Holy Men Ride Roller-Coasters for the Title of “Extreme Vicar”

Living on a prayer gets a whole new meaning when 16 vicars jump on all kinds of thrill-rides and compete for the title of “Extreme Vicar“.

A roller-coaster is probably one of the last place you’d expect to see a robe wearing vicar, but 16 of them actually spent last weekend braving a number of grueling rides and Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, during an audition for a special religious service entitled “Extreme Easter”. Some of them asked the Lord to give them courage by clasping their hands,  raising them towards the Heavens and even reading from the Bible during the rides.

Extreme Easter will address the problem of dwindling church goers in Britain, by offering people the chance to worship at two of the most popular attractions in the UK. Sounds a little odd, but you know what they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways…

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Last Two Speakers of a Dying Language Refuse to Talk to Each Other

Ayapaneco is a language that has been spoken in Mexico for hundreds of years, but it’s now in danger of becoming extinct as the last two speakers refuse to to talk to each other.

After surviving the Spanish invasion, numerous natural disasters and famine, the old language of Ayapaneco could soon become only a memory as the last two remaining speakers grow old, and seeing there aren’t any young Mexicans eager to learn a dying tongue. 75-year-old Manuel Segovia and 69-year-old Isidro Velazquez live only 500 meters apart in the village of Ayapa, but the don’t get a long very well. Some of the locals say it’s because of an old feud, but most of them think it’s just because they don’t have very much in common. Velazquez is a little irritable, while Segovia is more stoic and doesn’t get out of the house much.

Manuel Segovia, who claims he has no animosity towards his neighbor, used to speak in Ayapaneco with his late brother, who passed away about 10 years ago, and now uses it with his wife and son, who can understand him but can only speak a few words themselves. Together with the National Indigenous Language Institute, he has tried to hold classes for young people willing to learn Ayapaneco. He even bought notebooks and pencils himself, but even though the classes started out full, pupils would just stop coming.

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Artist Draws Portraits Using the Ashes of Her Subjects

Raven J. Collins thinks she may be the only artist in the world to brush the raw ashes of a deceased person onto a pencil portrait.

Using ashes as a medium is a growing trend in the artwork, but while some are mixing it with paint to create abstract works, moulding them into bizarre sculptures, or even compressing and using it as pencil filling (like lead), Raven Collins uses the ashes to create commission portraits of the deceased, whether they be human or animal. She’s only been doing it for a while, but ash-portraits already make up 90% of her business.

As cremation becomes the more popular option in the funeral industry, the number of choices of what to do with the ashes also increases. Some people prefer to keep them in a fancy urn, others spill them into the ocean or over a peaceful pasture, but more and more people opt to incorporate their loved-ones’ remains into various artworks. Artists like Raven sometimes get referrals from funeral homes, but most of their advertising is word of mouth and online exposure.

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Corgi-Shaped Wedding Cake Sets World Record

Award-winning cake designer Michelle Wibowo has created a giant Corgi-shaped cake in celebration of the upcoming royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

120 eggs, 20 kg of dry dog food (liver, chicken and beef), 30 kg of wholemeal flour, 25 cloves of garlic and fish oil were used to create a 68-kg-heavy cake shaped like a Corgi, which was recently acknowledged by Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest dog-friendly cake. Michelle Wibowo spent 111 hours, over a period of three weeks, working on the canine-shaped creation, and said the intricate details of the Corgi’s fur took the longest to do, 16 consecutive hours to be exact.

The nearly six-foot-long, 4-foot-high and three-foot-wide was unveiled on April 15, in London, close to Tower Bridge, where commuters stopped and stared at the largest Corgi they had ever seen. Three real representatives of the breed got to sample the delicious artwork before pieces were handed out to other canines on the premises, who were more than happy to act cannibalistic for once.

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Insane Puzzle Collages by Gerhard Mayer

Gerhard Mayer, a talented artist from Nürnberg, Germany, uses thousands of puzzle pieces to create incredibly beautiful collages.

If you’ve ever tried to complete a common jigsaw puzzle you know how hard and time consuming it could be. Now imagine you have to assemble dozens of puzzles into a gigantic one that actually looks like a scenery taken out of a fantasy novel. Sounds impossible, right? Wrong, and Gerhard Mayer’s intricate works prove it can be done, provided you have loads of talent, patience and time on your hands.

Up to 18 meters in size, sometimes covering entire gallery walls, Mayer’s gigantic mosaics are made of thousands of colorful pieces carefully pieced together to create breath-taking images. The artist uses a special technique that includes creating multiple layers of puzzle pieces over already completed sections to create an entire new landscape, and putting together multiple puzzles in an imperceptible way. Gerhard Mayer places all the pieces by hand and uses no other type of coloring other than that of the puzzles.

The artist says he tries to create children’s worlds to heal the world of adults.

