Genghis Khan Named Greenest Invader in History

Let’s hear it for Genghis Khan everyone, his bloody conquests just earned him the title of greenest invader in the history of man.

‘It’s a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era. Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth’s landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture.” said Julia Pongratz, who headed Carnegie Institution’s study that measured carbon impact of a number of historical events that involved a large number of deaths.

Apparently, the armies of Genghis Khan killed so many people that huge cultivated areas  were once again covered with thick forests that absorbed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to historical data, during the rule of this famous leader, the Mongol Empire was responsible for the deaths of over 40 million people, which in turn helped remove around 700 million tons of carbon dioxide from the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Italy Inaugurates World’s First Sauna Tram

Public transportation is considered one of the most stressful things in the world, but the designers of Italian public transport company QC Termemilano set out to prove public transportation can also be relaxing.

They managed to create an ordinary tram cart into the world’s first tram sauna, complete with hot coals, wooden benches, and thanks to the open windows, a wonderful view of the surroundings. Except for these features, the tram sauna looks just like any other cart. ‘This innovative design is to show that not all public transport is frustrating. It can be somewhere to relax.’ said one of the company’s representatives.

The custom tram sauna is currently located in the middle of a real spa complex, but although it sits on its own real tracks, it won’t be going anywhere any more.

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The Wonderful World of Japanese Manhole Cover Art

Found across nearly 95% of Japan’s 1,780 municipalities, custom manhole covers have become an important part of national culture.

The history of manhole cover art can be traced back to the 1980s, when cities began making custom covers with designs inspired by the region’s cultural identity (mythology, history, culture, etc.). Every one of the over 6,000 custom manhole cover across Japan reflects the uniqueness of each city, keeping true to the country’s reputation for aesthetic sense.

Have a look at some of the most beautiful custom manhole covers spotted across Japan:

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The Bottle Cap Portraits of Molly B. Right

Molly B. Right is a brilliant self-taught artist, from Charleston, South Carolina, who uses discarded bottle caps to create incredible portraits.

She began creating bottle cap portraits back in 1993, when she started pondering the phrase “Jesus Saves”. Saves what? – Molly asked – Does he just save souls, or if he had the time, would he also save things like string or rubber bands? Does he save bottle caps? And that’s when she took this question and turned it into a full size portrait of Jesus. “Now I’m doing bottle cap portraits of archetypal women that don’t have anything to do with Jesus saving anything. Now I’m the one who is saving bottle caps.” Molly says in the artist statement on her official site.

The process of creating bottle cap portraits begins with a painted portrait on a sheet of metal. Molly then glues the vintage bottle caps in an overlapping pattern, sort of like scales on a snake. She pays great attention to details, making sure there are no visible glue traces, and using several transparent washes of glaze to define her portraits even further.

The bottle caps Molly B. Right uses for her beautiful portraits are considered collectibles on their own, since all of them date from the 30’s to the 70’s.

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The Giant Talking Lamp of Malmö

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the Swedish city of Malmö, the giant lamp of Lilla Torg square seems like something taken out of Alice in Wonderland.

First installed in 2006, the 5.8 meters high lamp quickly became a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. Featuring a foot that also acts as a bench, this installation was created with the idea of giving passers-by a chance to sit down, relax and forget about daily stress, if only just for a few minutes. Throughout the year, the enormous lamp tours the various squares of Malmö, but on December 15, just before Christmas, it always returns to Lilla Torg.

It looks cool enough as it is, but it would be even better if someone would build a giant nightstand, and maybe a glass of water, to go with the lamp. And if it wasn’t bizarre enough, the giant lamp of Lilla Torg actually talks, as well. Check it out in the video at the bottom.

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New York Apartment Is Decorated with 25,000 Ping Pong Balls

Known as the “Box Box Project”, this 90-square-meter apartment designed by Snarkitecture is decorated with 25,000 ping pong balls.

Daniel Arsham’s apartment in Brooklyn is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The first time you walk through the door, its walls look like large gray pixelated screens that fade to white towards the ceiling, but as you approach them, you see thew are actually covered with ping pong balls, 25,000 of them, to be exact.

