Artist Uses iPad to Create Detailed Celebrity Portraits

Long-gone are the days when painting was strictly done with specialized tools, like brushes, on canvases. Nowadays artists use anything from remote-controlled toy cars to Molotov cocktails to express their talents. So it should come to know surprise Kyle Lambert uses just one finger and the Apple iPad to create detailed celebrity portraits.

Kyle Lambert is a young English artist who specializes in portraits rendered using an iPad tablet and an $8 app, called Brushes. He only uses one finger as the brush, but judging by the detailed outcome, you’d think he has a whole set of professional tools and paints. Lambert starts out by sketching the basic facial proportions, drawing simple lines where the mouth, nose and eyes should be, making sure he gets the shape of the sitter’s head just right. It looks like the kind of sketch even I could do, but he says it’s the most important part of making a portrait, because it serves as the framework for the entire piece.

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Bride Kidnapping – A Controversial Tradition in Kyrgyzstan

Many women dream of being carried away on a white horse, by their knight-in-shining-armor. But what if the so-called knight turned out to be an abductor, forcing a woman to elope with him?

That is exactly the case with bride kidnappings that take place in Kyrgzstan, Central Asia. Parodied in the 2006 film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, the practice is a harsh reality of the region, more prevalent in Kyrgzstan than Kazakhstan. In the film, Pamela Anderson was kidnapped by the main character for marriage. In real life unfortunately, the stories are never funny. Although precise statistics are unavailable, it is commonly believed that more than half of Kyrgyz wives are married in this manner. It is even seen as a matter of pride, a means for a man to prove his manhood. Often, the families of the groom participate in the abduction, they help in planning the ‘capture’ of their son’s would-be wife. A white scarf is placed, often forcibly, on the woman’s head, signalling her acceptance. Once kidnapped, the bride’s family urge her to accept her situation and her new husband, for fear that she would never find another suitable mate again.

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Croatian Boasts 1.2 Million Christmas Lights Display

Zlatko Salaj, a 67-year-old Croatian, has created a ‘Christmas Story’ for himself. Not a story to tell, but one to show the world. His Christmas Story is actually his home, which he decks up in lights and colors every year around the holidays.

The former telecommunications engineer owns a country estate in Grabovinca, located in central Croatia. The entire estate is decorated at this time of year. Thousands of visitors come by to view the spectacle created by Salaj and his family. When he started this practice in 2002, Salaj had a modest 70,000 light bulbs that were put up on all the shrubs and trees across his 17-acre estate. When people asked him how many he would put up the next year, his reply was a 100,000. In this way, the lights and decorations kept growing in number. This year, the number has upped to 1.2 million Christmas lights. Not just ordinary ones, he has lights shaped like Santa Claus and reindeer. The festive spirit of his decorations is contagious and attracts children and adults alike from all over the region.

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Drug Lord Pablo Escobar Becomes Colombian Tourist Attraction

When Pablo Escobar died in 1993, the people of Medellin, Colombia, sighed in relief. But little did they know that the world’s most notorious criminal at the time would become one of their country’s most popular tourist attractions.

The legacy of Escobar lives on in Medellin, in a different and slightly unusual manner. The man and his life are now sold as a tourist attraction to visitors; this has proven to be quite popular. Escobar, who was responsible for several acts of terrorism such as blowing up the Government’s Security Ministry, assassinating a Presidential candidate, bombing a civilian airliner, and waging a war in which thousands of people were killed, would have least expected that the memories he left behind would one day serve as a means to attract tourists to Colombia.

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Italian Sculptor Creates Miniature Colosseum from 10,000 Corks

61-year-old Ciro Califano, from Italy’s Nocera Inferiore, is one of the world’s most incredible artists, with the power to turn corks into beautiful works of art.

A former postal worker, who lived most his life traveling between Milan, Naples and Nocera, Ciro Califano has always had artistic ambitions. Even as a child, growing up in the Italian countryside, he always dreamed of exercising his talents and leaving his mark on the art world. And ten years ago, after his sons opened a local restaurant called “Cantina del Vescovo”(Bishop’s Cellar), he finally decided to exploit his gift as a sculptor. The fast accumulation of wine bottle corks was just the right pretext, and before he knew it, Ciro was creating cork miniature replicas of ancient wonders like the Roman aqueduct in Nimes, France, the Saracen Tower, the Church of Monte Albino, and many others.

