The Krzywy Domek – Poland’s Crooked House

Looking at these photographs you have to wonder whether  this is real or the result of an optical illusion.

The Krzywy Domek, as it is originally called, is part of the Rezident shopping center in Sopot, Poland. It is three stories high, has a total of about 4,000 square meters and is now the “residence” of a pub called the Wonky Pub. Although it’s architecture is similar to that of the surrounding buildings, this Crooked House seems weary or melting. Ever since it was built, in 2004, the Crooked House became Poland’s most photographed building.

This unusual house is the result of Polish architect’s Szotynscy Zaleski  imaginative mind, who was inspired by Jan Marcin Szancer‘s fairytale illustrations and also by Per Dahlberg’s art, whose drawings you can find inside the Krzywy Domek. (video).

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The Incredible Crochet Art of Agata Oleksiak

True, there are many out there, especially women, who are very into knitting or crocheting but it seems to me that this time passion got a little bit out of control for Olek, real name Agata Oleksiak,a young woman born in Poland, currently living in NYC. It all started as a method of relaxation that soon became a form of art or, as she herself admits, a way of conveying the inseparability of life and art.

“Life and art are inseparable. The movies I watch while crocheting influence my work, and my work dictates the films I select. I crochet everything that enters my space. Sometimes it’s a text message, a medical report, found objects. There is the unraveling, the ephemeral part of my work that never lets me forget about the limited life of the art object and art concept. What do I intend to reveal? You have to pull the end of the yarn and unravel the story behind the crochet.”

Olek’s art may be shocking at first but is a real wake-up call for those willing to admire here work. Bursting with color, most of the times intentionally used “in conflict”, the works of art in which she has put an immense amount of effort and passion convey an image of the world that can only be seen through the eyes of an artist. Her crocheting varies from costumes for film or theater to large pieces meant to give a new image to an abandoned house, a Polish WWII bunker or the windows of the public boat in Istanbul, just to give a few examples.

In 2004 Olek received the Ruth Mellon Award for Sculpture and also won the commercial competition of the Apex Art Gallery but ever since she started,about a decade ago, her work has been admired in galleries all over the world.

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Matthew Albanese Creates Stunning Landscapes from Household Objects

Looking at the beautiful landscapes of Matthew Albanese, you couldn’t even imagine they are made with objects you yourself have around the house.

Matthew’s career as a landscape creator began about three years ago, just when he had become bored with his job as a visual merchandiser and was looking for an outlet. One day, he knocked over an entire tub of paprika, and as he was struggling to clean up the mess, the shade of the spice got him dreaming. It reminded him of Mars and what an exotic yet unreachable place it was. That’s when he decided that if couldn’t go to the Red Planet, he would bring it to him. He rushed out and bought five kilograms of paprika and created his very first household landscape – Paprika Mars.

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SHOCKING! Second Chernobyl Uncovered in the Ukraine

Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya revealed that a group of independent environmentalists have discovered a zone where radiation level is higher than that of Chernobyl.

The specified area is located in Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region, around an abandoned uranium mine. According to Oleksiy Vedmidsky, a local ecologist, the mine is a huge danger to the people in the region and he has some pretty interesting data to back up his claims. He and his team have recently measured the radiation level around the uranium mine, and the results were nothing less than shocking – “My particle detector measured 2611 micro Roentgen per hour there. Even in the Chernobyl zone near the reactor the exposure is 500-600 micro Roentgen per hour,” Vedmidsky said, pointing out that normal reading is under 30 micro Roentgen per hour.

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Photography Profesor Has Camera Implanted in the Back of His Head

Photography professor Wafaa Bilal, at the New York University, has a let’s say original vision on what we generally refer to as art.

He intents to put together an exhibit of art called “The 3rd I” which will be featured at the  Arab Museum of Modern Art in Mathaf. And for that particular reason he implanted a camera in the back of his head. Well,not literally,but he had a titanium plate implanted at a piercing shop. This allows him to attach a camera using magnets, camera which will take a photo every minute. The only time Bilal won’t be able to use it will be on campus at NYU, thus protecting the privacy of his students.

The opening of The Arab Museum of Modern Art will take place on Dec. 30, occasion with which they are hosting the “Told/Untold/Retold” exhibition, gathering the works of 23 key modern artist, including Wafaa Bilal.

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Chinese Gamer Plays MMO on World’s Largest LED Screen

Jealous on a fellow guild master who got to play his favorite video game on an IMAX screen, a Chinese gamer spent a ridiculous amount of money to play on the world’s largest LED screen.

MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online games) are very popular in China, and the people who play them are very competitive. The problem is some of them are also filthy rich and spare no efforts when it comes to showing the competition how cool they are. Take this young gamer who spent 100,000 RMB ($15,000) for just 10 minutes of playing Magic World Online 2, on the world’s biggest LED display, and all just to beat the record of a fellow gamer who played the same game in an IMAX cinema.

Set up in “The Place”, one of Beijing’s most popular shopping malls, the 250-meter-long, 30-meter-wide display is appropriately named “All Beijing, look up!”. I know you have to be out of your mind to throw away that much money on a short gaming session, but this hardcore MMO fan can take comfort in the fact that no one will be able to break his record…at least not until Dubai finishes its giant LED display, set to be the largest yet.

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Ingenious Architect Uses Aluminum Cans as Shingles for His House

Richard Van Os Keuls has used flattened aluminum soda and beer cans as siding for his plywood house extension, after deciding conventional materials were too expensive.

Van Os Keuls, an architect from Silver Spring, Maryland, first got the idea of incorporating flattened aluminum cans into his trade after seeing a car drive over a discarded soda can. He thought to himself that it would make a pretty decent aluminum shingle, so he began building his own stash of old cans to experiment with, at a later time. That time came around when he finished the plywood extension on his house, and began looking for a cheap material to side it with.

The ingenious architect admits his idea of using aluminum cans has nothing to do with art or the environment, as he was simply looking for a cheap and durable alternative to conventional siding materials. Wearing heavy construction boots, Richard first stomped on the cans and then flattened them even further with a sledgehammer, rounding the corners so people wouldn’t get cut when leaning up against the house. He found that flattening each can was time-consuming, so he started working on several at a time. When they were ready to be placed on the wall, he would place 30-40 cans overlapping each other and secure them with a long aluminum nail.

At first, he wanted to paint over the cans, but as the siding started to take place, the color mosaic looked better and better, and he even made sure that no no two same color cans were put together. He began ordering cheap colorful beer and soda cans from other countries, just because he wanted as many different colors as possible. But he needed a lot more cans than he could buy, if he was to complete the siding, so he tried to collect more from the neighborhood dump. That got him cited twice, and earned him fines for theft of city property and transporting stolen property, so he had to rely on donations from neighbors.

When he finally completed his unique project, Richard Van Os Keuls’ house was covered by around 22,000 flattened aluminum cans. He says they aren’t noisy when it rains, and while aluminum tends to develop a chalky oxidation, the ink on the cans has significantly slowed up the process, so his can-covered home is still a colorful inspiration to architects and designers around the world.

 

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“Fat Flap” Invented for British Overweight Cats

Looks like humans aren’t the only ones with overweight problems.

Currently, there are 8 million pet cats in Britain, and one out of four is overweight. A recent research reveals that in ten years time 50% of Britain’s cats will have this problem, and won’t fit through a standard cat flap.

The results of this research lead to the conclusion that a modified cat flap will become somewhat of a necessity. Not only is this “Fat Flap” twice as wide as the standard one, but it also comes with a conveyor belt which will transport the cat to the door, in case it’s too tired to climb up those last few steps. And as if this wasn’t enough, the ingenious device will keep burglars and other unwelcome guests away, as it only opens when activated by a paw-recognition system.

As amazing as the Fat Flap sounds, specialists advise ” that pet owners take all the necessary steps to keep their pets fit and healthy.”

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New York Gallery Hosts Erwin Wurm’s Exentric “Gulp” Exhibiton

Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York recently hosted Erwin Wurm’s Gulp exhibition, an eccentric yet interesting approach on modern society.

Using furniture, clothing or even statues representing humans, Erwin Wurm makes an attempt to express the way everything surrounding us can form or  even deform an individual. Almost unwillingly  the viewer finds himself involved in this intricate dialogue engendered by Wurm through his art.

Explaining the addressability of  his art but also his purpose, the artist says “I want to address serious matters, but in a light way. I want to reach more than just an elite circle of insiders. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political.”

Erwin Wurm is an Austrian-born artist. His work has always been about a giving the viewers a new perspective on life and on how they relate to everyday objects or situations, managing to provoke it’s viewers imagination and, in a certain way, reinterpreting the whole concept of sculpture.

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French Retiree Creates Incredible Scale Replica of the Sistine Chapel

Jean Massa, an 80-year-old French retired dental technician, has spent 5,000 hours creating an incredibly detailed scale replica of the Sistine Chapel interior.

The 1/34 scale model is just 1.45 meters long and 0.7 meters tall, and impresses through the level of detail. Its creator, a passionate artist who has created other beautiful scale models, like those of the opera houses in Monaco and Nice, says his miniature Sistine Chapel is just large enough to feature all the details and paintings of the Vatican original.

