In recent days, a photo of a 100-year-old tamarind tree with branches that look amazingly like the open legs of a naked woman became an Internet sensation.

The tree, which is purportedly located at a police station in Thailand's northern province of Phayao, was said to not only resemble a woman's sex organ, but also has the numbers "008" printed mysteriously on the trunk.

A vagina-shaped tree in Thailand reportedly helped people win a local lottery. But could this be a hoax? The first English-language paper to publish this uncredited photo is the Phuket Gazette.


Grandfather Rock on Lamai Beach in Thailand is another sexually suggestive tourist attraction.

In most cases, a tree that resembles a female's private parts would be amazing enough, but the story goes that locals who saw the mysterious numbers chose to play them in the lottery -- and won.

The story originally appeared the Thai-language newspaper Thai Rath, but was picked up by Tabloid Prodigy from an English-language rewrite in the Phuket Gazette.

Thongphian Thammakhan, 50, the owner of a shop on the police station grounds, supposedly told the Rath that the tree is about 100 years old. She said the tree has always had the gash in the trunk but has only recently developed the shiny mound. Villagers are apparently unsure as to why the lump shines.

However, there are aspects to the Vagina Tree story that smell funny to skeptics like Richard Rubacher, an expatriate writer living in Bangkok.

"None of the locals I've spoken with have even heard of the tree," said Rubacher, who has been living and writing about Thailand since 2001. "One tourism official just laughed and said, 'It's a hoax.' "

Rubacher believes that a tree shaped like a vagina is hard to miss and says that its existence wouldn't go unnoticed in Thailand.

"On the island of Koh Samui, about 400 miles from Bangkok, there are two rock formations that resemble male and female genitalia and they are very popular -- families flock to it," Rubacher said. "So you'd think a tree like this would have been reported before."

Adding to his skepticism is the fact that the story hasn't been reported in either of Thailand's top English-speaking newspapers, The Bangkok Post and The Nation, although he said the Phuket Gazette is considered reputable.

Rubacher interviewed Songsak Wannawijit, a police official who works at the station where the alleged vagina tree is located and he adamantly denied the existence of the sex-organ-shaped tree.

"I never heard of such a tree," Songsak said, before excusing himself for a moment to look outside. "I just looked at the court yard again. The vagina tree is not there."

Rubacher said the police official insisted that news reports about the tree's existence are definitely a "gohok," the Thai word for hoax.

He added, "If anyone had won the lottery, I would have known, as this would have been big news around here."

Until the veracity of the vagina tree can be proved, fans of sex-organ-shaped trees have to focus their attention on a vagina tree in McCarren Park in Brooklyn, and that has Brooklyn boosters like The Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman rubbing their, uh, hands with glee.

"I think I speak for all Brooklynites who love vaginas -- and I'm speaking for a lot of people, so I understand the gravitas -- when I say that the only place to truly enjoy a vulva of any kind is in McCarren Park."

aolnews.com

After exploring the world of gorgeous supermodels naked in the Amazon (not the website) with our tour guide Terry Richardson, we came to the conclusion that he has a job that most men would die, or kill, for. Everyone has a vice; it could be women, cars, spirits, ice cream or music, it just depends on the individual. We set out to find the guys who are doing the things we enjoy doing on a regular basis – but they’re getting paid for it. The only thing you need to figure out by yourself is where to sign up.

Terry Richardson – Photographer

You can read all about Terry’s accomplishments and accolades while checking out the Pirelloi 2010 Calendar, but you would gladly sacrifice yourself to be him. As a final parting thought about his job, when was the last time you got to suck on the digits of the Gossip Girls? Just sayin’.

Jonathan Cutler – Brewmaster

Jonathan Cutler (middle) is the Brewmaster for Piece Brewery and Pizzeria in Chicago. Saying that Jonathan is good at his job is like saying Usain Bolt is good at running. Cutler (for his work at Piece) has earned eighteen medals (compared to Bolt’s 16) and also received the World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewery and Brewmaster Award. Jonathan is the grown-up equivalent of the Candy Man – he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. Not only that, he drinks for free… all the time.

Quentin Tarantino – Director, Actor, Writer, Producer, et al.

