Real Life Terran Marine Spotted in Russia

The launch of Starcraft 2 was a monumental international event, but Blizzard went out of its way to surprise Russian fans of the popular RTS franchise, by featuring a life-size replica of the Terran Marine costume.

A day before the official launch, photos of what seemed to be a Terran Marine in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square appeared on the Internet. Most claimed it was just a Photoshop job, and a bad one at that, but when the real-life Starcraft Terran Marine made an appearance at the launch site, everyone put their doubts aside and began cheering like crazy.

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Luxurious Hotel for Cats Opens in Britain

With the Luxury Cat Hotel now open in Hertfordshire, you can rest assured your cat will have a nicer holiday than you, the next time you go on vacation.

Abi and Matt Purser, the owners of this five-star pet hotel, have always believed cats deserve the same attention and care as their owners, and that’s how the idea for their business was born. Now, while their human owners are getting pampered on some exotic island, their cat enjoys the same star treatment at the Luxury Cat Hotel.

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Robert Thierren Creates Furniture for Giants

Robert Thierren is an acclaimed American artist who transforms ordinary household items into extraordinary works of art by increasing their scale several times.

Thierren was born in Chicago, grew up in San Francisco and later moved to Los Angeles. He first entered the attention of the media during the 1980s, when he began creating common items like doors, coffins or pitchers out of various mediums like copper, wood and bronze. But it wasn’t until he started creating his overgrown furniture series that he became truly famous.

His larger than life artworks are inspired by childhood games and fairy tales, and it does seem to suggest they were taken out of the story of Jack and the Bean Stock. Robert Thierren’s creations aim to provoke an interaction between the viewer, the object and the surrounding environment.

 

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Silvas Capitalis – The Forest Head of Kielder

Silvas Capitalis, which translates as “forest head”, is an unusual art installation built by the American art group SIMPARCH.

Located on the grounds of Kielder Forest, near the Scottish border, Silvas Capitalis is not exactly the kind of shelter you’d expect to stumble upon while walking through the trees. It’s purpose is to provide visitors and cyclists of Kielder Forest with a refuge, and at the same time, add to the mystery of this place. Inspired by the “watchers” of Celtic folklore – spiritual beings who keep watch over the forest and its inhabitants – who were usually depicted as human heads, the forest head was considered too scary for young children. Visits to local schools were required to test the reaction of the kids, before the actual building began.

Silvas Capitalis is made from hundreds of individual timber blocks, individually cut, sanded and glued into the shape of a head. Visitors can climb up the stairs of Silvas Capitalis and actually look through the eyes of the watcher. The initial plan included carving out its ears so people could hear through them, but due to time limitations, this step was skipped.

 

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Lucy McRae and Her Safety Pin Art

During the “Rojo Nova Work in Progress” exhibition at the Sao Paolo Museum of Image and Sound, Australian artist Lucy McRae showcased her unique safety pin art.

Trained as a classical ballerina and architect, Lucy McRae has evolved into a body architect who “invents and builds structures on the skin that re-shape the human silhouette.” In a statement, the museum says “her provocative and often grotesquely beautiful imagery suggests a new breed; a future human archetype existing in an alternate world.”

This time, she relied on hundreds of safety pins, glued on most of her body, to depict how evolved humans might look in the alternate world of her vision. The first reaction upon seeing her is something like “what has she done to her body?”, but then you notice the pins are just glued to her skin and you begin admiring Lucy McRae as a work of art.

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Thai Baker Makes Bread Shaped as Human Body Parts

Kittiwat Unarrom, a talented artist from Thailand, uses his skills to create unique loafs of bread shaped like various human body parts.

Kittiwat has experimented with many art forms, from painting to sculpting, but it wasn’t until he had to return home and take over the family bakery that he discovered his true passion – making grotesque-looking bread. Since he first started out, in 2006, he has made a name for himself, and his Body Bakery has become a popular tourist attraction.

