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  • It's no secret that most kids love to see characters in costumes, but for those who actually have to wear them, it's quite the chore. The Choko Group mascot school in Tokyo, Japan, treats the entertainment of children as a serious business.

    The mascot school — founded by Choko Oohira, a 20-year veteran of wearing mascot costumes herself — is focused on teaching performers the most effective ways to inhabit and showcase their characters. The school is the only one of its kind in Japan, and quite possibly the world. (Mascots and characters at amusement parks like Disney World and Six Flags are usually trained on the job.)

    Lessons consist of everything from dance to the best ways to portray specific characters. In a video uploaded to YouTube that shows mascots in a skills training class, they march in place while in full costume. Oohira says of her efforts to put out the best mascots: "When I see a real hand poking out of the costume's hand, or their mask slips, it's very disappointing. I

    Read More »from World’s Only Mascot School Teaches People How to Be Professional Characters
  • Two boys in Washington, Mo., received the surprise of a lifetime while visiting their neighborhood swimming pool in June. Twelve-year-old Isaac Nolting was introduced to 13-year-old Dakotah Zimmer by a friend of a friend. They quickly noticed similarities in their appearance. They had the same hair, feet, nose and hands. People even started asking if they were related. Dakotah told Isaac that he had a brother who was adopted by a woman named Dawn.

    When Isaac got home, he asked his mom, Dawn Nolting, if he was adopted. She revealed that in fact he was, and that his mother had been a teenager who was unable to take care of him the way that she wanted to when he was a baby. Dawn volunteered to look after him, and his mother visited him often but never took him home again. Dawn eventually adopted Isaac when he was 18 months old. She had been looking for the right time to tell him, but just had not gotten up the courage to do so. Dawn knew the two boys would meet soon, because they would be

    Read More »from Young Boys Meet Through Friends and Discover They are Brothers
  • Those hefty portions of food devoured on Thanksgiving were most likely followed by rounds of deep slumber -- the kind of sleep that some refer to as a food coma. Those of us who weren't sleeping were probably watching football on TV on turkey day. Devin Contreras is not most of us. He was watching his dog dance.

    After he and his family had their Thanksgiving meal, his pet Chihuahua, Sloopy, did something that is making people all over the Web smile and giggle. According to Contreras, he shot the video "Sloopy the Dancing Chihuahua" when "my Chihuahua Sloopy, after our Thanksgiving meal, started dancing for the plate of turkey on the counter!" Contreras writes that Sloopy kept dancing, so Contreras turned on Miami Sound Machine's "Conga," featuring Gloria Estefan. The video was uploaded to YouTube on Nov. 22 and has already gone viral, surpassing more than a million views in just five days.

    Some people who commented on it have their suspicions that Sloopy's dance is on a loop or

    Read More »from ‘Sloopy the Dancing Chihuahua’ Leaves the Web in Stitches
  • Many pranks are just light-hearted attempts to poke fun at someone and maybe elicit a few laughs. But some of them are meant to be terrifying. One recent gag performed on the Brazilian hidden-camera show "Programa Silvio Santos" definitely falls into the scary category.

    The clip, called "Ghost in the Elevator," shows unsuspecting people boarding an elevator. The lights start to flicker and then go off altogether. In the darkness, a creepy-looking little girl enters the elevator through a hidden door. When the lights come back on, the passengers can see the child, who seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

    People's reactions are priceless. Several people attempt to not look at her or just ignore the girl, perhaps hoping she'll disappear. Others visibly recoil and make their way toward the far corners away from the little girl. Their sense of panic is noticeable, and when the girl lets out a scream, that's when the real fun begins.

    Some bloggers have called the gag "the scariest elevator

    Read More »from Elevator Prank Sparks Terror Among Unsuspecting Passengers
  • It's no longer unusual to hear of ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It almost seems routine, but it's still not easy. A British man, seeking to prove it can be done by an unmanned ship, hopes to break a record with his unmanned vessel, Snoopy Sloop. Robin Lovelock, a former scientist for NATO, wants to be the first person to successfully navigate an unmanned toy boat 6,000 miles across the sea.

    Snoopy Sloop (which has a toy Snoopy doll resting on its bow) is four feet long and weighs just 30 pounds. Lovelock put the boat together using parts he purchased online for around $720. The tiny watercraft is wind-powered, and it uses a solar-powered GPS and computer system to stay on its path. It has a tracking device that sends a signal to Lovelock every hour with the boat's whereabouts.

    If all goes according to plan, Snoopy Sloop will cruise south to the Azores, catching the trade winds to the Bahamas and eventually landing near where the pilgrims landed, at Plymouth Rock. The tiny vessel

    Read More »from Unmanned Vessel Seeks to Break World Record in Transatlantic Trip

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