Executive Boxing Takes Corporate Rivalry to a New Level

The gloves were on at the second ever Executive Fight Night, in Tokyo, last week, as 14 corporate executives from seven different countries went into the boxing ring for some good, clean fun and settling rivalries between companies.

“To usher in a new era of fitness amongst stressed-out Tokyo executives and stage a safe, professional and unprecedented, Vegas-style Boxing event that would become a regular hit on the annual Tokyo social calendar.” This is the mission of Ginja Ninjas, the offbeat company behind Executive Fight Night. It was founded by three corporate employees who after a stressful week at work got together and decided that enough was enough, executives needed a way to let off some steam, and what better release valve than boxing? Bringing a unique form of entertainment to the masses wasn’t enough for the “ninjas”, who decided to donate all the proceeds from the event to various charities. It also made it harder for corporate bosses to say no to a boxing invitation, but according to organizer Dave Thomas, the rivalry between Tokyo companies is enough to get people into the ring.

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Every Minute Counts at Germany’s Slow Time Cafe

Slow Time, a newly opened cafe in Wiesbaden, Germany, is charging clients on how much time they spend there, rather than on what they order. Coffee and biscuit snacks are free, and customers can even bring their own food, but on departure, they have to pay for every minute spent inside.

The “time cafe” concept comes from Moscow, where it has proven a big hit. Locals and tourists there find refuge from the hectic city streets inside one of these peaceful cafes without worrying about high drink prices. The amount of time they spend inside is the only thing that counts on the bill. 24-year-old Daria Volkova, who immigrated from Russia in 2008, recently opened the first time cafe in Germany, called Slow Time. Customers are charged €2 ($2.50) on arrival, which covers the first 30 minutes, after which they have to pay €0.05 per minute, or €3 per hour. The coffee, which is supposed to be delicious, tea and water are offered free of charge, and there are also free biscuits to snack on, but clients are invited to bring their own food and drinks if they want, or maybe have a pizza delivered there. What’s important is the time, although the owners says the several clocks purposely showing different times are meant to make people forget about time and focus on relaxation and the people around them. To pass the time, visitors can use the free Wi-Fi connection to browse on the internet, play social games like Carcassone, Scrabble or Activity with friends, or enjoy a good book from the cafe’s selection.

Slow-Time-cafe

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Man Drives Car Made Almost Entirely Out of Wood

Istvan Puskas, a wood crafting enthusiast from Tiszaörs, Hungary, has recently finished work on a unique vehicle that has a wine barrel fuel tank and the suspension and gear box made from wood.

The 51-year-old has always had a passion for creating extraordinary things out of wood. In fact, just last year we featured another one of his amazing inventions - a one-of-a-kind chopper made almost exclusively out of wood. Now, the crafty agricultural machine expert has decided to one-up himself by building a working car from the same unusual material. Encouraged by his wife, Iron, Istvan Puskas used the long winter break from working in the Great Hungarian Plains to design and build his wooden vehicle. ”I started to work on it at Christmas and it took me four months to finish it. This kept me busy during the winter time,” he says. ”My aim was to make it out of wood as much as possible. A wooden car must be made from wood!” And apart from the Polish-made Fiat 126 engine, the tires, and a few other necessary parts, Puskas only relied on timber for his build. The frame, wheels, axles, gearbox and gas tank are all made out of wood.

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War Veteran Uses Carpenter Ax to Kill Attacking Bear

48-year-old Blazo Grkovic has made headlines in the international media after it was reported he managed to kill a bear in combat using only a small carpenter’s ax and his bear bare hands. The incident occurred while the brave Herzegovian was herding his flock of sheep on the edge of a forest at the foot of Volujak Mountain.

Gacko, as he is known among friends, told the press he was guarding his sheep on the slopes of Volujak Mountain at dawn, as he usually did. Suddenly, a bear jumped out of the bushes and grabbed him by the leg. No stranger to combat situations, the former first-class fighter of Gatačkoj Brigade in the Bosnian War of 1992 instinctively reached for his trusty carpenter ax and hit the animal in the neck, knocking it on its back. Instead of running away, like most other people in his situation would have done, he jumped onto the bear and continued hitting it. Although he doesn’t remember too many details about the fight, or how long it lasted, Blazo says that at one point the animal managed to knock the ax out of his hand, and he recalls having one arm in the bear’s mouth and the other on its neck trying to suffocate it. Grkovic sustained dozens of injuries to his arms, legs and face during the epic struggle, but ultimately managed to kill the attacking bear. Unable to walk, he phoned his brother for help, and when he arrived with an ambulance, they found him next to the almost decapitated body of the bear.

