Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Museum

Barney Smith, a former plumber, from Texas, has spent the last 30 years decorating toilet seats and setting up his unique toilet seat art museum.

It all began over 30 years ago, when Barney Smith was looking for a mounting for a set of antlers. Considering his profession, he found a wooden toilet seat worked perfectly. From that moment on he began painting and attaching all sorts of things t this bizarre art medium, and now, he is the proud owner of over 700 toilet seat artworks.

After his wife forced him to move them out of the house, Barney’s masterpieces are now stored in his garage. The artist finds inspiration for his work in pretty much everything he’s ever done. Some are inspired by his travels around the world, others by his profession, or his 60-year wedding anniversary. That’s also the reason 89-year-old Barney Smith doesn’t sell any of his artworks – they all mean too much to him.

The toilet seats, made from sawdust and glue, are donated by a local company, and the decorative accessories were donated by various people, by mail. And even though his rapidly approaching 90, old Barney still has a nice supply of blank toilet seats, waiting to be adorned. So if you have any unique items you’d like used in the name of art, don’t hesitate to contact the artist.

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So You Think You Can Eat

I don’t care how much you like Pho soup, beating the Pho Challenge of the Pho Garden restaurant, in San Francisco, is nearly impossible.

The Pho Garden restaurant, on Clement’s Street, San Francisco, has become internationally famous for its unique Pho Challenge. The object of this trial is to finish a massive bowl of Pho soup, in one hour. Whoever passes this stomach test will have his/her photo posted on the wall of Pho Garden Champions, and won’t have to pay the $22 cost of the soup. But the ultimate prize is undoubtedly the bragging rights.

The idea behind the Pho Challenge belongs to one of its owners. Always up for a good challenge, he thought of a way to challenge his own customers, and came up with the idea of a giant bowl of Pho soup. He managed to finish the whole thing, on his third try, and once he convinced himself it was doable, dared his customers to do it themselves. Even though you needn’t finish the broth to beat the challenge, the 4 pounds of noodles and 4 ponds of mixed beef are often to much to handle in a 1 hour time limit.

Opened in 2008, the Pho Garden has quickly become a popular eating destination, in San Francisco, and is about two open in a second location. If you’re ever in Frisco, go for the Pho Challenge.

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The Rusty Creatures of Jurustic Park

Jurustic Park is the brainchild of Clyde and Nancy Wynia, a couple of artists who create unique creatures, out of various metals, and scatter them through their yard, for the world to see.

This wondrous place was born in 1993, when Clyde decided to sculpt a giant iron bird, and hang it from one of the trees in his backyard. A curious neighbor asked him how he got his hands on something like that and the first thing that came into Clyde’s mind was “I dug it out of the nearby marsh where it inhabited the swamp during the Iron Age.” And That’s how his yard earned the name of Jurustic Park.

Clyde calls himself an amateur paleontologist who excavates and recreates the now extinct creatures that inhabited the large McMillan Marsh, near Marshfield, Winsconsin, during the Iron Age. he explains that these mysterious metal creatures went extinct during the 19th century, when farming and industry moved into the area. Many were used as parts for various machinery, while others were destroyed by the acid rains caused by pollution.

After 17 years of work, Clyde Wynia has managed to decorate his yard with over 250 iron sculptures, from large dragons, to tiny mosquitoes. Whenever he feels the urge to recreate yet another metal creature, he just has some iron delivered to his Jurustic Park, and starts welding.

Over 15,000 people, from all around the United States, and 30 other different countries, visit Jurustic Park, every year, and although Clyde never sells his large metal sculptures, he donates his works to charitable auctions, evey year, and earns about $6,000 for various causes.

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The Steampunk Orchestra of Doctor Evermore

Long before ‘steampunk’ was even a word, Tom Every was creating bizarre scrap metal sculptures, inside Dr. Evermore’s Scrap Metal Yard.

Located on Highway 12, in Wisconsin, Dr. Evermore’s Scrap Metal yard features a wide variety of strange metal creatures, from the famous Forevertron, the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world, to the steampunk orchestra, a band of 70 bird-like statues, made from different musical instruments.

The Bird Band, as this unusual orchestra is commonly known, is made up of a giant metal cello, tubes, flutes, xylophones and bells. Tom Every, the creative genius behind Dr. Evermore’s scrap metal world, built every one of the statues, without any blueprints or previous designs. He just builds them off the top of his head, adding various parts and instruments, as he goes along.

In case you’re wondering who this mysterious Dr. Evermore is, he ‘s a fictional character, created by Tom Every, to validate the construction of the Forevertron. According to the made-up story, Dr. Evermore wanted to use the Foreverton to launch himself into space.

Although Tom Every doesn’t live in his scrap metal yard, anymore, he’s still working on new creations, so every visit to Dr.Evermore’s Scrap Metal Yard is full of new surprises.

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W’eel Turtle – A Unique Roadside Attraction

Made up of 2,000 wheel rims, the W’eel Turtle of Dunseith, North Dakota, is arguably the largest turtle in the world.

