Snapperfest – Yet Another Another Animal Cruelty Fest

Snapperfest is an obscure Indiana festival where participants have to yank a snapping turtle’s head out of its shell until they can wrap their hands around its neck.

It has been taking place in Ohio County, Indiana, for over a decade, despite PETA’s numerous attempts to shut it down, and sadly, it was organized this year as well, on August 20th. As always a big crowd gathered at Campshore Campgrounds to see the “brave” competitors tormenting a bunch of frightened snapping turtles. Now that right there sounds like a great way to spend your weekend.

Every Snapperfest contestant has to run up to a tank full of snapping turtles, grab one by its tail, slam it onto a piece of tarp and yank its head out of the shell. Apparently, each participant has his own techniques to get the wild-caught turtles to reveal their heads, but most popular are the repeated slamming against the ground, and pounding on the shell. While the crowd cheers them on, they grab the snapper turtle’s head and yank it out enough to wrap their hands around its neck. The one who manages to yank the turtle’s head fastest, wins.

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Jugger – The Post-Apocalyptic Sport of Today

Appocalipse is not yet upon us, yet more and more people are already playing a post-apocalyptic sport named called Jugger, inspired by a 1989 movie starring Rutger Hauer and Joan Chen – Blood of Heroes.

In Blood of Heroes, Jugger was simply called ‘The Game’ and was a violent sport played for food and money, and while the real-life version follows the main rules, it tries to keep violence to a minimum. Instead of money, food and other prizes, juggers play for fun. The sport was invented by David Webb, writer/director of Blood of Heroes, but soon after the movie was released, it became a real sport played in two different regions of Germany, independently. The first was Berlin, a perfect setting with its post-apocalyptic look during the first years after the fall of the wall, and the other was Hamburg, where the first Jugger tournament took place in 1995.

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Computerspielemuseum – Berlin’s Computer Game Museum

If you thought the Video Card Museum of Kharkov was a geek paradise, than the Video Game Museum in Berlin is really gonna blow your mind. It features vintage hardware, interactive installations, and over 300 video games, including the first ever arcade game, Computer Space, released in 1971, which by the way was a total commercial failure.

The Video Game Museum was first opened for a brief period at the end of the 1990s, but was eventually closed down in 2000. The new museum opened in January 2011 and is located in an east Berlin building formerly occupied by Cafe Warsaw. The exhibits in this geeky museum aim to document all the aspects of video games, including graphics, hardware, music, storylines, etc, since 1951 to current day. Apart from tracking the evolution of video games, the museum also explores the effects gaming has had on modern society, from positive ones like social networking to negative, like addiction and video-game-inspired violence.

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The Magnificent Floating Puppets of Les Plasticiens Volants

Les Plasticiens Volants is a world-renown theater group that stages monumental performances using giant inflatable puppets, some over 20 meters long.

Ever since it was established, in 1976, the unique group has been entertaining audiences world-wide withe their amazing shows. From just two members, the group has grown to a company of 30 enthusiasts who create the puppets and masterfully operate them over the heads of the audience, telling a story. According to the members of the Les Plasticiens Volants, the advantage and at the same time the biggest challenge is building a marionette without a solid or fixed structure. They bend in the air and turn their heads in a way that makes them seem alive. But, as you can imagine, they are lot harder to control from the ground.

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The Subway-Riding Dogs of Moscow

Everyone knows dogs are some of the most intelligent animals on Earth, but the stray canines in Moscow have really impressed scientists with their metro-riding routines. Every day, the dogs living on the outskirts of Russia’s capital jump on the tube all the way to the city center, the best place to scavenge for foods.

During the soviet era, dogs weren’t allowed into subway stations, and since restaurants and fast-food stands were scarce all around Moscow, they had no reason to venture into the city. Most canines preferred to live in the industrial areas, where they searched for food in garbage dumps, or lived on whatever workers threw away. But after the fall of the USSR, the situation changed drastically: their homes on the outskirts of Moscow were taken over by commercial centers and apartment complexes, while restaurants and fast-food carts popped-up downtown. A while ago, I wrote about Cacao, the bus-riding dog of Milan. I thought he was unique, but it appears Moscow strays mastered public transportation years ago.

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Designer Creates Modern Persian Rugs Using Google Earth

Using images from Google Earth, German designer David Hanauer was able to give a contemporary twist to the ancient craft of Persian carpet making.

Hanauer first began working on his “Worldwide Carpets” project in 2008, after finding himself fascinated with Las Vegas’ uniform, top-down suburban planning. After he got the idea of using aerials images of the city as prints for a modern Persian carpet, he needed to find the best aerial views, and what better alternative than the free-to-use Google Earth? And since our eyes are used to a horizontal view, rather than seeing things from above, at first most people assume it’s just an abstract pattern, instead of a Las Vegas building block.

Persian rugs are arranged around a central point and are always symmetrical, so after David Hanauer finds the right sections from the 3D satellite maps, all he has to do is mirror the images in four directions, which automatically gives the carpets a Persian look. But instead of being hand-knotted, like the original carpets, these contemporary interior design accessories are printed on polyester using colorfast dyes.

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The Landfillart Project – Turning Hubcaps into Works of Art

The Landfillart Project is an artistic endeavor that tries to get people thinking about the amount of trash they generate, by repurposing hubcaps as unique artworks.

The idea was thought up by Ken Marquis, from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, who has spent the last three years convincing other artists from all the US states and 52 foreign countries to give old hubcaps the artistic treatment. Ken got the idea to use hubcaps while attending an auto show near Allentown, where a collection of 41 rusted wheel covers inspired and got him thinking they could be repurposed. He bought the entire cache for $82, and just a few weeks later acquired 1,000 more, from a collector in Quakertown.

