Recycled Optimus Prime Shows Up in China

Part of the Green Dream Park, in Beijing, the 10-meter-tall statue of Optimus Prime managed to attract the gazes of many passers-by.

With all the Transformers statues, made from recycled materials, showing up everywhere I’m thinking they’re a great way of raising awareness to the problems of the environment, especially as far as young people are concerned.

Assembled near Bird’s Nest Stadium, in Beijing, the 10-meter-tall leader of the Autobots is made only from waste materials, brought in all the way from Taiwan. But this awesome Optimus Prime statue goes to show you that just because something is made from junk, doesn’t mean it’s junk.

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Shaolin Soccer in Real Life

Remember the comedy “Shaolin Soccer” starring Stephen Chow? It was an over-the-top film that featured a mix of soccer and Shaolin kung-fu. Well, believe it or not, Shaolin soccer exists in real life!

The younger students of the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City, China have found an original way of practicing their kung-fu and enjoying themselves at the same time. Whenever they’re not busy meditating, studying or working around the temple, the boys, aged 15 to 18, engage in a spectacular game of Shaolin soccer.

Just like in the above mentioned film, Shaolin soccer features both soccer and kung-fu moves, combined in a very entertaining way. The young monks leap through the air, kick the football like it’s an opponent, and even sit on their heads,while holding the ball. As you can imagine, every one of their Shaolin soccer games draws quite the local crowd.

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The Digital Orca of Douglas Coupeland

Perhaps the most interesting artwork in Vancouver, Digital Orca is a pixelated sculpture created by artist Douglas Coupleland.

How awesome is this, right? I mean, if I didn’t know any better I’d swear these photos were computer generated. But since Digital Orca is one of Vancouver’s most popular landmarks, featured on Pan Pacific Vancouver blog, you can believe it’s real. Located near the Vancouver Convention Center, Digital Orca looks completely different when viewed from various angles.

Local chronicler Douglas Coupland, is also the author author of Generation X, Microserfs, City of Glass and other impressive works of art in Vancouver.

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The X-Men #1 Toilet Is Pefect for Mutant Poop

It’s hard to believe anyone would use the number one selling comic-book of all time to decorate a standard American toilet, but it’s the pure truth.

eBay user xenenouveau has used all 4 variants of the X-Men #1 comic book, and the deluxe issue to cover an entire toilet. You could say he flushed the whole thing down a toilet, but the result is really quite interesting. Using scissors and X-Acto blades, he deconstructed the comic, image by image, and plastered them on every inch of the X-Men #1 toilet.

It sure looks like this one-of-a-kind toilet could now handle anything you throw at it, but its creator doesn’t guarantee it will function as a working toilet. He did spend over 80 hours plastering the images and covering them with 5-6 layers of polyurethane, but we all know how water find every little breach, and it could turn into a disaster. But, once you win the auction, you can use it any way you like.

The starting bid for the X-Men #1 toilet is $400, but there are no bids, so far. Which is sort of strange, considering the number of X-Men fans out there.

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The Mysterious Rock Sculptures of Staten Island

On the beaches of Mount Loretto State Park, on Staten Island, you’ll find a series of mysterious rock towers and mounds, known as the Rock Sculptures of Staten Island.

Looking a lot like the ruins of an ancient temple, these mysterious rock formations cover near half a mile of beach, near the ruins of the old Raritan Bay clamming industry. Believe it or not, a single person has been stacking thousands of rocks on top of each other, for over a decade. Every Friday, Douglas Schwartz, a zookeeper at the Staten Island Zoo, sets out on the beach of Mount Loretto State Park and spends around 45 minutes stacking and stabilizing rocks into tower-like formations.

Some people refer to this place as “New York’s little Stonehenge” and those who have already discovered it appreciate its beauty and tranquil effect. There are children playing around the rock sculptures, trying to create their own, while grownups enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s amazing how relaxing looking at dozens of rock sculptures, on a deserted beach, can be.

 

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World’s Oldest Woman Turns 130

Antisa Khvichava, from a village called Sachino, 370 km west of Tbilisi, Georgia, has just turned 130, making her the oldest woman on Earth, by 16 years.

I don’t know about you guys, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that this woman has been around since 1880. Although her birth certificate has been lost, Antisa has Soviet-era documents that clearly state she was born in the second half of the 19th century. She has a son, ten grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. Her 70-year-old son was apparently born when she was already 60 years old.

Antisa Khvichava, born on July 8, 1880, says she has been healthy all her life, and she worked as a corn picker until the age of 85. The Gerontology Research Group currently recognizes 114-old Eugenie Blanchard, from France, as the oldest woman on Earth.

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Life-Size Gundam Is Back to Protect Tokyo

Remember that 60-foot RX78 Gundam mech that showed up in Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park? Well, the guys at Bandai pieced it together once more, this time in Shizuoka.

The truth is I missed the awesome-looking RX78, and I couldn’t understand why they had to take it down in the first place. But that’s not important anymore, because the Gundam statue is back, and this time it’s brought a cool saber that shines at night. The newly assembled Gundam will be officially inaugurated on July 24 and it will remain in Shizuoka until January 10 2011.

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The Zombie Portraits of Grayson Castro

Grayson Castro is an original artist with an affinity for zombies. I’ve never even imagined what Jesus or Barrack Obama would look like as zombies, but thanks to Grayson’s art we don’t have to. You can also check out Audrey Hepburn or Dolly Parton as mindless zombies, and even John McCain. I always knew politicians were monsters, but munching on a baby’s limbs seems a little too much.

You can see more of Grayson Castro’s artworks on his website and Flickr stream.

