The Giant Book of Bhutan : Last Himalayan Kingdom

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This huge book was made by scientist Michael Hawley and is one of the eleven models available worldwide.

Called “Giant visual odyssey through the Kingdom of Bhutan”, the book has a height of 1.52 meters and a length of 2.13 meters and weighs about 60 kilograms. In its 112 pages, the book offers stunning and high quality images of the Last Himalayan Kingdom, taken on four trips through Bhutan. The entire book requires 1 gallon of ink and 1 day to be printed and the total costs are nearly $2000.

The Giant Books sells for $10.000 and all the money is donated to various charity institutions.

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World’s Largest Toast Portrait Is Best Birthday Card Ever

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Trying to come up with an original birthday present for mother in law, a museum curator managed to set a new world record for the world’s largest toast mosaic.

27-year-old Laura Hadland, a museum curator from Leicester, wanted to offer her mother-in-law a really special gift, on her 50th birthday. Together with 40 friends and volunteers, Laura spent six hours toasting thousands of bread slices and arranging them into an amazing mosaic of the woman she calls not only a great mother-in-law, but also one of her best friends.

The world’s largest toast mosaic was created using a set of ten bread toasters and measures 32 feet 8 inches by 42 feet 3 inches. Its made up of 9,852 slices toasted to varying degrees of brown, which add up to about 600 bread loafs.

As a museum curator, Laura Hadland has had plenty of experience working with ancient Roman mosaics, and admits she was thrilled to create a modern mosaic out of her favorite food. Her mother-in-law says it’s a bit weird seeing her face recreated from pieces of toast, but at the same time very flattering.

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Excessories Odd-Yssey – The Ultimate Shoe and Hand-Bag Art Car

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To show off her love for style and fashion, artist Kelly Lyles turned her old Honda Odyssey into the ultimate fashion-themed art car.

Appropriately named Excessories Odd-Yssey, this lavish art car is covered with dozens of fashion accessories, from hand bags, to shoes, glasses and jewelry. The hood of of the car is decorated with a magnetic Paperdoll version of the owner, together with a series of magnetic outfits. The inside of Excessories Odd-Yssey, including the dashboard, is covered with colorful clothes.

Driving around in the Excessories Odd-Yssey, on the streets of the mostly gray Seattle, Kelly Lyles manages to bring some color to the rainy city. She has done so for the last 20 years, since she created her first art car.

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Fred Conlon Turns Old Army Helmets into Beautiful Sculptures

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Old army helmets seem pretty useless in these modern times, but artist Fred Conlon has found a pretty good use for them, and it doesn’t involve a museum.

Growing up in small Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Fred Conlon was always fascinated by art, but it wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Utah, with a degree in Public Communications, that he decided to open a pottery shop. With only his family’s support and 15 credits in pottery classes, Fred fulfilled his dream and opened Sugar Post Pottery, in Salt Lake City. Throughout the years, he discovered his passion for working with metal, old war gear in particular, and his original helmet sculptures are just some of his wonderful creations.

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Vaulting at the World Equestrian Games 2010

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If you thought riding a horse was difficult enough, equestrian vaulting will seem like an impossible feat. Still, it’s practiced worldwide, and it’s even an event at the World Equestrian Games.

Equestrian vaulting is best described as gymnastics and dancing on horseback. Its origins are pretty unclear, with some saying it originated in ancient Rome, and other claiming it came from he island of Crete. One thing is for certain – horseback vaulting has been around for over 2,000 years, and it’s still a entertaining and exciting sport. Vaulting is particularly popular in countries like Germany and France, but it’s gaining a lot of followers in other parts of the world, like Brazil Australia or the United States.

In competitive equestrian vaulting athletes compete by themselves or in teams of two or more. Both the vaulters and the horse are judged according to their performances and receive scores from 0 to 10. Beginners perform their routine during the horse’s walk, while experienced vaulters perform on the horse at a canter. Horses used for vaulting are trained especially for this kind of events, and they are controlled by a lunger who keeps them moving in 15-meter circles.

