Guolizhuang – Beijing’ Famous Penis Restaurant

They couldn’t pay me enough to try a bite of cooked animal genitalia, but there are people who would spend hundreds of dollars on delicacies like cooked yak penis or sheep gonads. These are the kind of foods that have made the Guolizhuang Restaurant so popular in China’s capital city.

According to a well-known saying, “Chinese eat anything with four legs, except tables. And everything that flies, except airplanes,” and the food served at the Guolizhuang Restaurant, in Beijing is proof of that. This bizarre establishment opened its gates in 2006, offering all kinds of dishes with animal genitalia as the main ingredient. Many Chinese believe animal penises increase male potency and do wonders for women’s skin, so word about the culinary wonders served at the restaurant on Dongsishitiao Street spread quickly, and the owners were happy to expand their business. There are now several franchises throughout Beijing and one in Atlanta’s Chinatown.

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Japanese Photographer Tries to Keep Love Fresh Forever by Wrapping It in Vacuumed Plastic Bags

Some couple try all kinds of romantic tricks to keep love alive for longer, but Japanese photographer Haruhiko Kawaguchi takes a more literal approach – he wraps people in plastic wrap, sucks out the air and takes photos of their distorted bodies.

The bizarre images of people huddled together in weird positions, in vacuumed plastic wrap may look like stills from a a sado-masochistic practice, but they are Haruhiko Kawaguchi way of showing and preserving the love between two people. His project, “Flesh Love”, is pretty straightforward. Two people, usually couples, are “packaged” in a 100 by 150 by 74 centimeters plastic bag the artist buys from the Internet. After carefully arranging their body parts so he can get the best shot, Kawaguchi uses an old vacuum cleaner to suck out all the air and make the subjects look like a pack of packaged meat you buy at the supermarket. It takes about 10 to 20 seconds for hit to take the photographs, during which time the shrinkwrapped couple has to endure the pressure and lack of air. But it’s all in the name of love.

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Pray-O-Mat – The Simple Solution for Getting Blessings on the Go

We live in such a busy world that some people don’t even have the time to go to church anymore. Luckily, there’s the Pray-O-Mat, a converted old photo booth that features 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 different languages, and lets you get your blessing on the go.

Waiting for the service at the local church or temple takes time, and in this day and age that’s a valuable commodity. But thanks to German artist Oliver Sturm, you don’t have to skip out on getting closer to the supreme being you happen to be worshiping. Known as the “Gebetomat” in Germany, the ingenious device has been branded as a “Pray-O-Mat” for its transition to England, where it’s gotten quite a lot of attention since being installed at the University of Manchester, as part of a study into “multi faith spaces”.

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Germany’s Trendiest People Converge on Berlin for the Hipster Olympics

With the real Olympic Games about to start in London, Berlin’s self-proclaimed hipsters though they’d organize their own competition to find the most athletic hipster in Germany – the 2012 Hipster Olympics.

The tongue-in-cheek event took place last Saturday, and drew a crowd of over 6,000 hipsters to a club in east Berlin, for a series of nine ironic sporting events. Ironically, there were a lot of applicants who wanted to join the game, but a panel of hipster judges had the difficult task of choosing only 60.  “We had to select the coolest ones,” said 24 year-old Alexander Bernikas, head of the Original Hipster Olympics Committee. The skinny-jeans-wearing, jute-bag-carrying contestants were split into twelve teams of five, and pitted against each other in ironic events like a horn-rimmed-glasses-throwing contest,  a vinyl-spinning marathon or a skinny jeans tug of war.

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Jim Power – The Mosaic Man of New York City

For the past 26 years, Jim Power, known by most as The Mosaic Man, has been decorating the light posts of New York’s East Village with intricate tile and mirror mosaics. And the homeless 64-year-old is still at it.

