South African Artist Paints with Plastic Waste

Mbongeni Buthelezi, an artist from South Africa, has shunned paint in favor of plastic. He melts discarded plastic bags and uses the molten material to produce stunning works of art. The 49-year-old has been working with the unique medium for the past 23 years, ever since he graduated from art school.

Buthelezi said he decided to work with plastic because he wanted to stand out, and this was an innovative, original idea to do that. “With watercolor and other mediums that I have experimented with in the past, I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling,” he told Euronews. “I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”

According to Buthelezi, his chosen medium also serves as a metaphor for life. “I collect rubbish and create something beautiful from it,” he wrote on his website. “That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives.”


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Chinese Man Cycles to Africa to Cool Off After Argument with Girlfriend

This Chinese couple have a cool relationship hack that’s gotten them through the worst of arguments. Every time He Ganhui and his girlfriend fight, he works out his emotions with super long biking trips. The farthest Ganhui’s ever cycled is all the way to Africa!

It all started in 2012, when Ganhui was working as a fencing coach in Foshan, China’s Guangdong province. He had a huge row with his girlfriend one day, and was completely pissed off. Not knowing how to deal with the negativity, he simply got on his bike and rode all the way to Beijing – about 2,200 km away.

“I borrowed a bike from a friend,” Ganhui recalled. “I was on impulse and set off for Beijing. I was such a rookie at the time. I even did not know how to deal with a flat tyre.”


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“Black Widow of Kyoto” Arrested Again after Death of 8th Male Partner

Although she looks harmless, 68-year-old Chisako Kakehi is probably one of the most dangerous women in the world. Nicknamed ‘The Black Widow of Kyoto’ by the media, she is believed to be responsible for the deaths of eight men who were romantically involved with her at some point in time.

Kyoto-based Kakehi is currently in police custody, for the fourth time in her life. According to Kyoto police, Kakehi has been in relationships with over 10 men, eight of whom eventually ended up dead. So far, she has been charged with the murder of a former husband in Kyoto and a boyfriend in Osaka, as well as the attempted murder of a man in Kobe.


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Russian Powerlifter Climbs Mount Elbrus with 75 Kilogram Barbell on His Back

Lots of mountain climbers have scaled Mount Elbrus – Europe’s highest peak (5642 m) – but no one has quite managed to do it like Russian powerlifter Andrey Rodichev. He recently became the first person in the world the climb the mountain while carrying a 75-kg barbell on his back!

That’s a decent load for most people to lift even at the gym, but Rodichev managed it in the most grueling of conditions. What he’s essentially done is combine two very different sports – trekking, which requires amazing endurance, and powerlifting, which requires short bursts of pure muscle power. While the former requires lighter body weight, the latter demands that athletes bulk up. By fusing the two, Rodichev managed to set a new athletic standard.  

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80-Year-Old Amateur Fashion Designer Creates and Models His Own Dresses

It seems like the elderly are embracing fashion like never before. After Gunther Krabbenhoft, who charmed the internet with his sense of style, and Baddie Winkle, the coolest-dressing grandma online, we now have 80-year-old Liao Dezhong – an amateur designer who models his own eccentric dresses.

Dezhong, a widower from Sichuan Province, has designed over 10 garments so far, including a long white dress and a cotton print dress that went viral. His tryst with design began after he lost his cellphone to a pickpocket. He then tried to stitch additional pockets and zippers into his outfits, and eventually started designing clothes himself. Loose, flowing dresses with plenty of pockets are now his trademark style.

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Quirky ‘Arse Bombing’ Sport Is All About Making a Splash

A cannonball splash is the easiest (and most fun) way to dive, but did you know it’s a legitimate sport as well? It’s officially called ‘splashdiving’, but fans lovingly refer to it as ‘arse bombing’!

While regular divers are judged on how smoothly they land in the water, in splashdiving it’s the exact opposite that counts – points are awarded for the size of the splash created on impact. That sounds painful, but leading competitors say it doesn’t really hurt as much as you’d think. “The pain is minimal,” according to the reigning arse-bombing world champion Rainhard Riede from Bavaria.  And in the words of arse-bomber Lukas Eglseder, “You get used to it.”

