Talented Artist Paints on Butterfly Wings

Inspired by the beauty and history of his home town of Istanbul, Turkish artist Hasan Kale paints stunning miniature portraits on all kinds of unusual canvases, from butterfly wings to coffee beans and even tiny pepper seeds.

No surface is to small for 53-year-old Hasan Kale. Ever since the 1980s, this Turkish micro art master has been painting his miniature marvels on things as small as cactus thorns and rice grains. Most of his works are detailed scenes of Istanbul, with its beautiful mosques and towering minarets, men rowing their boats through the Bosphorus Strait and seagulls flying in the distance. Thew level of detail in Kale’s artworks is simply unbelievable, despite the tiny canvases they’re painted on. With surgical precision, the artist guides a fine-tipped brush across butterfly wings, snail shells and fruit seeds, using his finger as a palette for mixing colors. Confronted with the skepticism of viewers who didn’t believe such wonderful works of art could be done exclusively by hand, without any digital touch-ups, Hasan Kale has recorded a series of making-of videos.

Hasan-Kale-paintings

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The Exchange Bar & Grill Where Prices Fluctuate Like Stocks

You don’t have to be an experienced stock trader to make a killing at the Exchange Bar & Grill in New York City, where prices of food and drink fluctuate according to the law of supply and demand.

The way it works is quite simple. According to the Exchange website, “The prices for your favorite drinks fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Watch a while when no one is ordering your favorite drink and snag it when the cost falls to unbelievable lows – or use your leverage to jack up the price of any cocktail, drink or shot for the whole bar.” Unlike the real stock market, insider trading isn’t illegal. You are welcome to make use of the tactic to catch the ‘market crash’, when every drink in the bar hits rock bottom. At times like this, beers are sold for as low as $2 to $4. Exchange can seat up to 60 people and atmosphere is like a nice lounge with dim lighting, HD screens and leather couches. The ‘ticker tape’ flashes the fluctuating menu prices in red lettering according to an algorithm, the secret to which even Steven Yee, an operating partner at Exchange, claims he doesn’t know. “The algorithm was created by the person who wrote the software, and the guy won’t even share it with me.” Yee also says that the ticker is just a fun feature, and that they are more about good food, fantastic staff, a bar and a great atmosphere.

Exchange-Bar-and-Grill

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Teenage Girl Has Been on a Noodle-Only Diet for 11 Years

Georgi Readman, an 18-year-old teenager from the Island of Wight, England survives only on cheap instant noodles, because she is afraid to eat other foods. The young hairdressing student goes through about 30 miles of noodles every year.

Georgi Readman got hooked on instant noodles when she was just five years old, after watching her older brother eat them, but they became her only source of nutrition after suffering a case of severe food poisoning at age eight. From that point on she couldn’t bring herself to eat any fruits or vegetables, and only occasionally diversified her diet with small bits of potatoes and chicken. Whenever she goes out shopping, Georgi’s mom always stocks up on 11p (¢16) packs of M Savers chicken noodles, because that’s the only brand she’s sure her daughter will eat. Any other kind of noodles might have green bits in them, so she would have to sieve them first. ”I always fancy noodles and could easily eat two packets at once. I’ve even eaten them dry and uncooked before,” Readman says. She has always been a fussy eater, but ever since her food poisoning as a child, Georgi claims she goes into a panic, sweats and starts heaving whenever she tries to swallow any fruits or vegetables.

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Scary Mother Nature – Giant Wasp Nest Housing Millions of Stingers Found in Abandoned House

Just one wasp hovering around is enough to make people go crazy with fear, so i can’t imagine what the people of San Sebastián de La Gomera, in the Canary islands, must have felt like when they discovered a 21-foot wasp nest housing millions of stingers, right next to their homes.

The unusually large hive was discovered by local police officers after they had received numerous calls from concerned members of the community regarding large numbers of wasps swarming around an uninhabited house in San Sebastián de La Gomera. After breaking into the abandoned building they were shocked to discover a giant wasp nest in the hallway that experts say is home to millions of aggressive stingers. Measuring no less than 7 meters in size, the gargantuan structure doesn’t seem to have been built by the common type of wasp found in European gardens, but by an invasive species that must have migrated from Africa. The Canary Islands are located less than 100 kilometers from Morocco by water, so that’s a very likely scenario. Police have been unable to locate the owner of the house, but they’ve sealed off the place for safety reasons, until they determine how to best handle the problem. How about “kill it with fire”?!?

giant-wasp-nest

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Thai Family Uses Crocodiles as Watchdogs to Fend Off Burglars

Who needs watchdogs and alarm systems when you have two full grown crocodiles protecting your house? Awirut Nathip says no burglars have dared come anywhere near his home in the 15 years since his two crocodile pets have been keeping guard.

