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Online Homeware Store Mocked for Selling Handful of Twigs for $42

American homeware retailer Anthropologie was recently mocked on social media for selling a bundle of 20 birch twigs for the astronomical price of $42. That’s over $2 for a stick you can probably find on the street.

Officially called a “Decorative Birch Bundle”, the handful of twigs tied with two pieces of brown strings was apparently designed for people looking to add a “rustic quality” to their homes, but ultimately did nothing but spark outrage online. Photos of the birch twigs along with the selling price of $42 started showing up on social media this weekend, enraging a lot of people and inspiring some truly hilarious jokes.

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Cruel Boss Dunks Employee’s Face in Boiling Hotpot as a Joke

A 23-year-old man has filed a criminal complaint against his ex-boss for dunking his face into a scalding hotpot at an office party, as a joke, causing severe burns to his face that required over a month to heal.

The shocking event reportedly took place at a company party on December 20, 2015, but was made public just last week, after a couple of videos recorded on mobile phones went viral online. One of the clips shows a group of people sitting around a table in a Japanese-style restaurant. In the center of the table is a “nabe”, a pot of boiling water used for cooking meat and vegetables over an open flame. At one point, a man whose face is not shown in the video grabs the one of the people around the table by the back of his head and dunks his face into the nabe, holding him down for a couple of seconds before he manages to wrestle free, knocking over the pot.

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Chinese Teacher Isolates Cancer-Suffering Student at the Back of the Class for Fear That He Might Be Contagious

A primary school teacher in China was recently dismissed for discriminating against a child suffering from cancer, by making him sit alone at the back of the class and not allowing him to take exams like everyone else.

The languages teacher is said to have complained about the boy ever since he transferred to the Liancheng Primary School, in Quanzhou, Fujian province, in September, in order to be closer to his parents while receiving chemotherapy treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He reportedly thought that the child’s condition could be contagious, and he wasn’t the only one, as Chinese media reports that several children were withdrawn from the school following the sick 13-year-old’s transfer. Since then, he had gone out of his way to make the boy, named only as Zhou feel like an outcast, making him sit all by himself at the back of the class and even forbidding him to take exams.

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Man Endures 5 Years of Chemotherapy for Cancer He Never Had

A Colorado man claims that he was on intense chemotherapy and painkillers for five long years, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer by multiple doctors, a cancer that he recently learned never existed.

The living nightmare of James Salaz, a resident of Montrose, in Colorado, began five years ago, when he went to a hospital to have an intense pain deep under his armpit investigated. His doctor told him that tests revealed two abnormalities inside his left lung. After undergoing a couple of open lung biopsies, Salaz was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis, a rare form of cancer that causes cells to build up in parts of the body, damaging tissues and ultimately leading to death. Devastated by the news, he visited doctors in Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction and Denver, and they all confirmed that he had Langerhans. It turns out they were all wrong.

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Grateful Patient Gets Back Tattoo of Doctor Who Saved His Life

A young cancer survivor from Argentina recently surprised the doctor he credits for saving his life with a very unusual display of gratitude – a large back tattoo of the surgical oncologist next to the hospital he works at.

A few months ago, Nano Salguero, a native of Alejo Ledesma, an Argentinian town located 333 kilometers southeast of the regional capital of Córdoba, was diagnosed with colon cancer by a local oncologist. He was  immediately referred to the Hospital de Clinicas in the regional capital for emergency surgery, where he was operated on by Dr. Paul Lada, a surgical oncologist with 42 years of experience under his belt. Nano’s operation was a success, and even though he is technically still in recovery, he recently showed his gratitude to Dr. Lada by sending him a photo of a large tattoo of his smiling face next to the hospital he works at that he had inked on his back.

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11-Year-Old Chinese Girl Is Already 6ft 7in (2.10m) Tall

Seeing Zhang Ziyu towering over her classmates at the Cultural East Road Primary School, in Jinan, China, it’s hard to believe that they are all in the sixth grade. The 11-year-old already measures 6ft 7in (210 cm), and many believe she is the tallest girl in the world.

