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Olive – The First Cinema Film Shot with a Cell Phone

It had to happen sooner or later. Olive is the world’s first feature film of cinematic-quality to be shot using a smartphone. The film was released in Santa Monica’s Nuart Theatre this week.

Olive is the first film of director Hooman Khalili. He shot the entire film with the Nokia N8 smartphone, which has a high-resolution camera. The camera was adapted with a 35-mm lens to give the film additional depth. The project was quite low on budget, costing just $500,000. It was partly funded by Chris Kelly, a Silicon Valley attorney and former Facebook executive. According to Kelly, films that are shot using smartphones are important because they give everyone access to creating high-quality content. In this context, Olive may just have marked the beginning of a change in the way the film industry functions. Kelly points out that with this kind of film-making, big studios wouldn’t control the industry anymore, and the very pricing and economics of making a film could change.

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93-Year-Old Proves You’re Never Too Old for Yoga

For people like Tao Porchon-Lynch, old is the new young. There’s literally nothing about her that suggests she is 93. The woman has been practicing yoga for over 70 years now, and teaching it to students in India, France, and the US for more than 45 years. What’s more, she participates in ballroom dancing in her free time, an activity she took up at the age of 87.

If the mere mention of her physical prowess is awe-inspiring, wait till you hear the story of how she took to dancing. When Tao Porchon-Lynch had just turned 87, she fell down outside a grocery store and broke her hip. She had to undergo a major hip-replacement surgery, something that would leave most people confined to bed for the rest of their life. But Tao would have none of that. Completely disregarding her doctor’s advice to slow things down, she walked into a ballroom-dancing studio merely one month after the surgery, starting lessons that very night. Today, at the age of 93, Tao participates in ballroom-dancing competitions in New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico along with her 23-year-old dance partner. All this, while teaching 12 Yoga classes a week.

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Couple Turn Their Home into Christmas Extravaganza

With the holiday season in full swing, we’re hearing stories from everywhere about the crazy Christmas decorations that people put up. The latest addition to the news is a couple from Greenwood, Indiana, who have taken their home decorations to new heights, covering every single room in their home.

Nine years ago, Brandon Smith and Dennis Guyette started off by decorating a few trees each year, as a hobby. Now, they’ve transformed their hobby into a full-fledged tourist attraction. They say that the people who loved their work encouraged them to keep adding more, and open their home for public view. Overall, there are 68 Christmas trees in their house, each one decorated with a different theme. The decorations extend into each and every room, even the kitchen and the bathroom. They look for and purchase Christmas decorations from all over the country, and when they’re finished, visitors are allowed every December from 6 to 10 pm. They do not charge an entry fee. The neighbors love them, and their holiday hobby. They’re used to seeing a long line of cars parked outside every year, but they don’t mind it in the least.

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English Vicar Raps Nativity Story

Now here’s an extremely interesting and catchy version of the Nativity Story. For those of you who feel that the traditional ways of telling the story have become rather monotonous, an English Vicar from Devon has made a rap song out of it. The video put up online has already been watched thousands of times.

40-year old Reverend Gavin Tyte gets it just right, as he raps the story of Jesus’s birth to a beatbox backing. The song is called ‘The Beatbox Nativity.’ The video clip is three-and-a-half minutes long. For the video, Reverend Tyte dresses up in three different costumes – a shepherd, an angel, and himself, as the narrator. The song goes on to describe the entire story of the birth of Jesus, in perfect rap. He says he has been beatboxing since the age of 8 and was even a professional performer before be was ordained. The Reverend has been in the company of rappers for a long time, but he admits it was a little tricky to create a rhyme out of each and every verse. “You are constrained by what is written and what sounds good, so it does not flow as well as if you were rapping from scratch.”

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Groin Ball – Fun to Watch, Painful to Play

Groin Ball is a crazy game that supposedly originated in Japan, is played by men, and obviously involves the hitting of testicles.

