Artist Uses Ashes of the Deceased to Paint Portraits of Them

Adam Brown, a Missouri-based painter, is offering his clients a unique way to connect with their deceased loved ones. He mixes the ashes with paint pigments and uses them to create portraits of the dead, as a ‘lasting memory’.

The 32-year-old artist said: “It hit me that having ashes in an urn on a fireplace would be a good way to remember that someone died, but having them in a piece of art is a good way of remembering that someone lived.” For Brown to paint the portraits, his clients need to send him the cremated remains of their loved ones. “Out of respect, I still wear gloves when handling the ashes,” said Brown “And whatever is left over, I am careful to return. I only need about four to six ounces, depending on the canvas. The ashes would go into the background.”

He takes these ashes, which have the texture of sand, and mixes them with paints, craft glues and resins. Brown also incorporates the deceased’s favorite colors and personality into the artwork. He puts a written inscription at the back warning that the painting contains human remains. This is “in case it ever leaves the family and goes into auction, so people know what they’re buying.”

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Jet-Engine-Powered World’s Fastest Truck Is a Genuine Beast on Wheels

Shockwave, the world’s fastest truck, is so fast that it can actually outrun a Japanese bullet train. The four-ton Peterbilt Semi is powered by three jet engines and hits speeds nearing 400mph. It generates a whopping 36,000 horsepower, covering a quarter mile in just 6.5 seconds.

The incredible vehicle was first built by Les Shockley in 1984. 64-year-old Neal Darnell purchased and rebuilt it along with his son Chris, 31, in 2012. It now holds the world record for the fastest jet-powered full-size truck – 376mph. “It’s an awesome experience,” said Neal. “You won’t believe it until you see it.”

Shockwave is equipped with three Pratt & Whitney J34-48 jet engines that were taken out of US Navy trainer jets called the T-2 Buckeye. Each jet engine is capable of producing 12,000 horsepower in afterburner, which makes a total of 36,000 for Shockwave. It holds 190 gallons of fuel, burning 180 of it per performance.

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Outrageous Korean High-School Yearbook Photos Yield Hilarious Results

Let’s face it – no one’s particularly proud of their high school yearbook picture. Or are they? We just found out that South Korean schools are allowing kids to get away with all kinds of bizarre poses. The phenomenon is not just limited to one school – these pictures from several yearbooks are doing the rounds on the internet.

You really have to hand it to these kids, they are absolutely hilarious. In some of the pictures from Jeonju Haesung High School, the students appear to be posing in costumes of their future professions. So you can spot a diver, a farmer, a fisherman, an archer and a barber, all sporting weird expressions. But soon they begin to lose the plot. There’s Ironman, followed by The Joker, and a boy dressed like a nun.

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Food Artist Creates Edible Replica of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” Using 10,000 Marshmallows

Sweets are not just meant for eating, they can be used for art too! Artist Michelle Wibowo recently used tasty treats to create a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s famous Sistine Chapel painting – The Creation of Adam. Measuring 18’9’’ by 9’2’’, it features 10,000 marshmallows and half a billion cake sprinkles. It’s been rightly dubbed, ‘The Baking of Adam’.

Michelle took 168 hours to complete the project that marks the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo’s death. “Britain is currently gripped by baking fever with a real emphasis on unique designs and showmanship,” said the 35-year-old artist who baked the masterpiece for Cake Angels. “When we learnt of Michelangelo’s anniversary celebrations, we really wanted to join in. We decided to challenge the boundaries of cake design by immortalizing his most heavenly creation in our own special way. No celebration is complete without cake and we really hope that Michelangelo would have given us his official seal of approval.”

According to creative director Alex Balzaretti, “Cake Angles is all about inspiring the baker through creativity and innovation. We’ve been looking for a project for a long time that enabled us to do that and it became apparent that 2014 was going to be a historic year in the celebration of the life of Michelangelo. His most important and probably prized work of art is The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and what more heavenly creation to be picked.”

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What’s the World’s Most Beautiful Flower? Why, Money, Of Course!

They say money can’t buy love but this Chinese couple have proven all that nonsense wrong. Chen Li, a software programmer, proposed to his girlfriend with 999 roses made of bank notes. Needless to say, she happily accepted.

As romantic as it sounds, it turns out that 27-year-old Chen was provoked into inventing the bizarre proposal. When he visited the girlfriend’s parents during the recent Spring Festival, the young couple spoke about their marriage plans. The parents, however, weren’t amused. Chen was told in no uncertain terms that he had to have a house and a car to even think about marrying their daughter. “Renting an apartment is acceptable before marriage, while marriage without a home isn’t appropriate,” said the girl’s mother.

Chen was clearly stung; the fact that his girlfriend said nothing to support him added to his disappointment. So when he got back home, he went straight to the bank to empty his account of all his life savings – 200,000 yuan. He then spent the next four days folding the notes into 999 flowers. Each flower contained two notes and took 5 to 6 minutes to create. He would begin after dinner every night and keep working until two in the morning.