Zhang’s parents are both former professional basketball players, and they are both over 2 meters tall, so it’s pretty clear that genetics played an important role in her physical development, but reaching 210 cm by age 11 is still very unusual. Zhang has always been taller than all the other children, and one of her colleagues remembers that in the first grade, she already stood at 1.6m (5ft 3in) tall. That’s already considerably taller than the average Chinese sixth-grade girl (4ft 6in or 1.38m).

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Christian Missionary Killed by Reclusive Tribe After Going to Their Remote Island to “Declare Jesus”

A young Christian missionary has been killed after venturing to North Sentinel Island, a protected island in the Indian Ocean home to a 30,000-year-old tribe known to aggressively repel outsiders, in order to “declare Jesus”.

27-year-old John Allen Chau is believed to have been killed by a volley of arrows shot by members of the Sentinelese tribe shortly after encroaching on their remote island. He had been trying to make contact with the reclusive natives for years, and on Saturday he paddled to the island in a kayak, despite the warnings of several fishermen he had paid to take him close to it. According to eyewitnesses, Chau was hit by an arrow shortly after reaching the island, and his body was later dragged deeper inland and buried. In a journal he left fishermen before venturing to North Sentinel Island, the young explorer wrote that he knew he risked being killed but that it was “worth it to declare Jesus to these people”.

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Colombian Town Enforces Curfew to Protect Young People from Evil Spirits Spreading Through WhatsApp

The mayor of Parajito, a town in northern Colombia, recently announced a curfew forbidding the transit and gathering of minors under the age of 17 in public places between 7 in the evening and 5 in the morning, to protect them from evil spirits that have allegedly been spreading through the popular messaging app WhatsApp.

Since the beginning of this week, authorities in the Catholic town of Parajito have reported at least 14 cases of teenagers exhibiting strange behavior, including threats of jumping off bridges, self lacerations, convulsions, fainting and unexplained changes in their voices. Like most youths these days, all of the victims were reportedly using the popular messaging app WhatsApp, and rumors started going around that evil spirits spreading through the app were responsible for the unusual behavior. To protect the children from themselves, mayor Inocencio Perez decided to enforce a curfew that allows youths under 17 to leave their homes only under the supervision of their parents or custodians.

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Single Mother Has Been Paying an Actor to Pose as Her Daughter’s Father for the Last 10 Years

In an effort to spare her young daughter from being ostracized by other children for not having a father, a Japanese single mother made the controversial decision to hire an actor who has been posing as the girl’s father for the last 10 years.

Megumi was only a baby when her parents separated and he father disappeared from her life. The mother, Asako, remembers that the girl started asking where her father was very early, but that her father’s absence didn’t seem like a big deal until she was about 10-years-old. That’s when Asako noticed a change in her daughter’s behavior; she stopped talking to her, became withdrawn, and eventually stopped going to school. Her mother soon learned that she wasn’t just blaming herself for her father’s absence, but she had also become a victim of bullying at school, as it often happens with children of single parents in Japan. Asako was heartbroken, and after appealing to Megumi’s teachers for help, she also decided to give her daughter the thing she wanted most, even if it meant lying to her.

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Woman Eats Only Instant Noodles for Three Weeks Straight to Save Money, Ends Up in the Hospital

A young university student who ate only instant noodles for three weeks straight in order to save money for Singles Day – China’s version of Black Friday – ended spending all of her savings on medical bills after her unusual diet made her sick.

Instant noodles are standard fare for many university students. They’re cheap, easy to cook and they fill your stomach, but they’re definitely not the most nutritious meal. One young woman recently learned the hard way that surviving on instant noodles alone is not the smartest thing you can do, even if it means saving some money in the short run.

Hong Jia first made news headlines in China at the start of November, when it was revealed that she had been eating only instant noodles since October 15, in order to save a bit of money for Singles Day, the largest online and offline shopping day in the world. In a viral Pear video, Jia said that she had managed to save 749 yuan ($108) by switching to the ultra cheap diet, money that she planned to spend on the November 11 shopping extravaganza.

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Man Addicted to Cold Medicine Has Taken Over 30,000 Pills in the Last 10 Years

A Changsha man recently made news headlines in China after it was reported that he became hooked on cold medication 10 years ago and has taken over 30,000 pills since then just to satisfy his addiction.