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Crazy English – To Learn the Language by Shouting Out

Crazy English is a non-traditional Chinese method of learning English, which encourages students to practice by shouting English words at organized rallies and even on top of buildings.

According to Li Yang, the creator of this unusual learning program, Crazy English can best be described with the quote “To shout out loud, you learn”. He claims the traditional way of learning English in China is ineffective, and that in order to overcome their shyness and master the language, people have to shout out the words in public. It’s no secret that his revolutionary technique has long been criticized by many traditional Chinese people, because it goes against the ancient Oriental virtues of restraint modesty and moderation, but Li stood by his unusual methods despite all the opposition, and has so far lectured to tens of millions of people.

As a child, Li was very shy and showed no aptitudes for foreign languages. He was so shy that he was afraid to talk to people, and wouldn’t even go to the cinema by himself. Once he was electrocuted during physical therapy, but was to shy to even mention it to anyone. The years went by, but Li’s sistuation didn’t change very much. He got into the Engineering Mechanics Department of Lanzhou University, but failed all of his 13 exams, including English. Determined to make a change, the young student began preparing for the College English Test level 4, a standardized English test for college students.

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Hungarian Collector Shows Off World’s Smallest Library

Jozsef Tari has been collecting miniature books since 1972, and is now the proud owner of over 4,500 literary works, including the world’s smallest book (2.9 x 3.2 mm).

A printer by trade, Tari has always been fascinated by the written word, and in 1972 he began collecting miniature books. Most of the items in his collection are in Hungarian, but he also has quite a few from the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Indonesia and Japan. Ironically, he only has a few books from the countries neighboring Hungary. As far as topics are concerned, Jozsef Tari is interested in everything from religion to sports, literature and even cooking, but he only collects books that are 76 mm in size, or smaller. His collection features books that are over 100 years old, but his most prized miniature is the world’s smallest book – it measures only 2.9 x 3.2 millimeters and fits into a nutshell.

Apart from the 4,500 books in his collection, Tari also has 15 kinds of miniature newspapers, including the smallest in the world, which measures only 19 x 26 mm.

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Political Candidate Offers Voters Two Very Compelling Arguments

Sole Sánchez, a Spanish politician from Menorca, Spain, has recently been accused of sexism over a poster showing her boobs being groped from behind by a man.

Sánchez, a candidate of the Democratic Party, decided to use her best physical assets in the election for the town council of Ciutadella, so she and her colleagues opted for a poster in which she displays her breasts being groped from behind by a man, accompanied by the slogan “Dos Grandes Argumentos”, which translates as Two Big Arguments. They’re big alright, and I’m sure they would have won her the ballots of male voters, but the opposition had something to say about the matter.

The Esquerra de Menorca party denounced Sole Sánchez to the Institut de la Dona (Institute of Women) and claimed sexist use of her body. he defended herself by saying no one is more feminist than her, but everyone has the right to use their body as they see fit, and if all the opposition can do is just sit and watch, that is their problem. She was forced to withdraw her posters, including some in which she appeared in clad underwear with her hands and feet tied in a sadomasochistic way.

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Woman Claims Overeating Gives Her Orgasms

Gabi Jones, a 25-year old woman from Colorado, suffers from a rare medical condition that causes her to have orgasms every time she feasts on foods she likes.

Doctors have diagnosed Gabi’s strange case as persistent genital arousal disorder, which causes her to have orgasms without any sexual arousal. The young woman experienced her first food orgasm in her late teen years, while enjoying a frozen treat at an ice-cream parlour. Although it happened years ago, Gabi remembers she loved the smooth texture of the ice-cream on her tongue, when she felt a tingle in the genital area.” Then the pressure kept building until suddenly it swept through my body. I felt light-headed and flushed.” she says, adding that even though she was stunned by what had happened, she had no doubt it was an orgasm.

All of Gabi’s friends thought she was making things up, but every time she ate rich, creamy desserts, she felt that tingling between her legs. Some women would have felt a little worried, but this food-lover went out and got herself an ice-cream maker so she could enjoy knee-trembling orgasms any time she wanted. Gabi Jones has put on 209 pounds in the last five years and now weighs 490 pounds, but she is perfectly happy with her figure.

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Russian Band Plays Live Gigs Using iPhones and iPads as Instruments

Cooperative Style, a teenage rock band from Kazan, Russia, is the world’s first group to play a series of live concerts using only Apple iPads and iPhones as musical instruments.

Instead of using traditional instruments, the teenagers download apps for drums, keyboards and guitars and play their Apple gadgets on stage, through a downloaded mixing desk. They play covers and hits by rock legends like Nirvana, and say their audiences really like their original performances. Ruslan Halikov, the iPhone guitarist of Cooperative Style says it’s a lot harder to play a virtual guitar that it is a real one, not to mention rock and roll poses don’t look cool at all. Still, the public seems to like what they do.

While these guys may be the first to play Apple’s cash cows in live gigs, the iPhone and iPad have long been used to make music by amateur groups, and some of their performances are really very good. You can find loads of videos on YouTube.

