Who Needs Privacy: 5 People Live in Paris Subway Station Apartment

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Here’s another example of a bizarre business promotional strategy. This time it’s by IKEA and they actually took over a Paris subway station.

In a bid to prove that with IKEA furnishing you can make any living space comfortable, the company erected an apartment right in the middle of the Auber station in Paris. It was only 581 sq ft. in size and five people lived in it for five days (Jan 9th to 14th). The company tried a similar event around two years back when they decked subway platforms with IKEA furnishings, but this took things a step forward. Or maybe a giant leap. The apartment mainly consisted of IKEA storage products, clearly aiming at space management. Plain to view through huge clear-glass windows for the hundreds of thousands of people who use the subway, their publicity stunt sure didn’t miss any eyeballs. Time-lapse videos have been made of the construction of the apartment. Videos documenting the experiences of the five people living there have also been put up by the company.

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New York Subway Workers Run “Rate My Rat” Photo Contest

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For those of you who have used the subway in New York, the sight of rats must be quite common. Those pesky rodents are spotted quite frequently on subway tracks and platforms. Apparently, subway workers have had enough of this and want their workplace to be completely free of rats. And they’ve come up with a totally unique idea to accomplish this – a rat photo contest.

New York subway workers are holding a photo contest – for the “nastiest” shot of a rodent. Subway commuters are being urged to click pictures of the rats they see every day and upload them to the website http://www.ratfreesubways.com. The grand prize is a monthly transit pass. The site was created by the largest union in the city, the Transport Workers Union Local 100. The winning photograph is to be selected by popular opinion. Visitors to the website are able to vote for the most repulsive picture on the ‘Rate my Rat’ section. They have five options to choose from – Handsome, Cute, Plain, Ugly and Beastly. Most of the rat-pictures have been rated between 3 and 5, while a few actually have been called cute.

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Meet the Man Who Only Owns 15 Things

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There are a lot of people who make the news for their extravagant lifestyles, lavish homes, large collections of cars or shoes, and other such things. But Andrew Hyde is someone who’s become popular for just the opposite – owning very few things. 15, to be precise (not counting socks and underwear).

No, he’s not homeless, he’s not poor, and he’s definitely not unemployed. In fact, Hyde is a technology mogul. He works as a consultant and mentor for young companies, he’s the founder of Startup Weekend, and an organizer of TEDxBoulder conference. Constantly shuttling between New York and Silicon Valley for work, Hyde doesn’t live in a house or an apartment. When he’s not working, he’s traveling extensively, taking his worldly possessions of 15 things everywhere he goes. Andrew Hyde says that he has always been interested in the concept of minimalism, starting out by seeing if he could make do with just 100 items. But in August 2010 he took the concept even further, selling all of his belongings but for 15 things.

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Saudi Father Tries to Sell Son for $20 Million, on Facebook

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A Saudi man was all over the news a few days ago for putting up his son for sale on Facebook – for a whopping $20 million. Now he says that he did it only to bring attention to his poverty, and he didn’t really intend to sell his son.

In a country where the male child is regarded precious, it came as a shock when Saud bin Nasser Al Shahry did the unthinkable. He was under serious attack and criticism, especially from religions leaders of the nation. A prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Al Nujaimi said that Al Shahry had violated Islam by offering to sell his child despite his financial problems. Al Shahry responds that he never did want to sell his son. Facing bankruptcy, and with no one else willing to help him, he had to resort to such an extreme measure. “Of course I never intended to sell my son. I only made this announcement to attract the attention of decision makers in the country to my tragedy after I became jobless and started to beg for food and clothes,” he told local newspapers.

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Chinese Women Train Hard to Become Professional Bodyguards

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While many men may find it odd to have a woman protect them, the Chinese have no such qualms. How else could you explain the huge demand for female bodyguards? In fact, they are paid much higher than their male counterparts.