Splashdiving has its own set of rules, and believe it or not, competitors can choose from 13 different styles of diving. The classic ‘arse bomb’ involves landing bum first with the knees tucked into the stomach. Other techniques include ‘the cat’, ‘the chair’, and ‘the plank’. Contestants are required to announce their moves in advance, and are given four chances to make a big impression.

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Meet Baddie Winkle, the Internet’s Coolest-Dressing Octogenarian

Lots of people believe in dressing for their age, but Tennessee-based Helen Van Winkle does not subscribe to such hogwash. The 87-year-old sports outrageously loud outfits with peculiar prints and posts photographs of herself on her Instagram account – ‘Baddie Winkle’. With over 1.5 million Instagram followers, she has become the internet’s most popular grandma. Her account is followed by celebs like Miley Cyrus, Nicole Richie, Beyoncé, Drake, and Rihanna. She was even photographed with Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards a few weeks ago.

“I don’t feel old,” she told online magazine Refinery29. “I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to.” At age 87, it looks like she’s got more spunk in her than most kids one quarter her age!

But believe it or not, the spirited Winkle was a mess a few years ago, after the deaths of her husband and her son. “You don’t know what’s going to happen to you,” she said of her loss. “I blamed God forever. I cried all the time because I couldn’t come to terms with it.”

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Guy Quits Job to Train for Breaking World Record for Most Selfies in an Hour

When 24-year-old Bhanu Prakash, from Hyderabad, India, realised that his job was eating into his precious selfie-time, he decided to quit working altogether. He now spends all his time taking pictures of himself, and training to break the world record for most selfies in an hour. The record currently belongs to American football player Patrick Peterson, who managed to click himself 1,449 times!

Bhanu, who studied pharmacy in college, was working as a research assistant at a hospital in Hyderabad. He was already into the selfie trend big time, ever since his brother got him a smartphone with a front-facing camera, three years ago. “Almost the first thing I did when I got the phone in my hands was click a picture,” he recalled.

But his obsession reached new heights in May this year, when he overheard a conversation between a few kids on a bus – they were talking about Dwayne Johnson’s feat of clicking 105 selfies in three minutes. “It immediately struck me that it was a guy who did this,” Bhanu said. “I mean, people keep saying selfie is a very girly thing, but here Dwayne Johnson was doing it. And I knew I was up for it now.”

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High-Tech Automated Restaurant Totally Does Away with Human Interaction

A new restaurant in San Francisco is making headlines for entirely doing away with human staff. Instead, customers at ‘Eatsa’ directly send their orders to the kitchen through iPads. When the meal is ready, it will appear through a small glass compartment. Although there are real people working behind the scenes, patrons don’t have to interact with any of them.

It’s a radical alteration from the traditional model of dining out, but Eatsa owners feel that San Franciscans are ready for the change. They did have concierges in red shirts on the opening night late last month, to help customers place their order, but the restaurant is now fully automated, with no sign of staff anywhere – no cashiers, no waiters, no maître d’. Customers jokingly call it the “robot restaurant”.

It might sound rather inhospitable, but the restaurant, located in the Financial District, has is so far proving a success. “We are producing food at an incredible rate,” co-founder Tim Young said. “And we’re creating a new kind of fast food experience. What we’ve designed creates a sense of mystery, creates a sense of intrigue.”

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Japanese Mad Scientist Creates Neon Noodles

Neon udon noodles are the latest addition to Japan’s ever expanding list of bizarre foods. Taking their place among winners like poop-flavored curry, deep-fried maple leaves  and citrus-scented eggs, these psychedelic noodles hardly look appetizing.

Food writer and mad scientist Kurare Raku, who invented the glow-in-the-dark noodles, posted a couple of photographs on Twitter last week. One displayed neon pink noodles swimming in a neon green broth, topped with slabs of blue tofu. The other bowl had dark pink noodles topped with tofu that suspiciously resembled strips of Scotch Brite scrub pads.

