Toothpick City – Our World in Toothpicks

Stan Munro has spent the last six years of his life recreating some of the world’s most important landmarks out of nothing else but toothpicks.

Most people use them to get rid of food scraps from between their teeth, but 38-year-old Stan Munro, a former television host, uses them to create wooden works of art. Stan takes between one day and six months to glue together 1:164 scale models of some of the most impressive structures on Earth.

In order to create his amazing Toothpick City, Stan Munro has so far used six million toothpicks and 172 liters of glue, but his work is far from over. Right now he is working on a toothpick replica of Angkor Wat, the most complex structure he has ever had to build. All his models are on display at the Museum of Science and Technology, in Syracuse, New York.

Photos by SOLENT NEWS & PHOTO AGENCY

via Telegraph.co.uk

Here are some of his most incredible-looking toothpick creations:

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Would You Wear a Toilet-Paper Wedding Dress?

Seven Israeli designers worked on creating a set of beautiful wedding dresses, made out of toilet paper, in celebration of the most requested wedding date in the world, September 9, 2009.

The talented designers presented their creations in Tel Aviv, as part of an advertising campaign for a toilet paper company. The idea behind the project is toilet paper wedding dresses are perfect for emotional brides as they can use it to wipe their tears of happiness or excess make-up.

These are not the first paper dresses I’ve seen, but they are definitely the most beautiful and they will be auctioned off and the winnings donated to a local charity.

Photos by David Silverman/Getty Images Europe

via Zimbio

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Pimped-Out Hello Kitty Car Spotted in Russia

I swear Hello Kitty is trying to take over the whole world. It’s everywhere these days, even on things that used to belong to us manly men, like guns and Gundam robots and it even got its very own Hello Kitty castle.

And if thing weren’t bad enough, I’ve just come across some dreadful photos of a Hello Kitty car, taken in mother Russia. Someone went through an awful lot of trouble converting a perfectly nice Suzuki into a hideous girly-pink ride.

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The Hog Parade of Malolos

Dozens of pigs wearing make-up and funny costumes are displayed through the streets of Malolos, during the Hog Parade.

Highlighting a week-long food festival in the Philippines, the Hog Parade took place on September 12, in the town of Malolos, Bulacan province. The tasty protagonists were dressed as Superman, Popeye, clowns, queens and even brides.

After the fun Hog Parade, the people of Malolos feasted on some free roasted pig, offered by the local authorities. Malolos is the main supplier of pigs in the Philippines.

Photos by Erik de Castro/REUTERS

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The Harley-Davidson Armchair

Featuring custom painted flames, taillights, headlights and side-view mirrors, the Harley-Davidson Armchair is probably the manliest chair ever made.

Designed and built by the guys at First Impressions, the Harley-Davidson can make anyone feel like a hardcore biker, right in the comfort of their own home. When you kick out the chair’s footrest, the chair’s speakers reward you with a motorcycle engine sound that lasts about 10 seconds. Armchairs just don’t get cooler than this.

First Impressions has created custom home theaters for celebrities the likes of Don Johnson, Vanilla Ice or Michael Winslow. The home-theaters at Neverland and Graceland are also masterpieces of the above mentioned company.

The Harley-Davidson Armchair is priced at $6,950, but you can have your custom built First Impressions home-theater, starting at $150,000.

via Gizmodo

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Toygers – Tiny Replicas of Tigers

With most species of tigers about to become extinct, cat breeders are trying to help their cause by creating a tiny tiger replica, called Toyger.

Jennifer Santee has always had a thing for tigers and dreamed of having one as a pet. But knowing that wasn’t ever going to happen, she decided to make a tiger of her own, one that she could keep in her house. Together with a small group of cat breeders, she managed to create the Toyger (for toy tiger), a breed designed “specifically to preserve the beauty of an exotic animal”.

Although Toygers don’t actually have any tiger genes, their rusty color and dark stripes closely resemble those of the Bengal tiger. But they are friendly and playful animals that will go for walks, play fetch and come when they are called. Unlike the Margay,  they are perfect human companions.

Santee says 25 breeders all around the world are working on perfecting the Toyger breed, to make the cats resemble tigers even more. The new species is already in demand and, although each specimen costs over $3,000, they have all been sold. Part of the profits go towards the conservation of wild tigers, the inspiration behind the Toygers. The breeder estimates will truly be tiger replicas by 2010, when the last tigers will disappear from zoos.

via National Geographic

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Chance City – The Embodiment of Lost Hope

Created by artist Jean Shin, Chance City is made-up of $32,404 worth of discarded “Scratch & Win” lottery tickets, displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

What can you do with thousands of apparently worthless losing lottery tickets? Not much, either recycle them or use them as building material. Jean Shin opted for the second choice and created a number of urban buildings she chose to call Chance City.

The structures of Chance City are sustained only by gravity and friction, yet some of them have been around since 2002, when the project started. Back then, the design contained $17,119 worth of lottery tickets, but it grew to $24,496 worth in 2004 and plans to expand even more.

Chance City is the embodiment of failed hopes of ordinary people, while its fragile-looking, yet resilient buildings “are symbols of the American Dream representing how labor, money and resilience defy the odds of a fragile existence”.