Tarantino may be responsible for award winning films like Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill(s), and Inglourious Basterds, but he used to be a lowly clerk in a video store. He managed to turn his passion for film into one of the most successful Hollywood “bootstraps” story – without ever setting foot in a film school. If any of us were to blatantly display our foot fetish in the modern media like he does we would be excommunicated and disowned. With Tarantino it just becomes another part of his genius. Love him or hate him, he gets to do what he loves for a living… and get paid exorbitant sums of money for it.

Derek Spors – Ice Cream Scientologist

You know who Ben & Jerry are, but they didn’t make their boutique ice cream shop the global powerhouse it is all by their lonesome – they had help. Derek Spors was an “ice cream scientologist” whose sole job was the creation of new flavors for Ben & Jerry’s. He was often tasked with going to restaurants and ordering every dessert on the menu, taking trips to trendy new restaurants, and tasting ice cream all day. Sounds like a very horrid existence. Somehow he managed to get his creations into approximately 67% of the homes in America (Ok. The statistic is made-up, but everyone loves Ben & Jerry’s so it HAS to be a big number.) and maintain relative anonymity. Granted, he’s not going to be mauled on the street for autographs, or chased by the pap – but he manages to stay socially connected with LinkedIn and a website without having a picture of himself on the Internet. That, in and of itself, may be more impressive than eating ice cream all day. On second thought, eating ice cream all day sounds pretty damn delicious.

Bill Graham – Concert Promoter

There are only a few jobs that afford you rock star luxuries (fame, fortune, drugs) without the obvious risks (disease, selling out, one-hit-wondering) and being a concert promoter is one of them. Bill Graham just happens to be one of the most famous. He ran both Fillmores and Winterland and rubbed elbows with the likes of the Stones and the Dead. Instead of buying tickets to see a concert at an overcrowded, expensive, dilapidated venue, just call the band up and have them rock YOUR venue – V.I.P. style. Sounds like a pretty sweet gig.

Jeremy Clarkson – Motoring Journalist / Car God

When you’re Jeremy Clarkson every day is casual Friday. You can wear jeans to the office every day because the office is a decommissioned airfield and hangar. Regular journalists may get special access to events or even cool new products to test. Enjoy your new wallet because Bugatti just delivered a Veyron to Clarkson so he could race it against a jet – or a Cessna – or a McLaren F1 – or drive to 253mph. Some say he refuses to drive cars that won’t spontaneously catch on fire, and he hates the smell of hair care products because it overpowers the gasoline smell. All we know is he’s called Jezzer.

Eran Egozy & Alex Rigopulos – Video Game Developers

Eran was a geek interested in music; Alex was a musician interested in geek. They met at MIT in the Media Lab and then founded Harmonix. That is how your Friday night was born and countless millions discovered the music their parents were listening to decades before. Do they have to tell people what to do and rock out with plastic instruments on the conference room table? Yeah, they do, but they also get to play video games all day. Is there anyone that doesn’t want to play video games all day? Now that’s “star power.”

Frank Miller – Artist

Madness? MADNESS?!?!?! This. Is. A. Dream. Joooobbbbbbbbbbb. You’ve seen 300, The Dark Knight, Sin City, and probably seen something inspired by Miller’s film-noir style comics, writing, and graphic novels. He gets to set his own hours, turn down calls from Stan Lee and New Line Cinema, and leverage his words by the thousands when he turns them into pictures and movies. When asked about his inspiration, Miller had this to say – “I like to draw hot chicks, fast cars and cool guys in trench coats. So that’s what I write about.” The autobiographical graphic novel turned screenplay turned film is sure to be epic.

R. Lee Ermey – Sergeant / Gun Nut

Think Jeremy Clarkson except with guns. He transitioned from his role as a Marine Drill Instructor into starring roles in films like Full Metal Jacket and Toy Story. Now he has Lock N’ Load on the History Channel, which is basically an exploration of weapons – both primitive and modern. One week he might be shooting traditional Chinese dynasty rockets; the following he could be testing the M134D 3,000 rounds per minute Mini-Gun. Big guns, big voice, big balls – he’s not a celebrity, he’s a role model. When you fire guns and yell all day you can get away with murder…even if it involved unscrewing someone’s head and shitting down their neck. OOHRAH!

coolmaterial.com

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The ever-present hum of the vuvuzela during this year's soccer World Cup catapulted the plastic trumpet to prominence and now it has earned a place in the Oxford Dictionary of English.

