New York Hosts First Pillow Fight World Cup

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Most people think of pillow fighting as a fun childhood game or some scantly clad women putting on a show, but for the women participating in the Pillow Fight World Cup it’s a real sporting competition.

Eight women armed with fluffy pillows and dressed like athletes could be seen stepping into the ring during this first edition of the Pillow Fight World Cup, which took place on May 17, at The Warsaw Polish National Home, in Brooklyn, NY. Competitors were all girls and came from countries like Austria, Japan, Sweden and of course, the USA. “It’s less brutal than boxing, but you still need technique,” said Maylin Kretzschmar, 26, one of the three Austrians engaged in the tournament. “It’s a fun sport. I don’t want to punch someone in the face, but you can still get rid of your aggression.” The Austrians were the most experienced competitors seeing they have a pillow fighting league back home, and train constantly.

The man behind the Pillow Fight World Cup is Andrew Thompson, creator of Punk Rock Pillow Fight, a sporadic event where pillow-fighting men and women wack each other senseless with pillows. He was approached by the Austrians about a serious all-girl World Cup tournament, and he was happy to organize it. Everyone involved sees this event as an opportunity to raise the profile of a so-called sport most people probably haven’t played since childhood.

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Man Turns His House into Renaissance-Style Masterpiece

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Robert Burns, a 63-year-old retired decorator from England, has turned the interior of his house into a modern-day Renaissance masterpiece.

After years of painting other people’s houses in boring, pastel colors, Burns got bored. He remembers thinking he had spent 15 years of his life applying the exact shade of magnolia with a paint roller, and was in desperate need of a creative outlet. One day, he bought two books about the Vatican at a car boot sale, and suddenly discovered the Italian Renaissance. Even though he had never been to Florence or Rome, he said to himself “How difficult can this be, I’m a decorator”, and that’s how it all started.

When he started working on his Renaissance interior, the self-taught artist redid his first painting three or four times because he thought it didn’t look good enough, but he soon got the hang of it and began to understand how great classics like Caravaggio or Michaelangelo did their works. While acrylics didn’t seem like the right kind of paint at the beginning, he soon learned they worked quite well if he got the technique right, and now his entire house is painted with acrylics.

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Car Lover Builds His Own Lamborghini Reventon

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A Chinese car enthusiast from Kunming has spent around $13,800 to turn his old Nissan A31 into the sports car of his dreams, a Lamborghini Reventon.

What’s a car lover to do when he likes a luxury car so much, but can’t afford to buy it? Build one of his own, of course, and that’s just what Asan, the owner of a hair salon in Kunming, China, decided to do after he fell in love with the Lamborghini Reventon. he has always been a fan of the Italian car manufacturer and dreamed of owning one of the petrol-powered road beasts one day, but when he saw the new Reventon costs around $2,3 million, he decided to take a different approach to realizing his dream.

The first thing he did was buy a Lamborghini he could actually afford – a miniature model of the Reventon, which served as inspiration for the three welders he hired to turn his 1995 Nissan A31 into one of the most exclusive cars on Earth. All the parts used were replicas or self-made, except for a genuine Lamborghini RB25 engine. His team of workers only needed 12 days to complete the body of this home-made Lamborghini Reventon, and Asan estimates the whole deal will only cost him around 90,000 yuan ($13,800). Not too bad, considering the price of the original alternative.

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Couple Claim They Are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene

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A couple who claim they are reincarnations of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene have recently set up camp in Queensland’s Bible Belt, joined by 30 – 40 followers.

Australian cult watchers are concerned about a new organization known as Divine Truth, led by Alan John Miller and Mary Suzanne Luck, who claim they are Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. According to The Courier Mail, the two rely on donations made by their followers in order to sustain themselves, and authorities fear they could be taking advantage of the vulnerable.