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Giant Meerkat Straw Sculpture Turns Up in England

A 36-foot-tall meerkat statue made of straw has appeared on a field, in Chester, England, drawing the attention of drivers on the A51 motorway.

I don’t know if you remember, but last year I wrote a post about a straw replica of the Big Ben, built by the owner of an ice-cream company. His straw creations have become sort of a tradition in Chester, and this year he raised the bar even higher with an incredible meerkat straw statue.

Chris Sadler and his wife Cheryl have been coming up with ideas for straw statues since 1998, when their first creation, the straw Millennium Dome, was created, and have continued delivering wacky ideas that ended up being built by Mike Harper, who creates metal structures and fills them with hay.

The idea of a meerkat statue was inspired by a popular commercial in the UK, and since everyone loves these creatures, it seemed like a good idea. The public certainly loves the overgrown meerkat, and most people say they feel cheered up just looking at it.

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Chimera Fetus Is the Perfect Bizarre Gift

Missmonster, a talented freelance artist with a taste for the bizarre, has created a series of fetal chimeras that you can buy as presents for your quirky friends.

Melita Curphy, better known as Missmonster, creates the most amazing things, from weird dolls, to cool pendants, masks and even awesome clothing accessories. Her latest creation will probably shock some of you, but bare in mind they are only sculptures, despite their very realistic veiny look.

You’r e probably wondering why anyone would want to buy a chimera fetus, but I’m sure there are plenty of oddballs like me out there who find this pretty damn cool. Missmonster’s fetuses are 4’5″ in size and come with beautiful wooden boxes, bearing the wax seal of Ada Rotsbeest, a fictional character created by the artist.

For more of Ada’s work check out her Flickr stream and online shop.

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Chinese Boy Clips Stuff with His Tongue

13-year-old Xiao Xin puts on a show for his family, as he clips everyday items with his tongue.

The young boy from Daqing, northeast China, was born with a snake-like tongue that branches out close to its tip, allowing him to use it as a tool for clipping various things. So far he hasn’t found a proper use for it, apart from using it to entertain family and friends, but who knows when his snake tongue will come in handy. If you’ve always dreamed of having a tongue like that of Xiao Xin, all you have to do is go to a body-mod shop and they’ll fix you right up.

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Hemingway Look-Alike Contest Takes Place in Key West

The island city of Key West has been hosting an Ernest Hemingway  look-alike contest, for the last 20 years. People sporting wool turtle-neck sweaters and white beards try to convince the judges they most resemble the famous writer.

Interestingly enough, Hemingway Day takes place during the month of July, a time when the real Ernest Hemingway wouldn’t have been caught dead in hot Key West. Secondly, during his time spent in the island city, Hemingway was slender man, with black hair and just a small mustache, unlike the contenders of the look-alike contest.

During the Hemingway look-alike contest, competitors have to emulate the late “papa” look of Ernest Hemingway, and are judged by a panel of previous contest winners. This year’s contest took place on July 24, in Sloppy Joe’s bar, the writer’s favorite watering hole.

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The Creepy Art of Seiko Kato

Perhaps a bit to eerie and strange for the average fellow, Seiko Kato‘s Victorian dolls are just what the doctor ordered for a bizarre-lover like me.

Seiko Kato, from Brighton, England, is an artist and illustrator who finds inspiration in old Victorian medical books, Victorian books and encyclopedias, and Victorian paraphernalia. At fist glance, her dolls look like the kind you’d expect to find in your grandmother’s room, but a closer look reveals some rather bizarre augmentations. Seiko Kato adds various steampunk elements to give her creations a unique look.

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The Suzdal Cucumber Festival

Cucumbers may be just every day vegetables to you, but in the Russian town of Suzdal they are of such importance that they have their own yearly festival.

