Illustrator Challenges Reality in Awesome Video Series

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Renown illustrator and author Mark Crilley demonstrates his insane drawing talent in a series of videos in which he recreates everyday objects with pencils, ball-point pens and fine paintbrushes.

As you’e probably already noticed, we don’t just post oddities here on OC, we also feature lots of cool, amazing stuff, and Mark Crilley’s “Realism Challenge” video series is as amazing as hyperrealist art gets. Using his super skills and basic utensils he creates incredibly realistic drawn replicas of everyday stuff, like crumpled paper, a torn playing card or a mushroom. The Michigan-based artist makes great use of the trompe l’oeil technique to effectively trick your eyes into  thinking they’re looking at a real object instead of a masterful drawing. Apart from these realism challenges, Mark also posts how-to videos for aspiring illustrators on his YouTube channel.

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TreT – The Amazing Parkour Dog from Ukraine

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Parkour is cool when performed by humans, but when it’s a dog that doing the stunts, it’s simply amazing.  TreT, a 5-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier from the Ukraine jumps over railings, climbs walls and sprints, proving he’s a Pakour master on four legs.

TreT is one of only two known Parkour dogs around the world. His owner, Evgeny Elchaninov, says he knew nothing about the other dog from Hawaii when they started training, and that TreT’s moves are much more spectacular, anyway. The young man from western Ukraine used to practice Parkour himself, until a bad knee injury ruined his career, Suddenly he had to give up his biggest passion in life, but his unfulfilled dreams reincarnated in his six-months old dog, who loved to run and jump. He began training TreT in the art of Parkour, both in urban landscapes and at historic landmarks, and posted videos of his amazing stunts online. Now the pooch is a true Internet celebrity.

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Man Creates Trash Can That Targets and Catches Flying Garbage

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You know those movies where an author with writer’s block keeps throwing drafts over his shoulder trying to hit the trash can, but never seems to land one in? Well, that might just be a problem of the past, because someone seems to have invented a smart trash can that targets and catches flying pieces of trash.

It’s amazing what some people can create if they put their minds to it. Take this Japanese guy who goes by “FRP”, who, inspired by a commercial, decided to create his own trash can of the future, able to anticipate where flying trash is going to land and catch it before it hits the ground. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but according to the clever inventor, all you need is a wheeled base integrated with a circuit board and attached to the bottom of a common trashcan, a Kinect camera to monitor the room, and a specially-written program that allows the camera to track incoming garbage and guide the trashcan to catch it before it lands.

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Tiger Tug – Playing Tug of War with a Full-Grown Tiger

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Visitors at the Busch Gardens Zoo, in Tampa Bay, Florida, are given the chance to test their strength against a mighty tiger, in a game of tug of war.

Zoos these days just aren’t what they used to be. Just last week, we had an article on Lujan Zoo, where guests are allowed to get in cages with all kinds of wild animals and pet them, and this week we have another one where people can play tug of war with tigers. Although the chances of beating a 450-pound Bengal tiger at tug of war are slim to none, there’s no shortage of human volunteers willing to test their muscles against the magnificent feline. The interactive zoo exhibit is called “Tiger Tug” and requires confident participants to grab on a thick rope, while the tiger facing them on the other side of two metal fences bites the other end. I’m not if the Bengal felines ever lost a game, but the humans seem to love it anyway.

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Woman Addicted to Mayonnaise Will Use It for Everything. And I Mean Everything!

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Philippa Garfield, from London, England, loves mayonnaise so much she will eat it with pretty much anything, and even wash her hair with it.

We’ve featured some pretty weird addictions here on Oddity Central, from the guy addicted to sausages, to the woman who loved drinking her own urine, but Philippa Garfield takes things to a whole other level. While mayo might not be the strangest thing a person can become addicted to, it’s the way she uses it that makes her story really bizarre. Although she loves eating mayo and pours it over anything she eats, and even in her morning coffee, Philippa also uses the fatty condiment as a cheap moisturizer and conditioner for her hair. She also sees it as the perfect alternative to shaving cream.

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ScreamBody – The Portable Organ That Lets You Scream Without Disturbing Anyone

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Invented by MIT’s Kelly Dobson, the ScreamBody is an ingenious device that allows you to let out all your rage and frustration without having to worry about it being socially inappropriate.

As a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons where characters would just scream inside a paper bag, because they couldn’t let out their pain at that exact time, and just “unload” all the screaming later. I remember wishing something like that existed in real life. As it turns out, it actually does, and it’s called a ScreamBody. Invented back in the mid 2000’s, by former MIT student Kelly Dobson, this strange-looking piece of equipment is actually a portable space for screaming that contains all of your loudly-expressed emotions and releases them at a later time. Exactly like they did in those cartoons I liked so much.

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Talented Composer Makes Beautiful Music with Instruments Provided by Mother Nature

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Meet Diego Stocco, the guy who can make music from anything, even raw nature. In celebration of Earth Day, he staged an innovative musical experiment in which he used all kinds of unusual but completely natural instruments.

Who knew tree bark or orange peel could sound so groovy, if orchestrated by the right person? In his new performance, “Music from Nature”, Diego Stocco uses professional microphones and a customized stethoscope to best capture the sounds of nature as made by several uncommon musical instruments, including trees, leaves, almonds and bees. The result is too cool to describe, you just have to listen for yourself.

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Agni Keli – Unique Indian Tradition Encourages Fighting Fire with Fire

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Agni Keli, also known as the Fire Fight of Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple, in Mangalore, India, is a unique ritual which has hundreds of devotees throwing burning palm fronds at each other, to appease the Hindu goddess Durga.

