Commemorative Portrait Made from 13,138 Dice

To commemorate the death of his friend, Canadian artist and designer, Tobias Wong, Frederick McSwain has created a giant portrait of him, from 13,138 dice.

The artist says:

The idea of a die itself was appropriate—the randomness of life. It felt like [a medium] he would use. Because [Tobias] was a very street-level force, I thought it was appropriate [to install] the portrait on the floor. Its not something I wanted to suspend on the wall; I wanted it to be right there on the floor where you almost interact with it.

The idea of every decision you make and everything you’ve done in your life, defines who you are. All of those days symbolically makes up the image of Tobi.

Tobias Wong was 35-years-old when he passed away, more accurately 13,138 days old, so McSwain used a die for every day he lived…

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Zoopolis 500 – Probably the World’s Slowest Race

While the Indianapolis 500 is the undisputed main event in America’s Circle City, it’s probably not as fun as the Zoopolis 500, a turtle race preceding the big motor race.

Kids and their families look forward to the Zoopolis 500 race, every year, because even though it lacks the speed of the Indianapolis 500, racers give it their all to put on a good show. Yesterday, the Indianapolis Zoo hosted the 30th annual Zoopolis 500, featuring five radiated turtles competing for the best prize they could wish for – a big plate of delicious fruit. Competitors were named after IndyCar drivers Dan Wheldon, Simona De Silvestro, Alex Tagliani, Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon.

The race flag went down at 11.30, and as you can imagine, the turtles were off to a pretty slow start, ignoring the excitement and cheering that went on around them. They even went the wrong way a few times, but managed to get back on track with the help of zoo keepers. IndyCar legend Tony Kanaan, who acted as Grand Marshall for the event, tried to give Simona an edge by placing some fruit in front of her, but the tortoise just stopped for a bite.

In the end, it was Dan who crossed the finish line first and got to feast on the fruit, and many said it was an omen that Dan Wheldon will win this year’s Indianapolis 500.

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Artist Makes Intricate Cutouts from Hardcore Adult Magazines

Can pornography be art? That’s the question artist Tom Gallant is trying to answer through his series of beautiful paper cutouts made from archived adult magazines.

Brussels-based Tom Gallant describes his unique art as a visual language “dealing with a private matter in a very public way”. Using a very sharp scalpel, he cuts into the hardcore imagery, layering extremely delicate cutouts to create a whole new image that almost completely blurs your vision. If you look closely, you can see some flesh, hair, eyes, lips, sometimes even genitalia, but it’s the newly created shapes that first stand out.

“I use pornography as a representation of our visual culture, the underlying ideas are used to connect the motifs and concepts, whether it is the idolotry of youth, flesh, sex or the exploitation of the female and feminine.  Pornography is the medium but not the message,” Gallant says about his art.

I’ve posted some of the more “innocent” of Tom Gallant’s cutouts, but you can check out some of his more revealing creations on his official website.

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Pimple Popper Ring Is One Disgusting Piece of Jewelry

I’ve seen some pretty bizarre jewelry since I started writing for OC, from rings made from human teeth and hair, to insect accessories, but this Pimple Popper ring is the most disgusting one yet.

For reasons I cannot understand, some people just love to pop pimples, and Etsy user Winona Johnson is one of these crazy types. Disgusting as it may sound, she admits to popping zits, pimples, black heads, white heads, for pure pleasure and this gave her the idea for this unique Pimple Popper Ring. Made of sterling silver, copper, enamel and a white pearl, this bizarre piece of jewelry is one of the grossest pimple recreations I’ve ever laid eyes upon, and it’s just the first piece of a skin related jewelry set. Who knows what “wonders” Winona will create next, but i wouldn’t be surprised to see stuff like a wort necklace or bunion brooch.

If you’re big on pimple popping, you can buy the Pimple Popper ring for $163.

 

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Chinese Woman Performs Surgery on Herself

Wu Yuanbi, a 53-year-old woman, from Chongqing, China, has recently performed surgery on herself, with a common kitchen knife.

