Incredible Flower Carpets at the Genzano Flower Festival 2010

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If you’re a flower enthusiast, and you happen to be in Rome, in the second week of June, you just have to visit the small town of Genzano, for its world famous Infiorata.

The Genzano Infiorata is a flower festival that can be traced back to 1778. Every year, local artists cover an entire street (Via Belardi) with intricate flower carpets, inspired by famous artworks, religious paintings or geometrical shapes. The flower carpets are made by talented local artists who have to stick to a previously agreed upon theme, like ‘The Colors of Michelangelo’ or ‘The Designs of Bernini’.

The Infiorata of Genzano begins with the harvesting of millions of flowers, 2-3 days before the event. They are stored fresh, in caves around Genzano, while the artists draw their masterpieces on the pavement of Via Belardi, for the Saturday parade.

Preceded by a ‘mini Infiorata’, where children from local schools create the flower carpets, the Infiorata ends on the Monday of the third week of June, when children are allowed to destroy the colorful artworks, by playing on them.

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Soccer World Cup 2010 Held Behind Bars

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World Cup 2010 Behind Bars is a soccer competition, held in Bangkok’s Klong Prem Central Prison, between 18 seven-player teams, made-up of inmates.

On June 10, the opening match, between Mexico and South Africa, was played on a muddy soccer pitch, inside the Thai prison, under the watchful eyes of dozen guards. It ended in a 1-1 draw, but the prisoners on the sidelines enjoyed every minute of the rare spectacle. They cheered and banged cow bells for the entire match, showing their support for the teams.

The World Cup Behind Bars was also held in 2002 and 2006 and this year it features 18 seven-player teams, from 45 different countries, picked from the prison’s 1,000 inmates population. They can each represent whatever nation they want, even if it’s not their own, and free spots are taken by Thai prisoners.

The winners of the World Cup Behind Bars 2010 will receive a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy.

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Germany Hosts European Mud Olympics 2010

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Over 500 contestants, from all over Europe, gathered at the Brunsbüttel dike, near Hamburg, Germany, for the 7th edition of the Mud Olympics, on June 6.

The event is unique on the North Sea coast, and features different wacky games, like mud football, mud volleyball, tug of war, or the eel relay race, all of which involved getting covered in mud, of course. And since playing in mud is apparently one of the most fun activities known to man, the 2010 European Mud Olympics drew in contestants from Italy, Switzerland, Belgium or Denmark, all looking to have a good time.

Prizes were awarded for winning the wacky events, as well as for the best team name, best team fans, or the funniest competing team. The good thing is participants to the Mud Olympics weren’t only fighting for themselves, but also for a good cause: the proceedings, over 100,000 euro, will be donated to the Schleswig-Holstein Cancer Society.

via Spiegel.de

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Superhero Gathering Sets New World Record

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1245 people dressed in superhero costumes gathered in Melbourne’s Federation Square to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as superheroes, in one place, at one time.

No villains dared even come close to Federation Square, on Saturday, when Batman, Superman, the Flash, Wolverine and dozens of other comic-book superheroes, of all ages and sizes, gathered to set a new world record. The event was part of the 75th anniversary of DC comics, and people showed up to honor the superheroes they grew up with.

Just last week 1091 people dressed as superheroes gathered at a rugby tournament, at Twickenham Stadium, in London, but their record only stood for seven days.

Photos by Quinn Rooney/GETTY IMAGES

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Wave Gotik Treffen – The Goth Festival of Leipzig

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The festival-friendly city of Leipzig, in Germany, has hosted the 19th edition Wave Gotik Treffen, considered the world’s largest Goth event.

Around 25,000 Goth fans, from all over Europe, gathered in Leipzig, four a 3 day festival (22 – 24 May), that started back in 1992. Covered in tons of eyeliner and makeup, and sporting shiny jewelry and extreme piercings, attendees paraded their eccentric outfits, on the city streets, and turned Leipzig into a dark fantasy realm, if only for a few days.

During the Wave Gotik Treffen, Goth enthusiasts enjoy Goth rock concerts, theatrical performances, film premieres, exhibitions and discussions on various philosophical topics. Take a look at some of the coolest costumes from the recently ended Wave Gotik Treffen 2010:

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600-Kilogram Hero Book on Display in Russia

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In order to better familiarize the people of Chelyabinsk (the city that brought us the human smiley face) with the tragedies and heroes of World War II, local authorities have created a giant Hero Book.

