17-Year-Olds Write Guide on How to Raise Teenagers, Get Published

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Adults have always been talking about great parenting skills, but hardly anyone’s ever stopped to ask the kids what they have to say about the matter. 17-year-olds Megan Lovegrove and Louise Bedwell decided not to wait until they were asked. They just went right ahead and wrote a book about how to raise teenagers. The two girls have written the 200 plus-page guidebook based on their own experiences and interviews with 100 other teens. “Teenagers Explained: A Manual for Parents by Teenagers” provides advice for parents on handling teenagers and tackles issues ranging from cleaning up a bedroom to drugs and sex.

I personally would love to get my hand on this book, although I do not have the responsibility of raising teenagers. I’m quite curious to find out just what the book has to say on the subject, given that the authors are so young. It’s surely bound to be an interesting read. It is available for purchase on Amazon, in case you’re interested too. The back cover of the book supposedly has this to say: “The authors of other parenting books are practically ANCIENT. If you really want to know what your teenager is thinking and doing, who better to turn to than teenagers themselves?” And as proof of what they’re talking about, Louise is quoted, “Recently, I told my mum how someone had ‘parred’ me at a party; my mum thought I was swearing at her.”

Through their book, Megan and Louise offer help to clueless parents on things like ‘How to lure your teen from their room and actually get them out with the family’. There are also some useful tips in there. According to the girls, parents need to give their kids at least 3 hours to clean their room, and not check on them until the time is up. Also, house party gatecrashers can be avoided, they say, by making sure that Facebook-organized party events are visible only to friends, and the address is not disclosed. And to reduce phone bills, the advice is simple – encourage your teenager to use more smartphone apps. I’m sure a lot of teenagers won’t be complaining about that, if it means they would get new smartphones.

Megan and Louise attend Nonsuch High School for Girls in Cheam, South London. They were chosen to write the book after they took part in a creative writing contest organized by a publisher for 50 schools in the area. Louise says, “We wanted it to be a real ‘tell it like it is’ manual from the teenagers’ perspective.” Megan adds, “But we’ve also learnt a lot more about how adults think, so we also know how to keep the upper hand.” The book certainly does seem to offer a lot of practical advice. I especially like this one: ‘Do not fuss too much about your own appearance as this can rub off on your teenager and make them sensitive about their looks’. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?

via The Telegraph

English Girl Has Eaten Nothing but Margherita Pizza for the Last 8 Years

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If I had to eat the same meal for as long as 3 – 4 days in a row, I wouldn’t want to be touching it again for a long time . That’s why I cannot understand how 19-year-old Sophie Ray, from Wales, has been eating only Margherita Pizza for the past 8 years. The teenager hasn’t had a nutritious meal since she was two, and has survived on nothing but the cheese-and-tomato pizza since she was eleven.

Blame it on Selective Eating Disorder (SED), because Sophie cannot eat anything else without gagging instantly. Even a slice of pepperoni can cause her delicate stomach to turn. She has a phobia of new foods, so she’s pretty much scared to try out anything new. As with several other people suffering from SED, Sophie’s problem began with a bout of Gastroenteritis when she was 2 years old. After recovery, she was able to only consume cheesy pasta, lemon curd sandwiches and chips. As she got older, Margherita pizza became her staple food. “I love pizza,” she says. “Each brand offers a new flavor, but it’s all the same food so I don’t have to try new foods.” But she’s very particular, “It has to be cheese and tomato and it has to be cooked, I can’t eat it cold and I can’t have any toppings on it.”

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Strange Love – 4 Women in Love with Inanimate Objects

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Thanks to Objectum Sexuality, the Statue of Liberty now has a lover, a three foot model the Greek God Adonis has a girlfriend and the Eiffel Tower has a wife, as does the Berlin Wall. What sounds completely bizarre to us is in fact normal to these four women who suffer from the psychological condition that makes them experience romantic feelings towards inanimate objects. Let’s delve a little deeper into their stories of love.

Amanda Whittaker

Amanda is a 27-year-old shop assistant from Leeds, and head-over-heels in love with the iconic Statue of Liberty. In her home she has a shrine to the famous landmark, which demonstrates her love. “She is my long-distance lover,” says Amanda. “I am blown away by how stunning she is.” She affectionately refers to the statue as ‘Libby’, and although she would like to be married to it, she says she’s holding herself back in consideration of the many others who might be in love with it too.