Wu, who works as a migrant worker, has been suffering from a chronic condition known as Budd-Chiari syndrome, for the last 13 years. This causes her stomach to gradually fill up with large quantities of fluid, rendering her unable to work and making id difficult to perform even the most simple tasks. Back in 2002, Wu and her family used all their life savings to pay for a medical procedure in which doctors removed 25 liters of fluid from her belly. Unfortunately, a relapse of the condition followed, and the woman found herself in need of a second surgery. However, she and her family were too poor to pay the 50,000 yuan ($7,686) fee, so Wu Yuanbi was forced to do something truly shocking.

One day, after her husband, Cao Yunhui, left for work, the woman slit her stomach open with a kitchen knife, desperate to relieve the pressure that had built up inside. She had to endure excruciating pain for several hours, until her husband came home and found her lying in a pool of yellow fluid and intestines. She was immediately rushed to the hospital with a 10 cm-long cut across her stomach, and saved by the medical staff. Wu later said “If I had passed away, I would have at least spared my family the trouble of looking after me.”

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Ferrari Owner Parks His Supercar in the Living Room

Jon Ryder, a Ferrari fan from Sheffield, England, has converted his garage into part of the living room, just so he could look at his yellow Ferrari F355 as he relaxes on the sofa.

The passion Ferrari owners have for their exotic cars has no limit, and 28-year-old Jon Ryder is the perfect example. He bought his yellow road-beast three years ago, but says he’s still thrilled every time he looks at it. It was built in 1996, but the young steel worker says it’s his “favorite piece of Italian art” and that’s precisely why he wanted to find a place to put it on display right in his house.

When Jon and his wife Catherine decided to move to a new house last year, he immediately saw the potential of the garage, and began converting it into a lounge where he could just chill and stare at his Italian beauty. The conversion took him a whole month, working in his spare time, and he had to sacrifice the top half of his living room to make enough room for his garage/lounge, but says he has no regrets. The garage door is masked by a stylish curtain. He tried to keep expenses to a minimum, especially since his wife kept telling him it was just a garage, so he managed to spend just $1,450.

Word of Jon’s efforts reached Ferarri headquarters, and a spokesperson praised his passion for his Ferarri F355.

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Would You Pay $1,000 for a Pizza?

Probably not, but Nino Selimaj, owner of Nino’s Bellissima Pizza, in New York, seems to think there are many food lovers who would fork out $1,000 for a slice of heaven.

Selimaj himself came up with the idea for this expensive pizza, in 2007, after spending a whole year just researching the ingredients. In the end, he settled on a creme fraiche base,  four types of caviar, sliced lobster tail, salmon roe and some wasabi. Each $250 slice contains a different kind of caviar and while Selimaj admits his gourmet creation isn’t for everyone, he says there are plenty of people who can afford it.

In 2010, during a CNN Money report on pizza in New York, Selimaj said the financial crisis hit his $1,000 pizza as well, and while he used to sell between 2 and 10 pies a week before the crisis, sales were down to one every two weeks, even one a month. I don’t know if he’s doing any better now, but I think he’ll keep it on the menu just for the pride of selling the most expensive pizza in the world.

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Hand-Stitched Vogue Covers By Inge Jacobsen

UK-based artist Inge Jacobsen has found an ingenious way of turning commercial images like the covers of Vogue Magazine into unique works of art.

In an interview with Global Grind, the 24-year-old artist explains why she chose Vogue for her latest embroidery project:

I’ve always had a thing for Vogue ever since I was a teenager. Every new issue I bought I would try and immerse myself into that world of beautiful images, of beautiful people and material objects. I’d love to live in a Vogue magazine. I tried to think of ways to experience the magazine other than just reading it or looking at it, I wanted to get under its skin. The stitching has allowed me to do that, it’s been my way of intervening in the exclusive world of high fashion magazines, partly by giving it a very touchable surface. More importantly, the cross stitching has allowed me to make my issues of mass produced magazines completely unique. You can’t buy mine at your local newsagent.

