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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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Man Drives Golf Course on Wheels

22-year-old John McArthur is the owner of the world’s only golf course on four wheels – a Skoda Felicia covered with fake grass and complete with a sand bunker.

The young Brit from Rayne, Essex, is surprisingly not a big fan of golf, but as soon as he saw this lovely Felicia on eBay, he new it would be the one to replace his old Renault Megane. He even got a bargain price of £347, so buying it was a no-brainer. As soon as he parked it in front of his front door, his sister said she wouldn’t be caught dead in it, but John’s friends love it and people keep taking photos of the green vehicle and ask about him, wherever he goes.

The golf-mobile is almost completely covered in fake grass and comes complete with a hole flag on the roof and a sand bunker on the hood, and while it doesn’t inspire him to take up golf, young Jake McArthur says he’s happy he never has to wash it.

We’ve featured our share of quirky art cars here on Oddity Central, but this is definitely one of the most ingenious ones.

 

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Japan’s Cat Island Safe after Quake and Tsunami

Tashirojima, also known as “Cat Island” was believed to have been devastated by the recent 9.0 earthquake and following tsunami, but a recent report shows both the human and feline population are safe.

I’m sure you’re as happy as I am to finally hear some good news after the disaster that recently struck Japan, but you’re probably wondering why I’m posting such news on a blog that’s supposed to be about oddities. You see, Tashirojima isn’t just some island off the coast of Japan, it’s somewhat of a cat haven where the human inhabitants believe their purring companions bring them luck and protection from harm. After the recent events, and the population’s miraculous survival, many are inclined to agree.

Cats were apparently brought to Tashirojima Island a long time ago, to eradicate the rodent population that prevented the successful breeding of silk worms. The felines did their job, but they also began gathering at fisherman inns and begging for scraps. Over time the people of the island became so fond of cats that they started studying their behavior and interpreting it as weather predictions and fish patterns. They even built a small cat shrine in the middle of the island, which has become a popular tourist attraction for cat lovers.

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Radio Contest Winners Walk Down the Aisle in the Nude

Kelly Clinton and Lee Wiggets have been together for 11 years, but financial priorities always prevented them from having the wedding they both dreamed of. Now, thanks to an unusual contest held by local radio station BRMB, they got their fairytale wedding, with a twist.

The two were voted winners of BRMB’s Naked Wedding competition, by 65% of voters, and won an all expenses paid wedding ceremony, as long as they showed up naked. It might not have been exactly as they pictured their big day, but you can’t let an opportunity like this just fly by. So on March 15, Kelly and Lee showed up at the Honiley Court Hotel, in Warwick, almost completely naked. The bride wore some skimpy underwear, a veil and a tiara, while the  groom used a top-hat to cover the family jewels.

The happy couple, who met when Lee was a door supervisor and Kelly was out with her friends, said they were a little nervous about showing up naked in front of their family and friends, but they’d recommend the experience to anyone who wants a special kind of wedding. Read More »

German Funeral School Offers Recession-Proof Job Training

The funeral business is probably the only one that hasn’t been affected by the recession, and people are turning to undertaker classes to make sure they find a job in these troubled times.

The Theo Remmertz Academy in Münnerstadt, northern Bavaria, claims it’s the only official funeral school in Europe. It offers a three year training course which teaches future undertakers the secrets of this creepy but profitable business. Students learn everything from how to dig a proper grave, and cement a vault, to how to deal with grieving families and write death notices. Most of the 525 apprentices currently attending the German funeral school have worked in completely different fields before, but the recession pushed them to find a more stable and secure area.

Trainers of the Theo Remmertz Academy admit that funeral skills used to be handed down from father to son, but times have changed, and with more and more people drawn to this recession-proof business, the need for an undertaker school became a business opportunity in itself. Now, groups from as far as China and Russia have contacted the school regarding their methods of training.

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Lamborghini Gallardo Owner Destroys His Own Car in Protest over Poor Service

A Chinese Lamborghini Gallardo owner decided to have his supercar destroyed in public, to show his dissatisfaction with the car maker’s services.

The businessman from Qingdao, Shandong Province, says the engine of his luxury sports-car, a Lamborghini Gallardo L140, failed to start on November 29, 2010, just six months after he bought it. As any other car owner would do, he contacted the Lamborghini dealer in Qingdao, and the trailer of a maintenance service provider entrusted by the dealer was sent to carry the car to a designated maintenance shop. When his Lamborghini was returned, the owner noticed the engine problem still hadn’t been fixed, and that the bumper and chassis had been damaged, probably during the towing.

When the owner pointed out the problems at the maintenance shop, they denied his claims and simply ignored his consumer rights, so the owner tried to work things out with Mr. Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini’s China division, with the auto-maker’s after-sales service manager for Asia-Pacific region, and even with brand owner Volkswagen Group, but no one took responsibility for what had happened. Under the circumstances, the outraged car owner felt there was only one thing he could do.

