Artist Builds Castles Entirely from Human Hair

Miami-based artist Agustina Woodgate has used clumps of human hair to create 3,000 bricks, which were then used to build two fantasy castles for her I Want to Be a Princess series.

Human hair seems to be a very popular art medium these days, considering a number of artists are using it to make all kinds of things, from hair necklaces, to high-heel shoes and even hair dresses. The last artist to use human air in her art is Agustina Woodgate, who recently used it to built two castles. The first one, called Tower, stands around four feet tall and is made from small tightly-bound hair bricks. Blonde hair was used for the castle’s window frame, and she made use of white hair from senior citizens, for the narrow ledge above the window. Most of the castle bricks were created using a mix of different-color hair that actually looks like clay. Her second hair structure, called Sandcastle, actually looks like it’s been molded from sand, using a children’s bucket.

Agustina Woodgate is known for her choice of unusual materials, like discarded materials and stuffed animals.

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Quilled Starry Night Is Just Too Cool for Words

This piece of quilled eye candy was created by Susan Myers, of Suzy’s Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom, and it’s not only one of the coolest reproductions of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but one of the most awesome artworks I have ever seen.

I wrote a post about the art of quilling some time ago, and it became one of the most popular posts on Oddity Central, so I expect many of you are going to find this particular artwork fascinating. Quilling basically means cutting colorful strips of paper and rolling them with a special tool, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Creating advanced shapes out of paper strips and placing them in the right position requires genuine skill.

Susan Myers is an artist with a mission – to complete one of her UFOs (Unfinished Objects) every month. In the month of June she worked on a quilled replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, one of the most famous paintings in the world, and finally managed to finish it in late July. But noticing the attention to detail in her work it’s easy to understand why it took her a little longer than planned. She started her masterpiece by drawing the basic outline with a white-color pencil on a large sheet of thick blue cardstock. Then she grabbed her quilling tool, a paper cutter and colored cardstock and the rest is history.

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Couple Get Married in Geeky Ceremony Conducted by Computer

A couple who found each other through an online social network called “Sweet on Geeks”, decided to geek out their wedding by having a computer program called Reverend Bit perform the ceremony.

Miguel Hanson and Diana Wesley had one of the most unusual yet appropriate weddings in human history. Hanson, a Houston web developer and IT consultant, got the crazy idea after they couldn’t find a friend to serve as minister at their wedding. He decided he was going to write his own minister, and while she acknowledged it would make them the target of nerd jokes, Diana agreed because it just fit who they are – geeks. They met on Sweet on Geeks, they both love science fiction and fantasy, and since the maid of honor was going to make the bride’s cake with Nerds candy as icing, they agreed to geek out their wedding completely.

The unique wedding ceremony took place on Saturday, in Hanson’s house, where the 30 or so guests were greeted by a mechanical, robotic voice. It was Reverend Bit, a program created by Miguel Hanson himself, who treated the audience to a short story about how the couple met, before beginning the actual ceremony. His square animated face appeared on one side of the 30 inch monitor, while the other side showed the text of what he was saying. His voice came over a sound system.

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Artist Sets Record for World’s Most Complex Connect-the-Dots Drawing

Melbourne-based artist Thomas Pavitt has set an unofficial record for the world’s most complex dot-to-dot drawing, after completing a 6,239 dots replica of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

One of the most popular themes in Thomas Pavitt’s art is the use of basic techniques to create very complex masterpieces. And since connect-the-dots is one of the most basic artistic techniques, requiring only the ability to count and draw lines, he decided to give it a shot. After searching the web for the standing record for the most complex dot-to-dot drawing without finding anything, the Australian artist and designer decided to set one himself.

Pavitt used 6,239 different-color dots to recreate the famous Mona Lisa, and spent over nine hours connecting them. After each 400 dots he changed the color to keep track of what number he was looking for next, and even used dots for his signature. The artwork took 9 hours and 15 minutes to complete, and while it doesn’t come close to the years it took Da Vinci to paint the original, it’s still an impressive achievement.

