The Mind-Blowing Date Stamp Paintings of Federico Pietrella

Italian-born Federico Pietrella uses an item usually associated with corporate offices to created incredible works of art. It’s simply mind-blowing how he can use a restrictive tool like the date stamp to achieve this level of detail.

Looking at Federico Pietrella’s artworks from a distance, you’d never guess they were actually executed using a date stamp. But that’s in fact all he uses to create these amazingly detailed masterpieces that look more like pixelated black-and-white photos. He has been practicing his date-stamp painting technique for the last 15 years and his skill level has reached a level where it’s very hard to tell one of his works from an old photograph. As you can imagine, his is a painstaking work. Each one of his masterpieces takes between 1 – 2 months to complete, which is easily verified considering the artist uses the current date whenever he uses the stamp. “Time is a mysterious thing.  For me it’s the most important thing from which everything is derived- work, existence, life,” the artist says about his bizarre choice of tools.

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China Hosts World’s First Ever Goldfish Beauty Pageant

3,000 goldfish from 14 different countries around the world competed for the title of “World Goldfish Queen” in the first ever International Goldfish Championship, hosted in Fuzhou, China’s Fujian Province.

A warehouse full of thousands of big white bowls of water sure doesn’t sound like the beauty pageant events we’re normally used to, but that’s exactly what it was. Last Saturday, a panel of judges gathered in the city of Fuzhou to determine which of the slippery contestants should be crowned most beautiful goldfish in the world. In an interview with Reuters, judge Ye Qichang said: ”We judge goldfish mainly by five criteria: breed, body shape, swimming gesture, colour, which is very important, and overall impression.” And although color counts for much, the favorite of the fishy competition impressed the judges with its size – weighing 1.75 kilograms (3.9 pounds), the giant goldfish reportedly moved arund his tank very gracefully, which obviously won it extra points. ”Not all goldfish can grow this big. Many factors such as breed and breeding method may affect their size. A goldfish cannot grow into that size if it suffers any hardship or major illness during the breeding. So it is a very rare one,” Ye concluded.

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Artist Creates Controversial Collages from Adult Magazine Clippings (NSFW)

British artist Jonathan Yeo creates collages and portraits of various celebrities from adult magazine clippings. He doesn’t call them insults, but “comments on people who trade off their morality and sexuality.”

Yeo isn’t the first artist we’ve featured who uses the controversial medium as a means of expression. Brussels-based Tom Gallant creates intricate cutouts from hardcore adult magazines that make it hard for the viewer to identify the really NSFW parts, whereas Yeo’s art is more straightforward. All the viewer has to do is get closer to one of his original works of art and he’ll quickly be able to spot a series of reproductive organs from both sexes, lace panties, female breasts and other raunchy details. Jonathan Yeo rose to international fame in 2007, after creating a portrait of George W. Bush out of hardcore magazine clippings, and has since created a number of celebrity portraits out of the vulgar material. His “victims” include Sarah Palin, Sean Connery, Tiger Woods ans Sarah Palin.

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Cinema Uses Volunteer Ninjas to Silence Rude Moviegoers

Unless you want to be confronted by a group of ninjas, you don’t want to break the code of conduct at London’s Prince Charles Cinema. They won’t run a katana through you or use throwing stars, but they will pop out of nowhere and give you a stern warning.

Invisible Cinema Ninjas, now there’s a cool concept! Well, they’re not really ninjas trained in the deadly arts, but really just volunteers dressed in all-black Lycra suits called “Morphsuits”. They’re offered free tickets by the Prince Charles Cinema, in London, and have the task of keeping an eye out for any misconduct from moviegoers, during screenings. “The ‘Cinema Ninjas’ may sound ludicrous, but they have been a real success in clamping down on those ruining films for everyone else with inconsiderate behavior,” says Paul Vickery, head of public relations for the theater. “Like every cinema, we were irritated and upset by the minority of people running films for everyone else.”

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Talented Artist Paints on Discarded Pennies

American artist Jacqueline Lou Skaggs uses tiny discarded pennies as canvases for her miniature paintings. The level of detail she’s able to achieve is truly awe-inspiring.

Initially these coins were going to be spent- nestled with other coins in an exchange of goods. Or tossed back to the sidewalks from whence they came. Nice thoughts. However, these works remain hoarded as art rather than currency or discarded, valueless copper.

Her series, Tondi Observations, consists of 12 pieces painted over the faces of presidents and monumental buildings.

This small body of twelve works consist of images painted on found, discarded pennies and reflect a decision to move away from making “pictorial” images. A grand finale of sorts paying homage to the binding ideologies that define our family, religious, social and political worlds. Paid tribute no less on the face of discarded coins these iconic images transcend the coins value while defacing it. 

