Hospital Creates Fake Bar to Test New Anti-Drinking Drug

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Believe it or not, the hospital at National Institutes of Health in Washington now has a fully stocked bar! Well, don’t worry, the bar is fake and all the bottles are actually filled with colored water. The whole setup is a part of an experiment to test the effectiveness of a new anti-drinking drug. The dimly lit replica bar is designed to amplify the alcohol craving of test participants in order to determine if the pill is able to counter the urge to drink.

“The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly,” said Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, lead researcher of the project. He revealed that the pill contains a hormone called ghrelin that is believed to increase appetite for food and perhaps inhibit the desire for alcohol.

NIH’s bar lab is one of about a dozen other versions in the US that are focused on experimenting with ghrelin. The hormone is produced by the stomach, and controls appetite via receptors in the brain. Researchers have discovered an overlap between receptors that fuel overeating and those that encourage alcohol cravings in the body. Dr. Leggio is now involved in testing whether blocking ghrelin’s actions also blocks those cravings, using an experimental drug that was originally developed for diabetes but never sold.

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UAE Company Creates Compression Suits for Camels

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If high quality sportswear can improve performance in human athletes, then it technically should work for animals as well. Testing this theory is UAE-based camel and horse luxury products company Al Shibla. They recently launched a line of lycra-style outfits for camels, and they claim that the bizarre product has already garnered tremendous interest among stable owners in the Middle East.

It’s true that compression suits are worn by race horses around the world to improve performance, but the owners of Al Shibla believe that camels deserve the very best in comfort clothing as well. “If it’s fitting the horse, why we don’t do it for the camel?” asked Anne Wolter, co-founder and head of research and development.

Made of soft, thick material that covers the body, the suits improve blood circulation by slightly constricting blood vessels. Worn before and after training, it increases blood and oxygen supply to the muscles, reducing the lactic acid build-up that causes cramping. The animal is covered entirely, except for the head and neck.

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Man Pays $460 for Surgery to Save Life of Constipated Pet Fish

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A devoted pet owner in England recently spent nearly $500 on a complicated surgery to save the life of his favorite goldfish. The unnamed man rushed his fish to the Toll Barn Veterinary Centre in Norfolk, when he noticed that it was struggling to eliminate waste. After a thorough examination, the staff at the center informed him that a delicate surgery costing £300 ($460) was required to save his pet. The man declined at first, but he soon changed his mind and 10 minutes later, the goldfish was wheeled into surgery.

29-year-old vet Faye Bethell was given the task of performing the 50-minute procedure, which involved carefully administering anaesthetic and using tiny instruments to carefully remove lumps from the fish’s backside. She said that the three-inch fish made a full recovery after the operation, but it could have died if left untreated.

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Chinese Athlete Has Sights Set on Butt Skipping Record

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Butt skipping is like a bizarre cousin of jumping rope – it involves bouncing up and down on your behind while twirling a rope underneath. The relatively lesser-known sport has gained prominence in south east Asia ever since a Japanese athlete took the world title in 2006. Now, Chinese gymnastics expert Yi Zhihua has set his heart on becoming the world champion.

20-year-old Zhihua wants to beat the world record of 166 butt skips in one minute and says he’s nearly accomplished the feat during training. “I’m up to 152 per minute – you have to get through the pain barrier but after that when your butt is numb you can really notch up the numbers,” he explained. “I am pretty certain I will have it cracked within the week and will start the New Year as the world champion.”

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Jack Daniels Names Newborn Son Jim Beam

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Giving babies weird names like ‘North West’ and ‘Blue Ivy’ has always been a celebrity thing, but it looks like ordinary people are joining in on the trend as well. The Leathers family from Louisiana for instance, name their kids after alcoholic beverages. Keeping up the tradition is new father ‘Jack Daniels’ Leathers, who has recently named his baby boy ‘Jim Beam’.

Jack, 31, and his wife Lydia, 23, said that they decided early-on in their relationship that they wanted to continue the whiskey-name tradition that Jack’s parents had started. “My parents decided they wanted to name their son something to make their parents mad,” Jack explained. “And, at the time, my dad was drinking Jack, which he enjoyed. My mom said, ‘Why not?’”

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The Village of Forgetfulness – Colombian Village Is Home to the World’s Largest Population of Alzheimer’s Sufferers

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At the outset, the mountainous region of Antioquia in northwestern Colombia comes across as a breathtaking natural paradise. But its picturesque valleys and winding green hills hide a chilling secret –  an unusually large number of young people here suffer from a hereditary form of Alzheimer’s. Several of Antioquia’s residents are at various stages of the disease – right from early signs of memory loss to total dementia.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s is quite similar to the typical form of the disease – it is caused by toxic proteins that destroy brain cells, leading to memory loss and eventually, death. But there is one major difference – the symptoms begin to occur at a frightfully young age, sometimes even before the victim turns 40. It begins with forgetfulness and slowly progresses to disorientation and delusional ideas.