Mr. Miller, 47, was born in Luxton, South Australia, and is the father of two children from a past marriage, which ended when he began remembering details from his past life. He seems to believe this is his 22nd life and that he has the amount of divine love in his heart accumulated in 22 life cycles. Now he and his soul mate, 32-year-old Mary Magdalene, real name Mary Suzanne Luck, are reunited and have created their very own little cult, in Wilkesdale. Miller first bought 16 hectares of land in the area, and his followers soon followed his example just to be close to their charismatic spiritual leader.

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Daphne Selfe – A Successful Supermodel at 82

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In a world obsessed with physical beauty and aging, 82-year-old Daphne Selfe proves you’re never too old to have a successful modeling career.

The grandmother of four has been working in the fashion industry for over 60 years, and thanks to her perfect posture, incredible cheekbones and long, grey hair she’s now more popular than she’s ever been. Daphne has appeared in commercials for companies like Nivea and Olay, has modeled for designers the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and was featured in fashion magazines Vogue and Marie Claire. She has never had any cosmetic surgery done, and managed to earn up to $1,600 a day working as a model.

Daphne Selfe began her modeling career in 1950. She was 20 years old and her colleagues at a department store in Reading, England, convinced her to enter a local modeling competition, which she ended up winning. Selfe went on to become a house model for clothing manufacturers and furriers and appeared in a few advertising campaigns. She remembers she had a decent career for about five years, but she was nothing special back then.

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Shirley, the Chain Smoking Orangutan

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A prisoner at a Malaysian zoo where attendants have turned their backs on animals a long time ago, Shirley the orangutan has developed a nasty smoking habit that is putting her life at risk.

Malaysia’s booming economy places it among the wealthiest countries in the world, but you definitely could’t tell by visiting one of its zoos. According to voluntary non-profit organization, Nature Alert, the south-eastern Asian country has some of the worst animal zoos on the planet, and while the government launched a new law forcing zoos to get up to standard within six months, no one believes this will happen without some serious publicity. A recent investigation conducted at 10 Malaysian zoos yielded some horrifying facts: animals were kept in dirty enclosures barely large enough to turn around in, others had no clean drinking water, while some were even force to perform in front of visitors.

But one of the most shocking cases is that of Shirley the orangutan, who begs for cigarette butts from tourists, in order to satisfy her tobacco addiction. She constantly reaches her arm out through the bars in order to get to the cigarettes and spends most of her day smoking one cigarette stump after the other. Some visitors apparently find her smoking pretty amusing since they blatantly ignore the “no smoking” sign in front of her enclosure and keep throwing her cigarette butts. When she isn’t smoking, the 25-year-old orangutan chews on sharp aluminum soda cans and all kinds of dangerous trash people throw in her cage.

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Argentine Farmer Makes Giant Guitar with 7,000 Trees

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Pedro Martin Ureta, an Argentine farmer from General Levalle, has used 7,000 cypress and eucalyptus trees to create a giant guitar in memory of his late wife, Graciela.

Seeing this incredible design for the first time, I bet the first thing that comes to mind is “Photoshop”, but this one’s for real, folks. 70-year-old Ureta embedded this carefully planned design into his farm many years ago, and maintains it in honor of his wife, Graciela Yraizoz, who died in 1977, when she was only 25.

Mr. Ureta met Graciela in the 1960s, when he returned home after traveling to Europe, where he spent a lot of time with artists and revolutionaries. He was 28 when he first saw this beautiful 17-year-old girl and soon decided he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Despite the priest’s reluctant attitude, thinking Pedro wasn’t committed enough to loving Ms. Yraizoz all his life, the two got married and proved extremely devoted to each other.

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Van Gogh’s Starry Night Recreated with Delicious Bacon

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So what do you do when you have plenty of time and bacon on your hands? That’s an easy one, try to recreate some of the world’s most popular paintings.

