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Being a Bridesmaid in China Is So Dangerous That People Are Hiring Professionals

In the Western world, bridesmaids are also known as maids of honor, but in China, they are more like maids of dishonor. From drinking large quantities of alcohol on behalf of the bride to putting up with groping and other forms of harassment, bridesmaids often take part in traditional customs that most people would consider extremely vulgar. And as fewer women are willing to serve as bridesmaids for their friends and relatives, professional bridesmaid rental services are a booming business.

In medieval times, Chinese bridesmaids would dress up as the bride to act as decoys for rival clans and hooligans looking to kidnap her. As centuries past and legal protections for marriages were established, this particular role was no longer required, but maids of honor still retained their protective functions, and their ‘job’ remained as dangerous as ever. Even today, women who take on this responsibility are humiliated, physically or sexually harassed and some end up losing their lives in their attempt to best fulfill their tasks at a wedding. It sounds absurd that an honorary position at what is supposed to be a joyous celebration involve such risks, but in China, it is a harsh reality.

For example, it is customary for Chinese newlyweds to toast bottoms up to every wedding guest, and at big weddings that adds up to a lot of alcohol. In order to protect the honor of the bride, it falls on the bridesmaids to fend off drinking requests and in most cases drink on the bride’s behalf. This often results in alcohol poisoning, and in extreme cases, death. Just last month, it was reported that a 28-year-old maid of honor in Wenchang, Hainan province, lost her life after getting pressured into consuming a large amount of alcohol.

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Italian Doctor Creates Ice-Cream That Improves Sporting Performance

“Who says that health foods have to taste bad?” That’s the question that inspired Italian cardiologist Dr. Valerio Sanguigni to create a tasty ice-cream with proven health benefits, including improved sport performance in youth.

It’s a known medical fact that can help improve heart health and prevent certain diseases, with some studies even linking them to living a longer life. Staples of Italian cuisine, like olive oil, tomatoes and red wine have been credited for contributing to the longevity of the Italian population, whose number of centenarians has tripled in less than 15 years. But despite their documented benefits, Dr. Sanguini believed that many antioxidant-rich health foods lost a considerable share of their properties before reaching people’s tables. He decided to solve this problem using ice-cream.

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Local Gang Cleans New Zealand Town of Drug Dealers

Tribal Huk, an ethnic gang from Ngaruawahia, a small town in New Zealand, took it upon themselves to rid their community of methamphetamine dealers, after seeing the local youth negatively affected by the synthetic drug. After giving offenders an ultimatum, the gang cleaned their town of meth dealers in just one weekend.

It all started on Thursday, October 13, when Jamie Pink, the notorious leader of the Tribal Huk gang gave methamphetamine dealers 24 hours to pack up and leave, during a local town meeting. He told attendees that his group had polled local children, and around 75% of them were affected in some way by methamphetamine, so they had decided it was time to take action.

“For a lot of years, the Huks have kept a lot of other gangs out of here in Ngaruawahia and we are always going to do that, but we haven’t kept their poison out of here. We are a bit sorry about that,” Pink said. “From this second on, without disrespecting, we know who they are – some of them are whanau (extended family), but they’ve got to go. They have 24 hours to stop. We ask nicely first, then they’ve got to go. We’ve got no choice. The kids are asking for it. They’ll be asked nicely the first time.”

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Spanish Junkyard Owner Replaces Guard Dogs with Bullfighting Bulls

After falling victim to no less than seven break-ins last summer, the owner of a second hand auto parts business in Montserrat, Spain, has replaced his guard dogs with a pair of ‘toro bravos’, a Spanish breed of bull used in bullfighting, to roam the property and deter potential intruders.

Emilio Cervero told Spanish reporters that his troubles began earlier this year, when local authorities in the Valencian town of Montserrat built new roundabout next to his junkyard. He was expropriated of part of his property, and the provincial government sealed off his downsized land with a flimsy wire fence to replace the original concrete wall which featured barbed wire protection. Since then, he claims thieves have broken in seven times, by snipping a hole in the wall, luring the guard dogs out of the compound, and simply walking in to take what they needed.

Señor Cervero claims that the financial cost of the break-ins wasn’t considerable, as it turns out that most of the thieves were young people looking to steal a rear-view mirror or a tire for their cars, but the frequency with which the intrusions occurred had become an inconvenience. The fence had to be fixed every time, not to mention that the alarms were set off, bothering his neighbors. And since guard dogs were proving ineffective, he decided it was time for something more extreme.

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You Need to Fail a Breathalizer Test to Enter the World’s First Hangover Bar

Provided you can find your way to it after a wild night of alcohol-fueled partying, the world’s first hangover bar, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, promises to make that nasty next-day hangover a lot easier to deal with.