Curious to know how the game is played? Well, we’ll tell you. Two teams involved in a game of Groin Ball each consist of two players – a ball thrower and a target player. The target players of each team face each other, holding on to the other’s shoulders. Their feet need to be shoulder-width apart, all through the game. A supply of tennis balls is provided to each of the throwers, who have to hurl them between the legs of the target players, aiming of course, at the groin. The balls hit the ground and then bounce up to smash into the groin of the opposing target player.

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Doglegs – Japanese Pro-Wrestling for the Disabled

Physical disabilities have never stopped the resilient from pursuing their passion for sports. And wrestlers are not to be left behind. The Doglegs wrestling group founded in Japan gives the disabled an opportunity to fight, although it has been called a ‘freak show’ by some critics.

Unlike other sports for the disabled, Doglegs seems more oriented towards the entertainment value provided to audiences, rather than an actual skill or sportsmanship. Co-founder Yukinori Kitajima says that anyone can become a wrestler, provided they interest the spectators. For this, a special individuality is required out of each of them. ET, for instance, one of the popular wrestlers of the group, makes a scary face, which is his special attack. He suffers from cerebral palsy. The names adopted by the members of Doglegs are just as entertaining as their antics. Hard Rock, No Sympathy and Welfare Power are just a few of the wrestler’s names. No Sympathy, perhaps being the most apt of them all, since the fights are brutally real. It’s quite common that the wrestlers suffer injuries, spilling blood, splitting their eye, and more. Read More »

Restaurant Fines Customers if They Don’t Finish Their Food

The wastage of food is something we often don’t realize, because we tend to think of it as ‘just this once’. In reality we’re all guilty of ordering something on the menu we know we can’t really finish, just out of the temptation to see what it tastes like.

Well, one restaurant has finally decided to put the matter to rest. A Saudi food joint has started charging their customers extra if they order more food than they can eat. Fahad Al Anezi, the owner of Marmar restaurant in the city of Dammam says the move is an attempt to stop the wastage of food and reduce extravagance. According to Al Anezi, he routinely witnesses clients who order large quantities of food in order to impress those around them. He also says that the idea of fining people for leftovers, instead of making him unpopular, has actually been endorsed by the Saudis. In fact, a few customers have said that they’ve learnt their lesson and will only order food that they can finish.

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EyeAsteroids – World’s First and Only Eye-Controlled Arcade Video Game

Progress in the world of gaming and technology has brought us nothing other than amazement over the years. The latest awesome feat of gaming is beyond awesome as the Tobii EyeAsteroids pushes you to take a different look at gaming, literally. Based on one of the best games in history, Asteroids, the new arcade game features a special controller – your eyes.

Using some special sensors and software, the game tracks the motion of your eyes and then interprets it as input commands for the game. The Tobii EyeAsteroids is a game that simply implies you looking at it. There’s no button mashing or jumping up and down to control the game. It seems to be the perfect gaming system to indulge in laziness while safely avoiding carpal tunnel problems. It’s also a definite eye catcher system that can be both weird and addictive at the same time.

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Virginia Beach Schools Pay Students for Good Grades

Have you ever heard of kids making some cash on the side, simply by studying? Well, it’s happening and we’ll tell you how. High schools in Virginia Beach are offering cash incentives to students as well as teachers for receiving good grades on their Advanced Placement exams.

As unbelievable as it might sound, it’s really true. The first few schools to adopt this new technique to get kids back to their books are Salem and Green Run High Schools. Apparently, a pat on the back just won’t do it anymore. A student can receive up to $100 for each AP exam on which they score 3, 4 or 5, on a five point scale.

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La Pourcailhade – Becoming a Pig in France

La Pourcailhade is a festival dedicated to one of the most popularly eaten animal around the world, the pig. I’d like to mention that the Festival isn’t dedicated to pork as much as it is to the pig. There’s the usual “eat the most… to win” contest and a few barbecues go on but they’re far from being the main attractions at La Pourcailhade.

