Apparently these little rubber underwears from Bandai are all the rage for smartphone owners in Japan because Japan is Japan and I’m tired of trying to understand. They come in a variety of styles and are sold randomly in plastic capsule machines for 200 yen ($2). Didn’t get the pair you want? Try again! Still didn’t? Now would be a good time to reevaluate just how important having a particular pair of rubber underwear for your smartphone is to you.
Here’s a guy who’s not ashamed to let everyone know how he feels about penises.
This truck with the “NOCIRCM” license plate was spotted this morning in Phoenix, along the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway.
Adding to it all, the vanity license is on the “It Shouldn’t Hurt to be a Child” plate.
And the guy driving had four anti-circumcision bumper stickers on his truck, featuring phrases such as, “Circumcision: A Cruel Ripoff.”
(He was also driving about 60 miles per hour in the center lane of a 65 mph zone; what the hell, man?)
There’s nothing wrong with having an opinion on circumcision, but there’s a wonderful saying out there about some opinions being best kept to yourself.
Interestingly, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s rules on personalized license plates ban ones that “connote” the “pubic area,” “genitalia,” or “sexual functions.”
We have a feeling that ADOT would deny a “H84SKIN” license plate.
“If the police want to confiscate my car, I’ll tell them to take my wife too,” laughs Liu, 62, gesturing to his smiling 61-year-old wife in the back seat.
Though not street legal, Liu’s tiny, enclosed four-wheeler is one of the growing fleet of low-speed electric minicars appearing in China’s traffic-choked cities. Factories are ramping up production of the vehicles, which can squeeze past gridlock as well as bypass government laws that restrict car use and ownership in China.
Legally speaking, police are supposed to pull over the unlicensed, uninsured and in some cases unsafe vehicles used predominantly by the elderly. But the battery-powered 7-by-3½-foot cars cruise the streets in open view and are stopped only during irregular crackdowns.
“Sales are rising each year,” says Tuo Weifan, 23, a salesman at the Great Electric Bike World, one of Beijing’s largest electric vehicle shops. “Legally, it’s a gray area. But most drivers are old people so the police don’t stop them.”
China’s economic boom years have prompted voracious demand for cars, especially in the country’s major cities, making China the world’s largest automotive market.
In Beijing, the number of vehicles on the road went from 2 million in 2008 to 5.18 million by mid-2013, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. The total number of cars in China was 240 million at the end of 2012, says the Ministry of Public Security.
Road construction has not kept up with the pace of car production. Drivers can run into hours-long logjams in major cities, and the stalled traffic is blamed for worsening the air pollution problem.
Beijing has mandated better emissions-control equipment for new automobiles; Shanghai is among cities that have limited the number of new vehicles that can be registered to 20,000 a month. Still, the cost of a car is too much for many Chinese.
The minicars, known officially as “elderly walk-substituting vehicles,” can be had for a mere $2,000, making them a fast-growing, funny-looking fleet of low-speed vehicles buzzing through city streets.
With big names like Victory Bull, Power Pioneer and Constant Wealth, the small vehicles satisfy a growing desire in China for cheap transportation.
Almost 100 different makers of the vehicles have emerged in recent years in east China’s Shandong province, says state-run Beijing Daily newspaper. Manufacturers sold more than 20,000 vehicles last year, far outpacing China’s paltry sales of full-speed electric cars. In 2015 sales are expected to hit 300,000, and rise to 1 million by 2020.
Among the top markets for the cars are college campuses, says salesman Tuo, as he talked up the $2,600 Handsome Horse, a Shandong-made 3-seater. The car can travel 30 miles on an 8-hour charge. Max speed: 25 mph.
In China, however, anything that has yet to be officially approved by the government is generally prohibited. Yet Liu Wenhe is undaunted by the threat of fines, vehicle confiscation or even 15 days’ detention for driving his minicar on city thoroughfares.
Liu, who worked a lifetime at the Beijing Motor Factory, says he drives his wife across town three times a week for dialysis.
“People often stop me to ask where I bought it, and neighbors want to buy one, too,” he says of his first car.
Prized in poorer communities for their price tag, minicars are a hit in megacities like Beijing because they don’t come under the limits imposed on drivers of larger gas vehicles to cut down on traffic and pollution.
Minicar drivers don’t have to wait years to win a license plate in a lottery, and they don’t have to keep their vehicles off the road one day each working week as regular drivers do.
