Real-Life Mutant Girl Causes Things around Her to Catch on Fire

A yet unnamed 11-year-old girl from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City has been making headlines in Asia, for her alleged uncontrollable power to set things around her on fire.

According to Vietnamese website Ngoisao, on May 12, a young girl living in the Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Minh has burned down almost the entire third floor of her family’s home. Her father says the child did not have access to any fire-inducing objects, and that the fire was caused by the super-energy in her body. How many times have we heard that one before, right? But while that may sound like the exaggerations of a parent looking for media attention, this is apparently not the first time this Vietnamese girl has caused things to burst into fire just by going near them.

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Painter/Scientist Turns Neuroscience into Visual Art

Greg Dunn is on his way to earning a doctorate in neuroscience, from the University of Pennsylvania, but he’s also passionate about pan-Asian art, so he decided to combine his two main interests into one unique art form.

Dunn paints neurons, the tiny cells that comprise our brain, using the Asian sumi-e style, an ancient technique that aims not just to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. Sumi-e is regarded as the earliest expressionistic art form that captures the unseen. For example, East Asian Ink Brush Painting, as this style is commonly referred to, isn’t used to replicate a person’s appearance perfectly, but rather to express their temperament. In the same way, Greg Dunn doesn’t use photomicrographs as reference to paint a perfect picture of the neurons, but rather as a guide upon which he likes to add his own touch. Painting an exact replica of what he see would “rob the painting of sponteneity”, according to Dunn.

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Dream Job: University Will Pay You $3,500 to Eat Fast Food for Three Months

Let’s face it, many of us do it for free, but Washington University, in St. Louis, will gladly pay participants in its new study $3,500 to eat fast food for a period of three months.

I tell you, job offers don’t get much better than this. A top American university is conducting a study on obesity and asking participants to gain weight during a period of three months. In order to properly motivate them to fill their bellies with various types of fast food, researchers have decided to reward them with a check of $3,500 for the three months of heavy eating. The only real requirement is people who participate in the study must gain at least 5% their starting weight, before the three months are over. Considering they’re all allowed to eat whatever kinds of junk food they like multiple times a day, I don’t think that’s going to be  much of a problem.

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World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture Is a Tribute to the Mayan Civilization

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods has set a new Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture, by creating a sweet replica of a Mayan temple weighing 18,239 pounds.

Qzina chose a Mayan theme for their impressive project, because the ancient civilization played a crucial role in the discovery of chocolate. They were among the first to cultivate Cacao trees and acknowledge the true potential of the cocoa bean. They practically worshiped cocoa and praised it as the food of the Gods. So, as a tribute to Mayan contribution in the evolution of chocolate, Qzina’s corporate pastry chef, Francois Mellet and pastry artist Stephane Treand decided to create a scale model of the Temple of Kukulkan, at Chichen Itza.

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Carlos Zuniga Creates Art on Phone Book Pages

Chilean artist Carlos Zuniga creates detailed portraits and images by simply striking out names from phone book pages, with black ink. Sounds simple enough, but the results are awe-inspiring.

Carlos Zuniga isn’t the first artist to use phone books as the main medium for his works. Alex Queral has also been using them to carve his amazing celebrity portraits, but Zuniga developed his own artistic technique, which allowed him to differentiate himself from everyone in the art world.

Asked how he came up with this unique way of creating detailed images, the South American artist says it all started with a project he did back in 2006, called The Origin of Species. Inspired by the Ludovico technique used in the 1971 film  the  A Clockwork Orange, he began striking out every line of text from Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. Throughout the whole process, he couldn’t stop thinking about how to depict his ideas in a figurative way. Figurative representation had always been a great interest to him, but his drawing skills were lousy, and after eight years of taking classes, he felt frustrated.

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Swiss Website Lets You Hike through the Alps without Breaking a Sweat

If you’re a couch potato who dreams of seeing the beautiful Alps without actually doing any hiking, you can thank technology for the unbelievable experience offered by WebWandern.ch.

Translated as Web Hike, this revolutionary website allows visitors to see the most beautiful sights the Alps have to offer, from the perspective of a hiker. To achieve the desired effect, the project initiators used real hikers to film HD footage of their  mountain treks and uploaded the material to their website. All in all there are 10 stages that cover 130 kilometers of hiking, from Thusis (Switzerland) to Tirano (Italy). It all unfolds at normal speed, so it would take you days to go through the whole thing, but the best part is anyone can just jump through the footage however they like and see the most popular sights of the mountain range in a matter of hours.

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Photo-Realistic Living Grass Images by Ackroyd and Harvey

Most artists prefer to paint or draw their artistic portraits, but Surrey-based English artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey grow theirs from living grass.

We’ve featured some pretty amazing art here, on Oddity Central, but this probably takes the cake. English duo Ackroyd & Harvey have managed to harness the power of photosynthesis to fix photographic images onto the blades of growing grass. They expose plots of seeding grass to a 400-W projector bulb passing through a negative for prolonged periods of time,  and the varying densities of the negative’s lighter and darker areas produce a full range of midtones by controlling the light levels in each area. The light produces green, or darker tones, while lack of light produces lighter (yellow) tones. Within only a couple of weeks, you can see the green portraits literally emerging from the ground, but wait too long and they will simply fade away, just like old photos.

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Website Lets You Blackmail Yourself to Reach Goals

Aherk! is an ingenious online service that allows people to blackmail themselves in order to achieve their personal goals, through pressure.

