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Is Your Child Using Drugs? Rent a Trained Sniffer Dog to Find Out

German entrepreneur Reitner Reuther has made headlines in the national media for offering a very unique service. He gives parents who suspect their children of using illegal substances the chance to find out for sure by hiring a trained sniffer dog.

Statistics show drug abuse among youth is an increasing problem all around the world, but parents in Germany now have a new way of dealing with it without involving the authorities. Reitner Reuther believes his sniffer dog Thor is able to find even the most secret stashes of narcotics that can often be “too sophisticated” for parents to discover, so he set up a website where he offers to conduct discreet searches at the clients’ homes, at a rate of €95 ($125) per case. Thor completed his training to become a police dog in Texas, USA and specializes in sniffing out cannabis, heroin, speed and ecstasy. Parents get in touch with Reitner and they set up an appointment. When their child is away at school, he brings the dog by to search the house. According to his owner, no matter how well the drugs are hidden, nothing gets by Thor.

sniffer-dog-service

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Meet the German Family Who Lives without (Almost) Any Money

29-year-old Rafael Fellmer and his family lead a very frugal lifestyle, one that requires them to spend almost no money at all. They get their food from organic supermarket dumpsters, “pay” their rent by doing all kinds of chores around the house and use a barter system to get the things they need. They only use money when they absolutely don’t have any other choice.

Rafael Fellmer was born in a good German family. His father is a successful architect and his mother an art therapist. He himself graduated in European Studies, in Hague, so there’s no question he could have gotten a good job, if he so wanted. But a few years back, Rafael realized there were things in this world much more important than money. He started gradually reducing his expenditures by doing things that didn’t require him paying anything. The economic crisis, the global food and water shortage, climate change, they all inspired him to live a frugal lifestyle, and made him realize that giving up money is a sure way to a more stable world order. Although there are those who consider him a “deadbeat” for not getting a proper job and providing for his family from supermarket dumpsters, Rafael Fellmer commands a lot of respect from those who share his views, and he is considered the leader of the life-without-money movement that is gaining a lot of popularity in Germany.

Rafael-Fellmer

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Living with Wolves – The Amazing Story of Werner Freund

79-year-old Werner Freund has a unique gift. The ex-paratrooper and now wolf-researcher from Germany can get along with wolves so well, it’s almost like he’s a member of their pack. In fact, it’s been 40 long years since he started living among wolves and rearing them from pups at his ‘Wolfspark’ sanctuary , located in Merzig,  in the German province of Saarland. The close relationship between Werner and his wolves is quite obvious from pictures of him leaning back on his haunches and howling, and of the wild beasts eating meat straight from his mouth.

Wolves are generally a feared species; come into close quarters and your chances of making it out alive are quite slim. But things are different in the case of Werner. It’s like they’ve accepted him as one of their own. When Werner is around, his wolves are actually playful, docile and submissive towards him. Perhaps it’s because he’s successfully asserted his dominance as the alpha male in the pack. The park is inhabited by wolves from six different packs around the world, including Siberian, Arctic, Canadian, European and Mongolian ones. They were mostly acquired as cubs from animal parks or zoos and hand-reared by Werner.

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Vegetarian Designer Opens Special Butcher Shop with Fluffy Meats

It’s called “Aufschnitt” (German for “cold cuts”) and it’s a unique butcher shop created by designer Silvia Wald, who is actually a vegetarian. What’s even more bizarre is that she makes all the “meats” herself, by hand, out of fabric…

Every item on display at Silvia Wald’s Aufschnitt shop looks good enough to eat, only nothing is really edible. The young designer creates all her products from textile material and sells them as pillows, cushions or cool decorations. An engineer for clothing technology, Wald started making her delicious fluffy meats in 2009, as a small project, but after seeing how popular her few sausages were, she started making all kinds of other textile foods, from salami to large pieces of ham, from materials like cotton stretch velvet, lycra, wool or micro fibre. Then she opened her own little butcher shop in Berlin, where she sells her creations to both meat lovers and vegetarians. The designer says her favorite clients are the kids who always like to take a bite of her forever-fresh products,  just to see if they’re edible.

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Swearing Hotline Lets Germans Blow Off Some Steam, for a Fee

Boss giving a hard time at work? Wife can’t seem to stop nagging you when you get home? Do you feel like lashing out at people all the time, but are afraid of social consequences? Fear no more, as an innovative new hotline allows frustrated people to use their most fowl language as a way to blow off steam.

