This New Restaurant in Russia Looks Like a Dilapidated Mansion

To say the “Le Courage” restaurant in Sankt Petersburg, Russia, has a vintage look would be a gross understatement. The place looks to be in a state of severe disrepair, but it’s all by design, as the place just opened a couple of years ago.

Located in  Sankt Petersburg’s newly-built Russian House residential complex, Le Courage is a modern restaurant with a very unique look. It’s stylized as a 19th-century mansion in serious need of repairs, with deliberately worn walls, chipped stucco moldings, antique furniture, and deliberately worn floorboards. During the “renovation” phase, designers used a hammer to chip away at the stucco molds they had just glued onto the walls, they washed out the plaster to make it look like the ceiling had survived more than one serious water leak, and the 19th-century pattern wallpaper was left unfinished in places.

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Blind Quarterback Relies Solely on His Memory to Help His Team

Jasen Bracy became completely blind at the age of 7, but he didn’t let that setback come between him and his dream of playing football, and he is now a quarterback for the Modesto Raiders.

Jasen, who lives in Modesto, California, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of cancer that causes tumors in the retina, when he was only 1-year-old. Despite undergoing several treatments to treat his condition, there was no saving his eyesight, and by age 7, Jasen was completely blind. Today, the only thing he can distinguish is whether it is daytime or nighttime. But despite growing up blind, Jasen never hesitated in following his dreams, no matter how ambitious they may have seemed. And it was this ambitious attitude that won him the role of quarterback on a local football team.

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Man Under House Arrest Asks to Be Put in Jail Because Living With His Wife Is “Hell”

A 30-year-old man from Guidonia, a town on the outskirts of Rome, found living at home with his wife so intolerable that he begged police to put him in prison.

Staff on duty at the Tenenza Carabinieri barracks in Guidonia thought they were the target of a prank on October 23, when a man casually walked in and confessed to breaking house arrest on purpose, so he could be thrown in jail. The unnamed Albanian man had apparently been fighting with his wife and decided that rather than living in the same house as her, he’d be better off behind bars.

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The World’s Thinnest Observation Tower Has a Diameter of Under 4 Meters

The English seaside city of Brighton is home to the world’s thinnest observation tower, a structure only 3.9 meters in diameter, with a height-to-width ratio of over 40:1.

Conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the same firm behind the famous London Eye wheel, the i360 coastal observation tower in Brighton, UK looks like a giant needle pointing at the sky. It’s not the only observational tower in the world, but it is the thinnest one ever made. It has a diameter of only 3.9 meters, or 12.8 feet, at its widest point, and stands 162 meters tall. Although it is often described simply as a vertical cable car because of the technology it uses to drive a tourist-filled pod up and down, the i360 is actually an engineering marvel.

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New Processing Technique Makes Wood as Tough as Steel, Scientists Claim

According to a recently published scientific paper, a team of researchers has developed a wood processing technique that makes the material 23 times harder, making it possible to create sharp wooden knives and nails.

Material scientists at the University of Maryland have reportedly developed a type of hardened wood that can be used as a sustainable alternative to materials like steel and ceramics. To demonstrate the toughness of their chemically-treated wood, the team created a knife that is allegedly nearly three times sharper than a stainless-steel dinner table knife, as well as a wooden nail that can be hammered through wood without sustaining any damage, and that isn’t affected by rust.

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Les Grands Buffets – Probably the World’s Most Impressive All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Les Grands Buffet à Narbonne is a unique all-you-can-eat buffet in Narbonne, France, where you can stuff your face with the most decadent dishes of French cuisine, in a luxurious environment, and without breaking the bank.

While the above paragraph may sound like the beginning of a sponsored post, that is most certainly not the case. I only discovered Les Grands Buffet yesterday, while on my daily session of internet surfing for interesting topics to write about, when some photos of what looked like a lobster fountain caught my eye. It turned out to be just one of the many eye-catching arrangements at the Les Grands Buffet in Narbonne, France, a unique all-you-can-eat-buffet that only serves the best dishes of French cuisine, from lobsters to foie gras and cassoulet. It’s the kind of place that, as a gourmand, you simply have to visit at least once in your life.

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Pressing 1,000 Buttons Is the Perfect Way to Complete an Elevator Button Factory Tour

An elevator button factory in Japan allows visitors to test its vast collection of buttons by pressing no less than 1,000 of them on a specially designed display.

Shimada Denki Seisakusho is a specialized manufacturer of custom-made elevator buttons and arrival lights based in Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1933, the factory is a piece of Japanese industrial history and conducts guided tours for people interested in its early beginnings and the way it makes its vast array of elevator buttons. It’s a fascinating visit, I’m sure, but the highlight of the tour has to be the ‘1,000 Buttons’ display, which, as the name suggests, is made up of rows upon rows of different elevator buttons that light up when pressed.

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Sweden Hills – An Idyllic Piece of Sweden in Japan

Walking through the streets of Sweden Hills, with its traditional read-and-white Swedish houses, Swedish flags and traditional Swedish outfits, you’d never guess you were on the island of Hokkaido, in Japan.