Blazo-Grkovic

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Iraqi Farmer Says He Is Addicted to Eating Scorpions Every Day

Ismail Jasim Mohammed, a farmer from Samara, Iraq, claims he consumes at least one live scorpion every day, and experiences symptoms of withdrawal if he goes three days without eating a nasty stinger.

When people like David Gracer started preaching about the benefits of eating bugs, I don’t think they meant potentially deadly live scorpions. But that hasn’t stopped 34-year-old Ismail Jasim Mohammed from feasting on them for the last 15 years. Tired of getting stung by scorpions around the village of Agelam, near the Iraqi city of Samara, the farmer decided to turn the tables and give them a taste of their own medicine. One day, he caught a live scorpion, put it in his mouth and ate it alive. He actually liked the taste and he has been snacking on them ever since. Obviously, he was stung in the mouth a few times throughout the years, but Ismail says that helped him develop an immunity to the scorpion venom. These days, the man is addicted to his unusual diet, and says he eats at least one scorpion a day. If he goes three days without consuming a nasty critter he experiences signs of withdrawal.

scorpion-eater

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Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing Is No Child’s Play

Every years since 2010, the guys at Busted Knuckle Films have engaged in one of the most fun-yet-dangerous off-road sports in the world – the Extreme Barbie Jeep Race. Don’t let the name fool you though, it’s serious business.

The concept behind this unique extreme sport is pretty simple. All you need is one of those power-wheels vehicles for kids and the courage to ride it down a steep hill slope, trying not too fall off or hit any trees. Participants compete for bragging rights and a few hundred dollars, but the race is more about the adrenaline rush and the fun involved in riding kids’ toys in an off-road environment than anything else. It’s pretty cheap too, as these cars can be picked up from the side of the road for free after they’re thrown away by parents who don’t understand their full potential. But like any other extreme sport, the Barbie Jeep Race can be dangerous, with the cars picking up serious speed on the rough terrain. To protect themselves against any serious injuries from falling off the plastic cars, being run over by others or hitting a tree on the side of the improvised race track, competitors wear metal helmets.

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Making See-Through Wood at Japan’s Unique Planing Competition

Every year, wood planing experts from all over Japan meet up for a very unique competition in which everyone tries to shave off the thinnest piece of wood possible. I don’t know how skilled you are with a hand plane, but these guys can actually peel off see-through slices of wood that are measured in microns.

If you’re not familiar with the hand plane, it’s a tool used to smooth out the surface of lumber and timber. But at the wood planing finals held during the annual Kezuroukai exhibition in Japan, participants use it not to show off their wood smoothing skills, but to shave off the thinnest strip of wood possible. They are each assigned a bench to use for about two hours, during which time they exercise their planing technique, adjusting and sharping their tools for when it matters most. When the contest starts, each competitor has three tries to shave off the thinnest piece of wood in front of a judge who uses a special tool to measure the thickness. But producing strips of wood thin enough to see through doesn’t require only proper tools and practice, but also great wood, so planers are allowed to bring bundles of whatever wood they think yields the best result. Last year, the wood planing competition was held in the port city of Uwajima, on the island of Shikoku, and the thinnest shaving was only 9 microns thick. A micros is one-thousandth of a millimeter…Just to give you an idea of how impressively thin that is, the average human hair is 100 microns across, a cloud water droplet is 10 microns in diameter, and a human blood cell measures 8-9 microns. Even more incredible is the fact that the record for the thinnest shaving currently stands at 3 microns.

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The Ancient Art of Tibetan Butter Sculpting Is Melting Away

For the last 400 years, Tibetan monks have been using butter from yak milk to create large and intricate sculptures inspired by stories of Buddha, animals or plants and putting them on display during the annual Butter Lantern Festival. Unfortunately, the long and difficult process of making these exquisite works of art has led to a shortage of gifted lama artists.

