For over a year, 47-year-old Scott Loxley has been walking across Australia dressed as a Stormtrooper. He started the quest on Nov 2 last year, with a goal of covering 15,000 kilometers on foot, non-stop, with no support crew. His unique journey has taken him from Melbourne to Tasmania, through the debilitating Nullarbor Plain, and up the west coast to Bourne, leading up to Darwin. He’s walked a whopping 9,000 kilometers so far, and with 6,000 more to go, he has no intentions of stopping.
Brazilian artist João Carvalho may be only 15 years old, but his incredible talent more than makes up for his lack of experience. The young artist can completely transform plain paper into ruled notebook sheets with 3D illusions popping out of them.
He starts by drawing blue lines on a blank sheet, but distorts them and adds intense shadows at just the right places, adding depth to his dessigns and creating the effect of three dimensional shapes that seem to jump off the page.
Some of these shapes include popular characters like Homer Simpson, Scooby Doo, and Jerry the mouse. He also creates effects like ripples of flowing water and wrinkled paper.
Tilling a field is hard work, so it’s hard to believe that there are people who actually do it for sport. However, rototiller racing is actually a thing! The world championship is held every year during the PurpleHull Pea festival in Emerson, Arkansas, where the world’s fastest garden tillers get together to compete for the highly coveted $500 prize.
“There is simply no other event like it,” the PurpleHull website declares. “Unique among motorsports, we like to say it is the highlight of the tiller racing season. ‘Course, to the best of our knowledge, our one-day event is the tiller racing season. Souped-up garden tillers from near and far come to compete in the world’s premier tiller racing event.”
The race begins with one competitor (a.k.a tiller pilot) per lane (200-feet-long), with the referees waiting at the finish line with their eyes on stopwatches. When the starter waves the flag, the racers are off, kicking up a huge cloud of dirt as they go. The fastest tiller is declared the winner.
In an attempt to understand what women go through every day, a couple of German radio DJs recently had their chests injected with a saline solution to emulate female breasts. John and Rasheed, who are actually well-know in Berlin for their strange experiments, underwent a one-hour procedure with cosmetic surgeon Mark Wolter to get temporary boobs for 24 hours.
“Mom, I’m sorry,” said Rasheed, just before he and his colleague were strapped down for the procedure. John had brought along his wife and her bikini for support.
While most women turn to ice cream and tissues for the much needed post-breakup comforting, this Chinese woman chose a different way to deal with heartbreak – she went and got herself a fake wedding with the man who dumped her!
The woman, who calls herself ‘Doudou’, is a student in Wenzhou city in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province. She told reporters that she’d been swept off her feet by a businessman, 11 years her senior, whom she’d met at a restaurant. “I found him charming and romantic and thought I had met my dream man, and that we would spend the rest of our lives together,” she said.
Unfortunately, Doudou’s dreams were shattered when she discovered that her knight-in-shining-armor was already married. This resulted in a furious row, but she had already fallen for him hard. “I was already in too deep, and didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Princess, a four-year-old German Spitz, is supposedly the world’s only hypnodog – a dog that can hypnotize people. She has been showing off her unique skill on stage for the past two years, alongside her owner Krystyna Lennon, a qualified hypnotist.
According to Lennon, Princess is able to make people fall asleep by just staring into their eyes. This might be linked to the primal ability of dogs to hypnotize their prey, but no other dog has ever been able to do it to humans before. “As far as I am aware, she is definitely the only hypnodog in the UK – possibly even the world,” Lennon asserted.
The Leeds-based mother-of-three said that Princess can hypnotize anyone, but some people react more strongly than others. “It is definitely not something that just any dog can do, it is a very specific skill,” she added. “They either have it or they don’t. It’s about their natural ability, it’s all down to the dog. They need to be very well trained and well behaved.”
Since 2009, 32-year-old Shanyna Isom has been suffering from a mysterious skin condition that causes fingernails to grow out of the hair follicles all over her body. The mystery illness is so inconceivably strange that even after five years, doctors have no idea what is wrong with her. According to physicians treating her at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, in Baltimore, Shanyna is the only person in the world suffering from the bizarre disease.
It all started in 2009, when Shanyna – then a law student at the University of Memphis – suffered a massive asthma attack. She went into the emergency room where was given a large dose of steroids. Soon after, she developed an allergic reaction to the steroids, and her skin began to itch uncontrollably. Although she was prescribed Benadryl and other allergy drugs , her condition kept getting worse.
“It was uncontrollable and we didn’t know what it was. Black scabs were coming out of her skin,” Shanyna’s mother Kathy Gary explained. “The nails would grow so long and come out and regrow themselves. They are hard to touch and stick to you.” Soon, her legs started to turn black.
Italian performance artist Sven Sachsalber is basing his latest work on an age old figure of speech. He’s going spend two whole days looking for a needle in a haystack. Well, people have been talking about it for so long, I say it’s about time someone actually gave it a try!
For two days this week – Thursday and Friday – 27-year-old Sven will be combing a stack of hay in search of that elusive pre-inserted needle, at Palais de Tokyo, a contemporary art gallery in Paris.
A couple of Belgian designers have come up with a new range of edible food containers that are eco-friendly, taste good, and most importantly, save people from the misery of doing dishes.
The young entrepreneurs – Helene Hoyois and Thibaut Gilquin – got the idea after hosting a party one night, after which they found themselves facing a mountain of dirty dishes to that needed cleaning. Instinctively, Thibaut turned to Helene and asked: “And if we eat the dishes?”