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The Trash Temple of Rotterdam

Judging by the amount of trash we generate every day, it’s no wonder people are beginning to build structures using it.

100 tons of PET bottles, pressed into bales, were used to create the Temple of Trash, presented at the 2007 Follydock Festival, in Rotterdam. The idea behind this project by Salzig Design is future generations might actually end up believing human kind worships the trash it produces and dumps into landfills.

The Temple of Trash was a temporary installation, but, although it’s not standing anymore, it can still be admired on the official site of Salzig Design

via Treehugger

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Tattooed Fish Sold as Lucky Charms in China

Tattooed Parrot Fish and other species of ornamental fish are becoming quite popular at a pet-shop in Chengdu, China.

Known as Fortune Fish, these tattooed swimmers bear patterns, such as flowers and rainbows, and characters that are said to bring good fortune and happiness to their owners. The tattoos were apparently done with lasers and made the common Parrot Fish quite popular.

A normal Parrot Fish sells for 10 yuan, while a tattooed Fortune Fish sells for 25 yuan.

via ImagineChina

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National Flags Made Out of Popular Foods

At the Sidney International Food Festival, the flags of participating countries were recreated using  popular foods of each nation. I tell you, I’d love to eat my way through Switzerland, but France doesn’t look half bad either, if you’re ok with stinky cheese. And, for desert, Vietnam is tasty and healthy at the same time.

Which ones are your favorites?

via Toxel

ITALY

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Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel Using Human Hair

Milan Karki, an 18-year-old from Nepal, may have solved the world’s increasing energy problems, by inventing a solar panel that uses human hair instead of expensive wiring.

The young Nepalese, together with 4 classmates, has been trying to come up with a way of producing cheap, renewable energy for his home village ever since he went to school in Kathmandu, but now he dreams of powering up the whole world with his invention.

Milan has discovered hair not only makes us look good, but is also light sensitive and a great energy conductor, because of the melanin it contains. So he replaced the silicon in normal solar panels with human hair and thus invented a new type of solar panel, four times cheaper than the ones on the market today.

The inventor says he has already sent out a couple of his prototypes to districts in Nepal, to be tested for feasibility, but is confident he has found an answer to his country’s energy issues. He says buying half a kilo of human hair is not only cheaper than a set of batteries, but also produces energy for much longer period of time. And anyone can replace the hair, so the solar panel doesn’t require a lot of servicing.

Photos by Tom van Cakenberge/BARCROFT MEDIA

via Daily Mail

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Fish Need Healthcare Too

I’m sure that’s what Patit Paban Halder thought to himself when he decided to open up a fish hospital in the comfort of his own home, in India.

The Fish Hospital of Chandannagore, India, is the only one of its kind. Halder, together with his wife and son, has set up a 32-aquarium facility where they observe and treat sick ornamental fish. The fish doctor does rounds, takes blood sample, checks them for fungus and bacteria and even gives the tiny fish injections.

I don’t know how many of his patience actually make it out of the hospital, but the mere effort of trying to save them is worth my respect.

Photos by DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP/Getty Images

via LIFE

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Czech Modders Build Cooker Computer

I knew Russian modders had some mad skills, but it seems the ones from the Czech Republic are just as good. This Cooker PC mod is proof of that.

I don’t speak Czech, so I don’t know much about the building process of the Cooker Computer, but apparently it was done last year, starting from scratch. No photos of it in action have been found yet, but I’m sure it works just fine. After all it’s all about the look, and a computer in a stove is just about as fresh and cool as modding gets.

Considering you speak Czech and want to know more about the Cooker Computer project, check Modding.cz. Maybe you could give us some more details too. I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.

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World’s Coolest Star-Wars Collection

It might also be the biggest, but Cho Woong’s Star-Wars collection is by far the coolest one I’ve ever seen.

Cho Woong is a Korean dude who managed to put together what might actually be the ultimate Star-Wars collection and actually made it a part of his home. Everything in Cho’s apartment, including his entertainment system, coffee table and even the bathroom is somehow connected to the Star-Wars universe.

Some people collect coins, stamps or even cigarette packs, but this is on a whole other level. And unlike the crazy Pokemon collection, his Star-Wars collection actually looks neat and well-organized, managing to complement his apartment.

Photos by Cho Woong

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The Man Who Builds Recycled Houses

Dan Phillips has become a regular celebrity in his home town of Huntsville, Texas, for building 14 fully functional recycled houses out of construction waste and scraps.

The 64-year-old constructor has lived a varied life, working as an intelligence officer in the army, a college dance instructor, antique dealer and even as a puzzle maker. He has spent the last 12 years building affordable houses for the poor, using discarded materials.

Anything durable people throw away is a potentially useful building material for Dan Phillips. He runs down to construction sites and landfills and takes away almost everything they throw away. His houses are not all the same, he builds each one with the materials at hand, but he views that as a good thing. After “repetition creates pattern”.

Dan Phillips’ recycling philosophy has changed the way the entire community sees the recycling process and he has even been contacted by companies who wanted advice on how to build recycled warehouses.

Dan uses his very own construction company to build the houses, but always asks the beneficiary to take part in the building process. This way, if something ever breaks, they’ll know where everything is and how to fix it.

via New York Times

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