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Hooker’s Lips – The World’s Most Kissable Plant

Here’s a dumb question: if (the young) Mick Jagger was a plant, what would he be? Probably Psychotria Elata, commonly known as Hooker Lips or the Hot Lips Plant for the shape of its bright red bracts that resemble two luscious lips.

This weird plant might look like the work of a photo editing software, but I can assure you those kissable lips are all natural. Found in the tropical rain forests of Central and South American countries like Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador, the Psychotria Elatra plant has apparently evolved into its current shape to attract pollinators including hummingbirds and butterflies. Affectionately known as Hooker’s Lips, this extraordinary flower has unfortunately become endangered due to uncontrolled deforestation in the above-mentioned countries. So if you’ve ever wanted to plant a kiss on Mother Nature, find yourself a Hot Lips plant and do it while you still can. The bracts are only kissable for a short while, before they spread open to reveal the plant’s flowers.

Psychotria-elata

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Job Seekers Put Themselves in Window Displays Hoping to Get Hired

Unemployment in Europe has recently hit record highs, and although Denmark has been shielded from the eurozone’s economic problems thanks to its low public debt, qualified professionals are still finding it tough to get a job. Danish marketing firm Reputation Copenhagen has come up with an ingenious way of helping academics get noticed – putting them on display in storefront windows.

Many highly-trained professionals, ranging from former CEOs to lawyers and tax experts are currently finding it increasingly difficult to find decent employment on the Danish job market. Some of them have been trying for years, leaving their resumes with dozens of companies, without ever hearing back from them, and are now at a point where they are willing to try anything. Even putting themselves in display windows like mannequins, hoping to get noticed by someone in need of their services. Alexander Peitersen, managing director of Reputation Copenhagen came up with the idea of using his company’s office as a storefront for the campaign, as there are many businesses nearby that might be interested in the talent on display. So he set up a small desk, put up the “an available academic is sitting here” sign, and asked the unemployed to just sit in the windows like merchandise. It seems like a pretty desperate measure, but at least it works; according to the agency’s website 3 of the job-seekers in their window display got a job in a day or two.

window-display-job-seekers

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Race Team Creates Street Legal Batman Tumbler for the Gumball 3000

International racing crew, Team Galag, have recently unveiled one of their unique cars for the 2013 Gumball 3000 race. It’s an exact replica of the awesome Tumbler driven by Batman in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.

The Gumball 3000 is not a race in the traditional sense of the word. There’s no official timekeeping and no prizes for the fastest contestants. It’s more like a glamorous road trip adventure where the rich and famous drive across Europe in the world’s most exotic cars. Inspired by classic films like The Cannonball Run and The Gumball Rally, this event used to feature both expensive and unusual vehicles like police cars and camper vans, but in recent years it’s become mostly a gathering of brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Rolls Royce and Bentley. The anonymous members of Team Galag decided to bring back the original theme of the Gumball 3000 and commissioned Florida-based Parker Brothers Concepts to create a street legal replica of the Batman Tumbler that can keep up with the other sports cars and complete the 3,000-mile rally. The crew, aged between 21 and 34, hailing from the UK, Germany, USA and Saudi Arabia, reportedly invested around £1 million ($1.6 million) into this one-of-a-kind ride.

Batman-Tumbler

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Girl Can’t Find a Date for Prom Takes Calculator Instead

This is the story of a girl and her calculator. Instead of staying at home and missing the most memorable party of her high-school years, a girl who did’t get invited to prom decided to attend with her trusty calculator as partner, and posted some cool photos as proof.

“No one asked me to prom, so I took my calculator,” Tumblr user ishipitlikeups (I Ship It Like UPS – coolest id ever) wrote on her blog. Urged by other users to share some photos and prove herself, the girl added a series of pics of her holding her trusty TI-84 Plus Silver Edition graphic calculator all dressed-up and ready to party. He wore a hand-made silk tuxedo complete with a nice little bow tie and was the star of the show as his date introduced him to her friends and teachers. They slow-danced, had a great time together and even managed to make the principal’s weekly email. He wrote: “Here is a quick classic story: A young girl showed up at the Prom alone. I greeted her and asked where her date was. She smiled and reached in to her purse and extracted a calculator she had decorated with a paper tuxedo. We had a good, laugh, only a student would bring a calculator to the Prom.”

calculator-prom-date

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Chinese Company Boss Has Employees Crawling on Their Knees in Public

You thought your boss was bad? He’s probably a nice guy compared to the boss of this cosmetics company in Chongqing, China, who recently forced his employees to crawl on their hands and feet in the city’s busy commercial district, in front of hundreds of onlookers.