The components of a vaulting exercise include a mount and dismount, as well as various maneuvers like kneeling, standing, handstands, flips, and tossing teammates into the air. While the vaulting horse is not saddled, it does wear a surcingle fitted with special handles that help vaulters.

The latest vaulting exhibition took place at the World Equestrian Games 2010, and was won by the US team. You can see an entire vaulting routine, in the video at the bottom.

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Carl Warner’s Mouth Watering Foodscapes

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London-based artist Carl Warner creates amazing food landscapes he refers to as foodscapes. They are totally edible, but why would anyone want to ruin such masterpieces simply to satisfy their hunger?

Inspired by the work of American landscape photographer Ansel Adams, and literary works like The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Carl Warner began creating his own unique landscapes out of food. Whether he uses vegetables, various bakery products or meat, his incredible foodscapes look absolutely mindblowing.

While he likes to get involved in setting up the foodscapes, Carl admits he often asks for the help of model makers and food stylists to create his sets. The process usually starts with him drawing a sketch of the foodscape, then the set is created, and finally, he takes photos of it and retouches them on his Mac. It sounds simple enough, but the foodscapes are photographed in different layers, a laborious process that can take up to a few days. He also spends a lot of time staring at vegetables in the supermarket, which may sound weird, but finding the right looking veggies for a foodscape is very important to him.

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Zac Freeman’s Incredible Junk Portraits

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Looked at from up close, Zac Freeman’s artworks look like common piles of junk, but take a few steps back and you’ll discover amazingly detailed portraits.

You know that stuff most of us throw away after a while, things like old buttons, LEGO bricks, keyboard keys? That’s exactly the kind of material Zac Freeman uses to create his unbelievable portraits. He began gathering junk and found objects in 1992, and started gluing them to pieces of wood, creating various portraits.

In the words of the artist:

“I was interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space. It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself.”

I was thinking about how many artists use junk as an art medium these days, and then it hit me: it might seem like a peculiar thing to use in art, but junk is everywhere around us, and so easy to come by, so it’s no wonder artists use it in their artworks.

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Naaman Amer – World’s Youngest Pepper Eater

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20-month-old Naaman Amer, from the city of Nablus, West Bank enjoys eating hot peppers and is considered the world’s youngest pepper eater. The young Palestinian boy has been gobbling down green peppers since he was just 14 months old, and his parents are quite proud of his appetite for the throat-burning veggies. Naaman eats them at every meal, and so far he hasn’t had any health issues, but I still think it’s pretty weird for a boy this young to eat so many hot peppers.

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The Watchman – Milwaukee’s Real Life Superhero

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Armed with a flashlight, a can of pepper spray and a cell phone, the Watchman patrols the streets of Riverwest, hunting for criminals and evil doers. But he’s got a job, so he only plays superhero on weekends.

Although he doesn’t have any real superpowers (or even weapons), The Watchman likes to refer to himself as a real life superhero. Instead of gadgets and weapons, he opted for a simple Motorola phone, which he uses to report the crimes he happens to witness while patrolling. Contacting the police or calling an ambulance is sometimes more important than intervening in person, so he prefers to let authorities handle emergencies.

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The Food Packaging Fashion of Katell Gelebert

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French designer Katell Gelebert has created a line of clothes, made from various food packaging, that expresses her position as an environmentalist and human rights activist.

By using the packaging of everyday foods like pasta, frozen vegetables, coffee and even cat food, Katell Gelebert has created some pretty amazing pieces of clothing that have great potential for re-use and are also esthetically pleasant. Using only low-tech means, the French artist managed to combine design and reusable materials, without creating more waste.

If you’re interested in more packaging artworks, check out Jason Clay Lewis’ rat poison packaging art.

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Ordos – China’s Modern Ghost Town

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Known as the “empty city”, the Kangabashi district of Ordos was designed as a home for over 1 million Chinese, but it remains nearly uninhabited. What makes this even stranger is the fact that we’re talking about the second richest settlement in China.