At least that’s what Instructables user CooperTwist decided to do. He used one package of turkey bacon, two packages of regular bacon, a sharp knife, and two cutting boards, one for actual cutting, and the larger one as a canvas for his bacon masterpiece. He began by cutting the bacon into long strips, according to their color and ended up with five piles of goodness: light turkey bacon, dark turkey bacon, red bacon, pink bacon, and white bacon fat.

He then printed aversion of the original Starry Night and tried to focus on the things that stand out and make it unique: the swirling cloud, the tall village church and the dark treetop in the foreground. He used whole strips for the clouds and cut smaller pieces for the details around the village.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night was also recently recreated with 8,000 bottle caps, by two students from the University of Virginia.

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Canada Makes World’s Largest Ice-Cream Cake

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Yesterday, Canadian company Dairy Queen has set a new world record by making the world’s largest ice-cream cake in Yonge and Dundas Square, Toronto.

It took 100 people over a year to plan the event, but after 30 years and 52 million ice-cream cakes sold, this was the perfect way to celebrate, according to Denise Hutton, vice-president of marketing at Dairy Queen Canada. Dozens of chefs worked around the clock using over 9,000 kg of ice-cream, 91 kg of sponge cake, around 136 kg of icing and Oreo crumbles, to beat the former world record, a nearly 8,000 kg ice-cream cake made by China, in 2006.

After the cake was completed and acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records, pieces of it were served to the crowd gathered in Yonge and Dundas Square, with 100% of suggested donations going to Children’s Miracle Network. “When else can eating ice cream cake help to fund medical care, research and educational programs so that Canadian kids have access to world-class care? It’s the best of all worlds – a delicious treat and a great cause.” said the charity’s Paul Lethbridge.

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Modern Tower of Babel Made of Books Appears in Buenos Aires

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Popular Argentine artist Marta Minujin has created a 25-meter-high spiraling Tower of Babel made from 30,000 books written in various languages.

This modern version of the Tower of Babel was designed in celebration of Buenos Aires’ designation as World Book Capital 2011, by UNESCO, and local authorities say it represents the ideas of pluralism and diversity which also characterize the Argentine capital city. This isn’t Minujin’s first experience with book installations; in 1983, when democracy was restored in Argentina, she built a replica of the Parthenon from books banned by the former military dictatorship.

The tower consists of a spiraling metal frame and around 30,000 books written in most of the world’s languages and dialects. You can find all kinds of books, from dictionaries and encyclopedias to software manuals and classic novels, arranged on six levels. The bottom level features a collection of books from around the world, the first and second levels are for American books, the third and fourth are reserved for Europe, the fifth for Africa and the sixth for Asia. 16,000 of the books were donated by 52 embassies in Buenos Aires, while the rest were provided by Argentine readers.

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Halo Fan Spends Six Months Making a Life-Size LEGO Master Chief Costume

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Ben Caulkins, also known as Benny Brickster, spent the last six months working on a life-size costume of Halo’s Master chief, made from thousands of LEGO bricks.

Although he had some LEGO building experience, Ben admits he thought long and hard before taking on the task of building a real Master Chief costume. He was inspired by a fellow brickster’s awesome Boba Fett costume and by some of the works he admired at his first Brickworld LEGO convention. That’s when he really started thinking about it, and while it seamed only a dream at the time, but after a while he realized it was doable.

He decided to dedicate himself to the project, and started off by building Master Chief’s iconic helmet. He figured that if he could pull this off, he could build the rest of the costume as well. Benny spent a lot of time planning the building process, finding the right resources, getting its size just right so it would look proportionate with his body, and then he finally got to work. It turned out great with that golden motorcycle visor, and his work was picked up by sites like the Wall Street Journal and Gizmodo.

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Tragedy: Owner Plans to Close Down Topless Coffee Shop

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Donald Crabtree opened the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, in Vassalboro, Maine, so he, his employees and his customers could have a laugh. Now, two years later, he claims he is forced to close it down due to sabotage.