“When I got into this, I was immortal all a sudden,” Power says about how he felt when he first started creating his art, in the late 1980s. The Vietnam veteran set out to make East Village a known arts destination by creating a trail of 80 mosaic-decorated light posts, each with its own theme and design inspired by local history and culture. At the height of his career as a street artist, The Mosaic Man was up to 70 light posts, but in the later part of the 80s and into the 90s, mayor Rudy Giulianni started a clean-up-the-city anti-graffiti campaign and took down 50 of his beautifully-adorned artworks. It was pretty hard to bear, but Jim never gave up on his dream of completing the trail, and managed to rebuild every one of them.

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Deodorgrams – An Anonymous Way of Telling People They Stink

It’s never easy telling someone they smell, but a new service called Deodorgrams plans to make it a little easier by anonimously sending friends and acquaintances a scented deodorant.

I remember back in high-school we would get stinkers deodorants for their birthday, which was kind of cruel, and didn’t really work on clueless colleagues. Man, how I wish a service like Deodorgrams was available back then, it would have probably saved me from days of smelly torture. The first deodorant messaging system of its kind, Deodorgrams was created by an Arizona-based natural body products company and will probably become a big hit, because let’s face it, sending an anonymous deodorant beats looking your friends in the eye and telling them they smell bad. The unique service will let your friends know exactly how you feel, without telling them who you are.

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Vinyl Portraits of Famous Musicians Created with Thousands of White Dots

Daniel Edlen, from Phoenix, Arizona, is probably one of the world’s most patient artists. Using just white acrylic paint, he dabs thousands of tiny white spots on black vinyls to create amazingly-detailed portraits of famous musicians.

But why would an artist go through a painstaking process of dabbing white spots on records, instead of painting them the old-fashioned way, with a brush? Well, Daniel told My Modern Metropolis that  “it’s challenging painting on raw records because the paint streaks if I stroke it. Dabbing is the only way it works, but consistency is hard because I don’t use any black and I can’t remove paint easily once it’s dried.” That means the talented artist doesn’t afford to make any mistakes during the creative process, and that’s probably why he can take up to a whole month to complete a single piece.

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Creepy Cremation Urn Shaped Like a Severed Head Makes Photos Obsolete

Who needs photos of a departed loved-one when you can have a detailed urn shaped just like their severed head to keep their ashes in?

People are always coming up with offbeat ways of immortalizing their dearly-departed, but this has to be the creepiest yet. In the past, we’ve seen people’s ashes used to make decorative beads, or as material for detailed portraits, and even to make playable vinyl records, but this latest option from Cremation Solutions is definitely the most shocking. The Arlington Vermont company creates unique urns shaped exactly like the head of the deceased, using using state of the art 3D imaging techniques. All they need is one or two photos of the subject and they’ll send you a detailed polymer compound urn mounted on a marble base.

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Man Creates Trash Can That Targets and Catches Flying Garbage

You know those movies where an author with writer’s block keeps throwing drafts over his shoulder trying to hit the trash can, but never seems to land one in? Well, that might just be a problem of the past, because someone seems to have invented a smart trash can that targets and catches flying pieces of trash.

It’s amazing what some people can create if they put their minds to it. Take this Japanese guy who goes by “FRP”, who, inspired by a commercial, decided to create his own trash can of the future, able to anticipate where flying trash is going to land and catch it before it hits the ground. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but according to the clever inventor, all you need is a wheeled base integrated with a circuit board and attached to the bottom of a common trashcan, a Kinect camera to monitor the room, and a specially-written program that allows the camera to track incoming garbage and guide the trashcan to catch it before it lands.

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Mind-Blowing 3D Sketchbook Artworks by Nagai Hideyuki

21-year-old Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki creates amazing sketchbook drawings which viewed from the right angle create a realistic 3D illusion.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive three-dimensional art in the past, and young Hideyuki’s works are right up there with the best. Using a technique known as anamorphosis, the talented Japanese is able to create mind-boggling masterpieces that seem to come to life right out of his sketchbook. At 17, Nagai dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, but soon realized drawing comics wasn’t the thing for him. Then, three years later, he stumbled upon Julian Beever’s street art, and instantly fell in love with the idea of creating 3D artworks. Unfortunately, he discovered drawing on the streets of Japan was illegal, so he started looking for another way to exercise his talents. That’s how his intriguing sketchbook art was born.