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Evidence Suggests World’s Largest Solar Farm Burns Birds That Fly over It

Environmentalists might swear by solar energy, but it turns out that the alternative source has its pitfalls too. Ivanpah, a giant solar farm in California’s Mohave Desert, is actually producing such high levels of heat that birds flying over it are burning to death.

The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System that opened last Thursday is a joint effort by NRG Energy Inc., Google Inc. and BrightSource Energy. It can produce electricity that is sufficient to power 140,000 homes. The project is supposed to be the beginning for the United States’ emerging solar industry. It uses a technology that is different and more expensive to build than a similar-sized conventional solar power plant.

The Ivanpah site is located 45 miles southwest of Las Vegas, with virtually unbroken sunshine for most part of the year. It is also close to transmission lines that carry power to consumers. The project makes use of technology called solar-thermal – more than 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors (each roughly the size of a garage door) reflect sunlight to boilers on top of 450-foot towers. The sun’s power heats the water in the boilers’ tubes and the steam drives turbines to create electricity.

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Canadian Beverage Maker Launches Beer That Is Actually Good for Fitness

Now here’s a beer that you could drink to your heart’s content, guilt-free. If the Canada-based company, VAMPT Brands’ claims are to be believed, their new beer actually complements a great workout. Lean Machine Ale offers a range of fitness-enhancing qualities that no normal beer is supposed to have.

In fact, Lean Machine Ale is actually being marketed as a sports drink. It contains only 0.5 alcohol by volume, so it’s just a light pilsner that won’t really get you drunk. It has antioxidants and electrolytes that help the body recover from exercise and replenish vital nutrients. One can of Lean Machine Ale contains only 77 calories, with 7 g of protein and 7 different vitamins. As an added bouns, it also boosts the immune system and is gluten-free.

According to the company, Lean Machine Ale is a “first-of-its-kind product that will create a new segment in the Sports Recovery Ale category. The marketplace for these types of products is ever expanding as new drinkers come of age and search for brands they can claim as their own.”

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The Human Brewery – Man’s Stomach Turns Starchy and Sugary Foods into Alcohol

34-year-old Matthew Hogg has a rare condition – auto-brewery syndrome. Every time he eats starchy or sugary foods, his body converts the food into alcohol that is released into his blood stream. This alcohol is so strong that he ends up intoxicated without even touching a single drink.

While this might sound like an alcoholic’s dream, for Matthew, it’s nothing short of a nightmare. He’s been suffering from the rare condition since primary school and his parents have spent their entire life savings of over $80,000 on diagnosing his illness. After seeing several specialists, the condition was finally identified when a test by Dr. Keith Eaton in London revealed high levels of ethanol in his blood and indicated bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It is this yeast overgrowth that converts his meals into alcohol.

“I have experienced symptoms from birth and during my childhood there were countless times I suffered drunkenness without having consumed an alcoholic beverage,” said Matthew. “Every time I eat bread, potatoes or starchy rice I produce 100 percent proof drinking alcohol that travels around my body through my bloodstream – if I eat a portion of rice I would suffer a hangover equivalent of having glugged three bottles of red wine the night before.”

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70-Year-Old Bodybuilder Is Fitter Than Most Men Half His Age

Sam ‘Sonny’ Bryant Junior doesn’t look a day over 40. He’s a bodybuilder with a perfectly ripped body that puts younger men to shame. Especially when they get to know about his real age –70 years and still going strong. Very strong.

“They ask me when I’m going to retire. I say never. I say more people die retired than they do when they are working. I’ve been doing this for 27 years.” Sonny says. He started working out at age 44, when he was in a bad marriage. Initially, he just went to the gym to relieve stress; he knew nothing about working out or lifting weights.

But he never gave up and just 11 months later, Sonny’s instructor asked him if he wanted to take part in a bodybuilding contest. “I said, ‘You think so?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ So I went to a contest in Georgia. I’d never been in a contest or competed for anything, you know. I won third in the novice, fourth in the master. And then I was hooked.” Before he knew it, Sonny was addicted to the gym. “I love to work. I love to work out,” he said. As for age, well, he says that it’s all in the mind. “People have a misconception that age makes you old. I realize that it’s the state of mind that makes you old. Age is just a number, you know.”

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Got No One to Make-Out with? Give This Creepy Kissing Pillow a Try

Whether you are perennially single or need to get some practice before that big date, this kissing pillow might be of great use to you. The ‘Make-Out Practice Pillow’ comes with a creepy built-in plastic nose and mouth, designed to give you the illusion of kissing a real person.

Florida-based designer Emily King created the pillow as a solution for inexperienced kisser. “When I was in middle school, everyone joked about making out with pillows for practice. I’m assuming that I was not the only one for whom the jokes had some truth,” she said.

26-year-old Emily said that she was inspired by CPR dummies and some removable rubber dummy mouths that she found in abandoned suitcases near her apartment. So she went and got herself a few ‘mouth pieces’. “The mouths sat in a bin in my studio for a while,” said the DIY-expert. “They whispered to me as I worked in my studio. ‘We are waiting,’ they said, ‘and we are creepy. Don’t you want to get us out of your studio?’ After many months the rubber lips exhaled the idea of make-out pillows. I’ve been avoiding the insistency of the mouths, but as we near closer to Valentine’s Day I know the time has come,” she wrote on DIY community website, Instructables.

