Romanian Genius Builds Life-size Drivable LEGO Car That Runs on Air

20-year-old Raul Oaida, a self-taught technology genius, has built the world’s first life-size LEGO car using 500,000 pieces. It’s not just a model, you can actually drive it. And the fuel costs nothing, because the car runs on air!

Oaida’s partner in this project was Australian entrepreneur, Steve Sammartino. The car was built in Romania, Oaida’s home country, and delivered to Melbourne, Australia for a test drive. Together, they named it the ‘Super Awesome Micro Project’ (I think the name is perfect!).

The engine of the car is also entirely made of LEGO. It has “four orbital engines and a total of 256 pistons.” According to the project website, the top speed isn’t very impressive, around 20 to 30 km. “We were scared of a Lego explosion so we drove it slowly,” the founders wrote. Steve and Oaida say that the project was possible only because of the internet. The two even met online, when Steve accepted Oaida’s Skype request. “I’m teaching him about business and he’s teaching me a bit about physics,” Steve told the press.

LEGO-car

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Would You Eat Fish Caught in the Sewer? Yes, Sewer Fishing Is Actually a Thing

Kyle Naegeli, a 15-year-old high school student from the city of Katy, in Texas, loves fishing with a twist. Instead of going to a lake far away from the city, he prefers fishing right beside his home – in a sewer. That’s right, sewer fishing is a real sport and Kyle is an expert at it.

The storm drain where Kyle goes fishing is located merely 40 feet from his home. He calls it an untapped fishing paradise. So far, he has managed to catch catfish and bluegills, species that you would hardly expect to find swimming around in a drain. Yet, he’s filmed himself getting a hold of these fish and posted the footage on YouTube. In the videos, Kyle drops a 10-foot line tied to a worm or a piece of hot-dog into the drain and returns later to pull out slippery, large fish. “I have a line out constantly, I set it and check it every night,” he said.

Many people have doubted his credibility, though, because of the time lag between putting in the bait and retrieving the fish. But some videos don’t have any cuts, because he catches the fish almost immediately. Kyle doesn’t think it’s hard to believe that he’s finding so many fish in the storm drain. “The pond is like 100, 150 yards away,” he said. “I think it connects somewhere and that’s how they’re getting in.”

sewer-fishing

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Student Creates Hydrophobic Shirt That’s Impossible to Stain

The Silic shirt is an amazing garment that just doesn’t catch a stain. No matter what you spill on it – water, soda, or even ketchup – it just rolls right off the T-shirt. Invented by San Francisco based student, Aamir Patel, the shirts are made from a material with billions of silica particles bonded to the fibers on a microscopic level.

Despite the unique material used, Silic shirts are said to feel no different from regular clothing. Patel has created a Kickstarter page for his unique invention and has already exceeded his target of raising $20,000. The campaign closes on 26th January. The shirts are expected to go on sale online in May, at $50 apiece.

Patel has been working on the shirt project for a year-and-a-half now. For his first prototype, he simply sprayed a stain-resistant chemical on a shirt, but he realized it would last for only one wash. Then he started to think of a way to incorporate the technology right into the fabric. After several trials and errors, he finally managed to create a fabric that is stain-proof on a molecular level. Not only does the technology last longer,but  it doesn’t even irritate the skin, either. Patel says that most liquid molecules will not be able to touch the fabric because of a microscopic layer of air that forms between the liquid and fabric.

Silic-shirt

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The Mind-Boggling Bird Suicide Phenomenon of Jatinga

Jatinga is a small village located in Assam, a state in northeastern India. The village is lush green and scenic, surrounded by serene mountains. But that’s not what it’s famous for. In fact, Jatinga is well-known for an entirely different reason – its Bird Mystery.

The Bird Mystery is a unique phenomenon that occurs at Jatinga between September and November each year. During these late monsoon months, several migratory and local birds commit mass suicide at the village. Just after sunset, between 7 and 10 pm, hundreds of birds descend from the sky, plummeting to their deaths by crashing into buildings and trees. Since birds aren’t known to be suicidal, the phenomenon has baffled villagers, visitors and scientists alike. For many years, locals believed that evil spirits living in the skies were responsible for bringing down the birds .

Of course, this isn’t true. After several scientific studies and experiments, it has been concluded that the birds are generally disoriented by the monsoon fog. So they are attracted by the village lights and fly towards them, sometimes hitting walls and trees during the descent. Some of the birds die, while others are grievously injured, becoming easy prey for the villagers to capture. These birds are often dazed and disheveled, and do not put up any resistance when villagers attack them with catapults or bamboo sticks.

Jatinga-bird-mystery

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The Stunningly Beautiful Black Roses of Halfeti

Turkish Halfeti Roses are incredibly rare. They are shaped just like regular roses, but their color sets them apart. These roses so black, you’d think someone spray-painted them. But that’s actually their natural color.

These stunning black roses would make excellent props in a movie about witches and black magic, or in a heavy-metal video. There’s something extremely attractive about them, in an intense sort of way.

Although they appear perfectly black, they’re actually a very deep crimson color. These flowers are seasonal – they only grow during the summer in small number, and only in the tiny Turkish village of Halfeti. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater (that seeps in from the river Euphrates), the roses take on a devilish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months.

