Chinese Artist Creates Edible Model of Shanghai

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Song Dong, one of China’s leading contemporary artist has almost completed a miniature replica of Shanghai City, made out of various sweets. Song apparently has a thing for recreating major cities out of food, as this is the seventh project in his “Eating the City” series, which includes sweet replicas of Barcelona or London. Working with a team of talented food artists, he uses wafers, biscuits, cookies and candy to create edible replicas of Shanghai’s major landmarks.

On Christmas Eve, Song Dong will show his masterpiece to the world, and invite the people to take a bite out of Shanghai, literally. Take a look at the photos below to see how the project is coming along.

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Great Walker Completes Journey Across the Great Wall

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Robert Loken, a 42-year-old Norwegian engaged in the journey of a life time, following his 21-year-old dream of walking across China’s Great Wall, has finally achieved his goal.

Robert Loken sold his house, quit his job and embarked on his trip with nothing else but the courage and ambition of conquering the Great Wall. It did not matter whether he would be the first to do it or the fastest, so he took his time and just started walking. His incredible journey began last April from Gansu province’s Jiayuguan, the Wall’s western most point, and ended 601 days and 6,000 km later, on Dec. 2nd, in the eastern most point, in Liaoning province’s Dandong.

All this time he had to face temperatures raging from -22C to 40C, scorpions or snakes, but as Robert himself admits, it was all as he imagined it would be. There were definitely some difficult moments, to say the least, one of them being when Robert blacked out for two hours due to high fever, while crossing the snowdrifts in rural Shanxi province. Luckily he had managed to put up his tent beforehand. “If I had lost consciousness, I would have frozen to death in the snow.” He also had to cope with dehydration, scorpions under his tent, snakes, wild dogs chasing him, but he never once thought about giving up. You would think isolation was a big issue as well, but Robert says that although he was physically alone, he always considered the Wall as being his companion “When I went in a town to stock up on food or relax, I would always greet the Great Wall as a friend when I come back.” Keeping a blog was also very helpful and “inspirational”.

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Chinese Artist Paints on Water

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Zhu Shenghi, a talented artist from Xi’an, China’s Shaanxi Province, has developed a unique way of painting on water.

While we can all take a brush and start stroking away on water, results won’t be nearly as spectacular as what Zhu Shenghi can do. Using a fine tool and naphta, he paints all kinds of detailed shapes on the surface of the water, but water isn’t actually the real canvas. After he’s finished the design, Zhu places a piece of paper that absorbs the paint from the surface of the water, thus becoming a regular painting without having been touched by any painting utensils.

UPDATE: Seeing the photos for the first time, I thought Zhu Shenghi’s art was unique, but it’s apparently been around since the 15th century, and used in East Asia and the Islamic World. It might not be as modern as other painting techniques, but it’s still pretty fascinating.

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Archaeologists Discover 2,400-Years-Old Bowl of Soup

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While cleaning up an ancient tomb, Chinese archaeologists have discovered a bowl of bone-soup believed to be around 2,400 years old.

The discovery took place in Xi’an city, capital of China Shaanxi province, and scientists are convinced it will provide great insight into the eating habits of the Warring States era. It’s the first time a soup bowl is found with liquid and animal bones still inside. The relic has been sent to a laboratory, where scientists will try to determine what animals the bones belong to, and the composition of the liquid.

The soup might not look very tasty after 2,400 years, but what would you expect the world’s oldest soup to look like? Actually, I might consider a taste rather than eating spare rib soup or bat soup

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Fishing for Dead Bodies – a Morbid Yet Profitable Business

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Fishing dead bodies is a well known practice in China since ancient times, when some fishermen dedicated their time to recovering bodies from the waters and then returning them to their families. Back then, this  “job” was appreciated and respected, and the fisherman himself wasn’t rewarded with money but an immense gratitude.

With the evolution of the country, both economical and demographic, fishing for dead bodies soon became a thriving business for most of the fishermen on Yellow River, with younger and younger boys taking up the task, every day.