It’s called “Schimpf-los” (German for “swear away”) and it’s an innovative new hotline that has operators standing by 24/7 ready to take serious verbal abuse from people who feel like blowing off steam by swearing. “We don’t judge people who are angry,” said Ralf Schulte, one of the creators of this offbeat service. “It happens. It’s natural. With us you can blow off steam no strings attached.” The 41-year-old entrepreneur set up Schimpf-los along with partner Alexander Brandenburger, after drawing inspiration from their own stressful daily routine. They realized their idea would help people avoid altercations at the workplace or at home, by providing an alternative place to release all tension. “If you’re stressed out at work, you go home and your partner gets an earful,” Schulte comments. “Even though it’s not her fault.” With Schimpf-los, angry folks need not worry about this kind of scenarios anymore.

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Germany’s Trendiest People Converge on Berlin for the Hipster Olympics

With the real Olympic Games about to start in London, Berlin’s self-proclaimed hipsters though they’d organize their own competition to find the most athletic hipster in Germany – the 2012 Hipster Olympics.

The tongue-in-cheek event took place last Saturday, and drew a crowd of over 6,000 hipsters to a club in east Berlin, for a series of nine ironic sporting events. Ironically, there were a lot of applicants who wanted to join the game, but a panel of hipster judges had the difficult task of choosing only 60.  “We had to select the coolest ones,” said 24 year-old Alexander Bernikas, head of the Original Hipster Olympics Committee. The skinny-jeans-wearing, jute-bag-carrying contestants were split into twelve teams of five, and pitted against each other in ironic events like a horn-rimmed-glasses-throwing contest,  a vinyl-spinning marathon or a skinny jeans tug of war.

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German Couple Build Fairy Tale Castle in Their Backyard

Heinz and Hildegard Schönewolf, from Dudweiler, Germany, have spent the last 37 years building a 350 square-foot fairy tale castle, right in their own backyard.

It’s amazing the kind of things people create in their backyards. Just a few days ago we posted about the stunning Four Seasons Garden, and the impressive replica of the Golden Gate Bridge built by Larry Richardson, and let’s not forget the backyard Titanic we featured a while back. Today, I found some photos of a colorful castle like the one you usually see in children’s fairy tale books, and learned it was actually built by a retired bricklayer, right in his own backyard, in the German town of Dudweiler. The 76-year-old castle enthusiast spent 37 years building his masterpiece out of stones, bricks and thousands of bags of cement.

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Test Your Middle Finger at the Bavarian Finger Wrestling Championship

Finger wrestling, or “fingerhakeln”, used to be the way the men of Bavaria settled disputes back in the 17th century, but now it’s just an obscure sport that draws hundreds of strong men to the German region, for the annual Finger Wrestling Championship.

Now, I knew about thumb wrestling and toe wrestling, but I was totally oblivious to finger wrestling. That’s probably because it never caught on outside Bavaria, but the men there take it so seriously they even have a championship to determine which one has the strongest middle finger. The 35th edition of the annual Finger Wrestling Championship was held in Schnaitsee, Chiemgau, right in the heart of Bavaria, and brought together 156 competitors ready to snap their fingers for the title of champion.

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Mysterious Real-Life Robin Hood Leaves Envelopes of Cash to the Needy

It’s nothing short of a modern-day miracle,when envelopes stuffed with cash just keep appearing all over town. And not just small cash, we’re talking large amounts. Since late last year, envelopes containing sums up to 10,000 euros are being mysteriously ‘given’ to those who are in need of money, in the German town of Braunschweig. The donated money that’s been accounted for so far amounts to a whopping 200,000 euros.

While the benefactor is unknown, the beneficiaries have so far “suspected” a hospice, a robbery victim, various charities, and also the family of a handicapped boy. The cash-stuffed envelopes have been left in prayer books in churches, beneath doormats and also in letterboxes. There are several theories as to who is behind this sudden ‘shower’ of cash in the settlement. Some say that it could be a lottery winner and others feel it’s probably someone who’s received a large inheritance. Whoever it may be, the person is being hailed as a present-day reincarnation of Robin Hood, who we’re not yet sure if  is stealing from the rich, but is certainly giving to the needy.

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German Man to Sell His Face for Tattooed Advertisements

A German man loves dogs so much that he wants to build a museum dedicated to St. Bernard dogs. So what does he do to raise the money? Why rent out his face, of course. The idea seems so simple, I wonder why people don’t do it all the time. Maybe because no one wants to walk around with a bunch of advertisements TATTOOED on their face. But Uwe Troschel has no such qualms, so he’s perfectly happy to rent out sections of his face for companies to place their advertisements on.