Wang Yufeng owns and rents out two Buick minivans, made by General Motors in Shanghai, but prefers his Rich Road minicar, a 4-door ultra-compact 3-wheeler.
“No other car is as convenient as this; I can drive and park anywhere, anytime, I have heating and a radio,” says Wang, 49. “I wish the government would issue licenses and make these vehicles legal.”
China appears to be going the other way, advising citizens not to buy the vehicles, especially for the elderly.
“Have ‘elderly walk-substituting vehicles’ become new killers on the road?” asked the Beijing Daily report, echoing the China Consumer Association’s advice not to buy what it labels as “dangerous” cars for ageing parents.
On a rain-swept Beijing street, Han Xue, 37, got off her electric-powered bicycle to get a closer look at some Cheetah and Field Pigeon brands of minicars. She said she was considering buying one for her retired in-laws, who need something to protect her 7-year old-son from winter’s bite when they take him to school.
A saleswoman earning more than $1,000 a month, Han owns a VW Skoda but complains “you can’t go against one-way traffic.” A minicar “will be quicker and more environmentally friendly,” says Han, although more minicars means more demand for electricity from coal-burning power plants blamed for much of Beijing’s chronic air pollution.
And the minicars may begin to become a traffic problem too.
Many of the cars, especially gas-run models designed for disabled drivers, crowd subway exits where their drivers offer short rides for $1.50. Cui Baotai says he was detained for five days in September for “disturbing public order,” by using his minicar as a taxi service.
Cui, 48, seated inside his box-like vehicle, said the car provides an income “much better” than farming in his home village in central China.
Waiting for his wife outside a store, Wang Yufeng says the minicars offer too many advantages over conventional cars for people to ignore.
“Some people buy expensive brands just for ‘face,’ but it’s so tiring to repay the loan,” Wang says.
His Rich Road minicar is for his own use, Wang says, and “For own use” signs are seen on many of the vehicles to deter police and potential cab fares. With a smile and a wave, he leaves — with a paying passenger on board.
Stunned eyewitnesses filmed the tentacled object which was a variety of colours. floating close to the top of the water Videos of the strange marine mystery in Bristol docks have popped up on Youtube and Twitter with many claiming to have seen an “alien”.
Marine biologists admit they are baffled, but claim the footage could be a marine salp which had drifted off course by the weather. Dr Steve Simpson, from the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University, said: “It’s very intriguing – I don’t really know what to make of it.
“There is a possibility that it is a special type of jellyfish or a marine salp. It’s very unusual and I haven’t really seen anything like it before though.
“What makes it even more unusual is that fact that it showed up in the middle of a really busy area.
“There are various marine animals that have biological illuminating abilities and they are able to make themselves flash.
“It is entirely possible that it is a marine creature which has been brought into the harbour because of the storms or maybe it was trying to shelter from the stormy seas.
“We are currently experiencing spring tides too which may have dragged whatever this is in from the sea.
FOOTAGE: Videos appeared online of the flashing squid [SWNS]
“It looks really cool – it’s incredible. I don’t know if it will make a return tonight but I’m sure if it does it will be met by an eager crowd.”
It has not yet been established exactly what the creature was and whether it was alive or not. Some people have suggested that Bristol legend Banksy may have had something to do with the weird object.
Dozens of people were left flummoxed after spotting the creature and quickly grabbed cameras to snap it.
Alex Gordon-Lennox, 22, who was one of the many people to witness the strange creature, said: “It was just floating down the harbour. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
“I only noticed it because it was flashing and was so bright. I was out with some friends that night so we watched it travel down the water a bit and then it just seemed to disappear.
“It looked a bit like a jellyfish or a squid or something. It was amazing.”
Jack McMillan of Queensland captured a video selfie of him atop an emu he called “Betsy” before riding away while clutching its neck.
“What most overseas people get confused about Australia is they think we ride kangaroos to work but in actual fact we ride emus,” McMillan said in the video.
McMillan uploaded the video to Facebook where it received more than 13,000 likes, the Courier Mail reported. McMillan also uploaded it to YouTube but he has since taken it down (likely after news organizations like Metro UK and the Telegraph ran stories about it). As with most videos banned from YouTube, it’s since been reuploaded to LiveLeak.
Biosecurity Queensland is “assessing what action to take next under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001,” Metro UK reported.
If convicted of animal cruelty, McMillan could face a $220,000 (£121,218) fine or two years in jail, the Telegraph added.
