Dangerous Railway Therapy Practiced in Indonesia

While it might look like they are protesting against something or staging a gruesome mass suicide, the people of Rawa Buaya are actually looking to cure their illnesses by laying on the train tracks.

In western countries, most people think high levels of electric energy cause cancer, but to the inhabitants of Rawa Buaya, in Indonesia’s West Java, electricity is the ultimate cure. From young children to old folk, they all lie on train tracks passing through their settlement, hoping the electric energy from them will cure their various sicknesses. Not even the potentially lethal trains passing on opposite tracks don’t seem to be scaring these Indonesians away.

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Daredevils Compete in Annual Bee-Wearing Competition

Two brave Chinese beekeepers competed in the annual bee-wearing contest, yesterday, trying to attract as many bees on their bodies, in just 60 minutes.

42-year-old Wang Dalin and 20-year-old Lc Kongjiang were the only contestants registered for the event that took place in Shaoyang City, China. Wearing only shorts, goggles and nose plugs, the two bee enthusiasts competed by each standing on a scale and using queen bees to attract as many regular buzzers on their bodies, in one hour. The queen bees were locked in small cages and tied around their bodies, and it was only a matter of time until the swarming bees picked up their scent and formed living suits around the competitors.

In the end, Wang Dalin won the bee-wearing competition, by attracting 26 kilograms of bees onto his body, while his younger fellow beekeeper only manged to attract 22.9 kilograms of live bees. Despite their valiant efforts, the two weren’t able to break the world bee-wearing record, of 39.5 kg (350,000 bees), set by American Mark Biancaniello.

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Vampire Husband Drank Wife’s Blood for the Last Three Years

Deepa Ahirwar, a 22-year-old woman from India’s Madhya Pradesh state, has recently accused her husband of drinking her blood on a regular basis, for the last three years.

Although it sounds like the story of a cheap vampire movie, young Deepa swears she’s telling the truth and even bears the scars to prove it. She and her husband, Mahesh Ahirwar, an agricultural worker, got married in 2007, in Shikarpura village. A few months later, he started drawing blood from her veins, emptying the contents of the syringe into an empty glass and drinking the contents. He threatened he would do terrible things to her if she dared tell anyone about his habit, and she kept quiet for about three years.

Mahesh claimed drinking his wife’s blood kept him strong and boosted his virility, so he didn’t stop playing the vampire even when Deepa was pregnant. After she gave birth, seven months ago, she started protesting for the first time, because she would feel weak and nauseated after each blood extraction. Every time she resisted, her husband beat her, and when she couldn’t take it anymore, she ran to her parents, who after hearing her disturbing story, alerted the authorities.

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10 Coolest Finds of the Week

Since it’s nearly impossible for me to cover every cool story I come across, I’ve decided to start posting a weekly link roundup every Friday, so you guys can check the articles for yourselves. Enjoy!

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Designer Makes Jewelry from Real Human Bones

Columbine Phoenix is a talented jeweler with a taste for the macabre. She makes unique jewelry from human bones collected from medical schools and museums.

We’ve covered some pretty bizarre jewelry collections in the past, some were made from insects, others from nail clippings, and even human hair, but Columbine’s “Churchyard” line is the weirdest one yet. She uses various human bones donated for educational purposes and transforms them into unique pieces of jewelry that actually celebrate life rather than death. “Death is a part of life” the designer says in an interview with Vice Style “You can’t die unless you’re alive, and if we weren’t going to die eventually, a whole lot of us would never get around to living.” Strangely enough, that makes sense.

As a child, Columbine Phoenix loved shiny things, and she remembers playing pirates with her brother by stealing her grandmother’s rhinestone button collection from each other. Later she tried making embroidery-floss friendship bracelets and seed beads woven on a loom, but quickly lost interest in things everyone else was doing. She started making jewels from seashells, feathers and other stuff provided by nature, and when a friend from medical school asked her if she wanted to buy some small human bones for her work, she decided to give it a shot. His department was consolidating the bone collection and when he showed them to her for the first time, she knew they were just perfect. Human ivory she called them.

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Wanna-be Wizards and Witches Flock to Austria’s Real Life Hogwarts

Thanks to the hype created by the release of the final Harry Potter movie, an Austrian school for wizards and witches is expanding its range of courses and student base.

When IT expert Andreas Starchel decided to jeopardize his job, change his name to Grand Wizard Dakaneth and open the International School for Wizards and Witches, in 2003, most people laughed and probably called him crazy, but he proved them all wrong after students from all around the world joined his school and made him a rich and famous man. Now, with the recent release of the last Harry Potter movie, Starchel and his partner Sonja Kulmitzer are expanding the school’s range of courses and attracting new waves of aspiring wizards and witches.

