Godfather Fan Builds Life-Size Sculpture of Al Pacino Exclusively Out of Matchsticks

There are two things Croatian artist Tomislav Horvat loves in this world – the Godfather series and matchstick modeling. Recently, he decided to combine his two greatest passions, and created a unique sculpture of Al Pacino as Don Michael Corleone.

24-year-old Tomislav Horvat has to be one of the calmest, most patient people in the world. It took him 19 months to complete a sculpture of Al Pacino as Don Corleone sitting in his iconic armchair, during which time he spent between 8 and 10 hours gluing matchsticks. How many people do you know who would be capable of doing this day in and day out without going mad, because I can’t think of a single one.

The whole sculpture is made out of 117,000 matchsticks, but most of them were used to create the armchair (68,000). Tomislav says he learned the basics of matchstick modelling in school, where he studied technical drawing and design, and before he knew it, he was creating all kinds of cool things out of thousands of tiny wooden sticks. Before the Al Pacino sculpture, Horvat had built a bridge from 7,500 matchsticks, a castle from 4,500 matchsticks and a windmill out of 3,000 matchsticks, among others.

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Court Decides Man Has to Pay Ex-Fiancée $50,000 after Breaking Their Engagement

A jilted fiancée from Georgia has finally had her revenge. At the end of a relationship that lasted over 10 years, a state appeals court has ordered that Melissa Cooper be paid $50,000 towards compensation. Her ex-partner, IT employee Christopher Ned Kelley, was accused of breach of promise to marry.

Kelley and Cooper had been living together since 2000, with their child and Cooper’s child from a previous relationship. In December 2004, he had proposed marriage with a $10,000 ring, and the couple moved into a new home. The relationship was great for a while. Cooper even left her job at Kelly’s request to care for the children. But things started going wrong when she spotted signs of infidelity.

Cooper found out that Kelly had been in a relationship with another woman for two years before he had proposed. She confronted him, and he begged for her forgiveness. Eventually, she agreed to continue their relationship, “because of his pledges not to see the other woman again and his promises to marry her soon.” But things got worse in April 2011, when Cooper figured out that Kelly was up to no good again. He had started to see another woman. This time around, Kelly was clear about what he wanted – he asked Cooper to move out with the children so he could live with his new love.

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Jacob’s Well – America’s Stunning-Yet-Deadly Diving Spot

Jacob’s Well, in Wimberley, Texas, is one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Named after a biblical reference, the well has claimed the lives of over eight divers, but judging by the large number of thrill seekers who choose to dive in it, that doesn’t scare many people.

On the surface, Jacob’s Well looks like a harmless spring that feeds Cypress Creek. Its mouth is just four meters wide, and looks like a calm water body, revealing very little of the dangers that lurk within. The well has four chambers extending several feet below the surface. Local dive shop owner Don Dibble puts it perfectly: “This is the horror side of it.” The first chamber is a straight drop of about 30 feet, after which it angles down to 55 feet. This chamber gets sufficient sunlight, so it is bright and populated with algae and wild life.

The second chamber is 80 feet deep, and houses a false chimney that looks like a way out of the well, but in fact traps divers. Richard Patton, a student at Southwest Texas State University lost his life in the chimney in 1983. A restricted opening from the second chamber leads into the third, which is a small room with unstable gravel. Divers must be careful not to dislodge the gravel in order to navigate this chamber successfully.

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French Student Sells Canned Fresh Country Air, Makes Big Profit

Apparently, people will pay for anything as long as it’s packaged well – even a can full of nothing. French student Antoine Deblay figured this out over the summer, and is making huge profits from the idea. ‘Air de Montcuq’ costs 5.5 euros (that’s about $7.5), plus shipping. It is basically just a tin can that Deblay fills with air from his hometown – Montcuq.

22-year-old Deblay put up a proposal on French crowdfunding site kisskissbankbank.com. He didn’t really expect anything to happen, but the idea ended up raising over $1,000. The amount was perfect for him to set up a website and pay for packaging. When the French press got wind of the idea, they reported it extensively and helped the orders to roll in. Deblay started receiving more orders than he anticipated. He was shocked to report 1,000 orders in just three weeks. “Of course I knew it was going to sell, but not so much in so little time,” he said.

I think the popularity of Air de Montcuq has more to do with its marketing plan than the actual product. On the website, Deblay chooses to be funny with product descriptions. A blurb reads: “Air de Montcuq is 100 percent organic, it immerses you in the depths of the city to refresh your ideas. Ideal when you are in need of creative inspiration.” There’s a warning as well: “Attention, irreplaceable content, consumable once. Do not leave it open.”

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The Tragic Story of Rebecca Méndez Jiménez, ” La Loca de San Blas”

Mexican rock band Maná released a hit single in 1997 – En el muelle de San Blas (In the Wharf of San Blas). The song is based on the true and tragic story of Rebeca Méndez Jiménez, the woman who waited for her love for 41 long years. She died in September last year, at age 63. Local authorities are planning to erect a statue in her honor at the San Blas Port.