These would be the Best Pig Outfit competition, the “Cri do Cochon” and even the piglet race. The latter is self explanatory and it is made even more fun by betting on the side. It’s basically what the Koreans feel when going to the dog tracks.Where things during La Pourcailhade get even more interesting is in the Best Pig Outfit competition. It is also rather self explanatory but could you seriously imagine anything funnier than grown people walking around and showcasing their pig-like appearance? Especially French people, perceived as some of the coolest and snottiest people in the world.

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Girl without Fingers Creates Beautiful Embroidery Art

Peng Jiangya lost all of her fingers when she was only a child, after she fell into a flaming fire stove while her parents were away, but that didn’t stop her from finishing school, establishing a family and even creating beautiful art.

Growing up in a small village at the foot of the Fanjing Mountains on China’s Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Peng didn’t have the easiest childhood, but things got even worse after she burnt her hands severely after falling in a flaming fire stove. Her parents were too poor to afford reconstructive surgery, so the young girl had to learn to do everything without any fingers. At first she was unable to use chopsticks, and her parents had to teach her for a long time, but thanks to her strong will and a desire to do everything on her own and not rely on others, she managed to overcome those difficult times and is now capable of taking care of her own family.

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Sweetest-Ever Music Video Was Made with 288,000 Jelly Beans

Director Greg Jardin spent the last two years making a music video for singer/songwriter Kina Grannis using a whopping 288,000 jelly beans. I think it’s fair to say this is literally sweetest video ever created.

Inspired by the jelly bean art of artists like Roger Rocha, Malcolm West and Kristen Cumings, Greg Jardin thought it would be a good idea to make a music video almost entirely out of jelly beans, for Kina Grannis‘ song “In Your Arms”. The young singer thought it was an amazing idea, although she did have some problems even imagining how it was going to look like, so the ambitious director got to work. He had a friend, who is an illustrator, draw up  all the concept art and email it to him, and he turned into an animatic. There were over 2,300 frames he had to recreate out of differently colored jelly beans.

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In Indonesia Football Is Played with a Ball of Fire

Sepak Bola Api, or The Fireball Game, is a unique game Indonesians play to welcome the month of Ramadan. It’s a lot like football only they have to kick a flaming fireball.

It seems regular football is pretty boring. At least that’s the feeling I get after discovering similar games like Footdoubleball, Cycle Ball or Burton-on-the-Water. The latest addition to the list of games that makes football look easy is an Indonesian tradition that had people kick a flaming football in celebration of Ramadan. It’s called Sepak Bola Api and is usually celebrated in the Yogyakarta, Bogor, Tasikmalaya, and Papua regions of the Southeastern Asia archipelago. Just like in the regular game of football, two teams of 11 eleven players kick a ball and try to shoot it in the opposing goal. But that’s easier said than done when playing barefoot and kicking a flaming ball.

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Glitter Girl Is Made of 50,625 Hand-Mounted Sequins

Jeremy Kirsch has creates what is probably the world’s first photographic sequin mosaic, comprised of 50,625 independently-mounted sequins, which move and sparkle when they catch the light.

The artist from Glendale, California created this unique work of art for the ArtPrize 2011 competition, where although it didn’t win the big prize, it caught the eye of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! “How this piece didn’t win the big money at the contest I will never know, said Edward Meyer, VP Exhibits and Archives for Ripley’s. “Everyone was talking about it as the “must see” piece. I fell in love with it instantly, and considered it the number one “must have” piece for Ripley’s from this year’s Artprize.”

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Guys Sews Model’s Portrait with Sewing Machine

I didn’t think one could use a sewing machine for anything but sewing, but this guy proves it’s the perfect tool to create realistic portraits.

I found this video during my daily browsing sessions, and knew I just had to post it for you guys to see, I haven’t been able to identify the skilled artist yet, but even though the video was uploaded by a Russian blogger, the protagonists speak English so I’m pretty sure the guy’s American. If anyone knows who he is, let me know so I can credit him for this awe-inspiring performance. You have to see the video to believe it, but long story short, this man sews a portrait of a female model into a piece of leather using just a sewing machine, and does it all in just a few minutes. All throughout the video I was sure he was going to sew his finger into the art piece, that’s how close his finger was to the needle…Amazing stuff!

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