Afflicted with this form of Alzheimer’s, the people of Antioquia often reach the final stage of the disease in their mid-forties. And there’s only one explanation for the bizarre condition – it’s all in the genes. Generations of inbreeding has resulted in the spread of the defective gene in the region for the past 300 years – throughout a widely branched family that now has over 5,000 members. This makes Antioquia home to the world’s largest population of Alzheimer’s sufferers. They are all believed to have inherited the ‘paisa’ mutation, which is a simple genetic defect on Chromosome 14. The mutation is named after the people living in the area, who are known in Colombia as Paisas.

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Most Romantic Man in China – After a Lifetime of Struggle 80-Year-Old Man Buys Diamond Ring for His Wife

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Images of a simple-looking 80-year-old man gifting his elderly wife a diamond ring are making waves on Chinese social networking site Weibo. The photos of the couple dressed in plain clothing and trying on rings were posted by Weibo user ‘This is Xinjiang’ last week, and have already been shared over 1,500 times.

Intrigued, the Xinjiang Internet Office decided to investigate the story. They contacted and interviewed staff at the jewellery shop where the photo was taken. According to staff member Zhou Lanlan, the couple had visited their shop at noon on Wednesday. The man then proceeded to ask for diamond rings that were ‘reasonably priced’.

The salesperson recommended one particular ring that was being sold at a discounted price. After trying it on, the man payed for the ring with a huge roll of small banknotes that are believed to have been his entire life’s savings. He mentioned that he wanted to make his wife happy after a lifetime of struggles. “We’ve been leading a hard life. I just hope to cheer her up,” he told the staff.

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Spanish Bakery Makes $150 Glittering Bread Using Gold Dust

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Whole wheat flour, spelt and water are the usual ingredients used to make bread, but add a touch of edible gold and you’ve got wealthy clients from all around the world stepping on each others’ toes trying to secure a loaf of the world’s most expensive bread. Made by Pan Piña bakery in the small Spanish village of Algatocin, the ‘gold leaf bread’ costs an unbelievable $150 per 400-gram loaf.

Pan Piña baker and co-owner Juan Manuel Moreno said that he came up with the idea for the bread after he saw the ‘world’s most expensive coffee’ on sale at another shop in the region. So he decided to dazzle up his own bread with a dash of edible gold worth over $100 both inside and on the surface of each loaf. However, he does agree that the shiny metal does nothing to enhance flavor.

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Chinese Maternity Hospital Lets Expecting Dads Experience Labor Pains

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When a recent study revealed that expectant mothers want more empathy from their spouses, the executives at Aima maternity hospital in eastern China came up with a wonderful idea – ‘Pain Experience Camp’. The camp offers fathers-to-be the chance to experience the pain of childbirth by giving them electric shocks through special pads placed on their bellies.  The shocks simulate labor pains by causing muscles to spasm.

The painful service was started in November and over 300 men have signed up for it since then. In fact, the response has been so overwhelming that in addition to free sessions twice a week at the hospital, Aima has opened a pop-up booth at the local Shi Mao shopping mall. Each session lasts about five minutes, during which a nurse gradually raises the intensity of the shocks between a scale of one to ten.

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Male Kim Kardashian Fan Turns to Plastic Surgery to Look Like His Idol

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British make-up artist Jordan James Parke adores Kim Kardashian so much that he spent a whopping $150,000 on cosmetic procedures, just so he could look like her. He has undergone over 50 surgeries including botox, lip and cheek fillers, eyebrow tattoos and laser hair removal.

Jordan revealed that he became obsessed with the star of reality TV series Keeping Up with the Kardashians after watching just one episode. “I love everything about Kim,” he said. “She’s the most gorgeous woman ever. Her skin is perfect, her hair, everything about her.”

After all his surgeries, Jordan does appear to be an exaggerated version of Kim – a look that has brought him quite a bit of criticism. But he isn’t too bothered because he actually seems to like the way he looks now. “I laugh when people try to insult me by telling me I look plastic or fake,” he said. “Do they think I’m going for a natural look? If I was, I’d ask for my money back.”

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World’s Most Expensive Belt-buckle Is a Mechanical Wonder, Costs More than a House

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Valued at a staggering $550,000 the Calibre R822 Predator is undoubtedly the most expensive belt buckle in the world. Curious why it’s called the ‘Predator’? Well, its Swiss creators say they chose the name simply because it “eats up every other belt buckle out there!”

The Calibre R822 Predator weighs 145 g, and is made of 18-carat solid white gold and titanium. It is adorned with 387 baguette-cut and round-cut diamonds, amounting to a total of 14.15 carats. But what makes the world’s most expensive buckle really special is its intelligent and innovative design. The mechanical buckle is made of 167 components, making it very similar to a high-quality, complicated Swiss timepiece.

