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Russians Go Swimming at -36 Degrees Celsius

Members of a Russian winter swimmers’ club went for a swim into the Yenisei River, at a temperature of around -36 degrees Celsius.

Russians are no strangers to cold, and most of them cope pretty well with it, especially after a few shots of vodka, but under -35 degrees is extreme, even for them. Winter swimming is very popular in Russia, and the ritual of the Epiphany has thousands of people bathing in ice-cold water to purify their bodies, but this particular group of swimmers, from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, did it simply for fun. That’s right, they stripped down to their bathing suits and dived into the Yenisei River at -36 degrees Celsius, because that’s what they call a good time.

In case you were wondering, they all survived this crazy stunt, which means they’ll probably survive the next ice age.

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“Butt Drag” Wrestling Move Drags Sexual Battery Charges

Preston Hill, a 17-year-old Buchanan High School student from Clovis, California, used the Butt Drag move on one of his teammates at a school-sponsored event and now faces sexual battery charges.

As both Preston and his father assert the “butt drag” is a move that his coaches taught him ever since he was in middle school, the boy’s family doesn’t understand why such a common move brought such dire consequences. As coaches describe it, the “butt drag” is a move which involves grabbing the butt cheeks of the rival and inserting your fingers inside his anus, as to obtain better positioning and leverage.

Although it has been used for years in many wrestling matches, Preston has been suspended until his expulsion hearing. He has also been charged with sexual battery and the trial was to begin on Thursday, 9th of Dec.

On the other hand, Ross Rice, the assaulted boy’s father, claims it was an intentional aggression,as Preston was looking to get revenge on his opponent for standing up to him in school. “Preston took it beyond a wrestling move. He crossed the line.”

This is not a first. In 2007, an also 17-year-old wrestling champion from  South Dakota was charged with rape and attempted rape, as there were six other wrestlers that testified against him, saying that he penetrated or tried to penetrate their anuses. He was found guilty…

I can’t wait to see your comment on this one!

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Giant Underground Train Set Built in London Home

John Polley, a 50 year-old former train driver from London managed to create a replica of Abbey Road underground train station in his own home, in Hertfordshire, at a scale of 4mm/30cm.

This large train set, so large that when assembled it took up most of the space in John Polly’s house,was built in approximately 2 years and is amazingly detailed. It’s not only complete with audio messages like “Mind the gap” or “This is Abbey Road”, but one can also spot The Beatles crossing the street (just as on their “Abbey Road” album cover) – he used them as they are considered the symbol of London. Head and tail lighting was mounted on every train and some also have video cameras to offer a driver’s eye perspective on the set.

John Polley used different types of materials to build up his  train set, like old key rings, which he used for some vehicles, or shop window display signs, used for the buildings. The trains were designed by Polley himself and he had them custom made in SriLanka.

“I started building it during the day in my garage because I worked night shifts. The hardest part was getting the correct details. It does need regular maintenance like clearing grease, dusting off the rails and cleaning the electrical contacts. I would like to extend it by another five to ten feet in the future,” John Polley said .

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Wikileaks Founder Makes Appearence in Nativity Scene

A wooden miniature figure of Julian Assange, the controversial founder of Wikileaks has been placed right in the middle of the Nativity scene, by an Italian sculptor.

Christmas creches depicting various religious themes are very popular in the area around Naples, Italy and in later years, Neapolitan sculptors have made it a habit to include something contemporary in their wooden masterpieces. While most artists chose to use the city’s longtime garbage crisis as a theme, Genaro di Virgilio stayed true to his habit of featuring at least one of the year’s most important figures right in the middle of Jesus’ Nativity scene.

Placed between the three wisemen, next to Mary and Joseph, is non other than Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange, portrayed in a black suit, holding a laptop and sporting a wide smile on his face. To Genaro di Virgilio, he is the man of the year and fully deserves the spot in his beautiful Christmas creche. The Julian Assange figurine is one-of-a-kind and priced at 130 euros.

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Fishing for Dead Bodies – a Morbid Yet Profitable Business

Fishing dead bodies is a well known practice in China since ancient times, when some fishermen dedicated their time to recovering bodies from the waters and then returning them to their families. Back then, this  “job” was appreciated and respected, and the fisherman himself wasn’t rewarded with money but an immense gratitude.

With the evolution of the country, both economical and demographic, fishing for dead bodies soon became a thriving business for most of the fishermen on Yellow River, with younger and younger boys taking up the task, every day.

