The Do Hit Chair – A Smashable Piece of Furniture Worth $8,500

Furniture doesn’t come much more customizable than the Do Hit Chair from Droog Design. For the modest price of €6,553 ($8,500) you get a stainless steel cube and a sledgehammer to shape it into the chair of your dreams.

Created by Dutch designer Marijn van der Poll caused quite a lot of controversy when it was first revealed back in 2000. You’d expect a designer chair priced at several thousand dollars to be really special, and this one is, just not in the way that you would expect. Instead of shaping his masterpiece into something unique, van der Poll simply welded a stainless steel cube and left the design part to the buyer by throwing in a sledgehammer. So you basically pay €6,500 (€7,930 if you’re in the EU) for a steel cube and get to smash it for minutes or hours until you get the desired shape. If this sounds interesting, the Do Hit Chair is still available on the Droog website, but you could just run down to your local hardware store, get some steel sheets and a sledgehammer and just build your own for much less. And if you’re feeling uninspired, there’s even a YouTube video of Marijn van der Poll himself smashing away at a steel cube trying to make a chair. Or, if you’re too lazy to pound it with the sledgehammer yourself, you can have the designer pre-smash it for you, but the price for the chair goes up to $12,738. The default version sounds cheap now, doesn’t it?

Do-Hit-Chair

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Meet the Human Spring Who Can Jump over Moving Cars

Aaron Evans is a natural-born athlete who can jump further and higher than most average humans. His signature move – jumping over cars moving towards him at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Milwaukee-based Evans says he was just five years old when he discovered his talent for extreme jumps. He was watching a Bruce Lee movie when he saw the legendary martial artist run up a wall and do a backflip. Curious to see if he could pull off the same stunt, he went into the backyard and nailed it on his first try. He’s been pushing the limits of his incredible jumping abilities ever since, and today he holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest jump over three moving cars. That’s three vehicles coming at him at an average speed of 30 miles per hour. Most people would just jump out of the way, but not Aaron, he flips over them. ”I pick a point as where I’m gonna meet it, and as soon as it gets there and I’m at a certain point, I get ready and take off,” the 25-year old acrobat tries to explain how he manages to clear the speeding obstacles every time. I just like to think of it as a real-life superpower.

Aaron-Evans

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Maho Beach – Where People Get Literally Blown Away by Airplanes

Located right next to the Princess Juliana International Airport, on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, Maho Beach is a unique destination where tourist experience what it’s like to have jumbo jets flying just a few meters above their heads and get blown into the sea by their powerful jet engines.

Fine white sand and crystal clear water is not what makes Maho Beach such a popular tourist destination. There are hundreds of other such beautiful beaches in the Caribbean which aren’t located right next to a busy and noisy airport like Princess Juliana. But it’s precisely this little detail that makes this piece of paradise so remarkably unique. In order to land safely on the unusually short Runway 10, aircraft pilots have to make their final approach at minimal altitude, and that means flying just a few meters above the heads of thrill-seeking beach-goers. And we’re not talking light airplanes either, but jumbo jets like Boeing 747 and Airbus A380. Plane spotting has become so popular at Maho Beach that local entrepreneurs have built an entire business around it. Beach bar owners have put up boards of airplane arrivals and departures so people can plan their visit, and some even broadcast radio transmissions between the airport’s control tower and and the aircraft.

maho-beach

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The Bushman of San Francisco – Making a Living by Scaring People

The world famous Bushman of San Francisco, real name David Johnson, has been entertaining passers-by in Fisherman’s Wharf for over 30 years by hiding behind two Eucalyptus branches and jumping out at unsuspecting tourists as they walk by.