It comes loaded with a host of high-tech features such as self-cleaning mechanisms and safety catches to minimise accidental release. Its ergonomic design enables the wearer to close the belt with ease and also loosen, tighten and change out the leather belt effortlessly. However, the $550,000 price does not include the belt. You’ll have to buy that yourself.

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Guy Makes a Living Storing Students’ Mobile Phones in His Van while They Attend School

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When New Yorker Jhonn de La Puente realized that many high school students aren’t allowed to bring their personal cell phones to school, he hit upon a simple yet brilliant business model – a cell phone storage van.

The 42-year-old now runs a company called ‘Safe ‘n’ Secure Cellutions LLC’ – it consists of a modified Ford E250 parked outside Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights High School complex, which houses four different public high schools. Right before they enter school, students queue up outside the van to deposit their phones through a small mail-slot on the side. They are handed colored tickets that they can use to retrieve the phones as they leave school at the end of the day. The service costs them anywhere between $3 and $5 per week.

Puente, a Crown Heights resident, has put a lot of thought and effort into creating the van – he said that he designed and customised it himself, adding security cameras, storage racks and a cash lock box. “I even did research on the average height of high school students to get a median height to put this window at,” he revealed. “It was really important to me that it was the right level so they could see my face and so that I could interact with the customers.”

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Seth Cohen Is on a Mission to Meet Every Other Seth Cohen in the World

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New York resident Seth Cohen is on an epic quest to track down and meet every single one of his namesakes in the world. The project, he says, isn’t so much about meeting his namesakes as it is about the road less traveled, living in the world, not just on it, connecting with people he would never otherwise connect with, visiting places he would never otherwise visit and experiencing things he would never otherwise experience.

“I am on a mission to meet every Seth Cohen in the world, live life to its fullest and inspire others to do the same,” the globetrotter wrote on his website. “I don’t know what I will find, but I’m excited to find out…” The name ‘Seth Cohen’ is apparently quite common, a fact that Seth realized a couple of months ago. “My last birthday was in September,” he explained. “Everyone started posting on my [Facebook] wall, and this one woman that I barely knew said, ‘Seth, my favorite person in the world, have an amazing birthday.’ I was flattered, but I thought there is no way I am this woman’s most favorite person.”

So Seth snooped around and figured out that the woman, and four other friends, were connected with Seth Cohens on Facebook that weren’t him. He was so intrigued by this that he spent weeks trying to find out just how many Seth Cohens were out there. He spent time combing Google, social media websites, and online White Pages, and the results were mind-boggling – he found that there are at least 300 other Seth Cohens in the United States alone!

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The World’s Longest Burning Light-Bulb Has Been On for 113 Years

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With most of us having to replace light-bulbs every few months, it’s amazing that the Centennial Light-Bulb at Fire Station No. 6 in Livermore, California, has been burning continuously ever since 1901.

The exact date the centennial bulb was turned on is unknown, although its birthday is usually celebrated on June 18. However, we do know that it has been alight 24 hours a day since then, shining a dim light over the fire engines. Apart from the few power outages it has faced in the last 113 years, the unbreakable light-bulb has only had two breaks – one in 1976, when it was moved from one fire station and installed in another, and one in 2013, when it was off for 9 3.4 hours. When the bulb was moved, almost 40 years ago, people were so cautious not to break it that they severed the cord, instead of unscrewing it, and transferred it with a full police and fire truck escort. The whole business lasted just 22 minutes, after which it was back to business as usual.

The impressive light-bulb is apparently an improved hand-blown incandescent lamp with carbon filament. Debora Katz, a physicist at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., has conducted extensive research on the centennial light-bulb and what makes it so special, using a vintage light bulb from Shelby Electric Co. that is a near replica of the Livermore lamp. “The Livermore light bulb differs from a contemporary incandescent bulb in two ways,” says Katz. “First its filament is about eight times thicker than a contemporary bulb. Second, the filament is a semiconductor, most likely made of carbon. When a conductor gets hotter, its ability to conduct electricity goes down. When the Shelby bulb gets hotter, it becomes a better conductor of electricity.”

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Indian Hindu Leaders Launch Beauty Products Made with Cow Dung

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The Visha Hindu Parishad (VHP), a right-wing non-governmental organization in India, has recently launched a line of beauty products containing two very special ingredients – cow dung and gau mutra.

“The use of gau mutra in medicines and beauty products will help farmers and prevent them from selling cows. Ayurveda talks about use of cow dung to prevent pimples. But people are reluctant to use dung, which is why we are making beauty products out of it,” VHP leader Venkatesh Abdeo said. Just to be clear, gau mutra is not some miracle plant but plain old cow urine, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

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