Burglaries are reported regularly in the city of Phitsanulok, where Awirut Nathip and his family live, but thanks to a perfect security system, they haven’t had any problems for a good fifteen years. Just like everybody else, they used to worry about their safety, until they bought their t pet crocodiles, Thong and Ngen. After that, no one dared set foot on the property uninvited. And for good reason, as Awirut’s unusual guard dogs are very aggressive, especially during the hot summer days. In order to keep them under control and make sure they don’t become frustrated by the unbearable heat, he sprays them with cold water at least 10 times a day, and even lets them cool off in his air-conditioned office from time to time. Even so, Ngen is kept in a ditch next to the house, because he is so aggressive, while Thong does his rounds in the yard. ”If we’re upstairs he’ll come and lie in front of the door. We’re not worried at all. No one would dare to get in,” Mr Nathip says.

crocodile-watchdogs

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Japanese Vodka Made from Fermented Giant Hornets

The voracious Japanese giant hornet has a quarter-inch stinger that pumps out venom containing an enzyme so strong that it can literally dissolve human tissue. The sting of a giant hornet causes excruciating pain, yet some people are willing to endure a few stings while trying to capture them to make a special kind of shouchuu (Japanese liquor similar to vodka).

A person stung by a Japanese giant hornet who doesn’t receive proper treatment soon thereafter can die from an allergic reaction to the venom. About 40 deaths related to giant hornet stings are recorded every year. But this doesn’t seem to scare fans of shouchuu from risking their lives trying to capture the main ingredient of a bizarre alcoholic drink. It’s a rare concoction that isn’t usually commercially available in shops, but a team of RocketNews24 reporters traveled to Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture in search of a huntsman who catches hornets and leaves them to ferment in alcohol for three years. According to their reports, fermented wasp shouchuu has an unappetizing muddy-brown color and smells a bit like rotting flesh. If you’re wondering about the taste of this unusual drink, it’s apparently a lot like that of regular shouchuu, but with a salty aftertaste that comes from the wasps poison. In conclusion, it looks disgusting, it stinks and it tastes really bad, so why would anyone want to drink this home-made fermented hornet brew? Well, for the health-related benefits, of course. The venom-infused liquor is said to make the skin more beautiful, boost recovery from fatigue and prevent “lifestyle disease” (whatever that is).

fermented-hornet-shouchuu

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The Ocellated Ice Fish – World’s Only Vertebrate with Transparent Blood

Every animal with bones hemoglobin in its blood, which carries oxygen through its body and gives blood its red color. Every animal except one – the ocellated ice fish which has water-clear blood.

The ocean’s depth have revealed a series of odd life forms in recent years, from giant squid to translucent sea anemones, but scientists say the ocellated ice fish discovered in 2011 is among the most fascinating creatures the world over.  This unique fish lives in the ice-cold waters of Antarctica at depths of up to 3,300 feet (1 kilometer), and the only specimens in captivity can be found at Japan’s Tokyo Sea Life Park. Apart from the fact that it has transparent blood and no scales, the ocellated ice fish is not much different than most of the fish species living in Earth’s waters.  But its two special traits have researchers baffled. Because hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen through the body of vertebrates, it’s not yet clear how this species can survive without the metalloprotein which binds with oxygen. Several theories have been formulated on the subject, with some scientists speculating that the unusually large heart of the ocellated ice fish might help move oxygen using plasma instead of hemoglobin, and others saying that it may be able to absorb oxygen through its scale-free skin from the oxygen-rich waters of Antarctica. But the truth is very little is known about this fascinating creature and there are yet no facts to back up the claims.

Ocellated-Ice-Fish

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Japanese High-Tech Coat Imitates Girlfriend Hugs

Studies have shown  that hugs can truly make lonely people feel better, so a group of Japanese students from Tsukuba University have invented a coat designed to imitate the feeling of a girlfriend hugging you from behind.