Convinced that one day he”ll find a proper use for them, George Gottbrecht saved around 2,000 car wheel rims, over 16 years. In 1982 he had a vision of how to turn his impressive collection into an artwork that the whole town would admire. He decided to build a giant turtle statue, in honor of the famous Turtle Mountains state park.

Gottbrecht had master welder Curt Halvorsen do the work and ended up paying $5,000 for the world’s largest turtle statue. Eighteen feet high, and forty feet long, W’eel Turtle is one of those roadside attractions that you just can’t miss.

I personally think the turtle shape of the artwork is quite clear, but there were people who often mistook it for a cricket, and that inspired George Gottbrecht to install a motor that would make the turtle bob its head up and down. But then kids started climbing up on its head, and the motor had to be removed, to avoid any accidents.

The best time to visit the W’eel Turtle, in Dunseith, is during the winter holidays, when its head is covered with a giant, red Santa Claus hat.

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Soccer World Cup 2010 Held Behind Bars

World Cup 2010 Behind Bars is a soccer competition, held in Bangkok’s Klong Prem Central Prison, between 18 seven-player teams, made-up of inmates.

On June 10, the opening match, between Mexico and South Africa, was played on a muddy soccer pitch, inside the Thai prison, under the watchful eyes of dozen guards. It ended in a 1-1 draw, but the prisoners on the sidelines enjoyed every minute of the rare spectacle. They cheered and banged cow bells for the entire match, showing their support for the teams.

The World Cup Behind Bars was also held in 2002 and 2006 and this year it features 18 seven-player teams, from 45 different countries, picked from the prison’s 1,000 inmates population. They can each represent whatever nation they want, even if it’s not their own, and free spots are taken by Thai prisoners.

The winners of the World Cup Behind Bars 2010 will receive a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy.

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Students Build Working Bugatti Veyron from Cigarette Packs

Five resourceful Chinese students have managed to built a fully functional Bugatti Veyron out of 10,280 empty cigarette packs.

This incredible project began when the five students, from Xi’an Electrical Mechanical University, decided to do something to determine their fellow students to quit smoking. Cigarette packs were a part of their project, from the start, but at first they wanted to arrange them into different anti-smoking logos. But as they gathered more and more empty packs, the idea of an environment-friendly electric car became more attractive.

During an inspection, university officials found the empty cigarette packs, and were ready to punish the five But after learning the reason of their effort, the university backed their initiative 100%, offered them work space, expert advice from experienced teachers and got all the 2,500 students of the school to help them gather empty cigarette packs.

The five students were thus able to finish their cigarette pack Bugatti Veyron, in time for the World No Smoking Day. Their incredible creation is just 300 kilogram heavy, and apart from the steel frame, engine, break system and gearbox, it’s made out of 10,280 empty cigarette packs.

It’s hard to imagine a Bugatti Veyron made of cigarette packs actually works, but this one actually does, and you can see it for yourself, in the video, at the bottom. Sorry about the low quality pics!

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The Horse Tailor Helps Your Horse Play Dress-Up

As if ridiculous costumes for cats and dogs weren’t enough, The Horse Tailor creates over-the-top outfits for horses.

Ever wondered what Harry Potter, or Scooby Doo would look like as a horse? Well, now you no longer need to imagine it, thanks to The Horse Tailor you can see it with your own eyes. Although The Horse Tailor provides all kinds of apparel, accessories and costumes for horses and riders, it’s their custom division that really impresses. You can ask for whatever you’ve always dreamed of dressing your horsey with, and Donatella and fer team will probably make it for you.

So far, the Horse Tailor has dressed horses as the Pink Panther, hamburgers, bees, college graduates, lions and I doubt they’ll stop here. Next time you get a wacky idea about playing dress-up with your horse, you know who to call.

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Orange Unveils Phone Charging Wellies

With the Glastonbury Music Festival drawing near, Orange decided it was time to present their latest eco-invention, a pair of wellies that can charge up mobile phones.

Created in collaboration with renewable energy experts GotWind, these charging wellies have a ‘energy generating sole’ that transform the heat from your feet, into electricity. All you have to do is attach your mobile phone to one of the wellies, and start walking.

It sounds like revolutionary technology, and it is, but you’ll need to do a lot of walking to create enough energy. For example, for one hour of charge time, you have to walk for about 12 hours, in the wonder wellies. But you can speed things up by running, or dancing. The idea is to get your feet as hot as possible, to produce more energy.

The charging wellies, made by Orange, will be presented at the upcoming Glastonbury Festival.

via Orange Newsroom

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Mother Sells Breast Milk to Beat Credit Crunch

A young mother, from Exeter, Great Britain, is selling her breast milk online, to earn extra cash, while on maternity leave.

26-year-old Toni Ebdon gave birth to a boy, earlier this year, and was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the amount of breast milk she was producing. One of her friends even joked that she should start a dairy, with the extra milk, and cash-strapped Toni took the idea seriously. Using a breast pump she drained the excess milk and stored it in the freezer. Next she went online and put an ad for breast milk, on Gumtree.

