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Russian Student Starts Lucrative Business Creating Elegant Signatures for Other People

For the average person, having a nice-looking signature is not that big of a deal, but for business people and public figures it’s apparently pretty important. A strong yet elegant signature expresses confidence and can help build trust between business partners, so it’s no wonder that some people actually pay for designer signatures.

Ivan Kuzin, a 20-year-old student from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, has created a lucrative online service offering business managers and entrepreneurs custom signatures. He came up with the idea last year, when he turned 20 and had to change his passport. He realized he didn’t like his signature at all, and since had already started his first business, which was already bringing in steady income, he decided to change it. Ivan turned to his friend, Anastasia Zdor, who had mastered oriental calligraphy while studying in China. She designed a beautiful signature for him and then patiently taught him how to write it himself. The whole process got Ivan thinking about offering designer signatures to others as a paid service.

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Man Sues Supermarket Chain After Being Cheated Out of $0.008

A Chinese man recently took a supermarket chain to court after allegedly being cheated out of 0.04 yuan ($0.008) because the checkout clerk rounded down the change he was owed.

The plaintiff, named only as Xiao, claimed that after shopping at a branch of Yonghui Superstores and offering 55 yuan ($8.16) for groceries worth 54.76 yuan ($8.12), he was given only 0.20 yuan as change instead of the 0.24 yuan he was owed. He didn’t really need the 0.04 yuan, but he considered the supermarket’s rounding off system to be cheating, so he decided to sue them and draw attention to the practice, hoping it would get fixed.

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Japanese Food Stall Staffed by an Adorable Shiba-Inu Dog

Food stalls in Japan have apparently gone to the dogs. The aptly-named “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop”, a small kiosk selling roasted sweet potatoes, in Sapporo, Japan is manned (dogged?) by a three-year-old Shiba-Inu dog.

Japanese Twitter user @hina_shii_ver2 first learned about the unique “Dog’s Sweet Potato Shop” in her home city of Sapporo earlier this month, when her husband texted her a weird message – “There’s a dog selling sweet potatoes”. She thought he was joking, of course, but then he sent her some photos and, sure enough, they showed an adorable dog sitting behind the counter of a small kiosk, seemingly waiting for hungry customers. @hina_shii_ver2 posted several photos and videos of this unusual food-stall on Twitter and they quickly went viral. Of course they did, how often do you see a dog running a business, and a food stall, no less?

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Teen Pays Her Way Through College by Helping Chinese Parents Name Their Babies

Beau Jessup, a 19-year-old entrepreneur, has earned hundreds of thousands of dollars through her ingenious online service, Special Name, which helps Chinese parents choose an appropriate English name for their babies.

Finding a suitable name for a baby is a big deal in China. When picking out their child’s Chinese name, parents usually select two or three characters that have a carefully thought out meaning, but when deciding on an English name – to help them interact with native English-speakers easier – many of them struggle. That’s where 19-year-old Beau Jessup and her company, Special Name, come in. For a small fee, Special Name suggests several English names that have different traits, like honesty or ambition, associated with them. In the last three and a half years, Jessup has helped name 677,900 Chinese babies, and earned over $400,000 in the process, more than enough to cover her college expenses.

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You Can Now Pay to Attend Strangers’ Weddings in India

Weddings are generally considered personal events reserved for family and friends, but some couples in India are more than happy to have total strangers from all over the world attend their traditional weddings, for a fee.

Paying hundreds of dollars to attend the wedding of two total strangers in a foreign country may seem strange to some, but according to JoinMyWedding, a company specializing in wedding tourism, it’s “the ultimate cultural immersion” for tourists looking to experience as many elements of Indian culture in the shortest time possible. Clients get to put on traditional Indian clothing, taste exotic food, witness and take part in beautiful wedding customs, and soak up the unique atmosphere. As for the couples getting married, they get to share the happiest day of their lives not just with family and friends, “but with the world” and make some extra money in the process.