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Chinese Man Builds Transformer That Actually Transforms, Sort of

A man from Jinan, China’s Shandong Province, has spent six months building a Transformer-like robot that morphs into a functional car, at the push of a button. If you’re expecting a real-life Bumblebee, you’re going to be disappointed…

But finally, right!?! A real transformer and it’s not some guy in a suit either. Frankly, I was getting a bit tired of seeing people build all these awesome looking Transformer replicas that didn’t do anything but look pretty, and I was really hoping someone would one day take it to the next level. Enter unknown Chinese Transformers fan with a passion for DIY stuff. According to RocketNews24, the man has wanted to build his very own Transformer ever since watching the first film in Michael Mann’s trilogy, four years ago. He didn’t have any kind of mechanical or electronics knowledge but that didn’t stop him from finally accomplishing his dream. It took the Jinan-native six months and 70,000 yuan (US$11,000) to finally complete his life-size Transformer, but just look at it…

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How Much Is That Guy in the Window? French Shop Lets Women Go Window-Shopping for Dates

French dating site Adopte Un Mec (Adopt a Guy) has recently opened a pop-up boutique in the heart of the Paris fashion district, where women can actually-window-shop for a date. Real men are displayed in glass containers that look like Ken doll boxes and have names like ”Mr. Muscle” and “The Rocker.”

Can you imagine going shopping for fashionable clothes and instead coming home with a hot date? It can happen if you happen to pass by the Adopt-a-Guy shop on  Rue de La Bonheur (Street of Happiness), in Paris. This unique pop-up boutique has eligible bachelors displayed in the windows for women “clients” to admire. They are actually there only for promotional purposes, and are not really available for purchase, but the website that came up with this quirky idea really was built on the idea of putting women in the driver’s seat. Both men and women can register, but only the ladies are allowed to send messages. It was created this way so female users could avoid the “the constant bombardment of unwanted advances from men” and “hold the power of communication so they can focus on the men they desire.” Guys can only post their photos online and wait to be contacted. The site actually wants women to feel like they’re shopping for men, and the home page actually says ““There are 0 men in your cart.” Business is booming and Adopte Un Mec has over 300 million page views per month.

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World’s Biggest Barbie Fan Collects 15,000 Dolls in 19 Years

Bettina Dorfmann, from Dusseldorf, Germany, will be featured in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records for her amazing Barbie Doll collection which numbers 15,000 items. She started collecting Barbies in 1993 and doesn’t plan on ever ending her quest for new additions.

Ever since Barbie was created, in 1959, it’s estimated about 1 billion dolls have been produced, and there are over 100,000 passionate doll collectors all around the world, hunting for the rarest items. But none is more dedicated than Bettina Dorfman, from Germany. In the last 19 years she has amassed an impressive collection of over 15,000 Barbie dolls, from vintage items of the 1960s, to the latest models launched by Mattel. The 52-year-old Dusseldorf-based collector says she has loved Barbie ever since she was just a little girl. ”They are great for children. You can wash their hair, change their clothes, buy new outfits”, she told the BBC, back in 2009, when she had “only” 6,000 dolls. But even after she grew up, Barbie still appealed to her, and since her daughter Melissa always seemed more interested in the new Barbies that came out than in the old ones Bettina had saved for her, she decided to keep them for herself.

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Real-Life Popeye Has World’s Largest Biceps

Moustafa Ismail, a 24-year-old Egyptian bodybuilder has recently claimed the Guinness record for world’s largest biceps. His bulging arms are 31 inches across, the same circumference as a grown man’s waist. He is often called a real-life Popeye, just like arm-wrestler Matthias Schlitte.

You’ve probably seen those horrific photos floating around the Internet of bodybuilders who have injected their muscles with synthol. It is not a growth hormone, nor an anabolic steroid, but a synthetic oil famous for giving weight-lifters freakish, almost cartoon-like muscles. Now, one man has proven you can get the same results if you just work out hard-enough and stick to a rich-protein diet. Moustafa Ismail, an Egyptian bodybuilder currently living in Massachusetts, USA, has been pumping iron religiously for the last 10 years, and his results are pretty impressive. The man nicknamed Big Mo started working out as a way to keep fit, but after receiving compliments from fellow fitness enthusiasts on the size of his arms, he decided to dedicate himself to becoming even bigger. With arms the circumference of a grown man’s waist, you can say Moustafa has reached his goal.

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Faithful Dog Refuses to Leave Graveside of Owner Who Died Six Years Ago

Capitán, a dog who has remained by his deceased owner’s graveside for the last six years, proves an animal’s love and loyalty transcend the boundaries of life and death. Although he still has a family to go back to, the canine simply refuses to leave his master’s side.

Dogs’ devotion to their human owners never ceases to amaze me. In early 2011, when Brazil was devastated by floods and landslides, we posted the story of Leao, who made international headlines when photos of him lying next to his deceased master’s grave went viral. Later that year there was the story of a Chinese dog who wouldn’t leave his owner’s graveside even when other villagers tried to feed him, and today I came across another heartbreaking tale of canine loyalty. Capitán, a German shepherd from the Argentinian town of Villa Carlos Paz Cordoba, has chosen to remain close to his master, even though he died over six years ago. The man’s wife told La Voz that Capitán disappeared from their home soon after her husband died, and after searching for him, she and her son believed he was either killed by a car or adopted by another family. But when they went to visit her husband at the cemetery, there was Capitán. They couldn’t explain how he had managed to locate the right grave, but there he was, by his master’s graveside.

