Photographic Artist Creates Beautiful Images That Will Probably Disgust You

Chris Jordan is a photographic artist who uses his artworks to bring awareness to a serious problem of our time – consumerism. Seen from afar his images look like modern recreations of famous masterpieces, but as soon as he approaches the viewer is confronted with thousands of photographs of waste assembled into a beautiful picture.

He’s been called “the ‘it’ artist of the green movement” for his ability to send clear messages about mass consumption through beautiful images that end up disgusting the viewer. But while he’s always been interested in photography, he studied law school and became a corporate lawyer who only dedicated his free time to his favorite hobby. His father, a businessman, had also been passionate about photography and Chris remembers he “was filled with regret” that he couldn’t practice it full time. So, determined not to repeat his mistake, the young lawyer moved to Seattle, and quit the bar after ten years of practicing law, to dedicate his life to photography.

It was definitely a risky move, but definitely an inspired one as the success of his early shows in New York and Los Angeles propelled his career. Chris Jordan came to tackle consumerism by chance. He had taken photos of a pile of garbage and found it beautiful because of its complexity and great color, but when friends of his, who were active in consumerism, started commenting on it, he got the idea for his future projects.

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Giant York Corn Maze Pays Homage to Harry Potter

Farmer Tom Pearcy, a big fan of Harry Potter, decided to celebrate the release of the final movie of the series, by carving a giant Harry Potter-themed maze in his corn field.

Clearly a victim of the Harry Potter mania that’s sweeping the planet these days, Pearcy has cut two 50-meter portraits of the boy wizard in his Elvington corn field, thus creating the world’s largest spot-the-difference image and the biggest Daniel Radcliffe portrait ever. “I’m a big fan of Harry Potter and the release of the final film this summer marks the end of an era. I wanted to do something imaginative to say farewell to Harry, so creating the biggest image of him ever made and making it a spot the difference competition seemed like an interesting way to do that.” Mr. Pearcy told York Press.

Believe it or not, this gifted farmer manged to create 10 km of intricate pathways for visitors to explore when visiting his maze, and did it all my carving over one million corn plants. You could say he’s had some experience at it, since his corn maizes have become sort of a local tradition and tourist attraction. In previous years he His previous corn maze designs include a Spitfire airplane, an astronaut, the Statue of Liberty and the Flying Scotsman.

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Miracle – Polish Kite Surfer Walks on Water

In everyday life we usually only use the phrase “walk on water” as a figure of speech, but Polish kite surfing champion Maciek Kozierski traveled to the Sea of Galilee, in Israel, where Jesus himself did it, and accomplished the feat.

Accompanied by a team that included Israeli wakeboard champion Lior Eliyahu, and photographers Predrag Vuckovic and Joerg Mitter, Kozierski spent four days in the Sea of Galilee overlooking the historic church at Capernaum, trying to accomplish the miracle of walking on water. The plan was pretty simple: Maciek would use his kite to accelerate to maximum speed, then release the kite, step off his board and start walking on water.

But, as always, the plan looked a lot better on paper than in practice. The elements just didn’t seem too eager to help him achieve his Miracle (the name of the project) and the Polish kite surfer encountered serious difficulties that caused him to hit the water at high speed, over 50 times. Strong winds caused the waves to become too rough, while a calm sea meant no wind power for his kite, so the daredevil had to repeat his attempts until he nailed the perfect walk on water.

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Pepquinos – The World’s Smallest Watermelons

As consumers turn to micro-products, the “mini” trend seems to affect all areas of our lives. We keep seeing ever-smaller telephones, computers, cars, and apparently fruits are no exception.

While they might look genetically-engineered, Pepquinos come from an ancient wild plant in South America, and are 100% natural. They are just 3-cm-long and 2 cm in diameter, but apart from their size, they look just like regular watermelons. But only on the outside, because once sliced, the juicy green flesh of a cucumber is revealed. They also have the crisp fresh taste of cucumbers and usually served in luxury restaurants, as appetizers, in summer salads, stir fried and even as a sorbet.

The rare Pepquinos were discovered and brought to Europe in 1987, by a Dutch company that later began producing them and selling seeds. They’ve only recently started cultivating them in the US and Asia, but their popularity in foodie communities is growing rapidly. The growth cycle of the Pepquinos plant is between 60 and 85 days, and a single string yields 60 to 100 fruit.

