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Chocolatier Creates Lifesize Chocolate Christmas Tree

Patrick Roger, one of the most talented chocolatiers in France, has created a ten-meter-high chocolate Christmas Tree, to raise money for charity.

Roger and his team have worked on the giant chocolate Christmas tree for an entire month, in the Patrick Roger chocolate factory, on the outskirts of Paris. According to the chocolate artist, building something like this is quite a challenge, and they had to come up with a sort of interior cavity, to make the tree strong enough against the significant vertical pressure.

The chocolate Christmas tree is made out of one ton of chocolate, which is the equivalent of around 800,000 regular-sized chocolate bars. And while it acts as proof of Patrick Roger’s talent as a chocolatier, there is some real Christmas spirit behind this tasty work of art. The chocolate Christmas tree will be showcased during France’s Telethon, a charity event that aims to raise money for the treatment of neuromuscular diseases. People who call and make donations will receive a piece of Patrick Roger’s Christmas tree.

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Spanish Woman Claims She Owns the Sun and Wants to Collect Taxes

Angeles Duran, a woman from the Galician region of Spain, claims she is the rightful owner of the sun, and intends to have everyone pay taxes if they want to keep enjoying its rays and warmth.

It sounds crazy, and the notary Angeles Duran consulted in the matter thought the same thing, but her arguments had him questioning the possibility of someone actually becoming the owner of the burning star. There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals. An American was quick to pronounce himself owner of all planets and the moon, but he forgot to mention the sun, so she’s now claiming possession.

Angeles Duran is also considering asking people to pay a tax if they want to keep in enjoying the sun’s benefits. She has already consulted the Spanish Ministry of Industry and explained that her claim isn’t outrageous at all. If you can place taxes on rivers, why couldn’t she do the same with the sun, right. In her infinite generosity, the woman is prepared to give 50% to the state budget, 20% to the minimum pension budget, 10% to research, and another 10% to end world hunger. She is only considering keeping 10% for herself.

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Son of Road Kill Calendar 2011

If you’ve had enough of those boring calendars featuring gorgeous women, cute puppies, or peaceful settings, the Son of Road Kill Calendar 2011 is just the thing for you.

The wacky idea for a road kill calendar belongs to 58-year-old Kevin Beresford, an English courier always on the lookout for an original calendar idea. His job has him driving around the country all the time, so he has seen his share of animal carcasses, lying on the side of the road, and he thought he’d give his idea for a road kill calendar a shot. he started taking photos of squashed squirrels, dead dogs, stiff birds and battered badgers, made a selection of the 12 best ones and launched his calendar.

Believe it or not, Kevin Beresford’s road kill calendar was a huge hit. He has already sold hundreds of them already and is struggling to keep up with incoming orders. Asked about his crazy idea, Kevin said it’s dedicated to “all the courageous critters that never quite made it across the road in time.”

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Saimir Strati Creates the World’s Largest Industrial Screw Mosaic

Saimir Strati, the well-known Albanian master of mosaics has created yet another masterpiece, a giant mosaic made of 300,000 industrial screws.

Strati, who already holds four Guinness records for various mosaics, has just applied for a fifth one, the world’s largest mosaic made with industrial screws. His latest artwork measures 490 cm by 240 cm and features a portrait of Greek poet Homer in the middle of a giant banknote, entitled “currency of the soul”. The Albanian artist who has previously created impressive mosaics out of nails, bottle corks and paintbrushes, has dedicated his latest masterpiece to his fellow art creators from Tirana, Albania.

Saimir Strati has spent two weeks creating his unusual banknote mosaic, using 300,000 industrial screws.

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Environment Crisis Spawns Artworks Visible from Space

Environmental organization 350.org has just kickstarted the world’s first global climate art project, where the Earth itself is the canvas for incredible artworks visible from space.

The worldwide exhibit includes sixteen art pieces in twelve different countries, but they all have the same purpose – raising awareness about climate change. Created just before world nations leaders gather in Cancun, Mexico, for the UN climate meetings, these giant artworks will catch the attention of everyone, including aliens, since they are visible from outer space.

Trying to get leaders to accept 350 parts per million as the target for stabilization of the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, members of 350.org have organized the masses around the world into living works of art, visible from space. I’m not sure this is enough to impress corporation-controlled governments to do the right thing, but their efforts are definitely commendable. Take a look of what they achieved, below:

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Chinese Artist Showcases Venus de Milo Statue Made of Excrements

Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most famous and talented sculptors, has helped nine of his art students to create a replica of Venus de Milo out of excrements.

Now, I know we’ve had quite a few strange art mediums here at Oddity Central, from garbage to chewing gum, but excrement has to be the weirdest one yet, by a long shot. Zhu Cheng helped and direct a team of nine art students to recreate the Venus de Milo statue out of feces. Now, the source doesn’t actually specify if we’re talking about animal or human excrements, but I’m pretty sure it’s the last one…A symbol of beauty created from something so disgusting, the idea is pretty cool, but I can’t help but be grossed out by the thought of having to mold feces into a statue with your hands.

