Teacher Ends Shaving Strike Following Bin Laden’s Death

Garry Weddle, a 50-year-old science teacher from Washington has finally been able to shave the beard he vowed to let grow until Osama bin Laden was captured or killed.

Nearly 10 years ago, during the terrorist attack of “9/11″, Gary remembers he couldn’t take his eyes off the television coverage. “When the twin towers came down, I was horrified and I was glued to that television set for several days,” he said in an interview with KOMO News, back in 2003. He soon realized he not only wasn’t taking showers, but he wasn’t shaving either, so he vowed not to touch his beard with a razor until bin Laden was captured or reported dead, so the people around him would remember the tragedy of September 2001 every time they looked at him.

When President Obama made the announcement that the Al Qaeda leader was finally dead, Gary cried for about five minutes and couldn’t wait to shave off the beard he had been growing for the last 10 years. By the time the commander-in-chief said “I can report to the American people and to the world, that the US has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden”., he had already cut off most of the beard and was shaving the stubble. It was the first time in 3,454 days that Gary Weddle shaved.

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Card-Throwing Master Slices through Cucumbers

Bai Dengchun is a 23-year-old card-throwing artist whose lightning-fast plastic cards can slice through fruits, vegetables and eggs. The young master doesn’t look very strong, but then again, neither do most of the Chinese martial arts experts, yet they kick ass in every cheesy kung-fu movie I’ve ever seen. Okay, so that wasn’t the best comparison, but the point is despite his skinny appearance, Bai Dengchun is able to throw a plastic card through a cucumber from two meters away.

Bai has been practicing his throwing card technique since he was just six years old, constantly improving his skills, and he is now able to slice through cucumbers, watermelons and eggs. His unique talents earned him a spot on China’s Got Talent, and even though he didn’t win, he got some well-deserved exposure.

While some say a plastic playing card turns into a lethal weapon in the hands of a master like Bai Dengchun, I doubt even he could actually kill a person with it. Maybe it would pierce the skin, but the structure of the human body doesn’t exactly resemble  that of a cucumber.

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Designer Turns Garbage into Green Couture Garments

Designer Nancy Judd uses recycled trash to create various clothing items for her Recycle Runway collection, which she showcases in airports, class rooms and other media outlets around America.

“I love taking garbage—something that people want to push away from and not think about—and transform it into something elegant,” Nancy Judd recently told CNN. She started the environmental education entity known as Recycle Runway in 2007, and began creating beautiful fashion garments from recycled stuff, thus capturing the attention of millions of people. Each of her works is a unique piece of wearable art that takes between 100 to 450 hours to complete, but lasts at least 100 years and inspires the public to reduce their impact on the environment.

Ms. Judd grew up in Portland, Oregon, and although she’s been sewing and designing clothes and jewelry ever since she was a child, she doesn’t feel attracted to the fashion industry, as “it creates a tremendous amount of waste, and there are a lot of social justice issues.” In fact, she turned down a spot on Project Runway because she is perfectly happy with her own project, Recycle Runway. Nancy has worked in the recycling field for a long time, but it was fashion that helped her attract attention and deliver important environmental messages to the world.

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Korean Girl Removes Make-up after Two Years

Doctors recommend women remove their make-up every night before they go to sleep, in order to prevent damage to their skin, but a young South-Korean girl chose to wear her make-up mask full-time, for the last two years.

20-year-old Bae Dal-mi first discovered make-up when she was just 14. You could say it was love at first brush, and ever since then, the young Koream developed her make-up talents to the point where she became so dependent on it that she didn’t want to remove it anymore. As she kept applying ever-thicker layers of make-up on her face, the mirror became the most important item in Bae’s life and she declares “I wanted to look perfect at all time, I even slept with the make-up on.” Shae wasn’t satisfied with her appearance, and said she wanted to have plastic surgery in 10 different places.

For the last two years, the young girl never used make-up removers, so her mother, exasperated by Bae’s behaviour, contacted a TV station and told them Bae’s incredible story. During a variety show, dermatologists managed to convince Bae Dal-mi to finally remove the layers of make-up, and after a specialized check-up they found her skin was two times older than her actual age. All because of an obsession with beauty…

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Karl Lagerfeld Designs Chocolate Hotel Room

Someone decided to give fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld 10 tons of chocolate so he could create a chocolate hotel room complete with a chocolate model eating a chocolate ice-cream.

The photos speak for themselves, but if you need some context, here goes: Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has apparently designed a chocolate hotel room, as part of a deal with Magnum ice-cream. Its creation required around 10 tons of Belgian chocolate, and the chocolate guy on the bed eating an ice-cream was apparently inspired by Baptiste Giabiconi, the designer’s favorite male model and muse. The edible chocolate room is currently housed by an unnamed Paris Hotel.

Chocolate living spaces seem to be very popular these days, I remember a Lithuanian shopping mall created a similar chocolate room for Valentine’s Day.

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Disabled Artist Creates Detailed Artworks Using Only His Mouth and Right Foot

41-year-old Huang Guofu, from Chongqing, China, has learned to master the paintbrush with his mouth and right foot, after he lost both his hands in a childhood accident.