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Awesome Joan of Arc Armor Made of Bicycle Tubes and Paper Mache

Did you ever find yourself wondering what Joan of Arc would have worn if she lived in modern times and rode a bicycle instead of a steed? Well, Grace Duval obviously did and she came up with an awe-inspiring upper-body armor made entirely of paper mache and bicycle inner tubes. Judging by how cool and detailed this thing looks, it’s clear the artist put a lot of work into this project, but the end result is simply incredible. I’ve see a lot of things made from tires, from crisis shoes to intricate sculptures, but this rubbery armor has to be the coolest thing yet. My hat’s off to Grace!

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Bold Designer Creates Fashionable Dress from Ford Focus Car Parts

A true designer can make a dress out of literally anything, even car parts! As a part of the month-long event celebrating 100 years of Ford in Britain, the company commissioned two young British designers to create a dress and jewelry fashioned from Ford components.

The unique ‘car dress’ was designed by Judy Clark, who is a nominee for Scottish designer of the year and has also worked with Alexander McQueen. She accepted the challenge to make the dress using Ford car parts within 1 week. The materials she worked with included various parts from a Ford Focus, along with Chiffon, Silk, Tweed, Lace, Leather and Spray paint. On her blog, Clark describes the entire designing and dress-making process from beginning to end. The parts first arrived at her place in big boxes. The components sent to her included keys, dashboard functions, rear lights, car seat covers, radio players, window buttons and more.

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Hockern – Germany Reinvents Sitting as an Extreme Sport

Hockern is a game from Germany that can be classified under bizarre sports. Bizarre, because it involves a lot of things at once – sitting, dancing, spinning, and it’s hard to tell what it is exactly.

A typical Hockern player would do something like this: sit on a specially designed stool called the Sporthocker, twirl it in the air, do a handstand, and then swiftly sit on it once again. The game was introduced three years ago by a couple of young German entrepreneurs who head the company Salzig Sporthocker. Of course, there are rules to this seemingly haphazard sport. No move is actually considered a move, unless it ends with the player sitting down on the stool. So basically, its a lot of gymnastics at the end of which the gymnast sits down. Some of the common moves from players include spinning the stool on the floor and then balancing on it, tossing it in the air and quickly sitting on it where ever it lands, or simply having a friend slide the stool over to you across the floor and sitting on it as soon as it reaches you.

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Pakistan’s Flamboyant Truck Art

It’s rich, it’s vibrant, it’s colorful. It’s Pakistani truck art.

Indeed, trucks in Pakistan are not just a means of transport, but pieces of art to be looked at and admired. What’s beautiful about this form of art is that it is intricate but uses simple designs in bright colors. Almost every inch of the truck is covered and everything redone, including the manufacturer’s logo. The paintings vary greatly, depending on what the owner would like to see. Some request portraits of their kids, and some want those of famous personalities. Others leave it to the artist’s discretion. Besides paintings, there are several other ornaments that adorn these large vehicles. For instance, some drivers like to have decorative chains attached to the bottom, so the trucks make a merry, jangling noise as they travel up and down highways. A few drivers prefer to have large, three-dimensional models of birds or animals attached to the side of their truck.

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Lensless Glasses – Asia’s Crazy Fashion Trend

The grass is always greener on the other side, to quote the cliche. Those who have glasses don’t want them, and those who don’t, will wear them with no lenses!

This is the latest fad in Hong Kong and several other Asian countries. It’s common to find people sporting empty plastic frames, in a variety of bright colors that match their outfit or their hair. It might confuse you as to why anyone who didn’t have to wear glasses would want to. But they seem to have reasons of their own. According to popular radio host Chu Fun, the empty glasses are great because they match her outfits, but they are also practical. When she doesn’t have time to put on makeup, the lensless glasses are great to cover up dark circles, she says. They also don’t blind her by fogging, or get stuck to false eyelashes or mascara. Chu has four pairs already, in black, pink, red and purple.

