South African Herbalist Walks Around Literally Dressed in Money

Michael Andile Dlamini, a successful herbalist from Nongoma, South Africa, has become known as Mzimb’okhalimali (a body dripping with money) after he started wearing a suit made of real banknotes, to show off his wealth.

Dlamini started working as a healer three years ago, after finally listening to the voices of his ancestors. The 33-year-old claims that when he was 12, his ancestors spoke to him in his dreams, telling him which trees and plants to mix remedies out of, but he chose to ignore them. Then, in 2011, he started having these weird dreams again, where his ancestors would tell him to go into the forest to gather plants and roots for herbal remedies. He started filling ill, and had his house broken into, and after seeing a ‘sangoma’ (healer) who scolded him for not listening to his visions, Dlamini finally decided to become a herbalist.

It turned out to be the best thing he ever did, as his potions and creams became insanely popular from the very beginning. Dlamini claims he makes between R15,000 ($1,000) and R20,000 ($1,500) a day by selling herbal products, which include Pincode, a herbal concoction to boost sex drive, a “lucky soap” that removes pimples and stretchmarks, and “blessed water”.

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Chinese Loan Sharks Are Asking Young Women for Nude Selfies as Collateral for Online Loans

Loans are notoriously hard to get for Chinese college students, and some of them will agree to almost anything for some much needed funds, even providing nude photos of themselves as collateral to unscrupulous loan sharks.

The disgusting practice was brought to national attention when a victim – a university student going by the pseudonym of Li Li – desperately sought help from the police after loan sharks requested that she send them a photo of herself in the nude, holding her ID card. The online loan shark group had granted her a 500 yuan ($76) loan in February with a weekly interest rate of 30%. Unable to pay it back in time, the debt inflated beyond 10,000 yuan in a very short while, and at one point the loan sharks threaten not to renew her loan unless she also provided a nude photo of herself holding her ID, which Li reluctantly agreed to. However, after four months, her debt had inflated to 55,000 yuan, at which point she went to the police asking for help.

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The Real Santa – Oil Tycoon Gives $100,000 Christmas Bonus to Each of His 1,400 Employees

Hilcorp, a private oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Texas, is in the news for its unprecedented generosity towards employees. To celebrate an excellent year, CEO Jeff Hildebrand gave the entire company staff huge bonuses – $100,000 to each of the 1,381 workers! It seems Santa is real after all.

“It’s just a true gift,” said receptionist Amanda Thompson, who has worked at Hilcorp for the past 10 years. “And I think myself, as long as everyone else is not going to give any less than one hundred percent each day.” With this kind of rewards, it’s really no wonder that the company was included in the FORTUNE list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, for the third year in a row.

“Mr. Jeff Hildebrand, and our president Greg Lalicker, they are such amazing motivators,” Thompson added. “Somedays I just kind of look down the hall and say I can’t believe these are my bosses and they’re the best.” She explained that Hildebrand and Lalicker had promised their employees a sizable bonus if Hilcorp’s size could be doubled in five years, and they kept that promise once that goal was reached.

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Bitwalking – Potentially Game-Changing Digital Currency Pays People to Walk

In a bid to make people walk more, a London-based startup is introducing a new app that pays people in digital currency based on the number of steps taken per day. ‘Bitwalking’ will soon be available on Android and iOS users in the UK, Kenya, Malawi, and Japan.

Bitwalking’s currency units are called ‘Bitwalking dollars’ or BW$. Users need to walk a total of 10,000 steps (five miles) to earn BW$1, equivalent to $1. The maximum money that can be earned per day is BW$3. The money earned can only be spent in the app’s inbuilt marketplace, or exchanged for real money.

According to the company’s website, Bitwalking will be most relevant in developing countries, where rural workers don’t earn more than a dollar a day. So by walking around with a tracker, they could potentially earn three times more. “We believe that everyone should have the freedom, the ability, to make money,” the website states. “A step is worth the same value for everyone – no matter who you are, or where you are. What matters is how much you walk.”

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Austrian Boy Fishes 100,000 Euros Out of the River Danube

In a bizarre stroke of luck, a boy from Vienna, Austria managed to fish out a sizable treasure from the River Danube: €100 and €500 banknotes totaling a whopping €100,000!

The boy apparently noticed the notes from afar, and jumped right into the icy cold water to retrieve them. Passersby, worried that he was attempting suicide, immediately notified the police, who arrived at the spot just as the boy was coming out with the money. They later dried the soggy notes using a clothes dryer, giving rise to cheeky puns over ‘money laundering’.