The Bushman of San Francisco is an alleged homeless man who rakes in a reported $60,000 a year from his original street performance, with just two Eucalyptus branches and the cardboard box he sits on. David Johnson was born in Indiana, where he worked as a crane operator crane operator, steel mill worker and truck driver before moving to San Francisco. Here he opened one of the first shoeshine stands on Market Street, but arthritis and growing competition from the busy Financial District forced him to look for a new way to make a living. After discovering some fallen branches under a tree, Johnson was inspired to use them in a street act that would eventually make him famous all around the world. Sitting on a makeshift stool, the Bushman hides behind the Eucalyptus branches waiting for tourists to walk by. When they get close enough, he jumps from behind the greenery or waves it in their direction scaring the daylights out of them, to the amusement of nearby spectators, many of whom reward his performance by throwing a quarter or a dollar into his jug.

Bushman-of-San-Francisco

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Human Breast Milk Is Becoming Really Popular with Adults in China

According to multiple Chinese media reports, wealthy and busy adults have found a new way to combat health issues caused by stress and strain – drinking human breast milk. They hire wet nurses who regularly provide the nutritious drink.

While many parents in China are struggling to find safe powdered milk for their babies, following a scandal over poisoned formula, rich and powerful adults from cities like Shenzen and Guangdong  are paying big bucks for fresh breast milk to keep in shape. The demand is apparently so great that companies are promoting and expanding their breast milk supply business from babies to adults. “Clients can choose to consume breast milk directly through breastfeeding … but they can always drink it from a breast pump if they feel uncomfortable,” Lin Jun, a manager of Xinxinyu Household Service Company told Chinese newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily. “Quite a few of our clients hire in-house wet nurses to ensure a supply of fresh breast milk on a daily base,” Lin said, adding that “wet nurses rarely raise objections as long as the price is right.” Apparently, most of those who indulge in drinking fresh breast milk are successful adults with high incomes and high-pressure jobs looking for a highly nutritious miracle cure to their health problems.

human-breast-milk

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Greensburg’s Famous Tree Growing Out of the Roof of the Courthouse Tower

The town of Greensburg, Indiana, is known as the “Tree City” for the over a dozen trees that have been growing out of the roof of the Decatur County Courthouse ever since 1870. They are believed to have sprouted from seeds in bird droppings.

In the year 1870, the citizens of Greensburg began to notice what looked like a small sprig growing on the northwest corner of the courthouse tower. No one paid much attention to it at first, but as the shrub grew into a young tree, it became the talk of the town. A few years later, five new sprouts were spotted on the tower roof, threatening to form a small grove atop the 110-foot-tall tower. Authorities were worried the tree roots might cause irreparable damage to the roof, so in 1888 a steeplejack was hired to cut down the smaller trees, leaving just one, which in time grew to about fifteen feet with a diameter of almost five inches at its base. It continued to brave the storms for many years, until it finally died, and was removed to a place in the Decatur County Historical Society Museum. But that was not the end of the now famous courthouse tower tree. In the meantime, another tree appeared on the southeast corner of the tower, and grew to a considerable height in just a few years time.

Greensburg-tower-tree

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The Amazing Stone Jumpers of Nias Island

Hombo Batu or Stone Jumping is an ancient ritual of Nias Island, North Sumatra, with young men leaping over stone walls over two-meters tall. The tradition was born out of inter-tribal conflicts and was once potentially deadly as the walls were covered with spikes and sharpened bamboo sticks.

Centuries ago, Nias Island was divided into several regions ruled by landlords or warlords. It was not a hereditary position, nor was it gained by force, but rather through entertainment of the masses. Whoever threw more parties known as “owasa” gained the favor of local communities and became their leader. But organizing these festive events didn’t come cheap, and the island’s landlords would constantly fight each other and use the spoils of war as funding. To start a war, they needed able brave men who had to prove their worth at drafting challenges. Becoming a soldier was a big honor for the young men of Nias and earned them a higher social status in the community, but physical attributes and weapon mastery were not enough to convince their leaders. They also had to jump over a 2.3-meter-tall stone wall without touching it. To make things even harder for candidates, the top of the obstacle was covered with spikes and sharp bamboo sticks, and the jumps often resulted in serious injuries and even deaths. According to some sources, Hombo Batu was also a way of training soldiers to jump over walls during a siege and light the enemy’s camp ablaze with torches.

