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Cancer Survivor Makes Drug Jewelry to Pay off Medical Debt

Susan Braig, a 61-year-old cancer survivor from Altadena, California, began making jewelry from medication as a form of therapy, but now sells her creations to pay her medical bills.

Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemotherapy in 2004. She remembers she bought her first round of medicine our of her own pocket; it cost her $500 and looking at the little pills she got for that much money, it made her wonder if they were little gems. But the idea of actually using medication as jewelry came to Susan Braig in 2007, when she participated in a medical-themed art exhibition organized by the NewTown Pasadena Foundation. She decided to create a mock Tiffany & Co. jewelry advertisement for the exhibition, using different kinds of pills as diamonds, rubies and emeralds, but she eventually ended up making a princess’ tiara encrusted with her leftover cancer pills, as well as several other pieces. They were a hit, and many show-goers told Susan she should open her own jewelry line.

Now, seven years after starting her treatment, Susan Braig is cancer-free and running her own jewelry line, called designer Drug Jewelry. Friends and fellow cancer survivors donate their own old and leftover medicine, and she uses them to create colorful accessories priced between $15 and $150. She sells them at craft shows, where she wears a white medical robe, and is considering distributing them to hospital gift shops. The pills used for the over 500 pieces she designed so far are coated with a sealant and glued to the costume jewelry, to make them “non-abusable” as she says. The jewels come in an ordinary pill bottle, wrapped in a ribbon and placed in small bags made from surgical face masks.

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Woman Spends $8,000 on Plastic Surgery to Look Like a Drag Queen

21-year-old Collagen Westwood has admired drag queens ever since she was a little girl and is now doing everything she can to look like one.

The aspiring singer, whose childhood idols were Boy George, Lily Savage and Dead or Alive lead singer Pete Burns, says her mother had a lot of drag queen friends, so she grew up admiring them and wishing she was as glamorous as they were. The young woman from London was bullied and made fun of as a child, and from age 12 she’s been dreaming about plastic surgery and changing her appearance.

Now she’s living the dream, dressing up as a drag queen when she goes out at night and spending her savings on collagen injections and nose jobs to make her look more like her idols. ‘I have a couple of different wigs that I wear when I go out, and people are always assuming I’m a transvestite. I love it when people mistake me for a man. It doesn’t offend me – I think drag queens look fantastic,’ she says. When she’s getting ready for a night on the town, Collagen needs at least three hours and the help of a make-up artist friend to put on her huge blonde wig and doll-like make-up.

The drag queen wannabe says she loves looking plastic and can’t wait until she raises enough for more plastic surgery. She intends to have breast augmentation, as well as have some of her ribs removed so she can wear tighter corsets, anything to make her look more like a drag queen. ‘They’re glamorous and beautiful – what woman wouldn’t want to look like that?” Collagen concludes.

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Designer Makes Impressive Gown from Discarded Children’s Books

Boston-based fashion designer Ryan Novelline has created an amazing fairytale dress using only pages from children’s Golden Books.

If you had any doubts regarding human creativity being endless, this unique creation will definitely make you a believer. Now I’m not very big on fashion, but I know impressive when I see it, and Ryan Novelline’s gown made entirely out of recycled and discarded children’s Golden Books is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

The skirt is made entirely of illustrations from the book sewn together with metallic gold thread, while the bodice is made from the books foil spines. Both have tape backing for reinforcement. The total surface area of the skirt is 22,000 square inches.

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Man Uses Donkeys to Tow Faulty Luxury SUV Back to Dealership

A Shenyang businessman made Chinese headlines the other day, after he used two donkeys two tow his faulty Range Rover back to the dealership, in protest.

Just two weeks after another dissatisfied car owner had his Lamborghini Gallardo smashed with jackhammers, in protest of poor quality vehicles that auto companies chose to sell in China, a similar incident took place in front of a Rover dealership. A man sick of having to repair his Range Rover every few months, rented two donkeys and had them tow his broken vehicle back to its manufacturer, and asked for a total refund.

The protester bought his luxury SUV in 2010, for 2 million yuan ($304,000), and it reportedly broke down six times before he eventually had to replace the entire engine. When the car died on him for the seventh time, the angry owner felt he had to do something to send a clear message to car makers about the shady quality of their products. So he rented the donkeys, glued a protest banner to the SUV and towed it back to the dealership.