Vuvuzela is among 2,000 new words and phrases added to the third edition of the dictionary, published on Thursday, which is compiled from analysis of two billion words used in everything from novels to internet message boards.

The credit crunch features heavily in this year's additions, with terms such as "overleveraged," having taken on too much debt and "quantitative easing," the introduction of new money in to the money supply by the central bank, among those included.

"Staycation," a holiday spent in one's home country, and "bargainous," costing less than usual, also reflect the hot topic of belt-tightening among consumers during the economic downturn.

The rise of "social media," itself a new term, has spawned several additions, including "defriend," removing someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site, and "tweetup," a meeting organized via posts on Twitter. Other words include:

Bromance: a close but non-sexual relationship between two men

Buzzkill: a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect

Cheeseball: lacking taste, style or originality

Chillax: calm down and relax

Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry


reuters.com

Living through a recession can do it, and so can living on the Greek island of Icaria. And if you put on weight, it'll help. Scientists are always finding new ways to help you extend your lifespan. Just last week, new research showed that men tend to live longer when they are married. Here's a list of unusual ways to guarantee a long life:

1. Make friends
Researchers at Brigham Young University and the University of North Carolina found that people with poor social networks (aka few friends) are 50 percent more likely to die sooner than those with "robust social ties." Having a large social circle, says the study, can make as much difference to your life expectancy as a life without smoking cigarettes.

2. Win a Nobel prize
Researchers found that Nobel prize winners lived 1.4 years longer than nominees who didn't win. "Walking across that platform in Stockholm apparently adds about two years to a scientist's life-span," economist Andrew Oswald tells New Scientist. If you're unlikely to attract recognition from the Nobel community, then don't worry — the study suggests that social status can influence longevity, so just make sure people think highly of you.

3. Take the pill
Women who take the pill for an average of four years reduce their risk of dying from illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, according to a group of British researchers. But the study looked at women who started taking the pill in the 1960s, meaning the results may not be applicable for women taking today's drugs.

4. Move to a Greek island
Specifically, the Greek island of Icaria, where almost one in three people lives into their 90s. Researchers studying the islanders concluded that the Icarians' active lifestyle and healthy Mediterranean diets (lots of fruits, vegetables, and olive oil) helped the island maintain the highest percentage of nonagenarians on the planet. More good news? There are plenty of properties available on the island.

5. Live through a recession
It may give scant relief to those struggling to find work during the current downturn, but a University of Washington study suggests that recessions in the 20th century led to declines in mortality. Unemployed people were more likely to give up expensive vices like smoking and drinking, says the study, and less likely to die from work-related injuries or car accidents.

6. Put on a bit of weight...
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente in Portland followed over 11,000 adults over 12 years and found that those who were slightly overweight were 17 percent less likely to die during the 12-year study. "It may be that a few extra pounds actually protect older people as their health declines," David Feeny, a coauthor of the study tells CNN.

7. ...in one place in particular
Women with large rear ends are less likely to suffer heart and metabolic diseases than non-curvy ladies, says a study by Oxford University. That's apparently because fat stored in this area absorbs harmful fatty acids. "Women who have large thighs shouldn't be anxious about it," the report's author tells the New York Post.

8. Learn a foreign language
Learning a foreign tongue can help stave off Alzheimer's and other common age-related diseases, according to author Dr Andrew Weil. "You don't have to master it," he tells ABC News. But just the act of learning something new is like "running different software through the brain."

9. Work near ornamental plants
Waxy-leaved plants like English ivy and ferns soak up harmful indoor air pollutants, reducing stress levels and increasing overall health, says a study by the University of Georgia. The healthiest ornamental plant to have in your cubicle is the purple heart plant, says the study, which can be bought online for as little as $4.

theweek.com

Gay marriage is a hot issue right now, but it's not as titillating as another battle for equality: the right for women to go topless in public.

That right is a fundamental one, according to the folks behind Go Topless, an organization dedicated to the belief that in order for America to be a truly equal society, women should be able to bare their breasts without fear of being arrested.

Protesters prepare to march during National Go Topless Day" to honor Women's Equality Day at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2009.