Stone-jumping

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Turkish Man Wears Copper Wire Cage on His Head to Quit Smoking

The things people will put themselves through to give up smoking. Case in point İbrahim Yücel, a 42-year-old smoker from Kütahya, Turkey who recently decided to wear a locked metal cage over his head to fight his addiction.

İbrahim Yücel has been smoking for the last 26 years, and despite several attempts to quit he couldn’t break his two-packs-a-day dirty habit. Every year, on his three children’s birthdays and on his wedding anniversary he would give up cigarettes, but he never went more than a few days without them. His family, his friends and co-workers all tried to convince him to stop using tobacco cigarettes, but he just couldn’t do it. After losing his father to smoking-induced lung cancer a few months ago, İbrahim realized smoking just wasn’t worth losing his life over and putting his wife and children through the same hardships. But the Turkish technician also knew he lacked the willpower to quit by usual means, so he came up with a rather unusual solution. Inspired by motorcycle helmets, he decided to build a metal wire cage that would prevent him from lighting up no matter how badly he craved a cigarette.

Ibrahim-Yucel

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Riding a Swing on the Edge of a Cliff in Ecuador

It’s called the Swing at the End of the World and it could literally be the end of you, as this extreme attraction in the mountains of Ecuador lets thrill-seekers swing over an abyss without any safety measures whatsoever.

Hiking up the path to Bellavista from the edge of Baños, Ecuador, you reach a viewpoint and a seismic monitoring station named La Casa del Árbol (The Treehouse). As the name suggests it’s a small house built in a tree, at the edge of a canyon. The view from up here alone is worth the trip, but for adrenalin junkies, La Casa del Árbol offers a unique bonus – a swing hanging over the precipice. Believe it or not many of the people who come here actually use it just to see what it’s like to swing into the void, and the internet is full of scary photos of them hanging over the abyss. It’s reportedly a great way to keep yourself entertained when the clouds block the view of Ecuador’s rumbling Tungurahua volcano, but just I can’t stop thinking about the possibility of one of the lines, or the thin metal beam supporting it breaking which would most likely cause the rider to fall to his death. I know, I’m a coward, no need to rub it in.

 

Casa-del-Arbol-swing

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Chickens Don’t Fly? They Do at This Unique Thai Restaurant

At the Ka Tron Restaurant, in Bangkok, Thailand, food is handled like heavy artillery. Its famous fried chickens are set ablaze and launched from a massive catapult at unicycle-riding waiters who catch them on metal skewers. How is that for dinner and a show?

Popularly known as the “Flying Chicken Restaurant”, Ka Tron proves a great gimmick really can make up for average food. Hardly any of the dishes served here are prepared in a truly unique way, they are just your run of the mill Thai recipes, but it’s the way they are served that sets this place apart from all the other eateries not only in Thailand, but the whole world. The chicken is carried out on a silver platter not to the diners, but to a long platform raised a couple of feet above the ground in the middle of the outdoor dining area, and set on one of the several metal catapults. A waiter riding a unicycle makes his way to the platform and stops a few feet away of the loaded catapult. As he struggles to keep his balance and concentrate on what comes next, the edible projectile is set on fire and launched from the medieval artillery device. The chicken soars through the air and most often than not lands on metal skewers the waiter holds in both his hands, in his mouth and on his head.

flying-chicken-restaurant

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A Strong and Silent Husband – Australian Woman Marries a Bridge in Southern France

For the last 10 years Australian artist Jodi Rose has traveled the world recording the vibrations in bridge cables with contact microphones and using them to create experimental music. You could say she has an almost intimate relationship with bridges, and recently she decided to make it official by marrying a mysterious bridge in the south of France.

Le Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) is a 600-year-old stone bridge built over a steep-sided gorge in Céret‎, but for Jodi Rose it’s simply “The One”. After visiting dozens of bridges all over the world, for her Singing Bridges musical project, she decided this was the one she wanted to celebrate her love for bridges with. Although he is made of stone, the resonance of his being is very present, and I feel at peace in his strong embrace,”Jodi said.  ”He makes me feel connected to the earth and draws me to rest from my endless nomadic wanderings. He is fixed, stable, rooted to the ground, while I am nomadic, transient, ever on the road. He gives me a safe haven, brings me back to ground myself, and then lets me go again to follow my own path, without trying to keep me tied down or in thrall to his needs or desires. I am devoted to him. The perfect husband… strong and silent!”

