The Wacky Ice-Cream Graveyard of Vermont

Have you ever wondered where ice-cream flavors go to die? Well, believe it or not, they have their very own cemetery, in Vermont.

The New England city of Vermont is famous for its Ben&Jerry’s ice cream, and the company’s Waterbury factory is the most popular tourist attraction in the whole state. One of the things that makes Ben&Jerry’s special is the wide variety of flavors, but as new ones emerge every year, older and unpopular ones reach the end of the line. To honor their memory, Ben&Jerry’s built a cemetery just for them.

Located on a hill, behind the famous Waterbury ice-cream factory, the Flavor Cemetery features hundreds of plastic tombstones, for every wacky flavor ever launched by Ben&Jerry’s. Each tombstone has an artist-written epitaph and a list of ingredients of the “deceased” ice-creams. Since the birth of Ben&Jerry’s, 200 flavors that have failed to impress customers, ended up pushing daisies in the Flavor Cemetery.

But don’t start crying over the demise of your favorite ice-cream flavor, just yet. According to Ben&Jerry’s, you have the power to bring “deceased” flavors back from the dead, by asking for it on their official website. If a flavor gets enough votes to convince management, it will be exhumed and brought back in the world of the living.

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Sokushinbutsu – Japan’s Self-Mummified Monks

Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist priests who took their own lives in such a way that they became mummies and were revered for their spirit and dedication.

Popular in northern Japan, especially around the Yamagato Prefecture, the practice of becoming Sokushinbutsu is believed to a tantric ritual from Tang China, brought to the Land of the Rising Sun by the founder of Shingon Buddhism.

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Eggcubism – The Art of Painting on Egg Cartons

Using the unique shape and texture of the egg carton to his advantage, Dutch artist Enno de Kroon creates fragmented and multifaceted images. He calls this new art form “eggcubism“.

Enno de Kroon says he has always experimented with distortions of perspective, and has had egg cartons around his studio for a long time, but needed to build up the courage to work with such an unusual art medium. Since the hindrances of the egg carton offer such a different perspective, depending on the angle it’s viewed from, Enno de Kroon was forced to approach painting in a whole new way.

Inspired by famous cubism masters like Picasso and Braque, who showed everyone how to take an object, a person or landscape, and show it from various angles, Enno de Kroon made looking at his artworks an interactive experience, where viewers had to discover the perfect viewing angles. But unlike traditional cubism, where there is just one right angle to an artwork, eggcubism features various viewing options, that turn a beautiful smiling lady into a five-eyed freak.

Check out more of Enno de Kroon’s amazing eggcubism masterpieces on his Flickr stream.

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The Suitcase Architecture of Yin Xiuzhen

Chinese artist Yin Xiuzhen creates her Portable Cities by carefully arranging discarded clothes and other pieces of fabric, in suitcases.

One of the most original artists of our time, Yin Xiuzhen says she first got the idea for her amazing Portable Cities while she was traveling. Looking at the conveyor belt, in an airport, waiting for her baggage, she felt like she was actually traveling with her home, and decided to use this idea in her art. According to Yin Xiuzhen, her Portable Cities represent the ease with which the modern man is able to travel from one city to the next.

In the expert hands of Yin Xiuzhen, old clothing articles worn by everyday urban citizens become unique pieces of architecture. So far, the artist has created some of the cities she’s visited throughout the years, including Berlin, Vancouver, Seattle and her home city of Beijing.

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Cascamorras – The Dirty Festival of Granada

Every September 8th, the Spanish towns of Baza and Guadix host the Festival of Cascamorras, an event unique to the Granada region of Spain.

According to legend, the origin of “La Fiesta del Cascamorras” can be traced back to 1490, when Don Luis de Acuña Herrera decided to built the Church of Mercy in the town of Baza, where a Moazarabic mosque had previously been erected. While chiseling a block of plaster, Juan Pedernal, a worker from the nearby town of Guadix, heard a soft, soothing voice coming from inside a cavern, which said “Have mercy!”. Upon examining the cavity he stumbled upon a statue of the Virgin Mary, that came to be known as “Our Lady of Mercy”.

