Public Toilets Never Looked This Good

Looking at the photo, below, you’re probably thinking something like “that’s a nice looking villa”, only it’s really just a Chinese public toilet.

This luxurious public facility was built on Nanshan Road, Xiamen, near the city’s residential area. It covers 100 square meters, offering clean, spacious toilets, for both men and women. Realizing people would probably mistake it for a private villa, city authorities placed a big “Nanshan public toilets” sign, on the balcony.

Even so, passers by were reluctant to use the fancy toilet, so another sign was added, on the sidewalk. This one says “free, open, civilized service”. Both men’s and women’s toilets feature artistically designed signs, and the second floor of this public toilet villa houses the administrator’s office. Although hundreds of people use this fancy restroom, every day, he says he never sensed any foul smells.

via CRI Online

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Japanese Women Slash Away the Pounds with Samurai Swords

Once used as deadly weapons, to slash enemies apart, Japanese Katana swords are now used by Japanese white-collar women to slash away extra pounds and cut down stress.

The recently opened “Samurai Camp” gym, in Tokyo,  looks more like the training ground for modern amazons. More than 100 of them have signed up for this unusual fitness program that aims to help them lose 11 pounds in just one month. The inventor of samurai sword fitness, 31-year-old Takafuji Ukon, believed men would be more interested in the art of Katana wielding, but much to his surprise, women were the ones who flocked to the gym.

Ukon is not a martial arts expert, but he is a master of sword dancing, and knows just what moves to teach, so the women can shed the extra weight. Still, in order to avoid potentially deadly accidents, real swords were replaced with wooden ones, wrapped in tin foil.

Since we don’t live in an era where slashing people is allowed, Takafuji Ukon teaches his students to visualize fat and stress as the enemies, when they’re using the swords. And according to the clients of Samurai Camp, they appreciate the chance to get in touch with Japanese culture, relax, and lose weight, all at the same time.

Photos by AFP via ChinaNews

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The Parade of the Lechon, in La Loma

The La Loma district, of Quezon city, in the Philippines, is famous for having a pig roaster on every street corners, but on the third Sunday of May, roasted pigs take to the streets.

Lechon is the word Filipinos use for roasted pigs. It’s derived from the Spanish word “leche” which hints that the pig must be a suckling pig. For this monumental feast, pigs are stuffed with tamarind, pandan leaves and a concoction of spices, their skins bathed in soy sauce and vinegar. They are roasted over a charcoal pit, by an expert roaster, who knows just when to turn them, until they become crispy red.

Although everyone enjoys a nice helping of delicious Lechon, complemented with liver sauce, the highlight of this Asian fiesta is the Parade of the Lechon. Roasted pigs are dressed up in funny costumes and paraded through the city streets, on the shoulders of devotees. After 50 years of celebrating the Parade of the Lechon, Filipinos have turned dressing up roasted pigs into an art.

Photos via Daylife

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Make Art, Not War

I guess it’s true what they say, guns really don’t kill people, they can actually be used to create original works of art.

Come May 21, The Rusian city of Perm will be hosting an important exhibition of modern Ukrainian art, called YAKSCHO. It aims to reflect the situation in this country: productively unstable, full of contradictions, promises, hopes and disappointments, bursts of protest and creative energy.

One of the most interesting displays at YAKSCHO will definitely be the shot-up BMW. A local shooters group was asked by the Museum of Modern Art, in Perm, to take part in an unusual, but fun shooting session. Participants were promised a BMW X5 to shoot at, but in the end they were happy to empty their guns into an older model.

Volodymyr Kuznetzov, the man behind this unusual art project, decorated the car with flowers and other ornaments, marked with nail polish crosses, but the shooters, weren’t really able to follow the pattern. Still he was pleased with the final result and believes his shot-up BMW will be a hit when the exhibition opens.

via ilipin

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Unique Architecture: Teapot Dome Gas Station

When it comes to architecture, one thing is for sure: you don’t have to build something like Burj Khalifa to draw attention. That definitely helps, but this lovely teapot gas station proves you can do it for cheap.

Known as the Teapot Dome, this architectural jewel is located in Zillah, Washington, and was built almost 100 years ago, as a monument to the Teapot Dome Scandal, which involved a number of important American figures.