Halfeti-black-roses

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Brian Lai’s Mind-Boggling Color Inverted Drawings

Brian Lai, a brilliant Malaysian artist, has invented his own technique of drawing called ‘Invert Art’. Using the technique, he is able to make rough sketches materialize into full-fledged realistic drawings, when the colors are inverted using a Photoshop filter.

Lai has created a time-lapse video to demonstrate exactly how he creates these drawings. He first sketches and shades ‘normally’. Then, he completes the drawing by shading it inversely. After this, he takes a photograph of the drawing (he’s in some of the pictures too), and inverts the colors in Photoshop. The details appear, almost magically.

Some of the pictures on the internet of Lai’s work show how he’s successfully used his technique to make a drawing of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. At first, I thought he was holding up a real poster of the movie. Only when I read about his technique, did I realize it was a drawing.

brian-lai-drawings

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Guy Wins $40 Million Lottery Jackpot, Is Giving It ALL Away

A man from Calgary, Canada, who won the jackpot of $40 million in a lottery, has decided to give away all his winnings. After keeping the news secret from his children for several months, he finally decided to break his silence. Thankfully, his kids are supportive of his decision.

Tom Crist, a widower of two years, won the Lotto Max jackpot this year in May. He retired in September, and he says he had always known what he was going to do with the money. “I was fortunate enough in my career to set myself up and my kids anyway,” he said. “There was no doubt in my mind where that money was going to go.”

Crist’s lost his wife, Jan, to lung cancer in 2012. “She was fairly young and stuff,” he said. “She beat it for six years before it finally caught up to her.” Jan was 57 years old when she died. So Crist is definitely going to give a part of his winnings to the Tom Baker Cancer Center, because they had treated his wife. But he is still undecided about where the rest of the money will go.

Tom-Crist

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This Is What a College Parking Lot Looks Like in Dubai

If you love cars, this post is going to be eye-candy for you. We have a bunch of pictures taken by a student at a parking lot of the American University of Dubai. Reddit user Squirrelnelius, real name Meeka Nasser, put up pictures of amazing cars owned by students attending the learning institution in the Middle East.

I know Dubai is chock-full of rich folk, but just seeing all these cars parked in one place is pretty unbelievable. You can spot a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari, a Bentley Continental GT, a chrome red Mercedes among hundreds of other luxury vehicles. In fact, you can see a poor Maserati left around a corner without a parking spot. Nasser said that because Cayennes and Range Rovers are a dime-a-dozen, he only included a few of them in the album.

Nasser is a student at the American University. His aim was to show the world the array of models on display at his school. “The cars that the students drive here are just ludicrous,” he said. “If I was back home in Canada, my car would be considered nice, but here nobody looks twice at it.”

Dubai-parking-lot

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Ugly Christmas Sweater Stores Prove Big Hit This Holiday Season

Remember those ugly sweaters your mom or aunt would buy you for Christmas? If you still have them hiding at the back of your closet, it’s time to get them out because they’re in style! That’s right, ugly Christmas sweaters are all the rage in the U.S. and Canada. Stores all over North America are stocking up on the most hideous novelty sweaters this holiday season.

F as in Frank, a vintage store in British Columbia, is one of the places selling the tacky woolen garments. Co-owner Drew Heifetz says that he has sold over 30,000 sweaters this year alone. “We’re trying to breathe new life into them and everyone is really coming together creating a culture around these sweaters and it’s been an amazing resurgence,” he said. “Really, it’s about having a good time, getting wild wearing the craziest sweater you can.”

Photographs on the internet show people wearing the most hideous sweaters conceivable. Some of them have Christmas tree ornaments hanging off them, others light up and some even have Santa with a furry beard. These sweaters were in fashion last year too, with the sweater industry reporting record sales during Christmas. But it looks like this year’s sales will break all records.

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Guy Spends a Year Tracking Down Woman He Met Last New year’s Eve after She Tells Him “Find Me”

25-year-old New Zealander, Reese McKee, started a social media campaign that fired the imagination of thousands of romantics on the internet. His plea for help in locating the whereabouts of his soul-mate went viral within hours. In fact, he had to delete the campaign because it all started to spiral out of control.

I’m not quite sure what to make of Reese – sweet romantic dude, or crazy internet stalker. Maybe I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here’s his story:

In his original campaign, Reese said that he met a girl on New Year’s Eve, 2012, in Hong Kong. He spotted her crying alone on the side of a road; she was lost and couldn’t find her friends. “I just cheered her up,” Reese said. “I sort of have this undeniably bad sense of humor that no one can resist laughing at.” The two spent the night partying, dancing and talking, before the girl caught up with her friends again. As they parted, she told Reese that her name was ‘Katie’ and she was from DC. She let him take a picture of her, and left with these final words: “Find Me.”

The next morning, as Reese looked at Katie’s photograph on his phone, a flood of great memories came back to him and he was determined to find her. Unfortunately, he couldn’t remember the e-mail address she’d given him, so he decided to turn to Facebook for help.