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Taiwan’s Funeral Strippers Dance for the Dead

Ok, what’s the last thing you’d expect to see at a funeral? So maybe stripper isn’t the first thing that pops into your head, but you have to admit it’s pretty darn strange. Apparently, in Taiwan, bringing a stripper to the funeral is an important part of the grieving process.

Taiwan’s funeral strippers would have probably remained a mystery to the western world, if not for the efforts of anthropologist Mark L. Moskowitz, who wanted to show US audiences what real culture is. His 40-minute documentary, Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan, sheds light on the bizarre practice through interviews with strippers, government officials and common folk.

Funeral strippers are apparently a pretty big part of Taiwanese culture, especially in rural areas. Up to the mid 1980s, this kind of raunchy performances took place all over the island, even in the capital city of Taipei, but after authorities passed laws against it, it disappeared from urban settlements and moved to the country. The laws aren’t as easy to enforce there and people seem to enjoy going to a funeral knowing they’ll get some adult entertainment. Strippers usually arrive on the back of diesel trucks known as Electric Flower Cars, and perform in front of the dead and his mourners. The scantly-dressed girls do pole dancing, sing, and some even come down  from their stage to interact with the audience (sit on their laps, give lap dances, shove their heads into their breasts, etc.).

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Guy Walks 1,000 Miles in the Name of Love

Liu Peiwen took his girlfriend’s challenge seriously, after she jokingly told him she would only marry him if he walked 1,000 miles for her.

Remember these lyrics from Scottish band The Proclaimers’ song: “But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles, to fall down at your door”? Apparently they inspired Liu’s girlfriend, 23-year-old Ling Hsueh, to say she would convince her mother to let her marry him, if Liu walked 1,000 miles. Before she could tell him she was only joking, her beloved had already bought a backpack and set off from the city of Anyang, Henan Province, towards Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

The distance between their two cities is 1,600 km, exactly the 1,000 miles in Hsueh’s request, and since he enjoys walking and always wanted to see more of China, he gladly accepted the challenge. He expects it will take him around six weeks to complete his journey, and hopes the love of his life will be waiting for him at the end and will say “yes” when he pops the big question. “Life is short,” he said, “and for love, there’s no challenge too great.” He is now walking across China with only a rucksack and a red flag that reads “Valiantly, full of mettle, setting out to visit my wife’s mother”

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Jeweler Immortalizes Pet Snouts and Paws into Fashion Accessories

Jewel artist Jackie Kaufman has sniffed out a way to help pet owners keep they’re beloved companions close even after they’ve left this world. She creates beautiful sterling silver jewelry based on molds of animal snouts and paws.

Jackie creates all kinds of beautiful accessories, all of which you can see at her Etsy shop, but she’s best known for her unique series of animal mold pieces. She got the idea after she was approached by a client who owned a terminally ill dog, and has been creating them ever since. First, Jackie sends her clients special molds with which they can take highly detailed impressions of their animal’s noses and paws, and when she receives them she hand-casts them in sterling silver rings, pendants, bracelets and other accessories. The pet’s name or a special message can also be engraved on the back.

Owning such unusual jewelry is definitely a sign of love for your pet, but how does one get a dog or cat to wear a mold on its nose, even for a short while? My dog barely lets me touch his nose, let alone grab it and cover it with something. And how does the animal breathe when his nose is covered?

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The Video Coat – A Wearable LED TV

Inventor David Forbes is the proud owner of the world’s first video coat, a gadget/clothing item that allows him to display videos right on his body. Although it’s not exactly a technological breakthrough, the Video Coat scores points for geekiness and originality.

Created for the Burning Man, this wearable LED display is powered by a 12V battery and works by being plugged into an iPod or DVD player. With a resolution of 160×120, it doesn’t offer the clarity of a high definition television, but then again, you can’t really wear an HD TV either, so that makes them even. The coat was built on flex boards and expands on the back and sleeves offering a total body video experience.

The Video Coat is driven by circuit boards located on the wearer’s shoulders and hips and even comes with switches that allow you to tweak the colors. In the presentation video he made, David chose to play The Simpson on his wearable TV, because he thinks “its is the pinnacle of modern television entertainment”.