Until a few years ago, before it went out of use, the Teapot Dome was considered the oldest gas station in America, but now it’s just a local monument that definitely needs preserving.

via InteractiveArchitecture

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Japanese Couple Wed by a Robot

Satoko Inoue and Tomohiro Shibata bothe looked amazing on their wedding day, but the spotlight was stolen by i-Fairy, the humanoid robot that replaced the priest.

Inoue, the bride, works for the company that produces the i-Fairy robot, and Shibata is a client, so it’s safe to say robots are the reason they began dating in the first place. At his beloved’s suggestion, the groom was more than happy to replace the priest with an adorable robot that rose to the challenge, thanks to some special programming.

The bride said she always felt like robots could play a big role in people’s lives, and she’s glad her experience showed the whole world just that. Representatives of the company that makes i-Fairy said they’re thrilled one of their products was the center of attention in the first wedding presided over by a robot.

Photos by REUTERS

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Russian Artist Travels the World Over, on a Bicycle

Vladislav Ketov isn’t the only man on earth who embarked on a bike trip, but unlike other bikers, he only finished his after 20 years.

Ketov’s journey began in 1991, in Leningrad, and he kept pedaling along the coastline of continents like Africa, Europe, both Americas, and south and south-east Asia. He traveled alone, and only used other means of transportation, when he absolutely had to. During his 20 years of constant pedaling around the world, his bike was only stolen once…in Russia.

The main problem Vladislav Ketov had was that he embarked on this trip without money. Everywhere he went, the artist earned his keep by painting portraits. Thus he was able to save enough to keep him traveling for years. When he started his biking journey, Ketov left his wife and two sons behind, in Sankt Petersburg.

via zyalt

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Christian Boltanski’s No Man Land

French artist, Christian Boltanski, uses a huge crane and a giant pile of discarded clothes to explore the notion of mortality.

Located in New York City’s Park Avenue Armory, Christian Boltanski’s No Man’s Land art installation was created using 30 tons of used clothes, a metal crane, and 3,000 stacked cookie tins that block views from the outside.

Even after hearing the artist reveal the ideas behind this art project, ideas that include life, death and futility, you can’t help but compare it to that frustrating arcade game where you had to control the crane, using a joystick, without dropping the prize. Still, in Boltanski’s vision, his project is dead serious.

Every few minutes, the metal crane will drop down and randomly grab some clothes, from the 45 rectangular plots of clothes around the armory, and drop them in the big pile, in the center. This apparently symbolizes the arbitrariness of death and survival. Visitors get to see this weird art display with a background soundtrack of human heartbeats.

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Germany Hosts First Strip Poker Championship

Germany’s first ever strip poker tournament took place on may 12, 2010, in the Blauer Salon of the Dresden Park Hotel. 40 contestants, 33 men and 7 women, tried to keep their clothes on, for the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.

Organized by the Billy Boy condom company, the Dresden Strip Poker Tournament got hot from the start. As there was no admission fee, contestants only had to bring their clothes, as currency, and their best game. Ladies were asked to bet responsibly and keep their clothes on as long as possible, so their male counterparts could focus on poker.

Each player was given a stack of chips, and every time they lost it, they had to take off a clothing item, to receive more. Extra chips could be earned if the stripping was entertaining, so as you can imagine, things got really hot in the Blauer Salon. Ladies were also asked to cover their nipples, so the guys could play on, undistracted.

12 of the 40 poker players advanced to the Strip Poker Championship Final, in Hamburg, where they will compete for a trip to Las Vegas, which includes 4 nights at the MGM Grand Hotel, a stretch limo and a helicopter ride over Sin City.

via Bild.de

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Gold To Go – An ATM Machine That Dispenses Real Gold

I know it sounds a “little” over the top, but in a place where wealthy sheiks come to drink cappuccinos topped with gold flakes, the gold-dispensing ATM machine fits right in.

Invented by German entrepreneur, Thomas Geisler, Gold To Go is an ATM, covered with a thin layer of gold, that dispenses 320 gold items, from small gold bars to customized coins. First tested in 2009, in Germany, the Gold To Go ATM is now set up in the Emirates Palace Hotel, in Abu-Dhabi, where the ceilings are coated in gold.

