X

Raisin Monday at St. Andrews University

Freshmen have always had it a little rough in college, but at the St. Andrews University, in Scotland, their plight at the hand of senior students has become a celebrated tradition called Raisin Monday.

The traditions of Raisin Monday date back to the early days of St. Andrews. New students (also known as “bejants” and “bejantines”) had to show their gratitude to seniors, for showing them the ropes around campus, and a pound of raising was considered an expensive and tasty enough sign of appreciation. With the passing of time, some freshmen started ignoring the custom, so senior students came up with of receipts written in Latin acknowledging the receipt of the pound of raisins. If one of the freshmen students didn’t have such a receipt, he would get doused in one of the local fountains. Another reason for a dousing was the challenge of the receipt, by a senior, for mistakes in written Latin.

Throughout the years since St. Andrews University opened its gates in 1410, the traditions of Raisin Monday have changed according to the times. Nowadays, new students have to buy seniors a bottle of wine as a token of gratitude, and the dousing in water fountains has been replaced by a general fight with shaving foam.

Read More »

Chinese Stuntman Munches on Light Bulbs

Zhang Yujian, a Chinese stuntman from Mudanjiang City, Heilonjiang Province, has eaten two light bulbs during his performance, on Monday. XInhua reports the glass-eating master has a record of three light bulbs eaten in just 120 seconds. Now, I’m not sure if he eats the entire thing, but he certainly made short work of the sharp glass, without any serious cuts.

I knew the Chinese had some pretty bizarre foods, at least for my taste, but Zhang Yujian is taking things a little too far. I wonder if he’d be interested in meeting Russia’s sand-eating woman, I bet they’d hit it off. Read More »

China Showcases the World’s Largest Luminous Pearl

A mystery to the western world, luminous pearls are legendary in China, and people go to great lengths for a chance to even touch one of them. The largest luminous pearl has just been placed on display, in China’s Hainan province.

Very little is known about the giant green pearls of China. The few who actually have heard of these remarkable jewels refer to them as “Yemengzhu” and praise them to be rarities that bring good luck. They have been a part of Chinese legends for centuries, and people there believe that just touching them can bring great fortune and prosperity. But this kind of myths are all to common in a traditional country like China, and what makes Yemengzhu special has little to do with local lore.

Luminous pearls are wonders of the mineral world that shine in the dark without the help of ultraviolet light. This kind of Fluorite is so rare that western geology don’t even recognize its existence, and the Chinese only discovered the first one in 1982, at a Tungsten mine, in Guangdong. Since then, bigger and bigger deposits were discovered, and the largest one yet weighs 6 tons and is 1.6 meters in diameter. When it was discovered, it had an irregular shape, but was ground in the form of a sphere. The process took three years to complete, because of its tough nature, comparable to the finest grade of diamonds.

The largest luminous pearl is currently exhibited in Wenchang, China’s Hainan province, and has been appraised at 2.2 billion yuan ($331 million).

 

Read More »

Real-Life Barbie Suite Is the Ultimate Girls’ Pad

If you’ve always wanted to be like Barbie and live in her pink dream-house, you’re about to get your wish. A hotel in the Italian Alps has opened a series of rooms decorated just like Barbie’s miniature pads.

The owners of the Grand Hotel Savoia, at the Cortina ski resort, thought they’d celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary by decorating some of their rooms with real-life furniture and decoration you’d normally only find in Matel’s play sets. That’s right girls, you’ll get the chance to live it up like Barbie for as long as you or your parents can afford it, surrounded by the popular dolls favorite clothes and accessories, including skirts, lace-up dresses, corsets, toy-like chairs and even a sunburst mirror made from Barbie dolls

Italian interior designer described the recently inaugurated Barbie rooms as “the ultimate girls’ pad with details celebrating Barbie’s love of pink.” Barbie fans can book their stay in one of these life-size Barbie homes until the end of next March.

Yesterday the news about a Hello Kitty theme park in Japan, now this…This just hasn’t been my week!

Read More »

Just What the World Needed – Hello Kitty Theme park Opens in Tokyo

As if the world didn’t have enough of their annoying icon, Hello Kitty, the Japanese thought they’d open a new theme park as well.