Huang Guofu lost his arms in terrible electric shock accident, at the tender age of four, but that didn’t stop him from following his dreams, and at age 12 he began painting with his feet. The talented artist remembers that in the beginning, his artworks didn’t look at all like what he intended to paint, but as the years went by his skills improved considerably. Huang quit his studies when he was 18, as his father was very ill and he needed to make money for his treatments. He started travelling to other Chinese cities, creating beautiful paintings on the side of streets and selling them to passers-by.

It was during his art travels that he began using his mouth to paint, after hearing some comments that painting with one’s leg isn’t very elegant. He put a brush in his mouth and started painting. During a trip to a city in China’s Sichuan Province, Huang Guofu met Hu Guoui, a woman who quickly fell in love with his strong will and artistic talents, and the two got married in 2000. Since then, she has become his assistant, carrying his canvas and tools, whenever he needs to paint a scene on location.

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Polish Woodcarver Makes Functional Bicycles Exclusively from Wood

Slawomir Weremkowicz, a 59-year-old former plumber from Poland, creates functional bicycles using only wooden components.

The talented woodcarver from Biala Podlaska says he had always wanted to be an artist, and since God gave him the talent of carving wood, he he thought he should do something amazing with it. So he decided to go greener than green and create a series of wooden bikes for which he didn’t use a single gram of metal or plastic. Simply looking at a piece of wood, Slawomir can already envision how he’s going to turn it into one of his bicycle parts, and using simple woodcarving tools like chisels and saws he does just that.

The seat, steering, even the pedals and chain are made only from a variety of wood (oak, ash, beech and plywood) and if you’re looking for screws holding them together, don’t bother, as Slawomir Weremkowicz only uses wooden pegs. Carving an entire wood bicycle is a lengthy process which takes about a year, but when he looks at his completed “wooden dinosaurs”, as he likes to call them”, Slawomir doesn’t regret the time he puts into his work.

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The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats

The Monastery of Saint Nicholas of the Cats is regarded as a sacred cat haven in Cyprus, as it’s name has been linked to felines for almost 2,000 years.

The original monastery was built in 327 AD, by Kalokeros, the first Byzantine governor of Cyprus, and patronised by Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. At that time, a terrible drought affected the whole of Cypus, and the entire island was overrun with poisonous snakes which made building the monastery a dangerous affair. Many of the inhabitants left their homes and moved off the island, for fear of the snakes, but Saint Helena came up with a solution to the plague – she ordered 1,000 cats to be shipped in from Egypt and Palestine to fight the reptiles.

In the following years, the cats did their duty, hunting and killing most of the snakes in the Akrotiri Peninsula, which soon came to be known as the “Cat Peninsula”. The monks would use a bell to call the cats to the monastery at meal time, and then the felines were dispatched to their snake-hunting duties. Pilgrims from all around Europe traveled to the Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas to see its feline guardians, and the discovered documents of a Venetian monk describe them as scarred, missing various body parts, some completely blind as a result of their relentless battle against the snakes.

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Chinese Pavilion Made Entirely from 668 Abacuses

Showcased during an abacus-themed exhibition held in the Chinese city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, this large pavilion model is made from 668 different-size abacuses. Used as a calculating tool centuries before the adoption of the written numeral system, the abacus is a big part of Asian culture, and is still widely use by merchants and clerks around Asia and Africa. Apart from the impressive abacus pavilion, visitors at the exhibition could admire over 100 abacuses, from the simplest to more complex versions.

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Czech Confectioners Make World’s Largest Easter Bunny Cake

Four confectioners from the Czech Republic claim they’ve created the world’s largest Easter Bunny cake and hope to get a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

It’s not the cutest bunny I’ve seen this Easter but I’m sure it’s one of the most delicious. Confectioners at a cake-shop in Chomutov, the Czech Republic spent 48 hours preparing the sweet treat in time for Easter. Jarmilla Jonakova says they’ve used 770 eggs, 160 lbs of sponge cake, 120 lbs of cream, 44 lbs of jam, 40 lbs of marzipan to make the themed cake, then covered it all with a layer of chocolate. When it was finished, the big-eyed edible bunny weighed over 370 lbs and measured over 6 feet in length.

On Easter Day the chocolate bunny cake was sliced into pieces and handed over to people in the Czech town of Uherské Hradiště. Everybody loves cake, but some people were a little freaked out by the bunny’s appearance. “It might taste sweet, but you wouldn’t want to run into it in a dark alley” a customer of the cake-shop said. Freaky or not, this one-of-kind Easter cake is awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book of Records, for the world’s largest Easter Bunny Cake.

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Embroidered Eggs – The Coolest Thing This Easter

Just when you think you’ve seen everything, along comes another mind-boggling art form that you didn’t think existed and probably never even imagined. This time it’s embroidered eggs.

I can say I’ve seen my share of wonderful Easter egg artworks, including intricate eggshell sculptures, colorful Easter Egg mosaics, an Easter Egg Tree and even an Easter Egg theme park, but I had never seen something as beautiful and original as these embroidered eggs. It’s something I know I will never be able to do, but like Mary Corbett says, it’s amazing to know someone out there did do it.