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Artist Creates Incredible Portraits Out of Thousands of Tiny Colored Paper Dots

I love it when artists go to great lengths to create extraordinary art. Case in point, Nikki Douthwaite, a young British artist who uses tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of tiny paper dots to assemble incredibly detailed artworks.

Nikki Douthwaite is a master of dot art. She uses colored dots produced by a hole punch, and painstakingly sticks them, one by one, on a canvas layered with double-sided sticky tape, with a pair of tweezers. Can you imagine spending up to 12 hours at a time arranging thousands of colored dots to create just one of these amazing works of art? It requires mountains of patience, but for Nikki every piece is a labor of love. Inspired by the pointillism work of 19th century French painter Georges-Pierre Seurat, she came up with the unusual technique during her Interactive Arts degree at MMU. Seurat created images using dots of coloured paint, which the human eye blends from a distance, but Douthwaite developed her own unique technique, by replacing the paint dots with tiny bits of paper. The dedicated artist, from Timperley, Cheshire, has suffered repetitive strain injuries in her arm, hand and shoulder after spending hundreds of hours sticking hundreds of thousands of paper dots, but has never considered giving up on her art.

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Mine Shaft Restaurant Takes Dining to a New Low

Ina bid to turn the idea of pop-up restaurants on its head, an award-winning Finish chef has opened a unique eaterie in an old mine shaft, 80 meters underground. Obviously, it’s called a “pop-down” restaurant.

“‘Pop-down’ is such a unique idea that I just had to do it,” chef Timo Linnamaki said on Monday, before his first clients descended to the bottom of the mine shaft in the town of Lohja, Finland.  ”It’s great working down here because you are totally cut off from the world, so nothing distracts from the cooking.” The idea of preparing food so far below ground was all part of being close to the earth, but the talented cook admits this is by far the weirdest place he has ever prepared his dishes and that it would be very difficult to find something on par. The 115-year-old mine chosen as the location for this unique pop-down restaurant goes down to a depth of 380 meters where limestone is still mined, for the chemical industry. But that didn’t seem to scare off customers, as the 64-seat restaurant is already fully booked until September 29, when the crazy underground cooking experiment ends.

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Hot Tub Cinema – Probably the Most Relaxing Movie Experience Ever

For the past year, young movie buffs in London have been flocking to one of the most unique film-watching venues in the world. The Hot Tub Cinema combines hot tubs with good movies and a London rooftop location to offer probably the most relaxing film-watching experience on Earth.

‘We wanted to watch a movie, we wanted to use the hot tub, and we just thought why don’t we project it out the kitchen window onto a bed sheet on the washing line and see what the results will be, and that was how it was born,’  Asher Charman, one of the brains behind the project, told Reuters. ‘About a year ago we thought you know what, it’s about time, we’ve over grown our garden here, we’ve got three or four tubs, it’s time to take the step up and here we are now.’ So they got a movie projector, a screen and the Hot Tub Cinema was born. Quite a simple idea but one that really appealed to young movie-goers looking for something different. Now every time a rooftop movie-watching session takes place, the 12 hot tubs are always occupied.

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Would You Give Him Your Vote? Tattooed-Face Man Runs for President

Meet Vladimir Franz, probably the most tattooed man to ever run for president in any country of the world. The eccentric candidate is currently gathering signatures in order to be able to candidate for president of the Czech Republic in 2013.

53-year-old Vladimir Franz has what many people call a striking appearance. His face and body are covered with tattoos, which actually makes him look blue, literally blue. But that’s not all that makes him stand out from the rest of the candidates. He’s the perfect example of why people should never “judge a book by its cover”. You couldn’t tell by looking at him, but Franz is actually a drama professor at one of the most prestigious universities in Prague, a talented painter and a successful opera composer. As a young man, he also graduated from law school and got a doctorate in the field of law, but chose not to pursue a career as a lawyer or magistrate during the communist Czechoslovakian regime. Instead, he turned his atention towards art, and after studying painting and music, he became a university professor as well. He is well know in the Czech Republic for initiating a serious of cultural movements for the country’s youth, which makes him very popular among young voters.

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The Mind-Blowing Staple Art of Baptiste Debombourg

For most of us staples are necessary office accessories, but for French artist Baptiste Debombourg the tiny pieces of metal are a unique art medium that allow him to create detailed masterpieces inspired by Italian Mannerism and the German Renaissance.

We first featured Baptiste Debombourg on Oddity Central in March, after he unveiled a monumental mural made with 450,000 staples, but he’s been keeping busy and now has an impressive portfolio of new awe-inspiring staple artworks. For years, the French artist has been gradually perfecting his unique technique taking to a level where he’s now able to create detailed re-interpretations of famous classic paintings. Instead of relying on the usual art mediums, like acrylic or oil paints, he takes these simple objects we use in our every day lives and creates thought-provoking works that blend classic and contemporary art. His Aggravure series contains hundreds of thousands of staples and is currently on display at the Krupic Krestig Gallery in Cologne.

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