Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

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A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

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Curvy Yogi Proves You Don’t Have to Lose Weight to Stay in Shape

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Busting the myth of the perfect-bodied yoga poster girl is San Francisco plus-sized yogi Valerie Sagun. For the past three years, she has been photographed performing a range of complicated yoga poses, including headstands and handstands.

Valerie has a massive Instagram following of over 80,000 people, with whom she regularly shares videos of her yoga journey. “I just want to make sure that people don’t feel like they have to be scared or intimidated by learning yoga from someone who doesn’t look like them,” she wrote on her Tumblr page. “All of us have body issues whether you are big or small, but it’s good to just take the time to look at yourself and just love it as it is now.”

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New Service Saves and Frames Tattoos of Loved Ones after They Die

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Thanks to a new service called ‘Save My Ink’, your tattoos can now last forever. Launched by American tattoo artist Charles Hamm, the bizarre service involves slicing inked skin off dead people and preserving it through a bunch of chemical processes.

Hamm, 60, said he got the idea for Save My Ink – a.k.a National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) – when he realised how much time and money people put into their tattoos. “You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for,” he explained. “Your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas. It’s just like a house, wedding ring, or any other cherished possession.”

“I have over 150 hours of tattoo work on me, and I have almost covered my entire upper-body, excluding my neck and face,” Hamm said. “When I was getting more tattoo work completed on my back piece, a 10,000 dollar investment, I began considering all of the money I had put into my tattoos. I had also read an article in which Johnny Depp stated his intent to have his tattoos preserved, and it all inspired me to begin fully developing Save My Ink.”

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Australian Couple Experience Life with Almost No Money for a Year

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In this day and age, living without money sounds almost impossible, but that’s exactly what this Australian couple has been doing for almost a year. It’s been anything but easy, but they’ve somehow made it work.

Rachel Newby, 24, and Liam Culbertson, 26, have come up with innovative ways of making it through the year without any cash. They built themselves a new home on a friend’s plot in West Gippsland, a rural region in Victoria. The house is made entirely out of scrap timber and recycled materials. They grow their own food, and at times, don’t hesitate to dive into dumpsters for leftovers. They also help out local farmers in exchange for fresh produce and yarn.

“We enjoy the feeling of being able to choose what we do regardless of money,” said Rachel. “We don’t have to worry about rent or plane tickets or food or fancy clothes. Effectively, all of our time is free time because we get to decide how we spend it.”

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80-Year-Old Amateur Fashion Designer Creates and Models His Own Dresses

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It seems like the elderly are embracing fashion like never before. After Gunther Krabbenhoft, who charmed the internet with his sense of style, and Baddie Winkle, the coolest-dressing grandma online, we now have 80-year-old Liao Dezhong – an amateur designer who models his own eccentric dresses.

Dezhong, a widower from Sichuan Province, has designed over 10 garments so far, including a long white dress and a cotton print dress that went viral. His tryst with design began after he lost his cellphone to a pickpocket. He then tried to stitch additional pockets and zippers into his outfits, and eventually started designing clothes himself. Loose, flowing dresses with plenty of pockets are now his trademark style.

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59-Year-Old Fashion Model Is Still Giving Young Girls a Run for Their Money

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At age 59, the lovely Yasmina Rossi is breaking all the rules of the fashion world. Despite her age, she is a highly sought-after model, working for several international brands.

French-born Yasmina had an unusual start to her career – she began modelling in her late twenties, which is when most professional models retire. She got her big break at age 45, when she relocated to New York. That’s when she starred in ad campaigns for Macy’s, AT&T, and Mastercard. Eventually, she landed a job modelling for Marks & Spencers in Europe.

Everyone is naturally curious to know the secret behind her everlasting beauty, but Yasmina says there is none. “All I have ever done is eat organic food – long before it became trendy,” she told the Sunday Times’ Style Magazine. She also gets a bit of exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of rapeseed oil for her hair and skin.

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Disabled Student Turns His Wheelchair into Awesome Mad Max Cosplay

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Inspired by summer blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road, a college student in Florida has converted his own wheelchair into a spectacular Mad Max costume. Benjamin Carpenter, 20, made the most of his physical disability to create the ingenious costume, and it was an instant hit at the Tampa Bay Comic Con last month. His photographs made the front page of Reddit last week.

Carpenter, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, uses an upright wheelchair to move around – and he managed to work that right into the costume. He rigged the wheelchair to so it could be attached to a chariot or a larger buggy, and then added finer details, emulating lead character Max Rockatansky’s look as a mobile blood bank in the film.

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Gyotaku – The Traditional Japanese Art of Painting Fish with Actual Fish

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Back when there were no cameras for fishermen to record their trophy catches, the Japanese came up with a unique printing method called Gyotaku. Gyo means fish, and Taku means impression, and the technique involved just that – using freshly caught fish to make inky impressions on paper.

Hundreds of years ago, Japanese fishermen would take paper, ink and brushes out to sea with them. They would rub the fish they caught with the non-toxic sumi-e ink and then print them on rice paper. Most of the fish were then cleaned and sold in markets, but a few revered ones were released back into the ocean. In the mid-1800s, fishermen began to add eye details and other embellishments, giving rise to a unique art form.  