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10 Coolest Finds of the Week #7

Strapped for Cash Priest Inaugurates Inflatable Church (Metro)

Origami Crane Made from 2,000,000 Origami Cranes (Colossal)

Druid King Arthur Loses Legal Battle for Stonehenge (MSN)

Dad Wakes Up Son with Super Soaker, Hums Doom Theme (Dvice)

6 Magicians Who Died Performing the Bullet Catch (Mental Floss)

12 Incredible Snapshots of Animals Silhouetted Against the Sun (Environmental Graffiti)

Beautiful Photos Takes with Handmade Legotron Mk1 Camera (Gizmodo)

Man Films Himself Counting to 100,000 (Youtube)

10 Famous People Who Look Like Pets (Oddee)

Sky Zone 3D Trampoline Dodgeball (Laughing Squid)

 

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Japan’s First Reptile Cafe Opens in Yokohama

The Subtropical Teahouse, a “reptile cafe” offering customers the chance to observe and pet dozens of species of reptiles, has recently opened in Yokohama, Japan.

The Land of the Rising Sun is notorious for a variety of wacky venues, like the relaxing cat cafes, or the Vampire Cafe in Ginza, but it didn’t have a reptile-themed one. Since a few days ago that’s no longer a problem, as the country’s first reptile cafe opened its doors in Yokohama’s Naka Ward. ”I wanted to create a venue for those reptile fans hiding in the closet to get together and freely talk about the charms of the creatures they love,” Mutsumi Nagano, the cafe’s 42-year-old manager said about his idea.

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Tokyo’s Baby Café – Where the Cool Japanese Kids Hang-Out

Tokyo – probably the only city in the world where toddlers have their own hang-out spot, where no childless adults are allowed.

Japan may have one of the lowest birth rates in the world, but that apparently only means the few babies that are born here are given everything – even their own exlclusive café. Located in the Omotesando neighborhood of Tokyo, the Nendo-designed Baby Café is the perfect place for children under seven to chill out, and play in a safe environment, while their parents socialize over a cup of coffee. No more having to listen to mommy telling them to “sit up straight”, “don’t play with your food”, “don’t run through the restaurant”, at the Baby Café kids can do as they like. But there are monitors all over the place so parents can keep their eyes on children while giving them the illusion they’re free to do as they please.

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Stan Herd Uses Crop Fields as Canvases for His Art

For more than 30 years, Kansas-based artist Stan Herd has created large scale artworks he calls Earthworks, using crop fields as canvases.

Stan Herd was born into a family of farmers and grew up in a very small town in southwest Kansas. Although he was the artist in the family and in school, Stan also had an intimate relationship with the earth, and his earliest artworks depicted fields of wheat and alfalfa crossed by seemingly endless country roads, and agricultural activities in rural America. He realized he enjoyed doing large scale artworks when he started doing murals, and got the brilliant idea of using the earth as his canvas one time when he was flying over a crop field, in an airplane.

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Brazilian Doctor Uses HIV-Infected Needles to Keep Burglars Out

Some people use guard dogs, other opt for an alarm or surveillance system to keep burglars away, but a certain Brazilian doctor went for something a lot more extreme – needles infected with HIV.

The female orthopedist from the city of Sobradinho was fed up with burglars jumping over her fence and stealing her belongings. They had already stolen her lawnmower, hair dryer and photo camera when she decided to put an end to the trespassing by taping dozens of HIV-infected syringes atop her metal fence and hanging a sign saying ” Wall with HIV positive blood. No trespassing.”

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Bridesmaid Attends Wedding via iPad

Although she “called dibs on being a bridesmaid” at her friends wedding, Renee Armstrong couldn’t actually be there in person to fulfill her promise, but thanks to modern technology she did it via iPad.

Jonathan Alberico and Jamie Wilborn looked beautiful on their wedding day, but something else attracted the attention of the guests throughout the whole ceremony. One of the groomsmen walked down the aisle and stood by the altar carrying an iPad with Renee’s face on the screen. Because she couldn’t physically attend her friend’s wedding, 1,600 miles away, she attended the ceremony, chatted with guests and posed for photos via Apple’s popular tablet.

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Thai Artist Stages Modern Day Gold Rush

Acclaimed Thai artist Surasi Kusolwong is challenging art lovers to get down and dirty for the chance to get their hands on a real gold necklace.

Kusolwong’s latest art installation, called Sickness, is one big pile of colorful wool and yearn, but it contains precious treasures in the shape of gold necklaces planted by the artist himself. Lucky visitors at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center have the chance to get down on all four and look for one of the ten gold necklaces hidden withing the sea of thread waste. There is no info on how long a person is allowed to search for the precious necklaces worth hundreds of dollars, but I’m thinking it’s not a lot of time, considering only one of the ten necklaces has been found since the Sickness exhibition opened, on August 21. If someone manages to find one of the small treasures they are allowed to keep it.

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World’s First Pig Fat Museum Opens in Ukraine

Pig fat is considered a tasty treat in central and eastern European countries like Belarus, Russia or the Czech Republic, and the Ukraine has even opened a museum dedicated to it.

Known as salo in the Ukraine, this traditional food is often translated as ‘lard’ or ‘bacon’ in English, but there are some subtle differences between the three. Unlike lard, salo isn’t rendered, and unlike bacon, it contains little or no meat. Just like Coca Cola in America, the wurst in Germany, Ramen in Japan or oatmeal in England, salo is a big part of Ukrainian culture, so it’s only natural they honor it with its own museum. Located on Svobodi Avenue, in Lviv, the Salo Museum features all kinds of exhibits dedicated to the greasy delicacy.

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