Turkish Man Wears Copper Wire Cage on His Head to Quit Smoking

The things people will put themselves through to give up smoking. Case in point İbrahim Yücel, a 42-year-old smoker from Kütahya, Turkey who recently decided to wear a locked metal cage over his head to fight his addiction.

İbrahim Yücel has been smoking for the last 26 years, and despite several attempts to quit he couldn’t break his two-packs-a-day dirty habit. Every year, on his three children’s birthdays and on his wedding anniversary he would give up cigarettes, but he never went more than a few days without them. His family, his friends and co-workers all tried to convince him to stop using tobacco cigarettes, but he just couldn’t do it. After losing his father to smoking-induced lung cancer a few months ago, İbrahim realized smoking just wasn’t worth losing his life over and putting his wife and children through the same hardships. But the Turkish technician also knew he lacked the willpower to quit by usual means, so he came up with a rather unusual solution. Inspired by motorcycle helmets, he decided to build a metal wire cage that would prevent him from lighting up no matter how badly he craved a cigarette.

Ibrahim-Yucel

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Riding a Swing on the Edge of a Cliff in Ecuador

It’s called the Swing at the End of the World and it could literally be the end of you, as this extreme attraction in the mountains of Ecuador lets thrill-seekers swing over an abyss without any safety measures whatsoever.

Hiking up the path to Bellavista from the edge of Baños, Ecuador, you reach a viewpoint and a seismic monitoring station named La Casa del Árbol (The Treehouse). As the name suggests it’s a small house built in a tree, at the edge of a canyon. The view from up here alone is worth the trip, but for adrenalin junkies, La Casa del Árbol offers a unique bonus – a swing hanging over the precipice. Believe it or not many of the people who come here actually use it just to see what it’s like to swing into the void, and the internet is full of scary photos of them hanging over the abyss. It’s reportedly a great way to keep yourself entertained when the clouds block the view of Ecuador’s rumbling Tungurahua volcano, but just I can’t stop thinking about the possibility of one of the lines, or the thin metal beam supporting it breaking which would most likely cause the rider to fall to his death. I know, I’m a coward, no need to rub it in.

 

Casa-del-Arbol-swing

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Chickens Don’t Fly? They Do at This Unique Thai Restaurant

At the Ka Tron Restaurant, in Bangkok, Thailand, food is handled like heavy artillery. Its famous fried chickens are set ablaze and launched from a massive catapult at unicycle-riding waiters who catch them on metal skewers. How is that for dinner and a show?

Popularly known as the “Flying Chicken Restaurant”, Ka Tron proves a great gimmick really can make up for average food. Hardly any of the dishes served here are prepared in a truly unique way, they are just your run of the mill Thai recipes, but it’s the way they are served that sets this place apart from all the other eateries not only in Thailand, but the whole world. The chicken is carried out on a silver platter not to the diners, but to a long platform raised a couple of feet above the ground in the middle of the outdoor dining area, and set on one of the several metal catapults. A waiter riding a unicycle makes his way to the platform and stops a few feet away of the loaded catapult. As he struggles to keep his balance and concentrate on what comes next, the edible projectile is set on fire and launched from the medieval artillery device. The chicken soars through the air and most often than not lands on metal skewers the waiter holds in both his hands, in his mouth and on his head.

flying-chicken-restaurant

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A Strong and Silent Husband – Australian Woman Marries a Bridge in Southern France

For the last 10 years Australian artist Jodi Rose has traveled the world recording the vibrations in bridge cables with contact microphones and using them to create experimental music. You could say she has an almost intimate relationship with bridges, and recently she decided to make it official by marrying a mysterious bridge in the south of France.