The art of butter sculpting was born from the Tibetan tradition of giving Buddha everything they got from their domestic animals. Nomadic tribes with large herds of sheep and yaks regarded the first butter from each dri (female yak) as the most precious one and offered it to Buddhist monasteries, where monks shaped it into beautiful colored sculptures and offered it to the enlightened ones. The tradition was passed on from generation to generation, and even today, dozens of Tibetan monks work for months on a single giant butter sculpture that must be ready before the 15th of January, the climax of celebrations of the Tibetan New Year, as it mark the triumph of Lord Buddha over his six non-Buddhist teachers who challenged him in performing miracles. During the day, people pray in temples and monasteries, and as the night comes they head to Lhasa’s Barkhor Street to admire the hundreds of artistic butter sculptures, ranging from just a few centimeters in size to several stories high. This colorful display attracts millions of tourists both from Tibet and abroad.

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World’s Biggest Winnie the Pooh Fan Collects 9,000 Different Bear-Themed Items

48-year-old Deb Hoffman is probably the world’s biggest Winnie the Pooh fan. Her collection of over 8,900 Winnie-themed items has won her a place in the Guinness Book of Records and even though it takes up four rooms of her house, this dedicated fan doesn’t plan to stop adding to her collection anytime soon.

Deb, a computer software designer, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, says her obsession with the lovable Winnie started when she was just 2 years old. Her father came home late one night, and as always, she used the old “I have to go to the bathroom” excuse just so she could go see him. Only this time he had brought something home with him in a box. Her mother put it in the bathroom where she could reach it, and the moment she put her hand inside and pulled out an adorable orange bear dressed in a bright red t-shirt with the letters P-O-O-H on the front, little Deb fell in love with it. Over the years, the cuddly teddy bear remained her favorite toy, and by age 20 she had around 40-50 Winnie-themed items. Not exactly unusual, considering other kids collect hundreds of their favorite dolls or action figures. But at 22, Deb Hoffman married Gary, a careful and patient husband, and got a full-time job which provided her with some disposable income. That’s when her obsession with Winnie the Pooh really kicked into high gear.

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Belgian Man Makes His Own Amazing Samurai Armor

Japanese samurai are famous all over the world, but one Belgian man has taken his passion for these medieval warriors to a whole new level by making his own authentic armor from thousands of custom metal pieces and hundreds of meters of cord.

Danny had always been fascinated by the history and culture of the samurai. He began collecting Japanese swords when he was 16 years old, and dreamed of one day owning his very own armor. He couldn’t afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars on an authentic samurai costume, and replicas, though cheaper, weren’t built for his impressive nearly two-meters-tall size. But he wasn’t going to give up on his dream too easily, and with the help of some supportive metalworking friends, the now 42-year-old bank teller set out to build his own samurai armor. Just like the Japanese craftsmen of old, Dennis assembled his protective suit out of traditional chainmail and 3,000 small pieces of metal, every one of which was hammered by hand to the correct shape and size, strung together with 225 meters of cord. It took two long years to finish the whole thing, but the end result is simply breathtaking.

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Domino’s Creates Disk that Smells and Looks Like Pizza when Played

Pizza and movies are a popular combination, so Domino’s in Brazil decided to mix the two in a single package – a heat-sensitive movie DVD that looks and smells like their delicious pizza.

Domino’s Pizza teamed up with Brazilian advertising agency Artplan to create a truly ingenious campaign for their popular products. Taking advantage of the fact that movie rental stores are still very popular in the South American country, the creative minds at Artplan used thermal ink and flavored varnish to transform 10 new release titles such as Argo, 007, Dread and Dark Knight into appetizing disks that looked and smelled like pizza. They partnered with 10 video rental stores in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro which distributed the media to unsuspecting clients. The DVDs were painted in black thermal ink and featured the movie title, but once the heat emitted by the player started affecting them, they gave away a pizza smell, and the black coloring was replaced by a delicious looking pizza image and the message “Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino’s Pizza.”

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Woman Paints the Man of Her Dreams Two Months Before Meeting His Real-Life Version

Chloe Mayo, an amateur artist from Surrey, England, painted a depiction of her dream man two months before meeting him on an online dating site. She was so shocked by the resemblance that she hid the painting for fear he would think she was a stalker.