If you’re a regular visitor of Oddity Central, you probably already know I’m not the world’s biggest Hello Kitty fan. I’ve featured quite a few strange Hello Kitty stuff, from a pink assault rifle to a Hello Kitty-themed Ferrari. Now, it brings me great…honor to present to you Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise, a Hello Kitty theme park that just opened in Tokyo.

I guess the Japanese didn’t want to look bad, after their Chinese neighbors built a Hello Kitty castle, and a nice new pink theme park was just the thing. Located on Odaiba Island, Hello Kitty Kawaii Paradise opened on October 22nd, and hopes to attract as many as 700,000 Hello Kitty fans in its first year. While the despicable icon has tons of fans in Japan’s capital, not many of them bothered to check out the theme park, probably because Odaiba is quite a long way from central Tokyo, and many of them don’t care to make the long trip. Let’s just hope the place stays empty and they’ll be forced to close it down soon, because unless you’re the Pink Lady, human eyesight just can’t handle all that pink.

In case you’re interested, the 10,000 square-foot park features a big Hello Kitty shop, where you can find all kinds of accessories, toys and other pink junk, a Hello Kitty pancake restaurant, a small theater, a big statue of Hello Kitty and a whole bunch of other pink, girly stuff fans go crazy about.

Read More »

Meet the “Smartest” Man in China

With nine educational diplomas under his belt, Zhou Baokuan can definitely claim the title of “smartest man in China.”

When it comes to education, we all want the best for our kids, but I think Zhou Baokuan’s parents might have pushed him a little to far, when he was a child. I mean, the man started studying and even though he is now 53 years old, he has no intention of stopping.

In recognition of his incredible desire to study, an organization known as China World Records Association decided to award Zhou the title of “man with most diplomas in the world.” Over the course of 35 years of intense studying (sometimes without sleep) the man earned a total of nine diplomas, including three doctoral diplomas and two masters degrees. Zhou, a resident of Shenyang City, admits it wasn’t easy getting this many diplomas, and reckons he spent around 126,500 hours studying for them

Believe it or not, Zhou Baokuan is currently studying to get his fourth doctoral degree, at Fudan University.

Read More »

Lily’s Kitchen – A Dogs-Only Restaurant Opens in London

Lily’s Kitchen may not be the world’s first restaurant for dogs, but it’s certainly the coolest one right now. Dogs get to eat for free, have their bellies rubbed and can even listen to a nice story. What more could they ask for?

Lily’s Kitchen recently opened on Pimlico Road, in London’s upscale Belgravia neighborhood, and dog owners were quick to have their pooches test out the menu, for free. That’s right, your four-legged friends get to sit at one of the restaurant’s three tables and fill up their bellies with organic food served by a waiter, and you don’t have to pay for it. It sounds to good to be true, but this is just a clever way a dog food company has found to promote their line of organic foods.

During the six week period Lily’s Kitchen is open, dogs will get the chance to be the stars, for a change, while their owners relax or take care of their daily chores. The dogs are served their favorite dishes in paper bowls, by waiters who actually love serving canines, because they never complain about the food, check or stuff like that. After they’ve filled their stomachs, dogs have a wide range of pleasant activities to enjoy. They can have their bellies rubbed, snooze on a comfy sofa, have their aches soothed by a holistic vet, or even enjoy a nice story, read to them by members of the restaurant staff.

While there are always those who complain this sort of things are just stupid, many London dog owners are already in love with Lily’s Kitchen. It offers them the chance to carry on with their daily activities, knowing their dear companion is well taken care of. So even though Lily’s Kitchen is just a temporary establishment, a permanent restaurant for dogs could prove quite profitable.

Read More »

Avatar Mosaic Made Out of 4,000 Avatar Blu-Ray Discs

British mosaic artist Laura Hadland has created an impressive Avatar-themed mosaic, as a present for her film-fanatic husband.

