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Whose Line is it Anyway?

With all the commotion over the new PlayStation 3 coming out, it seems like various groups are taking full advantage of the long queues. Here are 3 groups squeezing some real lemonade out of this lemon-line situations (all shamelessly pulled from G4's fantastic blog TheFeed).

Clever Outsourcing:
In Cary, North Carolina, a young businessman has bussed in 50 homeless men to wait in lines for him and his friends. He's giving them $100 each for their day's worth of work, and bringing in meals via U-Haul as well.  He plans to sell the extra PS3's on e-bay for upwards of $2000 per system.

Thugs: Last night, two gun-toting muggers decided to rob a line full of gaming enthusiasts at a Connecticut Wal-Mart. While most of the line was happy to comply with the bandits' demands for cash, sadly, one 21-year old realized it's a lot easier to be a hero from behind the controller than in real life. Upon confronting the robbers, he was shot twice. Luckily, he seemed to be playing with extra lives-- he was rushed to a local hospital, where he's in stable condition.

Do-gooders: The team from ScrewAttack.com is waiting in line for PS3's, but instead of selling their shiny new PlayStations on e-Bay for crazy loot, the team is instead auctioning off their places in line, and then giving all the cash to charity!

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History
The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

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holidays
Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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