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Japan’s Hardcore Minimalists Live in Virtually Empty Homes

The minimalist lifestyle trend has been gaining popularity in the Western world for a while now, but we’re still far from the hardcore minimalism Zen-loving Japanese have adopted in their quest to achieve a stress-free life.

Space has always been an issue in crowded Japanese cities, so from that point of view it makes sense that people try to keep their homes junk free, but some are taking minimalism to such an extreme that they are virtually living in empty houses surrounded by only the barest of necessities. For them, minimalism is not just about de-cluttering their living space, but also about evaluating what material possessions truly bring to their lives and focusing on the things that they consider important. To Japan’s hardcore minimalists, less is more in every sense that actually matters.

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Child Spas Make Girls as Young as 7 Look Even Younger

Only a generation ago, little girls had to beg their moms just to put on make-up for a special occasion. But things have changed quite drastically since then. Moms these days are actually pampering their daughters at kiddy spas with custom-made packages to suit their needs. And believe it or not, some of these girls are as young as seven!

Whoever heard of a seven-year-old needing a massage, right? But the demand is apparently so great that the spa industry has really begun to target children in a big way. Adult spas are adding separate menus of services for little girls, and most major cities in the US have day spas that are meant exclusively for children. Manicures, pedicures, hairdos, makeup, oil rubs and even custom-sized robes are made available to clients, who are often too young to have had their first pimple.

According to the International Spa Association, industry trends indicate that 25 percent of the approximately 20,000 spas in the US now offer services that are specifically meant for the under-13 set. They offer kid-friendly music, banana-scented facials, and age-appropriate vocabulary – customers are ‘princesses’ and toes are referred to as ‘pigglies’.

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English Couple Claim Living Every Day Like in the 1950s Saved Their Failing Marriage

Like many other couples their age, 49-year-old Mandy Jones and her husband Gary, 48, were struggling to save their failing marriage. That’s when they hit upon a unique solution – they decided to give the 1950s lifestyle a try. Now, the couple from Staffordshire claim that the change has actually saved their marriage.

So what’s so great about the fifties that it could bring Gary and Mandy closer to each other? Well, some might find this regressive, but Mandy says that she now cooks for her husband every night, just like most women did back then. So Gary gets to come home from work every night to a ‘dutiful’ wife and a wholesome 1950s dinner.

And that’s not all – Mandy, a part-time caterer, spends all her free time cooking, cleaning and darning Gary’s socks. She dresses in vintage frocks, drives a 1949 Chevrolet and listens to rockabilly records on her jukebox. She strongly believes that all women should adopt a similar lifestyle if they want to keep their man happy.

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Professional Mattress Jumper Is an Actual Job

You probably thought those high-end mattresses people pay thousands of dollars for are hand-made. As it turns out, they’re also foot made, as someone is actually getting paid to jump on them hundreds of times in order to compress no fewer than 28 layers of cotton batting.

Growing up, you probably dreamed you would one day find a job that would require nothing else than jumping on beds. Well, it turns out such a job actually exists, only those doing it insist it’s not child’s play. “It’s work,” professional mattress jumper Reuben Reynoso says. “It’s not for everybody. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.” It’s not about achieving a great height or doing back flips and somersaults, but using his soles to compress the mattress layers and detecting any pea-size lumps in the filling. To do that, Reynolds uses a very precise, grid jumping pattern, making sure he covers the entire surface. “This is not a game,” he says. “Not to me.” And I’m inclined to believe him. After all, we’re talking about $2,700 mattresses, here, not trampolines.

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Chinese IKEA Customers Make Themselves a Little Too Much at Home

If you’ve ever walked through an IKEA store thinking about how cool it would be if you could just lay down on one of them soft beds, cover yourself with a fluffy blankets and nap, then you need to move to China, because that’s what IKEA visitors do over there.

The Chinese simply love IKEA! Millions visit the company’s mainland stores every year, but only a few of them actually end up buying something, as many just come to enjoy the air-conditioning on a hot summer day and take a nap on the comfy furniture on display. “Some of them even come in once the store opens in the morning, and won’t leave until the store closes in the evening,” a security staff from the IKEA store in Shanghai told Morning Star, but although this sometimes bothers employees, the company hasn’t taken any measures against people making themselves a little too much at home, because it sees it as a future investment. They believe when these people have more consumption power they’ll come back and buy something, but until then they’re free to loiter around.

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Meet the Man Who Only Owns 15 Things

There are a lot of people who make the news for their extravagant lifestyles, lavish homes, large collections of cars or shoes, and other such things. But Andrew Hyde is someone who’s become popular for just the opposite – owning very few things. 15, to be precise (not counting socks and underwear).

No, he’s not homeless, he’s not poor, and he’s definitely not unemployed. In fact, Hyde is a technology mogul. He works as a consultant and mentor for young companies, he’s the founder of Startup Weekend, and an organizer of TEDxBoulder conference. Constantly shuttling between New York and Silicon Valley for work, Hyde doesn’t live in a house or an apartment. When he’s not working, he’s traveling extensively, taking his worldly possessions of 15 things everywhere he goes. Andrew Hyde says that he has always been interested in the concept of minimalism, starting out by seeing if he could make do with just 100 items. But in August 2010 he took the concept even further, selling all of his belongings but for 15 things.

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Millionaire Who Gave Fortune to Charity Now Lives on $1,350 a Month

Karl Rabeder, the Austrian businessman who last year decided to give away his large fortune, because he realized money didn’t make him happy, now lives on just $1,350 a month.

It was one of the most shocking headlines of 2010. Karl Rabeder a millionaire from Telfs, Austria, announced he was in the process of selling his luxury properties and businesses because he had realized money is counterproductive and actually prevented him from being happy. His goal was to “have nothing left, absolutely nothing”. Mr Rabeder, who came from a poor family where the rules were to work more and achieve material things, confessed that for a long time he believed more wealth automatically brings more happiness. But lately he kept hearing a voice telling him to stop what he was doing and begin his real life. He started to feel like a slave working for things he didn’t actually want or need.

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