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The Incredible Wire Sculptures of Ivan Lovatt

Artist Ivan Lovatt has recreated the faces of celebrities such as Michael Jackson or The Beatles, using nothing but chicken wire.

Ivan Lovatt is one of those artists who are always looking for new media to experiment with, and for him chicken wire proved to be just what he needed. Before starting to mold chicken wire into intricate portraits, Ivan used it to give structure to some of his earlier sculptures. At one point, he began creating wildlife out of the unusual medium, and as his skills developed, he moved to celebrity portraits.

Most of his wire portraits take over a month to complete and about one and a half times larger than life size. Somehow, he manages to twist, bend and pin the wire in such a way that his portraits end up so detailed you can actually see every hair on their head. He became a professional sculptor six years ago, and since then , his works have been displayed in galleries and museums all around the world.

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Belgian Cook Sets New French Fries Making Record

Chris Verschueren, a 53-year-old French fries maker, from the Belgian village of Kastel, has set a new world record after cooking and selling French fries for 83 consecutive hours.

Verschueren turned on his deep fryer on Friday morning and didn’t stop frying potato chips until Monday evening. During this cooking marathon, the tenacious chip-maker only took a 100 minute break to shower and do some stretching. After cooking up 1,500 kilograms of potatoes, Chris Verschueren had this to say: “My fingers are burnt, my feet are sore and my wrist is painful, but it doesn’t matter, I’m going to party now.”

Although he couldn’t reach his goal of selling 1,500 bags of French fries, the national Belgian dish, Verschueren managed to break the old record for non-stop French fry making, of 72 hours, set in 1987 by a British cook.

Apart from his passion for making French fries and the desire to have his name mentioned in the record books, Chris Verschueren took on this challenge to raise funds for a children’s hospital.

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Ti Jian Zi – The Ancient Art of Shuttlecock Kicking

One of the most popular traditional Chinese arts, Ti Jian Zi, known in the western world as shuttlecock kicking, requires a great deal of skill and practice.

The game of shuttlecock kicking is believed to have been invented sometime during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and gradually increased in popularity,  to a point where shops that specialized in the making of shuttlecocks began appearing all over China. The art of shuttlecock kicking reached its climax during the Qing Dynasty, when competitions were held between masters of the game from all over the country.

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Robosteel Creates Awesome Replica of Bumblebee

After they took the Internet by storm, last year, with their stunning replica of Optimus Prime, the guys at RoboSteel have done it again. This time, it’s Bumblebee.

RoboSteel came up with the idea for a steel replica of Transformers hero Bumblebee, at the MPH Top Gear Show, back in 2009, where their 2.5 meters-tall Optimus Prime made an appearance. Looking at a gorgeous yellow Camaro, the boys just thought it would be a great challenge, and that good ol’ Optimus deserved to be reunited with his long-time partner.

The 2.2 meter-tall replica of Bumblebee was created from pieces of recycled steel, and weighs a whopping 400 kilograms. While it may not be as awesome as the life-size Bumblebee showcased at the 2010 Cybertron Annual Meeting, in Shanghai, this is one of the coolest Transformers replicas I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few.

As for what Robosteel is planning for the future – they’re giving the Decepticons a chance for a change, with a replica of Megatron.

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The Typewriter Artworks of Keira Rathbone

British artist Keira Rathbone uses typewriters, instead of brushes and pencils, to create amazing portraits and drawings.

27-year-old Keira Rathbone, from London, first started experimenting with typewriter art, when she was in university. She baought an old typewriter, from a flee market, in the hope that she would soon use it to write something. By the middle of her first year at the university, she hadn’t come up with anything to put down on paper, so she decided to use it as a drawing tool. The first results were promising, and young Keira quickly realized she would be exploring this new art form much further.

Fast forward to present day and Keira Rathbone is an established artist with her very own niche, praised by the entire artworld. She now has an arsenal of 30 typewriters which she has used to create unique portraits of Barrack Obama, Kate Moss, Marylin Monroe, and others.