Go Topless has been around since 2007, and its big push is Go Topless Day, an annual event held on the Sunday closest to Aug. 26, which is Women's Equality Day, the anniversary of the day women were given the right to vote.

Women in nine U.S. cities -- Seattle, New York, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Denver, Honolulu, San Francisco and Austin, Texas -- will gather in public spots on Aug. 22 to put the hot-button issue front and center by wearing little more than strategically placed stickers.

In addition, male supporters of the cause will show their support by wearing bras and bikinis.

A male protester wears a bikini top as he prepares to march during National Go Topless Day to honor Women's Equality Day at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Aug. 23, 2009.


Read the entire article here.

For some women, weight control is more important than sex, according to a new poll of 1,001 people.

About half of women say they would rather go without sex for the summer than gain 10 pounds. A fourth of men feel the same way.

OBESITY: Can weight down your sex life


More people say they would rather shed 10 to 20 pounds during the summer than get promoted at work.

Of course, weight loss would make them feel sexier. About 66% of people say they need to lose weight to feel sexier than they currently do. It would take a loss of an average 23 pounds to feel hotter.

"What this shows is that people are highly motivated to not gain weight," says Bruce Daggy, vice president of research and development for Nutrisystem. "They recognize what it will do to their feeling of well-being and fitness."

Another poll conducted a few years ago for Fitness magazine found more than half of Americans say they'd rather lose their jobs than get fat.

Other findings from the Nutrisystem poll, conducted by Kelton Research for the diet company:

•Three-quarters of both men and women would have been willing to give up something — such as watching TV, shopping, using a cellphone or computer for the summer — for a flat tummy.

•Almost half say they don't diet because they don't want to give up their favorite foods.

•About a third don't want the inconvenience of dieting, and a quarter don't want to deal with the stress.

•Half of dieters have tried to lose weight within the past two years.

•A third have tried over the past year.

•About half say that you have to start planning in the winter (January through March) to get your body in shape for summer.

•Participants in the survey attemped to diet an average of 13 times in their lifetime — women, 16 times; men, 8.

SUMMER SACRIFICES

What people said they'd give up for the summer in exchange for a flat stomach:
- Watching tv: 54%
- Shopping: 54%
- Using a cellphone: 42%
- Using a computer: 36%
- Having sex: 21%
- Showering: 6%

Source: Poll of 1.001 sponsored by Nutrisystem
By Frank Pompa, USA TODAY

usatoday.com


1) Einstein got bad grades in school.

Generations of children have been heartened by the thought that this Nobel Prize winner did badly at school, but they’re sadly mistaken. In fact, he did very well at school, especially in science and maths (unsurprisingly).

2) Mice like cheese

Mice enjoy food rich in sugar as well as peanut butter and breakfast cereals. So a Snickers bar would go down much better than a lump of cheddar.

3) Napoleon was short.

He was actually around 5ft 7, completely average for the 18th/19th century.

4) Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.

Edison invented a lot of things – in fact he’s one of the most famous inventors of all time – but the light bulb wasn’t one of them. What he did was develop a light bulb at the same time as the British man, Joseph Swan, who came up with it originally.

5) Lemmings throw themselves over cliffs to commit suicide

The poor old things are sometimes so desperate for food that they do, according to the BBC «jump over high ground into water», but they aren’t committing group suicide.

6) Water flushes differently in different hemispheres

No it doesn’t. Sorry!

7) Humans evolved from apes

Darwin didn’t actually say this, but he’s been misreported ever since. What he did say was that we, and apes, and chimpanzees for that matter, had a common ancestor, once, a long, long time ago.

8) Vikings had horns/helmets with horns.

Vikings may have been buried with their helmets and with drinking horns. When they were dug up by the Victorians, they assumed that the helmets had horns.

9) Columbus believed the earth was flat

He may not have known how big the world was, but he wasn’t worrying about falling off the edge of it.

10) Different parts of the tongue detect different tastes

You do have different taste buds on your tongue and some are more sensitive than others. But they aren’t divided into perfect, easy-to-teach sections.

smilepanic.com


Too shy to read the Kama Sutra on the train during rush hour? Just take out your headphones.

The ancient sex guide dating back 1,600 years has been published as an audio book for the first time in its long history in what its British-based publisher described as a "perfect meeting of ancient history and modernity."