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India’s Controversial Baby Dropping Ritual Is Back

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The devotee scales the high walls of the religious shrine on a rope, a bucket dangling off his back. Once he is at the top (typically about 30ft high), he miraculously retrieves a baby from the bucket, handing it over to a bunch of men standing on the balcony. One of these men takes hold of the baby’s hands and feet, holding the child as though it were a basket. He swings the kid back and forth in the air, exclaiming a chant in the praise of the Lord. And then, shockingly, the baby is dropped.

Baby dropping could be India’s most bizarre ritual. Screaming, wailing babies are dropped from several meters into the air, and there are a group of 14 to 15 men standing right below, holding a blanket that breaks the baby’s fall. Just as it bounces on the blanket once, it is caught by one of the men and handed over to the mother. Understandably, it takes several minutes before the baby recovers from the shock.

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Obsessed Man Collects over 20,000 Bird Ornaments

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It all started when Lawrence Cobbold was 9 years old, after he purchased a picture of a bird . Today, at age 38, his home is so filled to the brim with bird ornaments. His place is so full of bird memorabilia that he has to wash up, do his laundry and have his meals at his parents’ house. In the past 25 years or so, Lawrence has managed to collect over 20,000 ornaments related to birds. His treasures could all be worth about £40,000 ($63,000) according to his own estimation.

Lawrence’s amazing bird collection consists of 15,000 ornaments, 4,800 thimbles, 1,000 fridge magnets and 300 plates. Apart from these, he has about 300 pictures, 150 mugs and 100 jigsaw puzzles that are in some way, related to birds. Each and every room in his house, every cupboard, loft and shelf is completely covered with bird-related items. Each room, in fact, has a theme of its own. The three-bedroom property belongs to his father Tony. Lawrence moved there after his previous residence, a two-bedroom house, was no longer sufficient for his ever-growing collection. Four hours of Lawrence’s day are spent rearranging and cleaning his collection– two hours before work and two hours after. When he’s not busy with his collectibles, he works full time as a warehouse attendant at the Co-op Retail Distribution Center in Plympton, England. He usually buys the ornaments at Plympton, Plymstock, Mutley Plain and Elburton, where he is constantly on the prowl for new items to add to the collection.

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World’s Quietest Place Lets You Hear Your Internal Organs

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The mad and hectic pace of life, sometimes makes us all crave some peace and quiet. But then, as they say, too much of a good thing can actually be bad for you. That applies to silence, as it turns out people can’t stand to be in the world’s quietest place for too long. The longest a person has lasted in there is 45 minutes.

The place I’m talking about is a room at Orfield Laboratories in South Minneapolis. The room, also known as the ‘anechoic chamber’, is 99.99% sound absorbent. The double-insulated walls are made of steel and foot-thick concrete. Along the walls are also 3.3-foot thick fiberglass acoustic wedges that contribute to the ultra-quietness. The room holds the current Guinness World Record for being the quietest place on Earth. While it does seem like a dream come true, especially for those who live with kids or have stressful jobs, it’s actually not all that great. The room gets so silent that you can actually hear your internal organs at work. And after a while, the hallucinations begin.

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Can’t Get a Girl? Website Lets Guys Hire Fake Girlfriends for $5

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GirlfriendHire.com is a new website where you can hire a girl to do ‘girlfriend-type’ things for you at a cost of just $5. Now before you get your hopes up, there are no ‘dirty’ services available. The website targets tweens and teens, so typical girlfriend activities would include doing your homework, flirting on Facebook, sending naughty texts and making your friends jealous. According to the website, it is “the first place on the internet dedicated to connecting guys and girls, to help guys breakup with their girlfriends, prank their friends, get their ex-gfs back, create a fake breakup message and even hire a girl to do your homework.”

Hiring girls to do fake relationship stuff does sound kind of sad, but there’s no dearth of boys willing to shell out the 5 bucks. Plus, girls get to make some quick money and no one’s really hurt in the process. I checked out the website and there’s a list of girls offering various services, called ‘flings’, ranging from, “I will text you anything for $5” to “I will give relationship advice for $5”. The most popular of them all is, “I will be your Facebook friend for $5”. Isn’t that cool, to be able to make money out of your Facebook friends list? Boys can put up ‘fling’ requests too and these tend to be creative like, “Make a video summarizing Battlestar Gallactica in a skirt or bikini” and “Put 15 tootsie roll pops in your mouth singing the alphabet backward in a bikini”. And there are the more desperate ones with “Send me a fake message on Facebook telling how much fun you had last night”.