6 meters long, 3 meters wide and weighing around 600 kilograms, the Hero Book of Chelyabinsk contains photos of the people who were killed here, during World War 2, and stories about how they fought for the freedom of Mother Russia.

Photos by CFP via Cri Online

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The Annual World Custard Pie Championship

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Inspired by a Charlie Chaplin comedy, the World Custard Pie Championship is held every year, since 1967, in the village of Coxheath, Britain.

Teams came from as far as Germany and South Africa to compete in one of the wackiest events on the face of the Earth. Working in teams of five, contestants had to throw pies as accurately as possible, and hit opponents in certain parts of their bodies, to gather as many points as possible. Hitting an adversary in the face, earns the maximum of six points. Judges will also grant an extra five points for original and amusing styles of pie throwing.

Twelve teams took part in the World Custard Pie Championship 2010, and the champions were the High Pressure Cleaning team, who disposed of last’s year’s winners, Coxheath, in the final match. The pies used don’t actually contain custard, but they are made using a secret recipe.

The World Custard Pie Championship began as a charity event, in 1967, and as the years went by, it became more and more popular. Now bankers, and other people working in stressful environments welcome the opportunity to just let go and pummel someone with pies.

Photos by DAVID ROSE via Telegraph.co.uk

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World Poutine Eating Championship

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The Poutine Eating Championship is a yearly food-eating competition where the contestants have to eat as much poutine as possible, in just 10 minutes.

I bet you’re still stuck on poutine, right? Many people outside Canada have never even heard of this delicacy, but they just eat it up there in the north. Poutine consists of french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Some say it sounds disgusting, but I wouldn’t mind trying some.

Anyway, during the World Poutine Eating Championship 2010, contestants had to gobble up as much poutine as possible, in 10 minutes time. The winner, 24-year-old Pat Bertoletti, churned 13 lbs of the stuff, and won himself a $750 prize and a cool trophy. Asked what he was going to do with his prize, Pat said he will spend it in a bar.

REUTERS photos by Mark Blinch via Daylife

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16-Year-Old Girl Sails Around the World, in Pink Yacht

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Many said she would never make it, but teenager Jessica Watson shut them all up when she completed her months long journey, and sailed into Sydney Harbor, on May 15, 2010.

The Australian sailor took off on her daring trip around the world, on October 18, 2009, all by herself. For over 200 days and 23,000 nautical miles, Jessica was all alone on her 30-foot-long pink yacht, “Ella’s Pink Boat”. She had to overcome strong winds, waves as high as mountains, and loneliness, in order to prove young people can accomplish their dreams, whatever they might be.

Ms. Watson said the toughest times were when bad weather was forecast, and she had to fight against monster storms. But she managed to keep her cool, kept her boat afloat, and against all odds, complete her journey around the world.

Having become the world’s youngest person to sail around the world, non-stop and unassisted, Jessica Watson captured the attention and admiration of the whole world, and become rich and famous, in consequence. While she was away at sea, her team managed to secure deals estimated at around $1 million, with several companies, including one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers. She also has a nationwide book tour coming up, for her “True Spirit: The Aussie Girl Who Took on the World” book, due to come out in July, as well as other souvenir sales.

But saying Jessica Watson did it all for media attention and profit just wouldn’t be fair. She is clearly in love with the ocean, and she said that even after seven lonely months at sea, she was reluctant to leave the pink yacht that had become “more than a home”.

Photos via CourrierMail

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The Parade of the Lechon, in La Loma

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The La Loma district, of Quezon city, in the Philippines, is famous for having a pig roaster on every street corners, but on the third Sunday of May, roasted pigs take to the streets.

Lechon is the word Filipinos use for roasted pigs. It’s derived from the Spanish word “leche” which hints that the pig must be a suckling pig. For this monumental feast, pigs are stuffed with tamarind, pandan leaves and a concoction of spices, their skins bathed in soy sauce and vinegar. They are roasted over a charcoal pit, by an expert roaster, who knows just when to turn them, until they become crispy red.

Although everyone enjoys a nice helping of delicious Lechon, complemented with liver sauce, the highlight of this Asian fiesta is the Parade of the Lechon. Roasted pigs are dressed up in funny costumes and paraded through the city streets, on the shoulders of devotees. After 50 years of celebrating the Parade of the Lechon, Filipinos have turned dressing up roasted pigs into an art.