Ina town with fewer than 4,500 residents, you wouldn’t expect a controversial venture like Donald’s topless coffee shop to succeed, but it did. Back in 2009, crowds were pouring in to the only place they could be served hot coffee by topless waiters and waitresses, and the owner described his business as “fantastic”. He had hired ten women and five men, out of the almost 200 applications he received, from skinny to big boned people.  With the economy so bad at the time, the coffee shop put a smile on people’s faces and took their minds off problems.

But that was back then. These days, the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop isn’t nearly as popular as it once was, and Donald Crabtree had to make some staff cuts and reduce their hours, just to keep his business alive. He says locals have been against his innovative idea from day one, and even though he managed to hold out against their sabotage this long, enough is enough. The final straw was a series of violations reported by the town, regarding two billboard he set up, one advertising a benefit topless car wash and the other said “Boobies wanted”. Authorities say it’s not about what’s on the billboards, but their size – they’re larger than what’s permitted under his local permit and the adult-only ordinance.

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Young Crafter Makes Original Prom Dress from 4,000 Pull Tabs

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16-year-old Maura Pozek, from Reed Springs, Missouri, created her own prom dress from 4,000 pull tabs and 400 yards of pink ribbon.

Looking at the beautiful gown, you wouldn’t guess it was created by a high-school junior, let alone that she did it using only ribbon and aluminum pull tabs. But it’s true, Maura actually spent 100 hours working on her unique prom dress, surrounded only by her laptop, cellphone and a Netflix subscription. I bet there was a lot of sweat and tears involved in all that intricate weaving, but the final result is truly mind-blowing, and she can rest assured no one else will be wearing the exact dress on prom night.

For last year’s prom, Maura made herself a dress from around 60 bags of Dorito chips. You can check out a couple of photos of it, at the bottom.

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Indoor Swimming Pool Hosts Underwater Opera Show

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Aquaria Palaoa is a different kind of opera performance, where the protagonists sing in, out and under the water of a swimming pool, in Berlin, Germany.

Claudia Herr, a former swimming champion before turning to a music career, is the mastermind behind the unique Aquaria Palaoa project. In an interview with news agency AFP, Herr said she first got the idea for hosting an opera show at an indoor swimming pool the first time she visited the art nouveau Stadtbad Neukölln pool, in Berlin, 10 years ago. The large hall, complete with neo-classical pillars made her feel like she was at the opera.

Playing the lead role in Aquaria Palaoa, the former swimmer turned opera performer dives into the pool in a green evening dress, telling the story of a woman looking for the elixir of eternal youth. She sings both above and under the clear water of Stadtbad Neukölln, with the help of oxygen tanks. Special microphones transmit underwater sounds to speakers set up around the hall. Claudia’s voice, and those of other singers also singing underwater (but without oxygen tanks) are mixed with sounds recorded 100 meters under an ice shelf, in Antarctica. Meanwhile, the orchestra stays dry and accompanies them from the side of the pool.

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Feline Photographer Offers a Cat’s-Eye View on Life

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Cooper, a normal house cat from Seattle, has recently become one of the world’s most talked-about photographers after his owners tied a timer-controlled camera around his neck, which takes snaps of his day-to-day adventures.

His brilliant career began last year, when his owners, Michael and Deirdre Cross decided to attach the tiny camera in order to answer the question that plagues all cat owners – “where does my cat go all day?” It started out as a fun geography experiment, but when Cooper came home the first day, and they saw the amazing photos they were completely blown away. Michael and Deirdre realized it wasn’t about where their furry pet went all day, but about how beautiful and lush their neighborhood looked from a feline’s perspective.

The mini camera around Cooper’s neck takes photos every two minutes, revealing everything that he sees. Whether it catches other cats, one of his many hiding places, his owners, or the big blue sky, the camera revealed some pretty amazing shots and practically made Cooper a star. It also helped his owners understand more about their pet, for example, they noticed Cooper spent a lot of time looking at the back door, and realized a lot of his time was spent looking for a way to get inside. So they got a cat flap and noticed he was much happier.

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