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Chinese Student Builds Boat Out of Paper

Wang Luyao, a junior student at the Commercial Service College in Wuhan, has built a perfectly functional boat out of sheets of paper.

In an attempt to raise awareness about recycling, and green living in general, Wang used his paper boat to cross from one side of the Hanjiang River to the other. Escorted by two normal canoes, the young student jumped in his paper boat and rowed the 800-meter distance in just seven minutes, proving that boats made of recycled paper really are an environment-friendly solution.

Wang Luyao’s paper boat is 1.9 meters long, 1.2 meters wide, weighs 45 kg, and is made out of raw sheets of paper that the young student collected, himself.

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The Bizarre Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival

Every March, the Wat Bang Phra temple of Nakhom Pathom, Thailand, becomes the scene of a weird celebration, known as  the Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival.

While in most western countries tattoos are viewed as an art form, in Thailand, a country with a culture deeply rooted in superstition and spirituality, tattoos are considered more than just skin deep artworks. The traditional Thai tattoos, known as “Sak Yant”, are believed to have magical powers, and people get them done at temples, for protection against evil spirits, and as good luck charms. Many members of Thai police, army, and the underworld think some tattoos have the power to stop bullets and blades from piercing their skin.

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Armenians Make World’s Biggest Chocolate Bar

Switzerland and Belgium may be the world’s most famous chocolate-making countries, but tiny Armenia has just stolen some of their spotlight by creating the largest chocolate bar, ever.

The sweet event took place in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan, and was organized by the Grand Candy Factory – a local chocolate making company – as a way to celebrate to celebrate its 10 years of existence. Guinness Book representatives were invited to take part in the unveiling of the chocolate monster created, and to make sure this event goes into the record books.

The giant chocolate bar weighs 4,400 kilograms, is 224 inches long, 110 inches wide, 10 inches thick and is made from cocoa beans from Ghana. In the following weeks, the world’s biggest chocolate down will be chipped into pieces and handed out to freely around Yerevan.

The previous record for the world’s biggest chocolate bar was set in 2007, in Italy.

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Cascamorras – The Dirty Festival of Granada

Every September 8th, the Spanish towns of Baza and Guadix host the Festival of Cascamorras, an event unique to the Granada region of Spain.

According to legend, the origin of “La Fiesta del Cascamorras” can be traced back to 1490, when Don Luis de Acuña Herrera decided to built the Church of Mercy in the town of Baza, where a Moazarabic mosque had previously been erected. While chiseling a block of plaster, Juan Pedernal, a worker from the nearby town of Guadix, heard a soft, soothing voice coming from inside a cavern, which said “Have mercy!”. Upon examining the cavity he stumbled upon a statue of the Virgin Mary, that came to be known as “Our Lady of Mercy”.

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Belgian Cook Sets New French Fries Making Record

Chris Verschueren, a 53-year-old French fries maker, from the Belgian village of Kastel, has set a new world record after cooking and selling French fries for 83 consecutive hours.

Verschueren turned on his deep fryer on Friday morning and didn’t stop frying potato chips until Monday evening. During this cooking marathon, the tenacious chip-maker only took a 100 minute break to shower and do some stretching. After cooking up 1,500 kilograms of potatoes, Chris Verschueren had this to say: “My fingers are burnt, my feet are sore and my wrist is painful, but it doesn’t matter, I’m going to party now.”

Although he couldn’t reach his goal of selling 1,500 bags of French fries, the national Belgian dish, Verschueren managed to break the old record for non-stop French fry making, of 72 hours, set in 1987 by a British cook.

Apart from his passion for making French fries and the desire to have his name mentioned in the record books, Chris Verschueren took on this challenge to raise funds for a children’s hospital.

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Fisherman Catches 1,000 Different Species of Fish

47 -year-old Steve Wozniak, a lure fisherman from California, has traveled the world over, in his quest to catch as many different species of fish as possible. So far he managed to catch 1,000 species, from a colorful Threadfin Butterflyfish to a 410 kilogram shark.

Believe it or not, Steve Wozniak has spent the last 10 years, and $75,000 traveling to 63 different countries in the search for new species of fish to put on his list. He flew over 1 million air miles, and spent over 20,000 hours holding his trusty rod and hoping for a bite. But all his efforts paid out when he finally caught his 1,000th fish species, a Norwegian coalfish, and set a new world record.

