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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The Mind-Blowing Book Carvings of Alexander Korzer Robinson

Bristol-based Alexander Korzer Robinson creates incredible works of art by carving discarded encyclopedias and literally exposing their inner beauty. Book carving is one of the fastest growing art forms of the moment, and artists like Alexander Korzer Robinson, Brian Dettmer and Guy Laramee are leading the movement.

Korzer Robinson carefully cuts into the pages of old encyclopedias, exposing a part of its illustrations, while removing others, to create narrative scenes that are truly unique. While the images seem like they’re somehow suspended in a series of layers inside the book sculptures, they are actually left in their original place. It’s the artist’s technique that makes it look like they were placed there by hand. As you can probably guess by looking at the artworks below, book carving is a delicate and time-consuming process, but the end results are absolutely mind-blowing.

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Fan Spends 14 Months Building Awesome Iron Man Suit Out of Cardboard and Fiberglass

Mark Pearson, a 44-year-old repairman who loves comic books, has spent 14 months of his life creating an almost perfect replica of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, from sheets of cardboard covered in fiberglass.

Perason certainly isn’t the first one to build a replica of the famous Iron man suit, but his is definitely one of the most realistic looking, regardless of the materials during the build.  “I don’t know why I did it”, the repairman from Bradford, West Yorkshire, says, “I guess it was just a moment of madness. I decided on making the helmet then I said to my partner – I’m going to make the full suit.” The comics fan bought himself a 12ft cardboard model of Robert Downey Jr. in his iconic superhero suit, started work on the helmet, but simply couldn’t stop. He downloaded the templates from the Internet, and made them into cardboard moulds. Once those were all created, he was able to create the fiberglass parts of his magnificent Iron Man suit.

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Evil Clown Will Stalk and Attack Your Child for a Fee

He may look like one, but Dominic Deville is not some escaped lunatic out to hurt your kids. He’s an evil clown for hire who stalks young victims for a week, sending them scary texts, making prank phone calls, stalking them from a distance, and ultimately attacks them with a pie to the face. And yes, he expects to get paid for it.

If you’ve ever seen Stephen King’s “It”, you know clowns can be very scary. I myself am terrified of them, to be honest, and I’ve never even seen that movie, just some quick scenes of it. But horror films like this are exactly what inspired Dominic Deville to start up his lucrative business, Evil Clown, in Lucerne, Switzerland. His service requires him to put on an evil clown outfit and scaring a child senseless for a week. During this time, he stalks his “prey” from a distance, sending them creepy messages, making prank calls and warning them they are being watched and that they’ll soon be attacked. “The child feels more and more that it is being pursued,” Deville told Metro, but “the clown’s one and only aim is to smash a cake into the face of his victim, when they least expect it, during the course of seven days.” And if they manage to avoid the hit, they are given the cake as a present.

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13-Year-Old Girl Invents Lollipops That Cure Hiccups

Hiccups, we all get them from time to time, and the most annoying thing about them is they are so darn hard to get rid of. But 13-year-old Mallory Kievman seems to have finally found a cure to this irritating problem – a hiccup-stopping lollipop called the Hiccupop.

Mallory’s quest to find a real cure for hiccups started during the summer of 2010. She had tried to cure her uncontrollable hiccups by swallowing saltwater, making herself gag, eating a spoonful of sugar, drinking a glass of water upside-down or sipping pickle juice. None of those seemed to work on their own, but the ambitious young girl was determined to find a real cure for the annoying problem man has been facing since the beginning of time. Fast forward two years and almost 100 folk remedies tried, Mallory Kievman has reached her goal and is starting a company to commercialize and promote her magic product – Hiccupops.

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Dr. Rev’s Creepy Artworks Are Painted in Blood

Dr Rev Mayers is an Australian tattoo artist with a passion for creating crimson artworks using nothing but blood. Using a variety of art techniques, he paints incredibly detailed yet somewhat creepy works of art.

Some artist would probably call Dr. Rev crazy for using his own blood on all of his paintings, but so far his disregard for the norm has proven very successful, as his works have been exhibited all around the world. The Sydney-based tattoo artist uses airbrushing, standard paint brushing, scraping, smudging and layering to create his realistic masterpieces that aim to depict growth, human constraint while capturing the viewer’s heart and soul. In time, he has managed to progress naturally from tattooing and doing body art, to his new found passion, blood painting.

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Woman Collects Realistic Dolls, Treats Them Like Real Babies

Marylin Mansfield, a plus-size model from Staten Island, has turned her home into a creepy nursery filled with over 300 dolls, including reborn babies, Barbies and Goth-like Krypt Kiddies.

We’ve posted our share of wacky doll collectors here on Oddity Central, like this lady with a thing for antique dolls, this other one who loves clowns, or the couple who share their home with love dolls, but Marylin actually treats her plastic collectibles like real babies. “I take them anywhere you would bring a real baby. I don’t do it for the shock value. I do it for myself because it makes me happy. I just loved when my kids were babies — and these babies stay babies forever. I buy them clothes. They never grow out of them and they never get dirty”, the tattooed platinum blonde says about her peculiar hobby.

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