The most “offering” place, as they themselves assert, is at about 18 miles down stream from Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu, northwestern China, a place where  a hydroelectric dam and a bend in the river cause the bodies to surface. Read More »

Robot Restaurant Opened in Jiang, China

They weren’t born to serve you but they were definitely built to do just that, and where else if not in China.

Located in Jiang, China’s Shandong Province, the Dalu Rebot Restaurant opened on the 5th of December and can cater to about 100 customers, featuring two robot receptionists and a “staff” of six robot-waitresses. Two of them serve drinks, two serve small tables and another two tend to the big one. It seems that more “hiring” will be made in the near future as owners expect the restaurant will become quite a hit.

As all the waiting is done by robots, the tables were set in a circular pattern so that the robots can follow an exact route. Not all the work in the restaurant is done by them though, there are also people working there, especially in the kitchen, but some were also hired to welcome customers into the restaurant.

The concept belongs to The Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company, who isn’t planning to stop here, as they want to further develop this idea and ultimately have a staff of 40 robots. Seems logical enough, considering that business really took off when the people heard about these unusual waiters.

 

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SHOCKING! Second Chernobyl Uncovered in the Ukraine

Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya revealed that a group of independent environmentalists have discovered a zone where radiation level is higher than that of Chernobyl.

The specified area is located in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region, around an abandoned uranium mine. According to Oleksiy Vedmidsky, a local ecologist, the mine is a huge danger to the people in the region and he has some pretty interesting data to back up his claims. He and his team have recently measured the radiation level around the uranium mine, and the results were nothing less than shocking – “My particle detector measured 2611 micro Roentgen per hour there. Even in the Chernobyl zone near the reactor the exposure is 500-600 micro Roentgen per hour,” Vedmidsky said, pointing out that normal reading is under 30 micro Roentgen per hour.

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Chinese Gamer Plays MMO on World’s Largest LED Screen

Jealous on a fellow guild master who got to play his favorite video game on an IMAX screen, a Chinese gamer spent a ridiculous amount of money to play on the world’s largest LED screen.

MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online games) are very popular in China, and the people who play them are very competitive. The problem is some of them are also filthy rich and spare no efforts when it comes to showing the competition how cool they are. Take this young gamer who spent 100,000 RMB ($15,000) for just 10 minutes of playing Magic World Online 2, on the world’s biggest LED display, and all just to beat the record of a fellow gamer who played the same game in an IMAX cinema.

Set up in “The Place”, one of Beijing’s most popular shopping malls, the 250-meter-long, 30-meter-wide display is appropriately named “All Beijing, look up!”. I know you have to be out of your mind to throw away that much money on a short gaming session, but this hardcore MMO fan can take comfort in the fact that no one will be able to break his record…at least not until Dubai finishes its giant LED display, set to be the largest yet.

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“Fat Flap” Invented for British Overweight Cats

Looks like humans aren’t the only ones with overweight problems.

Currently, there are 8 million pet cats in Britain, and one out of four is overweight. A recent research reveals that in ten years time 50% of Britain’s cats will have this problem, and won’t fit through a standard cat flap.

The results of this research lead to the conclusion that a modified cat flap will become somewhat of a necessity. Not only is this “Fat Flap” twice as wide as the standard one, but it also comes with a conveyor belt which will transport the cat to the door, in case it’s too tired to climb up those last few steps. And as if this wasn’t enough, the ingenious device will keep burglars and other unwelcome guests away, as it only opens when activated by a paw-recognition system.

As amazing as the Fat Flap sounds, specialists advise ” that pet owners take all the necessary steps to keep their pets fit and healthy.”

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French Retiree Creates Incredible Scale Replica of the Sistine Chapel

Jean Massa, an 80-year-old French retired dental technician, has spent 5,000 hours creating an incredibly detailed scale replica of the Sistine Chapel interior.

The 1/34 scale model is just 1.45 meters long and 0.7 meters tall, and impresses through the level of detail. Its creator, a passionate artist who has created other beautiful scale models, like those of the opera houses in Monaco and Nice, says his miniature Sistine Chapel is just large enough to feature all the details and paintings of the Vatican original.

Jean Massa believes he inherited his amazing artistic talent from his grandfather, Florent Pagliano, a skillful marble sculptor who did detailed busts fro many French nobles, during the “Belle Epoque”. He’s probably why Jean also takes an interest in other art forms like sculpture and painting (his Dali replicas are to die for).

