CosquilleArte – The World’s First Tickle Spa Opens in Spain

Relaxing is probably one of the last words people use to describe tickling, but at the CosquilleArte Spa, in Madrid, Spain, they actually use delicate tickling techniques to relieve clients’ stress.

I’ve seen some pretty bizarre spas since I began writing for OC, from resorts treating guests to wine, tea and sake baths, to clinics that use crude oil as treatment, but I never imagined someone would get the outrageous idea of using tickling as a stress-relieving therapy. But what I found even more ridiculous was that the idea actually worked and CosquilleArte has become one of the most popular spa venues in the Spanish capital. It wasn’t until later, when I learned the tickling methods have nothing to do with the terrible torture we all had to face from childhood friends, that this unusual form of therapy started to make sense.

Instead of jabbing their fingers into clients’ sides and armpits, like I’m sure you and your friends/siblings used to torment each other, the massage therapists at CosquilleArte gently trace their fingertips and soft feathers down their backs and other sensible areas, and adjust their touches according to how ticklish every person is. Although most first time customers clench when they’re touched, they leave the wacky establishment a lot more relaxed than when they came in.

Photo by CosquilleArte

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Art Student Creates Hair Raising Necklaces from Human Hair

Kerry Howley, a creative art student, from Cambridge, England, is creating quite a buzz in the art world, with her collection of delicate necklaces made from human hair.

The idea of creating jewelry from human hair was inspired by people’s aversion to cut hair. Hair is usually regarded as a very important part of the human body and is worn with pride, but once its connection to the body has been severed, it’s viewed as slightly disgusting. Through her art, the young Middlesex student “hoped to create a delicate balance between the viewer/wearer’s feelings of aversion and attraction.” She wanted to see if she could make cut hair attractive again.

The main material for Howley’s masterpieces was provided by one of her mother’s friends, a Japanese woman with hair down to her waist. She only cuts it once every five years, and when she had 30 cm cut off the bottom, she gave it all to Kerry. The 23-year-old art student used broken saw blades to cut and weave the strands of hair into abstract shapes inspired by wallpaper patterns, and spent over 60 hours working on each of the five hair necklaces she has created so far.

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Designers Recreate Double Coffee Logo from Coffee

Latvian coffee shop chain, Double Coffee, celebrated the opening of its second venue in Moscow, Russia, by creating a giant mosaic of its logo, from cups of coffee.

The event took place on June 18, on Old Arbat Street, in Moscow, where a group of designers armed with clipboards started arranging plastic cups of coffee right on the pavement. No one really knew what they planned to do, at first, but as their work started to take shape, everyone recognized the logo of coffee shop chain Double Coffee. To celebrate their second Moscow venue, right on Old Arbat Street, they used 3,300 cups, 220 liters of coffee and 120 liters of milk to recreate the brand logo. To finish the job, the young designers sprinkled ground coffee around the logo to keep the cups together. It’s not clear what happened with all the coffee once the tasty installation was dismantled, but I’m sure the curious crowd that gathered around it was more than happy to help clear the street.

A similar coffee mosaic of the Mona Lisa was created two years ago, in Sydney, Australia, using 3,603 cups of coffee and 564 pints of milk.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates the Most Amazing Wooden Miniature Bikes

We’ve featured some pretty awesome motorcycle miniatures, in the past, but few were as incredibly detailed as young Vyacheslav Voronovich’s wooden masterpieces.

The Lvov-based artist dreamed of owning a motorcycle ever since he was just a kid, and rode his first one in the seventh grade. At the same time he was always interested in hand-made miniatures, and developed a passion for woodcarving. So even though he couldn’t afford to buy himself a real motorcycle, he discovered he could create his own perfect wooden replicas.

