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Man Wears Empathy Suit for Nine Weeks to Experience Pregnancy

In a bizarre attempt to experience “the one thing unavailable to men as parents”, writer Benjamin Percy wore an empathy suit complete with a fake belly, for nine weeks. You’d think the efforts of a man trying to go through the hardships of pregnancy would be applauded by women, right? Well, no…

Although fully aware that he couldn’t go through all the stages of pregnancy or experience all the nasty symptoms, Percy thought that by wearing an empathy suit for a condensed pregnancy period of nine weeks would be “a way for me to alter my point of view, deepen my empathy, help me overcome my mouth-breathing-caveman deficiencies.” He may never be able to go through child birth, but he wanted to know what it felt like to carry carry one with him wherever he went. To aid him in this “pregnant man” project, the noted fiction and non-fiction writer used a special suit designed by the Japanese scientist Dr. Takayuki Kosaka of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology. It was made of thick nylon, had a fake belly and fake boobs, but instead of adjusting his wardrobe, Benjamin opted to wear the unusual accessory over his regular clothes. As the weeks passed, he added extra weight to the belly, to match the growth of his imaginary baby. It was a unique experience, but a lot of women aren’t exactly impressed with his stunt.

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Male TV Hosts Go Through the Agony of Giving Birth

Two male Dutch TV hosts known for performing outlandish stunts on their program, “Proefkonijnen” (Guinea Pigs), have recently experienced agonizing pain similar to that of labor, by strapping electrode emitting machines to their abdomens.

Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno first caused international controversy in 2011, when they consumed cooked pieces of each other’s flesh, on live television. Now, they’re back with another crazy experiment. Not satisfied with just sympathizing with women who go through labor, the two crazy hosts wanted to go through the same experience, to see what it feels like. And since actually giving birth was out of the question, they went for the next best thing – strapping a number of electrodes to their bellies, which sent electrical charges meant to simulate cramps and contractions. The controlled experiment lasted two hours and had the two crazy men screaming, groaning and curling into the fetal position from the pain.

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Woman Plans To Eat and Drink Only Starbucks for a Year

A Seattle-based woman by the name of Beautiful Existence (her legal name) has set a very strange challenge for herself this year – she plans to eat food and drink beverages only from Starbucks for all of 2013.

No, she’s not addicted to Starbucks products. Beautiful Existence just likes to set year-long challenges for herself. For example, in 2011, she only bought stuff from Goodwill stores. But there’s more to it than that. Beautiful wants to document the experience on her blog and show the world how communities benefit from Starbucks. “The company pays good benefits for part-time workers. That’s where my money is going,” she says. “We’re really lucky and I would say actually spoiled as Americans because we have all these different eating options,” Existence adds. “You go to all these other countries and they don’t have these luxuries. Really? Is it really going to be that hard for one year of my life to limit my menu? We’ll find out.”

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Surveillance Camera Man Highlights Privacy Issues by Filming People without Permission

An anonymous person known only as “Surveillance Camera Man” is sparking controversy by filming people in public and private spaces without asking for their permission. Clever way of highlighting privacy issues or just intentionally provoking people?

Why is it that hardly anyone minds being on camera wherever they go, but whenever there’s a face attached to the camera, everyone becomes agitated. Whether we’re walking on the street, going into a bank or at school, there are all these cameras watching our every move, and yet we choose to ignore them. But if an actual person is holding the camera, we feel like they’re violating our privacy. This is what Surveillance Camera Man, an anonymous man from Seattle has been proving with his series of videos posted on YouTube. Granted, sometimes he’s actually doing his filming on private property, but even when he’s filming people in parking lots or on the street without saying a word to them, you can see it’s making them very uncomfortable. Most claim he’s violating their privacy, forgetting they’re in public places, and some even lash out at the camera or call the police. However you feel about Surveillance Camera Man and his approach, you have to admit it’s darn interesting project.

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French Artist Buries Himself in a Tiny Hole for Seven Days, to Read

How far would you go to find some peace and quiet for a nice read? French artist Abraham Poincheval stayed buried for a whole week in a tiny underground hole in the underpinning of a Marseille bookstore, with books as the only company.

On September 20, Abraham Poincheval began his unique performance, aptly entitled 604,800 seconds. Equipped only with a headlamp, some water, freeze-dried food, a camera and most importantly a small stack of books selected by the booksellers at the “Histoire d’un Jour” bookstore, he descended into a 62cm-wide and 1.7m-deep shaft dug in the underpinning of the Marseille venue. The size of the hole meant he couldn’t sit or stand up, making the claustrophobic experiment all the more difficult. He was covered with a stone lid and started enjoying his seven days separated from the outside world by reading. During all the 604,800 seconds he remained buried under the bookstore, Abraham filmed everything he did (which obviously wasn’t much, since he could hardly move), and the images were projected on the walls of the bookstore/gallery. He also stayed in touch with civilization via a microphone and speaker, which helped him communicate with visitors.

