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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Ramos, the World’s Most Annoying Alarm Clock

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Have trouble getting out of bed early in the morning? Is the snooze button the most used (and abused) part of your alarm clock? Would you like to be able to wake up as soon as the alarm goes off? If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these questions, then Ramos is the best gadget for you. The most annoying alarm clock in the world will make sure you get out of bed every single. morning at the right time. It is impossible to ignore Ramos, and there’s no way you can go back to sleep. Let’s see what makes it so special.

For starters, the makers of Ramos have done away with the ‘unlimited’ snooze button. Unplugging it won’t work either, because a battery takes over as soon as you yank out the cord. The ‘lockdown mode’ ensures that you won’t be able to reset the alarm as wake-up time approaches. So that effectively takes care of manipulating the alarm. But then it gets worse. Once the Ramos alarm clock starts to ring, there’s no button on it to turn the infernal thing off. The only way to stop the noise is by punching a defuse code into a telephone-style keypad that is installed in another room. You have no choice but to get out of bed and punch in the code, which requires some degree of brain functionality, so you will be awake by the time you are done with Ramos.

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The Ultimate Chinese Fake – A Fake Police Academy

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‘Fake’ just keeps growing to epic proportions in China. The latest to join the bandwagon is a fake police academy that was allegedly duping students into believing they would receive a real degree. The Jiamusi People’s Police Academy in the Shandong Province offered three-year courses on law enforcement studies, at the end of which students would receive a degree and also employment with crime-fighting police teams. The £2,000 ($3,200) course was supposed to be taught by veteran officers. It was all the doing of Wei Zhenhai, the president of the fake academy.

Everything was going according to plan for Mr. Zhenhai and the Jiamusi Academy, until a suspicious parent tipped off the real police in September of last year. A couple of police constables then paid a visit to the academy undercover, dressed as students. During the interview, Mr. Zhenhai couldn’t help himself and ended up boasting about his contacts in high places that would help him secure employment for his students. The constables saw through his flimsy lies and immediately pounced on the ‘president’ and his staff. They were arrested and the academy closed down.

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Thousands Flock to See Miraculous Frescoes of Macedonian Church

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The phenomenon is being hailed as a modern day miracle. But there are some who are just not buying into it. Whatever the reason may be, what’s happening at the St Demetrius church in Skopje, Macedonia is very interesting. The gold halos around the paintings of saints on the walls of the five-century old church have miraculously turned brighter, overnight. The paint is reported to be noticeably sharper than it used to be before. Some reports suggest that the soot gathered over all these centuries is simply falling off, to reveal the original colors of the paintings beneath. The phenomenon first began with the image of the Virgin Mary and soon spread to the other works of art.

The miracle of the Macedonian Church paintings is turning out to be quite a popular one. Several hundreds have gathered in long lines outside the church, hoping to get a glance. Even Archbishop Stefan of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski paid their visits. Father Dragi Trpeski says, “I’ve worked as a priest for 26 years but I have never witnessed a miracle like this.” Several theories have been put forth, attempting to explain the event. According to local clergy, the famous warrior St Demetrius is unhappy about the recent drop in visits to the church. Apparently, the presence of nearby construction sites has blocked main entrances and resulted in fewer visitors. Head of the Commission for Religious Communities, Valentina Bozinovska, suggests, “This is a message that we must immediately return to moral values, family and children, to preserve ourselves from the decadence we are facing.”

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