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Redheads Celebrate Red Head Day in Holland

Yesterday, thousands of redheads gathered in the Dutch city of Breda, for the fifth edition of the Red Head Festival. Participants were asked to come dressed in white, a color that really compliments their hair color, and were able to take part in all kinds of fun activities, workshops and even a fashion show.

The main criteria for attending the Red Hair Festival is that participants have natural red hair, but the event itself is not all about the hair, but the color read, in general. This unique event can be traced back to 2005, when Dutch painter Bart Rouwenhorst advertised for 15 red-haired models he wanted to paint. 150 people answered his ad and the painting session turned into an annual event for redheads. Last year , 4,000 redheads attended the Red Head Festival, and their number surpassed 5,000 in 2010.

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The Shocking Fireball Festival of Nejapa

The Fireball Festival is an old tradition celebrated each year, on August 31st, in the town of Nejapa, El Salvador.

“Las Bolas de Fuego”, as the locals refer to this bizarre event, is actually a reenactment of the fight between San Jeronimo and the devil. In 1922, the people of Nejapa and the surrounding area were forced to evacuate, by the eruption of a nearby volcano. As they were leaving, locals saw great balls of fire spewing out of the volcano, and believed their patron saint was actually fighting the devil with them.

Ever since they witnessed the fight between good and evil, the people of Nejapa have celebrated it each year, by organizing their very own fireball fight. If you didn’t know this was an organized celebration, you’d be tempted to think you’ve been dropped in the middle of a war-zone. Two teams of young men, with their faces covered by war paint, throw flaming fireballs at each other, surrounded by hundreds of bystanders who watch their every move.

Equipped with gloves and clothes soaked in water, the brave combatants throw and at the same time, evade the flaming fireballs made from rags and dipped in fuel. Some of their clothes do catch on fire, and some of the participants are often hit right in the face, at point blank, but despite all the health hazards, few injuries have been reported during the Fireball Festival.

It’s definitely a shocking display, but un a country like El Salvador, where gangs and violence are everywhere, getting hit by a flaming fireball, during “Las Bolas de Fuego” is the least dangerous thing that can happen.

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Traditional Football in the River Match Played in Burton

The annual Burton-on-the-Water football match is an old tradition that still manages to draw the interest of thousands of football fans.

No one really knows how the unusual football tradition began, but one thing is for sure – the Burton-on-the-Water match has been played for over 100 years, in the ankle-high waters of River Windrush, in Burton, Gloucester.

Two teams of six compete in the unique football match: the Burton Rovers First Eleven and the Burton Rovers Second Eleven. The two teams have to follow the rules of a normal football game,while they try to control the ball through the shallow waters of the river. Spectators are advised to wear waterproof clothes if they wish to watch the game from the side of the “pitch”, as the teams tend to make a splash.

The 2010 edition of the Burton-on-the-Water football in the river match was held on Monday, August 30, and was watched by over 1,000 spectators.

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World Gravy Wrestling Championship 2010

One of the wackiest competitions in the world, the World Gravy Wrestling Championship drew in quite a crowd this year, at the Rose n’ Bowl pub, in Stacksteads, Britain.

Over 1,000 people gathered at the famous Lancashire venue, to watch 24 competitors get down and dirty in a pool of gravy. All the contestants had to do to defeat their opponents was get most of the applause, after the 2 minute-long wrestling match. To do this, they wore funny costumes and tried to impress the audience by performing special moves.

Over 2,000 liters of past-its-before-date gravy was supplied for the 2010 World Gravy Wrestling Championship, all of it made following a special local recipe. Hopefully wrestlers didn’t swallow too much of it…

The World Gravy Wrestling Championship is a fun event that aims to raise money for charity, despite the competitive streak of most competitors. This year’s winners were Elliot Rooke, who was dressed as a bunny, and Elisa Samson, who wrestled as Little Bo Peep, in the ladies’ contest.

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Scouts Create Giant Scout Badge in Mexico City

Hundreds of young Mexican scouts gathered in the main square of Mexico City, on Sunday, August 30, to create what may be the largest scout badge in the world. The outline of the scout lily was traced beforehand, and the scouts had to fill the entire design with over 1.65 million differently colored used metal cans. Not only is this the largest scout badge ever created, but it also sends a strong message about the need to recycle.