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The Beautiful Steampunk Cell Phones of Ivan Mavrovic

Croatian artist Ivan Mavrovic turns modern technology into steampunk gadgets that still retain their functionality.

In a world where everyone seems interested only in getting their hands on the latest futuristic designs when it comes to gadgets, some, like Ivan Mavrovic, prefer to look back in history, to the time of the Victorian era, when brass, copper and wood were the main ingredients that made things cool. But interlacing modern tech with steampunk design isn’t easy, especially if you want to maintain functionality, but Croatian steampunk enthusiast Ivan Mavrovic does a fantastic job. Not only do his retro-cell phones look incredibly cool, but they also work as well as normal modern-day phones. They may not be as feature-full as today’s smartphones, but his sturdy converted Nokia phones work perfectly and make gorgeous accessories.

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Car Powered by Coke and Mentos Travels 239 Feet

We’ve seen countless videos on the Internet of the disastrous effects of Coke mixed with Mentos candy, but someone actually thought of putting the phenomenon to good use. Presenting – the Coke and Mentos powered car.

Developed by Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz from Maine, Mark II is a single-seat rocket car. When powered by 54 bottles of Coke Zero and 324 Mentos, it is able to travel 239 feet. This is an improvement over Mark I which traveled 230 feet last year, using up to double the fuel. According to Voltz, the car they’ve invented works on the simple mechanism of piston-and-cylinder. The car is quite powerful, he says, and warns people from trying the experiment at home.

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Taichung’s Rainbow Village – The Hand-Painted Wonder of Taiwan

It’s hard to believe that one man can change the fate of an entire village. Huang Yung-fu, an 86-year-old war veteran has done just this.

Huang lives in a village in a corner of the Taiwanese city of Taichung, a community that was created for Nationalist soldiers in the 1940s and 50s. Over the years, the place slowly changed into a permanent settlement, suffering from urban problems like abandonment, decay and housing dereliction. However, none of this is visible in the settlement today, thanks to the transformation brought about by Huang’s colorful paintings. The streets and the walls of practically every building in the village are covered with Huang’s simplistic paintings of plants, animals, TV personalities, birds and buffaloes. Considering the fact that he began painting only two years ago, his accomplishment is pretty huge. The bright colors and simple strokes used by Huang only add to the attractiveness of his work.

Photo by Steve Barringer

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Japanese Company Offers Single-Person Karaoke Rooms

We now have one more reason to visit Japan – private Karaoke rooms.

Do you find yourself wishing that you could have had a little more practice before getting up to karaoke before all your friends? Or are you just a bathroom singer who prefers to sing alone, along with just music and lyrics? Either way, private karaoke rooms could be just as fun and exciting for you. The single-person karaoke room, also known as ‘1Kara’ in Japan, was launched late November, and has been gaining in popularity. The store is located in front of Kanda station in Tokyo and offers small, solo rooms, equipped with a table, chair, microphones, headphones and a small screen.

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Flamboyant Millionaire Makes Mercedes SLR Even More Exclusive

What Swiss business man Ueli Anliker calls the car of his dreams, could very well be the one of your nightmares. He’s taken the classy, exclusive Mercedes McLaren SLR, and created a monster.

Anliker was apparently not satistfied with what the car had to offer, and so set out on a mission to transform it into his vision of the perfect SLR. A team of thirty five people worked on it, spending 30,000 hours and over £ 3.5 million ($5.5 million) . The transformed vehicle is called the Anliker McLaren SLR 999 Red Gold Dream. He’s made changes to the paintwork, wheels, interiors and even the engine. Twenty-five layers of red paint with 5kg of gold dust were used on the body of the car. The wheels, headlights and door sills are all covered in 24 carat gold. The indicators inside the car are jeweled, the seat covers and interiors gold trimmed, and the switchgear is covered in rubies. The power on the existing 5.4 litre engine has been boosted to 999bhp from 640bhp. This has caused the top speed to increase to 210 mph. A total of 600 rubies have been used in re-decorating the exclusive Mercedes.

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