Although she was expecting some replies from new mothers who couldn’t produce enough breast milk for their babies, Toni Ebdon was surprised to find that most of the interested clients were men. It might sound weird, but many adults use breast milk to maintain good health, or cure illnesses such as cancer, diarrhea, or diabetes. Toni charges $26 for 113 grams of her precious milk, and sells it both fresh and stored in the fridge.

The young mother says she hasn’t made loads pf money from selling her breast milk, but since she doesn’t receive full maternity pay, and the baby’s father isn’t able to support them, the extra income is more than welcome. Toni will continue selling breast milk until she dries up, and she’ll definitely do it again, if she has another baby.

via SWNS

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Australian Artist Builds His Very Own Hubble Telescope

Peter Hennessey, an artist fascinated with science and astronomy, has created a life-size model of the famous Hubble space telescope.

Judging by the artworks featured on his official website, Peter Hennessey has a thing for satellites, Mars rovers and other NASA equipment, but his latest creation, a model of the Hubble telescope, is his most impressive achievement yet. Made entirely from pieces of laser-cut plywood and steel, “My Hubble” accurately follows every detail of the original.

Rather than using 3D computer software to model every part of his plywood model, Hennessey just used 7 photos of the Hubble space telescope and Adobe Illustrator. Creating the giant model took three months, of which 6 weeks were dedicated to cutting the individual plywood pieces, while the rest was taken up by assembling them.

The life-size plywood and steel model of the Hubble space telescope is now on display, on Cockatoo Island, in Sydney Harbour, as part of the Bienalle of Sydney 2010.

Photos by DesignBoom via DesignBoom

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Chinese Car Enthusiast Build’s World’s Cheapest Electric Car

Zhang Haiting, a 58-year-old car buff, from Shanghai, China, has built a mini electric vehicle, all by himself.

But we’ve seen people build their own cars before, the thing that makes Zhang Haiting so special, is that his particular creation is environment-friendly. The resourceful Chinese inventor and machinery veteran designed and put together his electric vehicle, by himself, using all kinds of salvaged parts and materials.

Zhang has been using his zero-carbon emissions electric car, on his daily commute, for about a year, and Shanghai locals have begun noticing. They regularly get close and curiously check out the weird looking buggy that looks more like a bumper car than a real vehicle, and never miss the chance to get behind the wheel.

The home-made vehicle, built by Zhang Hiating, reaches a top speed of 30 km/h and runs for 50 km, with a fully charged battery. Seeing the reactions of passers-by, its creator is now thinking of commercializing his invention, for the price of just 5,600 yuan ($820).

via ImagineChina

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Trash Artist Builds the World’s First Garbage Hotel

H.A. Schult, the designer behind the famous Trash People, has teamed up with beer-make Corona to create the world’s first hotel made of garbage.

The initiative to build the “Save the Beach” garbage hotel was started by Corona, in order to raise awareness to the huge amount of waste being washed up on our shores, every day. And who better that H.A. Schult, a designer who has used trash as art medium since 1969, to build a hotel out of the trash collected from various European beaches?

The doors of this bizarre hotel, made of garbage, have opened to the public, last week, in Rome and has already received the support of various celebrities, like Helena Christensen, the famous model, who agreed to spend a night in the Save the Beach Hotel.

H.A. Schult, the creator of the trash hotel said “The philosophy of this hotel is to expose the damage we are causing to the sea and the coastline. We live in the era of trash and we are running the risk of becoming trash ourselves. Do we really want this world?”

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Germany Hosts European Mud Olympics 2010

Over 500 contestants, from all over Europe, gathered at the Brunsbüttel dike, near Hamburg, Germany, for the 7th edition of the Mud Olympics, on June 6.

The event is unique on the North Sea coast, and features different wacky games, like mud football, mud volleyball, tug of war, or the eel relay race, all of which involved getting covered in mud, of course. And since playing in mud is apparently one of the most fun activities known to man, the 2010 European Mud Olympics drew in contestants from Italy, Switzerland, Belgium or Denmark, all looking to have a good time.

Prizes were awarded for winning the wacky events, as well as for the best team name, best team fans, or the funniest competing team. The good thing is participants to the Mud Olympics weren’t only fighting for themselves, but also for a good cause: the proceedings, over 100,000 euro, will be donated to the Schleswig-Holstein Cancer Society.

via Spiegel.de

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The Incredible Dice Mosaics of Ari Krupnik

Ari Krupnik uses dice and various other materials to create intricate pixelated mosaics of celebrities and historical figures.

A Software Engineer, in Silicon Valley, California, Krupnik says he uses dice as an art medium because they offer six different shades of gray, depending on which facet is up. He uses a computer to calculate the size of his mosaics and render several variations of the dice. But that’s the easy part, putting them together, by hand, and finding the right adhesive to glue the dice, those are the tough parts.

Apart from dice, Ari Krupnik has used M&Ms and bullet casings, to create some of his mosaic masterpieces. The bullet casings mosaic depicts Eric S. Raymond, author of “The Art of Unix Programming” and features about seven thousand .40 brass casings.

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