Le Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge) is a 600-year-old stone bridge built over a steep-sided gorge in Céret‎, but for Jodi Rose it’s simply “The One”. After visiting dozens of bridges all over the world, for her Singing Bridges musical project, she decided this was the one she wanted to celebrate her love for bridges with. Although he is made of stone, the resonance of his being is very present, and I feel at peace in his strong embrace,”Jodi said.  “He makes me feel connected to the earth and draws me to rest from my endless nomadic wanderings. He is fixed, stable, rooted to the ground, while I am nomadic, transient, ever on the road. He gives me a safe haven, brings me back to ground myself, and then lets me go again to follow my own path, without trying to keep me tied down or in thrall to his needs or desires. I am devoted to him. The perfect husband… strong and silent!”

Jodi-Rose-bridge

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Malaysian Artist Makes Celebrity Portraits from Scribbles

For the average illustrator, scribbling isn’t the best way to create realistic-looking portraits. But then again, Vince Low isn’t your average illustrator. The Malaysian artist somehow manages to produce impeccable portraits of some of Hollywood’s greatest actors using only childish scribbles.

The lead illustrator of Malaysian advertising agency, Grey, Vince Low has an impressive portfolio of stunning artworks, but his latest portrait series, called Faces, is particularly eye-catching. That’s because the stunning depictions of stars like Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith or Leonardo Di Caprio were all done exclusively with scribbles on blank white canvases. Most people would have a hard time capturing their unique features using classic drawing techniques, but he creates highly accurate facial representation just by overlapping thousands of swirling lines. Amazing or what?

vince-low-portraits

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Grieving Widower Builds Taj Mahal Replica in Memory of His Late Wife

Faizul Hasan Kadari, a retired post-master from India, has put his entire life savings into building a replica of the world famous Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife who died in 2011.

The original Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife Mumtaz in 1631, and is regarded as one of the world’s greatest monuments to love and grief. But who would have thought Shah Jahan’s gesture would ever be replicated, and by a retired postal worker, of all people? Faizul Hasan Kadari might not have had the riches of the old emperor, but the promise made to his dying wife Tajammuli Begum was enough to fuel his ambition and build his own version of the Taj Mahal. He took a team of local workers to the walled city of Agra to see the original masterpiece and asked them to build a smaller replica, without all the intricate carvings and decorations, which would have been impossible to imitate anyway. To fund his project, Kadari sold his land, his wife’s jewels and used up all the savings from his pension.

Taj-Mahal-replica

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What the Quack? Australia’s Amazing Flying Duck Orchid

Just like the Monkey Orchid we posted about a few weeks ago gets its name from its remarkable resemblance to a smiling monkey, the Flying Duck Orchid got its name for looking like a tiny duck with its head and beak held high and wings swept back.

If you’ve never been to the Australian wilderness, chances are you’ve never seem a Caleana major , or Flying Duck Orchid before. That’s because despite numerous attempts to grow it anywhere else, this amazing-looking flower refuses to propagate in captivity. Apparently, that’s because its roots have a symbiotic relationship with the vegetative part of a fungus which can only be found in the wild country of eastern and southern Australia. The fungus protects the flower from infections, and without its presence, it never lasts for very long. But even if you travel to Australia to see the Flying Duck Orchid in its natural habitat, you have to look really carefully to spot it. At up to 50 centimeters in height, it’s definitely not the smallest flower in the world, but its red-and-purple coloring helps it blend so well in its wild surroundings that it becomes almost invisible.

Flying-Duck-Orchid

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Artist Spends Years Working on Just One of His Incredibly Detailed Drawings

The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases several meters in size, the Japanese artist spends up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.

Manabu Ikeda begins work on his monumental artworks by sketching some images in his sketchbook as they pop into his head. He is always thinking about his art and sometimes sees images when he is doing the most mundane things, like having dinner with his friends. His drawing are a combination of the things that inspire him, from nature and history to technological advancements and catastrophic events like earthquakes or tsunamis. Although he has an idea of what he wants to lay down on paper when he starts to draw, a lot of time he just uses the images that flash in his mind as he is working, and the end result is a big mystery until the final stages of the drawing process. Filling a white canvas big enough to cover a large wall is a painstaking task, as Ikeda works at a very slow pace. His works are so insanely detailed that he will sometimes work for eight hours a day on a single 4-inch square trying to get everything just right.