In 2009, Chloe, who was single at the time, painted a romantic image of her holding hands with a tall, dark, bearded man. The 31-year-old didn’t think too highly of her artwork, so she just left it in a corner of her living-room and forgot all about it. Shortly after, she started looking for love on the internet, and ended up messaging Michael Goeman. The pair seemed to have a lot in common, and after two months of chatting, they decided to meet in person. The moment she laid eyes on him, Chloe was shocked by his resemblance to the man in the painting. Fraid he might think she was some kind of stalker, she put the hid the painting under the bed and only showed it to Michael after they went on a few more dates. “He was due to come over to my house and I thought that if he saw the picture he would think I was a stalker and a bit weird, so I hid it under my bed,” Chloe said. “About a week later I mustered up the courage to show him and although he looked a bit confused, he saw the funny side when I explained what had happened.”

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Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse in England’s Scarily Realistic Street Game

If you’re a horror flick fan, you probably remember 28 Days Later, one of the best, most realistic zombie movies ever made. It told the story of a small group of survivors fighting for their lives in zombie-infested England. Now, a game company is giving people the chance to experience their fear in an adrenaline-packed street game called 2.8 Hours Later.

Ever since it launched in 2010, 2.8 Hours Later has been played by over 20,000 people from all around the globe. It’s advertised as the world’s largest touring street game, held in various cities across Great Britain. Based on the hit movie 28 Days Later, and its less-successful sequel, 28 Weeks Later, the game puts participants in the shoes of survivors during a zombie virus outbreak looking for shelter while trying to avoid getting infected. That’s really just the most simplistic way to describe 2.8 Hours Later, because the game is actually a lot more complex. For example, Asylum, the newly released version of the urban running game features a rich story of the events which led to the catastrophic pandemic. UK cities are locked-down by the Government to protect their inhabitants from the zombie-infected badlands surrounding them, but the measure fails, and when authorities decide to abandon survivors, the city becomes a hell-hole overrun by the infected, vigilantes and bounty-hunters. Players are thrown in this chaotic world of disease, quarantine and murder, and confronted with deeply emotional choices to save themselves and their loved-ones.

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Would You Believe These Realistic Sculptures Are Made Exclusively from Wood?

Arizona-based Tom Eckert would be better off calling himself an illusionist rather than a sculptor. The talented artist somehow manages to turn hard wood into realistic looking objects, from flowing fabrics, to books and fruits.

It’s almost impossible to believe Tom Eckert uses traditional techniques to carve his amazing artworks from wood, but that’s just what makes him so special. Since childhood, I have been curious about and amused by mistaken impressions of reality presented as part of my visual experiences,” Tom says. “One of my earliest recollections, on a car trip, was my perception of the wet, slick highway ahead that turned out to be an illusion, a mirage.  The revelation that I was fooled, visually and intellectually tricked, stuck with me.  This visual deception is now the basis for my creative direction.  “Cloth” carved of wood has much different structural qualities than real cloth. When this idea is applied to my compositions (floating book, floating cards, floating rock) a sense of the impossible happens – for me, magic.” Not just for him, I’m sure.

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Hard Currency – Italy’s Unique Cheese Banks

Cash-for-cheese sounds more like a joke that a serious financial agreement, but in some regions of Italy it’s a reality. The famous Parmesan is so precious that some banks are willing to keep the cheese as collateral against loans to local producers.

The Credito Emiliano bank has hundreds of branches and thousands of employees around central and northern Italy. Its central offices look like those of any other banking institution, with cameras watching every angle, security doors to lock down the place and even a big vault in the back. Only you’re not going to find too many diamonds or hard cash stored in there. Instead, there are hundreds of thousands of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese wheels, neatly placed on giant shelves. The bank takes the Parmesan from local producers in exchange for a cheap loan, and charges a 3% interest as well as a fee for looking after the cheese and making sure it matures properly in the air-conditioned, humidified vault. It might seem strange, but Credito Emiliano treats Parmigiano-Reggiano like other banks do gold. And for good reason, as the mountains of cheese locked away in its secured vault are worth around $200 million.

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