"Now there's no need to feel embarrassed by reading a copy of this wonderful and important book in public -- simply download it on to your mp3 player and liven up your commute to work," said Simon Petherick, managing director of Beautiful Books.

"Some may also consider using the audio book as a step-by-step manual for improving bedroom techniques, without the need to stop and start with constant reference to a book." The Kama Sutra, narrated by a British actress, is based on ancient Indian philosophies and was first translated into English in the 19th century. It contains advice on relationships and one of its chapters describes 64 types of sexual acts.

reuters.com

Sauna World Championships

It was a sad day for the Sauna World Championship yesterday when Russian competitor, Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy, collapsed with severe burns, and later died. The contest, held each year in Heinola, Finland measures how long people can stay in a sauna, where temperatures can exceed 230 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius). This year, saw more than 130 competitors from 15 countries. “I know this is very hard to understand to people outside Finland who are not familiar with the sauna habit,” said Ossi Arvela, spokesman for the contest. The competition, which started in 1999, will never be held again, Arvela said.

Hot Dog Eating

Ah, America. Land of indulgence. And hot dogs. What better way to celebrate America than by jamming 50+ processed meat products in your face? Each year on Independence Day, Nathan’s Famous hosts hot dog eating competition on Coney Island. The rules are simple: Stuff your face with as many hot dogs (and buns) as you can in 10 minutes. This year, Joey Chestnut took the $10,000 prize for eating 54.

Bun Scramble

It’s man vs. bun! Each spring, on the tiny fishing island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong participants scurry up a 60-ft.-tall (18 m) tower of steamed, sweet and blessed buns. The contest, aid to ease the spirits of those who died when a plague struck the island in the 19th century, was cancelled for 27 years after the bamboo towers collapsed in the 1978 scramble, injuring more than 100 people. It was restarted in 2005 after stronger metal towers were constructed.

Baby Jumping

Each year to mark the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi, the Spanish village, Castrillo de Murcia, hosts the Baby-Jumping Festival. Just as it sounds, the contest has all the makings of a disaster. Men, dressed as the devil, make a running leap over mattresses packed with babies. The daring act is said to protect the children from illness and guard them from evil spirits, but makes no mention of what happens to the babies if the “devil” trips and lands on the tiny babes.

Wife-Carrying World Championship

Grab your wife, and head down to Finland’s 253-meter sand, grass, gravel, and water track in the remote village of Sonkajarvi! Only don’t put her down when you get there. That is, if you want a shot at the Wife-Carrying World Championship title.

But good luck trying to beat the two-year reigning champs, Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen, who out-carried over 50 other couples from 15 countries this past July. Forget diamonds—nothing says forever like a one-minute and five-second sprint. Especially when it includes something only elusively described as a one-meter deep “water obstacle.”

Redneck Games

Every July, 10,000 Southerners get down and dirty at the Redneck Games, held in East Dublin, Georgia. It was started in 1995 as a spoof of the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, and has been going strong ever since. The events are as stereotypical as you can get. You can bob for pigs' feet, spit seeds, Dumpster dive, belly flop into a mud pit and toss toilet seats, all in the name of good Southern fun. And don't think the Games lack ceremony — there's a beer-can torch, accompaniment by armpit serenade, and trophies topped with, yes, beer cans.

Air Guitar World Championships

Love wearing tight leather pants, but lack rock-star talent? On August 27, strap on your invisible Flying V and rock on over to Oulu, Finland, where the World Air Guitar Championships are held every year. Twenty-six countries will face off in a battle of flashy costumes, outlandish dance moves and semi-convincing guitar-playing pantomime. The prize for last year's winner? Oddly enough, an actual, physical guitar.

Pumpkin Regattas

If you were trapped on a sinking ship, a pumpkin probably wouldn't be your first choice for an escape vessel: they are heavy, unwieldy and they kind of smell bad. But at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, paddling around in an aquatic pumpkin is the perfect way to spend an autumn Saturday. Since 2005, UW horticultural professors have organized an annual Giant Pumpkin Regatta, a ridiculous spectacle in which students race hollowed-out pumkpins around nearby Lake Medota. (An inner tube provides additional bouyancy for the vegetables.) Why do they do it? Because it's fun, and -- perhaps! -- educational. The pumpkins are a special hybrid bred for the occasion; Professor James Nienhuis calls them "sleek sailing pumpkins."