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How One Woman’s Constipation Made Her Whole Family Millionaires

You’ll have a tough time finding someone who talks positively about their constipation problems, but one Utah woman is one of those rare exceptions, and for good reason. It was her constipation that inspired her to create a simple stool that now helps millions of people improve their bowel movements.

Judy Edwards has been struggling with constipation her whole life, but the problem only got worse with age. A few years ago, a medical professional advised her to use a foot stool while sitting on the toilet, and that worked surprisingly well for her, so she passed on the same advice to her husband Bill. They were both amazed both about the difference that a little foot stool made and that they had only learned about this trick in their 60s. But it wasn’t until their son Bobby, a self-described gypsy always looking to make a “big splash”, learned about the benefits of the foot stool that the idea of a profitable business started to materialize.

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This Japanese Startup Will Quit Your Job for You

For some reason, many Japanese people find it incredibly difficult to quit their job and prefer paying a third party hundreds of dollars to quit on their behalf rather than have to face their boss and co-workers and handing in their resignation personally.

Senshi S LLC is a Tokyo-based startup founded by childhood friends Toshiyuki Niino and Yuichiro Okazaki last year. It operates ‘Exit’ a unique service that basically handles job resignations on behalf od clients, for a fee. Rather, than having to tell their bosses that they can’t or don’t want to work for them anymore, Exit clients prefer to pay between 40,000 yen ($350) and 50,000 yen ($450) to have someone else do it for them. Exit’s founders declared themselves surprised that so many people find quitting their jobs so stressful, but they have been more than happy to help hundreds of them get through this process.

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Parents in South Korea Are Hiring Intimidating “Uncles” to Protect Their Kids from School Bullies

South Korean parents are increasingly turning to “uncle service” providers to make sure their children don’t have to put up with bullying in schools. Such services are apparently a pricey but efficient alternative to having schools handle the matter.

Earlier this month, Korean media reported on the growing business of leasing intimidating uncles to either protect children from bullies, gather evidence of bullying for filing an official complaint with the school, or even contacting the bully’s parents at their workplace. Most companies offer different packages to meet clients’ needs, and business is reportedly booming. But while many South Koreans view this type of service in a positive light, there are those who see it as simply answering bullying with another type of bullying.

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The Surprisingly Successful Business of Luxury Chicken Diapers

In urban areas like New York, Denver, and Los Angeles, it’s become a trend for the elite to shy away from traditional pets such as dogs and cats, and to raise chickens instead. Although raising chickens used to be predominantly for rural farmers, it’s now not only chic to own these birds , but a status symbol as well. And Julie Baker, an enterprising woman from New Hampshire, is cashing in on the trend by making fashionable chicken diapers. That’s right, chicken diapers. In fact, she’s drawing in $50,000 a year from this business, which isn’t exactly small change.

10 years ago, on her small Claremont farm, Julie was raising a whole flock of chickens with her daughter. They they happened upon a YouTube video of a chicken wearing a diaper so it wouldn’t leave droppings everywhere. Julie recalls thinking something like ‘Oh my goodness, I so need to do that,’ especially since her daughter often brought her favorite chicken Abigail into the home.

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Chinese Restaurant Forced to Close Down After Failed All-You-Can-Eat Promotion

The owners of a struggling hotpot restaurant in Chengdu, China, hoped that a month-long all-you-can-eat promotion would bring in new customers, but it actually put the place out of business in under two weeks.

On June 1st, Jiamener, a relatively new hotpot restaurant in Chengdu, China’s Sichuan province, kickstarted its cheap all-you-can-eat buffet in the hopes of gaining a new client base. Patrons were offered the chance to fill their bellies for just 120 yuan (US$19) per day, for a whole month. The two owners had anticipated that they would suffer a financial loss during this period, but they hoped that the promotion would pay off in the long run, with some visitors becoming loyal customers. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

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The Man Who Became a Millionaire by Selling Fake Dog Balls

Gregg Miller is living proof that a crazy idea can sometimes turn out to be pure genius. He is the inventor of Neuticles, silicone implants for male dogs to replace testicles after neutering so they don’t lose their manly look, and he is a millionaire.