He decided to hire a group of construction workers to publicly destroy his faulty Lamborghini Gallardo L140 on World Consumer Rights Day, to attract attention to the consumer rights problem in China. He stated that, in recent years,  the Chinese people have been more than capable of consuming luxury goods, but international brands seek only to exploit the Chinese market and ignore the interests and rights of consumers. He feels that, in his case, Lamborghini failed to bring their famous high quality service to China, and this was the only way left he could protest.

In China, a Lamborghini Gallardo retails for between $529,000 and $757,000, depending on specifications.

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Man Lives on Beer and Water Alone, for Lent

J. Wilson, a blogger from Adams County, Iowa, is giving up solid food for Lent, as he investigates and old story about Paulaner monks who lived on beer and water only, during fasting periods.

Wilson, who has been a home beer brewer for more than 14 years, says he’s been considering testing the story of the Paulaner monks firsthand, for a few years now. According to old tales, this order of monks would use a dark, calorie-rich beer known as “liquid bread” to sustain themselves during fasting, when they weren’t allowed to consume solid foods.This happened in mid 16th century Germany, and no one really knows if this mysterious dopplebock ale actually replaced food, so Wilson is trying it out for himself.

Working with the guys at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery, in West Des Moins, the young beer aficionado has created the Illuminator Dopplebock, which has 288 calories per 12-ounce pint, and an alcohol content of 6.67%. Lucky for J. Wilson, the state law has recently changed, allowing beer with more than 5% alcohol to be commercialized. He will consume four pints of Illuminator ale every day (around 1,200 calories) and a lot of water in between, to prevent dehydration.

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Crazy Fan Covers His Body with Tattoos of Julia Roberts

Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic, a 56-year-old newspaper salesman from Mexico, has 82 tattoos of Julia Roberts’ face inked on his body.

After watching “Erin Brockovich”, a great movie that earned Julia Roberts an Academy Award, Mexican Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic decided to show his appreciation for her talent by getting tattoos of her face all over his body. He now has 82 tattoos of Roberts, all inspired by movie scenes. He has images of  her smiling, waving, pouting, looking serious and even sitting in a chair, all over his chest, back and arms.

Although Bukovic claims he has spent around $81,000 (around 1 million pesos) on his tattoos of Julia Roberts, so far, his planning to add more ink artworks as long as he has room on his body. If you ask me, he paid way too much for his tats, especially since some of them don’t even look like Julia Roberts…

 

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Japanese Geek Is World’s Biggest Super Mario Fan

Mitsugu Kikai, a 25-year-old from Tokyo, Japan, has received the title of World’s Biggest Super Mario Fan, for his giant collection of Mario-themed memorabilia.

I’m not saying it’s fate, but Kikai was born the same year Nintendo released their first Super Mario video game, and he says one of the first things his parents bought him was a Super Mario cereal bowl. He was too young to remember it, but as soon as he grew a little older he started collecting everything Mario. Now, at 25 years old, Mitsugu Kikai has amassed an impressive collection of over 5,400 Super Mario items, and he’s not planning on stopping anytime soon.

“I never tried to become a number one collector, but as I loved Mario since I was little, the collection gradually grew. Now, I believe you can’t find more Mario items anywhere else in the world.” Kikay says. He currently lives in a two bedroom apartment in Tokyo, and one of the rooms is used just to house his giant collection, not to mention he left many other items behind, at his parents’ house.

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Canned Cow Farts Prove Big Hit in Germany

Stall Duft is a small can filled with the smell of an old wooden stable full of gas-producing cows. This thing is actually for sale in Germany and Austria, and the strangest part is that it’s a success.

Internationally known as “Countryside air to go” Stall Duft was conceived by Daniela Dorrer, originally from the Bavarian village of Adlkofen, who says her product is meant to help people who were born and raised in the countryside but later moved to an urban area, get over their homesickness. All they have to do is take off the lid, stick their nose in the can and they are instantly reminded of the carefree days they spent in the German countryside, surrounded by farting cattle. Stall Duft contains textile odorants that retain that country smell for a long time, allowing clients to enjoy it several times.

Believe it or not, this crazy idea actually worked and Daniela Dorrer sold so many Stall Duft cans in Germany and Austria that she decided to open a website, as well. Furthermore, inspired by the success of her canned cow farts, Dorrer intends to soon can and sell other earthly odors like horse, pigs, manure and straw.

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Jewelry Collector Creates World’s Most Expensive Mona Lisa Painting

A Chinese jewelry collector, who probably had more money that he could spend, has created a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” with 100,000 carats of jewelry.