Keira Rathbone says she simply turns the roller to move the sheet of paper, and uses different characters to create the shapes she wants. It might sound easy enough, but creating detailed artworks from simple letters, numbers and punctuation is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

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Fisherman Catches 1,000 Different Species of Fish

47 -year-old Steve Wozniak, a lure fisherman from California, has traveled the world over, in his quest to catch as many different species of fish as possible. So far he managed to catch 1,000 species, from a colorful Threadfin Butterflyfish to a 410 kilogram shark.

Believe it or not, Steve Wozniak has spent the last 10 years, and $75,000 traveling to 63 different countries in the search for new species of fish to put on his list. He flew over 1 million air miles, and spent over 20,000 hours holding his trusty rod and hoping for a bite. But all his efforts paid out when he finally caught his 1,000th fish species, a Norwegian coalfish, and set a new world record.

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Jeremy May Creates Jewelry from Book Cutouts

We’ve seen books used as an art medium before, but never as material for unique pieces of jewelry. Jeremy May manages to capture the beauty of paper and makes it available to everyone, in the shape of various fashion accessories. His Littlefly jewels are made from hundreds of laminated sheets of paper, covered by a layer of gloss.  As each of his pieces are impossible to replicate, they are all unique.

The pages for Littlefly jewels are carefully selected, and the finish products are shipped with the book they were created from. It’s not like you can read it anymore, but it make a great packaging.

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How About a Glass of Piss Whiskey?

Before you click away in disgust, you should know James Gilpin’s piss whiskey isn’t as bad as it sounds, at least according to its creator.

James Gilpin, a researcher of new biomedical technologies, has managed to turn the urine of elderly diabetes patients into a type of single malt whiskey, suitable for export. He collects the urine from old volunteers, including his own grandmother, and purifies it pretty much the same way mains water is purified.

A type 1 diabetes patient himself, Gilpin first got the crazy idea of turning urine into whiskey after hearing a pharmaceutical legend about a company that allegedly set up shop near an old people’s home and started swapping cushions and other accessories for their urine. The chemicals from the urine could then be removed and used into new medicine.

After purifying the urine, the removed sugar molecules are added to the mash stock to accelerate fermentation. After thew stock ferments into clear alcohol. whiskey blends are added for coloring and taste, and the finished product is bottled with the name and age of the urine contributor. This way you know whose piss you’re actually drinking.

James Gilpin regards his method of turning urine into whiskey as more of an art form, rather than a conventional alcohol business. He’s just glad to showcase his water purification system as a way of efficiently collected the resources our elderly already process in abundance.

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Toy Car – Pretty Much the Most Amazing Car EVER!

That’s how the owner of this unique car describes his creation on his Flickr stream, and the geek in me agrees with him 100%.

The Toy Car is a one-of-a-kind vehicle covered with thousands of toys that the owner most likely collected as a child. Probably eager to show off his massive collection, or just wanting to give his Saab a second life as a cool art-car, the man behind this crazy creation glued all these toys all over the body of  his old ride.

I’m sure he can’t go too fast in that car anymore, for fear of his toys flying off the hood, but who needs speed when you can just cruise around town flaunting your geek spirit for everyone to see.

Check out more photos of the awesome Toy Car on AzyxA’s Flickr stream.

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Redheads Celebrate Red Head Day in Holland

Yesterday, thousands of redheads gathered in the Dutch city of Breda, for the fifth edition of the Red Head Festival. Participants were asked to come dressed in white, a color that really compliments their hair color, and were able to take part in all kinds of fun activities, workshops and even a fashion show.

The main criteria for attending the Red Hair Festival is that participants have natural red hair, but the event itself is not all about the hair, but the color read, in general. This unique event can be traced back to 2005, when Dutch painter Bart Rouwenhorst advertised for 15 red-haired models he wanted to paint. 150 people answered his ad and the painting session turned into an annual event for redheads. Last year , 4,000 redheads attended the Red Head Festival, and their number surpassed 5,000 in 2010.

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