Located in Tōbetsu, about 30 kilometers from Sapporo, the largest city on Hokkaido, Sweden Hills (スウェーデンヒルズ) was inspired by the visit of a Swedish ambassador in the area. During their visit, the Swedish diplomat remarked how similar the climate and landscape were to his native land, and that inspired developers in the area to build a settlement modeled on idyllic Swedish towns. Planning started in 1979, and the actual construction began in 1984. Today, Sweden Hills or Suēden Hiruzu is home to about 400 permanent residents, as well several hundred who only vacation here. It’s safe to say they are all massive fans of Swedish culture.

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This Giant Wasp Is Just a Harmless Moth in Disguise

The European Hornet Moth (Sesia apiformis) looks terrifying at first glance, but its uncanny resemblance to a giant wasp is just an elaborate disguise meant to keep predators at bay.

The hornet moth is a prime example of Batesian mimicry, a form of mimicry where a harmless species has evolved to imitate the look and/or behavior of a harmful species in order to protect itself from predators. In this case, the yellow and back combination, the shape of the abdomen, and of the see-through wings do a great job of creating the illusion of a menacing wasp. It’s only on closer inspection that you notice the insect’s lack of a clearly defined, wasp-like waste, a furry body, and two uncharacteristically small eyes.

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Couple Use Variations of the Same 4 Letters to Name Their 11 Children

A couple in Belgium has become famous for giving their 11 children first names based on different variations of just four letters from the alphabet – A, E, L, and X.

Gwenny Blanckaert and Marino Vaneeno are the proud parents of eleven children – seven girls and four boys – all of whom have four-letter names, the same four letters, in fact. Despite having 26 letters in the alphabet to work with, after making their first to children Alex and Axel, the two parents had a revelation and decided to use just the letters A, E, L, and X to name their other kids. And because they both wanted a big family, they ended up having to use variations of those four letters to name their next nine children as well, and plan to do the same when their twelfth child is born next year.

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70-Year-Old Woman Gives Birth to Her First Child

At an age when most women are either busy playing with their grandchildren or are long past thinking about having children, a 70-year-old Indian woman just gave birth to her first child.

Jivuben Valabhai Rabari and her husband had been trying to conceive ever since they got married, 45 years ago, but their every attempt had been unsuccessful. A couple of years ago, Ms. Rabari, a milk farmer from rural Gujarat, contacted a gynecologist about the possibility of trying an IVF treatment to finally fulfill her dream of having a baby. The doctor, Naresh Bhanushali, had helped several members of the woman’s family conceive, and she was convinced he could do the same for her. Despite receiving negative counseling and being told that her relatives were between 45 and 50 years old, not nearing 70 like her, she would not take ‘no’ for an answer.

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This Indian Temple Is Home to a ‘Vegetarian’ Crocodile

Sri Ananthapura temple in north Kerala’s Kasaragod district is allegedly home to a vegetarian crocodile named ‘Babiya’ who has been living there for over 70 years.

Pictures of a large crocodile inside the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Lake Temple made international news headlines last year, boosting the small Hindu temple’s popularity. But in reality, this was one of the few times that the giant reptile had entered the temple, as it spends most of its time in an adjacent pond, waiting for the priests to bring it the daily meals, which are always vegetarian. If the priests are to be believed, Babiya the crocodile has been living solely on cooked rice for as long as he’s been at the temple, which adds up to over seven decades.

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Japan’s Unique Hole-in-One Golf Insurance Policy

Hitting a hole-in-one is one of the greatest things that can happen to a golf player, but in Japan, such a lucky shot can lead to such an expensive celebration that insurers actually sell hole-in-one insurance policies to mitigate the ‘risk’.

The average golfer has 1 in 12,500 chances of hitting a hole-in-one, while professional golf players have a 1in 2,500 chance of making the shot. Those are not particularly great odds, but they’re high enough to prompt many Japanese golfers to take hole-in-one insurance policies. You see, in the Asian country, it’s customary for whoever makes this incredibly lucky shot to through a celebratory party that can cost up to $10,000. That’s more expensive than most people want to pay, so in order to cut costs, many golfers take out special insurance policies for a few tens of dollars a year, just in case they get lucky.

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The Zombies of Kinshasa – Victims of a Bizarre Artisanal Drug

Authorities in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, are worried about the growing popularity of bombé, a new artisanal drug that allegedly turns energetic youths into mindless zombies.

While the rest of the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic, police in Kinsasha are struggling to contain an epidemic of their own – the rapid spread of a new and dangerous drug that threatens the lives of millions of youths. Known as ‘bombé’, which means powerful in the local Lingala language, this dubious concoction is based on a brown powder obtained from crushing the ceramic core of catalytic converters, a car part designed to cut the emission of toxic gases in vehicle exhaust pipes. Mixed with a variety of pills, this powder reportedly puts users into an almost catatonic state, where they will stand motionless for hours, sometimes days, or just move aimlessly like zombies, which has earned them the ominous nickname “zombies of Kinshasa”.

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Man Lives With Mobile Phone in His Stomach For Six Months

An Egyptian man had to undergo emergency surgery to have a mobile phone that he had swallowed six months ago removed from his stomach.

In a first-of-its-kind case in Egypt, doctors at the Aswan University Hospital in the city of Aswan performed an operation to remove a small mobile phone that had been inside a man’s intestines for half a year. The patient, an inmate named Mohamed Ismail Mohamed, was brought to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain, and a CT scan revealed that there was a foreign body in his intestines. The man was prepped for surgery, and doctors managed to remove the object which turned out to be a small mobile phone wrapped in plastic foil.

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