Coolest Finds of the Week #26

South African Weathermen Could Face Jail Time for Wrong Forecasts (Yahoo)

Jaipur’s Painted Elephant Festival (Environmental Graffiti)

Man Spots Dead Mother’s Ghost in Guesthouse Photo (Metro)

MMO Game Wants to Break Record for Virtual Marriages (Geekosystem)

16 of the Smartest Children in History (Business Insider)

China’s Famous Salad Towers (The Consumerist)

Functional Bone Guillotine Model Made by Prisoner Awaiting Execution (Daily Mail)

India’s Incredible Hand-Drawn Movie Posters (Asia Obscura)

25 Beautifully-Colored Sea Slugs (Environmental Graffiti)

Man Sets New Record for Most Eyebrow Raises (Record Setter)

17-Year-Old Girl Has Eaten Chicken Nuggets Every Day for the Last 15 Years

Everyone craves fast food every once in a while, but for 17-year-old Stacey Irvine, chicken nuggets have been a part of her daily diet ever since she was 2 years old. Although you wouldn’t think so by looking at her.

I’m a big cheeseburger fan myself, though I try not to eat more than one a month, but for young Stacey, chicken nuggets are the most delicious things on Earth. Her mother, Evonne, 39, made the mistake of introducing her to the tastiness of chicken nuggets when she was just two years old, and she loved them so much, she refused to eat almost anything else after that. Mum even tried starving her at one time, in an attempt to get her to eat more nutritious foods, but to no avail, so she gave up trying to get her off nuggets a long time ago.  For a while they were all she would eat, but she later expanded her daily diet to fries, chipss and an occasional piece of toast for breakfast.

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Billion Euro Home Is Made from Shredded Remains of 1.4 Billion Euros

Unemployed Irish artist, Frank Buckley, has built an entire apartment from the shredded remains of 1.4 billion euros he borrowed from the national mint. He says the Billion Euro Home is a monument to the madness the single currency brought to Ireland.

In 2002, when Ireland adopted the euro, a wave of cheap credit flooded the country, fueling a huge property bubble that eventually led to the country’s economic downfall. People were spending billions of euros on buildings, but when the bubble burst in 2007, the country plunged into the deepest recession of the industrialized world, and those buildings quickly lost their value. Frank Buckley was one of the many Irish who was given a 100% mortgage by the bank, to buy a home with an estimated cost of €365,000, despite the fact he had no steady income. Now his house on the far reaches of Dublin’s commuter belt has lost a third of its value, and the artist is stuck with the credit.

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Guy Spends Six Years Making the World’s Largest Gumball

This is one of the grossest world records I have ever covered, but it’s just so unusual I couldn’t resist sharing it with you guys. A man has kept the around 95,200 pieces of nicotine gum he has chewed over the last six years and put them all together in what is considered the world’s largest gumball.

50-year-old Barry Chappell, from California’s Palos Verdes Estates, has been busy over the last few years, building a 175-pound chewy monstrosity with a diameter of 62 inches, out of the tens of thousands of nicotine gum pieces he’s chewed. Barry is completely aware of the fact that most people who hear about his hobby are more or less disgusted, but that doesn’t make him less proud of his achievement. After all he did stick to the task for six long years, using every one of the approximately 95,200 pieces of nicotine gum he has used to help him stay away from cigarettes. Now his efforts are about to be rewarded, as Ripley’s Believe It or Not decided to acquire his giant gumball and present it as the largest medicated gumball in the world.

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Chinese Cat-Boy Can See Perfectly in the Dark

If you ever doubted real X-Men were among us, check out the neat super-power of Nong Youhui, a young Chinese boy who can see in total darkness.

Riddick, the cool antihero played by Vin Diesel in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my all-time favorite  sci-fi  movie characters, but I never dreamed of someday reading about somebody who could actually see in the dark. The first news about a little Chinese child with cat-like eyes who could see in the dark as well as normal people see in clear daylight, first broke out in 2009. Doctors who examined little Nong Youhui said he was born with a rare condition known as luekodermia, which leaves his eyes exposed to sunlight damage, but also allow him to see clearly in the dark.

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Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

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Incredible Fingerprint Paintings by Judith Braun

New York-based artist, Judith Braun, creates giant symmetrical wall paintings, using only her fingertips as brushes. This would be difficult to do with one hand at a time, but Judith sometimes uses both hands at the same time.

As children, we all got our hands dirty then tried to use our fingers to draw, but I doubt any of our “masterpieces” looked anything like those of Judith Braun. By dipping her hands in charcoal, pastel and chalk, and using them as paintbrushes, Braun is able to create truly unique symmetrical works of art. Using her own special technique, she produces all kinds of abstract images, patterns and shapes.  “Abstraction keeps the images free to be anything, while the symmetry resolves that fluidity into something, like liquid energy crystallizing. This crystal metaphor is further reflected in the carbon medium that, under heat and pressure, becomes a diamond.  I like to think I’m drawing with diamond dust”, Judith Braun says about her art.

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Chololi – Japan’s Nose Hair Notification Service, Now Available in English

Have you been dying to tell someone that their nose hairs gross you out? Do you find yourself facing them every day, unable to voice out your disgust? If your answer to these two questions is “yes” , Chololi is just the service for you. It allows anyone to email people anonymously, telling them that their pesky nostril hairs need to be trimmed soon.