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Chinese Men Turn to Pole-Dancing to Tone Their Physique

After noticing the positive effects pole-dancing has on the bodies of female practitioners, a growing number of Chinese men decided to get past their inhibitions and started practicing pole dancing as a way to strengthen their muscles.

China is the home country of popular martial arts like Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and engaging sports like dragon boat racing, but young Chinese men seem to prefer more modern activities that, until recently, have been considered a feminine activity. According to Yan Shaoxuan, a young instructor at a pole-dancing school in Beijing, pole-dancing is a really effective workout that strengthens the muscles and helps define men’s chest and abdomen.

Until recently, pole-dancing was a taboo topic in Chinese society, associated with sex and nightclubs, but as more and more men take up these classes, general perception is starting to change. Some gyms have even started offering pole-dancing classes to attract clients. All around the world, pole-dancing experts are trying to change people’s minds and get them to see their passion for what it really is – a sporting activity that requires great skill and years of practice to master.

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10 Coolest Finds of the Week #3

Blonde Causes Most Expensive Car Crash of the Year (SWNS)

You Can Own Your Own Town for Just $800,000 (Geekosystem)

A Journey to Find the Mysterious and Elusive White Spirit Bear (Environmental Graffiti)

World’s Longest Motorcycle Can Seat 25 Riders (Metro)

World’s Most Expensive House Goes on Sale for $175 Million (Daily Mail)

Guinness Record Holder Spins 105 Hula Hoops (Xinhua)

11 Craziest Internet Tattoos (Oddee)

Miss Cicciolina 2011 – A Plus-SIzed Beauty Pageant (Huffington Post)

Royal de Luxe’s Giant Marionettes Perform in Nantes (Laughing Squid)

Mushroom Suit Decomposes Your Body after Death (Dvice)

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Submarine Enthusiast Converts Small Barge into U-Boat Replica

Richard Williams may be 51 years old, but he still has the dreams of a young boy. Sure, he’s not the only one, but unlike others he set out to fulfill them. I guess it’s true what they say, better late than never.

As a child, Richard was a big Star Trek fan, but never got the chance to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, so ten years ago he converted one of the rooms in his apartment into the bridge of the iconic spaceship. It wasn’t the best Star Trek replica ever created, but it made our man happy. “Every boy wants a spaceship, but I got to 40 before I could have mine”, he says, but that’s not the only childhood dream he managed to fulfill. The idea for his U-boat replica, came around his 50th birthday, when his father bought him a barge, so he could enjoy life at a more relaxed pace. But as soon as he laid eyes on it, the former mobility scooter salesman began devising a plan to turn it into something more exciting.

At first, he wanted to transform his barge into The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, but after he finished converting the hull, he learned the specialist yellow paint would cost him £4,000 ($6,500), so he settled for black, which was considerably cheaper. When it was finished, his wife Laurel said it looked a lot like a German U-boat, and since he had always been interested in naval history, he decided to take it to the next level. With the help of a company that supplies props for the Star Wars and James Bond movies, Richard Williams decided to turn his U-boat into a floating museum.

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German Fashion Designer Creates Clothes from Milk

Yes, that white stuff cows make. Anke Domaske, a German fashion designer/microbiologist, has found a way to create a special fiber from milk and use it to make fashionable eco-clothes.

The 28-year-old designer realized there’s more to milk than meets the eye, and since she’s always had a thing for science, she and her team spent years experimenting with turning it into eco-thread. It was a lot like experimenting ingredients you have in your cupboard, only in this case the result was truly revolutionary. They came up with a special mixture  containing a protein derived from sour milk, which is processed in a lab, near the German city of Brehmen. It’s heated up and pressed through a kind of mincing machine to create the threads. And the best thing is the milk used is low grade and would normally be thrown away.