Other pumpkin regattas are held all over North America, most notably in Oregon and Nova Scotia, but UW's is by far the most dangerous: The first pumpkin regatta was marred by a tragic pier collapse that left spectators shivering in waist-high water. (There were no major injuries.)

Ostrich Racing

Were you aware that the area around Chandler, Arizona was once the home to a thriving ostrich ranching industry that provided the nation with extravagant ostrich plumes? The Chandler Chamber of Commerce hopes so; since 1989 it has organized the Ostrich Festival, a three-day-long celebration of the town's intimate history with the large ornery bird.

The festival includes carnival rides and live music, but the highlight is undoubtedly the Ostrich Race, where brave jockeys hop upon the backs of the beasts to see which bird reigns supreme. (If YouTube videos are to be believed, ostrich races are the only kind of race where mounts routinely throw off their riders and finish solo.) The festival's web site also advertises the ready availability of delicious ostrich meat, which seems slightly cruel to NewsFeed. Is that any way to celebrate your fine feathered friend?

LG National Texting Championship

R u ready 4 this yr?

If you answered “ys” to that, then probably not. A cardinal rule of the LG National Texting Championship: no abbreviations, no typos. (How did Fight Club miss that one…?)

The 2010 event, LG’s fourth annual episode, will be held between September 15 and 17 in New York City. Thirty-eight qualifying participants will vie for the title of National Texting Champion. Oh, and a grand prize award of $50,000.

Needless to say, stakes will be high. A CNN article describes that during last year’s competition, calculated distractions like “actors dressed as emoticons” were present in an attempt to thwart contestants’ best efforts. We can only hope that this year, for the sake of the texters, LG leaves out the frowny face.


time.com

Here’s a new option for those worried they’ll end up on the wrong side of the statistics that show so many marriages ending over time: divorce insurance.

SafeGuard Guaranty Corp., an insurance start-up based in North Carolina, recently released what it’s billing as the first world’s first divorce insurance product.


The casualty insurance is designed to provide financial assistance in the form of cash to cover the costs of a divorce, such as legal proceedings or setting up a new apartment or house. It is sold in “units of protection.” Each unit costs $15.99 per month and provides $1,250 in coverage. So, if you bought 10 units, your initial coverage would be $12,500 and you’d be paying $15.99 per month for each of those units. In addition, every year, the company adds $250 in coverage for each unit.

Then, if you get divorced and your policy has matured (see below for the maturation rules), you would send WedLock proof of your divorce. In return, you’d receive a lump sum of cash equivalent to the amount of coverage you had purchased.

So how does the company prevent people who know they are going to get a divorce from signing up? To prevent that kind of adverse selection, the policies don’t mature until 48 months after their effective date (though people can purchase additional riders to reduce that maturity period to 36 months and to get their premiums back if they happen to divorce before the policy matures).

And what about other possible selection problems related to people with volatile relationships or a family history of divorce purchasing policies in large numbers?John A. Logan, chief executive officer of SafeGuard Guaranty, said the company has performed risk assessment and actuarial studies with this in mind. He notes that even in the worst case scenario, not all of those divorces would happen at once.

Read the entire article here.

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After you've enjoyed a good meal at a restaurant with a view, or if you'd just like a memorable evening, check out these bars from around the world where it's a special treat to see and be seen.

1. Vertigo Moon Bar, Bangkok, Thailand


It offers a breathtaking bird's eye view of Bangkok, an increasingly cosmopolitan city of 12 million. Sip expertly mixed drinks from the 61st floor of the Banyan Tree Bangkok, a five-star luxury hotel in the Thai city's central business and embassy district.

2. Rock Bar, Bali, Indonesia


Set on a rock ledge just feet above the waves of the Indian Ocean, the Rock Bar is the hottest sunset and after-dark spot at Ayana Resort and Spa in beautiful Bali. Toast the open-air sea breezes as you nibble tapas served "on the rocks"--on natural stone plates. The bar's minimalist design puts the emphasis on the spectacular view.