The rest of the apartment is decorated in minimalist  style, featuring only a bed, a few shelves and s built-in dresser, but that just means the ping pong balls get center stage in this decor. Attached to the offices of Snarkitecture, the Box Box apartment can be accessed by climbing a ladder  in the office’s employee bathroom.

This one-of-a-kind loft took two months to complete, at a cost of less than $100 per square foot, almost $50 cheaper than an average apartment. Cheaper is better, of course, but considering ping pong balls are among the most flammable objects on Earth, I hope the residents are non-smoking.

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Artist Makes Stomach Turning Art Out of Marzipan

In an attempt to show the world things can look unattractive on the outside but be sweet on the inside, artist Helga Petrau-Heinzel has created a series of disgusting sculptures out of delicious marzipan.

It all began when the artist saw a picture of Dame Barbara Cartland, a romantic fiction author, and was fascinated by this bizarre old lady dressed in pink. It felt like she just had to create a sculpture of her, and because she looked so “artificially sugary”, she used marzipan as a medium. “It seemed to prove that sweet material cannot only create ‘cute’ things. On the contrary – the bitter sweet side tempted me,” says Helga.

Satisfied with her first marzipan artwork, Helga started making even more repulsive sculptures, like animal organs and rotting pig heads. She admits her creations look so real she herself is sometimes disgusted by them.

Marzipan was one of my favorite sweets, but after seeing what it can be molded into, I think it’s time to go on a little diet…

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Cars Dream Restaurant Really Is a Car Lover’s Dream Come True

The Cars Dream Restaurant, in the city of Surabaya, Indonesia, features ten vintage cars converted into furniture, making it the ideal place to dine if you’re into cars.

Bobby Handojo Gunawan, owner of the Cars Dream Restaurant, says he has been dreaming about opening an automotive-themed restaurant for 15 years, and since he’s always been passionate about tuning cars, using them as furniture just came naturally. With ten vintage automobiles converted into unique restaurant furniture and accessories, the Cars Dream Restaurant holds the Guinness record for Most Cars on Display in a Restaurant.

Here are some of the auto wonders you can see in this unusual Indonesian venue:

  • a red 1949 Mercedes Benz Limousine  converted into a big dining table for 20 people;
  • a red 1969 Chevrolet Corvette converted into a beautiful aquarium with 100 fish;
  • a yellow 1969 Lotus turned into an organ and audio system;
  • two 1961 Cadillacs transformed into a cozy seating area;
  • a 1962 Chevrolet Impala converted into a cool dinning table

The Cars Dream Restaurant also features a 1954 Mercedes Gullwig 300 SL and a 1961 Morris Mini Cooper set on display for auto enthusiasts to admire. They don’t have an engine anymore, but they look just as good as the day they were shipped off from the factory.

If you’re ever in Surabaya,and you have a thing for classic cars, you must stop by the Cars Dream Restaurant, at 68 Raya Menganti.

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The Matchstick Insects of Kyle Bean

Although he only just graduated from art school in 2009, Brighton-based artist Kyle Bean already has a very impressive portfolio under his belt. Throughout his yet short but successful career, Bean has collaborated with important names like the BBC, New York Times Magazine, Selfridges or Hermes.

His latest collection, “Stick Insects”, features a series of insect models created entirely out of matchsticks.

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Chocolatier Carves World Heritage Monuments in White Chocolate

Mirco Della Vechia, one of Italy’s most talented chocolatiers, has created a series of replicas of world heritage monuments carved in white chocolate.

Demonstrating immense talent and patience, Della Vechia has taken huge blocks of chocolate and, using a series of fine carving tools, turned them into sweet models most people would love to sink their teeth into. The Chocolate World Heritage Monuments collection, currently on display at a Hong Kong shopping mall, features white chocolate models of famous landmarks, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, Stonehenge, the Parthenon, or Egypt’s Abu Simbel.

Apart from this incredible collection of chocolate models, Mirco Della Vechia also holds the Guinness record for the largest chocolate sculpture in the world – a 1.5-meter-tall, 2.5-meter-long and 5.37-ton-heavy replica of the Dome of Milan.