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The Chinese Farming Village Where Everybody Knows Kung Fu

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Ganxi Dong, a small village hidden deep in the mountains of Tianzhu in central China, is gaining worldwide attention for its unusually skilled residents. Apparently, everyone who lives in the self-sustaining village is a martial arts expert!

The Dong people, one of the 56 recognised ethnic minorities in China, pride themselves for having shunned the outside world in favor of local tradition. Apart from farming, every villager is well-versed in the art of kung fu, each one pursuing a different style of the ancient Chinese martial arts. They use a range of weapons including sticks, pitchforks, and their own fists.



Thai Collector Uses Ancient Ritual to Create Souls for Creepy ‘Child God Dolls’

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A creepy new trend in Thailand has people caring for supposedly haunted dolls, for good luck and prosperity.

The Look Thep (Child God) dolls are believed to be inhabited by children’s spirits, created through special rituals. They’re considered to be an updated version of the ancient kuman thong, the practice of worshiping human fetuses that died in the womb. Look Thep allows people to revere the spirits of children without having to actually obtain dead fetuses.

Several locals, including Thai celebrities, are vouching for the effectiveness of Look Thep dolls. Like DJ Bookkoh Thannatchayapan from 94 FM, who claims that his doll Wansai has made him successful in show biz. “The first day I got him, I took him out shopping for clothes in the baby section,” Bookkoh said. “Right after I paid for his clothes, I got a call that my canceled job was back on!”

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Dapper Gentleman in His 70’s Becomes Online Fashion Icon

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Most people tend to lose interest in fashion as they age, but an elderly gentleman from Germany is stunning the world with his sartorial elegance. Through his impeccable sense of style, Gunther Krabbenhoft is proving that fashion and charm are not limited to the young.

Gunther was recently photographed in Berlin, near the Kottbusser Tor station, and his pictures have created quite a stir online. His choice of clothes is simple, yet artistic, with clean lines and clever use of color. He regularly dons turned up jeans, corduroy jackets, classic bowties, waistcoats, brogues, hats, and braces – effortlessly nailing the look that modern day hipsters try so hard to emulate.

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This Woman Has Been Crying White “Crystals” for 20 Years and Nobody Can Explain Why

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Laura Ponce, a nursery school teacher in Lins, Brazil, suffers from a strange condition that causes her to cry ‘crystal’ tears. The white plaques start off as soft blobs inside her eyes, but they harden when she blinks in an attempt to expel them, finally emerging as solid white crystals.

This happens to her for weeks at a time, with a new plaque forming as soon as she expels another. It gets so bad at times that she has to take time off work, to remove as many as 30 plaque membranes from her eye in a day. “A clot starts to swell then I have to open my eye to take out the membrane,” she explained. “When it dries it hardens, it gets really hard, it hurts a lot.”



This Ghost Pepper Ice-Cream Is So Hot You Need a Waiver to Eat It

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Savory ice creams have been around for some time now, but none quite as hot as the Ghost Pepper Ice Cream. This bad boy is so spicy that you actually have to sign a legal waiver before attempting to eat it.

The frozen treat is available at The Ice Cream Store in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It’s basically a vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce streaks, but it’s also infused with some of the world’s hottest chillies and capsicum sauces. These chillies are so hot that villagers in India actually smear sauce made from them on fence posts to keep elephants away!

According to Delaware Online, the first mouthful tastes of a “deep, rich, creamy vanilla with a hint of sweetness,” but that’s quickly followed by “a Mike Tyson worthy wallop of mouth-searing heat.” The paper warns people to “be prepared for a loitering burn that outstays its welcome.”

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Japanese Hospital Uses Miniature Sushi and Origami to Test Surgery Interns

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Instead of testing potential interns’ surgery skills on real patients, a Japanese hospital devised an innovative examination process that involves miniature origami and sushi!

The Kurashiki Central Hospital, in southern Japan offers one of the best surgical internship programs in the country, but medical students who want to secure a position here have to prove their skills in a series of bizarre hand-on challenges. First, they have to use surgical instruments to fold a piece of paper into an origami crane. That sounds easy enough for someone with a bit of experience in creating origami, but did I mention the piece of paper measures only 1.5 square centimeters?



This Transforming Castle Truck Is the Most Amazing Mobile Home Ever

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Justin and Jola Siezen are an unconventional family.  They have adopted a traveling lifestyle and are constantly on the move with their baby son Piko, in a mobile home. But that’s no ordinary mobile home – it’s a magical truck that transforms into a fantasy castle, complete with a kitchen, bedroom, turret bathrooms, and a rooftop bathtub!

The couple used to spend a lot of their time on the road, because of Jola’s job as an acrobat. “We were traveling around overseas and thought about coming back to New Zealand and where we were going to live,” Justin said. “I remembered living in a bus and I was thinking ‘that’s actually not a bad idea, that would be a good start when we get back until we decide on something else.”



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