Artist Uses Plants to Create Larger-Than-Life Replica of Famous Van Gogh Painting on a Field

Stan Herd, a Kansas-based landscape artist, recently completed his very own museum-worthy masterpiece. Only, it can’t be moved because it’s actually made out of plants growing in a field!

The 1.2-acre crop art ‘painting’, located on field near Minneapolis, is a replica of Van Gogh’s 1889 masterpiece ‘Olive Trees’. Herd was commissioned to create it by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where the Van Gogh original currently hangs. It took him six long months of digging, planting, and mowing a giant grass field before the ‘earthwork’ was finally complete on September 11. It is best viewed from high above, especially if you happen to be flying in to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“When you’re on ground level you can’t tell what the cuts even look like, but when you get up there you can see the patterns,” said Rick King, board member of the Minneapolis Museum and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “If you are landing from the southeast and flying northwest, it will be on your left-hand side as you approach the airport.”   

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World’s First Sand Castle Hotels Open in Holland

If you love building sandcastles then here’s your chance to actually live in one. ‘Zand Hotels’ – the world’s first hotels constructed out of sand have opened in two Dutch towns – Oss and Sneek – to commemorate sand sculpture festivals held there each year.

The two pop-up hotels have fully furnished one-room suites, hidden inside eight-meter sculptures. One is modeled after the iconic Bedrock homes from the Flintstones, and the other has a Chinese theme, with dragons, the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Army as decorations. Believe it or not, these sand hotels have all the modern amenities, like electricity, running water, glass windows, king size beds, soft carpets, luxurious bathrooms and Wi-Fi!

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Cosmetic Surgery and Botox for Pets a Growing Trend in South Korea

Move over, humans, it seems animals need makeovers too. It’s all the rage in South Korea right now as pet owners are actually paying for cosmetic surgery for their furry companions!

Some of the popular procedures include tail shortening and ear trimming for dogs, to make them ‘cute’ with pointy ears. Fat reduction is another popular surgery, along with stretch marks removal, wrinkle smoothing, double eyelid removal and even botox injections. These procedures start from $60 and ostensibly run into the thousands.  

It’s not entirely surprising, given that South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world. This is the place where tourists become unrecognisable to the extent that they need special doctor certificates to return to their native lands after having work done on their faces. So it was only a matter of time before people started thinking of botoxing their pets as well.

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Chinese Rich Kid Proposes to Girlfriend with Fleet of Luxury Cars

A Chinese kid was in the news recently for flaunting his wealth in one of the most extravagant marriage proposals in recent times. He arranged a fleet of luxury cars in the shape of a heart before asking his high school sweetheart to marry him. The stunt worked its magic and he got a the answer he desired.

According to news reports, the Guangzhou-based entrepreneur who had dropped out of college to found his own company, decided on the bombastic proposal to make sure no one steals his girl away. They have been dating since junior high, but she has just started attending college, so to make sure no one even attempts any moves on her, he proposed preemptively. He rented a fleet of expensive cars and drove them to his girlfriend’s college dorm.

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Nemo’s Garden – Italy’s Revolutionary Underwater Fruit and Vegetable Farm

In a bid to explore alternative methods of growing produce, an Italian company has created the world’s first underwater farm. The futuristic station – aptly named Nemo’s Garden – consists of five transparent biospheres anchored to the bottom of the sea off the coast of Savona, Italy. They’re being used to grow strawberries, basil, beans, garlic, and lettuce.

“The main target of this project is to create alternative sources of plant production in areas where environmental conditions make it difficult to grow crops through conventional farming, including lack of fresh water, fertile soils, and extreme temperature changes,” said project spokesperson Luca Gamberini. “We are trying to find an alternative and economically viable technology enabling efficient production.”

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Woman Has Ingenious “Robot” Standing in Line at an Apple Store in Australia

Believe it or not, the day has finally come when people can have their iPads wait in line every time a new iPhone is released! A woman named Lucy Kelly was the first to try it out – she sent an iPad robot to stand proxy for her at an Apple store in Sydney, just before the launch of the new iPhone 6s.

The robot, also named Lucy, consists of an iPad attached to a Segway-type device. Created by Californian company Double Robotics, it allows a person to be virtually present anywhere without actually having to be there. And the company that Kelly works for – Atomic 212 – happened to order six of these robots to play with at their office.

“We use them for everything, just to show new technology,” Kelly said. “It is a cool demonstration of what the future of technology will be. We are obsessed with them.” So on the eve of the iPhone 6s release in Sydney last Thursday, Lucy the robot arrived to take the fourth place in the long line of Apple fans.

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23-Year-Old Takes Welding Art to a Whole New Level of Awesomeness

Fusing bits of metal together hardly qualifies as art, unless it’s the handiwork of a welding master like Richard Lauth. The 23-year-old professional welder from Chicago creates beautiful portraits, themed sculptures, decorations, and models using nothing but metal and a welding machine

Lauth is an Operating Engineer and member of the trade union Local 150 by day, but he likes to spend his free time using his welding skills on artistic pursuits. Or as he writes on Instagram, he loves making “cool s***” out of metal. Some of his pieces include metal portraits of popular characters like Stormtroopers and Minions, animal faces, and small metal sculptures of everyday objects.

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Russian Teen Has Detailed Skull Tattooed on Side of His Face

This Russian teenager is turning heads in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk for looking like a walking, talking X-Ray. The entire right side of his face is covered with a skull tattoo, complete with gaping eye sockets, blackened nose, and perfectly traced bones and teeth. He’s even colored his right eyeball black for a hollow effect!

