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.

zoobombing

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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.

Azuma-Makoto

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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.

xameleon-ice-cream

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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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Turkish Motorist Builds His Own Heavy Truck Using Only Second-Hand Parts and Scrap Metal

30-year-old Ismail Mescioglu, a bus driver from Turkey, had always wanted to drive his very own truck, but he knew he could never afford to buy one. So he settled for the next best thing – to build one using discarded parts and scrap metal. Today, Ismail Mescioglu is the proud owner of a swanky street-legal red truck he named ‘IMES’

Ismail, a father-of-two from Turkey’s Tusba county, is the first person in Turkey to have built a large-size truck entirely on his own. He managed to complete the seemingly impossible project through sheer grit – he had no prior experience, no proper plan and no idea of how he was going to pull it off. “When I started the construction, everyone was taunting me,” he said. “Everyone was making fun of me.”

But Ismail was not one to give up. He started visiting scrap dealers and gathered as many parts as he could. He also bought an old Murat 131 car for the motor. For the body of the truck, he bought metal sheets and built the entire body of the vehicle himself. After several months of hard work, his patience finally paid off and the truck was ready. and the most impressive thing is it only cost him around $2,800.

Murat 131'den tır yaptı

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The Ultra-Realistic Graphite Drawings of Monica Lee

Malaysian artist Monica Lee uses simple graphite pencils to create stunningly realistic portraits of people and animals. Through her photorealistic drawings, she manages to capture the most minute details of her subjects – faded freckles, coarse beard hair and even the subtle weaves of a shirt.

Lee worked as a digital artist for 12 years before she switched to analog drawings. She grew up admiring and appreciating the value of photographs, thanks to her father who is a photographer. So photorealism comes to her quite naturally, and she enjoys depicting as many details as possible.

“I like to challenge myself with complex portraits especially people with freckles or beard,” Lee says.

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New Delhi Restaurant Run by Indian Convicts Proves Big Hit

Tihar Food Court, a new restaurant in New Delhi, serves its customers a regular fare of north Indian dishes – rice, flatbreads, lentils, samosas, and more. You’d probably get to eat these dishes at many other restaurants in India’s capital, but here’s what’s special about Tihar Food Court – the food is prepared and served by convicts serving time for murder at New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail.

The restaurant opened earlier this month within the sprawling Tihar complex – South Asia’s largest prison – as a rehabilitation effort on an experimental basis. It is a rather simple eatery with indoor and outdoor seating for around 50 customers, and cream colored walls decorated with paintings made by prisoners. The small staff consists of a manager who is also a police constable, and seven convicts who have displayed good behavior over several years of imprisonment.

To be eligible to leave prison for a few hours of work at the restaurant, inmates must have a high school education and need to have maintained an ‘unblemished’ record for at least 12 years. They mostly pick prisoners who are due to be released within two years time, so they don’t feel too tempted to escape. The inmates walk or ride a cycle to work everyday completely unsupervised, as the authorities apparently trust them enough not to provide an escort.

Tihar-Food-Court

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Professional Bridesmaid Will Happily Help You On Your Big Day, for a Fee

When 26-year-old New Yorker Jen Glantz got to be the bridesmaid at four of her closest friends’ weddings this year, she realized that she had a real flair for the job. Her story is incredibly similar to Katherine Heigl’s character in the movie 27 Dresses, where she’s always the bridesmaid but never the bride. But Jen has decided to make the most of her situation by turning pro – she posted an ad on Craigslist offering her services to brides all over the world. She’s even written a book about her experiences as a professional bridesmaid called All My Friends are Engaged.

“This year alone, I’ve been a bridesmaid four times,” she wrote in the ad. “That’s four different chiffon dresses, four different hen parties filled with tequila shots and guys in thongs twerking way too close to my face; four different pre-wedding pep talks to the bride about how this is the happiest day of her life and marriage, probably, is just like riding a bike: a little shaky at first but then she’ll get the hang of it. So let me be there for you if you don’t have any other girlfriends.”

The ad also mentions the bridesmaid stuff that Jen is exceptionally good at: “Holding up the 18 layers of your dress so that you can pee with ease on your wedding day,” “Catching the bouquet and then following that moment up with my best Miss America-like ‘Omg, I can’t believe this,’ speech,” ”Doing the electric and the cha cha slide,” and “Responding in a timely manner to pre-wedding email chains created by other bridesmaids and the Maid of Honor.”

Jen-Glantz-bridesmaid

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Mystery of Turkish Siblings Who Can Only Move on All Fours Leaves Scientists Baffled

Walking on all fours might be fun for some, but for the members of one Turkish family, it’s the only way to move around. Five siblings of the 19-member Ulas family, from Hatay Province, suffer from a rare disability – they lack the balance and stability required to stand up straight, forcing them to move on all four limbs. The family was discovered in 2005 – 14 of them appeared to be completely normal, while five suffered a quadrupedal gait. Scientists have been baffled by the condition ever since.

The Ulas siblings were featured in a BBC documentary film, The Family That Walks On All Fours, in 2006. The film revealed that of the five siblings, two sisters and a brother have only walked on all fours since birth. Another brother and sister sometimes manage to walk upright. “It’s amazing as an example of a strange, strange aberration of human development,” said Professor Nicholas Humphrey, who visited the family twice during the documentary. “But their interest is how they can live in the modern world.”

Living in the modern world with a quadrupedal gait is no easy task. The siblings are often ridiculed for their disorder, and the family tries their best to protect them. The sisters remain indoors most of the time, spending their time crocheting. One of the brothers, on the other hand, is more adventurous – he travels to the local village and interacts with other people.

Ulas-family

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9-Year-Old Boy Marries Woman 53 Years His Senior, for the Second Time

Nine-year-old Saneie Masilela has managed to accomplish something that probably no other kid his age has ever done – he’s been married twice! And as if that wasn’t shocking enough, his bride is old enough to be his grandmother.

Saneie has married 62-year-old Helen Shabangu twice in the span of one year. The second wedding ceremony was recently held at the bride’s home in Ximhungwe, in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. As the highly unusual couple exchanged vows for the second time, 100 wide-eyed guests watched on in utter bewilderment.

Saneie, the youngest of four children, belongs to the nearby town of Tshwane. His first wedding to Helen took place last year at his parents’ home, after he claimed that his dead ancestors had ordered him to marry her. While most parents would brush away such claims from a little boy, Saneie’s parents actually took him seriously. They hurriedly contacted the bride, paid her $800 as dowry and spent over $1,500 on the arrangements.

Sanele-Masilela-wedding

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