Although his actions grabbed a lot of media attention, they weren’t enough to convince Rover to give him the total refund he asked for. They’ll probably just fix it for him, again.

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Indian Woodcarvers Give the Skateboard an Oriental Twist

What do you get if you combine the old fashioned skateboard with the talent of a dozen Indian woodcarvers? The answer can be admired in the photos below.

All commercially-available skateboards are artistically designed, but companies usually opt for spray paint, abstract graphics and prints to personalize the board. German curator Tobias Megerle teamed up with a dozen traditional woodcarvers from Mumbai to give the skateboard a brand new make-over inspired by traditional Indian patterns.

Megerle remembers “The very first time I drove past I was magically attracted to the carved wooden objects in Mahim, all the open workshops, the woodcarvers sitting on the floor with their traditional tools, working on their items, the whole atmosphere”. As an artist he wanted to do something with their work, and after several visits studying their craft, he picked the good old skateboard to undergo the carvers’ artistic treatment.

Tobias Megerle’s art project was named Final Cut, and its main goal was to keep the skateboards functional even after Mumbai’s carvers were done with them. The results are truly amazing, and the German curator hopes his project will lift India’s woodcarvers from the state of craftsmen to that of artists.

These traditionally carved Indian skateboards are currently on exhibit at The LOFT at Lower Parel, in Mumbai, where they will remain until April 12.

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Chinese Animal Lover Adopts 140 Stray Dogs

Li Zongwen, a former chef from Wuhan, has made online headlines after Chinese media discovered he has taken in 140 stray dogs from the outskirts of the city.

The 59-year-old man began adopting strays from the streets of Wuhan in 2009, and in just two years time he has taken-in an impressive 140 hungry dogs. He put a roof over their heads, but admits he couldn’t afford to feed all of them, without donations from other local animal lovers. Food and rent for Mr. Li and his big family of canines cost around 5,000 yuan ($760) which is way more than he could pay on his own.

Although sharing a home with 140 animals isn’t exactly an easy task, considering the noise he has to put up with at night, and the considerable mess he has to clean up after them, Li Zongwen doesn’t complain. On the contrary, he likes having them around as he prepares a big bowl of dog chow, using a garden shovel, and even eats his own meals in their company. Maybe he should get in touch with Ha Wenjin, the woman who looks after 1,500 stray dogs and 200 cats, I’m sure they have a lot to learn from each other.

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Maine Chefs Make World’s Largest Whoopie Pie

In an attempt to raise money for charity and claim the title for the world’s largest whoopie pie, a team of Maine confectioners have created a frosted dessert weighing over 1,000 pounds.

They say the Amish invented the simple but delicious whoopie pie, but that didn’t stop the state of Maine from trying to claim it as its official dessert. Back in September 2010, at the annual festival of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania confectioners made a 250 pound whoopie pie, but that record was practically pulverized last Saturday, when Maine managed to top it with their own giant whoopie treat, weighing 1,062 pounds.

Local pie makers Wicked Whoopies provided the necessary ingredients for creating the giant calorie bomb, and assembly began around 8 am. After hours of work, which included lifting the baked top and bottom with a forklift, the drooling crowd gathered in front of Coast 93.1 radio station could finally stuff their face with frosted goodness. The event was also used as an opportunity to raise money for Maine troops serving abroad, so whoever wanted a slice of the world’s largest whoopie pie had to make a small donation. The raised funds will be used by Wicked Whoopies to pay shipping costs for the whoopie pies they plan to send to soldiers serving far from home.

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Metro Surfing – Russia’s Deadly Extreme Sport

Moscow’s metro system has recently become the scene of a new and deadly extreme sport – metro surfing. Teenagers jump on the back of trains and try to cling on for their lives as they video-tape the whole experience.

Believe it or not, metro surfing began as a desperate way of catching a ride during rush hour. The Moscow subway system is very crowded at this time and it’s close to impossible to get into the train, so young people started clinging to the back of it to reach their destination in time. Unfortunately, this desperate way of traveling somehow turned into a popular pass-time for teenagers looking for cheap thrills and internet fame. Metro surfers have now become such a common site that normal commuters hardly notice the crazy kids hanging on for their lives at the back of the train.

