China’s Kung-Fu Barber Cuts Upside Down

In order to attract more customers, a Chinese hair-stylist, trained in the art of kung-fu, cuts hair, while standing upside down, on his head.

36-year-old Wang Xiaoyu first attracted media attention,in May of last year, when local papers reported a man cutting his customers’ hair, while doing a headstand. The wacky barber has been cutting hair, in the city of Changsha, Hunan Province, for 16 years, and is now using his 18 years of kung-fu training to boost up his business.

What can I say, his customers better pray Wang doesn’t get dizzy while using a sharp razor. Someone could literally lose their heads over this. But, on the other hand, if you’ve ever doubted the power of kung-fu martial arts, now’s the time to stop.

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Quidditch Becomes Top University Sport in America

What started out as a silly dorm sport has now become a national phenomenon, with over 400 registered Quidditch teams, all over the country.

Should the lack of real magical powers prevent us from playing the fun sport we discovered in the wonderful world of Harry Potter? “Hell no!” said the students of America, who put a broom between their legs and started chasing each other across the field, trying to score points.

Muggle Quidditch follows the main rules, described in J.K. Rowling’s book, apart from the flying part, of course. Teams are made up of seven players: three chasers, two beaters, a keeper and a seeker. Chasers try to throw the ball through one of the three hoops, while trying to avoid bludgers and dodgeballs, thrown by beaters. If they’re hit, they must drop the quaffle. Keepers guard the hoops, while seekers have to catch the snitch, a tennis ball wrapped in a sock and hanging by a person’s waist (usually a really fast dude dressed in gold). The catching of the snitch adds an extra 30 points, and ends the game.

Quidditch players should keep the broom between their legs, at all times, or they are penalized with yellow and red wands. It’s a bit harder than it sounds, but people find Muggle Quidditch an intense and enjoyable game. Even prestigious universities like Harvard and Standford have their own Quidditch teams.

via Daily Mail

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German Dude Marries His Cat

A German postal worker, from Possendorf, has unofficially married his beloved cat, Cecilia.

39-year-old Uwe Mitzscherlich has shared precious moments with Cecilia, for the last 10 years. Unfortunately, the purring fur-ball is now obese and asthmatic, and the vets don’t think she has much more to live. Because they’ve had such a unique relationship, for many years, Mr. Mitzscherlich decided to make it official, and asked Cecilia’s…paw, in marriage.

Sadly, human-animal weddings aren’t recognized in Germany, so Uwe Mitzscherlich had to pay a female actor to officiate the ceremony. At first she thought it was a joke, but quickly realized this was a dream come true, for the German postal worker.

The couple dressed for the occasion, with Uwe wearing a wedding suit and top hat, and Cecilia boasting a lovely white dress. It was a beautiful ceremony, and 15-year-old Cecilia even meowed loudly, through the exchanging of the vows.

Check out a video of this unusual wedding, at the bottom.

via Bild

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Norwegian Prison Looks More Like a Holiday Resort

Located on 75 acres of pine forest, Norway’s Halende Prison is unlike any of the American prisons, smelling of sweat and urine. Here, inmates are respected and probably live a better live than they did on the outside.

Norway’s second largest prison cost 1.5 billion kroner ($252 million) and took 10 years to complete, but the result is truly impressive. The 252 inmates at Halende will be living in 12-square-meter rooms, equipped with LCD TVs, modern furniture, and 2-square-meter showers. Instead of the awful smell of most prisons, the only odors at Halende will be those coming from the modern kitchen, where prisoners take cooking classes.

The prison’s cultural center features a recording studio, library,winter garden, manufacturing workshops, fancy classrooms, state f the art gymnasium, as well as a laboratory. Halende cells and facilities are decorated with genuine paintings that cost a total of $1 million.  There is even a separate, two-bedroom house, where inmates can spend time with their families, during overnight visits.

Are Hoidal, the prison’s governor, said the Norwegian prison system focuses on human rights and respect, so he doesn’t see any of this as unusual. Well, people must live a great life in Norway, because if that thing was built where I’m from, criminals would literally line up to rob or stab you, for a chance to live there. Seriously, that thing looks a lot better than any hospital or college dorm I’ve ever seen.

via Time, photos via drugoi

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Nigeria’s Fighting Rams

The city of Lagos, in Nigeria, has hosted the 13th All-Nigerian Ram Fighting Championships. This increasingly popular sport drew an impressive crowd, eager to see the animal compete.

Ram fighting is a popular sport in countries like Algeria, Indonesia and China, but in Nigeria it even has its own Ram Lovers Association, which organizes ram fighting events. believe it or not, this sport isn’t as bloody as you might think. During the history of the championships, only one ram has lost its life, and there has rarely ever been any blood shed. According to Bashir Augusto, founder of the Ram Lovers Association, rams naturally love to fight, the only difference is here they do it for the entertainment of the crowd.