Each section comes at a price of its own. So to put up an ad on Troschel’s forehead costs 50,000  euro, and each cheek, 20,000 euro. The nose is priced at 2,000, and if any company is interested in the entire face, it would set them back a whopping 100,000 euro. His intentions are commendable, but I’m not sure this is the right way to go about helping his four-legged friends. After all, when this is all said and done, they might not even recognize him…

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Germany’s “Village of the Damned” Where Almost Every Household Has a Cancer Sufferer

Cancer epidemics are practically unheard of. That’s why I was quite shocked when I read about this small village in Germany where almost every household has been hit by the deadly disease. Wewelsfleth, located near the Elbe River in northwest Germany is now being called the ‘village of the damned’. With a population of only 1,500, the spread of cancer in the area is about 50% above average. What makes the condition of these villagers even more pathetic is that they feel abandoned by authorities, who are unable to provide any explanations.

The cancer situation in Wewelsfleth is not a new one. In fact, several cases have been reported as early as 1998, steadily rising over the years. The phenomenon is not limited to any particular part of the body. Cases of cancer affecting the breast, lung, womb, stomach and esophagus have been observed. It is not surprising in the least to note that there are three nuclear power plants in the vicinity and also a shipyard where vessels were sprayed with highly toxic paint. Quite understandably, the villagers are upset and do not intend to give up on their demands for a serious enquiry into the situation.

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Bavarian Villagers Build Church Entirely Out of Snow

A church built entirely out of snow and ice – sounds magical, and looks pretty too. It was built this year in the Bavarian forest by the villagers of Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany. Located close to the Czech border, the church is bathed in a beautiful blue light. It was opened to public on Wednesday evening, blessed by Dean Kajetan Steinbeisser. Although the villagers had hoped to have it open before Christmas, the lack of sufficient snow caused a delay in their project.

The snow church was constructed in commemoration of a similar church built in 1911, exactly 100 years ago. The older one was actually a sign of protest. In those days, the nearest church was in Mauth, a 90-minute hike away, which wasn’t always easy to complete. The residents of the secluded Mitterfirmiansreut village then came up with the idea to build the snow church, in the hope that it would draw attention to their plight. The winter of 1910/1911 was rich in snow, and the construction of the church began in Feb, 1911. Both men and women worked hard to place blocks of solid snow bricks, building a strong and sturdy church. The final structure was 14m long , 7m wide and 4m high. The first worship was held on the 28th of March, 1911.

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Eat Like a Caveman at Berlin’s Sauvage Restaurant

A new restaurant in Berlin insists upon feeding its customers with the food that cavemen devoured. So basically, no bread, sugar, or cheese on the menu.

The Sauvage Restaurant proudly announces their ‘Real Food Revolution – Paleolithic cuisine!’ Guests are served dishes that contain ingredients most-likely used by hunter-gatherers. The owners of this place unsurprisingly adhere to the Paleolithic movement, which prescribes a lifestyle of a Paleo diet, lots of exercise, high contact with nature and sunlight, minimal clothing, plenty of sleep and spending a lot of time barefoot. Diners are served their meals at candle-lit tables. The food served consists of organic, unprocessed fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and herbs. Some of the exercises of the caveman-era are also mimicked by the owners such as  lifting boulders and running barefoot. To emulate the loss of blood that cavemen endured in their hunt for food, they regularly donate blood. These practices are recommended to guests as well, but they could just stick to the Paleo food if they wish.

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Hockern – Germany Reinvents Sitting as an Extreme Sport

Hockern is a game from Germany that can be classified under bizarre sports. Bizarre, because it involves a lot of things at once – sitting, dancing, spinning, and it’s hard to tell what it is exactly.

A typical Hockern player would do something like this: sit on a specially designed stool called the Sporthocker, twirl it in the air, do a handstand, and then swiftly sit on it once again. The game was introduced three years ago by a couple of young German entrepreneurs who head the company Salzig Sporthocker. Of course, there are rules to this seemingly haphazard sport. No move is actually considered a move, unless it ends with the player sitting down on the stool. So basically, its a lot of gymnastics at the end of which the gymnast sits down. Some of the common moves from players include spinning the stool on the floor and then balancing on it, tossing it in the air and quickly sitting on it where ever it lands, or simply having a friend slide the stool over to you across the floor and sitting on it as soon as it reaches you.

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German Website Offers Cow-Killing Options for Tastier Beef

A German beef-selling website is offering clients the bizarre option of choosing how their favorite breed of cow gets slaughtered.

mycow.de, a beef-selling web-store owned by a company based in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is all about offering customers choices. They allow people to choose from various breeds of cattle, like the succulent Angus, or the delicious Galloway, and even to order steaks from specific farms they own in the German countryside. But the weirdest think is they actually let people decide how they want their cow slaughtered. That sounds kind of sick, right? Well I thought so too, but apparently the guys at mycow.de have an explanation for making this choice possible for their customers.

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