Artist Uses Pressed Plant Leaves to Create Beautiful Collages

Artist Helen Ahpornsiri uses pressed ferns leaves and stems to create intricately beautiful illustrations of birds, insects and other creatures. Each delicate piece consists of hundreds of pieces of pressed fern, assembled to form shapes that are sometimes no bigger than a coin or a pencil stub. The completed illustrations are so colorful that they look more like embroidered patterns on fabric.

Helen studied illustration at Falmouth University, and went on to work on several projects – greeting cards for Marks and Spencer, paper flowers for Harrods Knightsbridge, and bespoke menus for Coach. However, her love of paper cutting and collage inspired her to take on the fern project.


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Chinese Writer Spends $225,000 on Plastic Surgery to Look Like William Shakespeare

34-year-old Zhang Yiyi wasn’t happy with simply being called a great writer, he wanted to look the part as well. So he spent his entire life savings of 1.4 million yuan ($225,800) on plastic surgery, in order to resemble his childhood hero and role model – William Shakespeare!

The devoted superfan had a total of 10 operations – including eye reconstruction, eyelid surgery, nose surgery and a face tuck – over the span of several months. He is yet to emulate Shakespeare’s famously bald head, but he has settled for growing his hair longer, just to improve the likeness.

Interestingly, Yiyi is an accomplished writer himself, and actually used his book royalties to pay for the cosmetic procedures. But, like the English playwright, he started off poor; he was born in humble surroundings and grew up in a debt-ridden family due to his father’s failing business. Growing up, Yiyi was able to draw parallels between his own childhood and that of Shakespeare, whose father also was declared bankrupt when the playwright was a young boy.


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Karl Lagerfeld’s Modelling Pet Cat Earns Way More Money than You

German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is undoubtedly a rich man, but here’s a shocker – even his cat Choupette is richer than most people. The furry white feline managed to earn over three million dollars from just two days of modelling work. She is now believed to be the world’s most pampered cat – she has two maids, enjoys First Class travel around the world and even has her own Instagram account with hundreds of thousands of followers.

According to 81-year-old Lagerfeld, creative director of Chanel and Fendi, Choupette did two modelling assignments last year – one for Japanese cosmetics brand Shu Uemura, and the other for a Opel Corsa car calendar. Collectively, the two jobs earned her a whopping three million euro – a figure that professional supermodels might probably get paid for a much harder year’s work.


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Every White Line in these Ultra-Realistic Animal Portraits is Just a Scratch

We’ve seen highly talented artists burn paper, roller skate, and even kick a football around to create art. But here’s something new – Illinois artist Allan Ace Adams actually scratches away at paper to create breathtaking animal portraits. It’s called scratchboard art, and it involves using an exacto knife to scrape away a top layer of black ink off the canvas to reveal the white clay underneath.

A scratchboard is actually a hardwood board coated with a thin layer of porcelain clay. Another thick layer of black ink is added on top of the porcelain, which the artist has to scratch off in order to create an image. “I explain to people that I’m scratching in the highlights instead of the ‘darks’ like you would with a graphite drawing,” Adams wrote on his website. “Shades of gray can be achieved by how much ink is removed or by applying an ink wash. The ink wash can be scratched back though to reveal the white once again.”


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Thou Shalt Not Steal: Guy Gets Tattoo of Jesus, Walks Out without Paying

A British Man recently spent six hours getting a tattoo of Jesus worth £250 ($370) at a tattoo shop in Luton, England and simply walked out without paying. The artist who inked him said that the man claimed to have paid another member of staff, and then slipped away during the confusion. But here’s the real shocker – not only did he avoid paying for his Jesus tattoo, he actually stole an additional £1,000 from the store!

According to Red INC owner Joanne Baum, the man already had the words ‘Only God can judge me’ tattooed on the other hand. “The irony is that he clearly decided to embrace Christianity and the major ethos is ‘Thou shalt not steal,’” Baum said. “He planned the theft from us and he completely planned not to pay for the tattoo. To have someone sit there for six hours talking about their life intimately and then do this is unbelievable. He was there chatting about his wife and daughter, it is not acceptable.”


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The Endurance Race So Hard That Only 14 People Have Completed It in 30 Years

The Barkley 100-Mile Marathon, held annually in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee, is considered to be one of most challenging ultra-marathons in the world. So tough, in fact, that only 14 people out of about 1,100 participants have ever managed to complete it since its inauguration in 1986! That’s just two more than the number of people who have walked on the moon.

The 100-mile run, which some claim is actually 130 miles or more, has a cumulative elevation gain of more than 60,000 feet – the equivalent of climbing mount Everest twice, from sea level. It consists of a 20-mile loop around a mountainous course that participants need to complete five times. Loops three and four need to be run in the opposite direction, with the direction for loop five being the runner’s choice. Experienced runners looking for something less extreme can opt for the 60-mile ‘fun run’, where they have to run the 20-mile loop just three times.

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Seemingly Indestructible Kung-Fu Master Takes a Drill to the Head Without Even a Scratch

You could say Zhao Rui, a young Shaolin monk from China, is rather thick-skulled. In a shocking video doing the rounds online, he can be seen holding a powerful electric drill to his head, without even breaking his skin, let alone fracturing his skull. The 24-year-old Kung-Fu master can also bend an iron bar against a wall with his throat, and lie on metal spears while stones are broken against his back.

The recent display of Zhao’s skills was intended to show how he had trained his body during several years of martial arts training. He revealed that he was fascinated by martial arts as a child, and ran away from home to join a Shaolin Temple at age 16. He studied there for two years, after which he continued to learn kung fu from other masters. He is now a master himself.

