Never too Old for Art – Portugal’s Granny Graffiti Gang

Lata 65 is a highly unusual urban art workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, that teaches elderly women the basics of street art. Although graffiti is generally perceived as a part of youth culture, the workshop has introduced the quirky art form to over 100 senior citizens around the city. It gives groups of elderly women the chance to team up with prominent street artists and literally paint the town red. They bring color and charm to otherwise neglected and run-down neighborhoods, by making their own stencils and creating their own street tags.


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Mother Still Breastfeeds Six-Year-Old Daughter, Plans to Do So Until She Is Ten

Six-year-old Amina Al Musa is a seemingly normal child: She goes to school and loves playing hide-and-seek. But her after-school snack is so unconventional that it has attracted media attention across the world. Amina happens to be breastfed by her mother every single day, and the little girl seems to love it!

Extended breastfeeding is highly unusual in today’s world, which is why Amina’s case is making headlines. At age 52, her mother – belly dancing expert and human rights activist Maha Al Musa – is one of the oldest women in the world to be breastfeeding. Although she’s garnering a lot of interest and some criticism, Maha says that she’s only responding to her daughter’s natural desire.


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Mentally Troubled Inmate Is Literally Eating the Jail, Costs State $1 Million in Medical Bills

17-year-old Lamont Cathey, who was jailed for breaking into a pizza parlour in Chicago, is proving to be a costly inmate to handle. For the past 16 months, mentally disturbed Cathey has been consuming metal objects – ranging from toe screws to needles, to drawing pins, and even strips of leather. He has been rushed to the prison’s hospital 24 different times to have these items removed, costing the State a whopping $1.3 million!

Cathey used to be a promising basketball player until he was accused of stealing money from a safe at a pizzeria over a year ago. He is yet to go on trial, and as he waits for a sentence, he has taken to eating “anything he could get his hands on” around his cell. He reportedly swallowed parts of a security camera, tore apart a $50,000 hospital bed, and broke open a medical device to swallow the parts inside.


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New York Artist Makes a Fortune Selling Other People’s Instagram Photos

While plagiarism is generally abhorred in artistic circles, controversial artist Richard Prince makes millions by brazenly duplicating others’ work. In his last project, ‘New Portraits’, he took screenshots of 37 Instagram photographs (without permission), blew them up, and displayed them at the Frieze Art Fair New York. One of the portraits – posted by a woman called Doe Deere – reportedly sold for a whopping $90,000!

The portrait in question depicts Deere styled in blue hair, identical to the doll she’s holding. “No I did not give permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway,” Deere wrote on Instagram, where she has 328,000 followers. “It’s already sold ($90k I’ve been told) during the VIP preview. No, I’m not gonna go after him. And nope, I have no idea who ended up with it!” She hashtagged the post #modernart and #wannabuyaninstagrampicture.


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Czech Reality Show Recreates Life Under Nazi Rule, Sparks Controversy

A Czech TV show is making waves for its controversial format, depicting the brutal lives of ordinary people under Nazi rule. The reality show, titled ‘Holiday in the Protectorate’, features a modern family living in recreated conditions of the German occupation during the WWII. A prize money of 1 million Czech Krunas (over $40,000) awaits the family if they manage to survive the two-month ordeal.

The three-generation family was selected after rigorous auditions in which 200 other families participated. The show was recorded in the summer of 2014, and the 8 hour-long episodes will be airing from May 23 to June 13. Although the family participated in normal tasks typical of that time period, like harvesting crops or milking cows, they also went through wartime struggles like food rationing, frequent hunger, simulated air raids, intimidation by Nazi informants, and interrogations by the Gestapo.

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This Man Has Been Taking Selfies Every Day for the Last 16 Years

Long before selfies became a way of life, this Alaska man began to take pictures of himself every day. Now, 16 years later, Jonathan Keller has released an extraordinary time-lapse video consisting of a whopping 5,840 pictures of his face! The three-and-a-half minute video shows his transformation from a 22-year-old young adult to his current 39-year-old self.

Keller’s project, titled ‘Living My Life Faster’, began on October 1, 1998. Ever since, he’s been taking one picture of himself every single day, wearing the same emotionless expression. His goal, it seems, is to show that the daily changes to his appearance are almost insignificant when viewed in chronological order. But the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures show that he has indeed aged visibly.


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Artist Overcomes Her 100 Biggest Fears in Inspirational Project

In a bid to live her life to the fullest, artist Michelle Poler has decided to face 100 biggest fears. She’s calling the project ‘100 Days Without Fear’ and her goal is to do one thing that scares her, every day for 100 days.

Originally from Venezuela, Michelle recently moved to New York to get a Master’s Degree in Branding at the School of Visual Arts. She revealed that the experience of living in the city inspired her to take on the project. “Trying to control New York has been a nightmare,” she said. “But what has really pushed me to pursue this project was not the controlled lifestyle I left behind, it is the frustration of not enjoying this city and life in general to the fullest.”


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11-Year-Old Homeschooled Boy Graduates from College with 3 Different Degrees

11-year-old child prodigy Tanishq Abraham is in the news for graduating from college with not one, not two, but three different degrees. The talented kid from California made headlines last year as well, for completing high school at the age of ten and earning a congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama. And now, just a year later, he’s finished college with three associate degrees.