 

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The World’s 6 Most Disgusting Fish Dishes

I’ve never been a big fan of fish, but hunger has made me gobble down trout after trout, a few times. But there are some fish dishes I’d rather die than put in my mouth. If you thought eating raw fish, like sushi, was disgusting, I suggest you get a bag ready, before scrolling down, just to be sure, because you’re about to discover the most disgusting fish dishes in the world.

Surströmming

Also known as “sour Baltic herring”, Surströmming is a Swedish dish consisting of fermented hering. It usually comes in cans that, due to the fermentation, often bulge. As long as the can stays closed, Surströmming isn’t much of a problem, but as soon as the lid comes off, the odour becomes too much to bare. This is the main reason even fans of Surströmming prefer to eat this fish dish outdoors. In 2006, several airlines banned Surströmming, claiming the cans were potentially explosive. Swedish authoritis say that’s just a myth, but why risk it? If the can doesnt kill you, the smell probably will.

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Finally, a Real American Pizza

Just because Italians invented pizza doesn’t mean America can’t have it’s own signature pie, covered with all the delicious stuff likely to give you a nice heart-attack.

Made on 4th of July, in honor of America’s independence, this real American pizza has all the the toppings that made American fast food the unhealthiest cuisine in the world. The thin pizza crust is covered with ketchup, two cheeseburgers, an order of nuggets, fries, all covered by a layer of melted cheese. Let’s face it people, pizza doesn’t get any better than this…

And if the pizza didn’t spell “the American way” clear enough, the hand-gun next to it, in the last photo, definitely clears things up.


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Shed of the Year Is a Regular Pirates’ Den

Inspired by the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, Reg Miller transformed his old shed into a pirate themed retreat that earned him the title of winner in the Shed of the Year 2010 contest.

Reg Miller, or Jolly Reg, as he’s come to be known, built his impressive pirate shed from scratch. He has some old muskets and swords, and since his partner didn’t want them in the house anymore, he figured the best place to store them was the shed. After seeing his first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, he decided he was going to build his very own pirates’ den.

Jolly Reg did it all himself, using anything from recycled pieces of wood to fixtures and fittings he found at car trunk sales. He spent years working on it, but his pirate shed is still a work in progress, as he is always adding new things. So far he has set up a Koi fish pond, complete with palm trees, and decorated the shed with barrel seats, pirate flag pole and even a real life parrot.

The 65-year-old would-be pirate managed to beat over a 1,000 other candidates and snatched the grand prize at  UK’s Shead of the Year 2010 competition. He’s now 1,000 pounds richer and has a hefty supply of wood-maintenance products from the contest’s sponsor.

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Shaolin Monk Performs Famous Kung-Fu Flight on Water

Shi Liliang, a monk from the Southern Shaolin Temple in Quanzhou, has performed the popular kung-fu walk on water.

If you’re a fan of old Chinese kung-fu movies (I know I am), than you must have seen the kung-fu flight on water at least once. A kung-fu master would cross vast stretches of water by making long leaps and barely touching the surface of the water with the tip of their feet. It seemed impossible, and it actually is, but that didn’t stop a Shaolin monk from trying it in real life.

Shi Liliang has been practicing his flight on water for years, and last year he even set a record for the longest walk on water. Using a number of thin planks, loosely tied together, Shi Liliang beat his own record and moved 28.7 meters by quickly running on his toes. Unlike what you see in the movies, he eventually ended up in the water.

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Chinese Football Fan Trains Team of Roosters

China’ may not have been present at the World Cup 2010, in South Africa, but its team of football playing roosters would probably win any competition.

Zhang Lijun has always been a big fan of football, but he decided to take his passion for the sport to a whole new level three years, when he started training his roosters to handle a ball. Now, chickens aren’t exactly famous for their intelligence and ability to learn new things, but Zhang’s roosters have developed mad football skills.

The unusual football team is made up of only two players, and they recently had to go head to head in a mock World Cup match, on the city streets, in Liaoling Province China. Zhang Lijun played the role of the referee, while the two roosters used their feet and wings to handle the ball. Passers-by gathered to watch the bizarre spectacle and were surprised by the bird’s dribbling skills.

Maybe Zhang’s roosters should play in the national football team, or may be he could be the new coach. Either way, China would have a higher chance of qualifying next time.

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Hay-on-Wye – The Bibliophiles’ Mecca

Home to the largest secondhand bookstore in the world, Hay-on-Wye is more than just a little town on the border between England and Wales, it’s book heaven on Earth.

The history of Hay-on-Wye as the “town of books” began on Fools’ Day of 1977, when during a bold publicity stunt, bibliophile Richard Booth announced the independence of Hay-on-Wye as a kingdom of books, with him as the monarch. Ambassadors were sent to the International Court of Justice, in Hague, and a rowing gunboat started patrolling on the river Wye. Since then, he managed to establish a healthy tourism industry based on books, and thousands of visitors come to Hay-on-Wye every year, to look for whatever books they need.

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Lithuanian Village Holds Goat Beauty Contest

Ramygala, a Lithuanian village 150 kilometers from the capital Vilnius, hosted a weird beauty contest to crown the most beautiful goat.

On July 5th, the inhabitants of Ramygala gathered on the outskirts of the village to watch the traditional goat beauty contest held to commemorate the 640th anniversary of the village, which is this year’s capital of Lithuanian culture.

The goat has been the symbol of Ramygala ever since medieval times, and it’s still valued by the locals. A total of 13 goats entered the beauty contest, but only one of them claimed the title of “most beautiful goat in Ramygala”. Grazyolyte, a good-looking white goat, was crowned the winner of the event and made his owner proud.

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