El Diablo Restaurant – Cooking Food over an Active Volcano

What could be more natural than having a barbecue party on a volcano? Apart from the obvious health and safety hazards, that is. But such things are not a concern at the El Diablo restaurant, where chefs actually cook food over the heat produced by an active volcano.

Located on a Spanish island called Lanzarote, northwest of Morocco, El Diablo is a unique restaurant where the chefs have access to a volcano of their own. Of course, it isn’t like a lava-spewing mountain, because if that were the case there would be no question of leisurely eating. No, this volcano is more like a hole in the ground, through which volcanic heat erupts from the deeps of the Earth.

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Quick and Cheap: Divorce Hotel Opens in the Netherlands

Couples on romantic weekend getaways tend to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married. And it is for this reason that several hotels, especially in places like Vegas, provide wedding chapel services. If getting married could be that easy, then why the long-drawn out process for a divorce? Well apparently, not anymore. It is now possible to get divorced over a weekend getaway too, thanks to the Divorce Hotel.

The concept of Divorce Hotel was developed by entrepreneur Jim Halfens, in the Netherlands. In a country where the average divorce settlement could be very heavy on the pocket and take months to complete, Halfens spotted a great business opportunity that could make things easier for parting couples. So all they need to do is check in at the Divorce Hotel over a weekend and all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage is arranged for them. The service includes a mediator and a series of lawyers who help the couple split assets, arrange visitation rights and agree on alimony payments, all at a fixed fee.

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The Bottled Smoke Artworks of Jim Dingilian

Jim Dingilian is one of those rare artists who stretch the limits of creativity with their amazing creations. He uses candle smoke to paint picture-perfect images on the inside of empty bottles.

“The miniature scenes I depict are of locations on the edge of suburbia which seem mysterious or even slightly menacing despite their commonplace nature. The bottles add to the implied narratives of transgression. When found by the sides of roads or in the weeds near the edges of parking lots, empty liquor bottles are artifacts of consumption, delight, or dread. As art objects, they become hourglasses of sorts, their drained interiors now inhabited by dim memories” Jim Dingilian says bout his art.  How he manages to create such detailed images inside the bottle remains a mystery, but I’m thinking he uses some sort of slim tool to scratch at the candle smoke. Still, how he manages to keep a steady hand and work through that narrow bottle hand is beyond me.

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Canadian Company Invents Scratch-and-Sniff Jeans for Men

When I was a kid, scratch-and-sniff stickers were the rage. We had all kinds of flavors and odors back then. While I have no idea if kids these days are still into such things, it does seem the in-thing for grown men, not with stickers, but jeans! Last week, a Canadian company launched a brand new line of scratch-and-sniff jeans.

Naked & Famous Denim, a company based in Montreal, has introduced the jeans at a price of $150. What’s special about them is that they smell like raspberry candy, when scratched. Unfortunately, the smell does fade over time, and you’ll be left with just a regular pair of denim pants. According to designer and company founder Brandon Svarc, the scent will last through at least five washings. But he says it shouldn’t be much of a problem since many of their male customers don’t wash their jeans very often, and some never wash them at all.

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Man Spends 25 Years, $10,000 Making Himself an Egyptian-Style Coffin

People making their own coffin isn’t new to us here at OC. But the story of Fred Guentert sure is. Because he’s been building himself a coffin that’s fit for an Egyptian pharaoh – for the past 25 years.

Guentert, who is now 89 years old, has kept himself occupied for about a quarter of a century with his unusual hobby. And he sure does have something to show for it. The coffin he is to be buried in someday is 7 feet long and weighs 300 pounds. It is made of cedar and hand-painted in royal colors like gold, red, green and black. A hand-carved image of the Egyptian god Osiris adorns the lid. Near the base, you can see a colorful image of Isis. The interior has been decorated with a full-size painting of Nut – the sky goddess. On one side of the box is the Eye of Horus, looking on intently.

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Sweden’s Classroom-Free School – The Future of Education?

It’s news like this that makes me wish I could become a kid and go back to school again. I mean, just look at the pictures. If school was like this, who wouldn’t want to go? To me, the school looks like it’s come out of the future, or from a sci-fi movie. It’s definitely surreal. But a closer look shows that it isn’t very different from, say, a Google office. Kids seem to be working independently on their laptops, in a place that’s comfortable and convenient for them. I do wonder if all that lounging around is good for their posture, though.

