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Modern-Day Gladiators Battle in Croatia

The largest city of the Istrian Peninsula and an ancient Roman port, Croatia’s Pula takes tourists back to the days when Romans ruled the lands.

During the Antiquity festival, at the start of summer’s traveling season, people gather in the Forum and Small Roman theater, demanding “bread and games”. This year, on My 23rd, the members of the Hungarian Collegium Cladiatorium fighting club were only happy to oblige. They entertained the crowds just like the gladiators of old used to…minus the hurting and killing each other, of course.

Photos by Xianhua/Reuters

via big5.cri.cn

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Volcano Surfing in Nicaragua

Thrill-seekers have a new reason to be happy. Volcano-surfing, a new kind of extreme sport, is growing more and more popular.

Phillip Southan is the young owner of Green Pathways Tour, the company that organizes volcano surfing sessions on Cerro Negro, one of Nicaragua’s most active and dangerous volcanoes.

Dressed in protective gear, adrenalin-junkies climb 726 meters up Cerro Negro and slide down on specially-built plywood boards. Southan admits there is a chance the young volcano could erupt, but says the biggest danger is the volcano surfers might fall off the board and injure themselves.

The volcano surfing tour has only been around for 4 years, but 10, 000 people have already participated.

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via Telegraph.co.uk

Modern-Day Chariot Races in Rome

On April 21 2009 Rome celebrated 2762 years of existence, and its modern-day Romans organized all sorts of events in honor of this occasion.

As most of you know, old Rome loved competitions. Gladiator fights and chariot races were social events that everyone loved. As a tribute to the old times, the current inhabitants of Rome organized an old fashioned chariot race. Well, sort of…

The modern chariots were pulled by bicycles instead of horses and the riders were actually cyclists. The competitors had to race three laps around the old Circus Maximus.

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via Etoday

Arabian Sandstorm

Saudi Arabia was paralyzed by a sandstorm this week. It might look in these photos but it’s a real nuisance if you’re in the middle of it.

30 cars were damaged in the city of Taif and over 35 people were injured. A similar sandstorm occurred in Iraq  around this time in 2008.

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Professional Thief at Work

Picking pockets is definitely not an admirable “profession”, but I have to admit this guy is very good at what he does.

It’s not every day you get to see a professional thief working one of his victims, but thanks to this photos we got to catch him in the act. This sort of stuff happens every day on the streets of China, and the thief is probably picking somebody else’s pockets right now, without a care in the world. Victims realize they’ve been robbed way too late, and all they can do is just go about their business and try to get over it.

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via Fishki

Greenpeace vs. Russian Police – Part 2

Believe it or not the same Russian Greenpeace activist got busted by the police again, just days after the first incident.

If there’s one think I admire about the poor environmental activist who faced the Russian police a few days back, it’s his persistence. The man actually got released by the police andreturned in front of Moscow’s City Hall, tocontinue his protest to Russia building incineration plants.

Sadly for the Greenpeace guy he wasn’t more successful than the first time. The police came and picked him up again, this time in a smaller car, so they made him take out his trash-can costume to fit. Third time’s a charm maybe?

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Tough Guy Race 2009

Known as the toughest competition in the world, the Tough Guy Race asked its question again in 2009, “Are you strong enough?”

More than 5,000 people gathered at the start line of the Tough Guy Race this year, only to face the torture of a 13 km endurance course, designed by a former Grenadier Guardsman named Billy Wilson, in 1986. Competitors had to run and crawl through mud and flames, while dodging smoke bombs, barbed wire and electric charges.

The Tough Guy course is so dangerous the competitors had to sign a disclaimer saying “It’s my own bloody fault for being here”. Accordingto the official site of the Tough Guy Race, there were many broken arms and legs tis year, but luckily no one lost their lives.

This year’s competition looks even worse than Tough Guy Race 2008.

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(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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Neuburg Ice Swimming 2009

The traditional Neuburg Ice Swimming event is considered the biggest swimming event in Europe.

This year over 2,000 brave swimmers from all over Germany gathered in Neuburg an der Donau for the 40th anniversary of the event. Neuburg Ice Swimming 2009 took place on January 31. Europe’s biggest swimming extravaganza featured swimmers desguised as sea-gods, frogs, clowns and other crazy things, and funny messages referring to new US President Barack Obama and the international financial crysis.

As you can see from the photos, Neuburg an der Donau hosted quite a fun event this year.Seems like a breeze compared to the ice swimming in Russia

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Photo credits: Johannes Simon (Getty Images)

Wing Bowl 2009

For some Americans the Super Bowl was not the most important sports even of the past week, the Wing Bowl was.

