Who Is This Mysterious Woman in Black and Why Is She Walking Across America?

A mysterious woman dressed in black from head to toe has been spotted walking in various cities and towns in the United States. So far, her 500-mile journey has been tracked by American TV stations, the police, and followers on a Facebook page dedicated to her. The woman is known to dress in black attire, carry a black bag, and a walking stick.

Several photographs of the woman popped up all over the internet – she was spotted in multiple states including Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia. A Facebook page called ‘Where is the Mysterious Woman in Black’ is dedicated to collecting all her photographs. A few videos have been posted on Instagram as well, with the hashtag #womaninblack. In some clips she walks by silently, and in others she appears to be arguing with people about religion.

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Diamond-Studded Handbag Costs $180,000, Has 1,000-Year Guarantee

British designer Christopher Shellis has created an unbelievably expensive women’s clutch bag – it costs a whopping $180,000 and it’s so small that it can hardly hold more than a cell phone. The tiny bag measures 7 inches by 5 inches, but it’s surprisingly heavy at half-a-kilogram, thanks to all the bling piled on to it.

All that weight is attributed to the 345 diamonds that are studded on the 18-carat gold bag. It took Shellis and his team of dedicated goldsmiths and diamond setters over 100 hours to create the bag. “The inspiration and design was drawn from the Buckingham Palace gates,” Shellis explained.

“Like the palace gates, it conveys its own very regal presence. It would not look out of place among the collection of jewels in the Tower of London itself. It could easily be worn by any royal princess.”

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Chinese City Builds World’s First Rectangular Running Track

Sports officials in Tonghe County in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province have built the world’s first and only rectangular running track. That’s a weird shape for a track, but their reason for building it is weirder – because they couldn’t get an oval one ready in time for an inspection!

The running track was built as a part of a larger, big-budget project – the renovation of Tonghe County’s 10,000-square foot stadium. Local authorities were behind schedule and time was running out. With a Communist Party inspection looming over their heads, the managers of the project simply decided to ditch the traditional oval design and go for a simpler rectangular one instead.

While the rest of the stadium looks brilliant with its perfectly laid grass and excellent seating facilities, the rectangular track sticks out like a sore thumb. The original track at the stadium was actually oval, but the officials explained that it was so worn out that it couldn’t just be used as a template for re-painting. The inspection was a last-minute decision, and the managers had to complete the track in a hurry, so they simply decided on a rectangle with 90-degree bends that were easier to measure and lay out.

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Pheromone Parties Let Singles Sniff Out the Perfect Partner

Pheromone parties are the latest trend to hit the international dating scene. These parties allow young men and women to literally sniff out prospective partners. Instead of meeting each other face-to-face, people at these parties just go around sniffing bags of discarded clothing worn by a potential mate. When the smell seems right, it’s time to meet.

To attend a pheromone party, you’ll have to first agree to wear the same cotton T-shirt three nights in a row, without using any deodorant or perfume. You then have to bring your odor-infused clothing to the party in a numbered transparent plastic bag.

Then, you randomly pick up bags belonging to the opposite sex – pink labels for women and blue for men – until you find one that you really seem to like. You click a picture of yourself holding the bag – all the images are projected on the wall and then you get to meet the person of your, well, smelly dreams!

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English Designer Creates Furniture That Looks and Feels Like Human Skin

Gigi Barker, a British furniture designer and owner of Studio 9191, has come up with a new range of seating that looks and feels a lot like the human body. The seats are designed to mimic bulbous, podgy human flesh. And they’re oddly comforting, as Gigi’s customers reluctantly admit.

Although the seats are made of leather – the closest material to human skin that she could find – they’re so oddly shaped that they aren’t instantly recognisable. And that’s exactly the effect that she was hoping to achieve with the project, which she calls ‘A Body of Skin’.

Through the project, Gigi wanted to explore people’s reactions to furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch, but not recognisable. “That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions,” she said.

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Lonely Man Tries to Find Love by Plastering Posters of Himself All Over New York

Lonely New Yorker Dan Perino got so tired of traditional dating methods that he’s trying something new and unconventional in order to find love. He’s plastering posters of himself all over Manhattan in a bid to find the woman of his dreams.