The idea of making his first 1:12 scale wooden motorcycle first came to Vyacheslav a year and a half ago, and it quickly turned into a hobby. He was inspired by some other motorcycle miniatures he had seen online, and wanted to see if he could make his own, from wood. In the beginning, he had some doubts he could actually pull it off, but after figuring out what kind of wood to use for each component, things started going smoothly. He finished his first bike and noticed that every new one he created looked better than the last.

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Scottish Band Releases Single on Edible Chocolate Record

A collaboration between a talented chocolatier and Scottish band FOUND, this chocolate record can be considered the sweetest release of all time.

Chocolatier Ben Milne met FOUND members, Ziggy and Tommy, a couple of years ago, and they’ve become good friends, so when Ben approached them about doing something together in the shape of a chocolate record, it’s safe to to say they were pretty excited. But while the idea sounded pretty good in theory, it turned out pretty difficult to accomplish. At first, the Fife-based chocolate master went off and bought a 7″ single vinyl and covered it with melted chocolate, but that didn’t turn out very well, and he soon realized he had actually created the opposite of a record. Then he tried making a mold of the record and casting the chocolate vinyl from that, but he still couldn’t get the desired audio quality.

By this time, FOUND’s record company got really excited about this chocolate record, and they got PR companies involved, and Ben was just thinking his idea wasn’t going to work and he was going to let everybody down. As a last resort, he decided to ask the label to provide him with a template they use to press the actual vinyl, only use chocolate instead. That idea proved a winner, and when he played the first one to FOUND, the two members looked pretty impressed.

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New Zealand Pub Serves Shots of Apple-Flavored Horse Semen

A pub in Wellington, New Zealand, has caused quite a stir after it decided to serve apple-flavored horse semen shots to its customers.

Steven Drummond, co-owner of the Green Man Pub, in Wellington, was looking for a new drink as the entry for the nationwide 14th annual Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge, when he realized the sperm harvested from a nearby Christchurch stallion farm would make a fine choice. Add some apple flavor and voila, you have the most disgusting shot ever served in a bar. And the weirdest thing is people actually pay big money to try it. If someone paid you to drink horse semen, I’d (kind of) understand, but when you’re the one paying $20 for a shot of the stuff, you have a problem.

According to Green Man Pub chef, Jason Varley, the horse semen drink known as “Hoihoi tatea” is particularly preferred by the female clientele. Most ladies down the stuff and afterwards make jokes about going home and getting their husbands to eat grass, or about the possibility of their children being born with long faces. Varley admits he tried horse semen himself and claims it tastes “ok”, “like custard”, but says it’s not very popular with men, in general.

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Phydough – An Ice-Cream Truck for Dogs

It may not be the first of its kind in the world, but it is the first ice-cream truck for dogs in America, and pooches in the L.A. area have already grown to love it.

Patrick Guilfoyle, the man behind Phydough, came up with the idea of an ice-cream truck for dogs after seeing most dog-food manufacturers thought more about profit than the dogs eating their products. He wanted to bake wholesome, preservative-free cookies for dogs, and by combining his wish with the popular “gourmet truck” trend that’s sweeping the nation, he came up with Phydough – an ice-cream truck offering all kinds of delicious cookies and ice-cream for pooches.

According to the official site, Phydough uses only the finest organic ingredients bought from quality grocers like Whole Foods and local farmers’ markets, so while prices may seem a bit steep, you can rest assured your puppy is eating healthy. A scoop of ice-cream costs around $2.50, and you’ll have to spend $16 for 12 flavored cookies, but your dog will love you more for it.

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Farmer Uses Sheep as Living Billboards

English farmer, James Metcalfe, has brought a whole new meaning to the term “branding”, after using his sheep to advertise a business venture.

After authorities denied his request to erect billboards near the A1 highway, because they could distract drivers, Metcalfe, from Dalton, North Yorkshier, decided to advertise his turf company using 20 of his sheep as living banners. Sheep marker comes in spray cans so it was quite easy to write Tyas Turf on the oblivious animals, and since the fields they graze on are right next to the A1, they’re just as good as any billboards.