The controversial event took place on May 2nd, and broadcast live on many Chinese users’ microblog accounts. Later, photos taken by bystanders showing the humiliated employees crawling on their knees with their heads facing the pavement were posted online, causing even more outrage. Some people even notified the police, who showed up on scene and cleared the area. It turns out it was all just a drill ordered by the company boss, who wanted to test his workers’ resistance to pressure. And what better way to do that than have them crawl like dogs in front of strangers taking photos and laughing at them, right? Most likely, he wanted to see how much humiliation his employees were able to bear, so he could exploit them to the maximum without them quitting. If something like this happened in a Western country, the boss would probably be taken to jail or at least sued for damages, but according to Chinese media reports, all the police did in this case was “criticize” and “educate” the cosmetic company’s leadership. Inhumane working conditions all over China have been reported in the past, but this is just borderline slavery.

crawling-employees

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Qigong Master Generates Intense Heat from His Hands

Zhou Ting-Jue is an internationally renown Qigong, Tai Chi and Kung Fu grand master who has shocked the world with his abilities to generate extreme heat from his hands and stand on thin sheets of paper without falling through.

Master Zhou, also known as “The Jewel of China”, has been featured on a number of television programs such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, That’s Incredible or Stan Lee’s Superhumans, and his amazing abilities have been studied and verified by various scientists for decades. For some time now, researchers have been presenting information about the benefits of practicing Qigong, but what Master Zhou is able to accomplish by channeling his inner Chi defies science and Western medicine. Not only is he able to generate heat close to boiling point through the palms of his hands, but this traditional healer says his Qigong treatments have the power to “dissolve tumors, heal severe, chronic injuries, as well as successfully treat “incurable” diseases.” People from all over the world seek his aid for a variety of conditions, and in the past he has used his powers to treat the Dalai Lama, members of the LA Lakers basketball team, Olympic athletes, celebrities and dignitaries. In China, he is so respected that he has been named a “Treasure of the Nation”.

Zhou-Ting-jue

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Detailed Urban Landscape Images Are Actually Ultra-Realistic Paintings

Nathan Walsh is an English realist painter who specializes in urban landscapes. He pays tribute to some of the world’s most beautiful cities, like New York, Chicago or London, through photo-realistic paintings of various urban locations.

Nathan is definitely not the only artist in the world who can create amazingly-realistic images using simple tools like a pencil and paintbrush, but the painstaking process he employs to reach his goal is very different from the way other hyper-realist masters work. Painters who use photographic sources for their artworks use a variety of techniques, including loose sketching of their subjects or transforming the canvas into a grid and painting box by box, but Nathan Walsh takes things to a whole new level by relying on elaborate drawings that look a lot like architectural blueprints to achieve the awe-inspiring level of realism visible in the images below. Before picking up the paintbrush, he draws up to 100 different sketches of a single urban scene, a time-consuming process that can take up to three or four months.

Nathan-Walsh-painting

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Anti-Abuse Billboard Contains Message Visible Only by Children

In an attempt to do more than simply raise awareness about child abuse, a Spanish organization has created a smart billboard that contains a secret message visible only to children  under the age of 10.

Using a technology known as lenticular printing, an organization dedicated to aiding abused children joined forces with Grey Group Spain to develop a special billboard that sends different messages to kids and adults. They were looking for a way to help even children accompanied by abusive adults by sending a message exclusively for them, hidden from adults’ eyes. The lenticular printing allowed them to assemble to different images in the same billboard, one visible from the point of view of adults and another aimed at children as tall as 4’4”, or around 10-year-old. While adults can only see a simple yet powerful message “”Sometimes child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it”, children receive useful instruction: “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you,” along with the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk (ACAR) foundation’s phone number. The image displayed on the billboard also changes depending on the angle it’s viewed from. Adults with an average height of 1.75m see a normal looking boy, while children of around 1.35m will see a bruised-up child they might identify with.

child-abuse-banner

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Japanese Model Underwent 30 Cosmetic Procedures to Look Like a French Doll

A Japanese model named Vanilla Chamu has recently become an internet sensation after it was reported she spent 10 million yen ($100,000) on 30 plastic surgery procedures in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a perfect living French doll.