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House from Disney’s Animated Movie Up Recreated in Real Life

A full-scale replica of the iconic house from the movie “Up”, complete with small details from Disney/Pixar’s animation, is being built in the city of Herriman, Utah.

Utah fans looking to feast their eyes on some real-life Disney magic won’t have to take the trip to California anymore, as a real masterpiece starts to take shape a lot closer to home, in Herriman. Blair Bangerter, one of the three brothers in charge of Bangerter Homes – a custom home building company – said: “I was just watching the movie, and thought, ‘We build houses kind of like that, ’” So after getting the go-ahead from Disney, they started recreating Carl and Ellie’s house from “Up”, while making some modifications of their own.

While the laws of physics may not apply to cartoons, they do apply in real life, so in order to make this house safe, the Bangerters had to make some changes: the house is now a narrow rectangle rather than a square, and the chimney and fireplace have been modified so they actually match up in real life. But, according to Adam Bangerter “ff you see it in the movie, you are going to see it in real life here”. The outside is painted in sherbet shades and there is even a replica of Carl and Ellie’s hand-printed mailbox and custom-made garden hose reel. And the movie details continue inside: the upstairs nursery has the same mural Ellie paints in the film, her and Carl’s armchairs have been custom ordered to match those in the animation, and there is a painting of fictional Paradise Falls over the mantle and a custom-made fireplace.

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Cheap Chic Wedding Dresses Made of Toilet Paper

As you probably know, weddings these days aren’t cheap, and a big part of the budget is reserved for the bride’s wedding dress. But for the last few years, the guys at Cheap Chic Weddings have organised a contest to show a beautiful dress can be made from the simplest, cheapest materials, even from toilet paper.

Almost 1,000 toilet paper wedding dresses were designed and created for the 7th Annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress Contest, many of which were so well executed most people would have a problem telling them apart from expensive fabric creations. Participants were allowed to use as much toilet paper as they needed, as well as glue, tape and sewing thread. Dresses were judged on creativity, originality and the use of toilet paper.

This year’s first place went to Sussan Brennan, from Orchard Lake, Michigan, for her nature-inspired gown. She used just 4 rolls of toilet paper, hot glue and packaging tape, but managed to snatch the $1,000 grand prize.

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Guy Collects All 1,850 PlayStation 2 Games, Leaves Them Sealed

Ahans 76, member of the Playstation Collecting Community, probably deserves the title of King of PS2 Collectors, after he managed to acquire a brand new, sealed copy of every game ever released for the PlayStation 2.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive collections on Oddity Central, bust as a fellow gamer, I find this one particularly awesome. What I can’t understand is how someone can just collect these games and not be tempted to open one of them and just pop into the console, to check it out. But that’s just the kind of self control and ambition that describes a video-game completionist (a person who goes after every title ever released for a console) and that’s why we don’t see that many of them. The PS2 game library is particularly large, with 1,850 original titles released, and many would have said trying to collect a copy of each is impossible, but not anymore.

Ahans 76 says his passion for collecting video-game related items can be traced back to when he was 16 years old. He saw a Sega Game Gear handheld, in the window of a Game Crazy shop, and since he had always wanted yo own one as a kid, but never got the chance, he bought it on the spot. This awakened his collector’s spirit and made him consider collecting more video games and consoles. As far as his unique PS 2 game collection is concerned, he didn’t go for the full library from the start, he more like fell into it. He was buying a lot more games than he could play, and at one stage he had about 300 to 400 sealed games, so he looked on the Internet to see how many other games here were and landed on a website where it said the PS 2 had 800 games. Seeing he was already half through, he decided to go for the whole collection.

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AutoWed – A Cheap Wedding Vending Machine

One of the most bizarre concepts introduced this year, AutoWed is essentially a wedding vending machine that will get you and your loved one hitched in minutes, for just $1.

Sure, an automated wedding machine pretty much takes all the romance out of the whole deal, but with weddings getting more and more expensive every year, people seem to be welcoming any cheap alternative with open arms. Such was the case with Concept Shed’s latest project, AutoWed. The English company managed to create what can best be described as a wedding vending machine that will do the job quicker and cheaper than a priest, minister, rabbi, or any other religious figure.