Manabu-Ikeda-drawings

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Japan’s Hand Canon Fireworks Look Insanely Dangerous

Out of all the impressive fireworks celebrations held annually all around Japan, Tezutsu Hanabi is by far the most eye-catching. Experienced masters hold large bamboo tubes filled with black powder in their arms as flames gush out towards the sky. Did I mention they explode at the end?

Tezutsu hand cannons are believed to have originated as a form of long-distance communication smoke devices called Noroshi. With the introduction of smokeless gun powder, these Civil War era tools started being used as fireworks and later as a form of prayer at Yoshida Shrine, in Toyohashi. The Tezutsu Hanabi fireworks display has been carried out for the last 300 years, as part of the Gion Festival, attracting tourists from all over Japan and beyond with columns of flames up to 20 meters-high piercing the night sky. Seeing dozens of men walking around nonchalantly with 80-cm-long, 10-cm-wide bamboo cylinders filled with over three kilograms of ignited black powder is indeed quite the spectacle.

Tezutsu-Hanabi

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Restaurant Photographs Its Burritos Next to Babies to Prove Their Size

Gorditos, a popular Mexican restaurant in Seattle, sells burritos the size of babies. No, it’s not an exaggeration, and to prove it, they’ve covered a whole wall with photos of their burritos next to some of their customers’ infants.

At Gorditos, Mexican burritos can weigh up to four pounds, not as much as most newborns, but ridiculously close. These Grande Burritos consist of two tortillas, a sea of meat, guacamole, cheese, rice lettuce and sour cream, and cost just $9. Considering it usually takes two people to finish one of these calorie bombs, you could say eating at Gorditos is a bargain. But the Seattle-based restaurant offers further incentives to patrons who just had a baby. If they agree to have their less than one-month-old infant next to one of the baby-sized burritos, they can dine for free. It’s been a hard-to-pass deal for a lot of parents, as demonstrated by the fact that the walls of both Gorditos locations are covered with photos of babies and burritos. But people will gladly pay for one of these gargantuan dishes as confirmed by one of the joint’s waiters, who says it’s one of their most popular items and that they sell dozens every day.

Gorditos-burrito3

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Music Anywhere – Guy Implants Headphone in His Ear

If you find headphones uncomfortable, or if you’re sick of always having to untangle their wires, you might want to take a cue from Rich Lee, a body-enhancement enthusiast who recently implanted a small magnet headphone directly into his ear.

Rich Lee is what’s known as a “bodyhacker” or “grinder”, a person who experiments with surgical implants or technological body-enhancements in order to expand human capacities. He was recently featured on Humanity+, a technology and science-focused magazine, for a unique type of implant. Lee had a small magnet embedded into his tragus, the small piece of cartilage directly outside the ear, and built a coil to be worn around the neck, which “creates a magnetic field causing the implant to vibrate and produce sound”. The audio quality is nowhere near as good as what you get from regular earbuds or headphones, but his system does have a series of advantages. He can listen to music anytime and anywhere he wants, and since the implant is invisible to the naked eye, he can do some pretty creative things with it. For example, he plans to hook it up to a directional microphone so he can hear what people around him are saying, and he argues it could come in-handy at a poker table or with pre-screen business clients.

headphone-implant

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Alonso Mateo – The Internet’s Five-Year-Old Style Icon

Most five-year-olds love playing dress-up by randomly combining clothes to create ultra-eccentric outfits, but Alonso Mateo doesn’t fool around like that. The mini-fashionista sports the most impeccable ensembles, smiles charismatically and poses as nonchalantly as an experienced male model. Virtually every photo of him posted online goes viral on sites like Instagram and Facebook, and his style is an inspiration to fashion-conscious grownups.

