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8 Weird Baby Strollers Guaranteed to Get Attention

Forget traditional luxury models like Bugaboo—the latest concepts in baby transport involve streamlined avant-garde designs usually reserved for cars and high-tech gadgetry, as well as a dose of just plain weirdness.

1. MAN-PRAM

When Skoda surveyed 1000 British dads to find out what they wanted in a baby buggy, the car manufacturer discovered that traditional prams just wouldn't do: 33 percent said they felt embarrassed when pushing a traditional stroller, and a quarter even admitted to making their partners push the strollers when out on walks. Seventy-six percent of dads surveyed said they'd be more likely to push a stroller "if they had access to a stylish, high spec buggy." So Skoda came up with the Man-Pram, which has all the things British dads most wanted in a stroller: wing mirrors, hydraulic suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, brakes and brake lights, and sports-style upholstery. Sadly, it doesn't seem that the stroller, which was featured in a TV ad for Skoda's Octavia VRS, was ever actually sold.

2. CYCLOPS

This leering one-eyed monster stroller, designed by Elmer Presslee, will probably leave you wishing you had one of these grotesque carriages as an infant. Luckily, if you dig the scary-cute cartoon aesthetic, your consumer options don't just limit you to baby strollers: Presslee also creates nightmarishly fun furniture and art you can spruce up your pad with.

3. EGG

Moms who want to make a meta statement about maternity will delight in this sleek, egg-shaped carriage that could also double as a Brancusi sculpture (but only in fall and winter). This eye-catching design is the product of artist John Knott, who has crafted a unique hybrid of antique baby stroller parts and hand-shaped aluminum panels for this piece. The only practical drawback to its design is that it probably turns into a toaster on a hot summer's day.

4. ROLLER BUGGY

Who said kids get to have all the fun? Not Valentin Vodev, of design trio Creative Industrial Objects (CIO). With a simple tug, this multi-functional baby carriage transforms into a scooter, providing the need for speed on various terrains, as well as some giggles for the parent. In terms of child safety, the Roller Buggy also includes a seat belt and a specially made hydraulic brake system.

5. 'O' PRAM

Probably the most futuristic baby stroller on this list, this Segway-based 'O' pram, designed by Meni Keinan, is a must-have for techie parents. Despite its precarious appearance, it actually ensures a safe, smooth, and easily controllable ride, due to its gyroscopic balance mechanism.

6. ZOMBIEKILLER

This isn't a medieval torture device but a heavily armed baby stroller that's apparently meant to take on the zombie apocalypse. Just in case you miss a direct kill shot to the head, four sets of spiked double wheels guarantee to take out any walking dead shambling your way.

7. BATMOBILE

This Batmobile buggy is a likely option for the new generation of stay-at-home dads who enjoy showing off their pop culture passion by making their kids play the role of Bruce Wayne for a day. Realized by web show AWE me's Super-Fan Builds, the initial idea was pitched by supermom Maressa Earl so that her husband and toddler son could have “something Dark Knight-related” to play with. You can't buy it—but you can attempt to make one yourself by following the video above (might be tough if you don't have a CNC machine, though!).

8. AT-AT IMPERIAL WALKER

Parents who also moonlight as hardcore sci-fi fans can channel some serious Star Wars nostalgia with this DIY AT-AT Imperial Walker baby stroller. The main magic is actually in the shell, whose foam body panels are connected with zip ties. It took daddy Rick Russo 30 to 40 hours to complete the stroller, using the designated cardboard template. Riding high in these Walkers, your babies will definitely be feeling the Force.

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Billions of Cockroaches Are Bred in China to Create a ‘Healing Potion’
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Insectophobes would probably agree that any place that breeds billions of cockroaches a year is akin to hell on Earth.

That place actually exists—in the Sichuan Province city of Xichang—but China's government says it's all for a good cause. The indoor farm is tasked with breeding 6 billion creepy-crawlies a year to meet the country's demand for a special "healing potion" whose main ingredient is ground-up roaches.

While there are other cockroach breeding facilities in China that serve the same purpose, the one in Xichang is the world's largest, with a building "the size of two sports fields," according to the South China Morning Post.

The facility is reportedly dark, humid, and fully sealed, with cockroaches given the freedom to roam and reproduce as they please. If, for any odd reason, someone should want to visit the facility, they'd have to swap out their day clothes for a sanitized suit to avoid bringing pollutants or pathogens into the environment, according to Guangming Daily,a government newspaper.

The newspaper article contains a strangely poetic description of the cockroach farm:

"There were very few human beings in the facility. Hold your breath and (you) only hear a rustling sound. Whenever flashlights swept, the cockroaches fled. Wherever the beam landed, there was a sound like wind blowing through leaves. It was just like standing in the depths of a bamboo forest in late autumn."

Less poetic, though, is the description of how the "miracle" potion is made. Once the bugs reach maturity, they are fed into machines and ground up into a cockroach paste. The potion claims to work wonders for stomach pain and gastric ailments, and according to its packaging, it has a "slightly sweet" taste and a "slightly fishy smell."

The provincial government claims that the potion has healed more than 40 million patients, and that the Xichang farm is selling its product to more than 4000 hospitals throughout China. While this may seem slightly off-putting, cockroaches have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Some studies seem to support the potential nutritional benefit of cockroaches. The BBC reported on the discovery that cockroaches produce their own antibiotics, prompting scientists to question whether they could be used in drugs to help eliminate bacterial infections such as E. coli and MRSA.

In 2016, scientists in Bangalore, India, discovered that the guts of one particular species of cockroach contain milk protein crystals that appear to be nutritious, TIME reports. They said the milk crystal could potentially be used as a protein supplement for human consumption, as it packs more than three times the energy of dairy milk.

"I could see them in protein drinks," Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist who led the study, told The Washington Post.

However, as research has been limited, it's unlikely that Americans will start to see cockroach smoothies at their local juice bar anytime soon.

[h/t South China Morning Post]

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Massive Tumbleweeds Invaded a California Town, Trapping Residents in Their Homes
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For Americans who don’t live out west, any mention of tumbleweeds tends to conjure up images of a lone bush blowing lazily across the desert. The reality is not so romantic, as Californians would tell you.

The town of Victorville, California—an 85-mile drive from Los Angeles—was overtaken by massive tumbleweeds earlier this week when wind speeds reached nearly 50 mph. The tumbleweeds blew across the Mojave Desert and into town, where they piled up on residents’ doorsteps. Some stacks towered as high as the second story, trapping residents in their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

City employees and firefighters were dispatched to tackle the thorny problem, which reportedly affected about 150 households. Pitchforks were used to remove the tumbleweeds, some of which were as large as 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide.

"The crazy thing about tumbleweeds is that they are extremely thorny, they connect together like LEGOs," Victorville spokeswoman Sue Jones told the Los Angeles Times. "You can't reach out and grab them and move them. You need special tools. They really hurt."

Due to the town’s proximity to the open desert, residents are used to dealing with the occasional tumbleweed invasion. Similar cases have been reported in Texas, New Mexico, and other states in the West and Southwest. In 1989, the South Dakota town of Mobridge had to use machinery to remove 30 tons of tumbleweeds, which had buried homes, according to Metro UK.

Several plant species are considered a tumbleweed. The plant only becomes a nuisance when it reaches maturity, at which time it dries out, breaks from its root, and gets carried off into the wind, spreading seeds as it goes. They’re not just unsightly, either. They can cause soil dryness, leading to erosion and sometimes even killing crops.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

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