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Two Indian Workers Weave the World’s Longest Doormat

Two workers of Travancore Cocotuft Ltd. have spent months creating the world’s longest doormat hand-woven from coconut coir.

The giant mat is just 1.2 meters wide and 30 mm thick, but has a length of 101.6 meters and weighs 999 kg. Impressive numbers, but the most impressive thing about this mat is that it was handmade by just two workers. They spent 111 man days, over a period of 4 months, inserting 4,70,000 coir tufts between alternate wefts of coir yarn.

Although Guinness Book of Records is already considering declaring it the world’s longest hand-woven doormat, it serves a higher purpose. Cocotuft Chief Executive Officer P. Mahadevan says it was created to emphasize the miserable conditions of workers in the coir industry, who are paid much less than the minimum wage fixed by the Indian Government.

longest-doormat

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Chinese Use Fire as Medicinal Treatment

Oddly enough, setting a man on fire isn’t necessarily a bad thing, on the contrary, it’s actually considered curative.

Although I wasn’t able to learn much about this strange medical procedure, fire treatment is apparently very popular during the winter months, in Chinese traditional hospitals. People believe this will keep them safe from illnesses like the flu and common cold.

The piece of cloth is sprinkled with flammable substance, probably alcohol,then set on fire and put-out with another cloth. It isn’t painful at all, and according to a video I found on Youtube, fire treatment is also a great way to lose weight.

Japanese Invent Bionic Potato-Chip Grabber

Yup, leave it to the Japanese to invent something completely useless, yet totally cool. This time it’s a grabbing device for potato chips.

Potato chips may be delicious, but you can’t really enjoy them without getting grease all over your fingers and then the keyboard. Well the Japanese have finally come up with a solution to this pressing problem. Potechi ( a Japanese neologism derived from the English “potato chip”) is an ingenious device manufactured by Takara Tomi, that grabs potato chips, so you don’t have to.

Featuring groundbreaking technologies like NBCS (No Broken Clutch System), NTTS (No Touch Table System) and FECS (Finger Easy Cleaning System) allows you to gently pick up potato chips without breaking them. Simply press the button and let Potechi do the rest of the job for you.

The ingenious Potechi chip grabbing tool is available in japan, for just $7. Come on, a clean keyboard is worth at least that much.

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Chinese Sculptores Create Avatar Mud Figures

Avatar fever is infecting everyone these days and a big country like China wasn’t going to be spared.

15 talented sculptors spent 10 days working on two 3-meters-tall sculptures from James Cameron’s blockbuster movie. One of them is of Corporal Jake Sully and the other of his main Na’Vi squeeze, Princess Neytiri. The Avatar mud sculptures were carved in a studio in Wuhan City and are meant to keep the Avatar craziness going even longer

Photos via ImagineChina

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China Opens Chocolate Theme-Park in Beijing

Located inside the Olympic Stadium, in Beijing, the World Chocolate Dream Park is an Asian version of Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, in real life.

Announced last year, as a way of pleasing the increasing number of Chinese chocoholics, the World Chocolate Dream Park is finally open to the public. As promised, the chocolate theme-park features a number of China’s historical and cultural symbols, including a 12-meter-long  chocolate replica of the Great Wall, an army of 560 terracotta soldiers of Emperor Qingshihuang made of chocolate, and a traditional Chinese painting of Panorama Along the Upper River During the Qingming Festival, in original size.

The chocolate terracotta army was announced as life-size, back in 2009, but the miniatures aren’t too shabby. According to a Chinese official, many European chocolate makers wanted in on the project, considering it’s a great way to advertise chocolate to a huge market that’s just discovering it.

Photos via Xinhua

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South Korean Balloons to Free North Korea

In an attempt to undermine Kim Jong Il’s authority in North Korea, members of  South Korean nongovernmental organizations constantly send balloons filled with leaflets into North Korea.

On January 10, 2010 activists for the freedom of North Korea and the unification of the peninsula, from Paju, 51 km north of Seoul, sent two helium-inflated balloons into North Korea. They attached bags of leaflets and sweets to them, hoping to convince their northern neighbors to rise against Kim Jong Il’s dictatorship.

This practice has been going on for the last two years and North Korea has repeatedly asked Southern authorities to punish organizations who send the balloons and undermine the country’s regime. In spite of nuclear-war hints from its northern neighbor, South Korea hasn’t taken any measures against the activists.

The constant nuclear threat, reports of serious human rights violations and the existence of political prisoner camps in North Korea, make the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries virtually impossible.

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Tibetan Sky Burials Are Super-Creepy

All funerals are sad and creepy, but they’re way better than feeding the corpse to a bunch of hungry eagles.

Sky burials are often practiced in the mountains of Tibet, both for religious and practical reasons. Basically, the corpse is placed on a mountain top and sliced open in various places, to attract the birds of prey circling above. They’d probably feast on it anyway, but an invitation like that doesn’t hurt.