McMillan defended himself on a Facebook page called 50 Shades of Straya.
“So it turns out someone thought my video of the emu was that good they thought (sic) they should let the coppas no (sic),” he wrote. “Just to clear up if it wasn’t for me that emu would of being (sic) dead right now as it was tangled up in a barb wire fence and I cut it out and made a video.”
A truck driver from Utah is accused of holding a 19-year-old relative against her will while the two traveled across country.
A Minnesota state trooper discovered a Florida warrant for the Vafeades arrest when he stopped at a weigh station in Clay County. Vafeades also had problems with his log book. Upon further investigation, police discovered that the woman traveling with Vafeades had a black eye and other injuries, according to Clay County prosecutor Brian Melton.
Melton said the woman was held captive for seven months while she traveled with Vafeades and during that time, he sexually abused her.
“(Vafeades) kept her driver’s license and kept her social security card in his own wallet,” Melton said. “She wasn’t allowed to use public bathrooms. She had to go to the bathroom inside the truck. She wasn’t allowed to be on her own when they went to truck stops. He kept her, basically, for a lack of any other better word, a slave.”
According to Melton, the victim had tried to renew a relationship with Vafeades when she reached out to him to meet him.
“They met up but then he sexually abused her that first night in Salt Lake City, Utah, and continued on from there,” Melton said.
Vafeades allegedly made the woman cut her hair and get false teeth “because he didn’t like the way she looked,” Melton said.
“It is definitely serious predatory behavior on the part of Mr. Vafeades,” Melton said.
The woman, who was in the truck, asked to be taken to a Moorhead homeless shelter.
The man was charged in Clay County court with kidnapping, false imprisonment and domestic abuse. Unconditional bail for the man was set at $1 million. He remained in jail Monday.
The problem is, he hadn’t died.
After numerous phone calls, James Maze said he had to look for himself. Sure enough, Maze learned he had died – according to the obituary in the local paper.
Maze said all of his past history was correct, but his age and the names of relatives in the piece were incorrect. It turns out the paper mixed up this James Maze with another man of the same name who had passed away.
The former County Commissioner announced at the end of his term last year that he would be running for sheriff. He wants the public to know he is alive and well.
“It’s going to take me awhile to get everybody to understand I’m not dead. It would be kind of hard to get people to give to a dead man,” the very-much-alive Maze said.
Maze said he was assured by the paper they would be running a correction in their next edition.
Industrial designer Siew Ming Cheng has evidently had enough of being pushed and shoved on the Singapore subway. Those space-invading commuters have brushed up against, knocked and pushed her one too many times, and now the young creative is declaring war on space snatchers with special body armour: the Spike Away vest.
Cheng dreamed up the frightening fashion accessory during a workshop run by world-famous German furniture designer Werner Aisslinger at the National University of Singapore. The class challenged designers to come up with novel solutions to common problems, using only everyday objects to do so.
Designs did not necessarily have to be a practical so long as they solved the initial problem–in this case overcrowding and fellow passengers invading one’s personal space on the train, an issue that we’re sure many people living in cities like Tokyo are only too familiar with.
The young designer decided that a protective layer of spikes would be more than enough to keep pushy passengers at bay, and whipped the up the Spike Away vest using only ordinary gardening supplies, commenting that the plastic strips she chose were a fitting choice as they are routinely employed to keep unwanted visitors away from delicate plants in the garden.
▼ Using a few cable ties, the vest requires surprisingly little construction
▼ Ready to rumble
Yup, that’d work!
You can check out more of Cheng’s inspiring work over at Behance. Just don’t get too close to her or you’re likely to lose an eye.
Most people would find it unthinkable. But for Mariah Serrano, choosing to have her leg amputated seemed like the best option she had.
Battling all her life with a painful and deformed foot, she now says having her leg cut off was the best decision she ever made.
Because above all for Mariah – and it might seem an unusual priority – it means she can now wear the glamorous high heels she’d dreamed of wearing all her life.
In fact, she owns 10 beautiful pairs that fit her prosthesis.
“When I was told I’d never be able to wear high heels and I should give up my dream career in fashion I was devastated,” says Mariah, 20.
“But when the specialist saw the look on my face, she said there was another option – to have my leg amputated. Mum was horrified and I just laughed.
“Afterwards I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. If it was the only way I’d ever wear heels like my friends, then – as extreme as it sounded – I had to give it some serious thought.”