Miller came up with the idea for a purely cosmetic replacement for animal testicles in the early 90s, when he bought a bloodhound puppy named Buck. He refused to have him neutered simply because he didn’t want to put the dog through surgery, but after Buck went missing for four days after picking up a female’s scent, the witty inventor had a change of heart. He describes those four days as the most hideous of his life, and knew that if he didn’t neuter his dog, he risked losing him again. But he still wanted Buck to maintain his “God-given naural look”, so he asked the vet if someone made testicle implants. The veterinarian told him that it was the dumbest thing he had ever heard of, but Gregg knew he was on to something.

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Thai Company Rents Out Impressive Dowry to Poor Couples Who Don’t Want to Lose Face at Wedding

Looking for an original business idea? How about renting out expensive things to poor couples to show off as dowry during their wedding? A Thai company has been doing just that for the past three months, and business has been booming.

Chiang Mai-based special event company Romantiese has been making news headlines in Thailand for their newest service – a dowry rental option for couples who can’t afford to properly honour their parents on their wedding day. Known as “sin sod”, the dowry system is still very deeply rooted in Thai culture, and considered both a of honoring your bride’s parents for raising their daughter well and proof that you are financially capable of starting a family. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to have stacks of cash and gold bars on display at their wedding, which is where Romantiese comes in.

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Russian Company Offers Parents Gold Plated 3D-Printed Models of Their Unborn Children

Mothers who can’t wait to hold their babies until they are actually born can now fulfill their greatest dream with the help of 3D-printed, life-size models of their unborn children based on ultrasound imagery.

Embryo 3D is not the world’s first company to offer parents 3D-printed plastic models of their soon-to-be-born children, but it claims to offer the highest degree of realism, not to mention several choices of material, from basic plastic to gold or silver-plated plaster. They apparently use advanced ultrasound technology that offers an incredibly detailed 3D image of the baby, including face, hands, feet and umbilical cord.

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Vietnam’s Fake Wedding Industry Is Booming Thanks to Social Stigma

Vietnamese women looking to avoid the social stigma of having a child out of wedlock are increasingly turning to grooms-for-hire businesses that specialize in throwing fake weddings complete with fake grooms and guests for a hefty fee.

Becoming pregnant before marriage is usually frowned upon in Vietnam, particularly in the northern parts of the country, where traditional social norms are still very strong. With over 300,000 abortions recorded every year, Vietnam’s abortion rate ranks fifth globally and first in Asia. Data shows that most of these pregnancy terminations are caused by social pressure, as 20 to 30 percent of women seeking abortion are not married, while most of the rest are young students. But what happens when a mother wants to keep the baby while at the same time avoid disgracing herself and her family? Well, that’s where the grooms-for-hire businesses come in.

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Female Tech Entrepreneurs Invent Male Co-Founder to Beat Industry Sexism

After noticing that many of the male developers and graphic designers they approached were either condescending or vaguely disrespectful, two female tech entrepreneurs decided to invent a male partner to handle communications. They claim that the difference was “like night and day”.

A year ago, Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer decided to create an online marketplace for bizarre and dark-humored art, as an alternative to big sites like Etsy, which they believe have too much limitations and excessive censorship. With minimal tech skills and a very limited budget of a few thousand dollars of their own money, getting “Witchsy” off the ground was never going to be easy, but one thing the two ladies didn’t expect was to be treated differently simply because of their sex. Some of the people they contacted to work on the site either took a condescending tone with them, like opening an email with “Okay, girls”, while others took it even further, like a developer who tried to delete their site because Penelope refused to go on a date with him. But everything changed when a certain “Keith” took over communications.

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