Meet Martin Strel, the Extraordinary Man Who Swims the Entire Length of Rivers

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“Daredevil”, “human fish”, “the hero in a speedo” or “the craziest man in the world” – however you’d like to call him, he is the greatest endurance swimmer in the world! Meet the man who swims entire rivers, Martin Strel.

The now 58-year-old Slovenian Martin Strel has broken the Guinness World Record for long distance swimming multiple times. The first was in 2000, when he swam the length of the Danube river, 3004 kilometers (1867 miles), in 58 days. A year later, in 2001, he broke another record by swimming 504 kilometers (313 miles) non-stop, in 84 hours, also on the Danube. In 2002, Strel changed continents and went to North America, where he became the first person to swim the entire length of the Mississippi river (3797 kilometers/ 2360 miles) in 68 days, thus breaking another Guinness World Record. In 2003, he swam the length of the Parana River (1930 kilometers/1200 miles) in South America, in just 24 days. In 2004, Strel became the first person to swim the length of the Yangtze river (4003 kilometers/ 2488 miles), in 51 days. It took him almost 3 years to prepare for the longest and most dangerous river in the world, but in 2007 he succeeded in breaking the record again: he swam the 5268 kilometers (3274 miles) of the Amazon river, in South America, in 66 days. Strel dedicated his most important and most difficult swim to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and to the preservation of the rainforest.

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Alina Kovaleskaya – Ukraine’s Newest Real-Life Doll

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It’s official, Ukraine is the land of real-life Barbie dolls. After the now-famous Valeria Lukyanova and Anastasiya Shpagina, it’s now time for another Ukrainian real-life doll to take center stage – meet 20-year-old Alina Kovaleskaya.

Hailing from Odessa, the same city as the above mentioned internet stars, Alina Kovaleskaya  has managed to attract a decent online following after uploading a series of photos of herself in doll form. That means laying on several layers of makeup, especially around the eyes, to make them look abnormally large and posing as a lifeless toy. It’s now a well-known recipe used by all of the seven (yes, seven) human barbie dolls in Odessa who all use the same tricks, hold photo-shoots at the same locations around the city and sometimes even appear in each other’s photos. Although accused of being yet another clone of the internationally-famous Valeria Lukyanova, Alina, however, claims to be different from all other Barbie imitators. She says she resembles the popular doll naturally, with her big eyes, small nose and small plump her lips. And yet it’s obvious she uses tons of makeup to enhance her features, just like every other human doll we’ve ever features, from KotaKoti to Vanilla Chamu. Although no self-respecting barbie wannabe would ever admit to it, there are some who accuse her of also using photo manipulation software like Photoshop.

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Michael Volpicelli’s Incredible Word Art

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Young American artist Michael Volpicelli specializes in creating detailed portraits of people and animals exclusively out of written words related to them. After serving in Iraq and suffering a serious back injury, Volpicelli says art helped him recover and now he wants to share his talent with the world.

Ever since he was just a child, Michael Volpicelli loved to draw. While still in junior high-school, he enrolled in college courses to improve his drawing skills, and even though it was nerve-racking being the youngest person in the classroom, he says the experience really helped him flourish as an artist. During college, Michael started attending a fine arts school and an artistic career as an artist seemed like the only logical next step in his life. But then September 11 happened, and instead of pursuing his dream of becoming an artist, he ended up in war-torn Iraq. But even in this hostile environment, the talented young man couldn’t stay away from art. He started designing certificates of appreciation, and creating works of art for his Sergeant Major’s, drill sergeants, and even fellow soldiers. He was the “combat artist” of his infantry division. After leaving the Army and suffering a major back injury, Michael Volpicelli used art to help him recover. He enrolled into Oklahoma State University and studied fine arts. Today he uses his talent for drawing to create all kinds of beautiful artworks, but his forté is definitely word art.

Michael-Volpicelli

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Meet Moffy, the Cross-eyed Model Challenging Fashion Beauty Standards

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Moffy is not like every other female supermodel. Sure, she is young, beautiful, talented and has the right body measurements, but there’s also something that tells her apart from all the other professional models. Moffy is cross-eyed.

Most girls are denied a career in the modelling industry because of their physical “flaws”, but in young Moffy’s case, her strabismus, a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, was exactly what helped her succeed in the fashion world. Before her now-famous photo-shoot for POP Magazine, Moffy had never been photographed for a fashion mag, but her pure, unconventional beauty seduced everyone, even the people at Storm, the model agency that discovered Kate Moss, who recently signed Moffy. Tyrone LeBon, the photographer who worked with her for POP, said: “Moffy is a girl who my girlfriend Adwoa suggested to Max [Pearmain] and I. We chose to shoot her because we had recently shot with models and wanted a change. Moffy had never been photographed for a magazine and it’s always exciting to work with someone where there is uncertainty about how it might work out.” I for one think it turned out pretty awesome.