Wearing distinctive gloves, and sometimes clothes the same color as the metro to blend-in better, surfers wait on the platform the same as everyone else. Then, as the train leaves the station, they jump on the back of it and ride into the narrow tunnels, trying not to fall off. Most of them have cameras attached to their headgear to record the entire thing. They then post them on popular social media sites like Youtube or vkontakte (Russian version of Facebook), and brag among their friends. Even more alarming is that there are now groups of up to 2,000 members posting and commenting their metro surfing adventures online, and their numbers seems to be ever growing.

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Mother Gives 8-Year-Old Daughter Regular Botox Shots

Keri Campbell, a beautician from San Francisco, gives her 8-year-old daughter Britney Botox shots every three months, to make her “popular” and “famous”.

According to British tabloid The Sun, the beauty-pageant-obsessed-mom is proud her daughter is probably the youngest child in the world to receive Botox injections and claims the treatment will help her become famous as a teenager. “I wish that I’d had the same advantages when I was younger. She is a lucky little girl and is going to be famous because of the benefits I am giving her so early,” Kerry says, adding that she just wants Britney to have the best start in life so she can become a superstar, easier.

What’s even more disturbing is the eight-year-old now asks to be given Botox shots, claiming she can see wrinkles: “I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections. They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much.” She says her friends think it’s cool she gets this kind of treatment, and want to be just like her.

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Chocolate Crack Pipes – A Sweet and Healthy Alternative to Tobacco

An Austrian chocolatier has invented an ingenious type of inhaler that could help people give up smoking and leave a sweet taste in their mouths, at the same time.

Created by confectioner Rouven Haas, Chococaps inhalers are small crack pipes the size of  normal cigarettes, containing a concentrated cocoa powder that can be inhaled, for a quick chocolate fix. They don’t contain nicotine or any other substance found in tobacco cigarettes, but the simple act of inhaling could help smokers give up the dirty habit, without any side-effects. And if you’re worried about gaining weight, forget about it. According to manufacturers, Chococaps allows you to enjoy the taste of chocolate, without putting on the pounds, so this could be a viable alternative to chocolate addicts worried about their figure.

It sounds like a really cool and innovative product, but it’s actually being criticized by health campaigners like anti smoking expert Otto Brandli, who said “it is a dangerous product that can only encourage the smoking of cigarettes or worse. It is idiotic to encourage this sort of behaviour”.

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Deaf Puppy Learns Sign Language from Her Deaf Owners

Everyone knows how important it is for dogs to associate sounds with commands, but Alice, a deaf eight-weeks-old springer spaniel is currently learning sign language commands, from her new owners.

The poor puppy had a rough start in life, after being abandoned by a breeder who decided a dog that couldn’t learn commands wouldn’t bring him any money. When she was brought to The Blue Cross adoption center, Alice was sick, dirty and very nervous, and the staff though they would have a tough time finding a family willing to take in a dog that required lots of special training. But when Marie Williams and her family first laid eyes on the cute canine, they new they had find the pet they were looking for.

Marie fell in love with puppy the moment she saw her, and when she learned she was actually deaf, that just made her even more special in her eyes. Miss Williams and her partner, Mark Morgan, are also deaf, so they knew Alice would fit right in with the family. Now, less the a month after being adopted, the puppy has already learned some basic commands, and her new masters are using sign language to teach her other tricks. ‘Alice is such a loving and responsive dog and she proves that with a bit of time and effort, a deaf dog can be trained and become a wonderful pet,” said Julie Stone, manager of The Blue Cross center.

 

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Artist Makes Perfume Out of His Own Excrements

British artist Jammie Nicholas used his own faeces as the raw material for a perfume he calls “Surplus“. Believe it or nor, he has already sold 25 bottles of it, for $65 a pop.

In an interview with Viceland.com, Nicholas says he got the idea of producing his special perfume after reading “The History of Shit”, by Dominique Laporte, which “which analyses the theoretical and social implications of faeces, and its role as a building material for cosmetics. It suggested that pleasant smells were used to cover bad smells, so it could be suggested that a bad smell could be used to cover pleasant smells”. After doing some research and talking to a bunch of perfumers and scientists, he learned there are molecules that are common to both good and bad smells, just in different concentrations. For example, both faeces and white flowers like juniper or orange blossoms are made from the molecule Skatol. He also found out that many food companies use stuff like civet, an emulation of the anal secretions of the civet cat, and ambergis, which mimics a sperm whale’s gallstone.