She apparently spent around 50 hours hand-stitching right over the original Vogue covers, which allows some of the image to show through as background coloring.

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Russian Tuner Covers Audi A5 with 450,000 Swarovski Crystals

Russian tuner Shampa stole the show at a tuning exhibition in Moscow, when they rolled out a white Audi A5 covered with 450,000 Swarovski crystals.

Now I’ve seen some pimped out rides in my days, including a gold-plated Mercedes, but I have to say Swarovski crystals are the best choice if you want your car to really shine. I was sold when I saw that SL600 covered in 300,000 Swarovski crystals, in Tokyo, and Shampa’s latest creation just made it that much more obvious. Apparently they ordered the crystals directly from Austria, it took 1,440 man hours to cover this baby in bling and cost the Russian tuner 6 million rubles, which is around $215,000. It’s the only one of its kind.

So what do you think, exceptional tuning or tasteless exhibitionism?

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Slavisa Pajkic – A Real Life Human Battery

Slavisa Pajkic, from Serbia’s Pozarevac county, is known as “Battery Man’ for his amazing ability to withstand high voltage without getting hurt.

Biba, as his friends know him, says electricity has no friends, except for him. He apparently discovered his amazing capabilities when he was 17, and he’s been in an incredible relationship with electricity, ever since. Voltages of over 50 volts can cause dangerous levels of electricity to flow through the human body, and that’s precisely why your mother once told you to never stick your fingers in the power outlet, but Slavisa can withstand a lot more. He actually set his first Guinness record in 1983, when he took a hit of 20,000 volts like a champ. His second record dates back to 2003, when he was able to heat up a cup of water to 97 degrees Celsius, in 1 minute and 37 seconds.

Slavisa claims he can be an insulator, a conductor, an accumulator or a heater, depending on the case, and so far scientists haven’t been able to figure out exactly how he’s doing all of these things. He can light up a light bulb, cook a sausage and even set alcohol-soaked things ablaze with his body, by storing or acting as a conductor for electricity. Some reports say that because of a genetic defect, Slavisa Pajkic has no sweat and salivary glands, and scientists suspect current isn’t really passing through his body, but passes on the outside of his skin, which acts as a natural insulation.

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Car Enthusiast Shows-Off Drivable VW Beetle Made of Wood

53-year-old Momir Bojic, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, has recently showed-off his unique Volkswagen Beetle, made almost entirely from wood.

Momir built his wooden Beetle six years ago, as a hobby, and says it took him an entire year to complete the job. At first glance, it looks like a 1:1 scale replica of Volkswagen iconic buggy, but this is a real drivable vehicle. It has a full wooden body, wooden steering wheel, hub caps, dashboard and has become somewhat of an attraction on wheels in the Bosnian town of Banja Luka, near Momir Bojic’s hometown of Celinac. During the recent auto meeting held in Banja Luka, out of the over 100 models of vintage cars on show, the wooden Beetle got the most attention from visitors and passers-by.

Momir says he has driven his wooden car all through his home country as well as through some of the neighboring states, and people just couldn’t take their eyes off the amazing vehicle covered with around 20,000 oak slats.

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Scott Blake’s Impressive Bar Code Portraits

Scott Blake is one of those rare artists who use original mediums to create unique works of art, in his case bar codes. He uses them to create unique portraits of celebrities like Elvis, Madonna or Ronald Reagan.

Blake, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, began making bar code art over 12 years ago, right before Y2K, inspired by the whole year 2000 computer bug, and threatening digital apocalypse. While experimenting with halftone dot patterns, “looking for a black and white shape that could be repeated and modified to create grey tones in a digital mosaic”, he stumbled upon bar code imagery. He first tried circles and squares, then rectangles and notice the clusters of lines looked a lot like bar codes, so he started putting numbers on the bottom to describe the pixels’ grayscale value and grid coordinate.