Ad you can see in the photos, the excrement-made Venus de Milo is encased in a transparent box, to protect it, and make sure the smell of crap doesn’t drive everyone away from the exhibition at Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China.

But the most unbelievable thing about this “shitty” statue of Venus de Milo is that it was actually bought by a Swiss art collector, for a staggering 300,000 yuan ($45,113). Talk about spending money on crap, right? Read More »

Banker Spends 35 Years Collecting Beer Cans

Nick West, 1 51-year-old banker from Clevendon, Britain has spent the lats 35 years putting together an impressive collection of 6,788 beer cans.

The banker from North Somerset started his British beer can collection when he was only 16 years old. His wife-to-be, Dorothy, bought him a book about collecting beer cans, not knowing she would spend the next 35 years regreting her bad taste in presents. Nick became quite fond of collecting all kinds of beer cans, and before long, the couple had to move to a larger house, one that would be roomy enough for his ever-growing collection.

Dorothy doesn’t approve of her husband’s hobby, and she’s sure that if they would have remained in their old home, they could have paid off the entire mortgage by now. Instead, the largest room in their new house is now occupied by 6,788 cans of beer. To top things off, Nick spends serious amount of money on vintage beer cans, as much as $1,975 for one of the first cans ever produced in Britain.

Nick West usually drinks the contents of the beer cans he collects, but he doesn’t do it the usual way…Instead of pulling the key, he makes two holes in the bottom of the can, empties the content, drinks it, and ads the can to his collection. That’s kind of a hassle, but I guess it’s worth it, if you can live every guy’s dream of having a house full of beer cans.

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Street Artist Hailed as China’s Chalk God

Mr. Hou is an average Joe who recently became popular thanks to a few photos of his chalk art being posted on Chinese forums.

The first photos of Mr. Hou’s 3D chalk art first appeared late last month, and Chinese netizens quickly gave him the nick name “Chalk God” and compared him to the architects from the sci-fi blockbuster Inception, for his ability to create unbelievably realistic-looking landscapes.

Because his works first appeared on a Chinese forum, his identity had to be dug-up by the media, and everyone was surprised to discover the talented chalk artist was just an average citizen who exercised his talents for the fun of his little boy. The humble Mr. Hou said he doesn’t believe his artwork are that impressive, but actually the ideas behind them.

Check out a video of Mr. Hou in action, at the bottom.

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An Art Eggcident in Leeuwarden

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if giant eggs started falling from the sky, right in the middle of your city? Of course you haven’t, but Hank Hofstra has and he decided to show the whole world.

Dutch artist Hank Hofstra was tired of looking at boring old Zaailand, the main square of Leeuwarden and one of the largest in the Netherlands, and decided to do something about it. There had been lots of topics on making the landmark more appealing, but nothing had really been done about it. Remembering an old Dutch saying, “To lay down the first egg, you have to start with the first egg”, Hofstra decided to lay the first eight giant eggs, himself.

After meeting with local authorities and companies involved in the Art Eggcident, the artist and his team spent two days spray-painting the eggs, each one around 100 meters in diameter. As you can expect, the giant sunny-side-up eggs immediately drew the attention of passers-by, but reactions were very different. Hours after the Eggcident’s completion, 80% of people who saw it said it was hideous, but now, weeks later, 80% of people say it’s brilliant. Shops around Zaailand Square definitely appreciate Hank’s work, since it bought in tons of tourists and boosted their sales.

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Raisin Monday at St. Andrews University

Freshmen have always had it a little rough in college, but at the St. Andrews University, in Scotland, their plight at the hand of senior students has become a celebrated tradition called Raisin Monday.

The traditions of Raisin Monday date back to the early days of St. Andrews. New students (also known as “bejants” and “bejantines”) had to show their gratitude to seniors, for showing them the ropes around campus, and a pound of raising was considered an expensive and tasty enough sign of appreciation. With the passing of time, some freshmen started ignoring the custom, so senior students came up with of receipts written in Latin acknowledging the receipt of the pound of raisins. If one of the freshmen students didn’t have such a receipt, he would get doused in one of the local fountains. Another reason for a dousing was the challenge of the receipt, by a senior, for mistakes in written Latin.

Throughout the years since St. Andrews University opened its gates in 1410, the traditions of Raisin Monday have changed according to the times. Nowadays, new students have to buy seniors a bottle of wine as a token of gratitude, and the dousing in water fountains has been replaced by a general fight with shaving foam.

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Chinese Stuntman Munches on Light Bulbs

Zhang Yujian, a Chinese stuntman from Mudanjiang City, Heilonjiang Province, has eaten two light bulbs during his performance, on Monday. XInhua reports the glass-eating master has a record of three light bulbs eaten in just 120 seconds. Now, I’m not sure if he eats the entire thing, but he certainly made short work of the sharp glass, without any serious cuts.