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Chinese Millionaire Becomes Miner to Stop Gambling

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Addictions are a life-long struggle for most people. There are very few who manage to successfully kick self-destructive habits for good. 39-year-old Chinese millionaire, Qijang Zhang Yongqiang, is one such person. He was able to get rid of his gambling addiction by taking up a unique hobby – mining.

Zhang is the owner of a couple of supermarkets and a few other properties in China. As a rich person, he had taken to gambling and soon got addicted to it, losing up to 80,000 Yuan ($12,700) on some nights. On one such night, after losing a huge amount of money, he realized that he needed to do something to save himself from destruction. So in 2008, the millionaire decided to put gambling behind him, and took up a job as a miner. Initially, he did it just to keep away from the nasty habit, but soon he fell so much in love with the work that it became his full-time job. His wife and parents are quite supportive and help by operating the supermarkets while he is at work.

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Maquech Beetles – Mexico’s Controversial Living Breathing Jewelry

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The Maquech Beetle can make any nature lover or animal rights activist scream in horror. Entomophobics (creepy-crawly-haters) would probably run as far away as possible from this kind of jewelry, and for good reason, as every Maquech is actually a live bejeweled insect. As hard as it may be to even conceive wearing bugs as accessories, they are something of a fashion statement in Mexico.

I kid you not, just watching a video of the Maquech brooch is giving me the jitters. I don’t get how people can stand it on their bodies, but jewelry enthusiasts in Mexico have been flocking at stores to buy these ‘pet-cessories’ since the 1980s. The brooch is actually a part of a centuries-old Mayan tradition of decorating wingless beetles from the Yucatan Peninsula. Gemstones and gold are glued on the beetle’s body which sounds like a cruel process which has been denounced by animal activists in the past. The insects themselves are pretty harmless and docile, quite perfect to play the part of living jewelry. Each one has a decorative safety pin attached to it with a 2-inch-long chain leash. When pinned to clothing, the beetles can wander around, but can never get away.

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Croatian Woman Creates Popular Made-to-Measure Penis Warmers

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If we can have warm clothing for our heads, hands and feet, why leave out male genitalia? That’s exactly the attitude of the Croats, who used hand-knitted woolen penis warmers in the past. The centuries-old tradition has now been revived by a 55-year-old Croatian woman, Radmilla Kus. An avid knitter, she started off by making slippers for tourists, but her ‘willy warmers’ have turned out to be far more popular. When the orders started pouring in she just couldn’t keep up with them, so she had to hire a small army of knitters. Radmilla also conducts 90-minute courses, showing participants how to make the warmers

Winters in Croatia’s mountains are so severe that frost-bite was a serious problem for men in the past, especially during long horse rides. So to avoid permanent damage to their genitals, the warmers, called “Nakurnjak” came into use. They were more popular in the Mrkopalj mountain region of Croatia, where wives would knit penis warmers for their husbands. According to Radmilla, “Wives believed that keeping their man’s private parts warm allowed him to remain fertile and increased their chance of having children.” It’s funny, because in hotter countries such as where I come from, men are advised to keep their genitals cool to improve fertility!

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Woman Marries Herself to Prove She Doesn’t Need a Husband to Be Happy

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36-year-old Nadine Schweigert from Fargo, North Dakota, got married last month. She had a beautiful wedding. Nadine was dressed in a peacock blue satin dress and carried a bouquet of white roses. There was also a lovely white wedding cake covered in peacock blue fondant. So far, there seems to be nothing unusual about this affair; it’s not different from any other run-of-the-mill wedding in the US. But if you paid attention, you probably noticed there was no mention of a groom. It’s not that he didn’t show up, it’s just that there wasn’t a groom to begin with. Nadine just happened to marry herself.