He was only joking at first, but the duo soon started to take the idea seriously. After a few trials, they finally managed to come up with a viable concept – containers made from a combination of potato starch, water and oil. The material is tough enough to retain all sorts of foods and sauces, but is also easily digestible.
This Mississippi Rancher Who Tried to Bring About the Second Coming of Jesus by Shipping Red Cows to Israel
Reverend Clyde Lott is a revivalist preacher and cattle rancher from Mississippi, who attempted to hasten the end of the world in a rather unusual way – by shipping red cows to Israel. He took up the challenge in accordance with an obscure injunction in the Book of Numbers, which states that without the sacrifice of a red heifer, the Jewish people cannot be purified and enabled to rebuild the Third Temple.
According to the Hebrew Bible, the apocalyptic countdown will play out something like this: Jews would return to Israel after 2,000 years – the Holy Temple would be rebuilt – billions of people would perish during seven years of natural disasters – the antichrist would rise and rule the world – the battle of Armageddon would commence somewhere near Israel – Jesus would return to defeat Satan’s armies and then preside over Judgment Day.
For things to turn out as prophesied, the Holy Temple needs to be rebuilt, of course, and purified with the sacrifice of a blemish-free red heifer. Some people even believe that the construction of the temple cannot be resumed unless a red cow that fits the description is actually born, signalling the beginning of the end. The heifer in question is mentioned specifically in Numbers 19:2: “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish and upon which never came a yoke.”
An extraordinary plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes has been developed in the UK. Just one of these bad boys can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes above the ground, and a decent crop of white potatoes below. Aptly named ‘TomTato’, the plant is actually 100 percent natural, and not genetically modified as one would expect.
TomTato, a.k.a ‘veg plot in a pot’, was developed through high-tech grafting by Thompson and Morgan, a horticultural firm based in the town of Ipswich, in Suffolk, England. Although similar plants have been created in the UK before, this is the first time someone has managed to produce a commercially viable version.
According to Guy Barter of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), taste was a real problem with past varieties, but the TomTato seems to have hit the jackpot.
The Seshachalam Hills in Southern India are home to one of the nation’s most popular pilgrimage destinations – the town of Tirumala. Each year, millions of pilgrims display their devotion for the presiding deity, Sri Venkateswara, in the most bizarre fashion – by tonsuring their heads!
There’s actually a rather interesting story behind the unusual practice – according to ancient lore, Sri Venkateswara is believed to have taken a loan in order to fund his own wedding celebrations. The debt was so huge that he continues to pay it off to this day, and requires assistance in doing so. And his devotees are more than happy to help by donating their hair to the cause.
The local temple receives donations from at least 20,000 devotees each day, so they’ve employed a whopping 600 barbers to get the job done. The tonsuring takes place in a specially designated building that’s separate from the main temple, and also at 16 smaller locations around town. Thousands of pilgrims sit cross-legged on the floor with their heads bent forward, as the barbers work their scissors and razors at lighting speed.
I suppose nothing complements the loudness of heavy metal better than ear-bleeding screeches. And when those sounds come from a bird instead of a human, it’s bound to make an impression. Meet Waldo, a Congo African Grey Parrot, a heavy metal prodigy and the lead vocalist of a Baltimore-based band, ‘Hatebeak’.
The band was formed in 2004, by audio engineers Blake Harrison and Mark Sloan, who played the guitar and drums respectively. Hatebeak was a strictly studio project with unintelligible lyrics and no real melody. They never toured so as to not torture the bird. “We don’t play live,” Blake once explained. “It would be absolute torture for the bird to experience decibels at those levels. Waldo is the only vocalist for Hatebeak. He does parrot noises and also says some words.”
In the years they were active, Blake and Mark never revealed their last names on their releases in order to maintain the mystery surrounding Hatebeak. They were signed by Reptilian Records (which is now on hiatus), and most of their discography had an avian theme with titles like ‘Number of the Beak’, ‘Beak of Putrefaction’, and ‘The Thing That Should Not Beak’.
In a geeky display of love, a game designer from Guangzhou city, China, confessed his feelings to a co-worker, surrounded by 99 brand new iPhones. The extravagant gesture cost the man a whopping 500,000 yuan (over $80,000) – two years’ worth of his savings.
The man stacked up the 99 boxes of phones in the shape of a heart in the middle of the office parking lot during break. He then stood in the center with a bouquet of roses, ready to profess his undying love. The woman arrived at the scene after some cajoling and pressure from the rest of the co-workers. She apparently heard him out, but hasn’t given him a reply yet.
A new taxi service in Stockholm is offering its passengers a chance to relieve stress on the go. They’ve got psychotherapists occupying the back seats of three different cabs, offering free consultations. The two-week initiative was started late last month by a company called Taxi Stockholm, which claims it’s the first project of its kind in the world.
The idea was conceived when the owners of Taxi Stockholm realized that people are more likely to talk about their problems on dull, quiet drives. They even have data to back up the theory; according to spokeswoman Natalia Santos, a study revealed that “around 70 percent of people said their taxi journeys were a good time for reflection and that they often found their minds wandering.”
“And when you think about it, the drivers can even become like therapists,” she added. “So we decided to put the two together for all Stockholmers – especially considering it’s getting so cold and dark now.”