Instead of mastering impossible spells and learning to fly on brooms, students at of the International School for Wizards and Witches study subjects like astronomy, potion-making, history of magic, botany, herbology, channeling of magical energy, fortune telling and so on. The two founders have managed to put a modern twist on witchcraft, which basically requires looking at basic sciences from a different perspective and perceiving information that is filtered out by most people. “I’ve learned that everything is explainable” Andreas Starchel says, “and magic is magic only until it is explained. If you understand the psychological aspects behind it, the magic disappears”.

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Dog Yoga Helps Pooches Find Their Inner Peace

Sniffing backsides, taking naps and feasting on daily treats can apparently be pretty stressful for dogs, so in order to relax they have to take dog yoga classes, or doga.

Invented by American Suzi Teitleman, who noticed her spaniel enjoyed taking part in her daily exercise routine, doga has become very popular in Asia, where owners take their pets to specialized classes like that led by renowned yoga instructor Suzette Ackerman, in Hong Kong. It’s believed dog yoga helps strengthen the bond between canine and owner, and also does wonders for their circulation, digestion and joints.

Doga sessions include all kinds of poses, stretches, massages and even meditation that help both owners and pets get into tip-top shape. I’m sure it’s a pleasurable experience for yoga practicing humans, but I’m pretty sure the dogs would much rather prefer a visit to one of those luxury dog hotels, or better yet some Phydough ice-cream.

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Pencil Shaving Portraits by Kyle Bean

Artist Kyle Bean has created a series of unique portraits made with pencil shavings, for the new Handmade Issue of Wallpaper Magazine.

We’ve already featured Brighton-based Kyle bean a couple of times, for his intricate matchstick insects and eggshell chicken, and he continues to amaze us with more original works. Having been asked to contribute on the Handmade Issue of Wallpaper, he has created a series of beautiful portraits using only pencil shavings from colored pencils. A time-lapse video of the process of making one of these incredible works of art is also in the works, and will appear in the online edition of Wallpaper Magazine.

With such incredible projects under his belt already, I wonder what Kyle Bean has in store for us, in the future.

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Pippa Middleton Portrait Made from 15,000 Crumpets Looks Good Enough to Eat

British artist Laura Hadland used 15,000 English crumpets and over 100 jars of jam and Marmite to create a delicious portrait of Princess Catherine’s sister, Pippa Middleton and her much-talked-about derriere.

28-year-old Laura Hadland came up with the idea of making this tasty representation of Pippa after she came first in a Beefeater Grill poll to find the female celebrity Britons would most like to “wake up to breakfast with”. She won 21% of the vote cast by 2,000 people and the honor of being recreated with one of Britain’s favorite snacks.

Along with more than a dozen helpers, Laura spent 24 hours arranging the 15,000 crumpets into a 13 meter by 21 meter mosaic of Pippa Middleton’s face and the backside that captured the imagination of millions of men around the world, on the day of Princess Catherine’s wedding. The crumpets, which weighed over a ton, were covered with jam and Marmite, for shading. Now Pippa really does look good enough to eat.

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The Cut-Away Leaf Art of Lorenzo Duran

Some artist sculpt stone, others carve wood, but Spanish artist Lorenzo Duran decided to express his artistic talent by cutting tree leaves.

Even if Lorenzo Duran’s artworks were created digitally, like they appear to be, they’d still leave you impressed, but the skilled artist cuts his intricate models into real leaves, using a very sharp scalpel. He believes every natural object and living thing has a bit of art in it and is a good medium to experiment his creativity. Inspired by the old paper-cutting techniques of Chinese and Japanese artists, he decided to try them out on leaves, and although he still has a long way to go, he has created some truly impressive pieces. Whenever he gets an idea for a motif he first puts it on paper, then places it over a leaf and uses the scalpel to cut.

Duran has experimented a lot with cutting various types of leaves, and admits that most of his early works ended up in the trash, but he learned from his mistakes and developed a whole process of preparing leaves and cutting them so they don’t break as often. He has to pick just the right leaves (thicker ones are better), then come the washing, drying, pressing  and cutting. The last part is obviously the most delicate, because fragile leaves can break right at the end, and the artist loses days of work in an instant. Pretty frustrating, but nothing beats the feeling of fulfillment when he actually completes one of his cut-away artworks.

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Man Drinks Gasoline for 42 Years, as Medicine

For decades gasoline has been used to power vehicles and machinery, but 71-year-old Chen Dejun proves it works very well for humans, too.

Chen Jejun lives alone in a thatched cottage on a hill in China’s Shuijiang municipality. He’s known by the locals as a stone cutter and master bamboo weaver, but also for his unusual habit of drinking gasoline. The slender old man estimates he drinks around 3 to 3.5 liters of gasoline every month, to relieve any physical pain. He buys gasoline from a station at the bottom of the hill, and although it’s hard for him to calculate how much gasoline he has consumed throughout his life, judging by his daily habit, reporters of the Chongqing Evening News estimate he has drunk around 1.5 tons of fuel over the last 42 years.

