Austria’s Green Heroes: Family Lives a Life without Plastic

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Can you imagine your life without plastic? That means no computer, no mobile phone. no car and a whole lot of other stuff we’ve come to consider basic necessities. It sounds a nearly impossible task, in this day and age, but a family in Austria has proven it can be done. Sandra Krautwaschl, from a village near Graz, Austria, has recently written a book called “Plastickfrei Zone” (Plastic-Free Zone) in which she tells the story of how she and her family started living a life without plastic.

It all began in the summer of 2009, when during a vacation in Croatia, Sandra was surprised how often her three children asked where all of the trash on the beach came from. This made her think harder about how plastic really affects our world. Although recycling works very well in Austria, it’s not as effective in other parts of the world, so the petroleum-made material ends up clogging up landfills and polluting the environment. The 40-year-old physical therapist realized that as long as we keep buying products made of or wrapped in plastic, we’re just contributing to the problem. Then, shortly after she returned from Croatia, Sandra saw the documentary “Plastic Planet”, and learned how toxic plastic is for our planet.

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The Book That Can’t Wait Literally Disappears if You Put It Down

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An Indie Argentinian publishing house has come up with an innovative concept, using disappearing ink that simply fades away in two months time.

Dubbed “El Libro que No Puede Esperar” (The Book That Can’t Wait), this interesting format was pioneered by independent Argentinian publishing house Eterna Cadencia, as a way to promote young authors, who ”if people don’t read their first books, never make it to a second.” The intriguing books come sealed in a plastic wrapper, and once that is removed and the books cracked for the first time, the ink begins to age and in 60 days time readers are left with nothing but the covers and a bunch of blank pages. So if you want to get your money’s worth, you really can’t put one of these books down too often, after you’ve bought it.

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11-Year-Old Boy Leads Church as an Ordained Minister

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Is there anything kids nowadays can’t do? Well, there may be a few, but becoming an ordained minister and leading a church isn’t one of them. 11-year-old Ezekiel Stoddard recently made headlines after he was ordained a minister at the Fullness of Time Church in Maryland.

We’ve featured a few prodigies on Oddity Central, like the world’s youngest computer wiz, the 9-year-old Monet, a 10-year-old sake expert, but we’ve never had a child minister. That changes today, as we introduce Ezekiel Stoddard, an 11-year-old ordained minister who has apparently been writing his own sermons since he was seven. ”It doesn’t matter the age that you can be licensed. It just matters … how much word do you have and how much God has called you,” the enthusiastic child of God told the Washington Post. Still, he admits sometimes adults don’t take him seriously and “look at me like I’m a joke and I need to sit down.”

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Live Forever as a Limited Edition Vinyl Record Containing Your Ashes

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We recently learned that immortality is just a few years away, but if you’re not willing to wait that long, perhaps you could try living forever as a playable vinyl record containing your cremated ashes.

I know, it’s not exactly your idea of immortality, but hey, nothing is perfect. At least you’ll be able to (sort of) talk to your loved ones from beyond the grave, by recording your voice on the record. Actually, And Vinyly, the company offering this bizarre service, allows you to record pretty much anything you want on the record, as long as it’s not longer that 24 minutes. It can be a “Death Metal” (pun intended) compilation, a recording of your voice, or just 24 minutes of creepy silence, so those close to you can hear your “pops and clicks” as the needle scratches your ashes. Pretty neat, right?

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Online Language School Uses Hot Models to Help You Learn Mandarin

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Let’s face it, for most of us learning Chinese really is a Herculean task, but SexyMandarin.com, an unconventional online school, tries to make things easier by using lingerie-clad models as teachers.

China’s official language, Mandarin, or Putonghua, has around 900 million native speakers, and 1,4 billion speakers worldwide, and as China’s role in the global economy becomes more important, the number of people trying to learn the language is also on the rise. But Mandarin is known as one of the toughest languages in the world, and just looking at the intricate symbols you can tell mastering it won’t be easy. But one online language school has apparently found an ingenious way of making Mandarin more accessible – sexy lingerie-wearing teachers. I wonder why I didn’t think of that…

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Fight Church – When Evangelical Christianity Meets Mixed Martial Arts

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What do you do when your love for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is just as strong as your passion for religion? That’s the big question Fight Church is trying to answer.