Jean Massa believes he inherited his amazing artistic talent from his grandfather, Florent Pagliano, a skillful marble sculptor who did detailed busts fro many French nobles, during the “Belle Epoque”. He’s probably why Jean also takes an interest in other art forms like sculpture and painting (his Dali replicas are to die for).

Asked why he chose to do a replica of the Sistine Chapel interior, mister Massa said he was inspired by an illustrated book about Michelangelo’s artworks, which he got as a gift from his son. Armed with an arsenal of paintbrushes, oil and acrylic paints, he got to reproducing each painting in the original Sistine Chapel – angels, popes, prophets and pretty much every detail of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. He spent 5,000 hours painting his amazing replica, throughout four years.

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Oman Builds World’s Largest Marble Mosaic

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s accession to the throne of Oman, his subjects commissioned the world’s largest marble mosaic.

The people of Oman consider Sultan Qaboos bin Said is considered responsible for the kingdom’s prosperity, so they decided to honor the anniversary of his rule by making a unique mosaic portrait. Measuring a staggering 8.30 meters in length and 5.30 meters in width, the spectacular masterpiece depicts the sultan in a position that best captures His Majesty’s humbleness. As the sultan rarely makes public appearances, the 15 artists who worked on the project had only a photograph, taken by his private photographer, to work with.

Apart from its size, the world’s largest marble mosaic impresses through the fact that it’s made up of 128,274 individual marble pieces, using 90 natural shades of marble mined from the mountains and sea beds of Oman. Blocks of marble were meticulously chosen and mined exclusively for the project.

The team of 15 artists from the UK and Bahrain spent around 120 days carefully placing each tile in the intricate mosaic, working an exhausting 12 hours a day. The face of the sultan is incredibly detailed, and his mustache and beard are made from the sultan’s favorite stone, brought all the way from Italy. The face alone took the artists 40 days to complete.

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The Tech Junk Cities of Franco Recchia

Italian artist Franco Recchia uses old computer parts to create his unique tech junk cities – mixed media sculptures that replicate famous metropolises.

Driven by a simple curiosity to see what is inside the computer case, Recchia takes apart old computers and uses their parts to create ingenious urban skylines. A “testament to what is beautiful, elegant and functional in the modern object” his tech-junk sculptures are made from various parts like radiators, old motherboards, various slots, and even case parts. These works of art are the artists way of showing that every thing made by the human hand has great beauty, if used in an original-enough way.

You can check out Franco Rocchia’s amazing tech-junk cities on ARTmine, where you can also purchase some of them. They are priced between $2,400 and $8,100, no the cheapest artworks you can find, but definitely among the most original.

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Researchers in Panda Costumes Trick Four-Month-Old Cub

Researchers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province, China came up with a gumptious way to help a four month panda cub re-adapt  to wildlife.

For the success of the reintroduction the baby panda isn’t supposed to come in contact with humans so the researchers had to dress-up as giant pandas in order to do their job, because although the cub is being supervised with hidden cameras, some of the procedures, such as weighing or measuring his body temperature,  involve handling.

Although they aren’t very convincing to us it seems that this cute baby panda has accepted his new “family” and is making great progress.

Taiwanese Brothel Is Being Re-opened as a Museum

What was once the place of entertainment for soldiers stationed on Kinmen Island, Taiwan, is now being re-opened as a unique museum. Hsu Ying-fan says the museum’s sole purpose is that of giving  visitors a general idea on the so-called Military Paradise and what it served for.

Bearing an euphemistic name, “The Special Tea House Museum“, this one of a kind place features one of a kind “art”. Here you can find displays of photography or posters depicting the brothel’s noonday and also samples of tickets bought by soldiers who were waiting for their turn.

The brothel was closed in 1990 due to criticism manifested mainly by local woman’s groups, and with it being re-opened as a museum, officials are hopping the island will become a tourist attraction.

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Hotter than Hot – World’s Hottest Chili Pepper

Despite what you might think, the world’s hottest chili pepper was created not by a Mexican or Indian farmer, but by a “hot”  British farmer.

Gerald Fowler grew the Naga Viper on his farm in  Cumbria, northern England, and got to a record level of spiciness by crossing three of the hottest varieties of chili, including  Bhut – Jolokia, the previous record holder.

There is a special way to measure their hotness. It’s not like someone tastes this babies. The heat of a chili pepper is measured using the Scoville Scale – the number of Scoville unites indicates the amount of capsaicin found in the chili, this being  what gives it’s spiciness. Bhuta – Jolokia reached a maximum of 1.001.304 units whereas the Naga Viper has 1.359.000.

In an interview for The Daily Mail, Mrs.Fowler confirmed : ‘It’s painful to eat. It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it’s a marvellous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great.’

What I find interesting is that he makes people vouch in writing for their sanity, before letting them taste his chili.

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