Asked why he chose to do a replica of the Sistine Chapel interior, mister Massa said he was inspired by an illustrated book about Michelangelo’s artworks, which he got as a gift from his son. Armed with an arsenal of paintbrushes, oil and acrylic paints, he got to reproducing each painting in the original Sistine Chapel – angels, popes, prophets and pretty much every detail of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. He spent 5,000 hours painting his amazing replica, throughout four years.

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Oman Builds World’s Largest Marble Mosaic

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s accession to the throne of Oman, his subjects commissioned the world’s largest marble mosaic.

The people of Oman consider Sultan Qaboos bin Said is considered responsible for the kingdom’s prosperity, so they decided to honor the anniversary of his rule by making a unique mosaic portrait. Measuring a staggering 8.30 meters in length and 5.30 meters in width, the spectacular masterpiece depicts the sultan in a position that best captures His Majesty’s humbleness. As the sultan rarely makes public appearances, the 15 artists who worked on the project had only a photograph, taken by his private photographer, to work with.

Apart from its size, the world’s largest marble mosaic impresses through the fact that it’s made up of 128,274 individual marble pieces, using 90 natural shades of marble mined from the mountains and sea beds of Oman. Blocks of marble were meticulously chosen and mined exclusively for the project.

The team of 15 artists from the UK and Bahrain spent around 120 days carefully placing each tile in the intricate mosaic, working an exhausting 12 hours a day. The face of the sultan is incredibly detailed, and his mustache and beard are made from the sultan’s favorite stone, brought all the way from Italy. The face alone took the artists 40 days to complete.

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Researchers in Panda Costumes Trick Four-Month-Old Cub

Researchers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province, China came up with a gumptious way to help a four month panda cub re-adapt  to wildlife.

For the success of the reintroduction the baby panda isn’t supposed to come in contact with humans so the researchers had to dress-up as giant pandas in order to do their job, because although the cub is being supervised with hidden cameras, some of the procedures, such as weighing or measuring his body temperature,  involve handling.

Although they aren’t very convincing to us it seems that this cute baby panda has accepted his new “family” and is making great progress.

Taiwanese Brothel Is Being Re-opened as a Museum

What was once the place of entertainment for soldiers stationed on Kinmen Island, Taiwan, is now being re-opened as a unique museum. Hsu Ying-fan says the museum’s sole purpose is that of giving  visitors a general idea on the so-called Military Paradise and what it served for.

Bearing an euphemistic name, “The Special Tea House Museum“, this one of a kind place features one of a kind “art”. Here you can find displays of photography or posters depicting the brothel’s noonday and also samples of tickets bought by soldiers who were waiting for their turn.

The brothel was closed in 1990 due to criticism manifested mainly by local woman’s groups, and with it being re-opened as a museum, officials are hopping the island will become a tourist attraction.

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Hotter than Hot – World’s Hottest Chili Pepper

Despite what you might think, the world’s hottest chili pepper was created not by a Mexican or Indian farmer, but by a “hot”  British farmer.

Gerald Fowler grew the Naga Viper on his farm in  Cumbria, northern England, and got to a record level of spiciness by crossing three of the hottest varieties of chili, including  Bhut – Jolokia, the previous record holder.

There is a special way to measure their hotness. It’s not like someone tastes this babies. The heat of a chili pepper is measured using the Scoville Scale – the number of Scoville unites indicates the amount of capsaicin found in the chili, this being  what gives it’s spiciness. Bhuta – Jolokia reached a maximum of 1.001.304 units whereas the Naga Viper has 1.359.000.

In an interview for The Daily Mail, Mrs.Fowler confirmed : ‘It’s painful to eat. It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it’s a marvellous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great.’

What I find interesting is that he makes people vouch in writing for their sanity, before letting them taste his chili.

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Peruvian Inventor Paints Mountain White to Restore Glacier

Eduardo Gold, a Peruvian inventor, came up with the ingenious idea of painting the mountain peeks in white to restore the glacier on Andes mountains.

It seems that this phenomenon is due to global warming and Eduardo Gold’s idea is based on a very basic principle stating that if  solar light is reflected onto a white or light colored surface it goes back into the atmosphere,thus preventing the excessive heating of the ground. In the last years alone, Chalon Sombrero peak has lost almost 30% of its glacier.

Gold is not only willing to solve this problem, having painted 2 hectares in 2 weeks, but has also found a way to get financial help. This idea won him the prize in the “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition, for which he submitted at the end of 2009. The prize, awarded by the World Bank, is of about $200.000 (£135.000).

There is one more important thing to be mentioned : The paint he uses is a mix of ecological ingredients like industrial egg-white, water and lime.

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