Once just another a poor town in Inner Mongolia, Ordos boomed in 2003, thanks to its immense coal and natural gas reserves. The area surrounding Ordos has one sixth of China’s coal reserves and one third of its natural gas reserves. As was to be expected, the government couldn’t resist the temptation of starting lavish projects in the area, and the building of Kangabashi district is one of them.

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Giant Pumpkin Weighs More than a Car

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Already 17 feet in diameter, and weighing 750 kilograms, the giant pumpkin grown by Ian and Stuart Paton is set to become the new world’s largest pumpkin.

Twin brothers Ian and Stuart Paton have been growing giant pumpkins for the last 30 years, and this year they think one of their pumpkins could actually set a new world record. Tipping the scale at 750 kilograms, and growing by around 13 kilograms every day, this giant pumpkin is already heavier than a Fiat 500.

The Paton brothers of Lymington, Hampshire, hope their produce can “put on enough weight” by the official weighing, on Saturday, to beat the old record of 784 kilos. It has already beat the British and European records and by their calculations it could soon be the world’s heaviest pumpkin. Their pumpkins have been getting bigger each year, as they’ve been learning new tricks about how to grow and breed them. This might just be their year.

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Star Wars Fan Builds World’s First Aluminum Falcon

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Just days after he showcased his amazing duct tape AT-AT model, Star Wars fan komanac strikes again, with the awesome Aluminum Falcon.

Inspired by the animated comedy series Robot Chicken, the Aluminum Falcon is a truly unique piece of Star Wars fan art. Made from styrofoam, cardboard, duct tape and aluminum foil, the one of a kind replica of the Millennium Falcon weighs just 4-6 lbs and was first showcased at “the Star Wars 33&1/3 Anniversary” art show.

The best thing about the Aluminum Falcon is that it can be your to own, if you hurry up and place your bid on eBay, before some other Star Wars fan snatches it away. Keep in mind though, just like the duct tape AT-At, this is not a toy, and shouldn’t be treated like one.

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Crazy Halloween Traditions: Underwater Pumpkin Carving

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As Halloween draws ever closer, pumpkin-carving enthusiasts take their pumpkins and carving tools for a session of underwater pumpkin carving.

It might sound like a weird event, but underwater pumpkin carving is pretty common in the US, with several competitions being organized in Florida, South Carolina, Lake Tahoe or Pennsylvania. Contestants put on their diving gear and drop down to a depth of less than 30 feet, where they try to carve the most intricate jack-o’lanters, and claim the top spots. All the gear is supplied by the organizers, so contestants need only bring their talent and inspiration.

While it may sound like a fun thing to do, carving a pumpkin underwater is a pretty difficult task, considering the buoyancy of the pumpkin (at least until you cut the lid off) and Newton’s third law of motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).

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Austrian Lake Is Also a Popular Hiking Spot

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A rare natural phenomenon turns one of Austria’s most beautiful hiking trails into a 10 meter-deep lake, for half the year.

Located at the foot of the Hochschwab Mountains, in Tragoess, Styria, Green Lake is one of the most bizarre natural phenomena in the world. During the cold winter months, this place is almost completely dry, and used as a country park where hikers love to come and spend some time away from urban chaos. But as soon as temperatures rise, the snow and ice covering the mountaintops begin to melt, and the water pours down, filling the basin below with crystal-clear water.

Water levels go from one-two meters at most, to over 10 meters, in the early summer. The waters of Green Lake are highest in June, when this extraordinary place is invaded by divers, curious to see what a mountain park looks like underwater. Fish swimming over wooden benches, a grass-covered bottom, trees, roads, roads and even bridges create a surreal setting that feels like it belongs on dry ground. That’s because for half of the year, that’s exactly where it’s at.

Take a look at the amazing images of the Green Lake, shot during the summer season:

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