Boxwars – The Art of Building Amazing Cardboard Armour and Weapons and Destroying Them in Glorious Combat

Boxwars is a fast-growing entertainment phenomenon that takes the childhood pastime of playing with cardboard boxes to a whole new level. Participants use reclaimed cardboard to create the full range of battle gear – armour, weapons, monster trucks, tanks, gigantic animals, and more. Then they put on monumental battle shows during which every creation is completely destroyed!

Boxwars is the brainchild of Australian friends Hoss Siegel and Ross Koger, who came up with it nearly a decade ago over drinks. “There was a lot of drinking involved,” Koger said in an interview. “We sort of imagined this concept one day, and thought yeah let’s give it a go. We did it at a party and had a great time, and thought let’s do this again!”

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Tiny Bird Mimics Other Birds’ Warning Calls to Confuse Predators

Despite its tiny size, the brown thornbill is quite capable of protecting itself in the wild. Its survival strategy is simple yet effective – it scares other birds away by ‘crying hawk’!

It seems that most birds use certain calls to warn their kin of impending danger, especially when hawks and other birds of prey are approaching. The thornbill is not only aware of this fact, but can reproduce the danger signals of several species, including the much larger pied currawong. Predators are fooled by the false alarm, and the thornbill earns its chicks a few extra seconds to escape.

The thornbill’s talent for mimicry was discovered by researchers from the Australian National University (ANU). “I am amazed that such a tiny bird can mimic so many species, some much bigger than itself. It’s very cunning,” said one of the researchers, Dr. Branislav Igic.

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Artist Creates Giant Realistic Flowers Out of Paper

Tiffanie Turner, a San Francisco based artist, is best known for her ability to craft incredibly realistic flowers out of paper. She cuts petals out of delicate Italian crepe paper and sews them together to resemble the creases and folds of flowers. When photographed, it’s nearly impossible to tell these fake flowers apart from real ones!

The faux florals that Turner creates vary in dimensions, right from palm-sized to nearly three ft. wide. Depending on the size, each flower can take anywhere between 35 to 80 hours to complete. Most of her pieces mimic healthy flowers, but at times she experiments with the wilted look as well.

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Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

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The Dominican Village Where Some Children Only Grow Penises at Puberty

Physical changes during puberty are completely normal, but in Salinas, a remote village in the southwestern Dominican Republic, they are downright extreme. For some of the boys living here puberty is the time they actually grow a penis. Many of the children are born without male genitalia and are raised as girls, but they eventually become men in their teenage years. The phenomenon is so familiar to the people of Salinas that the children – called ‘guevedoces’ (penis at 12) – are not considered abnormal at all.

The condition is apparently the result of a rare genetic disorder that occurs due to a missing enzyme. This prevents the production of dihydro-testosterone – a type of male hormone – when the baby is in the womb. All fetuses have internal glands called gonads and a small bump between their legs called tubercle. At around eight weeks, the enzyme 5-α-reductase triggers a huge surge of dihydro-testosterone in male fetuses, converting the tubercle into a penis. In female fetuses, the tubercle becomes a clitoris. But in many babies born to Salinas women, the enzyme is missing entirely.

So these babies are born with the tubercle intact and no testes, and are often mistaken for female babies. It isn’t until they reach puberty that another surge of testosterone is produced, which is when the male reproductive organs are formed. As their voices deepen, their penises begin to emerge as well.

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Goodbye, Potholes! “Thirsty” Concrete Sucks Up Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Mere Seconds

Topmix Permeable is a new type of super-absorbent concrete designed to soak up nearly 900 gallons of water in only one minute! Streets paved with this special, ‘thirsty’ concrete will not flood during storms, and they’ll also remain free of puddles and potholes.

Lafarge Tarmac, the company that developed the technology, uses relatively large pebbles to make a permeable top layer of concrete. Water that hits the surface will seep through the matrix into a loose base of rubble underneath. Drainage channels are worked into the rubble, to help increase the amount of water absorbed.

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Self-Taught Ethiopian Aviation Enthusiast Builds His Own Airplane

In a bid to fulfil his childhood dream of flying a plane, an Ethiopian man has taught himself how to build one mainly by reading aviation books and watching YouTube tutorials!

Public Health Officer and Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy reject Asmelash Zerefu set about learning to build his own aircraft over a decade ago. It was a daunting challenge, but he has managed to achieve the unthinkable – he single-handedly constructed Ethiopia’s first ever home-built aircraft from scratch.

“I call it the K-570A,” he said. “K representing my mother’s initial of her name, Kiros, and 570 signifying the number of days it took me to complete my aircraft. And A is for Aircraft.”

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Curvy Yogi Proves You Don’t Have to Lose Weight to Stay in Shape

Busting the myth of the perfect-bodied yoga poster girl is San Francisco plus-sized yogi Valerie Sagun. For the past three years, she has been photographed performing a range of complicated yoga poses, including headstands and handstands.

Valerie has a massive Instagram following of over 80,000 people, with whom she regularly shares videos of her yoga journey. “I just want to make sure that people don’t feel like they have to be scared or intimidated by learning yoga from someone who doesn’t look like them,” she wrote on her Tumblr page. “All of us have body issues whether you are big or small, but it’s good to just take the time to look at yourself and just love it as it is now.”

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New Service Saves and Frames Tattoos of Loved Ones after They Die

Thanks to a new service called ‘Save My Ink’, your tattoos can now last forever. Launched by American tattoo artist Charles Hamm, the bizarre service involves slicing inked skin off dead people and preserving it through a bunch of chemical processes.