3. 230 FIFTH, New York City


Since opening in 2006, Steven Greenberg's 230 FIFTH has been consistently rated one of New York City's best rooftop bars. The joint offers epic skyline views from both the outdoor Garden Rooftop Bar and the enclosed Penthouse Lounge. In addition to tasty drinks and snacks, 230 FIFTH is known for offering guests red full-length robes (yes, they resemble Snuggies), so they can take in the night air without getting a chill.

4. 360 Wine Bar and Lounge, Innsbruck, Austria


Enjoy views of charming Innsbruck and the world-famous Austrian Alps from 360 Wine Bar and Lounge, set seven stories above a shopping center. Innsbruck is a popular ski town, and there are few après nightspots that can match 360 for atmosphere.

5. Felix Bar, Hong Kong


High atop Hong Kong's historic five-star hotel, The Peninsula, Felix Bar is a stylish, contemporary setting to be seen in, while you admire the view of the booming city. The hotel is the flagship Peninsula, which now operates in nine major world cities.

6. Vue Bar, Shanghai, China
Take in the rapidly expanding skyline of Shanghai from the top two floors (32nd and 33rd) of the recently opened Hyatt on the Bund, in the fabulous Vue Bar. Lounge on the day beds or take a dip in the terrace whirlpool. Don't worry, if you forgot your bathing suit, you can order one off the bar menu.


thedailygreen.com
After a holiday spent relaxing and abdicating responsibility, it’s understandable that you might leave something behind in your hotel room when you check out. An item of clothing, a mobile phone, a souvenir maybe—but what about €20,000 in cash, a shark, or your false teeth?

When it comes to luxury hotels, Great Hotels of the World knows best. Recently, they asked their members for the strangest items left behind in their luxury hotel properties and this list below represents their responses. Chalk it up to eccentric millionaires?

1. False Teeth: In one case of forgotten teeth, a guest at the Eurostars Grand Marina GL in Barcelona requested the hotel send the dentures back to the UK. Knowing how reliable Royal Mail can sometimes be, we wonder if they got lost along the way.

2. Wigs: The next most common items left behind after false teeth are wigs. Not necessarily strange, though it does make you wonder how someone can forget something so crucial, especially if he or she checked in the mirror before leaving.

3. Money: Hotel Milano in Bergamo takes the crown with a couple who once forgot 20,000 euros in cash in their dresser. The hotel contacted them at the airport as they were about to board their flight. They returned to the hotel and chose to stay an extra night, which, considering the amount of money they’d left behind, probably was small change to them.

4. Dogs: Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte near Pisa once found a dog in one of their rooms, with little additional explanation or requests to return it to their owners.

5. Birds: The Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque hotel in Tenerife once found a caged cockatoo in a room. The owners subsequently asked for the hotel to fly it back to them in a private jet. Which makes you wonder: if they cared that much for it, why forget it in the first place?

6. Adult Toys: The Quay Hotel in Wales once found a tribal-style doll with a wooden pop-up appendage in one of the rooms. We leave it to you to make up your own mind as to what that could be used for.

7. Fish: The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura in the Algarve has the strangest animal-related story. One of their guests went fishing at the hotel and came back with a shark, which he kept in the bathtub at the hotel—not realizing that sharks need saltwater, not tap water. When the poor creature began to weaken, the guest apparently decided to leave it behind, giving the cleaner the fright of her life when she came in to tidy the room. The shark was promptly returned to its natural habitat, and lived what we can only hope to be a long and fulfilled life.

8. Wedding Rings: At Hotel Ranga in Iceland, one married couple checked out of the room and left a wedding ring behind. It was never claimed, which maybe means the holiday didn’t go as planned.

9. Car Keys: Leaving car keys behind seems to be another common occurrence, but when you drive a Ferrari, it’s inexcusable. At the Hesperia Tower hotel in Barcelona a guest left behind the keys to their Ferrari Testarossa. Upon finding them, the staff ran to the parking lot to check if the car was still there—it wasn’t. It’s anyone’s guess how the guest got away without his car keys.

10. Unidentified Objects: The Londa hotel in Cyprus stumbled upon a proper Da Vinci Code-style riddle when they found a book with an odd cover and no title in one of their rooms. Upon opening it they found it to be written in a strange language. With it was a locked box, which had no apparent keyhole on it.

divinecaroline.com

Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day