The animals, of the same weight class, are placed together in a dirt ring, with a judge and several referees closely watching them. Usually they naturally run towards each other and but heads. The fight ends when one of the rams runs away from the fight. One match normally lasts for less than 10 blows, but the longest match, this year, lasted for 98.

Just like human boxers, fighting rams go through rigorous physical training (especially running), have special diets, rich in beans and bananas, and even have their very own music, as they step into the ring. This year, in the main event, Gobe, last year’s champion, retained his title and won his master a brand new refrigerator. In Africa, I bet that’s a prize worth fighting for.

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Britain’s Amazing Seed Cathedral at Shanghai Expo

If you thought Miguelin, the giant baby at the Spanish pavilion was awesome, than the British pavilion’s Seed Cathedral will blow your mind.

By far the most popular structure, at the Shanghai Expo 2010, even before it was officially opened, the Seed Cathedral is a six storey high cube-shaped structure, pierced by 60,000 thin acrylic rods. Each 7.5 meter long rod sways at the slightest wind movement, adding the dramatic effect of the design.

Just like fiber optics, the acrylic rods draw in the light from the outside, and illuminate the inside. At night, the artificial light, on the inside, is projected to the outside, making the Seed Cathedral glow.

But Britain’s awe-inspiring building isn’t called Seed Cathedral, for no reason. On the inside, each rod has one or more seeds encased in it. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, this architectural wonder has already won the hearts of its visitors, who have nicknamed it “The Dandelion”.

Photos via QQ

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Cecilia Cassini – The 10-Year-Old Fashion Designer

While other little girls were watching cartoons, or playing with Barbie dolls, Cecilia Cassini was reading fashion magazines and learning how to sew. Now, at 10 years of age, she’s already an established fashion designer for kids.

Cecilia Cassini, from Encino, California, began her career as fashion designer, when she was just 5 years old. She cut up her sister’s Betsy Johnson dress, when no one was looking, and adjusted it to her own design. For her 6th birthday, she received a sewing machine and began taking sewing lessons. At 7 years old, she wrote a letter to her favorite fashion designer, Coco Channel, for school, and designed her own logo, at 8.

It’s safe to say Cecilia was very creative, from an early age, but she got her big break last year, when her mother mentioned to a store owner that her daughter made dresses. During a trunk show, the fifth-grader sold 50 pieces. Things started happening, from there, and now Miss Cassini has her own manager, no other than Pilar DeMann, the woman behind the Kardashians’ rise to power.

Cecilia Cassini  and her fashion creations are becoming more and more popular, with each passing day, and she’s even opened up a cool-looking website, where people can check out and order her works. Another super-kid that’s going places, fast.

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Chinese Stuntman Walks on a Sharp Giant Knife

Ji Jingyu, a 48-year-old stuntman, from China, is walking barefoot on a giant knife, during a performance, in a park in Nanjing. I knew China hosts some really weird events.but I don’t see how it can get any more bad ass then a dude walking on the sharp edge of a custom made giant knife. This epic event took place on May 2.

Photos via ImagineChina

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Armenian Builds His Own Maserati Supercar

After seeing photos of himself and another supercar he built, back in 1981, Henrik I. Matevossian, from Armenia, sent Yaplakal forum some newer photos of his home-made Maserati.

Matevossian, a passionate motorist, started this project in 1985, and changed the design several times, trying to make his car look more sporty. He had to do everything himself, and progress was pretty slow. The building process stopped after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Armenian car enthusiast resumed work after 2000. He finished his masterpiece in 2007.

The engine, gearbox and rear suspension came from a real 1984 Maserati V6 BiTurbo. This home-made supercar also features a Weber carburetor, control unit for the turbines, altered front suspension and the steering wheel of a Toyota.

Matevossian’s greatest sadness is that Armeniean law doesn’t allow him to drive his home-made Maserati outside national borders, so he can show the world his creation.

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Dead Man Riding to Heaven

What looks like a bike rider waiting for the green light, in a motorcycle race, is actually a dead man at a wake, in Puerto Rico.

22-year-old David Morales Colon was shot to death, last Thursday, and his family wanted people to remember him doing what he liked most. As the young man had received a brand new Honda CBR600 F4 motorcycle, which he loved, his family asked the funeral home to embalm David and set him in riding position.

The guys at the funeral home did a great job, and David looks like he’s about to drive away any second, but this gesture caused a media stir, at an international level. Apparently this paves the way for other funeral firms to come up with original ideas for this kind of events.

As a guy living in a country where dead people are kept on the living room table, for three days, before being buried, I see this as just a cool way of honoring a person.

Photos by Vanessa Cerra via PrimaHora

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Avatar’s Tree of Souls Appears in London

Although London’t Hyde Park is famous for hosting a variety of tree species, Vitraya ramunong (better known as the Tree of Souls) was definitely not one of them. Until now, anyway.