Mariah, who grew up in Long Island, US, with mum Patricia, 40, accountant dad Emilio, 42, sisters Isabella, 10, and Fiona, 12, and brother Mason, 18, was born with a club foot – a deformity meaning one foot was twisted and underdeveloped.
Ordinarily, an operation or brace would realign the foot at a young age, but in extremely rare cases like Mariah’s, problems persist into later life.
Her foot was so badly twisted she walked on the side of her foot with a limp, and was bullied at school. “At school, kids mimicked my walk and called me ‘peg leg’,” she says. “I played hockey and joined the cheerleading team but eventually the pain became so bad, and I was so embarrassed to wear my leg brace, I gave up school and was tutored at home.”
By the age of 16, she’d had five operations, but her tiny, deformed foot remained.
“I was sick of wearing ugly leg braces to try and fix my foot, and I hated not being able to wear the trendy high heels that I loved,” says Mariah.
“Because one foot was much smaller than the other, shoes were a real issue. When I was 17, I remember being mortified, having to wear trainers at the high school prom.
“Clothes and fashion have always been my passion, so the prom was extremely appealing to me. I made sure I was invited even before I was old enough to go to my own prom, and went to as many as I could.
“My friends looked so pretty in their strappy heels, and even though Mum had helped me choose a fashionable pair of trainers in Macy’s, New York, they hardly went with my glamorous gown and I couldn’t help but feel jealous.”
In April 2009, Mariah saw the latest in a long line of specialists who told her there was one other option she hadn’t thought of: amputation.
Mariah says: “My options were to persist with yet more operations and painful braces – or I could have my leg cut off and replaced with a prosthetic. It seemed drastic to say the least.
“As soon as I got home, I trawled the internet for more information on amputation, and the images were gruesome.”
But the seed had been sown. Undeterred, Mariah went to visit specialist prosthetic limb company A Step Ahead.
She says: “The lady who showed me around, Amy Winters, had one prosthetic leg after hers was amputated following a horrific motorbike accident. But she was wearing stunning six inch heels.
“She looked amazing and seemed so happy and confident. For the first time I began to think I could actually go through with it. But I was still terrified and worried that having just one leg would affect my relationships in the future.
“It wasn’t until I read an article about my favourite designer Alexander McQueen who’d handcrafted a pair of prosthetic legs for former athlete Aimee Mullins who’d had both legs amputated, that I knew what I had to do.
“As I read about Aimee, I realised that with a beautifully crafted prosthetic I could not only look more normal but look even better than normal. Suddenly, all my doubts about whether a girl with a fake leg would ever be accepted into the glamorous world of fashion vanished, and I made my mind up. At that moment I chose to chop off my leg.”
But even after making her choice Mariah was plagued by doubt.
She says: “Weeks later a male friend who I’d been hoping would ask me out, told me he thought I was making a big mistake. He didn’t see me again after that.
Siberian mountaintop lavatory is ‘the most extreme toilet in the world’.
Imagine the pizzazz you need for a night time dash to this precarious privy perched on the edge of a sheer cliff some 2,600 metres above sea level in the Altai Mountains. Perhaps not.
This loo with a view serves the remote weather station at Kara-Tyurek – literally Black Heart in the local South Altayan language – which began working in 1939. Five staff man the station at this outpost, and this is their only toilet.
They are visited once a month by a postman to collect the weather data, and a helicopter delivers supplies of food and water each autumn. Wood too, to burn on the stove, because there are no trees in this bleak landscape.
A recent survey of privies with panache by Interfax news agency in Belarus explained: ‘The toilet is perhaps the most unromantic place possible, but there are some parts of the world where people have made them something really special.’ This Siberian commode was listed as the ‘most extreme’ in the world where the fear evaporates only after years using it.
In contrast, the most expensive toilet was rated as being at the Swiss Horn Gold Palace in Hong Kong.
‘It took several years and three tons of gold to assemble it. Everything in the toilet is made of gold, including the walls and ceiling, so visitors are obliged to put on protective footwear to enter the loo.
‘The scariest loo was found in Guadalajara, Mexico. It sits right on top of an open lift shaft on the 15th floor of a building. There is a layer of glass which constructors promise protect visitors from falling.’
The report stated: ‘If visitors to the Mexican loo get assurances that the glass is unbreakable, here the fear goes – and only partially! – after years of using it’. Ok, but the views!