The first cucumbers were cultivated in the Suzdal area, around 500 years ago, and some locals even consider the popular vegetable inherently Russian. The people here consider cucumbers the most nutritious vegetable in the world, and they use them in thousands of different dishes, from cucumber soups, to cucumber cakes and rolls, and even cucumber drinks. This being of the biggest cucumber producing centers of Russia, you’ll have a hard time finding a household that doesn’t make a living growing cucumbers.

The Suzdal Cucumber Festival takes place every year, in the month of July, during the vegetable harvest. During this event tourists will learn everything there is to know about cucumbers, from hot to grow them to the many different varieties. The region’s most famous entertainers perform different plays relating to cucumbers, and tourists can try the various cucumber delicacies of Suzdal, as well as buy cucumber souvenirs made of clay, wood and other materials.

One of the most important events of the Suzdal Cucumber Festival is the cucumber eating contest, where competitors try to beat the competition by eating as many cucumbers in the set time limit. Judging by the whole atmosphere of the festival, the winner probably receives some cucumbers as the prize.

This year, the Suzdal Cucumber Festival took place on July 24.

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Who Says Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees?

If your parents are anything like mine, they probably told you money doesn’t grow on trees more than a million times, when you were growing up. Well I can’t wait to show them how wrong they were all those years.

In an attempt to “wake up people’s lazy money”, RaboDirect, an Australian online bank sponsored a special experiment that fulfilled the financial fantasies of hundreds of passers-by – a real-life money tree. The event took place in one of Sydney’s park, where a tree was covered in $5 bills, from its lower branches to the top. People were secretly filmed, to see how they would react to such an unbelievable sight.

Believe it or not, the first 100 or so people who walked by the money tree flat out ignored it. Some of them didn’t even notice there was anything odd about the tree, a group of joggers was to busy running to stop and check it out, and passers-by who did stop to analyze it, just took some photos and left empty handed.

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Toastman and His Crunchy Toast Art

New-Zealander Maurice Bennet, also known  as “Toastman”, creates incredible portraits and abstract works of art using toast.

Born in Paeroa, in the late 1950s, Maurice Bennett has always been fascinated by the art world, and as a young man, he traveled the world visiting museums and art galleries learning more and more about traditional and offbeat art. Upon his return to New-Zealand, the starving artist had to find a job, rather than focus on his art career, so he began weighing potatoes at a local market. Before he knew it, he and his wife were owning their own supermarket, and he was able to express himself through art.

Maurice’s first artistic experiences had him painting and sculpting, but it wasn’t until he discovered toast as an art medium, that he became a truly fulfilled artist. Throughout the years he created portraits of famous figures such as New Zealand prime minister John Key, rugby legend Jonah Lomu, the Mona Lisa, Elvis Presley , all of which earned him the praise of art critics.

Some of his more recent creations include a portrait of American president Barrack Obama, and some abstract works inspired by Maori carvings and Pacific patterns. he even made a portrait of rap star Eminem out thousands of M&Ms.

After selling his successful business, in late 2009, Toastman Maurice Bennett is now free to dedicate himself to his family, and his offbeat art.

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The Junk Portraits of Vik Muniz

Using domestic and industrial junk, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is able to recreate anything, from photographs to famous paintings.

Just because the artworks of Vik Muniz is made of junk, doesn’t mean it stinks. he’s actually been living in New York for the last 27 years, and is now recognized as one of the most original artists in the Big Apple. Over the years he has worked with various mediums, from chocolate syrup to caviar and even diamonds, but it seems garbage has become his favorite.

The “Junk Portraits” series of Vik Muniz features reproductions of classic paintings like Saturn devouring one of his children, by Goya, Mars, God of War, by Velasquez, or Sisyphus, by Titian. They have all been recreated from various junk items, on a giant warehouse floor and photographed from an elevated position, to make individual objects hard to distinguish.

Although the actual recreation of his junk portraits from garbage, might seem like the most important part of his job, his work isn’t completed until he takes photos of them.

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