The Salt Labyrinths of Motoi Yamamoto

A former dockyard worker, Motoi Yamamoto is now one of Japan’s most talented artists, known all over the world for his intricate artworks, made of salt.

His working with this unusual medium was caused by the death of his younger sister, back in 1994. Mr. Yamamoto says that by working with free-form salt he is able to touch precious memories from the time his sister was alive, something he just can’t do by simply looking at pictures or reading a diary.

Some of his most amazing works are the intricate salt labyrinths. When he’s creating them, Motoi Yamamoto feels like he is following a trace of his memory that he can only reach when the work is completed. He stands in a cross-leg position for hours-on0end carefully laying the lines of salt, until he reaches the essential point in his memories.

Salt plays an important role in many cultures Like Hinduism or Japanese Shinto. Motoi Yamamoto uses salt as a life-giving substance, so after his art installations are no longer exhibited, he insists the salt be thrown back into the ocean so it can continue its path.

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Swimsuit Skiing Carnival Held in China

Wearing nothing but swimsuits and summer apparel, contestants conquered the snowy slopes, during a fun carnival held in the Shanyang Forest Park, China.

Skiing is fun (Or so I’m told) but sliding down the slope and climbing back up again, can only be exciting for so long. So to spice things up a little, the people at Forest Park organized a fun winter carnival where participants would wear swimsuits and summer clothes.

As you can see in the photos, it was a pretty big hit that attracted a hefty number of skiing (and probably swimming) enthusiasts.

Photos by Zhao Jingdong/Xinhua

via Sina

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The Incredible Sword-Swallowing Space Cowboy

Chayne Hultgren, an Australian street-performer who goes by the name of Space Cowboy managed to swallow 18 sharp swords in one gulp.

31-year-old Chayne has been practicing the art of sword-swallowing since he was just 16 years old. Back then he started out by swallowing a garden hose, which he still uses as practice for the more dangerous stunts. After a few years of swallowing hoses, he finally moved on to steel swords.

According to the Space Cowboy himself, sword-swallowing is not as dangerous as it looks, if you know how to do it. It takes years of practice, meditation and knowing your own body. He says it took a while before learning how not to gag and controlling his internal organs.

The Space Cowboy Hultgren entertains Sydney passers-by for a living, swallowing swords all day long, but this time it was special. The crowd gathered near Sydney Harbor witnessed a new Guinness Record being set, as our hero slipped 18 swords down his throat, and towards the stomach, missing the heart by less than an inch.

The previous record of 17 swords, each of them 2 feet 4 inches long, was set by the same Chayne Hultgren.

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Joana Vasconcelos’ Stainless Steel Pot Shoes

One of the most original and well-executed artworks I’ve seen lately, Joana Vasconcelos “Marylin” will be auctioned off on Tuesday, at Christie’s, in London.

Made out of hundreds of stainless steel pans and covers, Marylin was inspired by the high-heel shoes worn by Marylin Monroe in the infamous clip from “The Seven Year Itch”, when the blond bombshell walks over an air-vent.

Through her stainless steel work of art, Joana Vasconcelos points out that modern-day women are expected to look beautiful in public, and do all the work around the house. Despite the seemingly feminist message, Ms. Vasconcelos is actually an advocate for equal human rights.

The 13ft by 9.8ft stainless steel pan Marylin is expected to sell for a sum between $155,000 and $233,550.

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The Detroit Ice House

Unless you live in Detroit, you might not have heard about the Ice House Project, but it has really been the talk of the town for the last couple of weeks.

Architect Matthew Radune and photographer Gregory Holm, both living in New York, decided it would be a great idea to create an ice-covered home as an art installation. The idea came to Matthew when he laid eyes on a photograph of a house wrapped in a frozen waterfall.

And what better place for their artistic endeavor than Detroit, a city full of abandoned and foreclosed houses. They managed to convince Michigan Land Bank to let them borrow the abandoned house at 3926 McClellan. The building was scheduled for demolition, but Radune and Holm got it into a program that deconstructs and recycles materials. They also agreed to pay back taxes on a foreclosed house, so a single mother and her family could have a home. This was their gift to Detroit for allowing them to go on with their project.

Day and night the two watched over the house, constantly and stubbornly fighting Mother Nature, who alternated cold days with sunny ones that almost melted their Ice House. The whole thing cost around $15,000, most of which was raised through a donations website. This included the project licenses, the city water and hiring the police to cordon off the street for a few hours. The rest was just watching water ice-up and making shore passers by didn’t injure themselves on the ice.

On Saturday, Gregory Holm finally got the photo he wanted from the Detroit Ice House project, and they’ve stopped spraying it with water. But you can still admire it for a few days, until the sun melts it.

via

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The Creepy Accessories of Undead Ed

If you’re a fan of horror, monster and gore, then you are about to become a big fan of Undead Ed’s work.

There is a lot of disturbing stuff in Ed’s grave of goodies, on Etsy, but if you want to show the world what a hardcore horror fan you are, these freakish rings and bracelets are just what you’re looking for. They’re bloody, creepy, scary, in one word: perfect!

And if you want your toddler to share this disturbing theme, take a look at the cyclops stroller.

via SuperPunch

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Two Indian Workers Weave the World’s Longest Doormat

Two workers of Travancore Cocotuft Ltd. have spent months creating the world’s longest doormat hand-woven from coconut coir.

The giant mat is just 1.2 meters wide and 30 mm thick, but has a length of 101.6 meters and weighs 999 kg. Impressive numbers, but the most impressive thing about this mat is that it was handmade by just two workers. They spent 111 man days, over a period of 4 months, inserting 4,70,000 coir tufts between alternate wefts of coir yarn.