The school you’re looking at is the brainchild of Swedish Free School Organization, Vittra. They operate 30 schools around Sweden, with an aim to ensure that learning takes place everywhere on campus. So, they’ve eliminated classrooms all together. This particular school is the latest, called Telefonplan, and it was opened last August. It was designed and built by the architecture firm Rosan Bosch. At Vittra, students are free to work independently, and if they find the need to collaborate with peers on a project, they have a few options for that too. The ‘village’ is a tiny house meant for group work, and ‘organic conversation furniture’ allows the kids to interact with each other as well. Each student receives a computer from the school too, which is used as a major tool for learning.

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Woman Has 10 Plastic Surgeries to Look Like Anime Girl

We live in a world where plastic surgeries and beauty ‘enhancement’ procedures have become the norm rather than the exception. Even so, spending $136,000 on 10 procedures just to get a certain look seems pushing it way too far. But that’s exactly what Jacqueline Koh, a 29-year-old fashion designer fro Singapore has done to herself, in an attempt to look like a typical anime girl, with big sparkling eyes, a small chin and nose, a slim face, and larger breasts.

When I looked at pictures of Koh’s original face, I wondered why she would have wanted to change anything at all. However, she had long been unsatisfied with the shape of her chin and her protruding mouth. The trigger to actually do something about it came two years ago when she had put on weight. Gaining 6kg in 1.5 years without any change to her diet got her worried. At 1.6m tall, she weighed 48kg. I don’t think that’s a weight to worry about at all, but she thought she looked chubby. When no amount of exercise would help her lose weight, she went for corrective procedures.

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India’s Fascinating Fortune-Telling Robots

Indians have long since been passionate about predicting the future. Horoscopes are created with the help of an astrologer on the very day a child is born and these documents are consulted from time to time during major milestones of a person’s life. Especially when a match is made as a part of an arranged marriage, an astrologer is duly consulted to make sure the horoscopes of the bride and groom are compatible with each other.

While all this may seem very strange to an outsider, for Indians it’s a part of normal and natural life. In fact , progress in terms of fortune-telling technology has been made too. In several homes, local astrologers have been replaced by computer software that serves the same purpose. One simply needs to enter their name and time/date of birth to receive a complete report of their past, present and future.

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Ria van Dijk – The Woman Who Shoots Herself Shooting

It’s not unusual to have photographs of yourself taken every year. But in the case of Ria van Dijk it is, because she’s in the exact same pose in each of the pictures – shooting a target. The 92-year-old from Tilburg, Holland has been going to funfair shooting galleries every year since 1936, and has won the prize every single time – a photograph of herself shooting.

Shooting galleries at fairs are set up in such a way that when the target is hit, it triggers the shutter of a camera. The result is a photograph in which the viewer is in the position of the target. The picture is the prize that participants win for their efforts. Even before she participated in the shooting gallery, Ria had plenty of practice at home, as a child. Along with her brother, she used to shoot at a target with air guns in the garden of her home. She says they would do this just for fun. So when she went to the fair at age 16, her friends encouraged her to give the shooting game a try. She won the picture on the first shot, and went on to win another one. Ria went back to the fair a year later to win another picture and that was when it all began.

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Thousands of Iranian Women Training to Become Ninjas

Ninjutsu is considered to be one of the deadliest forms of martial arts in the world. But this doesn’t deter the 3,500 odd Iranian women who are currently receiving official training in the sport.

In fact, when I saw a video of these women in action, I was awestruck by their agility and the ease with which they performed gravity-defying stunts and back flips. I couldn’t even tell that the ninjas were female until they removed the masks from their faces.  Iran, like many other Islamic countries, has stringent rules regarding the freedom and conduct of women. The laws severely restrict them from participating freely in society; perhaps this is where they derive their quiet strength from. The Ninjustu school in Iran was started in 1989 by Sensei Akbar Faraji. This was the first time the martial art was introduced to the country. While the club now has over 24,000 members, the number of female participants is slowly on the rise. According to Faraji, in Ninjutsu, men are called ninjas, while women are addressed as kunoichi.