She claims it’s her ultimate goal and the reason she has so far underwent tens of cosmetic procedures, but with her inflated lips and enlarged breasts, Vanilla Chamu doesn’t really look anything like a porcelain French doll. She just went from an average looking Japanese girl to a Western-looking woman with obvious plastic surgery, but the now-famous model says she doesn’t plan to stop altering her image anytime soon, and intends to soon undergo an extreme height-lengthening surgery. Her story has caused quite a bit of controversy in Japan, and she has been invited to numerous television shows to explain her reasons for the radical physical change. Vanilla, who’s current age is a well-guarded secret, claims she had her first plastic surgery at age 19, and numerous other since then, including  double eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, liposuction, eyelash implants, dimple creation, and breast implants. So far, she has spent over 10 million yen on these procedures, but her sizable investment seems to have paid off, as Vanilla Chamu is now a successful model and pop singer in her native land of Japan.

Vanilla-Chamu

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Artist Uses Powerful Airplane Engine as Paintbrush to Create Jet Art

Florida-based artist Princess Tarinan von Anhalt creates abstract works of art by hurling cans and bottles of paint into the air and letting the strong winds produced by a jet engine splatter it onto a canvas. It’s probably the most expensive paintbrush ever used, but clients will often pay as much as $50,000 just to watch her work.

Jet Art, characterized by using a jet engine’s air currents to create abstract shapes on a canvas, was invented in 1982, by Prince Jurgen von Anhalt of Austria. After he passed away, his legacy was kept alive by his wife, Princess Tarinan von Anhalt, who became the first woman to use the unusual painting technique, in 2006. She has been using Jet Art to decorate pieces of clothing including sportswear, swimwear, luggage, and jeans, which she presents at various fashion shows, but using the power of a jet engine to create unique artworks remains the most impressive use of this intriguing yet dangerous practice. Last week, the artist was invited to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Learjet, a private airplane brand, by painting 101 canvasses in just two days. Believe it or not, that’s a lot tougher than simply throwing paint into the air and letting the engine do the rest. Princess Tarinan von Anhalt has to endure winds several times stronger than a hurricane and temperatures that can reach 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flexjet/Jet Art Media

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DIY Expert Builds His Very Own Thor’s Hammer

Thor’s hammer is one of the coolest weapons in the superhero universe. Called Mjolnir, it can summon lightning, crush through pretty much anything and help the Norse god fly. No wonder Caleb from Hack A Day wanted one for himself.

But the gifted builder wasn’t looking for yet another simple prop that looked like Thor’s hammer, he wanted something that actually produced bolts of lightning. Armed with his own DIY superpowers, Caleb Kraft set out to create a foam replica of Mjolnir and sought the help of battery-powered Tesla coil maker Staci Elan, who provided a tiny but effective device able to produce 80,000 volts of electricity. Caleb says he had to make a choice: “I was either going to go portable and live with small arcs, or make this a stationary piece and hide a giant Tesla coil in a base. It would have bigger arcs, but I couldn’t carry it around.” In the end, he opted for the portable version, fitting his light but realistic looking hammer with a a small 12v powered coil. It creates 3″ arcs when going to another piece of metal, and can power on light bulbs if you hold them close to the hammer. Nowhere near as cool as the real Thor’s powers, but pretty awesome for a mere mortal, wouldn’t you say?

DIY-Thor-hammer

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Playa del Amor – The Hidden Beach of Marieta Islands

If it weren’t for the sound of the waves gently washing up on its fine sand beach, people would probably walk right past Playa del Amor without even knowing it was there. Located several meters inland on one of the Marieta Islands, the Hidden Beach is one of those unique natural wonders you definitely don’t want to miss.