Although Guinness Book of Records is already considering declaring it the world’s longest hand-woven doormat, it serves a higher purpose. Cocotuft Chief Executive Officer P. Mahadevan says it was created to emphasize the miserable conditions of workers in the coir industry, who are paid much less than the minimum wage fixed by the Indian Government.

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If You Can’t Grill It, Can It

That’s an old saying, or at least it should be, because it often happens you find yourself with a nice, big chicken and no way to cook it.

I don’t know if the guy who came up with this didn’t have a grill at hand or if he simply doesn’t like barbecue. But then again, who doesn’t like barbecue? Anyway, it turns out all you need to cook a delicious chicken, is  an empty can of cooking oil, some wood and a match. So there you have it, next time you find yourself outdoors, in the mood for roasted chicken, you can improvise your own oven.

These pics should so be on Instructables!

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The Origami of Mui-Ling Teh – the True Story in Her Own Words

23-year-old Mui-Ling Teh enjoys folding miniature origami creations and talking up close photos of them to tell a story. More information about her work is available at her online gallery where she sells cards, calendars and more items of her work. She also sells additional items at her Zazzle Store.

In February 2010, she was featured in a number of UK publications. However much of the published information and images were not as Mui-Ling had supplied. You can read the true story in her words ‘here

Photos copyright of Mui-Ling Teh

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The Stone-Encased Pain of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) was German-Austrian painter and sculptor most known for his series of canonical grimaces sculptures.

Messerschmidt’s character heads were inspired by the mysterious condition that forced the artist to leave the Vienna Academy of Arts. The undiagnosed digestive illness that caused Messerschmidt so much pain is today believed to have been Crohn’s disease. At one point, he came up with a series of pinches he would apply to his right lower rib. in order to take his mind off the pain.

Looking in the mirror while he was applying his pinches, and seeing his facial expressions, Messerschmidt decided to immortalize his pain in a series of sculptures. Thus, in 1781 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt started working on his famous character heads, using himself as a model.

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Nazi Thais Make Absolutely No Sense

This is probably what happens when a nation is completely uneducated about world history. That’s the only way I can explain young Thais organizing Nazi parties and sticking swastikas on their scooters.

I found some photos of this Nazi scooter, taken in Thailand, and started looking a little deeper into this bizarre issue. That’s when I came across more pics of Thai youth wearing Nazi symbols and marching like the armies of the Third Reich.

Really, how weird is that? A people that Hitler would have most definitely wiped out if given the chance, now idolizes him and organizes Nazi parades and proudly sticks Nazi symbols on scooters. The only excuse I can think of is they don’t know what the Nazi doctrine was really about, if that can really be called an excuse.

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The World’s Oldest 13-Year-Old

13-year-old Zara Hartshorn suffers from a rare skin-condition called lipodystrophy, which makes her look like an old woman and causes her daily grief.

It’s hard to imagine what it’s like having to cope with people staring at you like you’re some kind of freak, and being called names like “baggy face”, “monkey” or “granny”, on a daily basis. But, no one knows what Zara has to go through, better than her own mother, 40-year-old Tracy. She says she knew her youngest daughter inherited her dreadful condition, ever since she was just a few days old. All her other kids have it too, but the symptoms are much more severs in Zara’s case.

Tracy managed to protect her little girl until she had to go to school. That’s when the nightmare began. Schoolmates make fun of her and beat her up if she tries to talk back, adults stop and stare at her wrinkled face as if it’s her fault she was born with this yet incurable condition.

Lipodystrophy causes the fatty tissue underneath the skin to deteriorate, while the skin itself grows in excess, at an accelerated pace. Tracy, who experienced the same tragedies, when she was Zara’s age, had facelift surgery, but after only two years, the lypodystrophy symptoms were just as severe and now she had the surgery scars as well.

Modern medicine has advanced a lot since then, and Tracy is desperate to help Zara before it’s too late. Unfortunately, she can’t afford the proper skin treatment on a single salary. But if there’s ever a sure way her daughter could be spared all the torment, she’d do anything to save her.

via Mirror.co.uk

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The Cheesy Art of Prudence Staite

Using LowLow mature cheese, British food artist Prudence Staite has created a series of cheesy celebrity portraits and sculptures.

Ms. Staite has been working with food for some time now. She is actually behind the pizza celebrity pizza portraits we featured her a while back. This time, the medium of her artistic talent was LowLow cheese. After working with chocolate, jelly beans and chocolate, the food-artist found low fat cheese is ideal for sculpting.

The cheese art of Prudence Staite hint at how cheesy some aspects of celebrity culture really are. “Dita von Cheese”, “Chedda Cole” and “Low-bama” have been chosen as most representative for these modern times.

The cheesy art of Prudence Staite are on display at Kings Road Gallery in Chelsea, London.

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Head to Bondi Beach for a Quick Read

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its most popular bookcase, the BILLY, IKEA placed 30 bookshelves on Bondi Beach, in Sydney.

This festive event took place on February 2nd, and attracted a large number of bookworms, eager to check-out the books the shelves contained. Visitors had the chance to trade one of their old books for an old one from the Bondi Beach bookcase, or make a small donation for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

The 30 BILLY bookshelves were only held in place for their birthday.

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Moscow’s Army of Snowmen

No, it’s not the Cold War all over again, it’s just the Russian way of celebrating Slava Polunin’s Snow Show.

Every year, after a heavy snowfall, Moscow becomes the home of around 100 snowmen, part of an advertising installation. This time, the army of snowmen showed up in central Moscow, but every year is pops-up in a different part of the city, in order to keep everyone guessing.

The snowmen are part of an advertising campaign to promote an annual performance by famous Russian clowns. As you can imagine, locals love snowmen and lose no opportunity to have their pictures with them.

Photos by GETTYIMAGES via Daylife

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