Fight Church is an interesting documentary directed by Oscar-winning director Daniel Junge that tries to explore the rocky relationship between Evangelical Christianity and fighting in a cage. It mainly focuses on Senior Pastor Paul Burress, his Trinity Church and its offshoot MMA school, Trinity Training. The controversial film was given the green light after attracting $30,000 through Kickstarter, and although it’s still in production, the debut trailer posted online has already caused quite a stir. And that comes as no surprise, considering it features people asking questions like “Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?”

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The Vidocq Society – Solving Tough Murder Cases Over Lunch

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On the third Thursday of every month, some of the world’s greatest crime specialists meet up in Philadelphia to try and solve some of the toughest murder cases in history, over a delicious lunch. This is the Vidocq Society.

Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Kojack, those guys from CSI, they are all brilliant minds on their own, but what if they all got together to solve the toughest criminal cases in history? They’d have a much better chance of success, at least in theory. That’s what the Vidocq Society is all about, bringing together the most brilliant minds in criminology and trying to get to the bottom of hundreds of thousands of unsolved cases. Once a month, the members of this 20-year-old exclusive club assemble in an old Victorian dining room, to enjoy fine cuisine and talk about unsolved murders. As their motto (Cuisine & Crime Solving ) suggests, crime is always on the menu at Vidocq Society meetings.

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Argentine Widow Sleeps in Late Husband’s Mausoleum to Keep Him Company

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Some people have strange ways of honoring their loved ones who have passed a way. Take Adriana Villarreal, an Argentine widow who sleeps in her late husband’s small mausoleum to keep him company, because she loves him so much.

43-year-old Adriana Villarreal, from Buenos Aires, recently made headlines in the Argentinian media after she confessed spending a few nights a year in her dead husband’s mausoleum. According to Gustavo Braganza, a police commissioner from the town of Dos de Mayo, his colleagues went to investigate what was going on in the San Lazaro cemetery, after reports of someone living there and playing loud music. When they knocked on the tomb door, Villarreal greeted them in her pijamas, and they could actually see she had been living next to a coffin and an embalmed body.

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Takeaway Restaurant Offers Dirty Dishes Alongside the Food for Authenticity

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UK-based restaurant Housebites decided to help people who can’t cook but want to impress their guests by offering them the dirty dishes alongside the food, so they can be more convincing.

Not everyone likes to cook, but lost of people love to pretend they can cook, so British takeaway restaurant Housebites, decided to give them a hand by launching the “pretend you can cook” service. According to the official press release, this “ allows customers to pretend they have slaved away at a hot stove more convincingly by delivering dirty pans alongside the food. Cooked by a professional chef and delivered to your door, Housebites main courses cost on average between £10($16) and £12($19), and now for an additional £5($8), customers can request the pans used to cook them for added authenticity. Collection of the pans is then arranged as easily as the original delivery slot.”

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Yohio, the Japanese Doll-Like Rock Star Who Is Actually a Swedish Boy

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Ok, so we’ve had plenty of doll-like Internet celebrities featured on Oddity Central, but Yohio, a Japanese visual kei singer is pushing the envelope even further, as he’s actually a 16-year-old Swedish bot who looks like an anime girl.

The androgynous look isn’t exactly something new in music. Singers like David Bowie, Boy George and even Marylin Manson have used their feminine features to their advantage for years, but they never took it as far as Yohio, a Swedish teen who has taken Japan by storm with his anime girl looks, guitar skills and knowledge of the Japanese language. The 16-year-old became an online sensation outside the Land of the Rising Sun when a video of a a pale blonde-hair girl with big black eyes and pigtails singing in Japanese made the rounds of popular Internet media outlets. People were left stunned when they realized the beautiful performer was actually a 16-year-old dude, from Sweden.