But placing thousands of bar codes on a canvas to create a portrait is only half of Scott Blake’s work. Each of the bar codes he uses are somehow related to the person they describe. For example, when scanned each of Bruce Lee bar code plays one of the actor’s kung-fu scenes, while in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s case they play one of his movie trailers. Eventually, all of the bar codes end up in Photoshop where Scott uses Action scripts to place each code in the right mosaic tile, but even so, it takes him between two and six months to complete a portrait.

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Ivan Stoiljkovic – Croatia’s Young Magneto in the Making

Ivan Stoiljkovic, a six-year-old boy from a small town in norther Croatia, has been attracting media attention with his unusual gift of making large quantities of metal stick to his torso.

Young Ivan may not look to be in the best possible shape for his age, but that’s never stopped him from taking off his t-shirt and sticking metal objects on his chest and belly. “We always felt he was a bit different. At 15 months-of-age he was rollerblading, he started walking at eight months. He was less than two when he started driving a little motorcycle, and it was a bit weird,” says Ivan Surlovic, young Magneto’s grandfather. It all started as a joke, a few months ago, when Ivan’s grandmother was watching a show about a boy with magnetic capabilities. Her grandson took his shirt off and asked if he could do something like that, so they tried putting metal things on him and they just stuck.

According to Ivan Surlovic’s family, his powers are strongest in the morning and when he is calm and focused. They say he is capable of carrying up to 25 pounds of metal on his body, with heavier objects actually sticking better than lighter ones. His upper body appears to be more magnetic.

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Dutch Students Create World’s Largest NES Controller

Remember the 80’s? Man, those were the days, right? Actually I don’t remember, I was born in 1984, so pretty much everything before 1990 is a big blur. But one thing I do recall is how popular the original NES video-game console was back then. If you remember you’re first Super Mario playing days I’m sure you’re going to love the tribute a group of Dutch students prepared for Nintendo’s legendary machine.

Electrical Engineering students from TU Delft, in the Netherlands, have created an impressive replica of the NES controller, 30 times larger than the original. The overgrown Nintendo Entertainment System controller was assembled in the town square and attracted a lot of young Super Mario fans eager to test the  unique gadget, with their feet. Since the controller was 3.6 by 1.6 meters in size the only way to properly operate it was with your feet. So players just jumped on them and played Nintendo Classics like Tetris or Super Mario on a big six meter wide LED screen.

Unfortunately, the largest functioning NES controller hasn’t gained a spot in the Guinness Book of Records, because there was no official delegation on the scene.

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Japan’s Mouth-Watering Plastic Food Displays

Fancy menus may be enough for most restaurant diners around the world, but not in Japan. Here, image is everything and before going in for a bite, people want to see exactly what the food they want to order looks like. That’s where Japan’s realistic plastic food displays come into play…

Japanese fake food models can be traced back to 1917, but it wasn’t until 1926 that a restaurant owner decided to use them in a glass casing, to attract more customers. His idea was a big hit and people flocked to his venue hoping to get a serving of the delicious meals displayed outside. Soon, other restaurants followed his example and fake food display making became a lucrative business. In 1932, Iwasaki Ryuzo set up up a company that made and sold fake foods to restaurants and today it’s Japan’s top plastic food manufacturer. Business is very lucrative, as estimates show it produces revenues of billions of yen every year. For an entire menu, executed to perfection, luxury restaurants will pay up to one million yen.

In the old days, fake food models were made from wax. It was melted and pored into molds made from kanten (a seaweed jelly), but today manufacturers use silicon molds in which they pour liquid plastic and heat it up until it hardens. Modern materials and techniques apparently make the food considerably more realistic.  Restaurants send fake food makers the exact item they want replicated, along with photos. Silicon is poured around and over the disk and solidifies into a mold, which is then filled with liquid plastic and cooked in an oven. Then comes the really hard part – getting the details right. Oil based paints, regular brushes, air brushes, knives and carving tools are all part of fake food artist’s arsenal, but they all keep their techniques a secret.

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