The Marieta Islands archipelago, located off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico are believed to have formed centuries ago due to volcanic activity in the area. During the early 1900s, the Mexican Government took advantage of the fact they were completely uninhabited and used the islands to conduct military tests. After years of research and efforts to legally protect the archipelago, scientists led by the famous Jacques Cousteau managed to convince Mexican authorities to declare the Marietas a national park protected against fishing, hunting and any other harmful human activities. To this day, the islands remain uninhabited and only authorized boat service providers can take tourists to see their natural wonders up-close. Although the large explosions and bombings carried out for decades have greatly damaged the flora and fauna of this tropical paradise, some say they’re also responsible for the creation of one of its most amazing attractions – Playa del Amor, also known as the Hidden Beach of Mexico.

Hidden-Beach

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Awesome Buzz Lightyear Costume Made from Hundreds of Inflated Balloons

Talented balloon artist and Toy Story fan, Jeff Wright, has managed to bring the popular space ranger Buzz Lightyear to life with an incredibly detailed inflatable costume made from hundreds of interwoven balloons.

A picture showing the awesome Buzz Lightyear costume created by Wright recently went viral on social news sharing site Reddit, racking over 170,000 views in just a few hours. Capturing all the features that make Buzz such a popular character and children’s toy, the attention to detail on this helium-inflated masterpiece is simply stunning. There’s not much information on how long it took to complete or how many balloons were used in the process, but I did find a cool video of the guy wearing the costume doing a funny impersonation of the lovable Toy Story hero. In the past, Jeff Wright has collaborated Balloon Distractions, a company that tries to make ‘the world a better place, one balloon at a time’. This Buzz Lightyear costume was definitely a great way to start, but Jeff and his wife Rachel didn’t stop there. They’ve also created an amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle outfit out of over 500 colored balloons, and are now moving to Bolivia as volunteers at the Life Center Orphanage, where they’ll be entertaining kids with all kinds of cool balloon creations. How awesome is that?!?

balloon-Buzz-Lightyear

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Man Has Eaten Over 5,000 Bug Species in the Last 11 Years

David Gracer is an entomophagist, which means he consumes insects for sustenance and flavor. During the last 11 years, he claims he has munched on countless creepy crawlies from 5,000 different species.

Eating bugs may seem disgusting to a lot of people, but mankind has been doing it for most of its existence. The Greeks and the Romans loved them, and many cultures throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas actually raise insects for food or gather them through foraging. It is estimated over half the world’s population regularly feasts on a variety of flying and crawling bugs, and entomophagy experts advocate that they are almost as nutritious as beef, contain considerably less fat and have a low impact on the environment. 47-year-old David Gracer, from Providence, Rhode island has been living on bugs since 2001, while trying to convince others that it’s the sustainable way to go. His basement freezer is constantly packed with over 12,000 insects from 20 different species, but the convinced enthomophagist claims he has eaten over 5,000 kinds of bugs during the last 11 years. He consumes them sautéed, filleted and roasted, and says he is working hard on making insects taste more appealing.

David-Gracer

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Textile Company Creates Men’s Shirt That Doesn’t Require Washing and Ironing

A shirt that can be worn for up to 100 days without having to be washed or ironed is the dream of many busy men around the world. Now, thanks to textile start-up Wool & Prince, this miracle shirt has become a reality.

Six months ago, Wool & Prince founder Mac Bishop and his friends Katie Elks and Mike Major set out to make a better, longer-lasting button-down shirt. They just weren’t satisfied with  the garments available on the market and decided to give men around the world an alternative that didn’t wrinkle and smell after a wear or two and didn’t require constant washing, dry-cleaning or ironing for long periods of time. After doing some research they discovered wool is 6 times more durable than cotton plus it naturally fights wrinkles and odors, without any added chemicals. With the help of 15 testers, the three young entrepreneurs developed their proprietary CottonSoft(TM) wool fabric that was light, breathable, durable and best of all soft. It was the perfect material they’d been searching for, but Mac wasn’t going to brag about its properties until he had the chance to test it out on himself. So he embarked on a 100-day challenge and wore the same magic wool shirt for 100 days straight, without washing or ironing it.

CottonSoft-shirt

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