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Megabus Wants to Throw You a Free Wedding (on a Megabus)

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Marriage can be a bumpy road, but Megabus wants to give one lucky couple a smooth start by awarding them a free wedding. The discount travel company's new “Marry Me On A Megabus” sweepstakes provides winners with an all-expenses-paid ceremony aboard a bus, along with two round-trip tickets for the honeymoon and $2500 in cash.

For most people, buses don’t exactly scream “romance.” But according to Sean Hughes, Megabus's director of public affairs, they often serve as a vehicle for lasting love.

"Over the past 10 years, we have loved hearing about couples that have met on a Megabus or used megabus.com to travel to see their long-distance loves," Hughes said in a news release. "It's a pleasure to play Cupid and be a part of so many people's love life."

Touching anecdotes aside, all couples—not just far-flung sweethearts—are invited to enter Megabus’s giveaway until February 21, either through the company's Facebook page or an online form. Submit the story of how you met, and why exactly you want to be married on a Megabus. (The giveaway’s perks—which, in addition to a paid honeymoon, include free music, flowers, and an officiant; and complimentary transportation to and from the ceremony—probably don’t count toward your answer.)

The winning duo will be announced on social media on March 15, 2017; they can select a wedding destination from more than 100 cities. Interested couples can view the official sweepstakes rules online.

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Scandal! 12 Camels Were Disqualified from a Saudi Arabia Beauty Contest Over Botox Allegations
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FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s central Riyadh Region has been roiled by an animal show scandal straight from a Christopher Guest film. As NPR reports, around a dozen camels were disqualified from a beauty contest at the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival because their handlers illegally plumped their features with Botox injections.

The month-long Camel Festival in Al Dhana, Saudi Arabia, runs through February 1, 2018, and features around 30,000 camels. The animals participate in races, an obedience competition, and a beauty contest. Nearly $57 million in prize money rides on these high-stakes events, and owners preen their prized steeds accordingly with massages, hairspray, and—as it turns out—banned cosmetic surgery procedures, according to The Telegraph.

Camels in the ungulate pageant are judged on whether they have long necks, enlarged lips and noses, a big head, and defined humps. The criteria evidently drove some owners to desperate measures: Shortly before the Camel Festival kicked off, officials discovered that a vet had been injecting some participating camels with botulism.

The vet is receiving heat, but he’s by no means the only competitor to use illegal tactics, according to United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National. In addition to Botox injections and collagen fillers, some sneaky handlers darken their animals’ coats with oil, rely on hormone injections for enhanced muscularity, and stretch the camels' lips by hand to elongate their appearance. And while large facial features are considered desirable, large lobes aren’t, so the guilty vet’s humped charges also received ear reductions.

Officials can ban enhanced camels from entering future beauty competitions, and owners can face possible legal recourse for violating animal welfare laws. Some breeders have called for cheaters to face stronger punishments, like a fine, which is already applied to drug-enhanced racing camels. As for now, the 12 camels who went under the needle are now under the microscope.

[h/t NPR]

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LEGO Wants to Turn Your Space-Themed Design Into a New Set
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LEGO wants to turn your out-of-this-world brick design into a reality as part of a new contest calling for space exploration-themed concepts. The winning entry in the LEGO Moments in Space competition will be transformed into a real-life LEGO set that the company will give away as a promotional "gift with purchase" product.

As part of the contest, LEGO is inviting designers ages 13 and up to create what the company describes as “the ultimate space model." The design can be realistic or based on science fiction, as long as it follows a few important guidelines. The final assembled product must be made from around 300 basic pieces, and it can't be too big. It has to be able to fit on a 16-stud-by-16-stud LEGO baseplate inside one of the smaller LEGO boxes. The designs can feature stickers, but they have to be decals from old LEGO sets.

Participants can submit entries for the “LEGO Moments in Space” contest either in the form of digital renderings or photos of real-life projects through February 9, 2018. Fans can vote for the top 25 builds on the LEGO Ideas site, and then a special panel will select the grand-prize winner and 10 runner-ups. The results will be revealed to the public on March 2, 2018.

The winner will not only have the opportunity to see their design made into a real product in 2019, but will also receive a $250 online LEGO shopping spree and a curated collection of LEGO's previous "gift with purchase" sets. Get more information about entering the contest on the LEGO Ideas website.

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