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Woman Avoids Looking at Herself in Mirrors for a Year to Boost Self-Esteem

Kjerstin Gruys, a 29-year-old PhD student in sociology, has gone mirror-free for an entire year, avoiding her own reflection in order to boost her self-esteem and inspire others to stop focusing on their physical appearance.

Can you imagine not checking how you look for an entire year? Most women can’t go a day without looking in the mirror, whether to check how their clothes fit, or if their make-up looks good, but one ambitious young student managed to avoid looking at her reflection for a full year. If you think about it, it’s hard not looking at yourself, when you’re surrounded by mirrors and all kinds of shiny surfaces, but Kjerstin Gruys somehow made it work. For months, she covered the bathroom mirror so she could wash her face and brush her teeth without accidentally catching a glimpse of herself, she learned how to apply make-up by touch and not by sight, and she even learned to use her car’s mirrors so that she didn’t have to see her face in them. It was hard in the beginning, but she quickly adapted and says the experiment made her realize looks are really not as important as most people think.

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Researcher Proves You’re Washing Your Clothes More Often than You Should

Would you dare to sniff a pair of jeans that haven’t been washed in three months? If the very thought of it seems disgusting, wait till you hear this. This March, there’s going to be an exhibition of thirty such pairs at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.

The unusual collection of dirty jeans is the result of an experiment conducted by Tullia Jack, a researcher from Melbourne. In an effort to prove that people wash their clothes way too often, she recruited thirty volunteers to wear their jeans unwashed, five days a week, for three months. Ms. Jack is a student at the Melbourne University and a fashion lecturer at RMIT. “Not washing your jeans isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds,” she says. The experiment is a part of her Master of Philosophy thesis and she wants to use the findings to challenge our ‘extreme clean’ culture.

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Man Spends a Year Living as a Turkey to Prove They’re Not Dumb

We’ve all heard the popular myth about turkeys being so stupid that they will look up at the rain and drown. Well, naturalist Joe Hutto’s year-long experiment living as a turkey proved it wrong, along with any other myths that suggest the stupidity of the bird. On the contrary, he says that turkeys are born with an “innate understanding of ecology” and have a complex vocabulary to communicate with each other.

Hutto, an ethologist who lives in Florida, has always been interested in the phenomenon of imprinting – in which young birds and animals identify the first moving object they encounter as a mother or a caregiver. So when a local farmer left a bowl-full of wild turkey eggs at Hutto’s doorstep, it was an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. He began his scientific experiment by choosing to imprint himself as the mother turkey. Hutto placed the eggs in an incubator and waited for them to hatch. When the cracks began to appear, he had to act fast, since imprinting occurs only in the first few moments after hatching. He placed his face close to the eggs and when the first poult came out, there was immediate eye-contact and the establishment of a bond. “Something very unambiguous happened in that moment,” he said

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Woman Becomes Human-Horse Hybrid for the Sake of Art

Art Orienté objet, a French artistic known for its exploration of trans-species relationships and questioning scientific methods and tools has staged one of the most shocking experiments ever – injecting a human being with horse plasma.

For this latest project, entitled Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me), Marion Laval Jeantet, one of the members of Art Orienté objet, was injected with horse blood, which made her feel “extra-human”. This shocking event took place in February, but Marion spent several months preparing her body, by injecting herself with small doses of horse immunoglobulins, the glycoproteins that flow through the blood and function as antibodies in immune response. The French artist called this process mithridatization, after Mithridates IV of Pontus, who is said to have developed an immunity to poisons by gradually ingesting small doses of them.

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Japanese Researchers Create Tweeting Mouse

In a genetically engineered experiment, Japanese scientists at the University of Osaka have created a mouse that tweets like a bird. After crossbreeding genetically altered mice for some time, to see what would happen, they apparently got their first interesting result, by mistake. Researcher Arikuni Uchimura said they were expecting physical mutations, but definitely not a tweeting mouse.

The “mistake” happened at the University of Osaka called “Evolved Mouse Project”, where scientists have the sole purpose of breeding mice ‘pron to miscopying DNA and thus to mutation”, without knowing for sure what will the end results may be.

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Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees?

If your parents are anything like mine, they probably told you money doesn’t grow on trees more than a million times, when you were growing up. Well I can’t wait to show them how wrong they were all those years.

In an attempt to “wake up people’s lazy money”, RaboDirect, an Australian online bank sponsored a special experiment that fulfilled the financial fantasies of hundreds of passers-by – a real-life money tree. The event took place in one of Sydney’s park, where a tree was covered in $5 bills, from its lower branches to the top. People were secretly filmed, to see how they would react to such an unbelievable sight.

Believe it or not, the first 100 or so people who walked by the money tree flat out ignored it. Some of them didn’t even notice there was anything odd about the tree, a group of joggers was to busy running to stop and check it out, and passers-by who did stop to analyze it, just took some photos and left empty handed.

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