Chinese Farmer Creates Army of Home-Made Robots

Wu Yulu, a Chinese farmer, from a small village, outside Beijing, has created a series of 47 robots, out of scrap metal. They can accomplish various functions, from drinking, to walking and even pulling a rickshaw.

Ever since he can remember, Wu Yulu has been fascinated with the mechanics of movement. He always dreamed of building robots that could imitate human behavior, and in 1986, he decided to put his dream into practice. 24 years later, our techie farmer is the proud inventor of 47 home-made robots.

But Wu Yulu has made many sacrifices, in the name of science. He almost lost his wife and two children, after burning down the house, while working on a robot, accumulated great debt, and was even sprayed with battery acid. But like any respectable mad scientist, our man didn’t give up.

And now his effort are finally being rewarded. Mr. Wu has been invited to showcase his scrap metal creations and their functionality, at the 2010 Shanghai Expo. This after already receiving a number of prizes and contracts with universities. But he doesn’t get all this go to his head. he still lives in his modest village house, surrounded by pieces of metal and broken doll parts.

The strangest thing, about Wu Yulu, is he declared he loves his metal robots, more than he loves his own kids. He refers to his rickshaw robot as his 32nd son, and even programmed it to say “Wy Yulu is my dad, I take him out on the town.” How cool is that!

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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Dome of Milan Is the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture

Mirco Della Vecchia, one of Italy’s most famous chocolatiers, has set a new world record for the largest chocolate sculpture.
Mister Della Vecchia was competing with himself, for the new record, as he was the current holder, for a chocolate sculpture of the Dolomiti Mountains, made in 2009. This time, Mirco decided to create a replica of the Dome of Milan, that would be even bigger than his last sweet masterpiece.

Together with a team of artists Mirco Della Vecchia spent many days sculpting the white chocolate Dome. All the left-over chocolate was wrapped in small packages and sold to passers-by, in Milan’s Carosello Shopping Mall, where the event took place. All the proceeds will be donated to children of Haiti foundations, to help rebuild their lives.

Miro Della Vecchia’s white chocolate Dome of Milan is 1.5 meters tall, 2.5 meters long and weighed and impressive 7,500 pounds.

via GuinnessWorldRecords

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World’s Biggest Banana Collection Saved by a Donation

Back in January, when “Top Banana” Ken Bannister was forced to split (get it?) with his giant banana collection, out of the place that served as headquarters of the Banana Club and Museum, since 1972, things looked grim for banana lovers, everywhere.

But thanks to a substantial donation, of approximately $50,000, the Banana Museum will live on. When Banana Club founder, Ken Bannister, posted an ad on eBay, announcing he was wiling to part with his extensive collection, fellow fruit lover Fred Garbutt decided to become the new curator of the Banana Museum

Garbutt’s donation bought him a 17,000 item banana collection, including a banana golf club, banana drinks, and even a Michael Jackson banana. He has big plans for his purchase, which include buying a BMW and painting it yellow, selling banana-leaf wallpaper and making banana clothes, for kids. A real banana man, as Ken Bannister, himself said.

It can’t be easy for “Top Banana” Ken Bannister to leave his 38-year-long work, in the hands of someone else, but it’s better than letting it go to waste, that’s for sure.

Photos via BananaClub

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Obama Nightclub to Open in Shanghai

President Obama may not be as popular as he was when he became president of the United States, but his name is still viewed as a potential client driver.

A Chinese entrepreneur, from Shanghai, China is relying on Barack Obama’s popularity to make his soon-to-open nightclub a profitable venture. The Obama Nightclub is schedule to open on April 26 2010, and as you can see in the photos below, all of Shanghai is full of advertising banners. The website is, unfortunately, under construction.

Odd as it may be, this is really not a bad idea, considering how popular the American president is, in China, You may remember the wacky ways the Chinese people celebrated his visit, last year.

Photos via ImagineChina

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Now This Is a Man’s Tractor

They don’t make them like this, anymore, that’s for sure. This bad boy is called Big Bud and it’s the world’s largest farm tractor. It’s 27 feet long, 20 feet wide and 14 feet tall.

Big Bud was built in 1977, in Havre, Montana, by Ron Harmonn and the crew of the Northern Manufacturing Company. It was commissioned by the Rossi Brothers, for their cotton farm, in Bakersfield, California. The main purpose of Big Bud was deep ripping, and it did the job for 11 years, until in moved to another farm, in Florida.

In 1997, 20 years after it rolled out of the Northern Manufacturing Company, Big Bud returned to Montana, to serve the farm of the Williams Brothers. Here, the giant tractor is used for cultivation purposes, pulling an 80-foot-wide cultivator. Even if you have no agricultural experience, you can tell that’s a damn big cultivator.

