Russian Streets Turns into Giant Ice Blocks after Water Pipes Burst During Storm

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A water main burst during an ice cold storm in the small Siberian town of Dudinka, causing the streets to promptly freeze into solid blocks of ice. The water that had burst out of several broken pipes flooded the streets, and subsequently froze as temperatures dropped to -40C during the night. When residents emerged from their homes after the storm was over, they found their town had completely frozen over.

Although several homes had no water or electricity during and immediately after the storm, many of the 22,000 Dudinka residents still had access to the internet, so they were able to share shocking images of their frozen streets on social media. Some of the photos show vehicles encased in four-foot thick ice, with only the tops visible, while others show massive icicles clinging to building exteriors.

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Prison Restaurant Staffed by Inmates Voted the Best in Cardiff, Wales

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The Clink has recently been named the number one restaurant in Cardiff, Wales, by TripAdvisor, after getting more votes than all the other 945 restaurants in the Welsh capital. I know that doesn’t seem like the kind of news you normally read on OC, but The Clink isn’t your average restaurant – it’s staffed by inmates at HMP Cardiff, a Category D men’s prison!

Approximately 30 prisoners work a 40-hour week at The Clink, either in the kitchen or waiting tables, before returning to their cells at the end of each day. The restaurant also employs a team of trainers who work closely with the prisoners to come up with seasonal dishes made from locally sourced fresh ingredients. Some of the typical menu options include ‘venison and wild boar ragout with game sausage, chargrilled polenta and seasonal vegetables’ and ‘a celebration of rhubarb’.The inmates are paid £14 ($20) a week, but their biggest reward is the chance to turn their life around. Over time, the restaurant has managed to help reduce the reoffending rate of prisoners who worked there to 12.5 percent, compared to the national average of 47 percent.

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Badass Ukrainian Grandmother Nicknamed “The Punisher” Trains Alongside Army Cadets

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68-year-old Ekaterina Bilyik is fondly known as ‘The Punisher’ in her home town of Zhidaev, Ukraine. Contrary to her appearance, the frail-looking grandmother is a total badass – she recently completed a gruelling military training alongside army cadets four decades younger than her.

The amount of energy and enthusiasm that she displayed during training is quite awe-inspiring. Footage from the training camp shows her rolling over snow-covered fields, leaping high, and firing assault rifles along with all the young men in her troop. And believe it or not, she is now training to take part in the raging battle in eastern Ukraine.

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Meet the Moranbong Band – North Korea’s Version of Spice Girls

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Believe it or not, North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, is actually a big fan of K-pop music. In fact, he’s so passionate about it that he hand-picked every member of the girl group ‘Moranbong Band’ – his country’s answer to the Spice Girls.

As a result of Kim Jong-un’s endorsement, the band has been playing sell-out gigs across the country. Their first concert was so popular that the streets of Pyongyang were apparently deserted during the broadcast. Often dressed in conservatively sexy attire – with skirts cut well above the knee and hair clipped short – the Moranbong girls have received good reviews from local critics as well.

Although the band has been around for a few years, they appeared to have fallen out of favor in late 2013. But after a six-month hiatus, they were back to performing in April 2014 to rave reviews from Korean media, thus reclaiming their status as queens of North Korea’s pop scene, and the darlings of primetime TV. Their comeback concert featured ‘colorful numbers’ such as ‘O My Motherland Full of Hope’, ‘Our Father’, and ‘We Think of the Marshall Day and Night’.

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The Shockingly Realistic Sculptures of Kazuhiro Tsuji

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We’ve featured a lot of hyper-realistic paintings on OC in the past, but here’s something we haven’t seen very often – unbelievably realistic human busts. These 3D sculptures are so life-like that they could give Madam Tussauds a run for their money. They’re the work of Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who employs a variety of mold making and sculpting techniques to create his wonderful art.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Tsuji began to display an affinity towards art, painting, photography, nature, science and technology since childhood. Growing up, he experimented with various media, and finally discovered that ‘portraiture’ was his real passion. But with no money to attend college, Tsuji began to educate himself in the art of special effects makeup.

It all started when he came across a magazine that detailed the makeup techniques used in the 1976 TV mini series Lincoln. Inspired by the intricate craftsmanship, Tsuji gathered his meagre savings and used it to buy makeup supplies. “I took a life cast of myself and attempted to transform myself into Lincoln, which was all the more difficult considering I’m Japanese” he recalled.