Photos via Daylife

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Japanese Couple Wed by a Robot

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Satoko Inoue and Tomohiro Shibata bothe looked amazing on their wedding day, but the spotlight was stolen by i-Fairy, the humanoid robot that replaced the priest.

Inoue, the bride, works for the company that produces the i-Fairy robot, and Shibata is a client, so it’s safe to say robots are the reason they began dating in the first place. At his beloved’s suggestion, the groom was more than happy to replace the priest with an adorable robot that rose to the challenge, thanks to some special programming.

The bride said she always felt like robots could play a big role in people’s lives, and she’s glad her experience showed the whole world just that. Representatives of the company that makes i-Fairy said they’re thrilled one of their products was the center of attention in the first wedding presided over by a robot.

Photos by REUTERS

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Russian Artist Travels the World Over, on a Bicycle

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Vladislav Ketov isn’t the only man on earth who embarked on a bike trip, but unlike other bikers, he only finished his after 20 years.

Ketov’s journey began in 1991, in Leningrad, and he kept pedaling along the coastline of continents like Africa, Europe, both Americas, and south and south-east Asia. He traveled alone, and only used other means of transportation, when he absolutely had to. During his 20 years of constant pedaling around the world, his bike was only stolen once…in Russia.

The main problem Vladislav Ketov had was that he embarked on this trip without money. Everywhere he went, the artist earned his keep by painting portraits. Thus he was able to save enough to keep him traveling for years. When he started his biking journey, Ketov left his wife and two sons behind, in Sankt Petersburg.

via zyalt

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Germany Hosts First Strip Poker Championship

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Germany’s first ever strip poker tournament took place on may 12, 2010, in the Blauer Salon of the Dresden Park Hotel. 40 contestants, 33 men and 7 women, tried to keep their clothes on, for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.

Organized by the Billy Boy condom company, the Dresden Strip Poker Tournament got hot from the start. As there was no admission fee, contestants only had to bring their clothes, as currency, and their best game. Ladies were asked to bet responsibly and keep their clothes on as long as possible, so their male counterparts could focus on poker.

Each player was given a stack of chips, and every time they lost it, they had to take off a clothing item, to receive more. Extra chips could be earned if the stripping was entertaining, so as you can imagine, things got really hot in the Blauer Salon. Ladies were also asked to cover their nipples, so the guys could play on, undistracted.

12 of the 40 poker players advanced to the Strip Poker Championship Final, in Hamburg, where they will compete for a trip to Las Vegas, which includes 4 nights at the MGM Grand Hotel, a stretch limo and a helicopter ride over Sin City.

via Bild.de

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Houston Art Car Parade 2010

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One of the city’s most anticipated events, the Houston Art Car Parade is considered the largest of its kind in the world.

Around 250,000 spectators gathered in Houston, to see over 300 wacky and crazy vehicles drive by, on May 8th. Dan Akroyd, star of “Ghost Busters” movies, as well as other famous comedies, was the one who kickstarted the flamboyant event, in the cheers of the crowd.

The Houston Art Car Parade brings together car enthusiasts and artists alike, featuring a selection of extremely modified cars that, despite all the adornments, still run beautifully. Scroll down for the most interesting cars at the 2010 Houston Art Car Parade:

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German Dude Marries His Cat

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A German postal worker, from Possendorf, has unofficially married his beloved cat, Cecilia.

39-year-old Uwe Mitzscherlich has shared precious moments with Cecilia, for the last 10 years. Unfortunately, the purring fur-ball is now obese and asthmatic, and the vets don’t think she has much more to live. Because they’ve had such a unique relationship, for many years, Mr. Mitzscherlich decided to make it official, and asked Cecilia’s…paw, in marriage.

Sadly, human-animal weddings aren’t recognized in Germany, so Uwe Mitzscherlich had to pay a female actor to officiate the ceremony. At first she thought it was a joke, but quickly realized this was a dream come true, for the German postal worker.

The couple dressed for the occasion, with Uwe wearing a wedding suit and top hat, and Cecilia boasting a lovely white dress. It was a beautiful ceremony, and 15-year-old Cecilia even meowed loudly, through the exchanging of the vows.

Check out a video of this unusual wedding, at the bottom.

via Bild

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