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India’s Two-Year-Old Snake Charmers

While other two-year-olds are just learning to walk and talk, the children of the nomad Vadi Tribe are introduced to the centuries-old art of snake charming.

All the children of the Vadi Tribe come face to face with a poisonous cobra at age two, and go through a ten-year ritual, in which they learn all the secrets of snake charming. Both boys and girls must learn to handle snakes. While men must be able to manipulate cobras by playing the flute, the women must know how to take care of the reptiles when their husbands or brothers are away.

The Vadi treat snakes like their own children, never keeping them away from their natural habitat for more than seven months. Any longer than that would be disrespectful to the snakes, according to Babanath Mithunath Madari, the 60-year-old Vadi chief-charmer. In fact, the only time a snake actually bit his charmer, was when he kept it for more than seven months.

Vadi snake-charmers don’t cut the fangs of their snakes, instead they feed them an herbal mixture which, they say,  makes their deadly poison harmless.

Unfortunately, in 1991, the thousand-year-old tradition of snake-charming was banned in India, and the Vadi tribe are stripped of their snakes whenever they are confronted by the police. They never spend more than six months in the same place.

Photos by BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Lilliputan Terracotta Army Invades England

40,000 small terracotta soldiers storm into the Spanish Barn, in Torquay, Devon.

The Terracotta Army is a famous art collection, by British artist Anthony Gormley, featuring 40,000 clay figurines. They were all made in St. Helen’s, Merseyside, as a community project. Children and their families were given clay balls to manipulate into a human shape, with two eyes. Each person created up to 200 terracotta figurines per day.

Now the Terracotta Army has been moved from London’s South Bank Center into the Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn, in Torquay, Devon. All the 40,000 lilliputian terracotta soldiers must face in the same direction and must be viewed from a certain angle. That’s why volunteers were needed to walk through the ranks and arrange the figurines.

The young lady in the second photo is one such volunteer, walking carefully among the 8 to 26-cm-tall statuettes, in her socks. If one of the soldiers were to fall, it could lead to a disastrous domino effect.

Anthony Gormley’s Terracotta Army will be stationed inside the abbey for the summer, if you fancy a visit.

Photos by SWNS

via Daily Mail

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Largest Smurf Meeting Ever

Some of the most adorable characters in cartoon history, the Smurfs have an incredibly large fan-base.

2,510 students from Swansea University, UK, got together on June 8th to stage the largest Smurf meeting ever, and set a new world record. Participants painted themselves blue and wore pointy white hats, just like their beloved characters.

The 2,510 Smurf fans managed to pulverize the old record for largest Smurf gathering, which was 1,253 Smurfs in one place, set in July 2008, in Castleblayney, Northern Ireland. Judging by the photos, the real-life Smurfs had a great time setting this record.

Photos by CFP

via China.org.cn

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China’s Kung Fu Soccer Team

Chinese discover deadly combination: soccer and Kung Fu martial arts.

The first thing that came into my mind, when I first saw these photos, was the movie Shaolin Soccer. Ok, so it wasn’t the best film ever made, but it had a pretty cool idea, mixing a popular sport like soccer with martial arts. Now the Chinese bring fantasy into real life with the women’s kung fu soccer team.

The kung fu soccer team was founded in Tanggu, and the girls showcased their abilities for the first time on May 31, in Tianjin. From What I can see, these girls got game!

via China.org.cn

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Chinese Build Amphibious Bike

Don’t know what you were expecting, but this is not some high-tech, revolutionary vehicle. It’s just an interesting home-made amphibious bicycle.

Li Weiguo is the man who designed and built this floating bicycle, and the girl riding it in the photos is his daughter Li Jin. His amphibious bicycle has eight water buckets that act as pontoons and adjustable vane wheels that provide the driving power. It might not look as good as other custom made bikes, but at least you can ride it on water and land alike, and that’s the whole point.

The amphibious bike was presented on May 30 2009, in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

via China.org.cn

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Man Finds Alligator in His Pool

What would your reaction be if you woke-up one morning and found an alligator swimming in your pool?

That’s what happened to Larry Bland, from Texas, who found a 5-foot-alligator cooling-in his backyard pool. Apparently the burning sun was too much for this reptile and Bland’s pool was the perfect getaway.

The uninvited guest was removed by Gary Saurage, a very brave trapper who went into the pool, brought it up to the surface and then pushed it out. That takes some serious “cojones”, I’ll tell you…

Photos by [CFP]

via China.org.cn

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CarGo Concept – The 3in1 Car

The CarGo Concept may not be the best-looking car out there, but with the ever-worsening traffic, it’s just what we needed.

CarGo is a battery-powered vehicle with three different configurations. It can go into Compact Mode, Narrow Mode (reduced width and better maneuverability) and Pick-up Truck Mode, which allows you to transport heavier stuff.

The storage pod, at the back, can be removed to make the vehicle even smaller in size. It’s a brilliant prototype that just might make its way to the market some day. God knows we need something like a 3 in 1 vehicle, during these tough times.

via Yanko Design

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Bull Wins the Fight for a Change

It doesn’t happen as often as it would if the fight was actually fair, but it’s nice to see the underdog win for a change.

