Coolest Finds of the Week #22

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Chocolate Wonderland Opens in Shanghai (Sky News)

Real-Life Magneto Sets Spoon-Balancing Record (Reuters)

Guinness Names World’s Shortest Woman (TIME)

Brutal Modern-Day Jousting (Environmental Graffiti)

Japanese Create $130,000 Swarovski Crystal Toilet (Born Rich)

Dutch Airline Offers Miles-High Dating via Facebook (Big Pond News)

Facebook to Sue Israeli Mark Zuckerberg (Stuff.co.nz)

Old Man Turns Scooter into Funny Rolls Royce Replica (Metro)

Man Eats Light Bulb in 33.86 Seconds, Sets New Record (Record Setter)

10 Incredible Sunken Ships (Environmental Graffiti)

Man Turns Pontiac into Ferrari, Gets Accused of Patent Violation

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Although he tried his best to turn his old Pontiac Fiero into a beautiful Ferrari 355, a businessman from Agrigento, Italy, has recently been accused of trademark and patent violations.

There aren’t many car enthusiasts out there who can honestly say they wouldn’t like to have their own Ferrari. It’s the most iconic sports car brand in history, and all of its creations are widely recognized as engineering masterpieces, but unfortunately few of us can actually afford one. Case in point, an Italian businessman who wanted an iconic Ferrari 355 so bad he decided that if he couldn’t buy it, he was going to build it himself. But rather than starting from scratch, he turned his old Pontiac Fiero into an almost perfect replica of the vehicle designed by Pinifarina. He did a wonderful job both on the outside and the inside, and only a real connoisseur could actually spot any differences from the original, only he forgot one small detail before venturing on the open road in his fake Ferrari, the car’s registration.

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Bride Kidnapping – A Controversial Tradition in Kyrgyzstan

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Many women dream of being carried away on a white horse, by their knight-in-shining-armor. But what if the so-called knight turned out to be an abductor, forcing a woman to elope with him?

That is exactly the case with bride kidnappings that take place in Kyrgzstan, Central Asia. Parodied in the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the practice is a harsh reality of the region, more prevalent in Kyrgzstan than Kazakhstan. In the film, Pamela Anderson was kidnapped by the main character for marriage. In real life unfortunately, the stories are never funny. Although precise statistics are unavailable, it is commonly believed that more than half of Kyrgyz wives are married in this manner. It is even seen as a matter of pride, a means for a man to prove his manhood. Often, the families of the groom participate in the abduction, they help in planning the ‘capture’ of their son’s would-be wife. A white scarf is placed, often forcibly, on the woman’s head, signalling her acceptance. Once kidnapped, the bride’s family urge her to accept her situation and her new husband, for fear that she would never find another suitable mate again.

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Croatian Boasts 1.2 Million Christmas Lights Display

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Zlatko Salaj, a 67-year-old Croatian, has created a ‘Christmas Story’ for himself. Not a story to tell, but one to show the world. His Christmas Story is actually his home, which he decks up in lights and colors every year around the holidays.

The former telecommunications engineer owns a country estate in Grabovinca, located in central Croatia. The entire estate is decorated at this time of year. Thousands of visitors come by to view the spectacle created by Salaj and his family. When he started this practice in 2002, Salaj had a modest 70,000 light bulbs that were put up on all the shrubs and trees across his 17-acre estate. When people asked him how many he would put up the next year, his reply was a 100,000. In this way, the lights and decorations kept growing in number. This year, the number has upped to 1.2 million Christmas lights. Not just ordinary ones, he has lights shaped like Santa Claus and reindeer. The festive spirit of his decorations is contagious and attracts children and adults alike from all over the region.

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Drug Lord Pablo Escobar Becomes Colombian Tourist Attraction

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When Pablo Escobar died in 1993, the people of Medellin, Colombia, sighed in relief. But little did they know that the world’s most notorious criminal at the time would become one of their country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The legacy of Escobar lives on in Medellin, in a different and slightly unusual manner. The man and his life are now sold as a tourist attraction to visitors; this has proven to be quite popular. Escobar, who was responsible for several acts of terrorism such as blowing up the Government’s Security Ministry, assassinating a Presidential candidate, bombing a civilian airliner, and waging a war in which thousands of people were killed, would have least expected that the memories he left behind would one day serve as a means to attract tourists to Colombia.