It might sound desperate, but he insists that he’s not. The 50-year-old simply believes that it’s a better way of meeting women. The black-and-white posters consist of a large photograph of Dan, with the words ‘Looking for a Girlfriend’ below. He’s currently pasting them all over the city – on post boxes, lamp posts, and parking meters.

Dan claims that he received hundreds of calls only a few hours after the fliers went up. Some women were genuinely interested, while others thought the posters were a joke. As strange as it sounds, the posters idea seems to have worked – Dan already has one date set up.

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Portland’s Unique Zoobombing Scene – Grown-Up Racers Riding Tiny Children’s Bicycles

A group of bikers in Portland, Oregon, share the most unusual love of children’s bicycles. Several riders take to the hills of Washington Park every Sunday with a single mission – to speed downhill on tiny kids’ bicycles, after the sun goes down. Seasoned bikers ride at the front of the pack, while beginners follow their lead. They all take off at the same time, at the countdown ‘Three, two, one – Zoobomb!’

The unusual hobby is called ‘Zoobombing’, and it was born in Portland, one of America’s most bike-friendly cities. The ‘zoo’ denotes the fact that participants start at a spot near the Oregon Zoo, from where they speed downhill, while ‘bomb’ is a term used to describe biking downhill at very high speeds.

In zoobombing, the most glorious riders have the smallest wheels. The ideal size is the 12-inch, designed for use by three-year-olds. Those who aren’t comfortable with wheels so small prefer to ride 16 and 20-inch wheels. “On a tiny bike, you feel like you’re going faster,” said April Cox, a 16-incher who has been zoobombing for the past nine years.

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Japanese Botanical Artist Launches His Bonsai into Space

Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.

“I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” said Azuma, who is well known in Japan for his extravagant performances involving flowers. There was this one time when he stomped on hundreds of flowers during a musical performance. Once, he stuffed flowers into glass jars and filled them with water-like sardines. He has also created office chairs and Hello Kitty dolls entirely covered in green grass.

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The ChewBaru – A Subaru Covered in Over 140 Pounds of Dentures and Dental Impressions

American designer Rex Rosenberg is the proud owner of ChewBaru, a truly one-of-a-kind car. Originally a bland Subaru the unique vehicle has been covered with over 70 pounds of dentures and another 70 pounds of partial dentures and impressions. Not to mention the assortment of empty toothpaste tubes, dental tools, mannequin heads, doll parts and dental-themed stickers.

According to Rex, the ChewBaru is an ‘art car’, one of only around 1,000 that are estimated to be running in the US. He had always been interested in art cars, following ‘art car stuff’ on the internet since the late 1990s. So when he bought his Subaru in 2005, he started thinking of what he was going to do with it.

“Several ideas came to me, and I even started pursuing some of them by getting some materials,” he said. “However, none of them really grabbed me. It was while going to sleep somewhere in western Nebraska while on the Route 6 Art Car Tour that the idea for the ChewBaru came into my head! The idea of dentures came to me. I knew then what I was going to do.”

ChewBaru

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Meet Paintboxer – The Dutch Artist Who Paints with His Fists

It’s hard to imagine boxing and painting combined to create something artistic. But Dutch boxer Bart van Polanen Petel demonstrates that it’s really quite possible to mix a brutal sport and a delicate art form. He puts on his boxing gloves, dips them in paint, and throws punch after punch at a blank canvas wrapped around a punching bag until it is completely covered in chaotic color patterns.

“If life is ultimately a Darwinian struggle for survival, then boxing at least has the virtue of being open about it,” says the philosophical boxer. Inspired by its primal nature, painting is Bart’s way of paying tribute to the sport of boxing. “Instead of crushing bones and shattering teeth, I use my fists to create,” he explained.

Bart says that when he’s boxing, he feels a deep connection with the men of the Stone Age and the Middle Ages. He feels a certain animal within him, an aggression that he learned to curb in boxing. But with painting, he’s able to let out all that aggression on to the canvas.

paintboxer

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Photo-Like Monochromatic Portraits Created with Thousands of Tiny Holes

Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes’ portraits might look like black-and-white photographs, but that’s just your eyes playing tricks on you. They’re actually paintings made with of thousands and thousands of tiny holes. Anne creates them by punching perforations into large canvases, creating the effect of monochromatic hyper-realistic portraits.