He first started drinking gasoline in 1969, when he suddenly began coughing and felt a sharp pain in his chest. He tried some medicine, which didn’t seem to help him much, so after the elders of his village told him he might have tuberculosis and should try drinking some kerosene, he didn’t think twice about it. After drinking his first cup he felt sick to his stomach and decided to go to bed. One hour later he woke up feeling much better, so he continued drinking the stuff to ease the pain.

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Star Wars Fan Builds Giant R2D2 Model

From the man who brought you the awesome duct tape AT-AT comes one of the coolest R2D2 models ever made.

Len Komanac, better known as DarthLen, onFlickr, loves to build detailed models of Star Wars icons, using cardboard, duct tape and glue. His detailed AT-AT model became an online when photos of it hit the interwebs, last year, and now he’s ready to wow you once more with a giant replica of everyone’s favorite droid, R2D2. Towering at 96 inches/240 cm, this free-standing sculpture is made from cardboard, silver HVAC tape and blue duct tape.

Len was kind enough to send us a list of the materials he used to complete his masterpiece: 4 fridge boxes, 5 AC boxes, 3 dryer boxes, 3 rolls of blue duct tape, 1 roll of aluminum tape, 52 glue sticks, 1 can of white paint and 2 sharpie pens. He worked on it for 50 hours.  This supersized version of R2D2 will be showcased at the “Dr. StrangeLen or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make the Art” exhibit, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, so if you’re in the area between July 16 and September 2nd, don’t miss the chance to check it out.

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Photographic Artist Creates Beautiful Images That Will Probably Disgust You

Chris Jordan is a photographic artist who uses his artworks to bring awareness to a serious problem of our time – consumerism. Seen from afar his images look like modern recreations of famous masterpieces, but as soon as he approaches the viewer is confronted with thousands of photographs of waste assembled into a beautiful picture.

He’s been called “the ‘it’ artist of the green movement” for his ability to send clear messages about mass consumption through beautiful images that end up disgusting the viewer. But while he’s always been interested in photography, he studied law school and became a corporate lawyer who only dedicated his free time to his favorite hobby. His father, a businessman, had also been passionate about photography and Chris remembers he “was filled with regret” that he couldn’t practice it full time. So, determined not to repeat his mistake, the young lawyer moved to Seattle, and quit the bar after ten years of practicing law, to dedicate his life to photography.

It was definitely a risky move, but definitely an inspired one as the success of his early shows in New York and Los Angeles propelled his career. Chris Jordan came to tackle consumerism by chance. He had taken photos of a pile of garbage and found it beautiful because of its complexity and great color, but when friends of his, who were active in consumerism, started commenting on it, he got the idea for his future projects.

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Giant York Corn Maze Pays Homage to Harry Potter

Farmer Tom Pearcy, a big fan of Harry Potter, decided to celebrate the release of the final movie of the series, by carving a giant Harry Potter-themed maze in his corn field.

Clearly a victim of the Harry Potter mania that’s sweeping the planet these days, Pearcy has cut two 50-meter portraits of the boy wizard in his Elvington corn field, thus creating the world’s largest spot-the-difference image and the biggest Daniel Radcliffe portrait ever. “I’m a big fan of Harry Potter and the release of the final film this summer marks the end of an era. I wanted to do something imaginative to say farewell to Harry, so creating the biggest image of him ever made and making it a spot the difference competition seemed like an interesting way to do that.” Mr. Pearcy told York Press.

Believe it or not, this gifted farmer manged to create 10 km of intricate pathways for visitors to explore when visiting his maze, and did it all my carving over one million corn plants. You could say he’s had some experience at it, since his corn maizes have become sort of a local tradition and tourist attraction. In previous years he His previous corn maze designs include a Spitfire airplane, an astronaut, the Statue of Liberty and the Flying Scotsman.

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Miracle – Polish Kite Surfer Walks on Water

In everyday life we usually only use the phrase “walk on water” as a figure of speech, but Polish kite surfing champion Maciek Kozierski traveled to the Sea of Galilee, in Israel, where Jesus himself did it, and accomplished the feat.

Accompanied by a team that included Israeli wakeboard champion Lior Eliyahu, and photographers Predrag Vuckovic and Joerg Mitter, Kozierski spent four days in the Sea of Galilee overlooking the historic church at Capernaum, trying to accomplish the miracle of walking on water. The plan was pretty simple: Maciek would use his kite to accelerate to maximum speed, then release the kite, step off his board and start walking on water.

But, as always, the plan looked a lot better on paper than in practice. The elements just didn’t seem too eager to help him achieve his Miracle (the name of the project) and the Polish kite surfer encountered serious difficulties that caused him to hit the water at high speed, over 50 times. Strong winds caused the waves to become too rough, while a calm sea meant no wind power for his kite, so the daredevil had to repeat his attempts until he nailed the perfect walk on water.

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