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Need a Drinking Buddy? You Can Hire One!

With the holiday season fast approaching, if you haven’t yet found a drinking partner, your chances of actually finding one in time for the celebrations are getting very slim. But no need to worry, a Ukrainian firm has come up with the perfect solution – you can hire a drinking buddy.

The “employer” will definitely get his money’s worth, as this firm not only offers a swell drinking companion but someone with whom you can engage in conversations about all kinds of different subjects, like sports, politics, art, philosophy and even women.

The Kind Fairy used to be just another firm specialized in organizing weddings and birthday parties, but ever since they launched their “drinking buddy for hire” service, last December, business has really taken off. The fact that most of their drinkers have different talents, like singing, reciting poems or playing the guitar, offering a variety of choices that guarantee they will be able to liven-up employers’ evening, is considered partially responsible for the success.

But there is also a less obvious reason why people like this weird service – there are those who still consider therapy taboo and  would much rather discuss their problems with a stranger than seeing a psychologist.

Yulia Peyeva, head of the Kind Fairy, claims the services offered by her firm are nothing like dating or matchmaking,  nor do they encourage heavy drinking. Right, like Ukrainians need encouragement to drink heavily…


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24-Year-Old Blackie Is Britain’s Oldest Cat

The leading candidate for Britain’s oldest cat, Blackie is a cat who will turn 24 in January of next year, the equivalent of 118 in human years.

Quentin Shaw, 49, is the proud owner of Blackie and he’s had her since forever. He got her and her brother 24 years ago, and named them Tan and Blackie from the spots they each had on their heads – one was brown, the other one black . Unfortunately Tan died at the age of five, after being hit by a car.

Food and care were not the only ingredients that lead to Blackie’s longevity, but also the love of her owners., who believe love and care is definitely one of the main factors that help pets live a long life. Even though she’s no longer able to see in the dark, hunt mice and she hasn’t got stability in her paws, as she keeps falling over when brushed, Blackie  hasn’t given up on life. She’s been in and out of the vet clinic a few times, but she’s a real fighter, and always managed to get back to full health.

Blackie is now living with her owner, Mr. Shaw, and his family, fiancee Kim Lanham and children Scarlet and Tom, in Thurnby, Leicestershire. “I think that with animals, when they’re loved, they live longer. She’s part of the family. She’s got a lot of attitude still but she’s amazing with the kids and good natured (…)every time we go to the vet she bounces back. She’s certainly a fighter.” said Miss Lanham.

Blackie’s story has even caught the interest of Daniel Fileds of The Guinness Book Of Records, as there is no current record holder of the title for Britain’s Oldest Cat. Hestia, who died in September at the age of 21 years and 11 months, was the last oldest living cat.

Blakie’s age certainly is impressive, considering the average life expectancy for cats is 16 years.

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The House of the Beautiful Flowers – A Retirement Home for Prostitutes

Casa Xochiquetzal (The House of the Beautiful Flowers) is a retirement home for prostitutes, established in Mexico City’s  Tepito neighborhood, that got it’s name from the Aztec goddess of love and women.

The center was founded in 2007 by a former prostitute, Carmen Munoz, impressed by the old sex workers she saw sleeping in the streets. And it wasn’t easy at all. It took years of lobbying for her to get the support of the government and local media. Andres Manuel Lopes Obrador, mayor at the time,  gave her a dilapidated 18th century house, which she transformed into what is now home for 23 old prostitutes, with available accommodations for 45 women. They have to fulfill one condition, other than the obvious one, being a former sex worker, and that regards their age – women have to be at least 60 years old. Interestingly enough, even if they aren’t required to, many of the prostitutes choose to continue practicing their job.

In most cases, they have been sold as young girls or even as children and forced into prostitution, thereby no contact with their families has been kept. Although most of them can still work, the money is very little, compared to what younger women earn, and this makes it impossible for them to survive by themselves, so Casa Xochiquetzal comes as somewhat of a blessing.

Although they display a lot of joy and seem to have a lot of fun together, almost every one of the old prostitutes hides a trace of sadness, especially when it comes to their children who barely remember they exist, much less come to visit them at the House of the Beautiful Flowers.

This story is part of a documentary that CNN made for the launch of VICE magazine in Mexico. Bernardo Loyola, producer of this documentary, confesses he found this weird and quite “different”, but nevertheless, he was impressed by the power these women have to continue with their lives, no matter the difficulties. For him, the visit at the House of the Beautiful Flowers was a turning point that totally changed his perception of prostitution.

 

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Pet Buffalo Likes To Ride in a Car and Drink Beer at the Pub

No, you’re not imagining things, that’s a real buffalo riding around in a convertible. That’s Bailey, the pet buffalo, and guess what, he’s going to the local pub.