Only open from Friday to Sunday, between 10am and 6pm, Amsterdam’s Hangover Bar is decorated as a green oasis in the middle of the urban jungle, and offers a variety of ways to deal with hangovers. But in order to experience any of them, you first have to prove that your blood alcohol content is well above functional levels, by taking a breathalizer test. Failing one of these is usually a bad thing, but at the Hangover Bar it’s actually your ticket in.

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Man Rescues Abandoned Pit Bull That Had Been Waiting Outside for His Owners for a Month

A lonely and confused pit bull that had been waiting near a pile of garbage in the street for a whole month, after his owners moved away and left him behind, was recently rescued by a kindhearted animal lover.

Photos of Boo, a beautiful black and white pit bull, sitting on top of an old mattress and old furniture abandoned in the street, first started circulating on social media last week, after a neighbor in Mount Clemens, Michigan, posted them online. The man had watched Boo’s family pack up their belongings and driving away, leaving the dog next to a bunch of other things they didn’t want anymore. He had been feeding him for over a week, and had contacted every dog rescue in the area, but no one was willing to help the poor animal.

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Man Donates Liver to Total Stranger, She Gives Him Her Heart

When a code-enforcement officer in Frankfort, Illinois decided to donate half his liver to someone that had never met before, in order to save their life, he had no idea that person would one day become his life partner.

In March 2014, completely out of the blue, 27-years-old Heather Kruger was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, and learned that she only had a few months left to live. Doctors told her that her only chance for survival was a liver transplant, but with so little time left, waiting for a liver from the state’s transplant list was not the best option, so they suggested finding a living donor. “They immediately told me I was going to need a transplant,” she recalls. “There was not much time to find a donor. By that time I could really feel my body shutting down.”

Her salvation came from a total stranger. Code-enforcement officer Chris Dempsey was in the lunch break room when he overheard Kruger’s cousin, Jack Dwyer, talking about her health problem and how she needed to find a donor or she would die. Dempsey had never heard about this person, let alone met her in person, but he immediately knew he wanted to help. “I spent four years in the Marine Corps and learned there never to run away from anything. So I just said to myself, ‘Hey, if I can help, I’m going to help,'” he says. So Chris just approached Dwyer and told him he wanted to get tested to see if he was a compatible donor, and it turned out that the two were a perfect match.

 

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Canned Polluted Beijing Air Proves Big Hit

Many Beijing residents go to great lengths to avoid breathing the city’s smoggy air, especially when it reaches critical pollution levels, but one local entrepreneur decided that canning and selling this poor quality air as a souvenir would be a great idea. Believe it or not, he was right.

After seeing a number of companies achieve commercial success by canning fresh air from countries like France, Canada or Australia and selling it in China, Dominic Johnson-Hill, a British-born citizen of Beijing and owner of the Plastered 8 souvenir shop, decided to turn the idea on its head and sell canned Beijing air throughout China and abroad.

“I’d seen people going crazy to buy canned air from Canada and Australia, so I thought it was time to push business the other way,” the entrepreneur said. “They’re perfect gifts! What else are you going to take home when you go home from Beijing? A roast duck? A Plastered T-shirt? These cans are light, portable, you can just imagine someone’s face when they unwrap if for Christmas.”

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South Korean Man Adopted at Age 3 to Be Deported from the U.S. 37 Years Later

Adam Crapser was just three years old when he was flown from South Korea to be adopted by a U.S. family, but because they never bothered to apply for his naturalization, he is to be deported back to his native country 37 years later.

Adam was born Shin Song Hyuk, to a mother who abandoned him and his older sister when he was three years old. They ended up in an orphanage outside Seoul, and five months later they were flown to the United States to be adopted by an American family. Their adoptive parents fought often and punished the children viciously – Crapser remembers being whipped and forced to sit in a dark basement. But six years later, they decided they didn’t want the Korean kids anymore, so Child Services split up the siblings and put them in various foster homes. Adam ended up with a family in Oregon, which turned out to be even worse than the first one.

Thomas and Dolly Crapser, always had their house full of foster and adopted children, sometimes as many as ten at a time. They also subjected their kids to gruesome punishments, like slamming their heads against door frames, burning them, duct-taping their mouths to shut them up. Adam remembers Thomas once broke his nose just because he couldn’t find his missing car keys. They were eventually charged with dozens of counts of child abuse, including rape, sexual abuse and criminal mistreatment, and in 1992, they were convicted on several counts of criminal mistreatment and assault. However, Thomas served only 90 days in prison, and Dolly got three years probation.

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This Little Flashlight Is So Powerful It can Start a Fire and Cook Breakfast

The FlashTorch Mini flashlight is about as close as you can get to a real-life, commercially-available lightsaber. Its 2300-lumens halogen light output is enough to start a fire or cook an egg.