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Bold Designer Creates Fashionable Dress from Ford Focus Car Parts

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A true designer can make a dress out of literally anything, even car parts! As a part of the month-long event celebrating 100 years of Ford in Britain, the company commissioned two young British designers to create a dress and jewelry fashioned from Ford components.

The unique ‘car dress’ was designed by Judy Clark, who is a nominee for Scottish designer of the year and has also worked with Alexander McQueen. She accepted the challenge to make the dress using Ford car parts within 1 week. The materials she worked with included various parts from a Ford Focus, along with Chiffon, Silk, Tweed, Lace, Leather and Spray paint. On her blog, Clark describes the entire designing and dress-making process from beginning to end. The parts first arrived at her place in big boxes. The components sent to her included keys, dashboard functions, rear lights, car seat covers, radio players, window buttons and more.

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Lensless Glasses – Asia’s Crazy Fashion Trend

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The grass is always greener on the other side, to quote the cliche. Those who have glasses don’t want them, and those who don’t, will wear them with no lenses!

This is the latest fad in Hong Kong and several other Asian countries. It’s common to find people sporting empty plastic frames, in a variety of bright colors that match their outfit or their hair. It might confuse you as to why anyone who didn’t have to wear glasses would want to. But they seem to have reasons of their own. According to popular radio host Chu Fun, the empty glasses are great because they match her outfits, but they are also practical. When she doesn’t have time to put on makeup, the lensless glasses are great to cover up dark circles, she says. They also don’t blind her by fogging, or get stuck to false eyelashes or mascara. Chu has four pairs already, in black, pink, red and purple.

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Car Powered by Coke and Mentos Travels 239 Feet

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We’ve seen countless videos on the Internet of the disastrous effects of Coke mixed with Mentos candy, but someone actually thought of putting the phenomenon to good use. Presenting – the Coke and Mentos powered car.

Developed by Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz from Maine, Mark II is a single-seat rocket car. When powered by 54 bottles of Coke Zero and 324 Mentos, it is able to travel 239 feet. This is an improvement over Mark I which traveled 230 feet last year, using up to double the fuel. According to Voltz, the car they’ve invented works on the simple mechanism of piston-and-cylinder. The car is quite powerful, he says, and warns people from trying the experiment at home.

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Japanese Company Offers Single-Person Karaoke Rooms

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We now have one more reason to visit Japan – private Karaoke rooms.

Do you find yourself wishing that you could have had a little more practice before getting up to karaoke before all your friends? Or are you just a bathroom singer who prefers to sing alone, along with just music and lyrics? Either way, private karaoke rooms could be just as fun and exciting for you. The single-person karaoke room, also known as ’1Kara’ in Japan, was launched late November, and has been gaining in popularity. The store is located in front of Kanda station in Tokyo and offers small, solo rooms, equipped with a table, chair, microphones, headphones and a small screen.

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Flamboyant Millionaire Makes Mercedes SLR Even More Exclusive

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What Swiss business man Ueli Anliker calls the car of his dreams, could very well be the one of your nightmares. He’s taken the classy, exclusive Mercedes McLaren SLR, and created a monster.

Anliker was apparently not satistfied with what the car had to offer, and so set out on a mission to transform it into his vision of the perfect SLR. A team of thirty five people worked on it, spending 30,000 hours and over £ 3.5 million ($5.5 million) . The transformed vehicle is called the Anliker McLaren SLR 999 Red Gold Dream. He’s made changes to the paintwork, wheels, interiors and even the engine. Twenty-five layers of red paint with 5kg of gold dust were used on the body of the car. The wheels, headlights and door sills are all covered in 24 carat gold. The indicators inside the car are jeweled, the seat covers and interiors gold trimmed, and the switchgear is covered in rubies. The power on the existing 5.4 litre engine has been boosted to 999bhp from 640bhp. This has caused the top speed to increase to 210 mph. A total of 600 rubies have been used in re-decorating the exclusive Mercedes.