The image of a 1,600-pound buffalo ridding in convertible is not something you see everyday, but it has become  quite common for the people of Spruce Grove, Alberta. This time, it was all caught on tape by a British camera crew from England’s Oxford Scientific Films, a team partially responsible for producing Animal Planet’s Fatal Attraction, a series of documentaries that deals with the close relationship that can come between man and an exotic animal or a big, dangerous one. For that particular reason the film crew followed Jim and Linda Sautner and their two-year-old buffalo “pet”, Bailey,  for almost a week in order to capture the one-of-a-kind relationship between the three.

It has become kind of a habit for Linda, Jim and Bailey to drive around town in their custom modified convertible around town and often stop at the local pub for a pint of ale. And it’s not only beer that Bailey likes, as he has also tried dancing a couple of times, but it seems his hoofs and the slippery dance floor weren’t very compatible.

Matthew Wortman, director/producer of the documentary, said “It’s pretty amazing to see such a wild animal in this sort of an unusual setting, really. Bailey is a little frisky at times, but it’s amazing how tame he is.”

This is not the first time the Sautners and Bailey have caught the attention of the media, as they also appeared on CNN, in a short the piece that made the Scientific Films crew fly all the way to Spruce Grove to find out more about the trio.

Bailey Jr. is the family’s second reared buffalo. There was Bailey Sr. before him  (no relation between the two), but he died when he was just eight years old, due to an accident on the farm. Not long after Bailey Jr. came into their lives, when he was just a calf, a special connection between Jim and the baby buffalo  was formed, as Linda confesses:

“They are best of buddies and Jim’s quite the buffalo whisperer. He really works well with animals and seems to have a special affinity for buffalo – he reads them very carefully and understands them very well. He is very consistent in his training and he doesn’t let them get away with anything, but he also is never harsh. He never strikes them.”

Animal Planet is planning to air the documentary in the spring. Scroll all the way to the bottom for an incredible video of Bailey and his animal-loving owner.

 

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American House Lit Up by One Million Christmas Lights

For most of us, Christmas lights are just another tradition, but for Faucher family, in Delaware, it has become a real passion. For 23 years they have been decorating their home with one million Christmas lights that cover every inch of their property. The lights are accompanied by other joyful Christmas ornaments that spread through out the garden, like snowmen, candy canes, elves or toy soldiers.

But this beautiful, over-the-top display of Christmas spirit is definitely not cheap. According to  “House Logic”, a homeowners website, the bill could reach a staggering $82,320, if the lights used are common 5 watt C7 bulbs that are left on for four hours every night, for 30 days. If they use LEDs, they “only” have to pay a $10,680 electric bill, while proudly owning an environment-friendly installation.

The Christmas lights tradition is an ancient one. Even in the times when Christians were persecuted, people chose to light candles as a symbol of celebrating Christmas. It was around the year 1500 that Christmas trees were decorated with lights for the first time, in Germany, but quickly spread throughout the world.

It was only in the 17th century the Christmas lights were brought to the outside of the house, as people started decorating their homes and gardens.

Although the tradition of decorating with Christmas lights became very popular after the 1950’s, it’s only fair to say that the Fauchers took it all to another level with their 1 million lights installation. Every year, they enjoy the admiration of not only their neighbors, but also that of people from around the country, who come to admire the Fauchers’ magical display of Christmas spirit.

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Archaeologists Discover 2,400-Years-Old Bowl of Soup

While cleaning up an ancient tomb, Chinese archaeologists have discovered a bowl of bone-soup believed to be around 2,400 years old.

The discovery took place in Xi’an city, capital of China Shaanxi province, and scientists are convinced it will provide great insight into the eating habits of the Warring States era. It’s the first time a soup bowl is found with liquid and animal bones still inside. The relic has been sent to a laboratory, where scientists will try to determine what animals the bones belong to, and the composition of the liquid.

The soup might not look very tasty after 2,400 years, but what would you expect the world’s oldest soup to look like? Actually, I might consider a taste rather than eating spare rib soup or bat soup

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Taiwanese Professor Buries His Students Alive

Professor Qiu Daneng is treating his medical school students as dead bodies, to make them appreciate every second of their life.

The kooky professor from Taiwan’s Rende Medical College came up with the idea of having his students enclosed in a coffin and lowered into a cavity under the floor, as a way of giving them insight about death, and thus stimulating them to do the best they can to preserve patients’ lives, as medical doctors. At the beginning of his course, he has his students draw up their testaments, then dresses them up in a funeral shroud and asks them to get into a custom-made coffin. He then lowers them into a cavity beneath the floor and leaves them there for a good 10 minutes. Read More »

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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