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Meet Skellie, the Popular Skeleton Taking Instagram by Storm

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With over 150,000 followers, Skellie the skeleton is a true Instagram celebrity. Her account, aptly titled ‘@omgliterallydead’, chronicles her daily activities like hanging out at Starbucks, brunches with her BFFs, makeup-free selfies, visits to the dentist, chilling in the bath, or just staying home to enjoy a Netflix binge.

The whole concept apparently started as a joke between a few co-workers at a Toronto-based social media marketing company. “In early October, a pose-able, plastic skeleton arrived at our office,” said social media manager Dana Herlihy. “My coworkers took to it; someone taped a Starbucks cup to the skeleton’s hand and I took a photo for my personal Instagram.” When that photograph went viral, Dana decided to take a few more, and before she knew it Skellie had her own account.

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Kazakh Villagers Replace Guard Dogs with Domesticated Wolves

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Who needs guard dogs when you have wolves, right? That’s probably what Kazakh villagers in the Almaty region thought when they decided to replace their canines with the fierce forest-dwelling beasts. According to local news reports, taming wolves is now the latest trend and a sort of hobby among rural Kazakhs.

“You can buy a wolf cub for just $500, they say, and hunters are adamant that if treated well, the wild animal can be tamed,” the KTK television channel reported. Nurseit Zhylkyshybay, a farmer from the south-eastern Almaty region, told reporters that he purchased a wolf cub from hunters three years ago, and the animal is now perfectly domesticated.

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Japan’s Unique Cotton-Spinning Bar

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Contrary to what its name suggests, ‘Tokyo Cotton Village’ isn’t a rural settlement of cotton farmers, but a bar located in the heart of Japan’s capital city, in Setagaya Ward. The one-of-a-kind establishment allows its patrons to experience spinning cotton, which is supposedly a relaxing activity.

The service is available for free to anyone who orders a drink – they get to enjoy spinning threads of wamen, a type of cotton that’s cultivated in Japan. The airy texture of wamen is believed to calm the mind and relax the body. The concept is a big hit with customers, many of whom visit the bar several times a week.

“Getting absorbed in [spinning threads] lets me forget bad things that happened at work,” said Yoshiko Jimura, 32, who visits at least twice a week. “This is a precious time for me to change my mood.”

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Bizarre Open-Air Urinals Spark Criticism in Australia

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After nearly a decade of trying to manage public urination in a busy nightclub strip, Australia’s Gold Coast City Council finally hit upon an idea – temporary outdoor urinals. The loos are primarily aimed at drunken men who tend to relieve themselves in front of businesses and in alleyways. But the ingenious solution has sparked disgust among locals, who find the urinals ugly and offensive.

According to councillor Lex Bell, these urinals are the only way to manage the problem of public urination that has plagued Cavill Mall and Orchid Avenue in Surfer’s Paradise, southeastern Queensland. Authorities simply do not have the manpower to fine all the people who urinate in public in these areas and don’t have the authority to arrest them.

“We cannot arrest such people – we don’t have the power, so the thought was if we put urinals in places where the inebriated people have to stagger past, they may well use them. When people are staggering from nightclubs, they won’t seek out public toilets – even if they are there,” he explained.

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Photo: Twitter
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Finnish Bodybuilder Turns into Fantastic Four’s The Thing When Working Out

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Meet Jari “Bull” Mentula, a bodybuilder from Finland who looks a lot like the Marvel superhero The Thing, of the Fantastic Four. Not only is he muscular enough to fit the bill, but his head gets so abnormally wrinkly when he flexes his muscles that the resemblance becomes uncanny.

Jari has been a familiar face on the IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilders) tour during the last 15 years, making a name for himself in competitions and even winning the European Bench Press Championships in 2002, 2004 and 2008. But he only became known to the general public last year, when a photo of him working out was posted on popular news sharing network Reddit. The image was captioned “I guess that’s the brain popping out, isn’t it?” And indeed, the bodybuilder’s head looked so incredibly wrinkly that it looked like his brain was about to burst through his scalp.