Reese-McKee

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Taiwanese Ice Cream Shop Sells Pig’s Feet and Tofu Flavored Ice Cream

Snow King, an ice cream shop located in Taipei, capital city of Taiwan, serves more than 70 flavors of fresh, homemade ice cream. There’s nothing unusual about that, I agree. But wait till you hear what these flavors include.

The shop, in business since 1947, boasts of carrying the most unusual of ice cream flavors. Over here, you can get a lick of Sesame Oil Chicken, a dollop of Pig Knuckle, and even a scoop or two of Taiwan Beer. The family-owned business is now being run by the third generation – 33-year-old Kao Ching-feng. “At Snow King, you get the tastes that Taiwanese know,” said Kao. According to him, customers keep coming back for the local flavors and old-fashioned style. They like visiting in large groups, so they can sample a scoop each of all the flavors.

The most famous specialties at Snow King are Red Bean and Watermelon, preferred by the locals. Tourists from Japan like to try exotic flavors like Lychee and Peach, while customers from Hong Kong want Curry and Wasabi. All these unusual ice cream recipes are the brainchild of Kao’s 87-year-old grandfather. He had founded the business out of his savings from selling ice cream on the streets of Taipei. Kao says that his grandfather liked to challenge himself and spent years tweaking flavors to his satisfaction. Some of his best flavors came from trying to accommodate his older, diabetic customers. That’s how he invented with Snow King’s range of savory ice creams.

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Bread-Obsessed Japanese Artist Turns Loaves into Beautiful Lampshades

Yukiko Morita, a 27-year-old corporate employee from Kyoto, has a unique hobby. She combines her love for bread and her love for art into a special product: Pampshades.“‘Pan (Japanese for bread)’ + ‘lamp shade’ = Pampshades,” Morita explains on her website. These lighting fixtures made from real bread and can light up a room, filling it with the warm tones of a fresh loaf.

“I think loaves are really cute,” says Morita. “I love their round curves. I wanted a bread display in my room so I could admire it all the time. That’s how I came up with this shape.” The idea for pampshades first came to Morita when she was a student at the Kyoto City University of Arts. She was working on a project in a studio one day, playing around with a French baguette. She pulled out and nibbled on the soft parts, leaving the hollow outer shell intact. When she held it up towards the sunlight and let it stream in, that was her ‘aha!’ moment.

Pampshades

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Rosemary Jacobs, the Woman Whose Skin Turned Silver after Using Nose Drops

71-year-old Rosemary Jacobs has had silver-colored skin for the past 60 years. At age 11, she developed a rare condition called argyria – caused by exposure to chemical forms of the element silver that makes the skin turn blue or bluish-grey. For Rosemary, the exposure occurred from nasal drops containing colloidal silver.

Rosemary’s story is unbelievable;  Whoever heard of a real person turning silver after using silver nasal drops? You only get to see skin color changing in cartoons,  but apparently the condition is real, and Rosemary has had to live a life of stigma because of it. Of course, her skin didn’t change color overnight. In fact, she was diagnosed with argyria four years after she began using the medication.

Rosemary, a retired Spanish teacher from Vermont, U.S., said: “When I was 11 years old, my mother mentioned to an ENT specialist that I always had a cold. He told me that it had to be allergies and prescribed nose drops that contained silver, recommending that I take them ‘as needed’.” She did as she was told, using the drops every time she had a stuffy nose.

At first, no could notice any difference in Rosemary’s skin, not even her parents. “The change in my color was so slow, I didn’t notice. My family and friends didn’t notice either because they saw me every day,” she said.

Rosemary-Jacobs-argyria

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Politeness Goes a Long Way at French Café That Charges Extra for Rudeness

The French aren’t exactly world-famous for being polite, which is why I was quite surprised when I read about this. A French Café is actually charging customers extra for being rude to its staff, and offering discounts to those who are nice.

The Petite Syrah Café, located in the French Riviera city of Nice, has the new pricing scheme on display. If you walk in and simply ask for “A coffee,” you will be charged €7 ($9.5). For “A coffee please,” the price is much lower – €4.25 ($6). And if you decide to go the distance and say, “Hello, a coffee please,” that will make the folks at the Petite Syrah so happy they’ll only charge you €1.40 ($2).

The concept is so awesome – I think it’s a win-win. I’m sure the patrons love $2 coffees; they’d keep coming back for more and be polite each time. It’s great for business and makes a nice work environment, so the staff at the café must be happy too.

La-Petit-Syrah-cafe

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A Void – The Famous 300-Page Book Written without a Single Letter “E”

‘E’ is the most commonly used letter in the alphabet. That’s why it’s so hard to believe that a whole novel exists without a single use of the letter ‘e’.

The book in question was originally written in French in 1969, by author Georges Perec. La Disparition (The Disappearance) is a 300-page lipogrammatic novel – a kind of book that consists of constrained writing or a word game.

There is absolutely no mention of ‘e’ throughout all 300 pages, except the author’s name of course. Even the most common word of the French language, ‘le’ (which means the), makes no appearance at all. La Disparition was later translated into English by Gilbert Adair, with the title A Void.

A-Void-letter-e

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