I knew the Chinese had some pretty bizarre foods, at least for my taste, but Zhang Yujian is taking things a little too far. I wonder if he’d be interested in meeting Russia’s sand-eating woman, I bet they’d hit it off. Read More »

China Showcases the World’s Largest Luminous Pearl

A mystery to the western world, luminous pearls are legendary in China, and people go to great lengths for a chance to even touch one of them. The largest luminous pearl has just been placed on display, in China’s Hainan province.

Very little is known about the giant green pearls of China. The few who actually have heard of these remarkable jewels refer to them as “Yemengzhu” and praise them to be rarities that bring good luck. They have been a part of Chinese legends for centuries, and people there believe that just touching them can bring great fortune and prosperity. But this kind of myths are all to common in a traditional country like China, and what makes Yemengzhu special has little to do with local lore.

Luminous pearls are wonders of the mineral world that shine in the dark without the help of ultraviolet light. This kind of Fluorite is so rare that western geology don’t even recognize its existence, and the Chinese only discovered the first one in 1982, at a Tungsten mine, in Guangdong. Since then, bigger and bigger deposits were discovered, and the largest one yet weighs 6 tons and is 1.6 meters in diameter. When it was discovered, it had an irregular shape, but was ground in the form of a sphere. The process took three years to complete, because of its tough nature, comparable to the finest grade of diamonds.

The largest luminous pearl is currently exhibited in Wenchang, China’s Hainan province, and has been appraised at 2.2 billion yuan ($331 million).

 

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Real-Life Barbie Suite Is the Ultimate Girls’ Pad

If you’ve always wanted to be like Barbie and live in her pink dream-house, you’re about to get your wish. A hotel in the Italian Alps has opened a series of rooms decorated just like Barbie’s miniature pads.

The owners of the Grand Hotel Savoia, at the Cortina ski resort, thought they’d celebrate Barbie’s 50th anniversary by decorating some of their rooms with real-life furniture and decoration you’d normally only find in Matel’s play sets. That’s right girls, you’ll get the chance to live it up like Barbie for as long as you or your parents can afford it, surrounded by the popular dolls favorite clothes and accessories, including skirts, lace-up dresses, corsets, toy-like chairs and even a sunburst mirror made from Barbie dolls

Italian interior designer described the recently inaugurated Barbie rooms as “the ultimate girls’ pad with details celebrating Barbie’s love of pink.” Barbie fans can book their stay in one of these life-size Barbie homes until the end of next March.

Yesterday the news about a Hello Kitty theme park in Japan, now this…This just hasn’t been my week!

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Just What the World Needed – Hello Kitty Theme park Opens in Tokyo

As if the world didn’t have enough of their annoying icon, Hello Kitty, the Japanese thought they’d open a new theme park as well.

If you’re a regular visitor of Oddity Central, you probably already know I’m not the world’s biggest Hello Kitty fan. I’ve featured quite a few strange Hello Kitty stuff, from a pink assault rifle to a Hello Kitty-themed Ferrari. Now, it brings me great…honor to present to you Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise, a Hello Kitty theme park that just opened in Tokyo.

I guess the Japanese didn’t want to look bad, after their Chinese neighbors built a Hello Kitty castle, and a nice new pink theme park was just the thing. Located on Odaiba Island, Hello Kitty Kawaii Paradise opened on October 22nd, and hopes to attract as many as 700,000 Hello Kitty fans in its first year. While the despicable icon has tons of fans in Japan’s capital, not many of them bothered to check out the theme park, probably because Odaiba is quite a long way from central Tokyo, and many of them don’t care to make the long trip. Let’s just hope the place stays empty and they’ll be forced to close it down soon, because unless you’re the Pink Lady, human eyesight just can’t handle all that pink.

In case you’re interested, the 10,000 square-foot park features a big Hello Kitty shop, where you can find all kinds of accessories, toys and other pink junk, a Hello Kitty pancake restaurant, a small theater, a big statue of Hello Kitty and a whole bunch of other pink, girly stuff fans go crazy about.

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Meet the “Smartest” Man in China

With nine educational diplomas under his belt, Zhou Baokuan can definitely claim the title of “smartest man in China.”

When it comes to education, we all want the best for our kids, but I think Zhou Baokuan’s parents might have pushed him a little to far, when he was a child. I mean, the man started studying and even though he is now 53 years old, he has no intention of stopping.

In recognition of his incredible desire to study, an organization known as China World Records Association decided to award Zhou the title of “man with most diplomas in the world.” Over the course of 35 years of intense studying (sometimes without sleep) the man earned a total of nine diplomas, including three doctoral diplomas and two masters degrees. Zhou, a resident of Shenyang City, admits it wasn’t easy getting this many diplomas, and reckons he spent around 126,500 hours studying for them

Believe it or not, Zhou Baokuan is currently studying to get his fourth doctoral degree, at Fudan University.

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