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The Frog Jumping Festival of Valley City

Ever since 1962, the small town of Valley City, Ohio has hosted one of the weirdest, most fun events in the world – the Frog Jumping Festival.

Over 2,000 fun-loving people take part in the Frog Jumping Festival of Ohio, every year, eager to watch the annual Frog Jump Contest, participate in a series of games, or simply spend some quality time with family and friends. Attending the festival is free, but those who want to enter the Frog Jump Contest have to pay a $3 fee.

The most important event in the Frog Jumping Festival is the Frog Jump Contest, where around 600 competitors, from toddlers to the elderly, try to get their frogs to jump as far as possible. No touching is permitted, though, the frog jockeys are only allowed to tap the ground behind their frogs, scream at them, or blow at them to make them jump. That doesn’t always work though, some frogs just don’t feel like jumping.

Competitors are allowed to bring their own frogs, or they can rent one for $5. Winners get trophies and bragging rights for the whole year. The 2010 Frog Jump Contest, held on August 15, was won by one year old Lindsey Jackson, who got her frog to jump a total distance of 14 feet.

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Star Wars Fan Marries R2-D2

Ever since she first saw R2-D2 for the first time, in A New Hope, when she was just a little girl, Bonnie Burton developed a crush on the little robot. Now that she’s all grown up, the geeky Star Wars fan decided to follow her heart and marry the droid of her dreams.

After countless disappointments from humans who simply didn’t get her geeky attitude, Bonnie decided droids are way better than boys anyway, and used the Star Wars Celebration V event, on August 13, as an opportunity to officially marry R2-D2, her longtime crush. So, during a ceremony presided by non other than the evil Darth Maul, good ol’ R2 and Bonnie became droid and wife.

Bonnie was given away at the altar by Steve Sansweet, Fan Relations Director at Lucasfilm, and had R2-KT as maid of honor, while R2-D2 had Darth Vader as best man.

Ms. Porter realizes her marriage to a droid won’t be accepted by everyone, but they had just too many things in common and she just couldn’t suppress her feelings. All I can say is I hope they’ll be happy together!

Check out more photos of the happy event here, and a video of the ceremony here.

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Toro Jubilo Festival Makes Bullfighting Look Like Child’s Play

If you thought bullfighting was cruel and barbaric, you’ll soon learn there are far worse ways to kill an innocent animal in the name of primitive entertainment.

Every year, on the second weekend of November, a horrific show takes place in the streets of Medinacelli, an otherwise picturesque Spanish town. As soon as the sun sets, bulls are brought into the town square, surrounded and restrained by the “bravest” of participants. Big balls of pitch are attached to the bull’s horns and the animal is set loose through the town.

This savage bull run is known as Toro Jubilo, and the bull is called Toro de Fuego, which translates as “bull of Fire”. As the pitch burns like a bonfire on the horns, it scorches his eyes and face causing it unspeakable pain. Disoriented and in agony, the bull often runs into walls and hurts himself even more, while the crowd run around him and cheers.

After hours of immense pain and eventually being blinded by the flames, the bull dies in agony. If this wasn’t cruel enough, the animal’s carcass is cut up and split among the participants to the event. Toro Jubilo is viewed simply as a form of entertainment by the people of Medinacelli, but this kind of animal cruelty doen’t qualify as such.

If you feel this is an old tradition that should continue, in the name of cultural diversity, just read this post, look at the photos and get back to what you were doing, but if you want to put a stop to it, make sure you sign this petition (I did) and share it with your friends.

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Bee Beard Competition 2010 – A Truly Stinging Contest

Bee beards have been around since the 1700s and up until a hundred years ago, honey vendors used them to attract customers, but now these organic disguises have their very own competition. Ever year, the world’s bravest apiarists gather in Aylmer, Ontario for the Clovermead Bees & Honey, Bee Beard Competition.

It’s not exactly the kind of contest people are dying to get into, for obvious reasons, but there are those who enjoy having tens of thousands of honey bees around their necks, or even covering their faces. The object of the Bee Beard Competition is to get as many bees on your body as possible. Contenders are weighed before and after they are covered in bees, and the heaviest one wins.

 

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