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Cheese Shoes for Stinky Feet Fashionistas

Lisa Dillon, a fashion student at the Bath Spa University has designed a delicious-looking pair of Jimmy Cheese shoes, made of cheese and bread.

The stinky footwear is part of an entire collection of cheese shoes and accessories commissioned by Pilgrims CHoice Cheddar and will be displayed during the 2011 Royal Bath & West Show, from 1 to 4 June at the Bath & West Showground at Shepton Mallet in Somerset. The event plans to promote the region’s delicious cheese.

For this particular pair of cheese shoes, Lisa Dillon used West Country cheddar and bread. A block of cheddar was sculpted to make the heels, and a stale cheese sandwich was used as part of the platform sole. The front of the shoe was also moulded from cheddar and more cheese was melted to create the embellished design.

While I’m sure not many models would wear Jimmy Cheese, for fear of stinky feet, they look like a nice breakfast treat to me.

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German Couple Convert Train Cars into Comfy Home

Vanessa Stallbaum and Marco Stepniak love trains so much they decided to integrate two old mail cars in the design of their new house.

The German couple met on a train, and their first vacation was a four-day train ride from Berlin to Kazakhstan, so when Marco told his girlfriend he wanted to build their house around two train cars, she immediately agreed. 34-year-old Stepniak got the crazy idea 15 years ago, when he attended a youth club, close to his home town of Herten. It was set up in two old train cars and he remembers thinking someone could actually live in them.

Two new train cars like the two wanted to use for their new house, cost around €500,000 ($725,000), but they were lucky enough to find an online ad for two second-hand mail cars from Switzerland. Built between 1974 and 1975, the two railway antiques were in remarkably good condition, and they cost only €20,000 ($29,000). Unfortunately, transporting them from Switzerland to Germany actually cost more than the cars themselves €26,000 ($37,600), but  Vanessa and Marco spared no expense in order to realize their dream.

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Valle de la Prehistoria – Cuba’s Jurassic Park

Valle de la Prehistoria, near the city of Santiago de Cuba, is a prehistoric-themed tourist attraction that features life-size models of over 200 dinosaurs and cavemen.

Located inside the Bocanao National park, Valle de la Prehistoria spreads over 11 hectares of land and is as close as it can get to a real-life Jurassic Park. The vast recreational park dedicated to science and palaeontology is split into multiple areas separated by geological epochs, and features lush vegetation, man-made waterfalls and 227 concrete statues representing 59 different species, including dinosaurs, mammoths, felines and early cavemen.

Perhaps the most spectacular statue in the whole Valle de la Prehistoria is the 12-meter-high Cro magnon welcoming tourists at the park entrance, with a giant stone axe in hand and a Flintstones-like sign post that reads “Do not hesitate! Go! Dare to discover the Jurassic Park dreamed by Spielberg himself”. According to people who visited this popular tourist attraction, it is indeed a fun way to travel back in time, and no other facility manages to recreate a prehistoric atmosphere as faithfully.

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The Crunchy Cereal Art of Ryan Alexiev

American artist Ryan Alexiev uses different kinds of cereal to create colorful mosaics,from portraits like that of Barrack Obama to recreation of popular artworks.

Cereal is America’s number one breakfast choice and the third most popular product in supermarkets, so it makes sense why Alexiev chose it as a medium to examine the ideology of American consumerism, through his art. He hand places thousands of crunchy cereal bits to create detailed mosaics that literally look  good enough to eat.

Born in Los Angeles and raised in Alaska by two Bulgarian immigrants, Ryan Alexiev has worked with a lot of materials over the years, but he is mostly known for his cereal mosaics and landscapes like the Wizard of O’s and The Land Of A Million Cereals.

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Clinic Claims It Can Cure Cancer and Autism with Tobacco Smoke

Most doctors claim tobacco smoke causes serious diseases, but at the Griya Balur clinic, in Indonesia, it’s used as a cure for cancer, autism or emphysema.

In most western countries, a clinic that uses tobacco as a remedy would have been closed down immediately, but in the city of Jakarta, it’s one of the busiest treatment centers. People suffering from serious illnesses, some ironically caused by years of smoking, come to Gryia Balur searching for miraculous cures associated with tobacco smoke. Its founder, Dr Gretha Zahar told AFP that she has treated over 60,000 people from all over the world, in the last ten years.

The treatment for cancer or emphysema sufferers includes blowing smoke from “divine cigarettes” infused with “nanotechnology”, through a tube, to remove cancer-causing “free radicals”. Smoke is blown into the mouth, nose and ears of the patients.  Zahar claims that smoking actually manipulates the mercury found in tobacco cigarettes, curing deadly diseases and even slowing down the aging process. On her website, she says her theories don’t need to be published in medical journals or subjected to clinical tests, and that she doesn’t have the financial resources to “fight Western medical scientists”.

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