Man Swims over 2 Kilometers All Tied Up in a Bag

Jane Petkov, a 59-year-old Bulgarian man, tried to set a new Guinness record by swimming across a lake while wrapped in a bag with his arms and legs tied up. Known as “amphibian man” in his native country, Petkov says he relies on concentration and a special breathing technique to pull off the amazing feat.

The record-breaking attempt took place on September 10, on Lake Orhid, in Macedonia, and had Jane Petkov jumping out of a boat in the middle of the water trying to somehow make his way to shore. His arms and legs were tied once before putting on the thick bag, and again over the bag, to make sure he couldn’t use them during his death-defying feat. What’s even more astonishing is doctors who examined him before the challenge found he was severely anemic, which, given his age, made the task even more dangerous. Nevertheless, on the morning of September 10, the amphibian man jumped in the cold water of Lake Orhid and began to swim on his back like a dolphin.

Jane-Petkov

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Photo of Heavily Pregnant Woman Weightlifting Sparks Online Controversy

35-year-old Lea-Ann Ellison, from Los Angeles, has managed to start an online storm after a photo showing the eight-and-a-half-month pregnant woman lifting what seem like heavy weights was posted on Facebook.

Heavily pregnant Lea-Ann Ellison doesn’t believe in taking it easy ahead of the big day. Instead she is following an intense fitness regime designed for professional athletes and members of the police and military. “I have been CrossFitting for 2½ years,” the woman posted on Facebook. “and … strongly believe that pregnancy is not an illness, but a time to relish in your body’s capabilities to kick ass.” The photo of her preparing to lift a weight bar this far into her pregnancy prompted a series of comments, both positive and negative. Some Facebook users accused Lea-Ann of risking her baby’s well-being just to stay in shape and described the photo as “shocking”, while others showed their admiration for the weightlifter’s decision, calling her “amazing” and “an inspiration”. One person wrote: “I think that we should all be more concerned about a mom who eats McDonalds everyday of her pregnancy, and doesn’t exercise one bit. This woman is not just concerned about herself, she is concerned about her child future and the example she sets for her other children about overcoming adversity.”

Lea-Ann-Ellison

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The Adorable Sushi Roll Art of Takayo Kiyota

Tokyo-based artist Takyo Kiyota uses sushi rolls as a canvas for her art. Believe it or not, she never knows exactly what her edible artworks are going to look like, relying only on visualization when expertly placing the colored grains of rice inside the roll.

Just like in regular makizushi, or “rolled sushi,”, the ingredients in Takayo Kiyota’s rolls are laid lengthwise, bottom to top, then rolled shut in a sheet of seaweed. The loaf-shaped piece of sushi looks unimpressive on the outside, but slicing cross-sections reveals amazingly detailed works of art. From edible replicas of famous paintings and popular character of Japanese anime to gadgets like the Apple iPhone and Facebook “likes”, it seems there’s nothing Takayo can’t replicate in her makizushi rolls. But getting every grain of rice in just the right place seems like an impossible task, and the artist herself admits the slightest shift of an ingredient or overly exerted force when wrapping can completely throw things off. “I never know what the inside looks like so I’m never sure if it will come out the way I imagined. And I can’t make edits once it’s done,” Takayo, a.k.a Tama-chan, says. “It’s always a special moment when I make the first incision to reveal the image.”

sushi-art

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Robinson Crusoe 2.0: French Entrepreneur to Run Business from Uninhabited Island for 40 Days

French businessman Gauthier Toulemonde plans to isolate himself on an uninhabited island in Indonesia for 40 days and run his company via solar and wind-powered computers and satellite phones.

Fascinated by the novels of Jules Verne and the expeditions of famous explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, during his childhood days, Gauthier Toulemonde always dreamed of going on his own little adventure in an exotic paradise. He’s definitely not the only person in the world to have such a dream, but while others would consider the experience a break from their everyday lives and, more importantly, their jobs, Toulemonde plans to work a full 8 hours a day, managing his company 10,000 km away. On October 8, the 54-year-old French entrepreneur, who runs Paris-based philatelic publication services company Timbopress, will be transported to a 700 meters long, 500 meters wide island somewhere in Indonesia, where he will spend the following 40 days alone, keeping in touch with the world via the internet and a satellite phone. For safety purposes, the modern-day Robinson Crusoe has decided not to reveal the exact location of his temporary home.

