Chinese Company Knocks Off Entire Austrian Village

A Chinese metals and mining company has invested nearly 1 billion dollars into replicating an entire Austrian scenic village just an hour away from Huizhou city, in subtropical southern China.

Nestled deep in the breathtaking Northern Limestone Alps, the village of Hallstatt is one of Austria’s most popular tourist attractions. Featuring a rich culture and history dating back to prehistoric times, and gorgeous natural surroundings, this unique piece of heaven draws in hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Did I say unique? I meant once unique, because Chinese company China Minmetals Corporation has recently completed a replica of the iconic Austrian village in a scenic location, close to the city of Huizhou. The cost of this knock-off project was around $940 million. The Chinese have always been known for their skill in creating knock-offs, from designer clothes to smartphones, and fueled by China’s economic growth, their projects are becoming even more ambitious. They started out by copying iconic landmarks from around the world, then they moved to whole districts inspired by western civilization  and now they’re building replicas of entire settlements. I’m betting they’ll be replicating entire countries pretty soon.

Read More »

Serafin Villarán, the Man Who Built His Own Castle

Located in Cebolleros, a small community in the province of Burgos, northern Spain, Castillo de las Cuevas, or Castle of Caves, is the result of one man’s ambition and determination. Serafin Villarán dreamed of having his very own castle, and he single-handedly turn his dream into a reality.

Born in 1935, in the town of Burgos, Serafin was a simple man, working as a welder in a local factory. He didn’t have much experience in construction, until that day in 1977 when he got the idea to build himself a fairy-tale castle. He was 42 years old, yet he decided to follow his dream of create a castle-shaped home for him and his family. He bought a piece of land, and without any real architectural knowledge began working on his masterpiece. He mainly used rounded stones which he collected from the nearby rivers Nela and Trueba, and fixed them together with concrete to give his Castillo de las Cuevas an authentic look. Construction began without a preconceived plan, and according to his family he relied only on his imagination and books on Spanish castles as inspiration.

Read More »

Face Yoga Finally Gives You an Excuse to Look Silly

If the years are starting to take their toll on your once flawless visage, there may yet be a way to turn back the clock, before turning to Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures. It’s called face yoga and is apparently allows practitioners to control the way their face ages.

Face yoga was developed by Annelise Hagen, who calls is the ultimate face-lift. The New York yoga instructor says her technique is meant to be a natural alternative to Botox and cosmetic procedures, which cost Americans billions of dollars every year. She started working on her unique set of facial exercises after she learned her students, most of them well-educated professionals, were practicing yoga, but also getting Botox shots during their lunch breaks to hide their wrinkles. Hagen just didn’t feel that was in the spirit of yoga, so she decided to create a proper alternative. Based on the premise that, like any other muscles in the human body, facial muscles need exercise to stay toned, face yoga offers a range of exercises to help people looking younger for longer. And the best part, face yoga poses, like Smiling Fish (purse your lips and smile slightly), the Marilyn (blow kisses while keeping your forehead smooth) and the Satchmo (puff out your face and transfer air from cheek to cheek), also give you a chance to act silly and release accumulated tension.

Read More »

Surveillance Camera Man Highlights Privacy Issues by Filming People without Permission

An anonymous person known only as “Surveillance Camera Man” is sparking controversy by filming people in public and private spaces without asking for their permission. Clever way of highlighting privacy issues or just intentionally provoking people?

Why is it that hardly anyone minds being on camera wherever they go, but whenever there’s a face attached to the camera, everyone becomes agitated. Whether we’re walking on the street, going into a bank or at school, there are all these cameras watching our every move, and yet we choose to ignore them. But if an actual person is holding the camera, we feel like they’re violating our privacy. This is what Surveillance Camera Man, an anonymous man from Seattle has been proving with his series of videos posted on YouTube. Granted, sometimes he’s actually doing his filming on private property, but even when he’s filming people in parking lots or on the street without saying a word to them, you can see it’s making them very uncomfortable. Most claim he’s violating their privacy, forgetting they’re in public places, and some even lash out at the camera or call the police. However you feel about Surveillance Camera Man and his approach, you have to admit it’s darn interesting project.