Make-Out Practice Pillow

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Meet James Harrison, the Man Whose Extremely Rare Blood Has Saved Millions of Babies’ Lives

74-year-old James Harrison is a superhero in his own right. Granted, he doesn’t wear a cape or spin webs, but he has saved over two million babies’ lives in the past 54 years. And in real life, it doesn’t get cooler than that.

Australian-born James has a very special type of blood – the plasma contains an antibody that cures babies of Rhesus disease, a severe form of anemia. He has been donating blood every few weeks since he was 18 years old, and has done it over 1,000 times now. James never fails to make a donation; even when he’s holidaying, he makes sure to stop by a donor center. “I’ve donated on the Sunshine Coast, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, wherever I go and I get around the place with the caravan club I’m in.”

“I’ve never thought about stopping. Never,” he said. His initial motivation for donating was a major chest surgery that he underwent at age 14, for which he needed 13 liters of blood. “I was in the hospital for three months. The blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18. I said to my father that I would give blood myself as soon as possible and I stayed true to my word.”

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Surfing the Freezing Waters of Lake Superior in the Dead of Winter

When you think of surfing, balmy beaches and warm summer days come to mind. But not for everyone. Take this one group of surfers from Minnesota who don’t seem to mind diving into the freezing waters of Lake Superior in the dead of winter for a little hardcore action.

This die-hard group of surfers have been spotted riding the waves of the Great Lakes, near Stony Point, during winter, literally emerging from the cold water with icicles hanging from their faces and thick wetsuits. The peak season for surfing at the lake is said to be between January and March and the surfers seem to love it even more if there’s a winter storm, because that means stronger waves. The wind’s long and powerful rush across the lake’s surface that powers the tide can create waves that can go up to 10 – 12 foot high. There have been times when the wave action has reached 30-foot on Lake Superior, during the throes of a raging storm.

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Blind Card Shark Will Amaze You with His Incredible Card Tricks

Richard Turner is one of the world’s greatest card cheats in the world. He’s so quick with cards that if you ever played with him, you just couldn’t see him cheat. But then, neither could he. That’s what makes his skill even more special – he’s completely blind.

The card shark, or ‘Card Mechanic’ as he prefers to call himself, has been cheating at cards since the age of seven. “A mechanic is somebody who could control the outcome of a card game,” he says. He never loses at cards. Not even when someone else is shuffling. And the only way he got that good is by practice. “For years, I practiced 10 to 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, which boils down to around one-third of my entire life 24×7,” he said. Kim, his wife, added: “There are times when he’s doing like a one-handed shuffle and he makes a little ‘prr’ sound. You might be at church and then you just have to do the gentle touch like – not now.”

Richard, a native of San Antonio, hasn’t had an easy life. He began to lose his eye sight at the age of nine and was bullied by his school mates. He’s also struggled with drug and alcohol problems. But none of these obstacles got in the way of his passion. “I’m always practicing,” he says. “Liberace couldn’t carry his piano with him, but my act can fit in my pocket.”

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Baring More than Their Souls – Virginia Church Congregation Worship in the Nude

White Tail Chapel, located in Southampton County, Virginia, has recently made a bizarre decision to welcome its congregation the way they were made – nude. Pastor Allen Parker, the leader of the church, said that he found the clothing requirements of other churches overly pretentious. So he wanted his own flock to be able to let go of such materialism if they desired to.

He argues that many of the Bible’s most defining moments occurred when people where nude, including the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. “When he was born he was naked, when he was crucified he was naked and when he arose he left his clothes in the tomb and he was naked. If God made us that way, how can that be wrong,” said Parker, in an interview with CNN.

The pastor’s theory is that nudity is the ‘great equalizer’ that reminds the people gathered in church that they are all simple human beings. His goal is to drive the fact that beneath all the personal wealth and glamorous clothing, everyone is more or less the same. “There’s not a feeling that you have to be better than one another, physically,” he said. We’re humans, we have scars, we have what we have. It’s learning to love and accept that.”

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Cat Breeders Discover New Breed of Felines That Look Like Werewolves

Tennessee-based breeders have created a new breed of cat with a touch of the supernatural. The ‘Lykoi’ has the looks of a werewolf, but apparently behaves more like a dog. Due to a genetic mutation in a domestic shorthair cat, the Lykoi has no hair around its eyes, nose, ears and muzzle, giving it a werewolfish appearance.

The name ‘Lykoi’ loosely translates as ‘wolf cat’ in Greek. It has patchy hair on the rest of its body and a ‘hound dog personality’. According to the official website for the breed, “They like to hunt around the house for whatever they can find. They show caution to strangers but warm up quickly and become very friendly.”

“There was no human intervention to create the cat,” said breeder Johnny Gobble. “The gene is a natural mutation that appeared in the domestic cat population. We are simply using the genetics of natural processes.”

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