Tianjiao Special Guard Consultant Ltd is perhaps the first firm to provide open group training in China for female bodyguards. Each trainee is put through 10 months of rigorous instruction during which time they gain skills in martial arts, anti-terrorism training, reconnaissance and business etiquette. The best student could be invited to study further at the International Security Academy in Israel.A four-week training program at the beach forms a part of the 10-month curriculum.

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Couple Marry for the Second Time after Husband’s Sex Change

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Barry and Anne Watson first married in 2002, as husband and wife. Now, nine years later, they renewed their wedding vows, except this time they were wife and wife, and Barry was a woman named Jayne. A photograph of the couple shows he/she is much happier this time around.

Of course, things were not always a bed of roses for Jayne and Anne. Their relationship went through several upheavals, especially when Anne learned of Barry’s desire to have a sex change. But things worked out just fine in the end. 53-year-old Anne recollects being furious when Barry told her about the sex change. The 43-year-old was a bus driver at the time. Anne believed that Barry was cheating on her with another woman. She had absolutely no idea that what he actually wanted was to be a woman himself. They have come a long way since then, and are a happy couple now.

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Website Helps Icelandic Couples Avoid Incest

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In a country with only 300,000 people, the risk of two people who like each other being related is quite high. Throw in the absence of last names, and the confusion only increases. This is precisely the case in Iceland today. Luckily, they have a website that keeps them from committing incest.

So when a man and a woman begin dating in Iceland, the first thing they ask each other is, “Hverra manna ert þú?” which means, “Who are your people?” Obviously, none of them want to end up marrying their cousin. Even so, widespread rumors do the rounds about someone who knows someone who found out too late that the object of their interest was in fact, a long-lost cousin. Fortunately,  a website called  Íslendingabók exists to help Icelanders with the situation that almost seems unique to the isolated country.  Íslendingabók, which means the Book of Icelanders, is a genealogical website that carries a huge database of the people of Iceland and has been around for almost over a decade. When it was first launched, it turned out to be an instant hit.

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World’s First Park and Pray Chapel to Open in Austria

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With the launch of the new Park and Pray Worldwide Chapel Network, it is now possible for you to pray anywhere in the world, by simply stopping your car wherever you see  the Park+Pray sign.

The new concept is revolutionary in terms of making places of prayer available to all Christians, regardless of their confession. At places where the Park+Pray sign is displayed, one can find a chapel or church, a devotion or prayer room that all believers are welcome to make use of. Prayers will be provided with anonymity and privacy so you can comfortably make contact with God. The first chapel of the Park and Pray Network will open its doors to the public in August this year.

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Mom Uses Year-Old Cheeseburger to Keep Kids Away from McDonalds

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We’ve read several myths on the internet about the very questionable quality of food served at fast-food restaurants. A Canadian mom has actually gone on to prove some of these myths, in an attempt to discourage her teenage children from consuming ‘junk’ food.

Melanie Hesketh, from Windsor, Ontario, has a McDonald’s cheeseburger sitting on her kitchen counter. It looks as good as new, except that it’s been there for a year. That’s right, a whole year. Nope, no mould, no fungi, no maggots. Apparently, even bacteria won’t eat the food that millions of people around the world queue up for, each day. According to Melanie, who is a professional nutritionist at Windsor’s Lifetime Wellness Center, the meat patty has just shrunk a little but otherwise looks edible. It has a faint but lingering greasy, leathery odor, and still smells slightly like a burger. Her trick has worked pretty well. The sight of the burger in their kitchen every single day has helped her kids cut back on their intake of fast food. In fact, her oldest son has visited McDonald’s maybe only twice in the past year, in spite of growing peer pressure.

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Professional Wingman Services Help You Get a Date

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Remember Will Smith as Hitch, the guy who helps men woo women, for a living? Well, you can actually hire a similar service in real life. What’s even better is that your coach goes out with you, giving you practical advice and tips on dating.