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Huangluo – The World’s First Long-Hair Village

Hair is very important to women, who generally use it to highlight their features, but for the women of the ethnic Yao people of Huangluo Village, China, hair is their most prized possession.

Located in the Longji Scenic Are of Gulin, China, Huangluo Village numbers around 82 households of Red Yao ethnics, who get their name from the traditional red clothing. Like many other Chinese villages, Hunagluo enjoys very attractive natural surroundings and has plenty of ancient traditions to keep tourists entertained, but the most fascinating thing about it is the women’s obsession with long hair. In fact, the Yao settlement has received a Guinness certification for the “world’s longest hair village” and is also known as the “Long Hair Village” across China. Considering the average hair length of the 120 women in Huangluo is 1,7 meters and the longest locks exceed 2.1 meters, I’d say its reputation is well-deserved.

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New York Cafe Sells Only Tap Water for $2.50 a Bottle

Molecule, a newly-opened cafe in New York’s East Village, has sparked a lot of controversy when it started selling tap water for the price of $2.50 per bottle. It might sound like a scam, and many think it is just that, but the owners say the price is right for a taste of “pure H2O”.

Experts say New York’s tap water is among the safest and tastiest in the world, coming from “a watershed that is relatively pristine,” according to chemical engineer Lorraine Huchler, but some people believe it can get a lot better. Two of them, Alexander Venet and Adam Ruhf decided to actually do something about it, and opened the Molecule Cafe, in East Village, where people can buy tap water purified through a complex seven-step process. They have this $25,000 machine that uses UV light, ozone treatments, and reverse osmosis to make superior-grade water that its creators believe is worth $2.50 a bottle.

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Woman Turns to Serial Hugging to Cure Homesickness

After moving to the big city, Melinda Schmidt looked for a way to connect with people like she did with her friends and family back home, and found hugging helped. So she hugged total strangers every day, for a whole year.

It’s tough moving to the city after you’ve spent all your life in a small community where everyone was close, and young Melinda Schmidt found that out the hard way. She was feeling homesick, so she vowed to hug a new person every day, for an entire year, to help her get over her feelings. Only hugging quickly became a way of life, and although her pledged 365 days are up, she continues hugging total strangers. ‘I won’t ever stop doing this. I won’t ever stop hugging strangers and people who I’ve just met because it’s a complete lifestyle change,” she says in a video shot to showcase her bizarre habit.

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Artist Creates Portraits with Strips of Shredded Money

Using thousands of paper strips from shredded U.S. Federal Reserve Notes, American artist Evan Wondolowski creates impressive portraits of famous figures, from George Washington to Notorious B.I.G.

According to This Is Colossal, “Evan says that he starts with an underdrawing of the portrait on newsprint and then glues each shred of currency piece by piece before finishing up with a little vine charcoal to increase contrast.” Sounds like a pretty complicated process, but he does manage to restore value to worthless dollars, by turning them into unique works of art. So far, Wondolowski has used shredded dollars to make detailed portraits of icons like Stephen Colbert, Biggie Smalls or George Washington. Looking at how elaborate each of his pieces is, it’s no wonder he takes over a month to complete them.

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Chivalry Is Alive and Riding a Horse through Canada

In a time when man has so many communication tools at his disposal, it seems odd that someone would use a horse to get their message across to the world. But that’s exactly what Vincent Gabriel Kirouac did to promote chivalry and polite manners in Canada.

It’s not every day that you get to see a man in full knight regalia, riding a horse through the busy streets of Canadian cities like Ottawa, but that’s just what Vincent Kirouac has been doing during the last few months. “I’m crossing Canada on horseback dressed as a knight, to remind people of the values of long ago, such as devotion,” he told the National Post. And believe it or not, his unique strategy seems to be working as he manages to steal smiles from people everywhere he goes and even some friendly invitations from total strangers. “You ask for the hospitality and they say ‘yes’ all the time,” he told CBC.

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