Asked if he considers expanding into the advertising business, and renting his sheep as advertising space for other companies, Metcalfe, who partly owns Tyas Turf, said he doesn’t reckon his shepherd will go along with the idea, since he barely convinced him to let him  spray-paint the 20 sheep.

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Artist Carves Detailed Oreo Frosting Portraits

Somerville-based artist, Judith G. Klausner, has created a series of classic style cameos, using Oreos as her medium of choice.  Judith started making Oreo cameos back in August 2010, as part of her “From Scratch” series, which features artworks made from toast, cereals, condiments or cheese, and says they’ve all lasted fairly well until now. She keeps the carved Oreos in the fridge, because high temperatures cause the frosting to melt, and humidity causes the cookie to crumble, but in climate-controlled environments, the Oreos’ preservatives make them a “fairly permanent material”.

Judith G. Klausner creates her unique Oreo cameos using fine tools such as toothpicks, straight pins and a balled-tip sculpture stick.

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Have a Ball at Serbia’s Testicle Cooking Championship

Every year, teams of chefs from all over Serbia, gather in the remote mountain village of Ozrem to cook various testicle dishes, in the World Testicle Cooking Championship.

For most people, the mere thought of eating any kind of testicles is sickening, but for the Serbians, who believe testicles contain a lot of testosterone which helps men’s libidos, it’s just a welcome challenge. So, to turn it into a competition, Ljubomir Erovic created the World Testicle Cooking Championship, back in 2005. Since then, it’s been organized every year, and more and more tourists come to try, or see others stuff their faces with various testicle-based foods. The festival has become so popular that Erovic, a seasoned testicle cook, has even published a testicle cookbook.

The motto of the event is “Scots have their scotch, the Swiss – their cheese, and we, the Serbs, have balls,”, and judging by the number of testicles cooked and consumed by the audience, I’d say that’s very true. The cooks use testicles from all kinds of animals and birds, including bulls, pigs, ostriches, roosters, kangaroos, or turkeys. Each of them have original recopies which they hope will land them the annual prize and the title of testicle cooking champion.

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Photographer Makes Creative Portraits from Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers

Klaus Enrique Gerdes, a New York City photographer, has created a series of original portraits made exclusively from vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Seeing these incredible artworks for the first time, I thought they were masterpieces of the famous Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 – 1593) – an Italian artist known for his imaginative portraits made entirely from fruits, vegetables and flowers. But whereas Arcimboldo painted his portraits, Gerdes first created them from real fruits, vegetables and flowers, and then took photos of them. They actually remind me a little of the fabulous vegetable art of Ju Duoqi, and Carl Warner’s foodscapes.

Gerdes told the PDN Gallery that the idea for his organic portraits first came to him while working with leaves.  “While I was photographing a human eye that was peeking out amongst hundreds of leaves, it occurred to me that I could actually utilize leaves to construct portraits or masks.” It just evolved from there and he started using fruits, vegetables and flowers.

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German Village Hosts Weird Tobacco Sniffing Championship

Around 220 man and women gathered in the small Bavarian village of Kucha to fill their nostrils with tobacco, last weekend, during the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship.

The origins of this offbeat competition are unclear, but one thing is for sure: Bavarians take it very seriously. For competitors outside the region it’s mostly just a fun way to spend a summer weekend, but locals actually train for it, and come with all kinds of techniques to help them sniff as much tobacco as possible. During the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship, competitors are given a small box with five grams of tobacco called Smalzer, and they have to get as much of it in their nose.

Sounds easy enough, especially if you have a big nose, but seasoned veterans claim it’s all about skill and technique. Competitors are allowed to blow their noses, sniff and push the tobacco up their nose, but whoever sneezes is disqualified.  Tobacco sniffing is a big deal in Bavaria, and 90 % of tobacco-sniffing clubs are established in this region, so it’s no surprise Bavarians always win the competition.