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Man Drinks 10 Cans of Coke a Day for Three Months to Show the Harmful Effects of High Levels of Sugar

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50-year-old George Prior wanted to show the world just how harmful Coca-Cola can be to the human body. So he embarked on a special ‘Coke diet’ challenge during which he consumed 10 cans of Coke a day for three months. That’s 35 g of sugar per can, and a total of 350 g of sugar every day, which is the equivalent of 70 sugar cubes. Needless to say, the results were not good.

George’s formerly healthy and muscular physique has now changed drastically. His Coke guzzling habits gave him a pot belly, he lost muscle mass, and his weight shot up from 168 lb to 192 lb. His blood pressure also soared from 129/77 to 145/96 – way above the ideal 120/80. All these alterations to his body have greatly increased the risk of heart disease or stroke.

George also said that he was experiencing intense cravings and feared he was becoming addicted to Coca-Cola. He did try his best to stick to his normal Paleo diet with low carbohydrates, lean meats, vegetables and berries, but he couldn’t shake off the sugar cravings that hit him from time to time. In fact, he found it difficult to eat as much food because all that Coke made him feel full at lunch and dinner times. And the actual drinking was an ‘irritating chore’ because of the constant visits to the restroom and a clutter of cans everywhere.

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Chinese University Student Creates His Own Marvel Avengers Suits

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Chinese student Zu Bingqun is living the dream of almost every comic book lover in the world. No, he hasn’t become a superhero himself, but he does have an amazing collection of Avengers suits that he built himself, from scratch. Zu said that by building the suits, he is trying to fulfill his own childhood dream of becoming a superhero.

A senior student at the Changchun University of Technology, Zu has been working on the outfits since 2012. He starts by downloading a blueprint of each superhero’s suits and buying the necessary materials for the build online. He then begins the painstaking process of molding each part of the suit and putting it all together.

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Beautiful “Skeleton Flower” Turns Transparent When It Rains

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The Diphylleia grayi is a beautiful white flower that turns transparent upon contact with water. When it rains, the clusters of lovely blooms magically transform into glistening, crystal-like blossoms. Because of this amazing phenomenon, the Diphylleia grayi is commonly known as the ‘skeleton flower’.

The plant generally grows on moist, wooded mountainsides in the colder regions of Japan and China. It is recognizable by its large, umbrella-shaped leaves that are topped with small clusters of pearly white flowers. While the plant is perennial, and can grow up to a height of 0.4 meters, the flowers bloom from mid-spring to early-summer in shady conditions. As the petals of these flowers are soaked in water, they slowly begin to lose their white pigmentation, turning completely transparent over time. When dry, they return to their original white version.

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Ghana’s Hilariously Awful Hand-Drawn Movie Posters

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The West African nation of Ghana is home to a subculture of artists who create outlandish versions of popular Hollywood movie posters. The art form was at its peak in the nation during the 1980s and 1990s, commonly referred to as the ‘Golden Age of Movie Posters’. During this time, artists would let their imagination run wild in order to create posters that would never fail to draw audiences to Africa’s dilapidated cinema halls. So they used their artistic license to add weapons, scenes and characters that didn’t even exist in the original movie!

The art form began to lose momentum in the 2000s, when Ghanaians purchased their own TVs and VCRs, causing several movie houses to close down. But over time, the lurid hand-painted posters have only increased in value. In fact, several Western art collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars for them. Some of the artists who have been out of work for several years are now finding a new lease of life in reproducing posters of more recent movies for art aficionados.

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Real-Life Truman Show: Finnish Man Broadcasts Every Minute of His Life via Webcam

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48-year-old Ari Kivikangas is into life-casting, which basically means he’s constantly broadcasting his day-to-day life webcam. But unlike other vloggers who try to come up with entertaining things to do and say on camera, Ari makes no effort to seem interesting. Surprisingly, that’s what draws more people to his UStream channel, because it makes him look authentic.

Ari, or ‘Cyberman’, as he has come to be known online, claims to be online 24/7, except for a few rare breaks when he’s out picking up his epilepsy medicine or spending time with a female friend. Apart from that, he films pretty much everything he does – like a self-enforced Truman Show of sorts. His viewers apparently find all of this fascinating, especially because he doesn’t seem to care what other people think of him.

“I started about four years ago,” Ari explained. “I was stuck at home for three months and had a lot of time on my hands but nothing to do, so I started doing this. I’m epileptic and I don’t work any more, so I’m always home. I’m online 24/7.”

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