But how does a fashion designer come up with a complicated formula for creating bio thread from milk? Anke Domaske learned to make clothes as a child, from her great grandmother, a milliner, but she also had a passion for science and even won a contest for up-and-coming scientists, as a teenager. After she finished school she went to Tokyo, Japan, where she sold t-shirts she designed herself. On her return home she began studying microbiology and set-up her own fashion label on the side. In short she managed to balance her two greatest interests and the result is astonishing.

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Sweet Meat Desserts by Jasmin Schuller

They might look good enough to eat, but Jasmin Schuller’s desserts aren’t at all what they seem. The artist made them using weird ingredients like meat scraps, blood and grease.

Austrian artist and photographer Jasmin Schuller proves you don’t unnecessarily need image processing software like Photoshop to put consumer perception to the test. For her Sweat Meat series of so-called desserts, all it took was outstanding craftsmanship and attention to detail.  She used plenty of meat scraps, two liters of blood, a bucket of animals grease and five kilos of raw meat, and processed them all into mouth-watering treats. For example, that ice-cream sundae is made from various minced meats, covered in “delicious” grease cream, and topped with a cherry carved from a pig’s heart. The cherry syrup is actually blood.

Although only cannibals would find Jasmin’s Sweat Meat truly delicious, the photos she took look so delicious I bet they’d even tempt vegetarians.

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Chinese School for Gold Diggers Proves Big Hit

Why bother building a successful career, when you can just marry yourself a rich guy that will pamper and take care of you, forever? A Chinese school, ironically named the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women, claims it can teach single ladies how to get their hands on a billionaire. I know, it sounds like new you’d expect to read on The Onion, but this one’s for real, folks.

According to a popular Chinese saying “Marriage is a career. A good marriage is the most successful career for a woman”. So, considering many Chinese women rate a marriage by how rich the husband is, it comes as no surprise that the courses offered by the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women have been pretty popular. Since the school first opened its gates, in August 2010, over 3,000 students, aged between 21 and 36 have attended its courses, hoping to find Mr Rich Right. Most of them are middle class women who can apparently afford to pay around 20,000 yuan ($3,100) for 10 to 30 husband-hunting classes.

But what does a gold-digger study at one of these schools, you ask? Well, instead of acquiring skills that would help them make a living, these young ladies study the art of being charming. Teachers at the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women are all top-class professionals in their fields; for example, one of them is a Beijing Radio host, and he teaches the girls how to speak with a soft and charming voice. Others teach the art of applying the perfect make-up, and tea-pouring techniques, in short everything a Chinese woman has to know in order to snag a rich husband.

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Thai Artist Builds Functional Alien-Predator-Themed Motorcycle

What if an Alien and a Predator decided to put aside their differences and have a baby? It sounds crazy, I know, but I’m guessing that’s what Roongrojna Sangwongprisarn had in mind when he built this mad-looking motorcycle.

Roongrojna is a Bangkok-based artist who creates all kinds of awesome metal sculptures, based on popular monsters, using discarded parts from cars, motorcycles and bicycles. The 54-year-old owns four shops across Thailand, called Ko Art Shop, and exports his works of art all over the world.

You’ve probably seen more impressive Hollywood movie props, but unlike those, this impressive piece of metal work is actually rideable. I have no idea what bike this was initially, or how fast it is, but who needs speed when you’re riding a metal masterpiece like this, right? It’s hard to believe it was made exclusively from discarded metal parts…

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Indonesia’s Laughing Cock Craze Is No Laughing Matter

Roosters being sold for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars might sound like a joke to you, but in many parts of Indonesia it’s very serious business.

They look like ordinary cocks, but it’s only when they start crowing that people realize just how special they really are. Instead of the normal “cock-a-doodle-do”, these birds make a sound similar to human laughter, which earned them the name “laughing cocks“. Trained and raised to make this special sounds, laughing cocks are source of pride for their owners, who feed them only the best foods, and pamper them with large, ornate cages. This breed of chicken originated in South Sulawesi, where it was known as ayam raja (king chicken), because only Burgis kings were allowed to breed them.