Read More »

Indonesian Villages Use Piles of Sand Instead of Mattresses

The residents of three small fishing villages in the Batang region of Indonesia prefer to sleep on piles of sand than on modern mattresses. This ancient tradition that’s still practiced today for its supposed health benefits.

Taking a nap on a sandy beach is pretty relaxing, but can you imagine going to sleep on a pile of sand every night? For the people of Batang-Batang, there’s really no comparing mattresses to their amazing sand beaches. As the only thing they have in abundance, sand plays a crucial role in the life of these coastal communities. It’s everywhere around their homes, cooling their feet on hot summer days, and keeping them warm during the night, and it even enters their houses as comfortable beds. Even the richest of residents prefer sleeping on sand than on mattresses, and even if some own conventional beds, they are mostly for decorative purposes. The villagers, most of them fishermen, believe the sand brought in from nearby beaches has medicinal properties that can help with a variety of conditions, from rheumatism to itches, although there’s no scientific proof of this. However, it’s a known fact that the sand in the area is highly adaptive to air temperature. When the air is hot, the sand offers a nice cooling retreat, and on cold nights, it keeps the villagers warm.

Read More »

Prepare to Be Owned as Japanese Man Auctions Off Planet Earth

We see crazy and bizarre items auctioned off on sites like eBay or Yahoo Auctions, every day, but this is the first time someone actually thought about selling our planet. The starting price was a measly ¥69 ($0.86), but since the auction went viral, the price has surged to ¥9,889,899,888 ($123,000,000). I still think it’s a bargain.

I know, this might seem like a joke to you, but it’s apparently no laughing matter to the seller. In the product description, it’s mentioned the Earth was bestowed upon the seller by God, who appeared to him in a dream. And since these are tough times, he decided to sell it to the highest bidder and improve his financial status. He lists our planet as “authentic” and warns bidders there is a “no return” policy on the item. So if you end up placing a bid and wind up owning the Earth and its inhabitants, you’re kind of stuck with us. You might feel tempted to post a prank bid on this, but the seller instructs all potential buyers to include a message expressing there serious intention to buy planet Earth, otherwise he will consider it a prank bid. And if there are too many prank bids he threatens to close the auction and start over at ¥69. In fact, he already did that once already, so please, be careful.

Read More »

Conrad Engelhardt’s Stained Wine Cork Paintings

London-based artist F. Conrad Engelhrdt has set up an ingenious recycling scheme by collecting discarded wine corks from various restaurants around the English capital and using them to create unique paintings.

This isn’t the first time wine and corks have been used as art mediums. In the past we’ve featured artists who paint with wine, and other who turn simple corks into miniature masterpieces. F. Conrad Engelhardt uses both of them to create his wonderful paintings. He has partnered with a series of restaurants in Shoreditch, London, to collect their discarded wine corks and recycle them into beautiful pictures. Looking at his works, you’d be tempted to think Engelhardt uses paints to achieve certain color tones, but in reality he uses only the different shades of the corks and the wine stains on them. The secret lies in choosing the perfect corks and arranging them in the best possible way.

Read More »

Professional Mattress Jumper Is an Actual Job

You probably thought those high-end mattresses people pay thousands of dollars for are hand-made. As it turns out, they’re also foot made, as someone is actually getting paid to jump on them hundreds of times in order to compress no fewer than 28 layers of cotton batting.

Growing up, you probably dreamed you would one day find a job that would require nothing else than jumping on beds. Well, it turns out such a job actually exists, only those doing it insist it’s not child’s play. “It’s work,” professional mattress jumper Reuben Reynoso says. “It’s not for everybody. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.” It’s not about achieving a great height or doing back flips and somersaults, but using his soles to compress the mattress layers and detecting any pea-size lumps in the filling. To do that, Reynolds uses a very precise, grid jumping pattern, making sure he covers the entire surface. “This is not a game,” he says. “Not to me.” And I’m inclined to believe him. After all, we’re talking about $2,700 mattresses, here, not trampolines.