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German Dentist Uses Cleavage to Distract Patients

Dr. Marie Catherine Klarkowski, a dentist from Munchen, Germany, has found the perfect way to open her patient’s mouths as soon as they enter her practice – she and her staff wear low-cut dirndl dresses.

Doctor Klarkowski says she came up with this unusual idea when she noticed how men looked at the waitresses wearing this kind of traditional gowns, at the annual Oktoberfest. The most important thing for us is to take away the patients’ fear. The sight of cleavages gets patients narcotised and distracted from the pain rather quickly.” says this witty dentist, who ordered 10 dresses for herself and her staff.

Believe it or not, this unusual investment paid off  as doctor Klarkowski says she receives a third more patients since the change, all male. “Competition doesn’t sleep – I know colleagues who have decorated their whole practice with Mickey Mouse and one even in Star Trek style.” the good doctor said. She also changed her 250 square meter practice into an “Alpine Lounge”, complete with an open fireplace, wooden benches and deer antlers on the walls.

“Some patients’ mouths are already wide open on entering the practice – and that is just what a dentist wants.” dr. Marie Catherine Klarkowski concluded.

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LED Smiles – The Latest in Japanese Fashion

They make people look like they’ve been chewing on glow sticks, but the LED smiles created by designers Motoi Ishibashi and Daito Manabe are the new rage in Japan.

Originally created as an experiment, the LED smile is currently used in a commercial for the winter sale of a popular Japanese clothing store, and are quickly becoming one of the most sought-after fashion accessories in Japan. LED smiles are easily fixed to one’s teeth and glow different colors when you smile. Best used in the dark, these unusual gadgets change color wirelessy, through a computer interface.

Although LED smiles aren’t yet available for purchase, Ishibashi and Manabe are currently offering workshops across Japan, teaching people how to create their own.

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Porcelain Dragon Is Made from 2,800 Porcelain Dishes and Cups

The Songjiangcheng scenic spot, in Yangzhou, China, has become an even more popular tourist attraction, thanks to a unique dragon statue made of over 2,800 porcelain dishes and cups. The 30-meter-long installation is made up of a metal frame, upon which porcelain dishes and Chinese tea cups were masterfully placed to form a realistic-looking dragon. It’s amazing what some people can do with porcelain…

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Fan Builds 1/1000 Scale LEGO Replica of Ohio Stadium

Paul Janssen spent over 1,000 hours and around 1,000,000 LEGO pieces to build an incredible replica of the Ohio State Buckeyes Stadium.

In order to build a realistic model of Ohio’s The Horseshoe Stadium, Janssen studied original measurements and satellite images, often using his trusty camera to take photos of interior details, during ball games. Originally from the Netherlands, this LEGO master didn’t even understand the game of American football,at first, but over time he grew to like it, and is now a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and a season-ticket holder.

Paul Janssen spent three years just collecting the necessary LEGO pieces for his amazing replica, and had to improvise quite a bit on some details. For example, the Rotunda decor is made out of  Dragon horns from a LEGO castle kit, while chrome truck parts serve as pipes extending from the stadium bathrooms. President of the Central Ohio Lego Train Club, Janssen traded for most of the necessary LEGO pieces, and thinks that if he had to purchase all of them, it would have set him back $50,000 to $75,000.

The 8 foot by 6 foot replica of the Ohio Stadium took 42-year-old Janssen over 1,000 hours to build, over the course of two years. And he did it all in his home basement, in Dublin, Ohio.

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Student Wears Jeans for 15 Months without Washing Them

Josh Le, a student at the University of Alberta, wore a pair of skin-tight jeans from September 2009 to December 2010, without washing them, just to see how much bacteria would build-up on them

The pair of jeans in question was actually made of raw denim, which isn’t treated with any chemicals, so Le thought they would make a perfect home for bacteria, in the course of 15 months. He declared he wore them almost every day, which is pretty amazing, considering that apart from a few wear marks, they looked pretty clean.

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