Self-marriage can be a confusing concept to those who don’t know what it’s all about. Nadine isn’t alone, however, many others have done it before. It was even portrayed on the popular TV show Glee, where ‘Sue Sylvester’ ties the knot with herself. These ceremonies are considered secular and purely symbolic. New Age websites such as Encouraging Priestess even share ideas on how to perform self-marriage ceremonies. The idea behind these marriages is to help a person realize that they do not need anybody else to feel complete.

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Lunch Beat – Sweden’s Unusual Lunch Break Dance Parties

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The time just after lunch hour is perhaps the sleepiest in a typical workday. Over the years, people have come up with very creative solutions to keep themselves awake and in a working mood, but nothing can beat Sweden’s Lunch Beat, a truly original way to spend lunch hour.

Dancing in a club, at noon probably doesn’t seem like the perfect way to spend your lunch break, but it’s exactly what more and more Swedes are doing to re-energize themselves. They just groove to the music for about an hour and then get back to work. The first Lunch Beat was organized in an underground parking lot in Stockholm, in June 2010. Only 14 people attended that first event, but it was so much fun that the word spread pretty quickly. Today, hundreds attend the monthly Lunch Beats organized in the Swedish capital. The phenomenon is slowly spreading to other Swedish and European cities as well.

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Unemployed Man Builds $31,000 Submarines in His Basement

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In a world where Internet and Smartphone app startup companies are a dime-a-dozen, it’s not every day that you see a startup that makes submarines. And definitely not one that is run by one man, from his basement. Yet, that’s exactly what 37-year-old Zhang Wuyi has been doing after he was laid off from his job in a textile machine factory.

Wuyi, from China’s Hubei province, builds mini submarines in a makeshift workspace in the basement of a disused building. When he started off, he worked alone. Today, he has three orders under his belt and also employs ten workers. His submarine models are capable of diving up to 30 meters under sea level and travel at 20 kmph for 10 hours. They can seat two people and also contain oxygen tanks and video cameras. The walls are made of wrought iron. It takes Wuyi up to a month to build a submarine, and each one sells for about $31,000.

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Bacha Posh – The Cross-Dressing Girls of Afghanistan

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Cross-dressing in most societies is something that most people aren’t comfortable with. But then there are places where the practice is accepted as a way for families to raise their social standing. One such place is Afghanistan, where women live such highly restricted lives that they resort to dressing like men. The cross-dressing is mainly reserved for little girls, whose parents dress them up like boys before sending them out into the world. They are called bacha posh (“dressed like a boy”).

‘Bacha posh’ is the name given to girls who don a boy’s costume. So a family could have daughters, sons and also bacha poshes. A bacha posh is accepted and enjoys all the freedom of a real boyin Afghan society. They have the right to go to school, to travel, to play sports and even to get a job. Inside the home and outside, the bacha posh would be treated like any other male would, even while being referred to in the third person. Among a group of boys, many would not even be aware of the presence of a bacha posh. Should the true gender of the child be discovered somehow, it would be ignored and the pretence would continue as before. Parents who have no sons prefer to convert one of their daughters into a bacha posh to raise their social standing. In a society where having a male child is of utmost importance and a matter of pride, bacha poshes fill in the son’s shoes perfectly.

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English Students Pay University Loans by Renting Out Their Faces

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Renting out body parts seems to be a trend that’s catching on fast. We first heard of it when it was used by this New Zealand woman on her backside, and then there was a German man who tried to rent out his face for tattooed ads.  The latest to join the bandwagon are a couple of British 22-year-olds, Ross Harper and Ed Moyse. Unlike the others however, they aren’t using tattoos. Their concept, called Buy My Face, is to sell their faces to a different ad campaign every day, which are painted on using face paint. The boys are trying to raise enough money to pay off their student debts, which amount to £50,000 ($80,000).  So far, they’ve managed to make £30,000 ($47,000).

The goal of Buy My Face isn’t only to get people to look at the advertisements that are printed on their faces. The advertising extends onto their website, which works by directing online traffic to the advertiser’s web page. Harper and Moyse paint ads on their faces and then photograph or film themselves doing funny things. Advertisers can pay for them to do several stunts, such as skydiving or plunging into cold waters. All this is put up on the website, along with the name of the day’s advertiser. When the duo started off on October 1st, their first ad went for exactly £1. But they’ve managed to sell their faces every single day since then, and today the rates have moved up to £400 a day.

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