Read More »

Scientists Declare Buddhist Monk the Happiest Man in the World

Matthieu Ricard, a French researcher turned Buddhist monk was declared the happiest man on Earth by a group of scientists, after it was discovered his brain produces a level of gamma waves never before reported in the field of neuroscience.

A former molecular geneticist who left his life and career behind to discover the secrets of Buddhism, Matthieu Ricard is now one of the most celebrated monks in the Himalayas and a trusted advisor of the Dalai Lama. And while this transformation is impressive enough, there’s something else that makes Ricard a very special person. In 2009, neuroscientist Richard Davidson, from the University of Wisconsin, wired up the French monk’s head with 256 sensors as part of a research project on hundreds of advanced practitioners of meditation. The scans showed something remarkable: when meditating on compassion, Ricard’s brain produced a level of gamma waves linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory that were never even reported before in neuroscience literature. Furthermore, the scans scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, giving him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity. These results earned Matthieu Ricard the unofficial title of “happiest man in the world”.

Read More »

The Delicate Gourd Carving Art of Marilyn Sunderland

Born and raised in Columbia, Missouri, Marilyn Sunderland is an artist in the finest sense of the word. She can take a common gourd and turn it into a spectacular work of art by carving all kinds of images onto its shell and enhancing them with her painting.

Seeing how this Halloween a lot of websites are focusing on pumpkin art, like that of sculpting master Ray Villafane, I thought I’d show you something a bit different. Meet Marilyn Sunderland, a wonderful artist who’s become known for her intricate gourd carvings. Drawings inspiration from the beautiful landscapes in the Utah valley surrounded my mountains, where she’s been living for the last 30 years, this incredible artist etches incredibly detailed shapes into the shell of gourds creating awe-inspiring masterpieces. “Art has always been a part of my life. I have painted portraits, landscapes, and various other subjects with oils, acrylics, and pen/ink mediums. I also do wood carving and glass engravings,” Marilyn says on her site. She only took up gourd sculpting a few years ago, after buying an ultra-speed carving/etching tool, because she thought it was a versatile material. Turns out it was the right decision.

Read More »

The Bone Collector – Man Amasses Creepy Collection of over 7,000 Animal Skulls and Bones

Ray Bandar, a retired biologist from San Francisco, has spent the last 50 years collecting thousands of animal bones. He estimates he has 7,000 skulls, 200 pelvises and countless other limbs from animals he mostly found and cleaned himself.

“I enjoy removing the flesh from the skull and disarticulating the jaws,” Bandar recently said in an interview for National Geographic’s Taboo series. “I see nothing gross about this, whether it’s a fresh animal or a badly decomposed animal, makes no difference to me.” The native San Franciscan grew up in the Richmond District and started collecting different animal specimens in junior high. That’s when he got the nickname “Reptile Ray”. As time passed, his passion for collecting and cleaning dead animals grew, and he is now the proud owner of a collection of over 7,000 skulls, including 2,600 from California marine mammals. Over the years, his own discoveries have been supplemented from local zoos, museums, taxidermists, roadkill, and trips to Australia, Africa and Mexico. His house is like no other on Earth – every room is virtually crammed with bones and skulls from animals Ray decapitated himself, but he still roams the beaches of Northern California looking for new and exciting additions to his museum home.

Read More »

For English Family Living in the Middle of a Cemetery Every Day Is Halloween

Would you be brave enough to spend a night in an old mortuary chapel surrounded by dozens of graves? One English family is more than happy to sleep in such a house every night, and say it’s actually their dream home.

