Artist Builds One-of-a-Kind Imperfect Boats from Discarded Materials

John Taylor is a self-taught artists who uses scrap wood, computer parts, hockey sticks and various other discarded materials to create unique replicas of famous sea vessels.

John has been fascinated with ships ever since he saw a photo of his great-grandfather standing on the deck of a vessel, during the Spanish-American War. He was only a child, but the obsession stuck with him throughout the years, and, as an adult, he began creating these unique models of ships he saw in old photos. Working from his garage in San Juan Capistrano, he turns buckets of junk (computers chips, nails, copper wire, lawn chairs, drift wood, staples and more) into imperfect interpretations of old sea vessels.

A landscape architect by trade, John Taylor will use any materials he can find that will give him the old, tattered results he aims for. “If it’s an exact replica, there’s no room for you to really wonder about it,” he says, trying to explain why he creates models that look like they’ve been fished from the bottom of the ocean, instead of making perfect replicas of the ships that inspire him.

The 3 to 5 feet long models are based on real boats, from Civil War river boats to World War II battle ships, John finds in old photographs.They are an authentic rendition of memory, rather than accurate historical replicas.

 

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Controversial Rent-a-Girlfriend Website Proves Big Hit in France

Spoil yourself, rent a girlfriend! This is the line French site Loueunepetiteamie.com uses to convince male visitors to legally rent a female friend, for an hour, an evening, a night or for a weekend.

Tired of being alone? Are you looking for a female companion who can spoil you and make you feel relaxed? Have you tried a bunch of dating sites that left you disappointed? Don’t worry, help is just a few clicks away – Loue Une Petite Amie, which translates as “rent a girlfriend” actually allows guys to rent female companions, legally! The French website assures its clients they have nothing to fear from the law, because this isn’t actually prostitution, but a simple case of renting a person…which apparently isn’t illegal in France.

According to the controversial website, men using Loue Une Petite Amie can find the most beautiful women, invite them to dinner, a song…a nice evening…and more, for anywhere between 20 euros and 540 euros. The site is apparently addressed to all kinds of men, from bachelors who need a break from social pressure regarding their status, married men who are bored of the routine of their private lives, and even people who dislike their sons’ girlfriends and want to find them someone more suitable.

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Andrew Myers – An Artist Who Literally Screws His Artworks

Laguna Beach based Andrew Myers is the only artist in the world who uses screws as the main medium to create three-dimensional artworks. Simply put – he screws art.

The young artist didn’t always work with screws, the idea just came to him one day, while working on a church’s bronze relief depicting the life of Saint Catherine. And, like most artists, once he got it into his head to work with a certain medium, he just had to find out if he could actually make it happen. It sounds like a screwy concept, but it turned out to be brilliant.

Unlike other artists who create similar art, Myers doesn’t rely on a computer to pixelate his works, he just makes a grid and drills in screws at certain key points (like the tip of the nose) to establish the depth of the artwork. “For me, I consider this a traditional sculpture and all my screws are at different depths. There’s nothing planned out. I draw out a figure on the board and figure out the depths,” the artist says. The screw holes have to be drilled beforehand, to make sure the screws go in straight, and the background of the portrait is made up of phone book pages, usually with listings from the area of the subject.

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Three-Penis Liquor – The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift from China

It comes in an unremarkable-looking bottle, but the “Tezhi Sanbian Jiu” rice wine is a Valentine’s Day gift your loved one will always remember, especially after you tell them it translates as “Three-Penis Liquor“.

I know what you’re thinking, many drinks have strange names like this to attract attention of customers, but in this case, the label is very accurate – this particular rice wine has various types of animal penis brewed in it to grant vitality to the drinker. The label on the back of the bottle says it contains seal penis, deer penis and Cantonese dog penis, all of them popular ingredients in Chinese traditional medicine, said to increase male potency and virility.

So if you’re looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift for your partner, look no further than Three-Penis Liquor; it’s cheap and it’s something they won’t soon forget. You can pick-up a bottle at supermarkets around Shanghai, just remember to make them have a sip before you reveal the secret ingredients.

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Cycle Ball – When Cycling Met Football

Cycle Ball is a niche sport that combines football and cycling in a unique way. It’s been around for over a century, but it’s still regarded as an unusual sport, especially in America.

Also known as “radball”, Cycle Ball was invented in 1893, by a German-American named Nicholas Edward Kaufmann, and steadily gained popularity around Europe. The first Cycle Ball championship was held in 1929, and the sport even reached far lands like Japan, but it never really caught on in the US. You’d think Yanks don’t fancy weird sports played on a bike, but how do you explain the increasing popularity of Bike Polo, or Unicycle Basketball?