A few weeks after creating an amazing toast mosaic for her mother-in law, for which she used 9,852 slices of toast, Laura does it again, this time for her beloved husband. Making use of 4,000 Blu-Ray discs, she managed to create a giant mosaic of a Na’vi. Located on the floor of the London Film Museum, the Avatar mosaic took the artist just a few hours to complete. No news yet on how Laura’s husband reacted to her fantastic gift, but I’m sure he was pretty impressed.

Read More »

Australian Spider-Man to Spend Three Weeks with Poisonous Spiders

67-year-old Nick Le Souef, also known as the “Australian Spider-Man” is preparing to spend over three weeks in an enclosed space with hundreds of poisonous spiders.

Le Souef recently took part in a charity event, and because he was so impressed with the results, he decided to put his talents to the test, for charity. The wacky Australian will be living in a 12-foot-by-4-foot space, in the window of one of his shops, together with hundreds of potentially lethal redback spiders, huge huntsmen and black house spiders.

Although he says he is not afraid of the spiders, Nick Le Souef admits he is a little crazy doing what he’s doing. He is confident that he will not get bit, because redbacks are usually calm creatures once they’ve weaved their little nests, and simply because spiders don’t like each other that much, nad they’re most likely to fight among themselves. During his time with the spiders, Nick plans to write his biography.

The Australian daredevil has a history of dangerous stunts, holding Australian records for most time in a snake pit, a shark tank and in a cage full of redback spiders. He is now looking to break the record he set 30 years ago.

Read More »

Patriot Dedicates 10 Years to Sculpting Wooden Declaration of Independence

Charlie Kestead, a talented woodworker from Johnstown, USA has spent ten years of his life carving the Declaration of Independence in dark walnut wood.

The giant wooden replica of famous document was completed a few months ago, after 10 years of constant labor. Kested would have probably finished it earlier, but a stroke forced him to abandon his project for a while. Although it impaired his speech and mobility, the dedicated woodworker continued work on his wooden masterpiece, as soon as he was physically able. Almost as tall as its creator, the wooden Declaration of Independence is an exact replica of the original document, down to the bottom signatures. Every letter and character was hand carved out of dark walnut and placed on a background of light Baltic birch, for contrast.

The 81-year-old retired teacher of industrial arts says it was a labor of love, despite the fact that it took most of his free time, during the last decade. He added that all of his efforts paid off when he was awarded first place and best in show at the 2010 Florida State Fair. Fellow woodmakers who saw Charlie Kested’s wooden Declaration of Independence were blown away by his unbelievable patience and attention to details. Every little bit of it is so precise, it’s almost impossible to believe it was done by hand.

Read More »

Man Spends More than Half His Life Collecting Belly Button Lint

Collecting navel lint is probably not the kind of hobby you want to bring up in a conversation, but that hasn’t stopped a 45-year-old librarian from collecting his own belly button fluff, for the last 26 years.

Graham Barker, from Perth, Australia started his bizarre collection when he noticed his own navel lint, one night, and became curious about how much fluff a person produces. The only way to answer his own question was to monitor his own belly button, and collect the lint. Contrary to what most people believe when they hear about his weird habit, Graham isn’t obsessed with lint, nor does he spend most of his time checking his navel. He is only driven by curiosity, and dedicates a mere ten seconds a day to collecting the fluff, right before stepping into the shower.

The amount of fluff he finds in his navel every night depends on the type of clothes he’s been wearing that day, but he has noticed thermal underwear is the most productive. Each night, he takes whatever he can find in his belly button and stores it in a clay jar, bought specifically for collecting lint. At the end of each year, he ads the lint to his grand collection. In the 26 years that he has been collecting his own fluff, he managed to fill three glass jars, and he is already working on his fourth. Believe it or not, his extensive collection weighs just 22 grams.

Graham Barker admits that lint, as a raw material, is worthless, but as part of an impressive collection it gains both curiosity and financial value. After being acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest collection of navel lint, his three jars of fluff were acquired by a museum, for an undisclosed sum. When they see the belly button lint collection, most visitors have a positive reaction, but there are still those who find it disgusting or simply stupid.

Graham only plans to stop collecting navel lint when he is incapable of doing so anymore, but he reckons he’ll fill up five more jars before then, thus making sure his record doesn’t get beat any time soon.