Hamm, 60, said he got the idea for Save My Ink – a.k.a National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA) – when he realised how much time and money people put into their tattoos. “You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for,” he explained. “Your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas. It’s just like a house, wedding ring, or any other cherished possession.”

“I have over 150 hours of tattoo work on me, and I have almost covered my entire upper-body, excluding my neck and face,” Hamm said. “When I was getting more tattoo work completed on my back piece, a 10,000 dollar investment, I began considering all of the money I had put into my tattoos. I had also read an article in which Johnny Depp stated his intent to have his tattoos preserved, and it all inspired me to begin fully developing Save My Ink.”

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This Ukrainian 220-Year-Old Apple Tree Has a Very Unique Way of Staying Alive

The city of Krolevets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, is home to the world’s most unique apple garden, consisting of only one tree. Spanning 10 acres, the 220-year-old tree – known as ‘apple tree colony’ – has dozens of individually rooted trunks that constantly spring to life, making it seemingly impossible to die.

The tree seems to have worked out a brilliant survival strategy, and it looks prepared to survive for centuries to come. It started off as a regular tree, but as it aged, its branches bent so low to the ground that they started to take root as well. Every time one of the ingrown trunks dies, its branches immediately bend to the ground and take root. It had only nine trunks in 1970, but that number had doubled by 2008.

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Australian Couple Experience Life with Almost No Money for a Year

In this day and age, living without money sounds almost impossible, but that’s exactly what this Australian couple has been doing for almost a year. It’s been anything but easy, but they’ve somehow made it work.

Rachel Newby, 24, and Liam Culbertson, 26, have come up with innovative ways of making it through the year without any cash. They built themselves a new home on a friend’s plot in West Gippsland, a rural region in Victoria. The house is made entirely out of scrap timber and recycled materials. They grow their own food, and at times, don’t hesitate to dive into dumpsters for leftovers. They also help out local farmers in exchange for fresh produce and yarn.

“We enjoy the feeling of being able to choose what we do regardless of money,” said Rachel. “We don’t have to worry about rent or plane tickets or food or fancy clothes. Effectively, all of our time is free time because we get to decide how we spend it.”

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Stressed Japanese Women Can Now Rent Handsome Men to Wipe Away Their Tears at the Office

A cool new service in Japan is meant to help busy career women cope with the stress of their hectic lifestyles. For about 7,900 yen ($65), they can hire ‘Ikemeso’ – cute men – to wipe away their tears, quite literally!

Here’s how it works: You call the company and pick one of seven Ikemeso, who will then arrive at your workplace to help you release stress through crying. If you’re in tears already, the licensed “crying therapist” will simply wipe your tears away with the softest handkerchief and comfort you with kind words. If work-related stress hasn’t pushed you to tears yet,  the Ikemeso will play an emotional film meant to induce crying. After the video is over, he’ll wipe your tears away.

There are different types of guys you can choose from, depending on your taste – the little brother, the intellectual, the bad boy, the slightly older hot guy, and more. The service is all set to launch on September 24.

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Man Spends Six Months and $1,500 Making Sandwich from Scratch

Six months – that’s apparently how long it takes to truly make a sandwich from scratch. And we know this thanks to 28-year-old Andy George, host of the YouTube series How to Make Everything. He actually spent six months and $1,500 growing and preparing every single ingredient that went into one, very regular, sandwich.

Andy recently shared a time-lapse video titled ‘How to Make a $1,500 Sandwich in Only Six Months’ on his YouTube channel. The video shows him doing all sorts of tasks that people normally take for granted when they buy stuff off store shelves. He grows vegetables, makes salt, bakes bread from scratch, and even kills a live chicken. His goal? To make everyone realise that things don’t magically appear in supermarkets.

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South African Artist Paints with Plastic Waste

Mbongeni Buthelezi, an artist from South Africa, has shunned paint in favor of plastic. He melts discarded plastic bags and uses the molten material to produce stunning works of art. The 49-year-old has been working with the unique medium for the past 23 years, ever since he graduated from art school.

Buthelezi said he decided to work with plastic because he wanted to stand out, and this was an innovative, original idea to do that. “With watercolor and other mediums that I have experimented with in the past, I felt that I’m hitting the ceiling,” he told Euronews. “I’m not growing anymore. I wanted to be noticed and I wanted to catch attention, because I knew also that I’m moving into a career where you have to be really special to be able to even make a living out of it.”

According to Buthelezi, his chosen medium also serves as a metaphor for life. “I collect rubbish and create something beautiful from it,” he wrote on his website. “That’s what we can do with ourselves and our lives.”

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Chinese Man Cycles to Africa to Cool Off After Argument with Girlfriend

This Chinese couple have a cool relationship hack that’s gotten them through the worst of arguments. Every time He Ganhui and his girlfriend fight, he works out his emotions with super long biking trips. The farthest Ganhui’s ever cycled is all the way to Africa!

It all started in 2012, when Ganhui was working as a fencing coach in Foshan, China’s Guangdong province. He had a huge row with his girlfriend one day, and was completely pissed off. Not knowing how to deal with the negativity, he simply got on his bike and rode all the way to Beijing – about 2,200 km away.

“I borrowed a bike from a friend,” Ganhui recalled. “I was on impulse and set off for Beijing. I was such a rookie at the time. I even did not know how to deal with a flat tyre.”

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