For more than 40 years, Mumtaz Begum has been reading the fortunes of visitors from within the cage of a Pakistani zoo. With a body of a fox and a head of a woman, Begum is one of the oddest attractions at the zoo. However, the fortune teller is actually played by performer Murad Ali, who inherited the role from his father. Every day, Ali cakes his face with a thick layer of makeup and bright red lipstick, and then crawls into a box underneath the supernatural puppet-human hybrid attraction’s cage. He juts his head through a hole next to the fur of a lounging fox and a shawl is placed around his head. The fictional African creature that subsists on a diet of juice and cakes, known as a kitsune, is said to be able to see the future, which includes everything from exam results to visa approvals.
The manager of a senior center in Germany was unpacking a box of donated food when she discovered a hidden box that was unusually heavy. Inside was actual treasure — 109 gold coins featuring a springbok, South Africa’s national animal. A quick search online revealed the coins to be Krugerrand bullions from South Africa worth approximately $1,300 for a single coin. Ultimately, the coins were returned to the 78-year-old widow who accidentally donated her late husband’s treasure along with her food donation.
Eat your heart out, Chanel No. 5
Perfume researcher Christopher Brosius has done the impossible — captured the fragrance of a Sunday roast beef and gravy dinner, along with carrots and potatoes, in a small bottle of perfume. Here’s the catch – it didn’t smell good on human skin. Brosius owns CB I Hate Perfume, which specializes in weird perfumes that smell like wet earth or a summer day at the beach. For years, the roast beef perfume was a stumper. Then he layered the scent with parsley and black pepper as well as patchouli and tobacco to create his perfect roast beef perfume.
Lost and captured
On Nov. 2, a small digital camera washed up on the shores of the island of Süderoog off the coast of Germany. The Yorkshire Post in Leeds, England, reported that a couple of farmers living on the island found the waterproof camera with it’s memory card still intact. The camera recorded its own disappearance, showing footage of a young boy and his family. The last two uploaded videos showed a boy standing on algae-covered rocks emptying a bucket of water onto the lens, before sticking the camera into a tidepool. He then shot footage of himself exploring the beach, but left the camera on a rock. A few minutes later, a wave came in and the camera spun through a vortex of seawood to disappear into the Atlantic Ocean. The video caught the attention of a German Maritime Search and Rescue officer who identified the coast as the Flamborough Cliffs in east Yorkshire, England, 350-miles away from the tiny Germanic island. The officer continues his work on reuniting the camera with its owner.
Keep your pants on …?
Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN that one of his duties on the campaign trail in 2016 was to steam Trump’s pants … while he was wearing them. Lewandowski wrote a memoir called “Let Trump Be Trump” about the campaign where he mentions the steamy details. Lewandowski said that because the then Presidential-hopeful was attending over 25 events a day, there was not a lot of time on the private plane to get things in order. “If that’s part of my job as a campaign manager, I do it all,” he added.
Algae there for you
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have discovered that they can use a gene splicing technique, called CRISPR, to increase the productivity of algae. Algae-based products like plastics and cosmetics are already exciting and environmentally friendly, and this new technique could be used in the algae industry to increase yields to enable new algae-made products like medicines. The discovery could “unleash the potential of the global algae industry, which is projected to be worth $1.1 billion by 2024.”
Amidst the horror stories of the wildfires that are raging in Southern California this week was one story that brought a little hope. An unknown man stopped his car while driving down Highway 1 to save a wild rabbit that was trapped by the flames of the Thomas Fire. A bystander recorded this heroic act, and the video shows the man frantically trying to catch the rabbit, putting himself in harm’s way to ensure the animal’s safety. It’s good to know that there’s still people like him in the world!
Purple rain, purple everything
The self-proclaimed color authorities Pantone (the people behind the color indexes at paint stores) have proclaimed that ultra violet is the color of 2018. Before you judge this as a totally baseless proclamation, listen to all of the work that went into this decision. Last year, Pantone sent at least 10 different people all over the world to spend weeks at a time looking for color trends in every aspect of society, from fashion, to cosmetics, to cars. Ultra violet is that vibrant, highlighter purple that surprisingly looks amazing on everyone. It “communicates originality, ingenuity and visionary thinking,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute said.
Let’s face it, dogs eat some strange things. But a 4-year-old Shar-Pei from Oklahoma, named Dovey, found a brand new strangeness to put in its doggy belly: baby pacifiers.
“(The family was) pretty stunned,” veterinarian Dr. Chris Rispoli told Fox 25 News. “Because we thought there were seven to nine in there, and I pulled out 21.”
A light-hearted engagement
Sometimes, love is all about finding just the right lighting. Of course, when most of us say that, we’re thinking about setting the scene just right for a romantic night with another human being or beings, but for Amanda Liberty, a literal light fixture is fine too — as long as she’s special. Liberty, a 33-year-old British woman, announced her engagement recently to a 90-year-old chandelier she has named “Lumiere” after the Beauty and the Beast character, the New York Post reports. Like many dual-country couples, she faced some waiting time apart from her love after purchasing the fixture, based in Germany, online.
“After buying the chandelier, I patiently waited for her to be imported into the UK and after six days of waiting, she was finally in my arms,” Liberty told the Post.
We’re not judging; honestly, we’re a little jealous that Liberty has found a partner who appreciates her for who she is, and glad she’s connected with — dare we say it — the light of her life.
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