Alonso Mateo may be only five, but dressed in tailor-made suits, pocket squares, untucked and rolled sleeve shirts and designer blazers he looks like a miniature grown man. The thousands of fans who view his every photo and praise his fashion sense seem to love that about him, but there are those who think it’s too much for his age and that he should be allowed to enjoy a normal childhood. His mother, Luisa Fernanda Espinosa, a freelance stylist from Laguna Beach, California, says she never forced her love for stylish clothes on young Alonso. “I would put a scarf or a beanie on him and he wouldn’t mind. After a while, when he was 3 almost 4, he started asking me for bow ties and suits!”, Luisa told news reporters. His career as an Internet star began after Luisa uploaded some photos of her son to Instagram and got an amazing response from the community.  She kept adding them, and today her account has over 130,000 followers. Alonso’s own account is slowly catching up, and he has dozens of fan-pages on sites like Instagram and Facebook. Even famous stylists like Ugo Mozie, who has worked with Chris Brown, Beyoncé, and Kelly Rowland, think he’s got swagger.

Alonso-Mateo

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Become Spartacus at the World’s Only Traditional School for Gladiators

Roman Gladatorial games may have been banned almost two millennia ago, but you can still train to become a modern-day Spartacus at Italy’s Scuola Gladiatori Roma, the only genuine school for gladiators in the world.

Following the success of box-office hits like Gladiator, starring Russel Crowe, or HBO’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand series, the popularity of ancient gladiators has reached record highs. But few fans of these ancient warriors know they can do more than build their own gladiator armor and read-up on their history on obscure websites. At the Scuola Gladiatori Roma, in Rome, they can actually train to fight in the arena like their lives depended on it. Students have to go through rigorous physical training that tests their agility, coordination, speed and strength, before moving on to the actual weapons training and finally facing their experienced instructor in the arena. True wannabe gladiators attend courses for several months, even years, and become specialized in certain weapons and combat techniques, according to their physique. But for those with less free-time on their hands, the Scuola Gladiatori Roma offers a “Gladiator for a Day” experience that puts participants through a crash course on gladiator training in ancient Rome.

Gladiator-School-Rome

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The Amazing Pencil-Drawn Illusions of Ramon Bruin

Netherlands-based Ramon Bruin is a mostly self-taught artist with a gift for creating amazing optical illusions. He is well-versed in airbrushing and painting, but his most impressive works require only a pencil and a few pieces of paper.

The best word I can think of to describe Ramon Bruin’s art is “mind-blowing”. “The art I make is what I like to call optical illusionism,” the gifted artist says. “It appears the drawings are 3D and actually leap off the page. It’s of course all optical illusions.” He uses a variety of methods to achieve the desired result, including the anamorphic technique – drawing detailed yet distorted images which looks incredibly realistic only when photographed from the right angle. “The main thing about my art is they are photographs of drawings. It’s all about the photograph,” Bruit told The Huffington Post. “I draw out of perspective and when I’m done I take a photograph from one particular angle and the whole image appears to leap off the page. It can only be seen on the photograph – you can’t see it live.” To make his 3D wonders even more impressive, he often draws them on multiple pieces of paper and adds props like pencils and his own hands.

Ramon-Bruin-drawings

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Playing with Lightning – Chinese Band Uses 1-Million-Volts Tesla Coil in Its Electrifying Concerts

If you’re ever passing through China’s Fujian province, make sure to stop by Dacuo Village and catch a performance by local band Lightningfan. The group specializes in producing electric arcs from Tesla coils that are charged with 1 million volts of electricity, and are in sync with the music they play.

31-year-old Wang Zengxiang, founder and leader of the 10-strong band Lightningfan, is a huge fan of the Tesla coil invented by geek hero extraordinaire Nikola Tesla. “When I was young, my family opened an electrical appliance repair shop. I have loved to study semiconductors and electrical equipment since I was a child,” Wang told the local press. But it was in 2001, when he enrolled in the school of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University that he discovered his first Tesla coil. He was so fascinated by the electrical device that he spent nearly all of his free time studying it. In 2007, he managed to build his very own 1.2-meter coil above his house, quit his comfortable job with an electrical company and dedicated himself to combining his passion for music with electricity. Together with a few like-minded friends, Wang founded Lightningfan, which started entertaining fellow villagers with its electrifying performances.

Tesla-coil-band

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