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Chinese Subvert Censorship With a Popular Pun 272

Anonymusing writes "In spoken Chinese, 'grass-mud horse' sounds virtually identical to an obscenity (hint: it begins with "mother-") — and as a cartoon character, it has become an amazing phenomenon. Meant as a subversive attack on censors, the alpaca-like mythical creature has led to a cuddly stuffed animal — selling over 180,000 in a few weeks — and a wildly popular YouTube video with children's voices singing words that are either completely benign or incredibly offensive, depending on how you listen." Update: 03/13 09:29 GMT by T : Since this story was set up, the originally linked video seems to have been pulled. Searching YouTube reveals that there are some alternatives available, at least for now.

Bank Error Gives Woman $1.13 billion Screenshot-sm 23

Cornelia Johansson got a pleasant surprise when she went online to pay some bills. She found an extra $1.13 billion in her bank account. "The balance was more than 10 billion kronor. It said the amount had been deposited as a correction for a credit card purchase," Ms Johansson's boyfriend Daniel Hoeglund said. A press spokeswoman for the bank, explained the mystery money as "a technical mistake made by a company."

New Medical Disorder Linked To Gaming Screenshot-sm 224

oldspewey writes "A new skin disorder caused by use of games consoles has been identified by skin specialists. The condition, dubbed "PlayStation palmar hidradenitis", is described in the British Journal of Dermatology. Researchers outline the case of a 12-year-old girl who attended a Swiss hospital with intensely painful sores on the palms of her hands. The girl, who had been using a games console regularly, recovered fully after 10 days of abstinence. The doctors suspect that the problem was caused by tight and continuous grasping of the console's hand-grips, and repeated pushing of the buttons, alongside sweating caused by the tension of the game. Nina Goad, of the British Association of Dermatologists said: 'This is an interesting discovery and one that the researchers are keen to share ... If you're worried about soreness on your hands when playing a games console, it might be sensible to give your hands a break from time to time, and don't play excessively if your hands are prone to sweating.'" We called it Tekken thumb.

Buddhist Temple Built Out of One Million Beer Bottles Screenshot-sm 5

Buddhist monks have recycled over one million used bottles to build a temple in Khun Han, Thailand near the Cambodian border. The monks started collecting bottles in 1984 and gathered so many that they decided to use them as a building material. Wat Lan Kuad or 'the Temple of a Million Bottles', is a complex of around 20 buildings, comprising the main temple over a lake, crematorium, prayer rooms, a hall, water tower, tourist bathrooms and several small bungalows raised off the ground which serve as monks quarters, all using bottles. The monks plan on expanding once they have more bottles. Abbot San Kataboonyo says, "The more bottles we get, the more buildings we make."

NASA Offers $5000 a Month For You to Lie in Bed 239

tracer818 writes "In order to study a person as if they were in space without gravity, NASA scientists are paying subjects $17,000 to stay in bed for 90 straight days. The study will follow the Bed Rest Project standard model and be conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Participants will live in a special research unit for the entire study and be fed a carefully controlled diet."

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