Anne has been perfecting her unique perforation technique since the 1990s, when she was a student of architecture and art at the Art Academy of Trondheim. All the main painters back then used a lot of paint on the canvas, she said, but she wanted to ‘enter the canvas’ in her own way.

“So I tried to find my own language,” she explains. “At that time, I was really interested in photos – old photos, albums, private albums – and I think it was the idea of trying to transform these photos to something physical, something bigger. And to give it a kind of soft treatment so it was, in a way, a memory. Something that is coming and disappearing at the same time.” The holes, she said, are symbolic of memories – how they disappear exactly when you try to grasp them.

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Physicist-Turned-Cook Invents Ice Cream That Changes Color as It Melts

The latest invention of Manuel Linares, a Spanish physicist-turned-cook, proves that physics isn’t all about boring theories and formulae, it can be really fun too! He’s invented a new type of ice cream called ‘Xamaleon’, made from natural ingredients, that slowly changes color as it melts.

When 37-year-old Manuel decided to switch professions and become a professional cook, he couldn’t help adding a bit of his knowledge to his cooking. He recently attended a course in ice cream making at the Hotel Business School Hoffman in Barcelona, where students were encouraged to create a new flavor of ice cream.

Manuel declared that his ice cream would be able to change color,  a statement that earned him laughs from his tutor. But Manuel stuck to his goal, and managed to convince everyone he wasn’t joking. He created ‘Xamaleon’ – ‘chameleon’ in Catalan – a special ice cream that changes from purple to pink when it melts.

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California Town Is Home to Hundreds of Free-Roaming Wild Peacocks

The residents of Rolling Hills Estates, a small community on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, in southwestern Los Angeles, have been sharing their home with dozens of beautiful wild peacocks for almost 100 years. The exotic birds have always added a rustic charm to the upscale suburb, but as their population continues to grow uncontrollably, many residents now view them as a terrible nuisance.

For several decades, the people of the Peninsula have tried to keep their peace with the birds. The peacocks were actually an added attraction at one point, with buyers choosing homes specifically because they fell in love with the beautiful creatures. There were regulations, education programs and behavior modification in place, all in order to accommodate the lovely peacocks.

“Palos Verdes Peninsula has many sights to see – crashing waves, rolling hills and peacocks in the trees,” said Mary Jo Hazard, an author who lives in the Peninsula. “What fascinates me is – they’re so beautiful, they’re so exotic and I don’t think there’s anything more fascinating than seeing peacocks on the roofs, peacocks walking across the street.”

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Israeli Designer Creates Gas Mask for the Fashion-Conscious

Let’s face it – gas masks might be incredibly useful in case of a catastrophe, but they’re not the most fashionable accessories and often make it difficult for users to interact with other people. But Israeli industrial designer, Zlil Lazarovich, is trying to change the way people perceive gas masks. She has created the world’s first ‘Social Gas Mask’ which not only looks sleek and stylish, but also allows for seamless social interactions.

With the new Social Gas Mask, you can enjoy movie nights on your couch, go outside without having people stare at you, and pretty much do everything you normally do. “The large window allows to show a greater range of facial expressions by exposing the upper cheeks, eyebrows and full width of the eyes area,” Lazarovich says. “The wide, cheeky shape of the filters gives the impression of a wide, healthy and happy face instead of a long, skeleton-like one. As opposed to current masks that often hide the user’s face, restrict communication and facial expressions, and look like an alien, the Social Gas Mask has a number of features designed to offer an empowering image and a positive experience.”

social-gas-mask

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Norwegian City’s Ingenious Bicycle Lift Makes Cycling Uphill a Breeze

The city of Trondheim in Norway is the first and only one in the world to have a lift specially designed to help cyclists travel uphill. The contraption is called ‘Trampe’ and it can get you up a very steep hill with practically no effort on your part.

Trampe was first opened in 1993, and quickly turned Trondheim into a very popular tourist destination for cyclists. Over 200,000 cyclists have used it to go up a 130-meter hill, with no accidents reported so far. In 2012, the original lift was dismantled and replaced with a more industrialized version in 2013, called the CycloCable.

Trampe-lift

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