I read Rebeca’s story in bits and pieces across various Spanish websites. No one seems to know exactly what happened to her; she was suffering from several mental disorders during her final years.

Local legend states that in her youth, she fell in love with a fisherman named Manuel. He went out to sea, promising to return to her soon and marry her. Rebeca was so excited that she put on her bridal clothes and waited for his return. Unfortunately, Manuel fell victim to a hurricane, never to return to his love. Since then, Rebeca had been spotted roaming the streets at the port of San Blas. Locals have seen her wandering without any direction, sometimes sitting before the lighthouse and listening to seagulls. She always wore a white dress, with a veil covering her head.

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The Truth about “Heaven’s Trail”, the Infamous Photo That Captured the Imagination of Millions

Heaven’s Trail is a breathtaking photograph that went viral almost the moment it was published online a couple of years ago. Like most good things on the internet, the original source was soon lost; no one had any idea where the picture was clicked, or even if it was real.

One explanation on the internet was: “There’s this place in Ireland where every two years, the stars line up with this trail on June 10th to June 18th. It’s called Heaven’s Trail.” Many thought that the view in the picture was impossible. They assumed that the photographer had taken two completely unrelated shots and merged them together.

Heaven’s Trail was shared extensively on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. One blogger wrote, “I feel pretty comfortable calling utter bullshit on this.” The photograph itself is pretty spectacular. I can understand why people would be curious to know its origins. The stairs in the picture lead up to pretty much nowhere. At the horizon there’s a surreal, heavenly light illuminating a man who appears to be running into the stars.

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Scientists Create Candy That Doesn’t Cause Cavities

Dentists have always warned us that too much candy will cause cavities. But all that could be a thing of the past, thanks to a new experiment by scientists from the Berlin biotechnology firm, OrganoBalance.

It turns out that candy doesn’t cause cavities at all. The bad guys are actually the bacteria that remain on our teeth after we eat sugary treats. So the scientists’ logic was simple – reduce the amount of ‘bad’ bacteria in candy, and the chances of cavities should naturally decrease.

After you eat a normal piece of candy, the bacteria on your teeth slowly release an acid that eats into tooth enamel. When the enamel wears down, it causes cavities to develop. One of the most common strains of bacteria responsible for cavities is mutans streptococci. When you chew candy, this bacteria is released into the saliva. If you swallow or spit, some of the bacteria is removed, but the remaining sits on your teeth and causes them to rot.

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Rare Condition Causes Woman to Cry and Sweat Blood

19-year-old Delfina Cedeno has been suffering from a rare disorder for the past four years – she has been crying and sweating blood. Occasionally, blood also seeps out of her fingernails, belly button and nostrils.

Doctors at Delfina’s home town of Vernon, in the Dominican Republic, were baffled for a long time. Even after hundreds of tests, they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. In fact, no one believed Delfina until they actually saw her bleeding.

“At first, no one could help me and they looked at me like a crazy person when I told them what was going on,” the teenager said. “It was only when I started bleeding in front of a doctor one day that they began to take me seriously.” Things got totally out of hand when she bled for up to 15 days and was in such a critical condition that she needed a blood transfusion.

Delfina herself was scared to death and extremely stressed out with her horrifying condition. “When this started happening, I didn’t know what to think. I was terrified and in complete shock.” She also felt ashamed to leave home.

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Chinese Restaurant Allows Patrons to Pay What They Want, Is Obviously Losing Money

A small, self-service restaurant in China’s Fujian province runs on a unique concept – no bills! The owner expects diners to pay whatever they think is the true price of the meal. Predictably, many people don’t pay anything at all.

The restaurant, called Five Loaves and Two Fish, opened this August in downtown Fuzhou. It is named after the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people by multiplying fish and bread. Patrons are required to wash their own plates and bowls after eating, and place money in a drop-box before leaving.

50-year-old interior designer Liu Pengfei, the majority investor, said he got the idea for the restaurant after heard about the ‘suspended meals’ projects in some countries. These projects allow people to pay in advance for a beverage or meal, for someone who really needs it. “Hearing about it, I was deeply moved,” Liu said. “I felt a heartwarming sense of trust because of it.” And that’s the concept Five Loaves is based on – trust.

While the concept sounds really amazing, things aren’t exactly going as expected for Liu and his team. According to Peng Yong, chef and co-investor, around 20 percent of diners walk out without paying anything. The restaurant has been running losses – 250,000 yuan ($41,170) – even though it is packed every day. Just maintaining the place, which is located in a central location, costs 60,000 yuan a month.

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Meet Erik Weihenmayer, the World’s Most Accomplished Blind Adventurer

Erik Weihenmayer became blind at age 13, but he has never let this life-altering event limit him in any way. He is one of those rare individuals who have not just managed to overcome a disability, but live like it never happened. He is also the only blind person in the world to have scaled Mount Everest, among other achievements.