Many artists have tried to replicate da Vinci’s masterpiece out all kinds of unusual materials, from coffee cups, to pieces of toast and even motherboard components, but no one has ever create an extravagant a replica like this jewel Mona Lisa. The name of the artist is unknown, all that’s been revealed is that he’s a jewelry collector who has spent the last five years working on this one-of-a-kind jewelry painting and the last 30 years collecting all the necessary raw gem stones. The thousands of jewels used ad up to an impressive 100,000 carats.

This bedazzled replica of the Mona Lisa is currently on display in a shopping mall in Shenyang City, China.

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Japanese Scientists Create Creepiest Mobile Phone Ever

A group of Japanese scientists have created a doll-like mobile phone they say is designed to make you feel closer to the person you’re talking to. No, this is not a joke…

Japan has been at the forefront of technological research and development for a long time, but some of the things they’ve come up over the years were incredibly weird and creepy. Case in point the latest mobile phone prototype designed by researcher Takashi Minato assisted by a team of scientists. He has created a human-shaped cell phone with a skin-like outer layer that is supposed to help people feel closer to the person they’re communicating with.

The current prototype is slightly larger than the palm of a hand, designed to look like a human and has a soft outer layer that heats and cools in a similar way human skin does. A speaker is installed in the creepy humanoid head of the handheld gadget, and the microphone is located at the bottom, where the feet should be. It also has a light-emitting diode that turns blue when the phone is in use and red when it’s in stand-by mode. Minato and his colleagues hope to add image and voice recognition in the near future.

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Naked Therapist Strips Down for Troubled Patients

24-year-old psychologist Sarah White conducts therapy sessions in which she gradually takes off her clothes to raise…interest of male patients.

A freelance computer programmer, White says she decided to perform online strip-therapy after she was left uninspired by the theories she learned as an undergraduate psychology student. “Freud used free association, I use nakedness” she says, adding that “for men especially, who are less likely than women to go to therapy, it is more interesting, more enticing, more exciting,” said White. “It’s a more inspiring approach to therapy.” Right, that sounds fine and dandy in theory, but how many men can still focus on their problems while staring at a naked babe?

Sarah White‘s initial sessions cost $150 and are conducted via a one-way webcam and text chat. Then, after she develops a relationship with her patients, she moves on to two-way video sessions via Skype, and finally to in-person appointments. She starts-off every consultation with her clothes on, but then progressively takes off her garments, until there’s nothing left. At that point, I’m pretty sure most of her patients are just staring at her like horny dogs, but while it may not solve their issues, it makes them happy.

The naked therapist based in New York City isn’t really a licensed therapist, but that didn’t stop her from getting roughly 30 regular patients. Sure, most of them are college students with sexual issues, and middle-aged men with relationship problems, but she also has a couple of women patients who enjoy conversing with a nude peer…Hey, as long as it pays the bills, why not?
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Chef Builds Replica of His Kitchen Entirely Out of Chocolate and Sugar

Master pastry chef Alain Roby has built a replica of his home kitchen in Geneva, entirely out of 2,000 pounds of chocolate and sugar.

Alain Roby, the man who previously built a 20-foot chocolate skyscraper and a 22-foot-tall Christmas tree made of chocolate, began work on his unique replica last year, when he received a chocolate donation from Belgian chocolaterie Callebaut. He started out by melting the chocolate into molds he himself designed, and connected the parts using more chocolate. The dishes were made from sugar, and the tiles were glazed and sculpted into the desired shape. The whole project took months to complete, and Alain still finds ways to improve it, every now and then.

The chocolate artist admits the artistry of the kitchen is a big challenge, but it’s actually the engineering part that’s the most complicated. He had to put in many hours of hard work and come up with a lot of ingenious ideas to finish this sweet replica of his home kitchen, in Geneva, but the response has been fantastic. Complete with cabinets, a stove, a sink, a tiled backsplash, teapots and dishes, Alain Roby’s chocolate kitchen has become a temporary local attraction of Geneva, since it has been on display in a downtown venue.

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Swiss Artist Creates Realistic Portrait from 20,000 Cigarette Filters

Jinks Kunst, a Swiss street-artist known for his beautiful stencil artworks, has created a portrait of legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg, out of over 20,000 cigarette filters.

These days, France celebrates twenty years since the death of one of its greatest-ever artists, singer and song writer Serge Gainsbourg. In Paris, the city where he was born and where he died, artists are showcasing a series of unpublished photos of Gainsbourg, but Kunst wanted to make something truly special for this occasion.

A big fan of the singer, the Swiss street-artist spent the last three years collecting cigarette butts off the streets and used them to create a unique portrait. His one-of-a-kind depiction of Serge Gainsbourg numbers an impressive 20, 394 used cigarette filters he gathered himself, since March 2008. The legendary Gainsbourg, author of “Je t’aime moi non plus”, had a passion for cigarettes and alcohol, so Jinks Kunst choice of cigarette filters as a medium makes perfect sense.

The cigarette butt portrait of Serge Gainsbourg is currently on display in Nantes.

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