Moffy

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Chinese Man Walks in Iron Shoes Weighing 405 Kilograms

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Heavy footwear is usually considered uncomfortable, but for Zhang Fuxing weight is definitely not a problem. The 51-year-old from Tangshan, China, spends every morning walking in a pair of iron shoes weighing 405 kilograms.

For over seven years, Zhang Fuxing has spent his morning exercising on a pair of impossible shoes made of heavy iron blocks. The factory worker designed and created the bizarre footwear himself by welding pieces of iron 30-cm-long and 20-cm-wide. At first, the shoes weighed only 70 kilograms, but as his workout intensified he kept adding more weight. Now his shoes are 40-cm-high and weigh a whopping 405 kg, about seven times his own body weight. It seems impossible that a person could even lift their feet off the ground wearing such weights, but Zhang says he usually manages to walk around a dozen meters in 20 minutes, every morning. He keeps the unusual shoes in his courtyard and says they are so heavy he isn’t even worried they might be stolen.

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Morbid Companion – Woman Travels around the World with Life-Size Plastic Skeleton

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Being a medical skeleton is pretty boring. You sit in a room all day, dust piling up in your orbital cavities, waiting for some know-it-all students to come and examine you and sometimes even tease you about your bones not being real. If only you could go out and explore the world outside the University walls. One happy anatomical correct model called Sam, got the chance of a (after)lifetime thanks to Susan Weese, who took her (yes, Sam is a “she”) on a yearlong trip around the world, immortalizing their visits with a photographic camera. Together, the odd pair have visited Venice, Pairs, Rome, New York and many other exciting tourist destinations.

The world tour began on November 1 – also known as Day of the Dead, last year and was entitled “Sam 365.” Susan’s idea came to her on Halloween, after driving around with a skeleton – other than Sam –  in the passenger’s seat. Fellow fright lovers on the motorway honked their horns, showing Weese their appreciation for the unusual idea. Susan, who worked on medical illustrations 30 years ago, carried the 42lbs skeleton everywhere she went on the trip but it was not an easy task. “Sam is 42lbs and if I carry her in my arms I get bruises everywhere,” the woman explains. Traveling with a skeleton can be problematic in airports, as well. “She flies over sized, which is hard getting through airports. She got held up by the Department of Agriculture in Newark because they had to make she was not real bone.” Nonetheless, the ambitious woman is determined to take the model everywhere. “The only day I could take pictures when we were in New York was a cold, rainy and windy one. Carrying her across Brooklyn Bridge was no easy task,” Susan says.

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Japanese Company Creates Garlic-Flavored Dark Beer

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Here’s some interesting news: a Japanese company has combined its popular dark beer with the pungent, intense flavor of black garlic, thus creating the unique and rather bizarre Aomori Garlic Black Beer.

Featuring a sleek black label with elegant golden writing, the black garlic-flavored beer bottle – which costs 630 yen ($6.5) – looks very appealing to any avid dark beer lover. The first sip of Aomori Garlic Black Beer doesn’t taste very different from any other quality black beer, but as the dark goes down your throat and into the stomach, the potent black garlic flavor starts to take over your mouth. Incredibly, those brave enough to actually try the Aomori Garlic Black Beer say the spicy, potent aftertaste is very addictive, making you want to drink more and more of the strange beverage.

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Miley Cyrus Tattoo Guy Keeps Adding New Ink to Honor His Idol

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Newsflash! Carl McCoid– the guy who transformed his body into a shrine for Miley Cyrus, has added 6 more tattoos of the controversial singer to his collection, totaling an impressive 21 inked inscriptions and portraits. Last time we saw him, he “only” had 15.

Back in august, after the VMAs, Miley was harshly criticized for her borderline-obscene performance and revealing outfit, but super-fan Carl was very supportive and understanding, saying that “I don’t like the criticism she is getting. She doesn’t deserve it. It is all part of her comeback,” and adding that Miley is all grown up and that she is just “being true to herself now.” Carl, whose obsession with Miley tattoos started after his divorce, was also very flattered to hear that the singer mentioned him in an interview, stating that “She gave me a couple of seconds of her mind.” In the interview, she said that she didn’t like his tattoos and that he should “start another sleeve with my new look.” As the obedient, obsessed fan that he is, Carl went on and got himself inked with portraits illustrating her new rebellious look and lewd attitude as well as with lyrics from her songs, adding a total of 6 tattoos to his collection.