Each year, the Festival of Kateel Durga Parameswari Temple is celebrated over 8 days, in the month of April. It commences on the night before Mesha Sankramana Day, and features a series of themed performances, the most intriguing of which is Agni Keli. On the second night of the festival, hundreds of devotees gather at the temple of Durga, in Mangalore, to carry out a centuries-old tradition that involves throwing and getting hit with burning palm fronds. The fiery action attracts thousands of spectators, who watch as the torch-wielding men try to set each other ablaze.

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Retro Running – The Fine Art of Putting One Foot Behind the Other

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Whether you’re looking for a fun way to get BACK into sport, spice up your boring training or struggling to escape constant injuries, there’s no better way to do it than retro running.

Running backwards may look like a weird, unnatural way to move, but it’s apparently very beneficial for the human body. In fact, the Chinese have been practicing walking and running backwards for thousands of years as a way of staying in shape and reducing the risk of injuries. It wasn’t until the 20th century that retro running developed in the United States, but today it’s recognized as a very efficient workout by many fitness gurus and athletics experts, and competitions are regularly organized all around the world.

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Disaster Café – Where Every Meal Comes with a 7.8 Earthquake

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If a 7.8 earthquake happened during lunch time, most of us would forget about food and run for our lives, but at the Disaster Café, in Lloret de Mar, Spain, quakes happen all the time, and all you can do is try to keep your balance and hope drinks don’t get spilled.

Normally, people are terrified of earthquakes, but at the Disaster Café, people actually pay to experience a simulated 7.8 quake while they enjoy a tasty meal. I’ve never been, but according to online customer reviews, the place is so popular you actually need to make reservations in advance, in order to be get a table. I guess people’s appetite for disaster is stronger than I thought.

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Ming Liang Lu – A Self-Described Master Paper Portrait Cutter

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He’s not the best English speaker in New York, but his skills with the scissors makes Ming Liang Lu one of the most popular subway artists in the big city. The Chinese master claims the art he practices, cutting people’s portraits out of black paper, is unique in the world.

If you’ve ever used the metro, you’re probably familiar with subway performers like dancers or violin and guitar players, but Ming Liang Lu is a different kind of entertainer. Using a small piece of black paper and scissors, he’s able to create intricate, slightly caricatured portraits of subway riders and passers-by, even without looking at them for reference. That might not sound like a lot, but seeing him manipulate that small sheet of folded paper while holding the scissors almost completely still will blow your mind.

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Amazing Artist Draws with Both Hands at the Same Time

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Xiaonan Sun has become a YouTube sensation after a video of him drawing the portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins with both hands, at the same time, went viral. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Let’s face it, YouTube is full of videos of talented artists drawing realistic portraits of celebrities, and Xiaonan Sun was just one of them, until he posted a unique video of him drawing a tribute to Shawshank Redemption, one of his favorite movies of all time. The portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins look pretty impressive, but what really makes them special is the artist did them at the same time, with both hands. Most people can barely draw with their main hand, and here is this guy in his 20s who can do it just as well with both, and at the same time. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is just insane.

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Spanish Family Quit Their Jobs, Sell All Possessions to Travel around the World in a Caravan

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A young married couple, from Mijas, Malaga, have decided to quit their jobs, sell everything they own, and go on an adventure around the world, with their two little children, in a caravan.

Do you ever get so tired of your boring life and tedious job that you feel like leaving it all behind and going on an exciting adventure? I know I do, but I’m just too much of a coward to say goodbye to a comfortable lifestyle and venture into the unknown. Fernando Fernandez and his wife Fleur, both 29, were also a little scared to put everything they knew behind them and go on a trip around the globe, but they managed to lock their fears away and pursue their life-long dream of seeing the world. They realize it’s going to be tough living in a camper with their two small children, Aisha (5) and Noah (1), but they feel it’s a sacrifice worth making in order to truly live their lives.

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Japanese Artist Invents New Way of Peeling Tangerines

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Yoshihiro Okada has become a popular country in his native country of Japan, after he developed an ingenious way of peeling tangerines, six years ago. It might sound like an arid subject, but the Japanese author has already published two books on peeling tangerines, and even launched a DVD version.

If you’ve been throwing away orange and tangerine peels all this time, then you’ve been missing out on a very fun way to make figurines for your little ones. Using a lot of imagination and a sharp blade, Yoshihiro Okada has been creating detailed figurines out of citrus fruits. It all started six years ago, when he noticed the peel he had removed from a tangerine looked a little like a scorpion. Most everyone else would have probably smiled and moved on with their lives, but not Yoshihiro. He spent the next two weeks buying loads of tangerines and practicing his peeling technique until he got his scorpion just right.

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Grieving Father Invents Device to Talk to His Dead Daughter

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Any parent grieving the death of their child would go to any lengths to hear the child’s voice one last time. But how many of them would actually invent a device for it? Electrical Engineer Gary Galka from Connecticut did just that.

After his 17-year-old daughter Melissa died in 2004 in a car accident, Gary says she began to communicate with the family within days. The doorbell would ring, TV channels would change and lights would turn on and off on their own. That’s when Gary realized that his dead daughter had something to tell them. He created a device to help her, and is now the owner of a thriving business in paranormal detection devices. Over the years, he has sold thousands of such devices, ranging between $79 and $350 in price. Gary has invented over 30 different products that are meant exclusively for paranormal research.

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