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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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

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Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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Inventionland – Coolest Workplace in the Whole Wide World

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I remember seeing a set of photos from Google’s offices in Zurich, and thought that was pretty cool, but Google has nothing on Inventionland’s fairytale workplace.

Inventionland, like the name suggests, is a company that invents stuff, over 2,000 new inventions every year. To come with that many inventions, the Inventionland team must really be inspired by something, but what could it be? Believe it or not, it’s actually everything that surrounds them in their Pittsburgh headquarters.

The 70,000 square feet facility looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, featuring 15 different fantasy sets, from pirate ships to tree houses and even a house shaped like a giant shoe. And it’s not only the world’s most creative workplace, it’s also equipped with the latest in sound, video and animation technology to help creationeers come up with the best ideas. Oh, that’s right, Inventionland employees are called “creationeers”, they get to wear lab coats and they brainstorm for ideas in a room called “Inventalot”. Now, how cool is that!

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Guitar Tornado Is Played by Robotic Fingers

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Named “IF VI was IX: Roots and branches”, the guitar tornado is an impressive artistic and musical installation, created by German artist Trimpin.

While different types of guitars placed together in what looks like a still tornado is something worth checking out, there’s more to this musical tribute than meets the eye.  Yes, while it might seem impossible looking at it, the guitar tornado actually plays music. Among all the common guitars, there are some robotic ones that actually pluck the guitar strings, thus playing the tune visitors choose via a remote touchscreen.

The only downside of the guitar tornado’s robotic arms  is that they can only play one string at a time. So how does it replicate a whole song? By plucking a single string of multiple guitars in the installation. The amazing guitar tornado is an interactive tribute to the history of American music, and features various genres, from early acoustic folk music, to rock and punk.

Music lovers can check out the guitar tornado at the “Experience Music Project” , in Seattle.

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Star Wars Fan Builds Duct Tape AT-AT

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Built out of wood and cardboard and wrapped in layers of gray duct tape, the duct tape AT-AT is a small scale replica of the legendary Star Wars behemoth featured in The Empire Strikes Back.

The 4 feet tall, 5 feet long AT-AT replica was made by Star Wars fan komanac, for a Star Wars themed art show, back in July. It took several rolls of duct tape and around 30-40 hous of intense work to complete, and its creator would love to hang on to it, but for lack of space, he decided to auction it off on eBay.

The lines of the duct tape AT-AT were drawn using a permanent felt marker, and the entire model is made up of five pieces, the body and four legs. They are well attached and stable, but it’s important you know this is not a toy and will likely break if seriously abused.

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Artists Create World’s Largest Sand Sculpture

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Measuring a total of 22.43 meters in height, this detailed sand sculpture, created at the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival, in China, has been acknowledged as the world’s tallest sand sculpture.

Officials from the Guinness Book of Records arrived in Zhoushan, on Wednesday, September 29, and after careful measurement, confirmed the sand masterpiece will be going into the record books. Depicting a Nigerian story of how a hummingbird managed to become the king of all animals, the 22.43 meter-tall sand sculpture was created by over 30 artists, during 75 days.

This year, the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival gave sand artists the opportunity to express themselves on the theme of a trip to Africa.

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Epic Kevin Bacon Made of Bacon

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I’ve always wondered what actor Kevin Bacon would look like if made of actual bacon, and apparently I’m not the only one. The guys at J&D Foods have teamed up with Bacon-crafting website What Do Bacon Do to create a life-size bust of bacon Kevin Bacon.

The tasty-looking bacon bust of Kevin Bacon was created to be auctioned on eBay, with all proceedings going to non-profit organization Ashley’s Team, who seeks to bring joy and happiness to cancer suffering children and their families. But, by buying this unique piece of bacon art, you will not only be helping sick children, “you will become the coolest person you will ever know, a champion of the underground meat sculpture movement.” At least, that’s what Justin Esch, of J&D Foods, says.

The eBay auction for bacon Kevin Bacon began today and fans of the actor (or bacon) will have the chance to buy it in the next ten days. But before you start fantasizing about literally eating Kevin Bacon’s head, you should know it’s covered in layers of lacquer, so it’s not edible. But think of it this way, at least you’ll be the owner of a one-of-a-kind of bacon art, for the rest of your life.

Mike Lahue, the artist who created the bacon Kevin Bacon bust out of small bacon bits, says the toughest thing about working with bacon all day long was satisfying his own craving for the crispy stuff. He managed to refrain himself from eating Kevin Bacon, by eating an entire bottle of bacon bits. Lahue also admits that after months of working on the bacon statue, he’ll never be able to look at the real Kevin Bacon the way he used to.

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