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It’s About Time! New York Hosts First World Burping Championship

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Most civilized countries have long considered burping one of the most embarrassing things a person can do in public. Now, the World Burping Federation, in Geneva, is trying to change people’s opinion, and their first attempt was the first edition of the Burping Championship.

Held in New York City, this first annual World Burping Championship had competitors guzzling down gallons of soda in order to produce the longest burp possible. The five contestants chosen to take part in this unusual event weren’t just regular beer-guzzlers who like to let loose a few burps every once in a while. They were all competitive eaters with Major League Eating which meant the whole contest a lot more interesting. Unlike regular burpers, these guys could fill their bellies with gallons of carbonated drinks, making them more qualified to produce a burp worthy of the record books.

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Dresses Made from Red Wine Probably Look Better with Time

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A team from the University of Western Australia have added a bacteria to red wine and managed to create a cotton-like fabric that can be used to make anything from dresses to t-shirts and swimwear.

Although still in the early stages of development, this technique of making clothes from wine could one day become mainstream, at least according to the people who came up with the idea. ’This project redefines the production of woven materials. ’By combining art and science knowledge and with a little inventiveness, the ultimate goal will be to produce a bacterial fermented seamless garment that forms without a single stitch,’ lead researcher Gary Cass said. Still, the technology is far from perfect, and there will probably be a long time before people will be wearing casual clothes made from Pinot Noir or Merlot.

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Airline Offers Wealthy Passengers Luxury Suites Complete with Double Beds and Armchairs

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Even when you’re in business class, long flights can get pretty uncomfortable. For some it’s the leg space, others are annoyed by noisy passengers, but now Singapore Airways offers a very simple-yet-expensive solution to any problem – luxury private suites.

That’s right, from now on, wealthy passengers flying on the company’s A380 jets will be able to relax in their very own cabins in the sky, complete with double beds and comfy Italian-stitched armchairs. No more having your legs squashed in that tiny space between chairs, or having to endure a total stranger’s snoring or loud obnoxious voice. Instead of trying to watch the in-flight movie on a tiny screen, with a headset in your ears, you can sit back and enjoy whatever film you like on your private 23-inch TV. From now on, rich business types will have their own little oasis of privacy and luxury even when they’re flying.

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Australian City to Host Real-Life Zombie First Person Shooter Game

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If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in your own zombie shooting video game, like Left4Dead or Resident Evil, your wish is about to come true as “Patient 0“, the world’s first ”fully immersive live action real life, multiplayer, first person shooter, role-playing game” is about to take place in Melbourne, Australia.

It’s no secret that we’re living in a golden age of zombies. From movies to video games and even real life events, the undead are everywhere these days, so it came as no surprise when entrepreneurs started creating all kinds of events centered around the walking corpses. So far we’ve had a zombie training camp, zombie obstacle race and even a zombie-infested mall challenge, so it’s pretty clear this kind of event is becoming very popular. A group of enterprising young Australians has now decided to take things to a whole new level and announced they are working on a real-life first person shooter game for people who wish they could just get off the couch and play their favorite zombie shooter in real life.

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Reporters Travel To China to Test Fabled Melt-Proof Ice Cream

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Legend has it that in China there is an ice-cream that simply doesn’t melt even when left at room temperature for hours. So the guys at RocketNews24 sent a report to investigate on this myth.

Now, we’ve posted about some pretty special ice-cream treats, like the sinful Vice Lolly and the ice cream made from breast milk, but an ice-cream that doesn’t melt? That was unheard of, so a reporter from the Japanese wacky news site journeyed to China to uncover the truth about this legendary frozen dessert. He picked up one of these special lollies generically called “Banana” from a 7-11 but learned that the popsicle made by Nestle China can be found in pretty much any shop around the country. While you might expect a treat called Banana to actually taste like the world’s most popular fruit, this particular lolly has a plain vanilla ice-cream core encased in a sort of yellow gelatin, which the consumer can peel in order to reveal the vanilla center.

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