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Chinese Chef Builds His Own Jeep with Just $600

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Qu Zhibo, a chef from Zigong City, China’s Sichuan Province, spent three years and just 4,000 yuan ($628) building his own knockoff Jeep. His efforts have made him somewhat of an Internet celebrity, in China.

I was convinced Chinese car enthusiasts can be very resourceful when it comes to building their own dream cars after seeing photos of a young man working on his home-made Lamborghini, so Qu Zhibo’s achievement just comes as a confirmation. Because he was busy running his own restaurant, Qu Zhibo took three years to complete work on his 2-meters-long, 1.5-meters-high Jeep, but he did use just 600 bucks to do it. The car, which many Chinese netizens called a “knockoff Hummer” was actually inspired by an American military vehicle, and even though right now it pretty much looks like a pile of junk on wheels, a bit of camouflage paint could go a long way.

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Designer Creates Shirt That’s More Expensive Than a Car

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The Royals of ancient times wore clothes that were studded with precious stones and metals. Now you can too, if you are ready to pay an arm and a leg, that is. Or just five million rupees ($97,500).

This pricey shirt was created by an Indian designer, Amitabh Chandel. A descendant of a royal family himself, he says he wanted to create a shirt suitable for today’s royalty. What makes the shirt so expensive is the fine silk it’s made of, and the diamond buttons, set in gold. The shirt is in fact part of an entire collection, the price range starting at around 50,000 Rupees ($950). He says that modern royal men, as well as commoners are welcome to place orders for the shirts. Mr. Chandel says claims these shirts are a perfect blend of the practical and the royal. Since traditional royal attire cannot be worn every day, these shirts allow a sense of richness to pervade regular clothing.

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Taiwan Trades Lottery Tickets for Dog Poop

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This is perhaps one of the most innovative methods ever employed to keep a city clean. The authorities in New Taipei City, northern Taiwan, promised the citizens a  free lottery ticket, in exchange for each bag of dog poop they collect from the street and hand over.

It has become a common sight in the city now, several citizens cleaning up the streets. The competition was started in early August, and so far 14,000 bags of dog waste have been handed in. In fact, the response to the campaign has been beyond the expectations of the city’s environment protection bureau, according to one official. The top prize of the lottery draw was gold worth T$ 60,000 (US $2000). The second and third prize were T$18,000 and T$12,000 respectively.

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Coolest Finds of the Week #21

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7 Great Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions (Environmental Graffiti)

LEGO Tourist Travels the World (Orange News)

Chinese Rapunzel Has World’s Longest Hair (Sina)

10 Incredibly Bizarre Art Installations (Oddee)

Stuntman Balances on His Head, on a Spike (Daily Mail)

Man Fakes Mother’s Obituary to Get Time Off (Huufington Post)

World’s 7 Creepiest Abandoned Zoos (Environmental Graffiti)

Totally Awesome Diablo 3 Body Costume (YouTube)

Japan’s Regal Dancing Monkeys (MyModernMet)

Taekwondo Finger Guy Is a handy Martial Arts Expert (Laughing Squid)

Mom Buys Realistic Baby Doll, Treats it Like a Real Baby

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36-Year-Old Ashleigh Kirby is obsessed with her new-born baby, Finlay. Only, Finlay isn’t a real boy. In a story that strongly reminds us of Pinocchio, Ashleigh is emotionally attached to a realistic, life-size baby doll, even more than with her own daughter when she was born.

Ashleigh lives with her 12-year-old daughter Becky in Andover, Hampshire. She separated from her partner when Becky was just five. After trying several years, she lost hope that she would ever find a suitable man and have babies again. Describing herself as strongly maternal, she wanted to have a baby in the house at any cost. When Ashleigh came across the ‘reborn’ dolls online, she immediately placed an order for one, priced at £250. She has since spent hundreds of pounds on the doll, on clothing, nappies and more. She takes the doll out to the park for a walk in a stroller, cuddles with it and even takes it shopping, treating it just like a real baby. Sometimes other women come over to her to see the baby, mistaking it for a real one. Ashleigh says she just plays along.

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