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Woman Finds Kidney Donor with Message on Car Window

When 24-year-old Christine Royles was diagnosed with failing kidneys early last year, she had to join a waiting list of over 100,000 people in the US who needed kidney transplants. When she learned that over 4,000 people die each year just waiting for their turn, she decided to take matters in her own hands. And miraculously, she found a donor all by herself – through a simple message she posted on her car window!

“I saw a story about this old man in a different state who was asking for a kidney for his wife,” the South Portland resident said. “He stood on the side of the road with a sign.” Inspired by the idea, she decided to take it to the next level – instead of standing on the road, she turned her car into a rolling billboard. “Looking for someone to donate me their kidney. Must have type O blood,” her sign read, along with her phone number.

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The Heartbreaking Story of a Man Who Has Spent the Last 18 Years on the Road Looking for His Missing Son

Chinese social media is abuzz with the story of Guo Gantang, 45, who has spent the last 18 years on the road in search of his missing son.

Guo’s ordeal began on September 21, 1997, when his two-year-old boy, Guo Zhen, was abducted from the front gate of his home in Liaocheng, Shandong Province. According to a little girl he was playing with at the time, Zhen was snatched by a middle-aged woman. Since then, the heartbroken father has dedicated his life to finding the boy. Guo has traveled over 400,000 kilometers to all of China’s provinces, except Xinjiang in Tibet, wearing out 10 motorcycles in the process.

In the hopes that someone might recognize the boy and give him some useful information, Guo always has two flags with an old photo of him strapped to his motorcycle.


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Artist Turns the Ashes of Loved Ones into Beautiful Jewelry

California artist Merry Coor is using her skills to help people preserve the memory of their loved ones in the form of breathtaking pieces of jewellery. She uses cremated ashes of the deceased to create stunning beads that are lovingly crafted by hand.

The process begins with Coor mailing an envelope and a tin box to clients who display interest in her work. They use these to send her ashes, along with any photos or stories relating to their loved one. Once she receives the materials, she begins the process of creating the bead, keeping the individual in mind the whole time. Merry said that she tries her best to imbibe each piece with good intentions and respect.


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Finally! Japanese Company Creates Onion That Doesn’t Make You Cry

Thanks to Japanese company House Foods Group, tear-inducing onions could be a thing of the past! The company claims to have produced the world’s first ‘tear-free’ onion, by disabling the compounds that the popular vegetable releases when chopped.

According to a House Foods Group press release, their researchers have spent over a decade studying the chemistry of onions. In 2002 they published a study describing the biomechanical process of how chopping onions makes you cry, which won them them an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny.  In their paper, the scientists hypothesized that it would be possible to weaken the tear-inducing enzymes while maintaining the onion’s flavor and nutritional value.

And, in their recent announcement, House Foods Group claims to have turned the theory into a reality, by bombarding onion bulbs with irradiating ions which causes them to produce low amounts of enzymes. Apart from facilitating a completely tear-free chopping experience, the technique also makes the onion less pungent.

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Shocking Mexican Drinking Game Has People Electrocuting Themselves for Fun

‘Toques’, an increasingly popular Mexican drinking game, is both literally and figuratively shocking! Played among friends who want to affirm their macho status, the bizarre game involves participants electrocuting themselves while drinking to see how much they can handle.

“The drunker people get, the more voltage they can generally handle,” said Javier Rodriguez, who conducts the game in Mexico City’s Condesa neighborhood. “I’ve seen party-goers pass out after 100 volts, although it usually has something to do with what they’ve been drinking.” He visits all the bars and restaurants in the area every day, starting at 3pm and playing into the wee hours of the morning, equipped with a ‘shock box’ containing the metal handles that players have to touch in order to complete the electrical circuit.

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Chinese Artist Paints Large-Scale Mountain Landscape Using Roller Skates

Tian Haisu is the world’s first roller-skating artist – she cleverly combines her love of art and ice skating to create beautiful paintings. She specializes in traditional Chinese landscapes, but has long-since ditched the calligraphy pen for a pair of skates!

Tian, who started painting at the age of three, says that painting with skates makes her feel ‘one with her art’. Through this medium, she wants to give the traditional form of painting a ‘new lease of life’. To create these unique paintings, Tian uses a modified pair of skates with a pot of black paint attached to the wheels. She puts them on and skates in deliberate patterns over a large canvas.


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Artist Dubbed “Real-Life King Midas” Turns Everyday Objects Into Gold

Jewelry designer Hugh Power is being hailed as a real-life King Midas, after making it his life’s mission to transform the most mundane everyday objects into opulent gold jewelry.

The Beverly Hills-based artist runs ‘House of Solid Gold’, a company that specializes in turning mundane objects like glasses or earbuds into luxurious gold-plated accessories that sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Need anything made of gold? Power’s your man. He once made a gold toothpick for rap superstar Snoop Dog, because that’s what you need to scoop out food from between your gold teeth, but his collection of gold accessories includes gold shoelaces ($14,995), gold earbuds (14,995), gold chopsticks ($1,695), gold glasses ($75,000) and even a gold-plated, diamond-encrusted football ($375,000).


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Groom Tried to Drown Himself at His Own Wedding after Seeing “Ugly” Bride for the First Time

A  young groom from China’s Hubei province was so disappointed after seeing his bride for the first time, he actually tried to kill himself at his own wedding! 

33-year-old Kang Hu was all set to marry 30-year-old Na Sung, a woman chosen by his parent, who he had never even seen before. But after laying eyes on her for the first time, at their wedding, he Kang found she did not meet his high standards. He stunned everyone by actually telling Na Sung that he found her ‘ugly’, and, claiming that she would be ‘bad for his image’, he simply walked out of the ceremony and tried to drown himself in a nearby river.


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