Gauthier-Toulemonde

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Modern-Day Pharaoh: Brazilian Businessman Wants to Take Prized Bentley with Him to the Grave

They say you can’t take your worldly possessions with you when you die, but a Brazilian businessman is going to try. Following the example of Egyptian pharaohs, Count Chiquinho Scarpa decided to bury his prizes Bentley Continental in his back yard, so he can enjoy driving it in the afterlife.

62-year-old Count Scarpa, a quirky millionaire from Sao Paolo, Brazil, announced he has decided to do like the pharaohs and entomb his $500,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur in his back garden, on Monday, via Facebook. The message came with a photo of the successful businessman holding a cockatoo on one arm while resting the other on his luxurious limousine. To assure those who doubted him that his claim was sincere, the following day Scarpa posted another photo of him holding a shovel next to a big hole in his garden, with the car parked behind him, adding that he was going to put in the ground by the end of the week. His bizarre messages got thousands of “likes”and “shares”on Facebook, and eventually got the attention of the media. Count Scarpa was invited on the “Agora É Tarde” TV show where he told host Danilo Gentili he got the idea after watching a documentary on Sunday. ‘I was watching a documentary about the pharaohs of Egypt, very interesting. They buried their entire fortune to have a comfortable life on “the other side”!’ he said.

Count-Chiquinho-Scarpa

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Japanese 88-Member Pop Group Selects Lead Singers in Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament

Japanese music group AKB48 currently holds the Guinness record for the world’s largest pop group, with an impressive 88 female members split into various teams. But fitting all the girls on a single stage is tricky, so every time they launch a new single, AKB48 members hold a knockout rock-paper-scissors tournament to select a limited number of singers.

AKB48 is the brainchild of producer Yasushi Akimoto, who wanted to create a girl band that, unlike other pop groups who are mostly seen on TV and hold concerts sporadically, could perform for its fans live, every day, at their own theater. The band debuted in 2005 with 20 members chosen from almost 8,000 girls. In April of 2006, another group of 18 girls were chosen to form Team B of AKB48, and there are currently four different teams making up the 88-strong all-female idol group, as well as various sister groups Japan and various Asian countries. The team concept of AKB48 was meant to take load off of its members, since daily concerts at the group’s theater in Akibahara, Tokyo, are performed by only one of the teams, and also allow the others to make appearances at different locations around the world. In the eight years since its inception, AKB48 has become a social phenomenon, with record sales of $226 million in Japan alone. The girls have become so popular that tickets for their daily performances are not even sold anymore, but distributed by lottery. Even their unique rock-paper-scissors tournament to select lead singers for each new single is a sold-out event held at the giant Nippon Budokan arena.

AKB48-group

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No Bottles or Plates Allowed at Ukraine’s Unique Jar Bar

The Jar Bar, in Kiev, Ukraine, is the only place in the world where every item on the menu is served in glass pickle jars. To make sure patrons understand the concept, there’s even a sign on the door that shows bottles, glasses, bowls, cups and any other kind of dishes are strictly forbidden.

Although there are a handful of cafés and bars that use glass jars as dishes, the founders of Kiev’s Jar Bar claim no other venue in the world has taken such a radical approach to the concept as to serve every single item on the menu in jars. From soup, to ice cream, coffee and cocktails everything at this unique venue comes in glasses of various sizes. According to the bar’s official site, eating from a jar reminds people of home, taking them back to their childhood days when they tasted the delicious pickles made by their grandmothers, straight out of the jar. The unusual dishes also make it easy for customers to order their favorite foods and drinks to-go, or take leftovers with them. All they have to do is ask waiters for a jar lid. Apart from being the only available dishes, jars are also used for decoration purposes. The light fixtures are all large glass jars, the bar is lined with pickle jars, and the wallpaper is also jar-themed.

jar-cafe

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Meet Conchita Wurst, Austria’s Controversial Choice for the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest

The annual Eurovision song competition has had its share of controversial contestants over the years, like transgender singer Dana International, or monstrous-looking heavy metal band Lordi, but the Austrian Television’s decision to nominate Conchita Wurst, a bearded transvestite artist, as the country’s official contestant for next year’s event has caused more public outrage than ever before, in Austria.

Conchita Wurst sets herself apart from other other artists not only through her voice, but also by wearing women’s clothing, makeup and a full beard. The thick facial hair is the artist’s way of drawing attention to herself, because, well, the world responds to a woman with hair on her face. The beard of this “racy Colombian” is very real, for it belongs to the man behind the mask, 24-year-old Tom Neuwirth. He first appeared in the spotlight in 2006, when he came second in a televised talent show called Star Mania, but completely disappeared from the public life after that, until 2011 when he returned with a whole new look, under the name Conchita Wurst. She has become Tom’s alter-ego and he says there are now two hearts beating in his chest, one of an Austrian man and the other of a hot-blooded Colombian performer. After he puts on the makeup and women’s clothes, Tom really becomes Conchita and demands that he be addressed as such. He acts like a woman and even uses the ladies’ room, but once the performance is over, he goes back to being Tom. Asked if it’s not too confusing splitting his life in two, the artist said he actually recommends having an alter-ego because it’s great fun and it allows you to live out every fantasy you ever wanted.

