Gyotaku – The Traditional Japanese Art of Painting Fish with Actual Fish

Back when there were no cameras for fishermen to record their trophy catches, the Japanese came up with a unique printing method called Gyotaku. Gyo means fish, and Taku means impression, and the technique involved just that – using freshly caught fish to make inky impressions on paper.

Hundreds of years ago, Japanese fishermen would take paper, ink and brushes out to sea with them. They would rub the fish they caught with the non-toxic sumi-e ink and then print them on rice paper. Most of the fish were then cleaned and sold in markets, but a few revered ones were released back into the ocean. In the mid-1800s, fishermen began to add eye details and other embellishments, giving rise to a unique art form.  

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You Can Rest in Peace on the Moon for $12,000

You might not make it to heaven in the afterlife, but you sure can go as far as the moon. Celestial funerals are now a possibility, thanks to San Francisco startup Elysium Space. For a ginormous fee of about $12,000, the company will privately transport your cremated remains to the moon!

Founded by former NASA engineer Thomas Civeit, Elysium boasts of bringing space and funeral experts together to provide the unique service. “Families now have the historic opportunity to commemorate their departed loved ones every night through the everlasting splendour and soft illumination of the Earth’s closest companion: the moon,” they stated in a press release.

Although the company was founded in 2013, the service only offered in August of this year, after Elysium managed to seal a deal with space logistics company Astrobotic Technology. They’re currently taking orders, and the first batch of ashes will travel to the moon on Griffin Lander spacecraft – Astrobotic’s inaugural lunar mission – in 2017.

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How Big Busted Mannequins in Venezuela Are Changing the Country’s Perception of Beauty

With one in three Venezuelan women opting for breast enlargement procedures, it actually isn’t surprising that store mannequins in the nation now feature augmented busts as well.

According to a New York Times report, plastic surgery is so common in Venezuela that women freely talk about their operations. Even low income women save up to get operated and become what is now considered normal. Mannequin manufacturers claim that they simply had to catch up with these women, or risk bankruptcy. Many factories were in fact struggling to make ends meet until they decided to redesign their mannequins to reflect the nation’s changing beauty standards.

Mannequin factory owner Eliezer Alvarez did just that a few years back – he created a new kind of mannequin with a “bulging bosom and cantilevered buttocks, a wasp waist and long legs,” and experienced an immediate boost in sales. “The mannequins were natural just like the women were natural, (but now) the transformation has been both of the women and of the mannequin,” said Nereida Corro, Alvarez’s wife and business partner.

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Indian Artists Turn Mumbai Taxis into Artworks on Wheels

‘Taxi Fabric’ is an innovative art project in Mumbai, India, that allows upcoming designers to transform the interiors of taxicabs in the city. Ten cabs have been given vibrant makeovers so far, and a Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for more.

“The Taxi Fabric project is all about providing Indian designers with a unique platform to show off their work – using taxi seats as their canvas,” the campaign page reads.  The designers who founded the project also hope to “show Indians the impact good design can have.”

The team added that Indian taxi drivers do pimp their cars to stand out from the competition, but the upholstery usually doesn’t get much attention. The designs are just something drivers pick up from local markets, mostly “dull and forgettable”. The Taxi Fabric project wants to change that by creating bespoke fabrics with designs that reflect Mumbai’s life and culture.

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90-Year-Old Watchman Turns Russian School into a Veritable Art Gallery

After 25 years of teaching art at several schools, Valery Khramov finally retired from his job, but not from art. The 90-year-old spent the entire summer painting the walls at the school where he currently works as a watchman. He singlehandedly managed to transform the boring institution into an ethereal space, just in time for the new academic year.

“I spent the last three months at school,” Valery told the local media. “All I did was paint and draw. It has been 10 days since I slept – it was necessary to have time to finish everything for the new academic year.” And now that the kids are back in school, they’re absolutely thrilled with the new decor. In fact, first graders are actually being taken on tours of the ‘gallery’. What a fantastic way to beat back-to-school blues!

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The BEEcosystem Lets You Keep Bees as Indoor Pets

Growing bees indoors has never really been an option before, but an American startup called Living Interiors is changing that with their revolutionary new product – the BEEcosystem.

The BEEcosystem is a hexagonal cedar observational hive, “small enough to be manageable in non traditional beekeeping spaces,” but also large enough to produce cut-comb honey. The viewing window on the hive allows people to see the bees at work on the hive.

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Japan’s New Girl Band Has an Average Age of 84

KBG84 is a one-of-a-kind girl band in Japan consisting of 33 singing and dancing grannies, with an average age of 84. The oldest member, Haru Yamashiro, is 97 years old!

The new band, based in the remote island of Kohama in Okinawa, is a huge hit in the country – so much so that the members are rather taken aback by their success. Their first single – titled Come on and Dance, Kohama Island – has made it to the top of the  charts, and they’ve just completed a sellout tour of Japan.

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The Chinese Farming Village Where Everybody Knows Kung Fu

Ganxi Dong, a small village hidden deep in the mountains of Tianzhu in central China, is gaining worldwide attention for its unusually skilled residents. Apparently, everyone who lives in the self-sustaining village is a martial arts expert!