“All the gold is imported from Germany, and soon we will have a customized gold bar with a print of the Emirates Palace logo, which will be a nice souvenir for guests to take home,” said Thomas Geisler. So far his invention has proved a hit, with one of the hotel guests buying one of each gold items the ATM dispenses. Right now it only accepts local currency, but modifications for credit cards will soon be made.

The region’s high demand for gold, and the ongoing economic turbulence, make the Gold To GO ATM machine the perfect investment.

via Xinhua

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Star Wars Fan Builds Awesone Imperial Walker Bunk Bed

A perfect example of how to turn a problem into an awesome solution, the Imperial Walker bunk bed was the perfect idea to deal with lack of space.

Jonathan posted some photos of this awesome bed that he built for his mother, on Gizmodo. She moved into a new house that didn’t have much of a yard, and needed something that would keep her grandsons entertained, without taking up too much room. Taking advantage of the 10-foot-high ceiling, and being a huge Star Wars fan, Jonathan decided he was going to build a bunk bed based on an Imperial Walker.

Going for a more realistic look, the DIY master designed the walker as if it were moving, and even added a complete Hoth LEGO display case, on the second level of the bed. He began working on the bed, at the end of September 2009, in his modest wood workshop, and managed to complete it in February 2010. Jonathan estimates he put between 300-400 hours into the Imperial Walker bunk bed.

We’ve seen other Star-Wars inspired beds before, and some pretty impressive Imperial Walkers, but Jonathan’s bunk bed definitely takes the cake.

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Bra That Grows Rice Showcased in Japan

Developed by Triumph, a company that has created other offbeat bras in the past, the rice bra reflects the interest more and more women show in agriculture.

The weird rice bra features two cups that resemble plant pots, made from recyclable plastic. They can both be filled with soil and rice seeds, and watered through a hose that doubles as a belt that goes around the wearer’s waist. The ridiculous concept also comes with gardening gloves, so women don’t get their hands dirty.

Acording to the latest statistics, Japanese people are becoming more and more concerned with food safety and environmental problems, and yearn for a carefree rural lifestyle. Online sales of agricultural home kits, for people who want to grow their own rice, have become increasingly popular, so Triumph thought the rice bra would be ideal for women interested in agriculture.

If, by any chance, you’re actually considering getting a rice bra, you’ll be disappointed to know it’s only a concept and will never go on sale.

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Houston Art Car Parade 2010

One of the city’s most anticipated events, the Houston Art Car Parade is considered the largest of its kind in the world.

Around 250,000 spectators gathered in Houston, to see over 300 wacky and crazy vehicles drive by, on May 8th. Dan Akroyd, star of “Ghost Busters” movies, as well as other famous comedies, was the one who kickstarted the flamboyant event, in the cheers of the crowd.

The Houston Art Car Parade brings together car enthusiasts and artists alike, featuring a selection of extremely modified cars that, despite all the adornments, still run beautifully. Scroll down for the most interesting cars at the 2010 Houston Art Car Parade:

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Cool Van Gogh Mosaic Made from Polo Shirts

A giant reproduction of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous self-portrait, made out of polo shirts, is now on display in the lobby of the Marunouchi Building, near Tokyo Station.

The 10 by 10 meters mosaic was created using 2070 polo shirts, of 24 different colors. The unique creation is part of a campaign by Onward Kashiyama Co, a Tokyo-based apparel maker, to use painting colors into shirt designs. The van Gogh mosaic will remain on display, until May 16.

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Best Man Mobile Chapel, for Marriages on the Go

If you’d like to get married in a special place that doesn’t have a church or chapel nearby, you can always count on the Best Man mobile wedding chapel.

This strange looking vehicle is actually a 1942 American la France, converted by professional tuners, on a TV show called “Trick My Truck”. It belongs to Darrell Best, an ordained minister who uses it to get people married, wherever they like. Based in Shelbyville, Illinois, the Best family travels across the Midwest, at various wedding destinations.

The Best Man is the result of about $100,000 worth of tuning work, and it includes a functioning organ, stained glass windows, an altar, and two wooden pews. Darrell’s wife and his two sons are also ordained ministers so the Best Man is always in demand. So far 30 couples were wed in this mobile chapel, including Darrell and his wife, Lisa, who renewed their vows.

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