Created by Wicked Laser, the FlashTorch Mini is made of anodized, machined aircraft-grade aluminum and features a highly efficient, heat-resistant lens and reflector. That already sounds very impressive, but it’s the intense light this thing emits that really makes it special. The ‘torch’ in its name has a very literal meaning, as the 2300 lumens output is more than enough to start a fire if you hold the flashlight close enough to something flammable. It’s also strong enough to melt plastic and even cook eggs, if you balance the cooking container on top of the flashlight.

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Coffin Couture – Clothing Store Offers the Perfect Outfits for the Afterlife

Eternity is a really long time, so you’d probably want to spend it looking your best, right? Luckily, a popular clothing store has recently put together a collection of stylish clothes they think are perfect for the afterlife.

English clothing company Lyst claims that their new ‘Over My Dead Body’ collection was inspired by the results of a customer survey which showed that 85% of Britons have thought about their final outfit, with about a quarter of them saying they would be willing to spend £1,000 on it.

“What we wear is such a huge reflection of who are and our personalities that it’s unsurprising that people now have a clear picture of what they want to be buried in,” said Katherine Ormerod, editorial director of Lyst. “They say life’s too short for boring clothes, we agreed and took it one step further. Death is too long to get your last outfit wrong.” Read More »

Stunning Celtic Cross Discovered in the Middle of Irish Forest

There is an impressive landmark growing in the middle of Donegal Forest, Ireland, but you could walk right through it and not even though it’s there. This newly-discovered ‘hidden treasure’ only reveals it beauty when seen from above.

The giant Celtic Cross of Donegal recently made international headlines after footage shot using a drone went viral on the internet. Filmmaker Darren Sheaffer was working on a project at the Bogay Walled Garden, outside Newtown Cunningham, when it was mentioned to him that there was an amazing sight hidden in the nearby forest of Donegal. So he took a walk there, launched his drone, and what he saw took his breath away. Right in the middle of the woods was a giant Celtic cross about 100 meters long and 70 meters wide, made up of a different type of tree than the rest of the forest. Donegal’s drone video went viral as part of an ITV report on the unique landmark, and has since been doing the rounds on the internet.

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You Can Now Drink from a Cup Made with the Ashes of Your Loved Ones

New Mexico-based artist Justin Crowe first incorporated cremated human ashes into a dinnerware set, last year, as part of an art project, but after his friends learned about it and asked him to create bespoke items for them, he decided to turn the idea into a business. Today, his company, Chronicle Cremation Design, offers people the chance to keep their loved ones close by having their ashes incorporated into everyday items like coffee cups, bowls or candle holders.

“I wanted to create a dinnerware set that infuses a sense of mortality into everyday life,” Crow says about his original idea of mixing human ashes into tableware. In 2015, he purchased 200 human bones from a bone dealer, crushed them into a fine powder and mixed them into a coating glaze for a set of functional plates, cups and bowls. He ended up using them for an unconventional dinner party, with the guests eating off of repurposed human remains.

Interestingly, while searching for human bones for his artistic project, Crow put up an ad on Craigslist, asking for about two cups of ashes for $35. He got three responses on the first day,one of which was from a woman who threatened to have him investigated, quoting the Bible and telling him he was going to hell. “It’s a really polarizing idea,” the artist admits.

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If You Need a Question Answered and Google Is Down, There’s a Number You Can Call

Ever wonder what life was like before internet search engines like Google? How did people get answers to all-important questions like ‘what’s the average life expectancy of a frog’, or ‘is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?’ Many of them turned to the ‘ask a librarian’  phone service of the New York Public Library, and, believe it or not, some of them still do it today.

They are called the “human google”, a team of real-life people whose main purpose while on the job is to search 120-years worth of archives and provide answers to some of the strangest, most complicated questions available. Set up during the 1940s, when search engines and the internet weren’t even ideas yet, the Ask NYPL department is made up of nine librarians and information assistants who cater to the needs of people who don’t have access to modern technology or simply prefer to interact with another human being.

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Blades of Steel – Indian Teen Pulls Cars with His Shoulder Blades

Most people barely manage to pull one car using both their arms, but an Indian teenager can pull two of them using only his unusually strong shoulder blades.

18-year-old Abhishek Choubey, from India’s Madhya Pradesh state, started using his shoulder blades to pull various objects when he was just 8, after noticing that they were of a different shape than those of his friends. At first, he used hooks from the local market, but they didn’t fit very well between his shoulder blades, so, after noticing his unusual talent, his father, Avdesh, designed a special wooden hook for him, as a gift. With it he managed to practice with increasingly heavy objects, until he finally managed to pull a car weighing 2314 lbs for 27.5 meters. Inspired by his success, he decided to challenge himself even more, by pulling two cars, and he succeeded.

“I realised there are many people who can pull heavy vehicles with ears and even hair, but I am the only one who can pull two cars at a time with my shoulder blades,’ Abhishek said. His new goal is to have his achievement acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records.

 

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