Read More »

Dog Beer – Because Dogs Like to Get Wasted Too

Polish pet owners have been storming through local pet shops looking for a radical new product – dog beer. You may thinks it’s weird, but I think it’s nice owners want their beloved dogs to enjoy a nice hops-based drink.

Jerzy Dilyk, a pet-store owner from Widzew Lodz, says he was reluctant to sell Dog Beer at first, but seeing clients returning for more of the magic canine ale convinced him to stock up on it. He even offered his own dog a bottle, and he went through the whole thing in one go.

Dog Beer has a gold color and smells of hops, an odor known to appeal to canines, but what’s more important is hat it’s based on beef extract. The beer has no gas, and Dilyk believes it has a positive effect on dogs’ urinary tract. He added that clients are most thrilled that they can have their pets join them for beer on Friday and Saturday Night.

Normal beer is hazardous to dogs’ health, because of its alcohol content and its high carbohydrates value, but vets can’t yet form an opinion on the new Dog Beer, because they haven’t had a chance to test it yet.

Read More »

Amateur Inventor Showcases DIY Solar-Powered Cars

Chen Shungui, a Chinese amateur inventor, has spent eight years of his life working on two homemade solar-powered cars .

Chen Shungui, from Jingjiang, China’s Jiangsu province, started working on his solar panel cars in 2002, hoping to create a vehicle with no CO2 footprint. The first vehicle was completed in 2008, and despite its unpolished looks, it managed to run at a max speed of 45 km/h on solar power alone. The roof and hood of the car were completely covered with solar panels, but without a battery, it could only be used on sunny days.

Chen went back to the drawing board, hoping to improve its creation in such a way that it could be used on cloudy days and for longer drives. Just a few days ago, he unveiled his second homemade car, with a whole new look, as well as a solar battery that guarantees enough power for a 150 km trip. The new version has a max speed of 60 km/h.

The two innovative solar-powered cars cost Chen Shungui a total of $74,943 and took eight years to complete.

Read More »

China Introduces Live Crab Vending Machines

What’s the last thing you’d expect to find in a vending machine? Ok, so it may not be hairy crabs, but you have to admit this is pretty weird.

I’ve posted some weird vending machines here on Oddity Central, like the gold dispenser in the UAE, or the contaminated water vending machine, but this latest find really takes the cake. Located in the Xinjiekou subway station, in Nanjing, China, this particular vending machine is full of live hairy crabs and crab vinegar, making it available to enjoy seafood on the go.

The quirky food dispenser was installed on the 1st of October, and at first, it surprised even the Chinese. People would stop and stare at the crustaceans inside, and others would even take out their cameras and take photos of them. Business was out to a slow start, with only one hairy crab sold per day, but as people got used to the thought of buying live crabs from a vending machine, the figures jumped to an impressive 200 crabs a day. People noticed they were cheaper than the crabs found at the local food markets, and buying them on their daily commute they also saved precious time.

Depending on size, crabs can be bought for 10 RMB, 12 RMB, 25 RMB and 50 RMB. They all seem dead, but their actually just hibernating due to the low temperature in the vending machine.

Read More »

Finnish Bear Won’t Hibernate Unless He Is Tucked-In

Juuso, a large brown bear from the Predator Animal Center, in Finland, only agreed to crawl into his shelter and hibernate, after his best friend tucked him in.

With winter drawing ever nearer, Juuso, a young brown bear from Finland’s Predator Center, seemed tired. All the other bears had already began their winter hibernation, and Juuso’s eyes were closing all the time, but refused to go into his man-made lair. You’d think he was suffering from insomnia, but in fact, all he really needed was to be tucked-in by his best friend, caretaker Sulo Karjalainen.

Sulo has been making sure the animals of the Predator Center have everything they need, and in turn, this ferocious creatures accepted him as a friend. To make sure Juuso gets some shut-eye during the winter months, Sulo went into the bear’s lair first, and his furry friend followed shortly. Happy and relaxed in the company of his friend, Juuso soon laid his head on his bed of straw, sighed and finally went to sleep. All I can say is: Sleep tight Juuso!

Watch a video of Juuso and Sulo, at the bottom.

Read More »