Equipped with custom-built tires, made by United Tire Company of Canada, Big Bud can work more than an acre of land in just one minute. The Williams Brothers made some minor modifications to the engine, and the tractor is now able to produce 900 bhp, instead of the initial 760 bhp.

When its gas tank is full, Big Bud tips the scale at 50 tons.

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The 7 Horniest People on Earth

It doesn’t happen very often, but people do grow horns. They’re called cutaneous horns and they are the result of a wide range of epidermal lesions. According to the World Journal of Surgical Oncology, cutaneous horns appear in men over 55 and women over 65. Rare as these cases may be, cutaneous horns have been around for quite some time, with the first documented case appearing in the 1500s. Let’s have a look at seven of the most recent cases of horned people:

Man from Zheng Zhou

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Onbashira – Japan’s Riskiest Celebration

Held every six years, in the Nagano area of Japan, Onbashira Festival is believed to have continued uninterruptedly, for the last 1200 years.

Onbashira, literally translated as “the sacred pillars”, is a Japanese tradition that symbolizes the renewal of Suwa Grand Shrine. It consists of two phases: Yamadashi and Satobiki, the first held in April, and the second in May. Before Onbashira begins, 16 tree trunks, cut form 200-year-old Japanese fir trees are cut down. Each tree can be up to 1 meter across, 16 meters tall and weigh up to 12 tons.

Yamadashi is translated as “coming out of the mountains” and is the most popular part of the festival. Teams of men have to drag the logs down the mountain, to Suwa Shrine. At some points they encounter steep slopes where they must slide the tree trunks. In a ceremony called Ki-otoshi, brave young men risk their lives by climbing on the trunks and riding the all the way down the muddy slopes. It takes 3 days to move the sacred tree trunks, over 10 kilometers, to the shrine.

Satobiki involves placing the logs at the four corners of the four buildings that make up Suwa Grand Shrine. Using ropes, teams have to pull up the giant tree trunks in a vertical position, with young men sitting on them. Those still on the logs after they are positioned, perform all sort of feats.

On Sunday, during the 2010 edition of Onbashira Festival, a man was crushed to death by a tree trunk, during Satobiki. One of the ropes came loose and hit the 38-year-old man in the head. Several others were injured in the accident.

Photos via Daylife

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Bacon AT-AT Looks Better than the Star-Wars Original

The guys at This Is Freakin Ridiculous have come up with an original way to celebrate Bacon Day: create a 3 feet-tall Bacon AT-AT.

For bacon-munching Star-Wars fans out there, it just doesn’t get any better than this. Last year TIFR celebrated Bacon day with the BA-K-47 and decided to follow up with something even cooler. And what’s cooler than 40 lbs of bacon slapped on a foam model of the AT-AT?

This baby took 21 hours of non-stop work to complete, and the guys who made it strongly recommend you never cook 40 lbs of bacon in one sitting. It’s just too dangerous. But the result is so awesome, I can say it’s the best bacon sculpture I’ve seen so far.

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German Designer Builds House Out of Beer Coasters

21-year-old Sven Goebel set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest house made of regular beer coasters.

The five-room flat Goebel had been working on, since January, was presented to the media, on Sunday, April 11, in Volgeslang, near the German town of Schleiden. The beer coaster house, which was partially furnished with armchairs, a table and a fireplace, was made up of around 300,000 individual beer coasters.

The young German designer spent 6-8 hours every day, seven days a week, adding up to 1,000 beer coasters, daily, to complete his delicate masterpiece. But, on Sunday, he sent his own work tumbling down,with just one quick flick of the wrist, and a few kicks.

Why would anyone do that, after so much work, you ask. Well, apparently, young Sven Goebel wanted to prove to everyone that his beer coaster house wasn’t held together by glue, or anything else.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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Bolivia’s Day of the Skulls

Dia de los Natitas (Day of the Skulls) is an ancient Bolivian ritual where skulls are decorated with flowers and pampered with cigarettes, coca leaves and other treats.

Every November 9, the central cemetery, in La Paz, Bolivia, becomes the scene of a bizarre pre-Columbian tradition, known as Dia de los Natitas.  Women carrying skulls, in decorated wooden or cardboard boxes, fancy glass cases and even in plastic bags, gather outside the cemetery to show off their skulls. They are usually decorated with flower petals (hydrangeas and roses) and covered with knitted colorful caps.

Some Bolivians believe a person has seven souls, and one of them remains in the skeleton, after they’ve been buried. Once the other souls have left for heaven, the remains are dug up and the skull taken home and cared for. If they’re not respected, skulls can bring bad luck to a household, ruin the harvest and even break up a family. But if they’re properly taken care of, you can ask the skull for favors.

A big part of caring for the skull is represented by the Dia de Las Natitas celebration. Skulls are offered cigarettes, coca leaves, alcohol and are even serenaded by street musicians.

