly spends five hours a day just taking care of her skin. Her tips include: drinking plenty of water to flush out toxins, eating a fresh, healthy and balanced diet, using vitamin E based creams, sunscreen, cleansing, toning, moisturizing, plenty of sleep and no smoking. Well, to tell you the truth, these tips are generic beauty advice that’s being dished out ever since I can remember. Unless she has some other secrets, they seem to be doing wonders in her case.

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