I know they look pretty unbelievable, and at first glance you’d be tempted to think the embroidered motifs are done separately and glued on the eggs, but after taking a closer look you notice the holes, and realize these are real embroidered eggs. I don’t know who invented this incredible technique, but I’m pretty sure they require years of practice and a lot of patience to create. So, even though Easter 2011 is behind us, you can start practicing now, and you might just have something to brag about to your friends, next year.

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Toast Mona Lisa Mosaic Is a Labour of Loaf

English toast artist Laura Hadland used 10,080 pieces of toasted and regular bread to create an impressive mosaic of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Remember that awesome giant toast portrait we featured a few months ago? Well, that was also Laura’s doing, and now she’s back with even more toast goodness. This time she traveled to Matera, Italy’s “City of Bread”, to create an edible replica of the famous Mona Lisa. It took a big effort on Laura’s part, because the slices of bread were larger than the 10 x 10 squares she had already printed as a blueprint, so every piece of bread had to be trimmed to size. Which wasn’t easy, since the more toasted the bread is, the more likely it is to shatter when trimmed. But her experience with toast mosaics paid off and she managed to create a delicious looking Gioconda.

The mosaic measured 9 meters by 11.2 meters and numbered 10,080 slices of bread, a combination of plain white bread, toast, and slices covered with dark and milk chocolate. It was made entirely from edible materials, in deference to the hunger caused by natural disasters in Japan. The toast Mona Lisa was made for a Japanese television show featuring the actresses who form MoriSanchu, whatever that is.

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Spanish Gym Offers Naked Workouts

A gym in Spain’s Basque region has begun offering naked workouts, in order to beat the economic recession.

When Merche Laseca, owner of the Easy Gym, in Arrigorriaga, noticed fewer people were attending his gym because of the crisis, he knew he had to come up with something new to keep his business afloat. He did some research and discovered the area was a popular destination for naturists. In fact, two local swimming pools were already offering popular monthly nude swimming sessions, and since he discovered there are at least 12 nudist beached in the Basque region, and a mass naked run organized yearly in the nearby town of Sopelana, he figured a naturist gym wasn’t a bad idea.

“We’re always interested in new activities” and “doing sports without clothes is natural and much more comfy” argues Maite Vicuna, president of the Basque Naturist Association, but there are skeptics who are less than thrilled with the idea of a nudist gym. They claim clothes are important when working out, as they retain most of the sweat, whereas doing it naked means the swat goes on the machines, the floor and even on the people around you.

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Chinese Beef Extract Turns Pork into Beef In Just 90 Minutes

The Chinese department of industry and commerce has recently discovered a “beef extract” additive used by small restaurants around Hefei to turn pork into beef.

A lot of knock-offs have come out of China over the years, in fact they’ve probably made replicas of every successful product ever made. That’s not to say the Chinese don’t make original stuff as well, but their talent of replicating pretty much anything is legendary. That being said, I had never heard of Chinese food replicas until a few months ago, when I watched a news report about a guy making completely artificial eggs, using chemicals, right in his own home-made laboratory. Today, as I was surfing the interwebs, I came across and even stranger article about a “beef extract” additive that turns pork into beef, in just one and a half hours.

This “magical” product has apparently become very popular in small Chinese restaurants in Hefei, Fujian, Jianxi and other places around the country, especially since beef is twice as expensive as pork. A pound of beef is sold for around 20 yuan, whereas pork costs just 10 yuan, so some restaurant owners are inclined to buy a liter of beef extract for 45 yuan and use it to maximize profits.

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Indian Sadhu Has Kept His Right Hand Up for the Last 38 Years

Sadhu Amar Bharati is an Indian holy man who claims he has kept his right hand raised in the air since 1973. Now, 38 years later, his hand is just a useless piece of skin and bone, but has become a symbol for Shiva worshipers around India.

Until 1970, Amar Bharati was an average middle-class man who lived a normal life. He had a job, a home, a wife and three children, but none of that mattered when he woke up one morning and decided to leave everything behind and dedicate his life to serving the Hindu god Shiva. He began wandering the roads of India dressed in his simple Sadhu clothes and carrying only his trusty Trishula (a metal trident). After three years, in 1973, Amar realized he was still too connected to the fading luxury and pleasures of mortal life, and decided to separate himself from them by raising his right arm and keeping it raised. 38 years later, his arm is still up and he couldn’t use it, even if he wanted to.

Other sources claim Amar Bharati felt disillusioned by all the fighting going on in the world, and decided to raise his right arm for peace. A respected Sadhu at the Kumbh Mela, in Haridwar, Amar has inspired other Sadhus to raise their arms for peace and harmony, and some of them have kept them raised for the last seven, thirteen, even 25 years. But doing something like this doesn’t just mean giving up the functionality of an important body part, it also implies dealing with a lot of pain. Bharati himself says he went through excruciating pain for a long time, but not anymore. That’s because his arm is completely atrophied and stuck in a bizarre, semi-vertical position, a useless bony structure ending in thick, twisted nails that he never clips.

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