It’s part parking meter, part pink Cadillac, part cathedral and part steampunk installation, and the ceremony isn’t exactly on par with what you’ve seen at conventional weddings, but it gets the job done and for just $1. The 8-feet-tall piece of machinery features wedding music and a weird robotic voice that prompts you to press a bunch of keys in order to keep the weeding going, after you’ve inserted the mandatory coins. You start by choosing between a straight, gay or lesbian marriage and a friends forever ceremony, then you input your names and can press 1 for “I do” or 2 for “Escape”. At the end, AutoWed lets you kiss the bride and even dispenses a receipt and two plastic rings to commemorate this special day.

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Cacao, the Bus-Riding Dog of Milan

Cacao, a 16-year-old mixed-breed dog, from Milan, Italy, has become somewhat of a celebrity after he appeared in local papers for his weird habit of taking the bus to his favorite spot in the city.

A true “Milanese”, Cacao knows the city by heart, some would say even better than some of his fellow human inhabitants, and his weekend antics  are clear proof. Almost every day, for the last few years, Cacao leaves his master’s home and heads for the bus stop on Arrgone Bouleverd. There he sits on his backside, alongside the other human commuters, waiting for bus 54. As it approaches the station, he prickles his ears and takes a good look at who’s sitting in the driver’s seat. You see, this four-legged rascal only takes the bus when it’s driven by the driver he’s known since he first started his secret trips. After he makes sure he’s got the right driver, Cacao leaps on the bus and waits quietly until he reaches his destination – Lambrate Station, in north-eastern Milan. You’d think he has a certain reason for taking the bus here, but Cacao just loiters in the public garden for a few hours, then when he’s tired, takes the bus home. Luckily, his old friend the bus driver always ignores regulations, at his own risk, and allows to ride on the bus.

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Woman Hasn’t Used Money in 15 Years

Heidemarie Schwermer, a 69-year-old woman from Germany, gave up using money 15 years ago and says she’s been much happier ever since.

Heidemarie’s incredible story began 22 years ago, when she, a middle-aged secondary school teacher emerging from a difficult marriage, took her two children and moved to the city of Dortmund, in Germany’s Ruhr area. One of the first things she noticed was the large number of homeless people, and this shocked her so much that she decided to actually do something about it. She had always believed the homeless didn’t need actual money to be accepted back into society, only a chance to empower themselves by making themselves useful, so she opened a Tauschring (swap shop), called “Gib und Nimm” (Give and Take).

Her small venture was a place where anyone could trade stuff and skills for other things and skills they needed, without a single coin or banknote changing hands. Old clothes could be traded in return for kitchen appliances, and car service rendered in return for plumbing services, and so on. The idea didn’t really attract many of Dortmund’s homeless, because, as some of them told her to her face, they didn’t feel an educated middle-class woman could relate to their situation. Instead, her small shop was assaulted by many of the city’s unemployed and retired folk eager to trade their skills and old stuff for something they needed. Heidemarie Schwermer’s Tauschring eventually became somewhat of a phenomenon in Dortmund and even prompted its creator to ask herself some questions about the life she was living.

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Meet the World’s Biggest Harry Potter Fan

Harry Potter fans around have crowned their king and his name is Steve Petrick. The 22-year-old, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has won the title of World’s Biggest Harry Potter Fan after entering an online contest, last year, and posting a video of why he should get first place.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is the most successful film series in history, grossing billions of dollars at the box office and influencing the lives of millions of children around the world. But Steve Petrick was a die-hard fan of the fantasy world way before it was cool, and even though it pains him the movie series is coming to an end, he’ll be a fan even after its popularity wears off. A freshman fine arts major at Kent State, Petrick has been striving to become Harry Potter’s biggest fan since he first discovered Rowling’s books, and even though it took him 12 years to get the recognition he deserves, it’s never too late.

Steve Petrick got hooked on Harry Potter when he was just 11 years old. He had failed English class and his parents banned him from playing outside, so he found refuge in the wonderful world of Harry Potter. He has learned from the Harry Potter books than anything or anyone else in his life, and says “they might not mean something to everyone else, but they mean something to me.”

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