At age 44, Erik is the world’s most accomplished blind adventurer. To be honest, his accomplishments are on par with any other exceptional normal person. He is a role model even for people with normal vision. He has managed to completely disregard his blindness; it’s like he’s been everywhere and done everything. Mountaineering, wrestling, cycling, skiing, kayaking, paragliding, skydiving – the list of Erik’s activities are seemingly endless.

When he was younger, Erik focused on just one sport – wrestling – and he was brilliant at it. He represented his state in the US National Freestyle Wrestling Championships. He graduated college in 1993 with a Master’s degree and soon became a school teacher. This was when he took up rock climbing and trekking on the side. He was amazing at that too – he summited Mount McKinley (the tallest peak in the US) and then Kilimanjaro (tallest in Africa).

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27-Year-Old Woman Marries 72-Year-Old Man, Proves Love Doesn’t Have Age limits

Zhang Feng was 23 years old when she declared her love for 68-year-old Wen Changlin. The unusual couple, now 27 and 72, have a beautiful baby boy named Tian. Although they look very odd together, their smiles show how happy they are.

The couple from Hunan province in China have been making TV headlines ever since baby Tian was born. Changlin admitted that their age makes them an unlikely pair. “Yes, I look like her grandfather, but I am used to the stares. What is important is our love and the fact that I was able to give her the child she so desperately wanted to cement our union,” he said.

The story of how they got together is a very unusual one. In 2001, Zhang and her father were suffering from a medical condition. Changlin, a Chinese doctor, moved into their home to care for them. He lived there until 2006, when Zhang’s father passed away. During this time, Zhang began to feel safe around the doctor, trusting him more than anyone else. “He took such good care of me that I began having feelings that he was Mr. Right,” she said.

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Texas Life-Size Gingerbread House Sets New Guinness Record

The world’s largest gingerbread house has been erected on Texas A&M Traditions Club grounds, in Bryan, Texas. The 39,201.8 cubic-foot house set a Guinness World Record this year, and is helping raise funds for a local trauma center. It measures 60 feet by 42 feet and its tallest point rises 20.11 feet.

The idea for the house first came to Bill Horton, managing director of the Traditions Club, in September 2012. He was watching a Food Network special on gingerbread houses at the time. At first he thought he could get the house done by November, but soon realized that it would take a lot more work. That’s when the project got postponed to this year.

“Everybody got excited that we were trying to do this,” he said. Ninety percent of all the raw materials were donated – from lumber to electrical supplies to ingredients. Lots of people volunteered too. Club members, bakers and locals joined hands to create the home.

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Fascinating Orchid Mantis Mimics Flowers to Attract Unsuspecting Prey

The orchid mantis, named after the flower it strikingly resembles, fools prey and predators alike. Its imitation of orchids is so convincing that insects are more attracted to it than the real deal.

Camouflage isn’t a strange concept; many animals and insects adopt clever disguises to avoid predators. But orchid mantises are unique. They stand out instead of blending in, beating orchids at their own game.

Most people find insects gross and disturbing. I must confess, I’m one of them. But I caught myself admiring pictures of orchid mantises. They are such beautiful creatures with their petal-shaped legs and rich pink, white and purple bodies. These features create a “tantalizing lure” for insects, says James O’Hanlon from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

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Androgynous Male Model Understandably Mistaken for a Girl on Asian Websites

Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, is abuzz with photographs of 18-year-old Yiming Zhao. This beautiful young model and make-up artist captured the hearts of millions of Asian netizens. Unfortunately, their hearts broke when the truth was revealed to them – their dream girl is, in fact, a boy.

Yes, Yiming might be effeminate, but is very much a boy. It’s easy to see why so many people were fooled, though. His slender figure, sweet smile and mesmerizing gaze make it very hard to believe he’s not a girl.

The photographs show Yiming in a variety of costumes and hairstyles. Some pictures are selfies, while others show him modelling for big brands like Club Monaco. In some of them he’s deliberately dressed like a girl, wearing long wigs and wedding gowns. In others, you can spot right away that he’s male. Yiming is incredibly skinny, so I suppose that helps him pass off as male and female, if he so wishes.

Zhao-Yiming

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This Portrait of Morgan Freeman Is Actually a Finger Painting Done on an iPad

26-year-old iPad artist Kyle Lambert has created an ultra-realistic finger painting of Hollywood star Morgan Freeman. If you put Lambert’s painting and Freeman’s photograph side-by-side, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart. The features are practically lifelike, down to the last freckle.

The British artist from Cheshire took one month and used 285,000 finger strokes on his iPad to complete the painting. He used an application called Procreate that allowed him to zero-in and layer his work. Using the app’s features, he reduced the brush size to only a few pixels for extra precision. This enabled him to zoom in to apply stroke after stroke, producing the amazing, photo-like portrait.

Lambert says that Procreate was crucial to his finger painting process. “It captures every brush stroke automatically and you can export it to the camera roll,” he explains. “It has the best canvas size and video export. It’s the most like Photoshop.”

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