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Real-Life Photoshop – Model Has 20-Inch Waistline

30-year-old Ioana Spangenberg has something some skinny female models only dream of. A 20-inch waistline and a body that doesn’t accumulate fat, no matter what she eats. Now, isn’t that a dream come true? Not for Ioana, though. In a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side, the Romanian model says she wants to put on weight in order to be able to look normal.

Ioana seems to be blessed with the much-coveted ‘hourglass’ look, quite literally in fact. She says that she was of normal weight when she was a kid, and the transformation started to occur when she was a teenager. At age 13, her waist was only 15 inches and her friends could actually put their hands completely around it. In an attempt to put on weight, she would eat Mars bars and other sweets, but nothing ever worked. Ioana blames this on the small size of her stomach, which makes her feel sick if she eats too much. Perhaps her body’s constitution is too much of a good thing, because she was never happy with herself until she married. It was her husband who encouraged her to become a model, and she is now finally comfortable in her own skin.

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Artist Paints Incredible Artworks with His Mouth

Nothing can stop a person with innate artistic abilities, not even the absence of functioning limbs. 50-year-old Steve Chambers is a perfect example of this. The artist from Norfolk, UK, paints breathtaking sceneries using only his mouth. It’s simply amazing how such accurate strokes can be achieved while holding a paintbrush with one’s teeth.

Chambers, who suffers from arthrogryposis syndrome, has been disabled since birth. His arms lack muscles and the joints in his legs are stiff. While many people in his condition struggle to perform daily tasks, Chambers began painting at a very early age. He says it didn’t take him very long to get the hang it. “To me using a paint brush with my mouth is like you using your hand to pick up a spoon.” He started off by using his mouth to hold a pencil, which according to him wasn’t actually difficult because he didn’t know anything different. However, he did get frustrated as a kid when he couldn’t get the effects he wanted while drawing.

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Brain Tumor Survivor Has Painted Every Sunrise for the Last Seven Years

People find unique ways of storing and recording memories of the most important days of their lives. Some save cinema ticket stubs from their first date, some like to keep home videos and photo albums of family events. The methods of storing memories – both happy and sad – are endless. But the story of Cody Cox stands out from the rest. He chose to remember the last day his nephew Justin Tyler Berry was alive in a very different manner – by purchasing a painting depicting the last sunrise his nephew had ever seen. This was possible because brain tumor survivor Debbie Wagner has been painting the sunrise every single morning since December, 2005.

56-year-old Wagner is from Bennington, Kansas. In her healthier days, the mother of three loved to read long novels, cook up complicated recipes, take care of her family’s finances and always got nine straight hours of sleep every night. When she was diagnosed with not one, but two tumors in her brain in 2002, her life changed forever. Although the surgery to remove the tumors was successful, she lost the ability to do many of the things she loved. Wagner could no longer multitask, follow recipes or novel plots, balance a checkbook, or even sleep soundly through the night.

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Calcio Fiorentino – The Ultimate Manly Sport

Imagine a sport that’s a mix between soccer and rugby, with absolutely no rules whatsoever. Man, that’s got to be brutal! And that’s exactly what Calcio Fiorentino is. It’s the ultimate sport to prove your strength, power and courage.

The game originated in Italy during the 16th century in Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Florence. The words Calcio Fiorentino can be loosely translated as the Florence Kick. True to its name, the game was devised by four of Florence’s most prominent noble families. Their intention was simple, to be able to show off their physical prowess to their enemies. In those days, spectators of the game were limited only to the ruling class.

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English Astronomer Makes World’s First Meteorite-Aged Wine

What do you get when you mix an interest in wine-making and a passion for astronomy? Why meteorite wine, of course. Meteorito, as it’s called, is a unique blend of wine that has been aged with a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite.

Meteorito, a Cabernet Sauvignon, is the creation of Norwich-born Ian Hutcheon. Ian has long been involved with wines as well as astronomy, and always wanted to find a way to combine his two interests. The Englishman now works out of Chile, where he owns a vineyard in the Cachapoal Valley. Out of his passion for outer space, he also opened an observatory in 2007, called the Centro Astrononomica Tagua Tagua. This is currently the only place in the world you can purchase Meteorito wine, although Hutcheon is interested in exporting it to other countries.

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