Hugging is all the rage right now. London has its own cuddling workshop for people in need of a hug and a professional cuddler in New York City will wrap her arms around you for a fee. But these solutions don’t work very well if you suddenly find yourself in need of a hug and there’s no one around to give it to you. Luckily, a team of Japanese geeks students have come up with a more practical, if weird, solution – a special hugging coat that emulates the sensation of a girlfriend putting her arms around you from behind. Called the Raiju Coat (Fulfillment Coat), this offbeat invention features motors attached to its back to operate the artificial “arms”, which are controlled through a computer using a USB connection. So whenever its owner feels lonely and in need of a fake girlfriend hug, all he has to do is put it on, close his eyes and imagine a cute anime girl putting her arms around him, as the coat takes hold of his waist. To make the experience even more realistic, the Raiju Coat comes with a pair of headphones that plays the sound of footsteps running from behind and pre-recorded sentences like “I’m sorry, were you waiting?”; “Watch your back!”; “Guess who?”; and “Blind side!” With such advanced hugging technology, who needs a real girlfriend?

fake-hugs-coat

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Man Self-Injects Snake Venom to Boost Up His Immunity

Steve Ludwin, a 42-year-old snake obsessed rocker from California, is one of a just a handful of people who regularly inject venom from the world’s deadliest snakes into their bloodstream, in the belief that it will make them immune to it.

Around 100,000 people around the world die from snake bites every year, and another 250,000 are permanently disabled, but these statistics don’t seem to scare Steve Ludwin. Every week for the past 23 years he has been injecting a venom cocktail from the world’s most dangerous snakes, trying to train his antibodies to resist the poison. By gradually increasing the quantity and frequency of the injections, he believes one day he will become immune not only to snake poison, but other viruses as well. Steve currently has a collection of 28 potentially deadly reptiles in his home, but he is always on the lookout for new additions, scouring European countries for missing specimens and attending snake conventions. On injection days, he expertly milks his snakes for a few milligrams of venom and visits an immunologist to have his killer shot. Within minutes, the muscles in his arm quadruple in size for around 24 hours, as his white blood cells struggle to fight off the poison. The doses he can take these days would kill the average person, but Steve usually goes to a rock concert right after the injection…

Steve-Ludwin

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Modern Espressionist Creates Amazing Latte Portraits

New York City barista Mike Breach uses a toothpick as a brush to create beautiful portraits into his tasty lattes. From Albert Einstein to rapper Jay Z, it seems like there’s no face this self-proclaimed “espressionist” can’t draw on coffee.

Today Mike Breach is well-known coffee artist, with a big following on social sharing sites like Tumblr, but only a year ago he was just another barista working in a hotel kitchen surrounded by espresso machines. He was “so, so bored” that he started drawing things on coffee just to pass the time. Armed with a toothpick he realized he could manipulate the coffee foam and milk to create all kinds of designs. He started by doing hearts on his cups and people got really excited about it, so he kept on practicing and came up with adorable teddy bears, and even a portrait of the hotel boss. At first he didn’t think he could ever draw faces into his lattes, but his skills gradually improved to the point where he’s now able to create detailed celebrity portraits. The fact that his artworks only last for a few minutes only makes them more personal. “I kind of want to be like Willy Wonka with coffee- make it interesting and fun for people; take the pretentiousness out of it, take the seriousness out of it,” Mike says.

baristart-Mike-Breach

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Extreme Kidnapping – Detroit Company Abducts Clients for Fun

Extreme Kidnapping is a low-profile Detroit company that offer clients the chance to get abducted and spice up their mundane lives. The realistic experience includes getting handcuffed, slapped by goons, zapped with a stun gun and even attacked with police pepper spray.

If you need a break from your boring life and feel that extreme sports like bungee jumping or jumping out of an airplane just won’t cut it, you need to look into the services of Extreme Kidnapping. According to founder Adam Thick, “this service caters to the extreme sports adventurer who is bored with what’s currently available; this takes it to a whole other level. If you don’t feel like you’re really being kidnapped and your life is in danger, then we’re not doing our job.” To make sure he offers customers their money’s worth, Adam says he’s not afraid to hire henchmen with a criminal background, who can get mean and rough when they need to. Thick himself is a convicted counterfeiter so you can say that staging an illegal act is right up his alley. It’s hard to describe what an average fake abduction is like, because Extreme Kidnapping offers custom services designed according to clients’ requests, but one thing you can expect is to be genuinely scared.

Extreme-Kidnapping

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Dead Delicacies: The Man Who Eats Roadkill

72-year-old Arthur Boyt from Bodmin Moor, England is an unusual man who eats unusual food. His preference in meat leans towards roadkill – the dead animals that lie on the side of highways after being hit by speeding vehicles. This has earned him a bad reputation, but he just considers it a waste to eat anything else.