At first, police thought the €100,000 were fake, and thrown in the river as a prank, but upon closer inspection, they realized the banknotes were genuine.

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Russian Tax Collectors to Be Given Money-Scented Soap to Make Them More Enthusiastic about Collecting Taxes

In a bid to make Russian tax collectors more interested in their jobs, a local government has come up with a rather bizarre scheme – providing them with money-scented soap! The idea is that the special odor will stimulate and inspire tax collectors to love and enjoy collecting money.

The idea is the brainchild of Aman Tuleyev, governor of the Kemerovo Oblast region in Central Russia. He seems to strongly believe that by using cash-scented toiletries, the smell of money will linger around tax collectors all day, thus making them love it and increasing their tax collection rate.

The concept isn’t new though, as money-based perfume and soap have been around since at least 1998, when an Austrian artist managed to bottle the smell of cash. In 2011, a Japanese study found that having employees smell money all day long is a great way to improve their productivity.

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Artisanal Currency, a Refreshing and Totally Legal Way to Pay

Have you ever seen currency notes so beautiful that you’d actually hesitate to spend them? Well, they’re called ‘artisanal currency’, and they’re all the rage in several parts of the world, including London, Amsterdam, and New York. The concept is quite similar to artisanal coffee, cheese, or chocolate that is handmade, not mass produced.

According to The New York Times, “these are small-batch currencies designed by locals and lovingly handled by millennials, who came of age during the rise of the Internet.” Interestingly, this local currency is not meant to be a collectible, but is legally accepted at cash-only community businesses so that the money stays within the town or district.

London’s Brixton district, for example, has its own artisanal currency designed by award-winning artist Jeremy Deller. His £5 notes feature a “fuzzy, psychedelic image of an androgynous face surrounded by rainbow clouds and swirling etchings.” Deller said that he wanted to create “something old-fashioned looking, something almost pre-currency.” And the people of Brixton are quite pleased with their own special pound notes. “I’d be more inclined to save money if it all looked like that,” said Ewan Graham, a 31-year-old architect.

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Chinese Parents Take Kids on Luxury Villa Tours to Stimulate Them to Become Rich and Successful

Chinese media reports that a growing number of parents are taking their children on special tours of luxury villas, to stimulate their desire to become wealthy and successful.

On weekends, most parents take their kids to the playground, maybe to a museum, shopping mall or on a relaxing picnic, but in China, some parents use these family outings to inspire their young ones to study hard so one day they can afford to live a life of luxury.

Companies like Heming Island Resort and Spa, in Qingyuan, Guangdong Province, offer families the chance to visit luxury villas worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, which are meant “to stimulate a child’s desire to become wealthy and successful”. These holiday homes are apparently becoming a popular tool for parents who want their offspring to learn that being rich is a sign of “high social status and success”.

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Chinese Lottery Winners Collect Prizes Dressed as Cartoon Characters to Protect Their Identity

A Chinese man was recently in the news for not only winning millions of yuan in a lottery, but also for the bizarre costume he wore while collecting his prize. The man, believed to be about 40 years old, was so worried about revealing his identity that he actually turned up dressed as the popular Disney character Baymax!

Speaking to reporters, the man revealed that he had won 170 million yuan (approximately $27 million) even though he rarely buys lottery tickets.  As for the strange costume, the man revealed that his wife forced him into wearing it, fearing that old friends and long-lost relatives might suddenly show up expecting a small share of the prize. But no costume can actually help him evade the mandatory 20 percent tax on lottery winnings, which means he will have to cough up about 34 million yuan to give back to the state.

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Salty Dawg Saloon – Alaska’s Unique Dollar-Bill-Covered Watering Hole

While many cafés and bars choose to display their patrons’ praise on sticky notes or paper napkins, a watering hole in Homer, Alaska, has every last inch of its walls and ceiling covered with dollar bills signed by its satisfied customers. Because of its quirky interiors, Salty Dawg Saloon is in fact a cherished landmark of Homer Spit – a 4.5-mile piece of land jutting out from Homer on the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula, into Kachemak Bay.

There is no shortage of bars in the town of Homer, but locals prefer driving all the way to the Spit and into Homer Boat Harbor, just to visit the peculiar Salty Dawg. Some of the patrons who visit the bar don’t even drink alcohol, but the place is so famous for its money plastered interior that many tourists just stop by to see it for themselves.

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The Eccentric German Millionaire Who Lived on Less Than $500 a Month

When millionaire Klaus Zapf passed away this week, the whole of Germany mourned his death. The eccentric tycoon, who always had millions at his disposal, actually lived a frugal life by choice. What endeared him most to the people of his nation was his generous nature – he gave most of his money away, while he lived on only $500 a month.