“The Professional Wingman” is one such service run by Thomas Edwards. For $125  a night, you can get Edwards to go with you to social gatherings, posing as a friend of yours. He’ll then coach you through the evening, pointing out the flirtatious women, and also women who might be more compatible with your personality. In a prior meeting, you would establish with him exactly what kind of women you’re interested in, and also what stops you from approaching them with ease.

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Reverend Opens Tattoo Parlor inside Church to Attract Parishioners

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If this doesn’t bring people to Church, what will? A Church in Michigan has opened a built-in tattoo parlor, and the Reverend himself sports two tattoos.

Rev. Steve Bentley opened a small place called “Serenity Tattoo” in “The Bridge”, a church located inside a shopping center in Flint Township. The move was made in an effort to reach out to people who are uncomfortable with traditional places of worship. According to Bentley, mainstream religion is now irrelevant to most people and has actually become ineffective. So he came up with this unique solution to reach out to a few people who would otherwise never step into  a church.

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File Sharing Becomes Official Religion in Sweden

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Kopimism – a belief in the sacred right to share files – has been recognized as an official religion in Sweden, at the end of last year.

“Information is holy and copying is a sacrament. Information holds a value, in itself and in what it contains, and the value multiplies through copying. Therefore, copying is central for the organisation and its members.” This is how Kopimism is described on the official website of the Missionary Church of Kopimism. Apparently, ever since 2010, a groups of self-confessed file-sharing pirates have been trying to get file sharing recognized as an official religion. After having their claim denied several times, they’ve finally seen their dream fulfilled in late December 2011, when Kompimism was officially acknowledged as a legal religion. The Church hopes its new sacred status will remove the legal stigma  associated with file sharing.

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Man Would Turn to Rehab to Shake Diet Coke Drinking Habit

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Most people check into rehab to get rid of alcohol problems. But here’s someone who wishes for rehab to kick his Diet Coke addiction of over 20 years.

Darren Jones, 38, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, easily consumes 42 liters of  Diet Coke a week. His fizzy addiction costs him around £100 ($155) every week. He first started to drink Cola when he was 13. When the sugary version started to make his teeth ‘furry’, he switched to Diet. He says that in the beginning it wasn’t much of a problem, except that he gained a lot of weight. Things got worse as years went by. Jones was eventually diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and his weight made it difficult for him to move around. Soon he lost his taxi driver job.

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Researcher Proves You’re Washing Your Clothes More Often than You Should

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Would you dare to sniff a pair of jeans that haven’t been washed in three months? If the very thought of it seems disgusting, wait till you hear this. This March, there’s going to be an exhibition of thirty such pairs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

The unusual collection of dirty jeans is the result of an experiment conducted by Tullia Jack, a researcher from Melbourne. In an effort to prove that people wash their clothes way too often, she recruited thirty volunteers to wear their jeans unwashed, five days a week, for three months. Ms. Jack is a student at the Melbourne University and a fashion lecturer at RMIT. “Not washing your jeans isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds,” she says. The experiment is a part of her Master of Philosophy thesis and she wants to use the findings to challenge our ‘extreme clean’ culture.

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Mysterious Female Superhero Helps Beijing’s Poor

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Ever fancied meeting up with a superhero? Well you could have, had you been in Beijing this past Christmas Eve. For that was the day a real-life superhero walked the streets of the city, helping out the poor. She calls herself the ‘Chinese Redbud Woman’.

Dressed in low-cut black tights and wearing a blue mask, her pictures leave us wondering if she attracted attention for more than just her generosity. Jokes aside, she did do a pretty good job of helping out – handing out food, warm clothing and gifts to beggars and homeless people. Why she didn’t put on some of the warm clothing herself on a cool December night, is something we don’t have an answer to. The appearance of this mysterious woman did cause a stir of sorts among the residents of Beijing. People started talking about her on the internet and in local media. Pictures of her acts of kindness at public places such as the Xidan subway station and in front of the Wangfujing bookstore have been doing the rounds ever since the night of Christmas Eve. The superlady herself communicates with the world through a microblog, written in Chinese. She currently has over 7,000 fans online.

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