Last week’s graduation ceremony at the American River College in Sacramento was attended by Tanishq’s parents – his mother Taji, a vet, and his father Bijou, a software engineer. His sister Tiara, also a child prodigy, was present as well. They cheered for Tanishq as he was awarded associate degrees in math and physical sciences, general science, and language studies. He wore a rainbow colored scarf that his grandmother had knit specially for the occasion, and a cap with his favorite Toy Story-quote: ‘To Infinity and Beyond.”


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The Water Wives of India Live Only to Fetch Water for Their Families

Men in drought-stricken Indian villages often take a second or even a third wife whose sole purpose is only to bring water to the family. They make several long trips to distant water sources every single day, carrying large vats of water on their heads.

Life is hard in dry villages, like Denganmal, 150 km from Mumbai. Husbands are busy farming and tending to the animals, while the women do house chores and raise the children. However, someone still needs to bring water from sources often several kilometers away, for about 8 months out of a year, when there is no rainfall in the area. That’s why having two or even three wives is not at all uncommon in these parts. The men only have children with their first wives, while the other’s sole purpose is to provide water for the family, in exchange for a roof over their heads and the social status of wife. They are paaniwaali bais, water wives.

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World’s Smallest Park Is No Bigger Than a Flower Pot

Mill Ends Park, in Portland, Oregon, currently holds the record for the world’s smallest park. With a diameter of just two meters, it only has room for one tree and a few tiny plants, but it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

Mill Ends was originally supposed to be the site of a light pole, but for some reason, the pole never arrived and weeds began to sprout from the hole. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, whose office overlooked the tiny park, noticed the derelict patch of land and decided to do something about it. He started planting foliage there and even came up with a special column in the local paper dedicated to Mill Ends Park. He managed to create a whole story around the place, including leprechauns living there that only he could see, and tiny shamrocks growing inside the other plants.

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Men Shower Themselves with Molten Iron During Fiery Chinese Celebration

Every year, during the Lantern Festival, the Chinese village of Nuanquan hosts one of the most spectacular pyrotechnics show in the world. Called Da Shuhua (Chinese for “tree flower) the tradition involves experienced blacksmiths showering themselves with molten iron.

Da Shuhua is believed to have originated over 300 years ago, when local blacksmiths came up with a unique alternative to fireworks. The rich would always celebrate New Year with fire crackers, but poor blacksmiths could not afford them, so they had to rely on their to find a cheaper alternative. Inspired by iron striking, the blacksmiths started melting iron at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius and throwing it at a large stone wall to create an effect similar to fireworks. In contact with the cold stone, the splashed molten iron would generate beautiful iron flowers that rained down on the brave blacksmiths.

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Japan’s Bizarre Anti-Crime Orange Balls – A Unique Way to Stop Crime

If you happen to visit shops, commercial establishments, and even police stations in Japan, you might be baffled to discover bright orange baseball-sized orbs, generally placed next to the cash register. But they won’t be for sale, because believe it or not, they’re actually anti-crime devices!

The balls, locally known as bohan yu kara boru, derive their bright hue from the orange paint that fills them. In the event of a theft or robbery, store employees are supposed to fling the balls at the perpetrator. When the balls hit the thief, they will burst, marking him with orange paint and making it easy for the police to identify and apprehend him.


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Dutch Fashion Designer Creates Clothing Line That Prevents Slouching

Dutch designer Jeffrey Heiligers’ latest clothing line – ‘Posture’ – targets people who spend most of their time hunched over a computer. By preventing the wearer from slouching, the clothes help people improve their posture in the long run. The concept is simple – every time you slouch, the shirt will tighten uncomfortably around the back, forcing you to sit upright again!

“I engineered a tailor-made remedy that corrects poor posture, nowadays very common amongst the digital generation, not by constraining the muscles, but by training them,” Heiligers told Dezeen magazine. “Posture offers a solution integrated in the clothes you wear. By repositioning the seams in such a way that they start to feel uncomfortable when hunching, it stimulates you to sit up straight.”


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Artists Carve Replica of “China’s Mona Lisa” into Giant Piece of Fossilized Ebony

A group of Chinese artists recently immortalized the famous Chinese painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival by replicating it on to a giant piece of fossilized ebony. Over 800 people, 30 structures, 28 ships, a harbour, a town hall, and a market, were painstakingly carved on to the 30-tonne chunk of ebony. It took the artists a whopping 600 days to complete, and the final piece was displayed at the 11th Annual China International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen.

At 27.5 meters long and 1.92 meters tall, the ebony replica is more than double the size of the original scroll. The black fossilised ebony, known as ‘wumu’, gets its unique density and colors from being buried underground for thousands of years. This particular piece of wood  is 5,000 years old: It was discovered in the riverbed of Minjiang River.


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Pakistani Company Allegedly Makes Millions Selling Fake University Diplomas

On its website, Pakistani company Axact calls itself the “World’s leading IT Company.” It claims to have ten “diverse business units” that offer over “23 world class products” to “prestigious clients worldwide.” It offers these clients services in the fields of software, application design, research, and education. But according to an investigative story by The New York Times, Axact actually makes its millions by selling fake high school diplomas and degrees!

The report suggests that Axact does sell some software as it claims to, but its main business is to “take the centuries-old scam of selling fake academic degrees and turn it into an Internet-era scheme on a global scale.” The company ostensibly designs websites for fake colleges with dubious names like ‘Barkley’, ‘Columbiana’, and ‘Mount Lincoln’, offering online ‘degrees’ in several subjects along with authentication certificates signed by Secretary of State John Kerry.


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