Cycle Ball is played by two teams made up of two players riding around a basketball field and trying to shoot a ball through their opponents’ goal, using their heads, or the front wheels of the bikes. It may sound strange, but it’s a pretty simple and fun game to play. A match consists of two seven-minute halves, in which players must keep their feet off the ground to avoid a free-kick, and try to score more goals than their adversaries. While defending the goal, one of the players is allowed to use hands, but you’d be surprised how hard the ball is usually struck in one of these games, so using hands doesn’t help much if the ball is well directed.

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Feast on a Bloody Human Heart on Valentine’s Day

If you were looking to really hand your heart out on a silver platter for Valentine’s Day, Miss Cakehead has just what you need to make it happen.

Miss Cakehead, the mastermind behind the gruesome “Eat Your Heart Out” cake shop, has teamed up with The London Dungeon to offer lovers a real treat, on valentine’s Day. You can forget about red roses and heart-shaped gifts; if you’re visiting London’s most popular scary attraction, you and your loved one will be given heart ventricle cupcakes to feast on while enjoying the Blood & Guts exhibition.If you’re into sweets and gore, this is great news. Just imagine feasting on these delicious-looking desserts and watching a butcher surgeon perform bloody surgery in graphic detail. Now that’s what I’d call a memorable experience.

So if you’re up for a hearty meal, visit The London Dungeon on February 14 for a chance to eat your heart out, literally.

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Incredible Key Art ay the Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York

Greenwich Locksmiths, one of the oldest locksmith shops in New York City, stands out with its unusual facade art made of thousands of used keys.

The incredible facade was designed and executed by Phil Mortillaro, owner of Greenwich Locksmith and an expert when it comes to cracking safes. He opened up shop in the West Village back in 1968, and as his shop became famous, he once considered redesigning his common-looking headquarters to look like an impressive classic American building. He got all the approvals he needed, but decided not to go through with the idea, for fear his locksmith shop would have looked more like a Disney World attraction. Instead, he decided to make his workplace unique by decorating it with discarded keys.

Seen from a distance, the patterns on the Greenwich Locksmiths facade look like a bunch of spirals and squiggles, but as soon as you get a little closer and notice the whole thing is covered with tens of thousands of keys, you realize just how impressive it really is. Mr. Mortlillaro created this unique work of art by himself, last October, and his shop – reputed as one of the best in the business – is getting a lot more attention.

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Dog Lover Spends $160,000 Pampering Her Pooches

31-year-old Louise Harris has to be one of the craziest dog owners in the world, having spent over $160,000 in the last six years, buying jewelry and accessories for her three pets.

“A lot of people think I’m mad, and I realize it’s completely over the top, but I want to give them the best life I possibly can” says Ms. Harris, who would do practically anything to make her three Yorkshire terriers happy. Six years ago, she fell in love with tiny Lola, who could fit in the palm of her hand, ans immediately started ordering collars and clothing items for her. Since the ones she found in the UK weren’t very comfortable, she started ordering from the United States, and before she realized it, she had bought a whole wardrobe for her beloved dog.

Two years later she bough Lulu, and in 2008 she got Larry, and spared no expense in feeling them like royalty. The spoiled trio only wear collars and tiaras studded with rubies, emeralds and Swarovski crystals, as well as the latest designer accessories, and receive weekly massages and deep coat conditioning treatments. The dogs sleep in a $in a $3,200 four-poster bed and are featured in a commissioned oil painting that cost $8,000.  Oh, and last Christmas they received $6,500 worth of presents.

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The Mind Blowing Pull Tab Sculptures of Herman Divers

Herman Divers, also known as the master of pull-tab engineering, is known for creating impressive sculptures exclusively out of aluminum pull tabs.

Environmentalists have always preached about the need to recycle metals like aluminum, and Topeka based Herman Divers is one of the few people who listened and decided to do something about it. Using old-fashioned pull tabs that were found on beer and soda cans in the 1970s, he created impressive artworks that are now on display at the Grassroot Art Center, in Kansas.

A retired hospital handyman, Divers developed a unique affinity for pull tabs in the early 1980s, when he asked the hospital’s  snack bar attendant to save them for him. “I told her I was going to make a beadspread and she thought I was crazy” Divers remembers about his early days as a pull-tab artist. But he was on to something, because unlike the modern pull tab, the old-fashioned one had a extension that could be wrapped/bent to secure it to another one. Using this process and without any glue or steel reinforcement, Herman Divers spent many of his nights working on some of the most incredible pull-tab artworks I have ever seen.

His unique collection of pull-tab sculptures include replicas of a Harley Davidson motorcycle (made from 179, 200 pull-tabs) and a classic automobile, a set of costumes for him and his wife, as well as pieces of pull-tab furniture. When old pull-tabs became obsolete, Divers started working with bottle caps and buttons creating more beautiful creations, but his aluminum wonders remained his signature works.