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Believe It or Not, the Last Audio Cassette Factory in the US Is Doing Better Than Ever

I haven’t seen audio cassettes in use in over a decade, so it’s pretty shocking that a company is still making a profit manufacturing them. In fact, National Audio Company (NAC) – the last audio cassette maker in America – has had its best year since it opened in 1969!

The tapes are apparently high on nostalgic value, and that’s why they’re still flying off the shelves. And NAC’s stubbornness in not quitting when the other manufacturers did has finally payed off. “You can characterise our operating business model as stubbornness and stupidity,” NAC president Steve Stepp said. “We were too stubborn to quit.”

“Probably the thing that really enlarged our business at a faster pace than anything is the retro movement,” he added. “There’s the nostalgia of holding the audio cassette in your hand.”

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59-Year-Old Fashion Model Is Still Giving Young Girls a Run for Their Money

At age 59, the lovely Yasmina Rossi is breaking all the rules of the fashion world. Despite her age, she is a highly sought-after model, working for several international brands.

French-born Yasmina had an unusual start to her career – she began modelling in her late twenties, which is when most professional models retire. She got her big break at age 45, when she relocated to New York. That’s when she starred in ad campaigns for Macy’s, AT&T, and Mastercard. Eventually, she landed a job modelling for Marks & Spencers in Europe.

Everyone is naturally curious to know the secret behind her everlasting beauty, but Yasmina says there is none. “All I have ever done is eat organic food – long before it became trendy,” she told the Sunday Times’ Style Magazine. She also gets a bit of exercise, a healthy diet, and plenty of rapeseed oil for her hair and skin.

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Arab Family Spends $75 Million on World’s Most Expensive Cake

Flour, butter, eggs, and sugar were apparently too boring for this super wealthy Arab family, so they decided to throw a few diamonds into their cake mix. They recently splurged an eye-watering $75 million on a bejweled cake for their daughter’s birthday-cum-engagement party.

British designer Debbie Wingham, who turned to baking after previously creating the world’s most expensive dress, was commissioned to make the cake. The identity of the family – living in the UAE – has not been revealed, but there are plenty of pictures online of Debbie and the extravagant dessert.

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Disabled Student Turns His Wheelchair into Awesome Mad Max Cosplay

Inspired by summer blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road, a college student in Florida has converted his own wheelchair into a spectacular Mad Max costume. Benjamin Carpenter, 20, made the most of his physical disability to create the ingenious costume, and it was an instant hit at the Tampa Bay Comic Con last month. His photographs made the front page of Reddit last week.

Carpenter, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, uses an upright wheelchair to move around – and he managed to work that right into the costume. He rigged the wheelchair to so it could be attached to a chariot or a larger buggy, and then added finer details, emulating lead character Max Rockatansky’s look as a mobile blood bank in the film.

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Chiara Vigo – The World’s Last “Sea Silk” Seamstress

The ancient Italian art of spinning ‘sea silk’ is all but lost, save for one woman who still knows how to produce the incredibly rare, almost magical fabric. While modern silk is spun from silkworms, Chiara Vigo can harvest the saliva of a rare variety of clam and spin it into a shiny, gold-like material called byssus.

Legend has it that byssus was the cloth that God instructed Moses to lay on the first altar. It is believed to be the finest fabric known to Egypt, Greece, and Rome. If treated properly with lemon juice and spices, the remarkable material shines when exposed to the sun. It is also incredibly light, so much so that the wearer cannot even feel it touching the skin. It is said to be as thin as a spider web, resistant to water, acids, and alcohols.

Vigo gathers the raw material required to weave the cloth every spring – she goes out diving early in the morning to cut the solidified saliva of a large clam, the Pinna Nobilis, an endangered fan-shaped species of mollusc that is native to the Mediterranean Sea bed. Vigo has mastered a special cutting technique that allows her to take the secreted material without killing the rare creature. 300 to 400 dives later, she is able to gather about 200 grams of material. 

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