Conchita-Wurst4

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Roast, Fish Sticks and Pizza for Dessert – Amateur Baker Creates Cakes That Look Like Savory Dishes

The bad news is the delicious-looking hunk of roast beef, burrito or fish fingers featured in the photos below are not what they seem. The good news is they are actually cakes designed by English amateur baker Louise Caola.

Ever since she was a little girl helping her mother around the kitchen, Londoner Louise Caola loved to bake. After studying fashion marketing at university, she landed a job in advertising, but continued to make cakes during her free time. The 23-year-old designed her first sausage and potato mash cake for a friend’s birthday and received praises from everyone who got to see it before it was devoured, which fueled her passion for novelty desserts. She immediately started working on even more impressive cakes in her free time and posted photos of them on social networks like Twitter and Instagram. Soon Louise was flooded with orders from all over the internet and she started taking her hobby more seriously. A few weeks ago, the amateur baker finally decided to quit her job and focus all her attention on her newly-created novelty cake brand called Poppy&Lulu (after a couple of close childhood friends). For the time being she only offers hand-delivery around London, but hopes to one day expand nationwide and have a team of bakers helping her make fun cakes.

novelty-cakes

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Armored Sports – Russia Holds World’s First Ever Tank Biathlon

Probably bored with the usual sporting event, the Russian Military decided to introduce tanks into the mix as a way of spicing things up. Tank Biathlon is a mechanized sport in which tank crews have to guide their vehicles across an obstacle course and prove their accuracy by shooting various targets, in as little time as possible.

The world’s first ever tank biathlon was held at the Alabino proving ground,Russia, on 2013 August 11–17 and pitted tank crews from several of Russia’s Military Districts against teams from three ex-Soviet countries: Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus. All teams competed in T-72Bs tanks, an iconic weapon for all post-Soviet armies, and had to complete three 6,100 meters-long laps across a large racing field while completing different objectives. During the first round, crews had to use the tank’s main gun to hit targets at distances of up to 2,200 meters, which is close to their maximum range, while racing across the field in minimal time. Failure to miss a target cost the teams a 500-meter penalty lap. In the second round, teams had to use the tanks’  7.62mm coaxial machine gun to hit targets imitating anti-tank mortar (RPG) squads and infantry units, placed at distances of between 600 and 700 meters. During the final round, crews had to maneuver their tanks across an obstacle course that included a scarp, ford, minefield, bridge and roadblocks, as fast as possible. Missed or crashed obstacles added a 10-seconds increment to the teams’ final timing. Russia’s team won the competition, followed by Kazakhstan, with Belarus third and Armenia last.

tank-biathlon

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Interstate Dating – Single Entrepreneur Uses Highway Billboard to Find Love

Finding true love can be really hard, but a young entrepreneur is hoping the giant billboard he recently put up in the Chicago area will make things a lot easier. It cost “a few thousand dollars”, but the man says finding his significant other is worth every penny.

“…I’m Gordon! Let’s have dinner!” is the simple message displayed on a new billboard overlooking the Stevenson Expressway, near Chicago, that Gordon Engle, a 40-something successful businessman hopes will help him find love. After becoming frustrated with online dating, Gordon decided to spend some real coin on the large advertisement that directs interested women to his website, where they have to answer a short questionnaire to qualify for an outing with the bachelor.  “You’ll spend several thousand on education, a quarter-million on a house, money on a car, but what’s your most important thing?” he asked during a WGNTV interview. “Your significant other. You’re going to go cheap on that? You can drop $19.95 for Match.com or drop some real coin for a billboard.” Although the billboard has only been up for a few weeks, Gordon says he already has about 15-20 “solid” applicants, with many other women getting in touch just to wish him well, even if they are not interested in a date.

gordon-engle-billboard

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Adventurous Food Blogger Cooks with Cat Food, Toothpaste and Grass

Sick of pretentious food blogs, Collin McQuistan, a foodie from Glasgow, Scotland, set up an unconventional blog where he documents all kinds of gourmet dishes cooked with weird ingredients like cat food, grass and toothpaste.