Nikita Lesnoy was fascinated by tattoos as a child, ever since he saw one made by his father. As he grew older he began to research the subject more, eventually getting his first tattoo at age 15. And now at 18 years, half of his face is inked with a skull. He works at a tattoo parlour himself, so his bizarre face hasn’t affected his career.

“Nobody worries about my look too much in my line of work, because I also have my dream job working in a tattoo studio,” he said. But he admitted that people on the streets are often shocked by his appearance. Nearly everyone gapes at him, some in admiration, others in disgust.

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Korean Couple’s Five-Month Body Transformations Will Blow Your Mind

A Korean couple are taking Instagram by storm with their phenomenal body transformation photographs. In a short span of five months, they have gone from ‘somewhat chubby’ to super-lean workout machines!

Song Jin Yoo and Shin Ji Hoo been exercising together at the gym for the past five months – spending three hours a day on aerobic exercise and one-and-a-half hours lifting weights twice a week. They have recently shared their amazing results on a Korean Facebook pace titled ‘Dieting is the Best Plastic Surgery’. Their before-and-after simply left everyone speechless and soon went viral in Korea.

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Awesome 80-Year-Old Man Builds Dog Train to Take Rescued Pooches on Fun Rides

Ever since he retired 15 years ago, Eugene Bostick has spent a huge chunk of his time caring for animals. Among the many awesome things he does perhaps the most interesting is playing train conductor for a bunch of rescued stray dogs. He actually built a custom train for the canines, consisting of a tractor pulling a row of plastic barrels with the tops cut off.

The 80-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, says he never planned on spending so much time with dogs, but it sort of just happened. “We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn,” he told online magazine The Dodo. “People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So we started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet, to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live.”

But Bostick has done more than just give the strays a place to live. He’s actually made their lives fun, by constructing a unique train to take them on little trips. “I started out with my tractor,” he explained. “I had a little trailer and I put four or five dogs in there and took them riding. Then more dogs started to show up and I thought ‘Uh-oh! That’s not enough room.’”

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Boxwars – The Art of Building Amazing Cardboard Armour and Weapons and Destroying Them in Glorious Combat

Boxwars is a fast-growing entertainment phenomenon that takes the childhood pastime of playing with cardboard boxes to a whole new level. Participants use reclaimed cardboard to create the full range of battle gear – armour, weapons, monster trucks, tanks, gigantic animals, and more. Then they put on monumental battle shows during which every creation is completely destroyed!

Boxwars is the brainchild of Australian friends Hoss Siegel and Ross Koger, who came up with it nearly a decade ago over drinks. “There was a lot of drinking involved,” Koger said in an interview. “We sort of imagined this concept one day, and thought yeah let’s give it a go. We did it at a party and had a great time, and thought let’s do this again!”

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Tiny Bird Mimics Other Birds’ Warning Calls to Confuse Predators

Despite its tiny size, the brown thornbill is quite capable of protecting itself in the wild. Its survival strategy is simple yet effective – it scares other birds away by ‘crying hawk’!

It seems that most birds use certain calls to warn their kin of impending danger, especially when hawks and other birds of prey are approaching. The thornbill is not only aware of this fact, but can reproduce the danger signals of several species, including the much larger pied currawong. Predators are fooled by the false alarm, and the thornbill earns its chicks a few extra seconds to escape.

The thornbill’s talent for mimicry was discovered by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU). “I am amazed that such a tiny bird can mimic so many species, some much bigger than itself. It’s very cunning,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Branislav Igic.

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Artist Creates Giant Realistic Flowers Out of Paper

Tiffanie Turner, a San Francisco based artist, is best known for her ability to craft incredibly realistic flowers out of paper. She cuts petals out of delicate Italian crepe paper and sews them together to resemble the creases and folds of flowers. When photographed, it’s nearly impossible to tell these fake flowers apart from real ones!

The faux florals that Turner creates vary in dimensions, right from palm-sized to nearly three ft. wide. Depending on the size, each flower can take anywhere between 35 to 80 hours to complete. Most of her pieces mimic healthy flowers, but at times she experiments with the wilted look as well.

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Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

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The Dominican Village Where Some Children Only Grow Penises at Puberty

Physical changes during puberty are completely normal, but in Salinas, a remote village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, they are downright extreme. For some of the boys living here puberty is the time they actually grow a penis. Many of the children are born without male genitalia and are raised as girls, but they eventually become men in their teenage years. The phenomenon is so familiar to the people of Salinas that the children – called ‘guevedoces’ (penis at 12) – are not considered abnormal at all.

The condition is apparently the result of a rare genetic disorder that occurs due to a missing enzyme. This prevents the production of dihydro-testosterone – a type of male hormone – when the baby is in the womb. All fetuses have internal glands called gonads and a small bump between their legs called tubercle. At around eight weeks, the enzyme 5-α-reductase triggers a huge surge of dihydro-testosterone in male fetuses, converting the tubercle into a penis. In female fetuses, the tubercle becomes a clitoris. But in many babies born to Salinas women, the enzyme is missing entirely.

So these babies are born with the tubercle intact and no testes, and are often mistaken for female babies. It isn’t until they reach puberty that another surge of testosterone is produced, which is when the male reproductive organs are formed. As their voices deepen, their penises begin to emerge as well.

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