Originally launched in Japanese, the web service is now available for the English-speaking as well. To use it, all you need to do is go to their website and fill out a form. Provide the person’s name, e-mail address, the nostril through which the hair is visible, the number of hairs and you’re done! The message will be conveyed in secrecy. Just for kicks, you can even choose the tone with which the message is delivered. There’s mild, strong, commanding, and the nastiest of them all, scornful.

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Parents Keep Child’s Sex Secret for Five Years, to Raise Him Gender Neutral

Ever looked at a baby and wondered if it was a boy or a girl? I’ve been there. It’s a dicey situation because most parents take offence if you blurt out the wrong gender. Beck Laxton and Keiran Cooper are exceptions, though. They raised their kid for five years without revealing the gender to anyone, until recently. Only when things were getting difficult at school did they tell the world that their baby is actually a boy.

This might sound real crazy to a lot of people out there, and Laxton is quite aware of that too. The 46-year-old mom does admit that several people had branded the couple as “loony” and they had to suffer some amount of ostracisation due to their choices. “I discovered that I’d been described as ‘that loony woman who doesn’t know whether her baby is a boy or a girl’. And I could never persuade anyone in the group to come around for coffee. They just thought I was mental,” she says.

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Man Devises Aerobic Exercises Based on House Cleaning

If you’ve been wanting to get into shape but haven’t had the time to exercise, Aerobic House Cleaning might just be the thing for you. The fitness program was devised by Steve Markovich, who has been following it for the past 16 years.

The 57-year-old from Crescent Springs, Ky., has managed to make a heart-pumping workout out of ordinary chores such as vacuuming and washing windows. According to Markovich, the vacuum cleaner is the most versatile exercise machine ever. He’s found a way to combine squats, lunges and hip twists while he’s getting the floors clean. He says that he burns so many calories through house chores that he can afford to allow himself a few treats once in a while. A vanilla ice cream topped with peanut butter, for instance. He seems pretty fit for his age, although he does sport a tiny little paunch.

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Artist Disappears in the Background of Her Works

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes uses a mix of make-up, paint and costumes to make herself disappear in her own paintings. Like the real-life invisible man, Liu Bolin, she  is a master of blending-in the background.

Paredes explains her technique as a way of making herself part of the landscape ïn a quest of belonging”.  “The theme behind all is re-location after displacement and migration and how one has to adjust in order to belong. Tough it is, but it has to be done, without forgetting our origin,” the artist explains. With the help of her assistants, she applies make-up and body paint, and sometimes slips into special suits to make herself a subject of her own artworks. Unlike human chameleons like Liu Bolin, Cecilia Paredes sometimes likes to let her presence get noticed by the viewer, by leaving her hair stand out and letting them see the whites of her eyes, like in the artwork below.

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Man Wants to Live Like Bear Grylls for a Year, Dies in Less than a Month

Nature has always been about the ‘survival of the fittest’, but sometimes even the fittest cannot survive its harsh conditions. What happened with David Austin is a classic example of how merciless the outdoors can truly be. He had embarked upon a year-long survival challenge in the Scottish wilderness, but was found dead within a month.

The 29-year-old from Derby was on a mission inspired by English adventurer Bear Grylls. Sadly however, his body was discovered on December 31st by a track worker in a remote mountain hut located in Corrour, Highland Perthshire. The condition in which the body was found suggests that it had been lying there for several weeks, unnoticed. According to post mortem reports, the most plausible cause for death was hypothermia.

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Chara Sands – The Miniature Desert of Siberia

If I showed you an image of desert sands set up against a background of snow-capped mountain peaks, your first word would probably be ‘Photoshoped’. That’s what I thought too, but such a place really does exist and it’s called Chara Sands.

There is really no end to nature’s mysteries and Chara Sands, in Siberia, is just one of them. Located in the Trans-Baikal, about  25 miles from the Kodar Glaciers and right next to the mountains, ice fields and blue lakes, the bright and yellow sand dune is hard to miss. At 10 km long and 5 km wide, the dunes are of varying heights. Some of the tallest ones are 15 to 30 meters high. Given the large volume of the loose and shifting sands, the place actually looks like a desert, although it is not. Spotting a desert-like terrain in the tundra region is nothing short of a miracle and a well-recognized one around the world. According to the Russian Geographical Society, “The contrasts seem impossible: as if an incredible open-air museum was set up, displaying natural curiosities of the north and the south next to each other.” They couldn’t have put it better.

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Gardener Claims Viagra Makes Plants Perkier

Celebrity TV Gardner David Domoney has made a startling revelation. The drug that has helped so many men spruce up their love-life apparently works wonders for flowers as well. And only 1/50th of a regular sized pill of Viagra is all that’s required.

Cut flowers that are placed in a vase end up wilting in no time at all. But now with Viagra, the life and freshness of flowers can actually be doubled. Although men might not find this piece of information very amusing, I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who would love to try out this simple, yet excellent tip. According to Domoney, “you only need a tiny amount of Viagra to stiffen things up nicely.” By ‘things’, I’m assuming he means the flowers.

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Creative Agency Creates Detailed Money Portraits

Artists from Chinese creative agency Senseteam cut apart banknotes from various country and recomposed them as detailed portraits, in a series called Big Business 3.

‘Currency symbolizes the value of a nation and its position in the world,’ the designers say, so their portraits ‘reflect the subtle relationships and influences across money, desire,
society, nations, and human beings.’ They also prove money can also be used for something much more meaningful than shopping and making bank deposits – in this case art and cultural statements. To create their colorful artworks, Senseteam members painstakingly cut banknotes into hundreds of strips and glued them together in the shape of intricate human portraits.

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