Asked about the actual production process of his faeces perfume, Jammie says it all happened in his flat, where he worked with all the windows open and using nose plugs. It took him only a week to extract the “essential oils” from the excrements, then spent a lot longer setting up his distillation device and mixing the crazy concoction. He made a total of 85 bottles of 60 ml, and somehow managed to actually sell 25 of them.

Although the artist himself admits he has only used his Surplus perfume at private events, others who have tried it claim it actually smells pretty good. Well, it is eau de toilet(te)Read More »

Professor Splash Sets New Record for High Dive into Shallow Pool

Darren Taylor, better known as “Professor Splash“, has just set a new world record by swan diving 36 feet into a shallow kiddie pool.

Taylor, a professional diver from  Colorado, has been practicing high diving for the last 25 years, and already has 12 other Guinness Records under his belt. For his 13th one he traveled to Norway, where he jumped from 36 feet into just 12 inches of water. And if that’s not impressive enough, Guinness doesn’t allow the bottom of the kiddie pool to be inflated. “However, there are a couple of foam mats underneath the pool. Believe me, jumping and landing as flat as possible in 12 inches of water is tough enough as it is.” says the Professor.

Using his own special technique, Professor Splash leads with his hands, which breaks the impact on his face and pushes him forward as he hits the thin layer of water. “With my unique technique I can make each jump a world record one, but I must admit they are not getting any easier. You have to judge the wind, the cold, the time of day and become calm so that each jump is a success.” says the diver, who manages to remain unhurt, every time.

In Norway, he wanted the water to be as close to freezing point as possible, so it was dense enough to slow his descent when he impacted the water. He also had to land as flat as possible to “dissipate as much water for a cushion effect”.

Check out the video of his amazing stunt, after the jump.

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Animal Lovers Go on a Month-Long Dog Food Diet

Alison Weiner and Hanna Mandelbaum, co-owners of Evermore Pet Food, will eat their own dog food for an entire month, in a bid to convince the world their product is one hundred percent organic and healthy.

Hanna, 30, and Alison, 38, claim their dog food, which looks like  mixed with chili, is made with meat from chicken and cows raised on farms where gourmet markets get their meat from, and that it’s completely antibiotics and hormones free. According to the duo “a lot of pet foods claim to be human grade, but none of those companies put their mouth where there money is,”, so they’ve decided to stand up to the challenge and eat their own dog food for an entire month, and document the experience on their website.

Alison Wiener, who is a chef by training, says she and her friend couldn’t eat this dog food non-stop, because humans and canines have different nutritional requirements, with dogs needing a lot more protein, but they do eat at least one dog food meal a day. When they aren’t consuming the product they themselves created, the two women eat select ingredients that are actually found in the dog chow, like yams, kale, blueberries and dandelion greens. Although they admit their Evermore dog food isn’t exactly a delicacy for us humans, the two daredevils say “it really doesn’t taste that bad”.

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Chilean Taekwondo Instructor Opens Real-Life Jedi Academy

Following a dream of combining his passion for martial arts with his love for the Star Wars saga, a Chilean taekwondo instructor has opened the first Jedi school in South America.

William Berrueta has been a fan of the Star Wars franchise for a very long time, but it was the Star Wars Exhibition Tour, which came to Chile in 2005, that inspired the martial arts instructor to start a training program for young sci-fi enthusiasts, based on Jedi powers. It took a while for the 46-year-old to fulfill his dream, but last Thursday, the “Jedi Temple” school, in Quilpué, finally opened its doors to 20 would-be Jedi warriors, aged between six and twelve. Now, after being featured on BBC, it has already gained international acclaim.

“The idea is to make these children into Padawan,” said Berrueta, who will work with the young apprentices for a period of three months, teaching them yoga, self-defense and meditation. “In this period they will learn relaxation techniques, so they can concentrate and improve flexibility and mobility, so that they understand their bodies better.” Students of the Quilpué Jedi school will train dressed as Jedi fighters and practice with shatter-resistant lightsabers designed by William Berrueta himself. During exhibitions, they will use special sabers, imported from the US, for about $250 each.

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