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Julia Hill, the Remarkable Woman Who Saved a Tree by Living in It for Two Years

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In the face of greedy men with chainsaws in their hands, not even the enduring giant Redwoods stand a chance. But Julia Hill, a young American environmentalist showed the entire world the battle for the preservation of Mother Nature’s wonders is not yet lost, after she spent an astounding 738 days high up in a 60 meter Redwood she named Luna, in a desperate attempt to save the ancient tree and the forest around it.

When she was 22, Julia Hill was involved in a freak car accident which left her with a fractured skull and unable to speak for a year. Once a career and money driven woman, she rethought her entire life and set out to explore the world. In 1997, one year after her accident, she finally found what she was looking for – a group of activists protesting against the destruction of a redwood forest in Northern California, which stretched for hundreds of kilometers. She was enchanted by the ancient trees and decided to join their cause. Courageous and determined, Julia volunteered to climb one of the tallest trees in the forest – a 1,500 year old redwood, hoping to stop the Maxxam Corporation, the operator of Pacific Lumber, from chopping it down. Inexperienced, she managed to stay in the tree only for a few days at a time, which didn’t really impress the loggers or the media. Julia wanted to draw the atention of international media to the horrible deforestation that was taking place – a process called “clearcutting” which implied cutting trees of all ages and sizes and then burning the entire area in preparation for replanting new ones. She knew the only way to get people’s attention was to break the record for tree sitting which was 42 days. And that’s exactly what she did – after 100 days, Julia was all over the news giving interviews and educating people on the importance of saving these trees that have been here long before us.

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Blonde Bombshell Chops Off Her Hair and Finds Success as a Male Model

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It’s tough being a professional model in such a competitive industry, especially when you are passed your prime, but it’s always good to remember that when a door closes, a window opens. Take Elliott Sailors, for example. She used to grace Bacardi billboards around the world with her beautiful blond locks, but at 31, she struggled to find any decent giggs. So she chopped off her hair, wrapped her breasts tightly and reinvented herself as a sexy androgynous male model.

Inspired by Casey Legler, a fellow colleague at the prestigious Ford modelling agency and the first woman to exclusively model menswear, Sailors cut her hair into a modern masculine style, hid her curves as best she could and started posing in front of the camera as a man, in an attempt to save her career. She says she didn’t want her modelling career to end so abruptly at only 31, as it often happens with female models who are replaced by younger newcomers. “Men don’t need to look as young as possible, so I have a lot of time,” the woman explains. Her decision to become a male model was not as extreme as it might seem. Back in the day, when she was a beauty pageant contestant, she was insecure with her masculine features. “Earlier on in my career, I would get frustrated because I thought I looked too masculine,” Elliot explains. “I have a strong jaw, wide forehead, huge eyebrows. I thought I looked like a man wearing makeup.” Nowadays, she likes her jawline and other manly features and tries to accentuate them with makeup.

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Awesome! Recliner Chair Mounted on the Side of a Cliff 110 Meters above Ground

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Take a seat and let your eyes feast upon the stunning views unfolding underneath your dangling feet. Designer extraordinaire Dallin Smith from Provo, Utah, made a rope chair and attached it hundreds of feet above ground on a steep rocky cliff at Rock Canyon, offering rock-climbers a new reason to tackle the challenging rock face.

Dallin says his chair wasn’t designed to hang off of cliffs, but as a comfortable lounge chair. “I was trying to figure out how to put it to use and I was originally planning on a type of furniture to place in the living room,” the industrial designer who is also an avid climber says. “The chair was a design project I have been working on as I had an excess amount of retired climbing rope lying around.” When the project was complete, it occurred to him that the chair’s place might not be in a home. “However the more renditions I made, the more it made sense to place something outside,” the man states.

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Russian Makeup Artist Proves Anyone Can Look Like a Celebrity with the Right Makeover

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You might think Hollywood stars are natural beauties but you are dead wrong. Russian makeup artist Vadim Andreev does incredible transformations demonstrating that everyone can look like a celebrity with a little bit of makeup. The talented young man believes that “every common girl can become a glamorous celebrity,” adding that he wants to help everyone to see their own beauty.