Jodi-Rose-bridge

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Malaysian Artist Makes Celebrity Portraits from Scribbles

For the average illustrator, scribbling isn’t the best way to create realistic-looking portraits. But then again, Vince Low isn’t your average illustrator. The Malaysian artist somehow manages to produce impeccable portraits of some of Hollywood’s greatest actors using only childish scribbles.

The lead illustrator of Malaysian advertising agency, Grey, Vince Low has an impressive portfolio of stunning artworks, but his latest portrait series, called Faces, is particularly eye-catching. That’s because the stunning depictions of stars like Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith or Leonardo Di Caprio were all done exclusively with scribbles on blank white canvases. Most people would have a hard time capturing their unique features using classic drawing techniques, but he creates highly accurate facial representation just by overlapping thousands of swirling lines. Amazing or what?

vince-low-portraits

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Grieving Widower Builds Taj Mahal Replica in Memory of His Late Wife

Faizul Hasan Kadari, a retired post-master from India, has put his entire life savings into building a replica of the world famous Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife who died in 2011.

The original Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife Mumtaz in 1631, and is regarded as one of the world’s greatest monuments to love and grief. But who would have thought Shah Jahan’s gesture would ever be replicated, and by a retired postal worker, of all people? Faizul Hasan Kadari might not have had the riches of the old emperor, but the promise made to his dying wife Tajammuli Begum was enough to fuel his ambition and build his own version of the Taj Mahal. He took a team of local workers to the walled city of Agra to see the original masterpiece and asked them to build a smaller replica, without all the intricate carvings and decorations, which would have been impossible to imitate anyway. To fund his project, Kadari sold his land, his wife’s jewels and used up all the savings from his pension.

Taj-Mahal-replica

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What the Quack? Australia’s Amazing Flying Duck Orchid

Just like the Monkey Orchid we posted about a few weeks ago gets its name from its remarkable resemblance to a smiling monkey, the Flying Duck Orchid got its name for looking like a tiny duck with its head and beak held high and wings swept back.

If you’ve never been to the Australian wilderness, chances are you’ve never seem a Caleana major , or Flying Duck Orchid before. That’s because despite numerous attempts to grow it anywhere else, this amazing-looking flower refuses to propagate in captivity. Apparently, that’s because its roots have a symbiotic relationship with the vegetative part of a fungus which can only be found in the wild country of eastern and southern Australia. The fungus protects the flower from infections, and without its presence, it never lasts for very long. But even if you travel to Australia to see the Flying Duck Orchid in its natural habitat, you have to look really carefully to spot it. At up to 50 centimeters in height, it’s definitely not the smallest flower in the world, but its red-and-purple coloring helps it blend so well in its wild surroundings that it becomes almost invisible.

Flying-Duck-Orchid

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Artist Spends Years Working on Just One of His Incredibly Detailed Drawings

The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases several meters in size, the Japanese artist spends up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.

Manabu Ikeda begins work on his monumental artworks by sketching some images in his sketchbook as they pop into his head. He is always thinking about his art and sometimes sees images when he is doing the most mundane things, like having dinner with his friends. His drawing are a combination of the things that inspire him, from nature and history to technological advancements and catastrophic events like earthquakes or tsunamis. Although he has an idea of what he wants to lay down on paper when he starts to draw, a lot of time he just uses the images that flash in his mind as he is working, and the end result is a big mystery until the final stages of the drawing process. Filling a white canvas big enough to cover a large wall is a painstaking task, as Ikeda works at a very slow pace. His works are so insanely detailed that he will sometimes work for eight hours a day on a single 4-inch square trying to get everything just right.

Manabu-Ikeda-drawings

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