And to think it all began with his simple credo “I just figure you can’t get into too much trouble when you’re working”.

 

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Mexican Brewery Launches Gay Beers

Small Mexican brewery Minerva has just launched two very special brands of ale, Salamandra and Purple Hand, aimed at the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) market.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in Mexico, but 95% of the market is already controlled by the two largest breweries in the country, Modelo Group and Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma, which makes it almost impossible for smaller companies to compete. But it seems Jalisco-based brewery Minerva has just found an untapped niche that has so far proved very profitable – it has created two brands of “Artisan Honey-Ales” made with organic honey and malt, a mix that infuses the drink with an orange flavor that appeals to gay communities.

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Woman Makes Giant Penny Sculpture Using 84,000 Pennies

Wander Martich, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, spent three months working on a giant penny sculpture made of 84,000 common pennies.

The story of how an average woman managed to create this unique artwork began in 2006, when Martich and her family were going through a really tough time. She had just got divorced, lost her house to foreclosure and was an unemployed mother of two daughters, aged 6 and 9. She was literally saving every penny and her girls pitched in the contents of their piggy bank, to help out in these troubled times. The pennies ended up in a plastic water jug, and even after Wander finally found a job, she took $20 from every paycheck, changed them into pennies and kept filling up the water jug.

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Artist Makes Imperial Walker Sculpture from Recycled Computer Parts

Etsy artist TGNSmith has created a realistic replica of the iconic Imperial Walker out of various recycled computer parts and other scrap metal pieces.

The main body of the Star Wars AT-AT is made of power supply boxes from old computers, its head is made of floppy disk shelves, and the legs and feet from other scrap metal components. The one-foot-high and over one-foot-long sculpture was covered with two coats of galvanizing primer, followed by a coat of gray paint and finished off with two layers of protective gloss. The walker was also “attacked” with a welding arc that gave it those nice battle scars.

Weighing about 15 pounds, this miniature Imperial Walker has some sharp edges and corners and should not be used as a plaything for children. Star Wars fanboys can take it off TGNSmith‘s hands for only $450.

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Designer Creates World’s First Rocking Piano

Chichi the rocking piano was designed by Sarah Davenport as a way of strengthening the relationship between the pianist and piano, and is unique in the world. Apparently, the rocking motion creates a perfect harmony that allows the piano player to completely get lost in the music, ignoring the world around. At least that’s how Sarah says it makes her feel, and she’s been playing piano since she was just three years old, so I guess we can take her word for it. At some events, pianists have been known to get so immersed in the music and the rocking that they kept playing for hours on end.

Chichi has been around for three years now, and after being featured in prestigious venues like the London Design Festival and The Nottingham Contemporay Art Gallery, Sarah decided it’s time to find it a proper home. She auctioned it off, at the end of January, and I’m sure it sold for a pretty hefty sum.

Ms. Davenport has already been approached by some of the biggest names in the music industry, to create more rocking pianos, each of which will be custom made, but she says there will never be another Chichi.

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The 7 Most Delicious Life-Size Car Models You’ve Ever Seen

Throughout the years I’ve been writing on Oddity Central, I’ve seen some pretty amazing car models built out of the most unusual materials, and edible cars have definitely been among the most impressive. I’ve featured some of them on this blog, and today I thought I’d make a list of the coolest life-size cars made of things you love to eat.

Chococar

This tasty looking thing was created exclusively out of chocolate, and was exhibited in SIngapore’s Royal Plaza on Scotts, back in 2008. The 4.7 meters-long, 2 meters-wide Formula 1 car weighed around 90 kilograms and was made with white, dark and milk chocolate. The design alone took 44 days to complete, and a team of eight chocolatiers worked 7 days and nights on it.

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19-Year-Old Girl Is Addicted to Eating Soap

Tempestt Henderson, a 19-year-old girl from Florida, has a rather peculiar addiction – she can’t help eating soap bars and washing powder. There are worst things to be addicted to, but this has to be one of the strangest.

The young girl remembers she loved the smell of washing powder on her mother’s cardigan and on her bed sheets, and so do many other people, but that doesn’t make them want to stuff their face with the toxic substance. But that’s exactly what Tempestt felt when she first dipped her fingers in washing powder and licked it off. ‘I dabbed the powder onto my tongue and it tasted so sweet, and salty…it just felt so right. I was hooked straight away.’ says the young nursing student.

She new that stuff was hazardous to her health, but she loved it so much she couldn’t stay away from it. From the moment she woke up, she would give in to her washing powder craving, ignoring the warning labels. Before she knew it, Tempestt began licking off the soap bubbles of her skin in the shower, and popping tiny chunks of soap in her mouth and suck on them. Eating soap felt much cleaner than just washing with it, and the young girl claims that at one point she would go through five bars of soap in a week.

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