“I don’t need any money. It just makes us unequal,” Klaus once said. “There are just so many bloody idiots with money around, you don’t need another one.”

Zapf, 62, had made his fortune in the relocation business – he ran a company called Zapf Umzüge, which he often referred to as ‘West Berlin’s best removals collective’. His distinctive blue and yellow vans were quite well-known in city streets as they picked up and unloaded wares from across the country and the world.

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Real Estate Magnate Hides Envelopes of Cash around San Francisco as a Way of Giving Back to the Community

A mysterious San Francisco philanthropist has found a unique way of giving back to the community –  leaving hidden cash all over the city.

According to a Bay Area online magazine called The Bold Italic, an ‘anonymous real estate magnate’ emailed them to “say that they’d launched a campaign just last night where they’re hiding cash all over San Francisco, including outside our office.” The email stated that the gesture would continue indefinitely, with no commercial interest whatsoever.

“There is nothing commercial about this,” wrote the benefactor. “It is a social experiment. Our Twitter page will show people where the money is hidden. There are a few hundred dollars hidden last night already, and this will continue. We have two $100 bills hidden and some $20s.”

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Izhikhothane – South Africa’s Bizarre Money-Burning Sub-Culture

Izikhothane, which loosely translates to ‘brag it’, is a South African subculture of youths who dress themselves in designer clothes they can barely afford. They arrive in minivans at public spots and participate in elaborate dance-offs against rival gangs. During these performances, they indulge in burning wads of cash, destroying their clothes and spilling expensive food and alcohol on the streets. Why, you ask? To show off, obviously.

“To be Izikhothane, you have to be like us. Buy expensive clothes, booze, fame, girls, driving, spending. And when you are dressed in Italian clothing it shows that you’re smart,” said one gang member. In a nation where almost 50 percent of youths are unemployed, this sort of blatantly extravagant act is rather surprising. Most of the Izikhothane are funded by their working class parents with modest incomes.

There’s also a huge generation gap between these youths and their parents. Most of the Izikhothane belong to a generation that grew up after the end of white minority rule, unlike their parents. According to one kid, “Being born free means we can shop where we want and the country is no longer under oppression. We can express our views without being imprisoned.” Some use the extravagance as a means to escape their poverty, and for others it is just a culture of bling.

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Wealthy Chinese Mother Rents Entire Mountain So Her Daughter Can Learn More About Nature

Money might not grow on trees, but it sure can buy you lots of them. Proving this point is a rich businessman’s wife in China, who has rented a whole mountain just so her her daughter can learn more about nature and the great outdoors.

33-year-old Gan Lin, a former teacher, now spends most of her time dreaming up innovative ways of spending her husband’s money. The family lives in China’s Chongqing municipality, where Yin Gan, the daughter, attends fourth grade at a primary school. Gan recently discovered just how little Yin knew about nature, so she decided to solve the problem by throwing some of her excess money at it. She paid a local council to lease a mountain, including a 1.3-hectare farm located there.

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14-Year-Old’s Simple Idea Could Save US Government $400 Million on Official Documents

Suvir Mirchandani, a 14-year-old student from Pittsburg, has figured out a way to do something that financial experts have been struggling with for decades – substantially reduce Government spending. And we’re not taking about a few dollars here and there, we’re talking millions. $400 million, to be precise. To save all that money, Suvir suggested that the US government simply switch fonts from Times New Roman to Garamond when printing official documents. Because each character is printed lighter and thinner in Garamond, it uses 25 percent less ink, saving a lot of money in the process.

Suvir came up with the brilliant idea while working on a science fair project at his school – Dorseyville Middle School. He was looking for a way to use computer science to promote environmental sustainability. After a lot of research, he decided to figure out if there was a way minimize the use of paper and ink. “Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” the whiz-kid pointed out. So he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts at his school and studied the most commonly used letters: ‘e, t, a, o and r’.

The study included four different typefaces: Garamond, Century Gothic, Times New Roman and Comic Sans. Suvir measured how often the letters were used in each of these fonts. Then he used a commercial tool called APFill Ink Coverage Software to figure out how much ink was used for each letter. He printed out enlarged versions of the letters, cut them out on cardstock paper and weighed them to verify the data. He performed three trials per letter and graphed the ink usage for each font. The results of the analysis were astounding – he found out that Garamond’s thinner strokes could help his school district reduce ink consumption by 24 percent, saving about $21,000 a year.

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