The Dong people, one of the 56 recognised ethnic minorities in China, pride themselves for having shunned the outside world in favor of local tradition. Apart from farming, every villager is well-versed in the art of kung fu, each one pursuing a different style of the ancient Chinese martial arts. They use a range of weapons including sticks, pitchforks, and their own fists.

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World’s First ‘Blood Rave’ To Spray Party-Goers with Gallons of Real Blood on Halloween

A nightclub in Amsterdam is getting ready to host the world’s first ‘blood rave’ this Halloween, with real blood! According to media reports, Dutch partygoers will be sprayed with gallons of blood from an overhead sprinkler system, based on the opening scene of the 1998 vampire film Blade.

The event’s official Facebook page states: “Blood Rave is a night-life community for likeminded individuals, on a discrete location in Amsterdam.” It also lists a link to an intro video (the scene from Blade), and another link to purchase tickets.

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Skach Koyl – Guatemala’s Unique Drunk Horse Riding Race

Drunk driving might be against the law, but there’s no such rule about drunk horse riding. And believe it or not, it’s actually a sport in Guatemala!

Traditionally, Skach Koyl – a drunken horse race – is meant to mark the end of Day of the Dead celebrations. Drunk riders gather every year on November 1 at the town of Todos Santos to participate in the much awaited race. As you’d expect, there aren’t any rules to the race, no start or finish, and riders stop whenever they please to gulp more mouthfuls of booze. The chaotic race continues for seven hours straight, with no visible concern for safety.

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Women in Hong Kong Are Trying to Lose Weight by Staring at the Sun

Sun gazing is a bizarre new weight-loss trend in China – it has women staring directly at the sun, hoping to magically melt away the excess pounds!

The therapy, believed to be of European origin, suggests that looking at the sun will provide you with enough solar energy to substitute for calories from real food. So dieters are hoping that if they stare at the sun long enough, they could skip eating entirely.

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Thai Collector Uses Ancient Ritual to Create Souls for Creepy ‘Child God Dolls’

A creepy new trend in Thailand has people caring for supposedly haunted dolls, for good luck and prosperity.

The Look Thep (Child God) dolls are believed to be inhabited by children’s spirits, created through special rituals. They’re considered to be an updated version of the ancient kuman thong, the practice of worshiping human fetuses that died in the womb. Look Thep allows people to revere the spirits of children without having to actually obtain dead fetuses.

Several locals, including Thai celebrities, are vouching for the effectiveness of Look Thep dolls. Like DJ Bookkoh Thannatchayapan from 94 FM, who claims that his doll Wansai has made him successful in show biz. “The first day I got him, I took him out shopping for clothes in the baby section,” Bookkoh said. “Right after I paid for his clothes, I got a call that my canceled job was back on!”

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This Muzzle Will Turn the Cutest Dog into a Scary Werewolf

A Russian company has created a menacing muzzle that can transform dogs into fierce-looking werewolves. Fitted with bloody, pointy, ginormous artificial teeth, the werewolf muzzle will make even the cutest poodle look so terrifying that no one’s ever going to try to pet it without your permission. 

One of the first users of the werewolf muzzle is Marina Kurulyova, who became an internet sensation after posting pictures of her dog, a giant Schnauzer, wearing the muzzle. Marina said she doesn’t use it to scare people away though. “This muzzle is just a comic alternative,” she said. “It is rather made for fun than for training. Our friend has bought the muzzle for her dog, a Doberman, and we just tried it. That’s how the photograph was made. The Schnauzer and the Doberman were photographed together, the muzzles amplifying their aggressive personalities.

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Homeless Couple Clean Up Brooklyn Park, Keep It Safe for Everyone

They might be homeless, but that’s not stopping this Brooklyn couple from doing their bit for the city. They spend their nights at a tiny park and during the day, do a better job of cleaning it than the local administration!

57-year-old Chris and 54-year-old Tammy are from Pennsylvania, but they drifted to Brooklyn after falling on hard times. Since then, they’ve been living on this small traffic island in the heart of Bay Ridge, and are doing everything they can to keep their surroundings clean.

“I’m homeless, my wife is homeless and what we do is we clean up the park,” Chris told Pix11 news. “We like to make it clean. We’re keeping it clean in many ways.”

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Woman Who Gives Away Her Dogs When They Stop Being Cute Puppies Sparks Controversy

It’s not clear what freelance journalist Shona Sibary hoped to achieve by making an online confession about her puppy-abandoning habits, but her article in the Daily Mail has sparked outrage among internet users who are condemning her for her actions.

In the article, Sibary admitted to having abandoned four dogs in the last four years, just because they weren’t cute puppies anymore. “Over the past four years, I have fallen in love with four puppies and, on each occasion, driven miles with hundreds of pounds of cash in my pocket to buy them,” she wrote. “Then, months later, I have turned my back on them and given them away.”

Sibary said she finds this habit “strange” because according to her, “no one is more welcoming and loving to a doe-eyed little puppy than me.” She claims that all four puppies had perfect lives – with comfy baskets, colorful collars, vaccinations, and microchipping. But in her own words, “the minute they become too much trouble – which they always do – I fall out of love and start advertising them in the classifieds section of our local newspaper.”

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