41-year-old Collin McQuistan only started his offbeat food blog last month, but he is already making headlines in international media, thanks to a series of downright bizarre ingredients he has used so far. First, it was the cat food. The amateur cook admits he had been curious about the taste of cat food ever since he was a child, and this was the perfect opportunity to finally try it. He opted for “Felix As Good As It Looks with Chicken in Jelly” and says he might have freaked out the cashier at the supermarket when she said something about “lucky cat”, and he replied “I don’t have a cat”. Collin describes her facial expression as “89% utter confusion and 11% pure terror”. About the cat food, he says it really does taste as good as it looks, but that’s only because it looks pretty bad. “I can reasonably say it is one of the most horrible things I have ever eaten,” the blogger writes. “It tastes of chicken, yes, but there is something so very very unpleasant about it I almost vomit; it has a very burnt-rubber undertone and the chicken is chewy and tough; it is slightly sulphorous and the jelly is slightly more palatable than the chicken bits in so far as it doesn’t provoke such a strong vomiting response.” Determined to urn the disgusting chow into something edible, McQuistan decided to use it in a Chinese stir fry, “because they eat cats in China so maybe there’s a logical tie-in there”. The dish turned out just “1% edible” and made his mouth produce “an alarming amount of saliva”.

cat-food

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Cabinet Maker Spends 13 Years Building a Boat in His Backyard

Mike Stock had always wanted to own a boat, but could never afford to buy one. 13 years ago he decided to build his own in the comfort of his backyard, using the skills he had acquired working as a cabinet maker in West Bountiful, Utah.

It was supposed to be a five-year project, but building the 35-foot-long boat took Mike longer than he anticipated. Part of the reason it took him so long was because he couldn’t heat the parts in order to apply glue and paint, so he didn’t work on it during the winter. The experienced cabinet maker says he built most of the vessel all by himself, at least all the wooden parts anyway, starting with the frame. That was his first task, and by far the most time consuming. Stock spent around 10 years building the frame upside down, and brought in a crane to flip it over when it was completed. He spent the last three years working on the topside, building the cabin and all the other rooms, and figures the boat will finally be ready for its maiden voyage by November. Believe it or not, Mike Stock didn’t have any kind of boat building experience, and built his massive three-floor boat by following a step-by-step plan he found online.

home-made-boat

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The Dark Side of Cooking – Naturally Black Chicken

Did you know there was such a thing as black chicken? And I don’t mean as in dark feathers, but black skin, bones and even internal organs. There are actually several black chicken breeds in the world, especially in Asia, but the most popular of all has to be the Chinese Silkie.

Silkies are beautiful birds, covered in fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk, but underneath all that fluff they are far less attractive. Their skin is a dark-bluish color, the flesh is dark beige and the bones and some internal organs are pitch black. Although in the Western world silkie chickens are sold mainly for ornamental purposes, in countries like China they are considered a super food and are appreciated for their deep, gammy flavor. Called “wu gu ji” or “black-boned chicken”, the silkie has been prized for its medicinal value ever since the seventh or eighth century. Chinese women consume it after they have given birth to get a boost of energy, but it’s also said to have a positive effect on the yin, blood, lungs and stomach. Silkie meat is rarely roasted. To take full advantage of its curative properties, the Chinese mainly use it to make an amber-colored broth laced with ginseng , dried wolfberries and jujubes.

black-chicken

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Nothing to See Here, Just a Hamster Steering a 15-Tonne Truck on a Narrow Quarry Road

To prove how easy it is to drive their new trucks, Swedish automaker Volvo transformed the steering wheel of one of their big rigs into a hamster wheel and let a tiny rodent steer the vehicle up a narrow quarry road.

Volvo’s new Dynamic Steering uses an electric motor to replace the driver’s muscle power, making even large trucks like the Volvo FMX a breeze to steer. Turning the wheel becomes an effortless affair, and in their latest advert, the automaker proved even a tiny hamster can do it. The now viral clip was shot on a steep and narrow quarry road at Los Tres Cunados, in north-west Spain, and shows Charlie the hamster steering a truck while guided by a precision driver holding a carrot. After training Charlie for weeks, the team placed the pint-sized rodent inside a hamster wheel installed on the steering wheel and let him take the truck all the way up the perilous road. Sitting in the driver’s seat was stunt driver Seon Rogers, who handled the pedals and guided Charlie in the right direction by baiting him with a fresh carrot. There were a few tense moments, like when the truck hit a big rock boulder sending it crashing down into the water below, but in the end Charlie managed to steer the large vehicle across the finish line.

Volvo-hamster-test

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