Israel Lancho had the misfortune of getting impaled by a bull, last Wednesday, in Madrid. The bull’s horn went in 8 inches and doctors said it was a miracle that it didn’t hit the matador’s heart. 30-year-old Israel is now recuperating. I wonder if he’s ever going to go into the bull-ring again.

UPDATE:  One of our visitors left a comment saying the matador died of complications. That is not true, but, while he received medical attention, the bull did in fact die as a result of his wounds. Others said this is tradition and should be accepted as such…Well, the shearing of the beasts, donkey basketball, Grindadrap or Afghan dog-fights are also old traditions, but I refuse to respect them. Read More »

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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The World’s Hairiest Competition

The World Beard and Mustache Competition was held in Anchorage, Alaska, and crowned its winner from one of the locals.

Contestants from as far as Turkey or Switzerland traveled to Alaska to compete for the title of hairiest man…sorry, for having the most beautiful facial hair. That doesn’t sound very nice either, but you know what I mean. There were 300 facial-hair enthusiasts, from eleven countries, fighting for this coveted title.

David Traver, a local boy, won the competition with his 20-inch beard, grown for a period of two and a half years, before being braided into the shape of a snowshoe.

Photos by AP and

via Daily Mail

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The Retirement of Billy the Goat

Having a goat as a member of the Royal Army might seem funny to most people, but it has been a British tradition for more than 200 years.

Lance Corporal William Windsor has served in the army for the last eight years, traveling overseas, meeting royalty and leading military parades. His comrades from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh said goodbye to their loyal colleague as he walked by to the trailer that took him to the zoo, where he will spend his retirement.

Billy the Goat is a Kashmir goat and was offered as a gift to the Royal Army, by the Queen herself. Billy’s replacement will be announced in June, when another kid goat will be picked from a heard in Great Orme, North Wales.

Photos by PA and REUTERS

via Daily Mail

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Asics Presents the Hamburger Sneakers

They look delicious, but no, they’re not edible.

Before you run down to your nearest sports shop, asking for a pair of Asics Gettry Procourt AR sneakers, you should know they have only been released in Japan. This fast-food-inspired line of footwear is a collaboration between Asics and Japanese retailer Gettry. It comes in all the colors associated with hamburger ingredients (meat, cheese, ketchup, lettuce, mustard), has french-fries printed on the insoles, and the perforated front resembles a fresh bun.

The Asics Hamburger Sneakers retail at 14,700 Yen ($155).

via Eat Me Daily

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FIT-PC2 – World’s Smallest PC

CompuLab has just introduced its new PC. It’s fast, quiet and most importantly, it’s tiny.

Designed around the Intel Atom Z530 1.6 Ghz processor, the smallish Fit-pc2 is a real power-saver too. It manages to run Microsoft Windows or Ubuntu Linux, using just 6W and can render full HD 1080p videos with just 7W.

The Fit-pc2 is fan and blower free, managing to stay cool thanks to its smart aluminum casing that dissipates heat. It may be just 4”x4.5”x1.05” (smaller that a CD), but it’s a pretty mean machine for its size. Here’s what u can find inside:
* 1.6GHz x86 CPU
* 1GB RAM
* SATA hard disk
* DVI with graphics acceleration
* High definition audio
* LAN and WLAN
* 6 USB ports

via fit-pc2.com

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Amazing Surgery on a Frog

Australian vet performs life-saving operation on a frog.

A female tree frog had been nearly sliced in half by a lawnmower, but a talented vet, with a soft spot for frogs, managed to fix her back to life. Stephen Cutter spent 30 minutes in surgery, stitching the skin on the frog’s back, after it had been ripped by the blades of a lawnmower.

The procedure was very delicate, considering frogs are very sensitive to chemicals used to clean wounds on humans and other animals. But the good doctor managed to rescue the brave amphibian who fought for her life, and is now almost fully recovered.

This is not the first time doctor Cutter has saved a frog, as he confessed he has also operated and saved frogs hit by cars. Victoria, named after the Victa lawnmower that injured her, is now set to be released on the outskirts of Litchfield National Park, and has every chance of living a normal, healthy life. That’s if she doesn’t get in front of a lawnmower again.

Photos by Barcroft Media Read More »

The Knitted Village

These lovely old ladies have spent a long time knitting their classic British village of Mersham.

It all started 23 years ago when the 12 women were reading an article in Women’s Weekly about another group of women who had accomplished a similar feat. They said to themselves ‘we should give it a whirl’, but had no idea it would become such an important part of their lives.

These knitted masterpieces might not look like much to the untrained eye, but all the buildings are knitted to scale and took thousand of hours to complete. When it was finished, the knitted village was presented at craft fairs and raised 10,000 pounds for the Mersham village hall fund. This Saturday, it will be up for sale in the Mersham Hall. With the media coverage this fabric work of art has received so far, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of buyers present in the Kent village.

I dare say the knitted village looks even better than the very original knitted bike

via Daily Mail

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