Vadim – who lives in Saint Petersburg, started developing his skills since he was just 16 years old. “It was my hobby. I really loved to transform people ever since I was I child,” he says. “When I grew up I decided to go into professional make-up and hair styling.” And that he did – Vadim soon became well-known for his amazing talent and advanced makeup skills. He even started holding workshops, tutorials and masterclasses to teach others how to properly  use makeup for some truly incredible results. He was also featured on Russian TV shows where he worked his magic on various local celebrities. His website features makeup services for special occasions such as weddings and parties, as well as examples of his best works, like the famous before and after pictures you see below.  “I started taking these photos to show people they can change, be more attractive, look and feel happier,” the young makeup prodigy explains.

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Russian Daredevil Is Taking the World by Storm with His Extreme Stunts

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Climbing on high walls, jumping between rooftops, doing handstands on the edge of skyscrapers and bridges, nothing seems too dangerous for Russian parkour enthusiasts Alexander Rusinov. After posting videos of his extreme stunts online, the 19-year-old has become an internet star in Russia and now has his sights set on the rest of Europe.

Hailing from the Russian city of Saratov, Alexander Rusinov started practicing parkour stunts after watching films like Yamakasi and seeing videos of other daredevils on the internet. He started training at children’s playgrounds and in the school gym until about a year ago when he decided to up his game by taking advantage of Saratov’s impressive architecture. He began doing handstands on bridges over the Volga River, hanging from the tall remains of Soviet industrial buildings, jumping between rooftops and climbing walls. He and his friends posted his most amazing feats online, and the world soon took notice. Rusinov quickly developed an impressive following of fellow parkour fans and even did interviews with the media. His fame spread throughout Russia and has recently crossed national borders, with some of his YouTube videos going viral in other European countries.

Alexander-Rusinov

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True Car Lover Claims to Have Had Intercourse with 1,000 Cars

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If you live in Yelm, Washington, be very careful where you park your vehicle because Edward Smith may have sex with it. So  far, the 62-year-old car lover (pun intended) has bedded – in lack of a better word – 1,000 cars, which makes him the world’s most promiscuous mechaphile, a colloquial word used to describe people who love machines a little bit too much or who feel an insatiable sexual attraction to cars.

Smith claims he has never been attracted to a human being in his life and that his love for cars started way back in his childhood. He actually lost his virginity to a neighbor’s Volkswagen Beetle. He has had only one female girlfriend 12 years ago but never found it in him to consummate the relationship. In fact, his sexual experience with women began and ended with a one night stand in Seattle. Ever since he can remember, he felt attracted to cars. “When I turned 13 and the famous Corvette Stingray came about, that car was pure sex and just an incredible machine. I wanted it,” he explains. “I didn’t fully understand it myself except that I know I’m not hurting anyone and I do not intend to,” he adds. He’s now in an open relationship with a second-hand Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, a 1973 Opel GT, called Cinnamon, and an 1193 Ford Ranger by the name of Splash, which he regularly takes for joy rides. However, his heart belongs to Vanilla for which he has real feelings. “When I hold Vanilla in my arms there’s a powerful energy that comes from her,” he says. “I would say it is extremely satisfying but at times a little melancholy because I know she cannot talk to me. But overall I know she feels what I feel and it’s intense. If anything was to happen to her I would be more than heartbroken.”

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Danish Restaurant Serves Dishes Made with Food Thrown Away by Supermarkets

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A new Danish restaurant called “Rub og Stub” is offering patrons dishes cooked with ingredients supermarkets throw away, hoping to reduce food waste and raise money for charity.  According to Sophie Sales, the co-founder of the restaurant “Too much food is thrown away in Denmark, and we wanted to do something about it.” So far, the restaurant has been able to offer “everything from lamb chops and duck breast, to big bags of grapes and dairy products,” Sales explains, courtesy of two supermarket chains belonging to Coop Danmark – the country’s biggest grocery retailer.

The idea for Rub og Stub came from Denmark’s “freegans”, which are better known as dumpster divers. In an attempt to reduce food waste, these people look through trash and consume the edible morsels they find. The ingenious team thought that it would be very good to use this unconventional idea for their restaurant.The tendency to look for the freshest, most beautiful produce has a real impact on the way supermarkets do business, forcing vendors to throw out food that might not look flawless but is still safe to eat. According to Businessweek, in 2012 Americans threw out the equivalent of about $180 billion” worth of food — 8 percent more than in 2008, the last time the USDA calculated the total value of food loss from households, supermarkets, restaurants, and other food-service providers. As Sales and her team are very interested in “food, sustainability and modern consumer society,” this matter is of utmost importance to them.

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