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Jabuticaba – The Grape Tree That Fruits on Its Trunk

I remember seeing a tree that had flowers on most of its trunk, but I’ve never even heard of a tree that laid fruit directly on its trunk. Have you?

Jabuticaba, also known as the Grape Tree, is a unique tree found around South-American countries like Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Unlike other trees, its fruit can be plucked and eaten right off the trunk. In order to survive, Jabuticaba has evolved in order to make its fruit more accessible to animals who can’t climb. This way they can reach the fruit, eat it and expel the seeds far away from the parent tree.

Jabuticaba fruits are purple, juicy, and can be either eaten fresh, used in jellies, or left to ferment and made into wine and strong liquor. Dried Jabuticaba fruit peels can be used to treat asthma and diarrhea, and scientists hope it will prove useful in the fight against cancer, as several anti-cancer compounds have been identified in the fruit.

It may look like these tree have been infected by some sort of plant disease, but it’s just evolution at work.

via Kuriositas

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Orangutan Boxing Matches Held in Thailand

A Thai theme-park, outside Bangkok has become a popular tourist attraction by organizing orangutan boxing matches.

Huge crowds of tourists and “sport” enthusiasts gather at Safari World to watch orangutans duke it out in 30 minute-boxing matches. Forced to wear boxing gloves and shorts, the two primates have been trained to hit each other for the entertainment of man. Although organizers claim the orangutans have been trained to simulate being knocked-down, animal activists say it’s a clear case of animal cruelty.

It’s sad to see thousands of tourists cheer as two 250-pound primates pummel each other, or hear them whistling when a female orangutan, wearing a bikini, displays the round number, but it’s the world we’re living in. These peaceful creatures don’t fight because they like to, but because they’ve been trained to do so, an because they would be beaten if they didn’t.

The Thai government shut down the monkey boxing matches, in 2004, and it’s yet unclear how this bizarre and cruel show is still allowed.

Photos by Barcroft India

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Russians Blow Up Their Own Weapons

Russia’s blow-up weapons might seem funny, but they play a crucial role in the country’s strategy to keep their real arsenal hidden from prying eyes.

The inflatable decoys were commissioned by the Russian government, to protect their real military capabilities from surveillance satellites. The company making them, Rusbal, says they imitate the heat signature of real military vehicles and look so realistic that’s it’s easy to mistake them for the real thing, even from short distances.

These blow-up weapons are only around 100 kg heavy and can be easily transported and set up by small teams, in a matter of minutes. They’ll also stay intact in case of gunfire or small explosions.

Even though this type of inflatable decoys have been very popular in World War II and the Cold War, they are just as important and useful now as they were then. Rusbal says they are now creating inflatable decoys for Russia and several other Western countries.

Photos via CCTV

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Saimir Strati – The Master of Mosaics

One of the world’s best known mosaic artists, Saimir Strati, from Albania, has created some of the most original and impressive mosaics in history. For his creations he has been rewarded with four Guinness Records and international fame. From nails to paintbrushes, Strati can almost any kind of material to create amazing mosaic masterpieces. Let’s have a look at his four most memorable achievements:

The photos used in this post are copyright of Saimir Strati and mosaicart-sast.

Nail Leonardo Da Vinci mosaic

In 2006, Saimir Strati would shock the art world with his giant mosaic of Leonardo Da Vinci, made entirely from nails. It was 6 1/2 x 13 feet and held over 800 lbs of nails. Each nail acted as a pixel, rising and falling to depict every detail of Da Vinci’s face.

It took 500,000 nails and 24 days to complete, but this nail mosaic won Saimir Strati his first Guinness Record, for the World’s Biggest Nail Mosaic.


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Who Knew Snails Could Grow This Big

Giant African Snails are the largest species of snails on the planet, with a shell that can grow up to 30 cm long and 15 cm in diameter.

Native to the tropical forests of Ghana, Africa, Giant African Snails live in tropical conditions, with no natural enemies. That, combined with the fact each snail can lay up to twelve hundred eggs per year, makes their large population, a problem. wherever a colony of these giant snails settles down, all other species of tree snails go extinct. Their insatiable appetite for any kind of plants and fruits, makes Giant African Snails pests, in their homeland. Just so you can get an idea, these things eat even the stucco and paint, buildings.

Like all snails, GAS are hermaphrodite and very prolific. Just one pair of snails can turn into an 8 to 10 billion colony, in their 5-7 year life span. Another half cycle like this, and we’re looking at 16 quadrillion giant crawlers. It’s a scary image, especially since they can bury themselves for up to 6 months, if the climate isn’t right for them

While they’re regarded as parasites, in Africa, in the Western World, Giant African Snails are some of the most coveted pets on the market, because of their intelligence and ability to reproduce sounds. Actually, I’m pulling your leg, people just like them because their huge, slimy and hard to come by.

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