Nowadays, anyone who can afford is allowed to breed laughing cocks, and while they are very valuable, they’re also extremely sensitive. They have to be fed properly and their big cages have to be cleaned twice a day, because these birds tend to become ill very easily. But the high maintenance cost is easily covered by the profit of selling laughing cocks or winning regional laughing contests. A day old chick sells for Rp 100,000 ($12), while a 3-month old bird goes for Rp 300,000 ($36) to Rp 500,000 ($59). But it’s the mature laughing roosters that bring the most profit, as the price of a 9-month bird ranges between Rp 3 million ($354) and Rp 5 million ($590).

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Mom Celebrates Divorce by Tattooing 85% of Her Body

Jacqui Moore, a 41-year-old mother of two, covered 85% of her body with tattoos, in celebration of her divorce and the beginning of a new chapter in her life.

When Jacqui, from Oxford, England, divorced her husband Martin, in 2003, was so happy about her new found freedom that she decided to get a tattoo in celebration of the event. But as soon  as she walked through the door of the tattoo parlor and met Andreas “Curly” Moore her life changed once again. The two fell in love on the spot and that one tattoo she had in mind turned into a gigantic piece that spanned over eight years. The only parts that aren’t covered with ink are her left armpit, her right leg and most of her face.

Curly, who also sports an impressive full-body suit tattoo, is responsible for every one of the tattoos on Jacqui’s body. Her back is covered by a swarm of dragonflies, a giant spiderweb with tarantulas coming out of it is etched on her stomach, and her right leg features Indian and Tibetan flowers. He didn’t charge her for his services, of course, but it’s estimated the epic tattoo would have cost a mind-blowing $22,000.

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Japanese Clone Factory Makes Creepy Lookalike Dolls of Its Clients

If you’ve always wanted to have yourself cloned, you’re probably going to have to wait a few more years, but in the meantime you can get a creepy doll that looks just like you, from the Clone Factory, in Japan.

Danny Choo, of Culture Japan visited the quirky Clone Factory, in Tokyo’s Akihabara district and decided to try out their services himself. Lucky for us, he also snapped some nice photos of the place and the making process of a miniature clone doll. The so-called cloning process begins with the subject sitting on a chair in a room surrounded by SLR cameras and lighting stands. After he/she has the proper pose, the cameras start triggering in a loop, taking photos from all possible angles. The photos are then transferred into a computer and a 3D model of the client’s head is rendered. Once that’s out of the way, it’s time for the actual doll-making.

This all happens in Japan, so, obviously, they have a high-tech printer that pretty much does all the work. All they have to do is connect it to the computer, insert a tray full of plaster powder and the printer creates the detailed model using layers of ink which harden in the plaster. When the tray comes out, it looks pretty much untouched, but once the excess plaster powder is removed, a creepy, smiling doll is revealed, and it looks so much like an actual person it’s not even funny.

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Students Take Ice-Cream Making Courses at Italy’s Gelato University

I thought making ice-cream was pretty easy, but it seems that if you really want to get it right you have to take courses at the Gelato University, in Bologna, Italy.

Ice-cream making was one of the last thing I would have imagined required attending a university, but in reality thousands of students from all over the world study the art of making quality ice-cream at the Carpigiani Gelato University, in Bologna., every year. Gelato lovers, and entrepreneurs who want to learn the secrets of making great ice-cream and take it back to their homelands pay around €800 ($1,138) for a week of courses and accommodation at a nearby hotel. They attend technical lectures on traditional gelato-making techniques by veteran ice-cream makers, and take part in practical courses where they learn to use the world famous Carpigiani gelato machines.

Believe it or not, the Carpigiani Gelato University has been around for a long time, and as more people around the globe fall in love with the Italian gelato, it gets more students with each passing year. In 2011, the number of students has gone from 9,000 to 12,000 and for the first time in history, the number of foreign tourists has surpassed that of Italians.

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