Most Tibetans are Buddhists and believe in rebirth. Once a person dies, their body is considered nothing more than an empty vessels that needs to disposed of. Since the ground is often as hard as rock and wood and fire are precious resources, feeding nature’s creatures is a practical choice. I know it looks grotesque, but to Buddhists this is a last sign of generosity by the deceased, offering his body as nourishment for other living creatures.

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South-Korean Special Forces Winter Training

Every year, South Korean special-forces undergo serious winter training to strengthen their minds and bodies and to make sure the cold doesn’t affect them on live missions.

More than 200 rangers take part in the grueling winter training session, in Pyeonghang, 180 km east of Seoul. They do gymnastics, swim in icy water, hurl snow at their bare chests, build snow shelters and sprint, all at temperatures of under -30 degrees Celsius. The extreme training lasts for nine days.

South-Korea-Army

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Mass Ice-Fishing at Hwacheon Ice Festival

Each winter, Hwacheon county, in South-Korea, draws-in over one million people to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo ice festival, held on a frozen river.

Hwacheon Festival hosts sledding, ice-soccer and snowman-building events, but the highlight of the event is the ice-fishing for fresh mountain trout. Under the thick ice, abundant quantities of fish are waiting for skilled fishermen. Anyone can try their luck at catching trout, at one of the nine thousand holes drilled in the icy surface of the river.

You might want to change your seat regularly, as the fish tend to move from one place to another, quite frequently. Once you catch a fish, you can take it to one of the mane cooking centers scattered on the festival grounds. There you can have it prepare raw or grilled. Any way you choose to prepare it, the Sancheoneo fish will melt in your mouth.

Another fun event at the Hwacheon Festival is catching the trout with your bare hands. Just slip in a pool of ice-cold water and try to grab the slippery critters.

Photos by Reuters via Drugoi

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Korean Winter Camp Turns Kids into Men

That’s right, at Ansan military camp for children it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl, they’ll make a manly man out of you.

Located about 25 miles from the capital of Seoul, the Ansan military camp gives civilians the chance to strengthen their minds and bodies, by training in extreme conditions. The camp is ran by retired Korean marines who don’t care if you’re in primary school or in college, they’ll have you carrying logs and exercising half naked in the snow.

You can choose to withstand the torture training at Ansan camp for periods ranging between three and fourteen days, depending on how tough you think you are. Check out some more photos of children training at Ansan, we posted a while back.

Photos by REUTERS via Telegraph.co.uk

Ansan-camp

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Finally, a Women-Only Car Park

Sure, some women have been known o have trouble parking, but it’s safe to say the Chinese did a pretty sexist thing here.

These photos were taken at Wonder Mall, in Shijiazhuang city. According to a mall official, the parking spaces in the women only car park will be one meter wider, so women can park without damaging neighboring vehicles. To sweeten the deal, the walls of the car park have been decorated with orange and pink drawings. Yeah, I’m sure ladies will appreciate the gesture.

Let me know what you think.

via ImagineChina

women-only-parking

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China’s Most Graceful Ballet Dancers

Sure, they’re not exactly members of the Balsoi ballet, but you have to admit fat guys never looked better in a tutu.

In an effort to raise awareness to the protection of Pinglu Wetlands, five Chinese members of the workers’ union dressed in ballet costumes and danced gracefully in front of the cameras. I have to say they picked a wacky way to protest against pollution, but hey, whatever gets people’s attention to the environment issue, right?

Here are the chubby performers:

fat-ballet-dancers

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Boxing on Floating Ice

Boxing in the hockey ring seems dangerous enough, but the Chinese take it one step further.

Wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and sneakers, a group of winter swimmers entertained passers-by during a series of boxing matches performed on a block of floating ice. Held in Harbin City, the wacky competition had contestants punch each other with over sized boxing gloves while struggling to keep their balance on the slippery ice.

One of the ice boxers lost his temper when the referee tried to stop him from hitting his downed opponent and knocked the “official” in the ice-cold water surrounding the ring.

It’s a crazy event, but the Chinese don’t even come close to the neon-fighting Japanese.

via ImagineChina

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Heineken Presents Tastiest Christmas Tree

Heineken has unveiled its original Christmas tree, made out of 1,100 FULL beer bottles, in Shanghai, China.

Created by stacking Heineken beer bottles on a custom-made armature, the beer-bottle Christmas tree has Nanjing Street passers-by drooling when they look it. It may not look like a traditional Christmas tree and beer is definitely not as tasty in winter as it is on a hot summer day, but Heineken’s Christmas tree is definitely my favorite for 2009.

via Inhabitat

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The Wishing Spheres of Singapore

Every year, the people of Singapore celebrate the coming of the New Year by launching wishing spheres in the Singapore River.

The tradition of the wishing spheres was launched years ago by Singapore’s authorities as a way to bring people together and now it’s become an international event. People travel from all over the world to write their wishes for the new year on a giant white sphere and throw it in the Singapore River.

This year, a record 10,000 wishing spheres were available for inking, but they still weren’t enough to cover demand. The wishing-sphere-covered Singapore River is quite a sight to behold this time of year, especially at night, when the spheres are lit.

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