Unlike the alien tree, indigenous to Pandora, this Earthly version is considerably smaller (only 5 meters tall), features a plastic-like bark, and its glowing tendrils look a lot like fiber-optic cables. Plus, it’s planted in gravel and asphalt, and it’s root is made up of just one cable that seemed to power the trunk withe electricity.

As you might have (hopefully) realized, we’re not talking about a real Tree of Souls, but about a man made avatar, if you will. It appeared in Hyde Park, last Saturday, for the launch of Avatar on DVD, and as a way of celebrating the 40th Earth Day. Unfortunately, this weird version of Vitraya ramunong was removed from the park, the next day. If you didn’t get the chance to see it live, these photos should compensate:

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Queen Elizabeth – Japan’s Most Famous Love Hotel

Love hotels are part of Japan’s tradition, and the Queen Elizabeth is regarded as the most popular of them all. It’s not because of the great service, but more because of its wacky design.

Shaped like the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, this weird-looking hotel is located in Kanagawa, not far from Tokyo. Apparently the rooms also have a naval theme, so guests feel more like they’re doing it on a real ship.

One of the funniest things about the recently reconditioned Queen Elizabeth Love Hotel is that it features statues of Jake and Rose, from James Cameron’s Titanic, doing the flying pose, on the ship’s bow. I fail to see the connection, but I guess a boat’s a boat, and…well whatever attracts more customers, right?

Photo source: TokyoTimes

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Mermaid Girl Turns into a Beautiful Little Princess

You could say it happened just like in Disney’s “Little Mermaid”, only in this real life case, the mermaid needed a little help from a surgeon.

The appropriately named Milagros Cerron, is a Peruvian girl,born with a rare condition, known as sirenomelia, or “mermaid syndrome“, which left her legs bound together, fro her heels, all the way to her groin.

The Little Mermaid, as she is known, in her native Peru, has just turned six years old, and she has made great progress. Dr. Luis Rubio, head of the surgical team that managed to separate Milagros’ legs, and rebuild her knees, hips and ankles, said she was doing very well, physically, but that she still has a long way to go.

The young girl, who’s name means “miracles”, in Spanish, has suffered three major operations, in the last five years, and she will need to have her urinary and sexual organs reconstructed, in two years.

Sirenomelia is a rare congenital defect that occurs in one out of 70,000 births, and causes death in the vast majority of cases. There is just one other case, 17 year old American, Tiffany York, who has undergone successful separation surgery, before.

Born in a poor family, from a poor village in the Andes, Milagros Cerron is fortunate enough to have her health bills supported by the Peruvian municipal government.

Photos by AGENCIES

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LOTR Fan Builds Bag End Hobbit Dollhouse

After reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, over 20 times, Maddie Chambers decided to take her passion for the LOTR saga to the next level, and created a dollhouse replica of Bilbo Baggins’ Bag End.

This mother of twins took on the hobbit house project when her boys were just 1 year old. At first, she thought she’d just build a hill with a round door, like the one of Bag End, but being a perfectionist, Maddie kept thinking of things to add. First she decided to make a removable roof, then she started drawing up the project, and adding more rooms, until she put it in her mind to build a replica of the Bag End featured in the LOTR movies.

Between taking care of her two children, and keeping the house from falling apart, Maddie Chambers managed to create her hobbit house replica, in just one year. If you think that’s a long time, you must know the whole thing is hand made, from the house itself, to the dollhouse furniture, and even the tiny food. And she only worked two hours a night, and during nap times. But Maddie says she’s always been a crafty person and this was a labor of love.

For more details about the building process, and even more photos of the Bag End dollhouse, head over to the blog Maddie set up for her impressive project. All I can say to this true geek is CHAPEAU!

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The Art of Bones, by Francois Robert

Francois Robert creates iconic shapes, using dozens of real human bones. He spends entire days on his knees, but the results are truly exceptional.

Francois has always been fascinated by skeletons, but it wasn’t until a day, in the mid 1990s, that he came face to face with one. He was at a yard sale, in Michigan, checking out some desks, for his office. He stumbled across three, two of which were empty,m and the third, with a complete human skeleton, inside. He took them all to his studio.

In 2007, as the recession began to think its teeth into the economy, Mr. Robert had so much time on his hands that he decided to turn to the skeleton in his closet. Because its parts were wired together, for educational purposes, the artist decided he needed one that could be broken down into pieces. So he traded his skeleton, for a box filled with 206 real human bones.

Since then, Francois Robert has been spending most of his days, on his knees, arranging even the tiniest bones into the right position, for the perfect shot. His collection is called “Stop the Violence”, and it was inspired by the author’s fear of death. He says “”The bones are something left behind, a form of memory, I try to treat that person on my studio floor with respect.”

via DesignObserver

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