Over the years, Boyt has taken on the fancy title of ‘Roadkill Connoisseur’. “I am often asked how did this all begin,” he says in an interview. “After 1976, when I was living on my own, I didn’t have to bother with anybody else’s feelings in the matter. The food was there to be bought home and eaten. I would pick up roadkill in those days to bring home, I’m a taxidermist, I skin things and stuff them. And instead of throwing the body away, I decided to start eating them. I think that’s how it came about.” Boyt isn’t queasy about eating a lot of things, including Polecats, whose meat he says has a vile stink. But he’s figured out a way to get rid of the nasty smell – just place the meat under running water for four days, and it’s good to eat for him. He’s eaten badgers and once even a swan, which “tasted like mud.” One of his favorites is Labrador. “It has a pleasant taste and flavor that is a bit like lamb. It turns people off when I say that Labrador is my favorite thing to eat but the point is, I would never kill an animal.” True enough, Boyt is not a wasteful person by nature. “I don’t believe in waste,” he says. “I’m a freegan, I try to eat all my meals for free.”

roadkill

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Hari Kuyo – Japan’s Unique Memorial Service for Broken Needles

Hari Kuyo is a Japanese festival dedicated to old and broken needles. Celebrated every year on the 8th of February, this festival sees hundreds of women dressed in colorful kimonos, gathering at various Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples in and around Tokyo. This 400-year-old ritual involves sticking old and broken needles into soft chunks of tofu or jelly as a way of showing thanks for their hard work. I suppose this tradition springs from the Eastern system of displaying gratitude towards objects that are a source of livelihood. It also reflects on the animist belief that all beings and objects have a soul.

It’s not just about needles, several Japanese women consider Hari Kuyo as a time to value the small, everyday objects of daily life that are otherwise forgotten. Mottainai is the concept of not being wasteful about small things. Burying needles in tofu is said to symbolize rest for the needles, as they are wrapped with tenderness. It’s also about the many sorrows that women are believed to carry in their hearts, the burdens of which are passed on to the needles during many hours of sewing. So the needles do deserve a proper farewell and rest at the end of their service. According to Ryojo Shioiri, a Buddhist monk, “Sometimes there are painful things and secrets that women can’t tell men, and they put these secrets into the pins and ask the gods to get rid of them.”

Hari-Kuyo-custom

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The Peabody Hotel’s Celebrity Ducks and Their World Famous March

The Peabody Hotel in Memphis is famous not just just for its exemplary service, but also for a truly unique attraction – the March of the Peabody Ducks, which involves a performing troupe of, you guessed it, ducks. The whimsical experience is enjoyed by guests both young and old alike, every day of the year.

The daily routine of the Peabody Ducks goes something like this – each morning, at exactly 11 a.m., five North American mallard ducks, four hens and one drake, come down from their $100,000 penthouse in the hotel in their very own private elevator. As the doors open, the ducks take their positions on a plush red carpet in front of their Duckmaster. Then they begin to march to a rousing rendition of John Philip Souza’s King Cotton March. When they reach the orchid-tipped marble fountain in the Grand Lobby, the birds ascend four red-carpeted steps and splash around in the fountain’s water. They stay there until 5 p.m., when the procession is reversed and they march back to their elevator, returning to the Royal Duck palace for a quiet evening.

Peabody-Duck-March

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The Stinking Rose – San Francisco’s Garlic-Centered Restaurant

If your idea of a perfect meal is garlic, garlic and more garlic, The Stinking Rose restaurant should definitely be on your itinerary the next time you’re in San Francisco. Their motto – “we season our garlic with food” – says about everything you need to know about this place.

Located in the Italian North Beach district of San Francisco, The Stinking Rose is probably not the best place to go on a first date, at least not if you plan on getting to first base. The garlic-centered restaurant prides itself on serving over 3,000 pounds of the pungent seasoning every month, so you can expect almost every dish served here to be literally covered in it. It does have a few garlic-free foods on its Vampire Fare menu, for “those finding the herb’s folklore and aroma more appealing than its taste”, but if you’re not a fan of the culinary treat, there’s really no point in visiting. On the other hand, if you are a garlic enthusiast, all you have to do is “follow your nose” and it will lead you to the door of The Stinking Rose restaurant, on Columbus Avenue. As soon as you walk in, you’re greeted by the unmistakable smell of garlic and a gallery of garlic-inspired memorabilia covering the ceiling and walls of this unique establishment. Colorful garlic characters, a mechanical miniature garlic factory and the world’s longest garlic braid featuring 2,635 bulbs of garlic are just some of the whimsical decorations you can expect to find inside The Stinking Rose.

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