You gotta love Buffalo wings, they’re delicious, but would you get up at 5 in the morning to eat as man as you can?That’s what the contestants of Wing Bowl 2009 had to do in order to win the 17the edition of the event, on January 30.

23-year-old first-timer Jonathan Squibb managed to eat his way through 203 delicious chicken wings, 23 more than the runer-up. Squibb‘s prizes were a brand new Mini Cooper and a very good meal, of course. he said he’ll be back next year to defend his title.

Wing Bowl 2009 took place at the Wachovia Center, in Philadelphia, a town that is said came up with this competition 17 years ago because the locals were getting tired of their sports teams never winning competitions.

I’d enter Wing Bowl over The Big Eat any day.

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Image Credits: William Thomas Cain (Getty Images)

How Russia Treats Greenpeace

Well Greenpeace is definitely not the most loved organization in Russia.

I don’t know exactly what that adorable human trash can told those guys from the “OMOH“(Russian Police), but one thing is for sure, they didn’t like it. So they decided to throw the poor protester in their van and take him to the gulag (or is it police station these days?), the way police handles peaceful protesters in any other democratic country.

So if you’re a member of Greenpeace and want to raise awareness on pollution and other environment issues, don’t go to Russia. Unless of course you’re going dressed as a Playboy bunny, they love those.

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via English Russia

The World’s Largest Cheesecake

55 Mexican cooks worked hard to create the world’s largest cheesecake.

The giant cheesake was presented to the world on january 25, in Mexico City. It took the 55 cooks 60 hours to make, using almost a whole ton of cream cheese, nearly a ton of yogurt, 350 kg of pastry, 250 kg of sugar and 50 kg of butter. The final result was a 2 ton calorie bomb.

This was the first cheesecake record aknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records, so there wasn’t any competition. The  world’s largest cheesecake was sliced into pieces and given to over 20,000 people throughout Mexico City.

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Photo credits: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Polar Bear Floats on the Thames

For the first time ever, a polar bear has been spotted floating on a small iceberg, in London.

It’s not ever day you see a polar bear floating on the river Thames, let alone one that is 100% recyclable. To celebrate the opening of Eden, a new natural history television channel, a sculpture of a stranded polar bear and his cub was comissioned and set afloat in Greenwich, southeast London.

The whole point of Eden‘s 16-foot-sculpture was to attract attention on a burning environemental issue, the melting of the polar bear‘s habitat. If extreme measures are not taken, the largest land predator on Earth could become extinct.

The recyclable polar bear was launched on the Thames on January 26, at 6:30 in the morning, and traveled for 7.5 miles before stopping beside Tower Bridge for a photo shoot.

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via Planetsave.com

A Sea of Timber

More like a beach full of timber but there are some planks in the sea as well.

Two weekends ago, the Sussex shoreline was covered by nothing but wet timber from the sunken Greek vessel, Ice Prince. The ship sunk  26 milles off Portland Bill, but most of the 2,000 tons of timber it was carrying was washed on Sussex coast-line.

Authorities warned locals not to remove any of the planks from the beaches, as they risked a fine of up to 2,500 pounds. Despite the warning many British came with whatever vehicles they had, to load-up some waterlogged wooden planks. One thief was caught as he was loading his hatchback Mazda.

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Purification by Ice in Russia

To celebrate the Orthodox holiday of the Epiphany, on January 19, Russians plunge into ice-cold water to purify their bodies.

In a ritual imitating the baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan, wholes are cut into the ice covering rivers and ponds across Russia and priests bless their waters. People actually stand in line, late into the night, wearing only their swim-suits or underwear, to jump into the ice-cold water.

The cold water is said to have a cleansing effect on those brave enough to jump into it, but some of the brave swimmers just do it for fun and thrills. Not recommended for the faint-hearted, the ritual of the Epihany helps harden the body and make it more resisliant to illness.

Surely some good Russian vodka helps the swimmers get through the ritual a lot easier.

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Barack Obama’s Look-alike

Ilham Anas is a 34-year-old photographer who has become famous for looking like Barack Obama, the new president of the United States of America.

Ilham Anas has become quite a celebrity in his home country of Indonesia and he now makes most of his money from appearing on various TV shows and posing as Barack Obama. His success story began when the original Obama won the elections last year, and his colleagues started making jokes about their striking resemblence.

His co-workers even dressed him up in a suit and tie, and took pictures that quickly found their ay on the internet. Since then his popularity has grown constantly and Indonesian can’t get enough of Obama’s look-alike. As you may know, Barack Obama lived in Indonesia fo 4 years, so his popularity is pretty high there.

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via Prikola

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