Jayne Stead and partner Mike Blatchford didn’t seem to mind the creepy graves and spooky statues when they decided to move into an old cemetery keeper’s lodge, in Southampton, England. The cemetery didn’t put us off. We don’t spook easily, in fact I love watching scary films and television shows,” 52-year-old Jayne told reporters. When we first had a look around it was really run down, there were graves everywhere but it never really felt scary, there was very nice feeling about the place.” Self-employed builder Mike Bletchford spend a whole year and about £100,000 ($160,000) turning the chapel into a home for his family, and today you couldn’t tell the living room was once a mortuary… But, while they’ve never seen a ghost in their unusual home, the couple admit they have witnessed some bizarre occurrences:  “I’ve been sitting on my own in the living room and I’ve felt like there was someone standing behind me a few times,” Ms Stead said. “I’ve also found the dog barking at nothing in the corner of the room, but it’s not scary.”

Read More »

Woman Who Only Eats Junk Food and Milk Says She Has Never Eaten Fruits or Vegetables

54-year-old Marla Lopez, from New York City, says the supermarket snack aisle has become her dinner aisle, as she will only consume three types of foods (potato chips, white breads and milk), and has never even tried fruits or vegetables.

Recently featured on Good Morning America, Lopez said her picky eating started as a baby, when she would gag on her baby food, and today, foods that most people consider mouth-watering, like spaghetti, sandwiches or omelets are just repulsive to her. Not to mention fresh produce – “When I look at this, I don’t see food. I would no sooner eat any of this, than I would your shoe,” she told correspondent Linsey Davis about fruits and vegetables. When it comes to her favorite food, there’s no doubt in Marla’s mind: potato chips. “They’re so salty, and fresh, and potato-y, I love them,” she said. Her daily diet is primarily made up of three basic foods: milk, white breads and potatoes. She enjoys eating ice-cream, crackers, pancakes, tortillas, chips and french fries. Sometimes she spices up her heart-stopping meals with a few slices of crispy bacon.

Read More »

Armageddon-Proof Survival Pod Proves a Big Hit

You may be all happy and carefree today celebrating Halloween, but don’t forget that according to the Mayan calendar the end of days is less than two months away. Luckily, there’s a way around it – a survival pod built by a Chinese inventor who claims it can withstand the end of the world.

It’s big, it’s round, and apparently it will keep you alive in case of a natural disaster or a nuclear meltdown. Officially, it’s called the “Atlantis”, but everyone has started calling it a modern-day Noah’s Arc. Chinese entrepreneur and inventor Yang Zongfu worked on his survival pod for the last two years and spent around $150,000 making it as durable as possible. Back in August, he announced a series of public tests which would prove his Armageddon-proof survival pod was ready for the end of the world. On August 6, he climbed inside the Atlantis and was pushed down a 50-meter obstacle course on the side of a hill, over a bed of rocks and into a pool. Sadly, as soon as it hit the water, the arc’s door opened proving it was less than water tight. the inventor himself came out in one piece, but with a cut on his chin. But that didn’t discourage Yang, who moved on to the fire test, in which he set a smaller version of the Atlantis on fire, and pulled out a frozen ice-cream that had been perfectly preserved inside.

Read More »

The Fake-Head Waitresses of Japan’s Anime Cafe

Maid cafes are a dime a dozen in Tokyo’s geeky Akihabara district, but Kigurumi Cafe t.t.t. one-ups them all by introducing waitresses wearing full-body suits and creepy plush heads to reallybring anime characters to life.

Wikipedia defines cosplay as a performance art in which participants don costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. You’ve probably seen cosplayers dressed as popular video game or anime characters at geeky events, or at least photos of them posted online. But few people know there’s an extreme type of cosplay known in Japan as Animegao or Kigurumi. It implies not only wearing a character’s costume, but also an oversize fake head complete with giant anime-style eyes to bring popular 2D drawn girls into our 3D world. If you’ve seen my post on Anna Amemiya, the half-human half-anime model, you already know what I’m talking about, if not, get ready to be freaked-out.

Read More »

Page 208 of 440« First...102030...206207208209210...220230240...Last »