Just for fun, English artist Anna Brownsted left 100,000 pennies in an abandoned public fountain in Cambridge, England over the weekend, just to see what people would do. The coins were placed in the fountain at 8 am on Saturday, and were supposed to be left there for 48 hours. However, by 9 am on Sunday, over 99% of the coins had been removed from the fountain, despite clear signs informing passers-by that the fountain was under constant video surveillance. The money was put in the fountain for people to interact with as they see fit, but Brownsted admitted that she was amazed by how fast all the coins disappeared. She wanted to see if people would use the money to make a wish or use it for themselves, and planned to donate all that was left to a local charity. The money used for this artistic social experiment was from an Arts Council England lottery grant, which also funded five other artistic installations in Cambridge over the weekend. Artistic director Daniel Pitt said, "We do not consider the removal of the money to be a theft as the money was there for people to interact with as they saw fit as part of this art project. The experiment had a provocative outcome; it opened conversations about human nature and the bystander effect." Really? Sounds to me like people just stole your money bro. (Oddity Central)
Get Paid for Your Superpowers!
Do you have superpowers? No really. Do you think you can move small objects using only the power of your brain? Can you find water using a simple divining rod, or maybe just transmit thoughts telepathically? If you can prove it, a group of scientists in Germany would love to reward you with 10,000 euros- or about $11,700. The Society for the Scientific Investigation of Para-Sciences (GWUP) is a group of German physicists, biologists and psychologists who believe that people who claim to have super-powers like telekinesis, telepathy or divining abilities should not be dismissed as mere charlatans, but actually studied and allowed to prove their abilities in controlled laboratory conditions. Every year, they invite candidates to show off their super-powers and potentially win the money. Over 60 people have been tested in recent years, but none of them have been able to claim the coveted prize. Researcher Rainer Wolf says, "We're not here to make people look ridiculous. We just want to show that many such claims are nonsense." But just because the claims are nonsense doesn't meant that the people making them are trying to be deceitful. Wolf and his psychologist colleagues in GWUP are convinced that most of the candidates actually believe they have these special abilities that science can't yet explain. They are trapped in a belief system that they themselves have built over a long period of time and that means a lot to them. They subconsciously forget all the failures and only seem to remember the times that their talents produced amazing results. But when it comes to actual testing, they always fail. (Oddity Central)
You Can't Live Here! You Have an Appendix!
So, you want to move to Villa Las Estrellas, a small Chilean settlement in Antarctica? No problem, just leave your appendix at the door and move right in. Seriously, having your appendix removed is actually a requirement of living in Villa Las Estrellas. And they've got a very good reason. In short, this place is probably the closest you can get to experiencing life on another planet. It's located so far away from human civilization and weather conditions are so extreme that would-be residents must pass a very thorough psychological exam in order to prove that they can live here for extended periods of time. In winter time, the whole place is buried under several feet of snow and the daylight hours are replaced with a few minutes of twilight. The average temperature is 27 degrees, but can drop to -50 in winter months, making it nearly impossible to even set foot outside the container-like houses. The 80 inhabitants are mainly members of the Chilean air force and their families, with everyone over the age of six missing their appendix. The requirement is a precaution. Because this icy town is located on the remote King George Island, 75 miles off the coast of Antarctica, with the nearest surgical hospital over 600 miles away, removing residents' appendix lowers the risk of an emergency evacuation. Villa Las Estrellas actually has its own hospital, but it's manned by a general practitioner who can't handle emergency surgeries. Despite the obvious hardships of living on a remote island just off the coast of Antarctica and having to give their appendix to do so, most of the residents of Villa Las Estrellas manage to find a silver lining. Journalist Macarena Villarreal, mother of two, said, "Family life in Antarctica is very calm and pleasant because we spend much more time together than before." (Oddity Central)
Gross Attempt to Avoid Arrest Doesn't Work
In Kentucky, 26-year-old Amanda Peters gave an officer a fake name after she was tracked down on an outstanding warrant out of a neighboring county. The officer then traced Peters to a local house and entered the home with an arrest citation. Peters reportedly tried to avoid the cop by locking herself in a bathroom, but the officer was able to make her way into the room. So, in a desperate and disgusting last ditch effort to avoid arrest, Ms. Peters reportedly, "intentionally released her bowels in an upward motion with purposeful direction at this deputy - causing said bodily waste to land on the face, arms, and legs of this deputy." Yep - she threw her own poop at him. She was charged with third-degree assault of an officer, resisting arrest, giving an officer false identifying information, identity theft of another without consent and theft by unlawful taking/disposition of $10,000 or more. (WLEX)
Got Kidney Stones? Get to Six Flags Fast!
It may be hard to believe but we now have scientific proof that riding a roller coaster can help remove kidney stones! The bizarre finding comes from a group of US researchers who found that patients who were shaken during a roller coaster ride actually dislodged their stones. The work has just been awarded an Ig Nobel prize - the anti-Nobels - which are spoof prizes that make people laugh but then actually think. Many of the topics nominated actually have a serious point to them and all are scientifically true and have been published in respected journals. The inspiration behind the roller coaster research began several years ago when one of Prof David Wartinger's patients at Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine returned from a holiday trip to Walt Disney World in Florida and his kidney stone was suddenly gone. (Metro)
Ballet Dancing Pigs!
The New York City Ballet fired two dancers amid accusations that they were part of a ring of male dancers who inappropriately shared nude photos and videos of women. The ballet company said principal dancers Amar Ramasar and Zachary Catarazo, as well as a third dancer, Chase Finlay, who resigned last month, "engaged in inappropriate communications, that while personal, off-hours and off-site, had violated the norms of conduct that NYCB expects from its employees." The firings came after a woman who had dated Finley, Alexandra Waterbury, said in a lawsuit that he sent explicit videos and photos of her taken without her knowledge to other men including dancers with the company. The lawsuit said a male donor wrote to Finlay suggesting that the men should tie ballerinas up "and abuse them like farm animals," to which Finlay replied, "or like the sluts they are." Ramasar and Catarazo, who were identified in the lawsuit as having shared nude photos with Finlay, were initially suspended without pay before the company moved to terminate them Saturday. A union representing Ramasar and Catarazo said it would challenge the firings. "Based on all the information received from the company, the allegations relate entirely to non-work-related activity and do not rise to the level of 'just cause' termination," the American Guild of Musical Artists said in a statement. (Newser)
What the What?
It's either a new low or a new comical high depending on your perspective. A man caught on video lathering up and giving himself a shave while riding on a New Jersey train was violating the agency's rules according to the New Jersey Transit. A fellow rider took the video then tweeted it. Some commenters said they were impressed by the unidentified man's shaving skills, while others felt "grossed out." NJ Transit says it prohibits bathing or shaving aboard trains and buses. Pete Bentivenga posted the video and said, "I've been commuting for almost 20 years on this line and it's right up there with the strangest things I've seen for sure." (Newark Star-Ledger)