The 48-year-old man, surnamed Wang, was featured in a viral Pear video in which he explains that he first bought an unspecified brand of cold medicine about a decade ago, to treat a headache. He took a couple of them and they were very effective, so every time he felt even a slight discomfort he always popped some more pills, which made him feel a lot better. The problem was that in time, he had to increase the dose to get the same results, and he reached a point where he took between 8 to 12 of these pills every day just to function normally. In recent years, the man’s addiction to the pills had gotten so bad that if he went too long without taking some, he would start to get melancholic, then become inexplicably irritated. He also experienced physical symptoms, like headaches and a general feeling of discomfort.

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Spanish Start-Up Creates Heelless Running Shoe That Allegedly Prevents Injuries

Looking at the new running shoes unveiled by Spanish start-up FBR you would be forgiven for thinking it incomplete, but the missing heel in the sole is actually by design.

Athletic trainer Franc Beneyto came up with the idea for a heelless running shoe five years ago, after reading the book “Running with the Kenyans”, by Adharanand Finn, a journalist and amateur runner who lived for a few months in Kenya with athletes and coaches to investigate why they were able to run more, faster and get injured less frequently than others. In the book, Finn wrote that Kenyans had refined a natural running technique that didn’t require the support of the heel, but instead relied on the Achilles tendon, plantar arch, soleus and calf muscle. That got him thinking, and one day he just cut off the heel of a running shoe to see what running in it would feel like.

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You Can Now Pay to Attend Strangers’ Weddings in India

Weddings are generally considered personal events reserved for family and friends, but some couples in India are more than happy to have total strangers from all over the world attend their traditional weddings, for a fee.

Paying hundreds of dollars to attend the wedding of two total strangers in a foreign country may seem strange to some, but according to JoinMyWedding, a company specializing in wedding tourism, it’s “the ultimate cultural immersion” for tourists looking to experience as many elements of Indian culture in the shortest time possible. Clients get to put on traditional Indian clothing, taste exotic food, witness and take part in beautiful wedding customs, and soak up the unique atmosphere. As for the couples getting married, they get to share the happiest day of their lives not just with family and friends, “but with the world” and make some extra money in the process.

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Music Torture – Jailed Mexican Official Claims He Was Forced to Listen to Regaetton Music for Ten Days Straight

Colombian singer Maluma is one of the world’s most popular reggaeton stars, but while millions of people love listening to his hits, one jailed Mexican official claims he has been driven crazy by Maluma’s music after police “tortured” him by playing loud reggaeton non-stop for 10 days straight.

Gilberto Aguirre Garza, the former director of the Attorney General’s Office in the Mexican state of Veracruz, was jailed in April for his alleged involvement in the concealment and alteration of evidence relating to the mass burial of 13 human bodies. On January 19, 2016, the remains of 19 victims of enforced disappearance allegedly perpetrated by public servants of the Public Security Secretariat of the State were discovered in a place called La Barranca de La Aurora. However, prosecutors claimed that Garza instructed personnel under his command to report the finding of only 6 bodies, a charge that he has always denied. The jailed official’s lawyer recently told reporters that, in an effort to force his client to admit to the crime and denounce other public servants, the current Verracruz Governor and the state’s Attorney General have been subjecting Garza to music torture.

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Woman Who Called Herself a Vampire Gets Jail Time For Attacking Man She Thought Was a Werewolf

A 22-year-old female fan of the hit TV show “The Vampire Diaries” who considered herself the real-life vampire heroine Elena Gilbert was recently sentenced to two and a half years in prison after stabbing a man that she allegedly considered a werewolf.

The bizarre attack occurred in the Russian city of Novosibirsk, back in February. Ekaterina Tirskaya, a fan of supernatural-themed video games and TV shows, met her unnamed victim on social media, and, after hitting it off online, the two decided to meet up in person as well. They went for a date and when it came time to call it a night, the man reportedly asked Ekaterina if she wanted to come to his place for a nightcap. She accepted, and as it often happens in such cases, the two ended up spending the night together. But things got weird the following morning, as the man later told police that the woman he woke up next to was very different than the one he had bedded. And by different, he meant violent vampire out for blood.

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