This year, the contest was won by 43-year-old Christian Knauer, who managed to stick 4.993 grams of tobacco in his nose, and score a maximum score of 20, for cleanliness. Knauer, who also won last year’s competition, says his secret lies in the special plastic nails he uses to pick up the tobacco from the small wooden box. Picking as much Smalzer in only one minute can be tough, because the box has corners and angles, so he uses these custom nails.

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Matchmaking Event Held Only for China’s Rich Bachelors

Chinese bachelors (with enough cash in their bank accounts) who wanted to find a nice hot girlfriend, had a chance to pick from 60 beautiful women parading in swimsuits, during a rich-only matchmaking event, in Wuhan.

Beautiful girls dressed in sexy swimsuits parading on a small stage set up on a beach – that sounds a lot like a beauty pageant or a fashion show, except for the audience made-up almost exclusively of men who couldn’t take their eyes off the beautiful contestants. It was actually a special matchmaking event addressed to China’s rich bachelors. The 60 girls who paraded in front of their potential boyfriends had qualified from a previous round, and tried their best to prove they made suitable arm-candy.

In order to gain admittance to the event, the men had to pay a 99,999 ($15,425) fee and provide proof they owned assets of over 30 million yuan ($4,627,000) or had an annual income of at least 1 million yuan ($154,237). So the next time you’re in China and you see a hot  chick, check your pockets before making your move, you may have to qualify for a date.

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Students Stage Most Romantic Break-up Ceremony Ever

Break-ups are almost never pretty, but two Chinese students have managed to melt the hearts of millions around the world, with their romantic break-up ceremony.

Xu Minyu and Xiao Ying, two students from Wuhan’s University of Science and Technology, had formed a couple for the last four years, and even though everything was great between them, they decided to break up upon graduating college. It wasn’t an easy decision for either of them, but they both agreed their careers were more important at this point in their lives, and a long distance relationship just wasn’t going to work. Xu Minyu will join the civil service in Hangzhou, while his girlfriend, Ying, has already signed a contract with a Beijing-based company. This puts 1,200 km between them and makes a normal relationship impossible.

But, unlike most couple who usually just decide to simply put an end to their relationship, or worse, have a terrible break-up fight, the two students decided to commemorate their love with a memorable with a memorable ceremony. It all went down last Thursday night, when, surrounded by burning candles and a crowd of fellow students, Minyu went up to his beloved girlfriend, carrying a bouquet of 99 roses, got down on one knee and asked for a break-up. Just like during a wedding proposal, the crowd shouted “Say yes, say yes”, and after a two-minute silence, Xiao Ying accepted the flowers and the proposal.

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Owner Has His Porsche 911 Executed by Firing Squad

Fed-up with his dream car’s reoccurring engine problems,  a Porsche 911 owner decided to donate it to a local gun club, to be shot with 10,000 bullets.

What do you do when having to repeatedly fix an expensive car gets too frustrating? Well,we’ve seen a Lamborghini owner who had it destroyed with jackhammers,  a man who had his Range Rover pulled to the dealership by donkeys, and now a man who preferred to donate his beautiful Porsche 911 for target practice, rather than pay over $20,000 in repairs.

When the members of Comm2A, an organisation dedicated to protecting US gun rights, from Massachusetts, first heard they would get the chance of emptying their magazines in the expensive German sports car, they probably thought it was a joke, but after he took the first shot himself, they knew he was serious. 140 gun-wielding men, women and children shot more than 10,000 bullets at the poor Porsche putting its sturdy body to the ultimate test. Although it was ultimately reduced to a pierced pile of junk, members of Comm2A were surprised about how well it held up against the rain of led. There was little damage done to the passenger side of the Porsche, where bullets seemed unable to penetrate the gas tank. Only the larger, high-velocity rounds managed to pierce both sides of the car.

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