If you’ve had trouble dealing with personal goals, but always manage to do good in school or at work, you probably already know it has something to do with feeling under pressure. Some people see it as a bad thing, but for most of us it’s the engine that drives us in our everyday lives. Just think about it for a second, you’re always trying to meet your deadlines and be productive, because you know otherwise you’ll be faced with immediate bad consequences, like getting a pay cut or worse, being fired. But we never really face that kind of pressure in our personal lives, so simple goals like losing weight, quitting smoking or saving money are really harder to reach. That’s where Aherk! comes in…

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Unique Animal Art at the Bikaner Camel Festival

If you thought your hairstylist was amazing, wait until you see what living masterpieces these Indian camel enthusiasts can create with just scissors and a lot of patience.

Every year, the desert city of Bikaner, in India’s state of Rajasthan, hosts one of the most colorful events in the world – the Bikaner Camel Festival. Home to the only camel breeding farm in India, and one of the largest such farms in all of Asia, it’s only natural this city should have a festival dedicated to the useful humped animal. The popular event takes place over two days, in January, and draws in camel breeders from all over Rajasthan, as well as tourists from all around the world. This homage to camels includes various events, from camel races and rides, to camel haircut competitions and even a camel beauty pageant.

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Coolest Finds of the Week #38

Pedal-Powered Ferrari Is World’s Coolest Bike (Autoblog)

Man Wins $1 Million Cash Prize Six Times (Daily Mail)

17 Photos from the World’s Most Colorful Festival (Environmental Graffiti)

Man Completes Triathlon while Joggling (AOL)

Unique Display of 100,000 LED  Lights on a River in Tokyo (Laughing Squid)

Guy Gives Himself Magnet Implants to Attach iPod Nano to Wrist (Geekologie)

Bomb Disposal Robot Is Wedding Bearer at Unique Wedding (Gizmodo)

Japanese Company Launches Ice Bra To Keeps Women Cool This Summer (Huffpost)

Chinese Luxury Car Wash Uses Bikini Clad Models to Attract Customers (China Smack)

The World’s 13 Loneliest Outhouses (Environmental Graffiti)

Indian Woman Has Been on a Hunger Strike for the Last 12 Years

When someone famous, like the former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, goes on a hunger strike, the whole world knows about it, but Irom Sharmila Chanu, an ordinary woman from India, has been on a political fast for the last 12 years, and hardly anyone even knows she exists.

Irom Sharmila Chanu, also known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, went on a hunger strike on November 4, 2000 in an effort to  have the Government of India withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) from Manipur and other parts of India. This draconian act practically gives the military the power to do as they wish, as it prohibits any legal or judicial proceedings against army personnel without the previous sanction of the Central Government. It has taken away the people’s right to protest against atrocities or engage in any lawful democratic activity. Simple civilians can easily be labeled as ‘terrorists’ or ‘suspects’ and taken into custody. According to official figures, 25,000 people have been killed in Manipur alone, since this Act came into force, in 1980. Back then, there were only four insurgent groups in the area, now there are 25 on the army’s watch list.

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Amazing Artist Draws with Both Hands at the Same Time

Xiaonan Sun has become a YouTube sensation after a video of him drawing the portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins with both hands, at the same time, went viral. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Let’s face it, YouTube is full of videos of talented artists drawing realistic portraits of celebrities, and Xiaonan Sun was just one of them, until he posted a unique video of him drawing a tribute to Shawshank Redemption, one of his favorite movies of all time. The portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins look pretty impressive, but what really makes them special is the artist did them at the same time, with both hands. Most people can barely draw with their main hand, and here is this guy in his 20s who can do it just as well with both, and at the same time. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is just insane.

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Patrick Brysbaert – Probably the World’s Most Eccentric Lawyer

Lawyers usually sport classic hairstyles, slick suits and expensive cars, but not Patrick Brysbaert. His Mohawk hairdo, multiple face piercings and leather pants make him probably the most eccentric lawyer in the world.

“Lawyers should dare to show what is under their robes. We represent the whole society, so even people who are a little different, like me”, Brysbaert says. Twenty years ago he looked like just another lawyer – he had short hair, always wore a classic suit and drove a boring Saab to work. Then, after he broke up with his partner, Patrick decided to quit his profession and started operating a cafe in Antwerp, Belgium. During this period of “true liberation” the former legal worker got a full back tattoo, an erotic drawing on his shoulder, had various parts of his face pierced and changed his hairstyle to a Mohawk. Finally, he was himself.

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Brooklyn Artist Creates Magical Sand Paintings on Sidewalks

Colored sand, a great deal of patience and his bare hands are all Joe Mangrum needs to create his incredible sand pantings on the sidewalks of New York.

Joe Mangrum was a painter for many years, but only started creating art with sand in the Fall of 2009. He chose to work with sand because it’s an ephemeral medium that can simply be swept away at the the end of the day, after he’s had a chance to express his talent and amaze passers-by. I never thought sprinkling colored sand through the bottom of your fist could lead to such amazing works of art, but Mangrum’s creations prove patience and talent are the basis of truly incredible things. The gifted street artist spends hours on end on his hands and knees sprinkling his colored sand onto the sidewalk to create ephemeral masterpieces that catch the eye of everyone around him.

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Dining in a Car at Taipei’s P.S. Bu Bu Restaurant

Eating in a car is not everyone’s idea of an enjoyable meal, but at the P.S. Bu Bu Restaurant, in Taiwan, it’s a must. This automotive-themed venue features all kinds of auto accessories and even full cars as dining tables.

Established in 1999, by two classic car enthusiasts, P.S. Bu Bu is an innovative restaurant that serves all kinds of popular Western dishes, as well as fusion cuisine that caters to the tastes of Taiwanese people. Although the food is to die for, it’s not the main reason people choose to eat at P.S. Bu Bu. Most of them just come here to be transported back to the “swinging sixties” by the unique decorations and accessories of the restaurant. Parked inside the restaurant are iconic automobiles like the Mini Austin, Volkswagen Beetle, 1963 Cadillac Series 6200 Coupe or a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.

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