The most “offering” place, as they themselves assert, is at about 18 miles down stream from Lanzhou, the provincial capital of Gansu, northwestern China, a place where  a hydroelectric dam and a bend in the river cause the bodies to surface.

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Robot Restaurant Opened in Jiang, China

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They weren’t born to serve you but they were definitely built to do just that, and where else if not in China.

Located in Jiang, China’s Shandong Province, the Dalu Rebot Restaurant opened on the 5th of December and can cater to about 100 customers, featuring two robot receptionists and a “staff” of six robot-waitresses. Two of them serve drinks, two serve small tables and another two tend to the big one. It seems that more “hiring” will be made in the near future as owners expect the restaurant will become quite a hit.

As all the waiting is done by robots, the tables were set in a circular pattern so that the robots can follow an exact route. Not all the work in the restaurant is done by them though, there are also people working there, especially in the kitchen, but some were also hired to welcome customers into the restaurant.

The concept belongs to The Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company, who isn’t planning to stop here, as they want to further develop this idea and ultimately have a staff of 40 robots. Seems logical enough, considering that business really took off when the people heard about these unusual waiters.

 

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Chinese Gamer Plays MMO on World’s Largest LED Screen

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Jealous on a fellow guild master who got to play his favorite video game on an IMAX screen, a Chinese gamer spent a ridiculous amount of money to play on the world’s largest LED screen.

MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online games) are very popular in China, and the people who play them are very competitive. The problem is some of them are also filthy rich and spare no efforts when it comes to showing the competition how cool they are. Take this young gamer who spent 100,000 RMB ($15,000) for just 10 minutes of playing Magic World Online 2, on the world’s biggest LED display, and all just to beat the record of a fellow gamer who played the same game in an IMAX cinema.

Set up in “The Place”, one of Beijing’s most popular shopping malls, the 250-meter-long, 30-meter-wide display is appropriately named “All Beijing, look up!”. I know you have to be out of your mind to throw away that much money on a short gaming session, but this hardcore MMO fan can take comfort in the fact that no one will be able to break his record…at least not until Dubai finishes its giant LED display, set to be the largest yet.

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Researchers in Panda Costumes Trick Four-Month-Old Cub

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Researchers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan province, China came up with a gumptious way to help a four month panda cub re-adapt  to wildlife.

For the success of the reintroduction the baby panda isn’t supposed to come in contact with humans so the researchers had to dress-up as giant pandas in order to do their job, because although the cub is being supervised with hidden cameras, some of the procedures, such as weighing or measuring his body temperature,  involve handling.

Although they aren’t very convincing to us it seems that this cute baby panda has accepted his new “family” and is making great progress.

Taiwanese Brothel Is Being Re-opened as a Museum

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What was once the place of entertainment for soldiers stationed on Kinmen Island, Taiwan, is now being re-opened as a unique museum. Hsu Ying-fan says the museum’s sole purpose is that of giving  visitors a general idea on the so-called Military Paradise and what it served for.

Bearing an euphemistic name, “The Special Tea House Museum“, this one of a kind place features one of a kind “art”. Here you can find displays of photography or posters depicting the brothel’s noonday and also samples of tickets bought by soldiers who were waiting for their turn.

The brothel was closed in 1990 due to criticism manifested mainly by local woman’s groups, and with it being re-opened as a museum, officials are hopping the island will become a tourist attraction.

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Chinese Hairstylists Perform Truly Giant Haircut

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Two talented Chinese hairstylists decided to put on a show for the people of Changsha city, by cutting people’s hair using a giant comb and a pair of large gardening scissors.

The mysterious duo attracted quite a crowd to the middle of Changsha, on Wednesday, December 1st, but even though they announced their hair styling services were free, not many onlookers hurried to take advantage. And who could blame them, losing an ear to those sharp scissors really isn’t on par with a free haircut, now is it?

But the crazy hairstylists did get the chance to show off their skills when a brave girl stepped on stage and agreed to let them cut her hair. Believe it or not, she said she was quite pleased with her new look. This isn’t the only bizarre hair cutting service in Changsha, this is where Wang Xiaoyu, the kung-fu barber, practices his upside-down style.

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Chinese Student Builds Sustainable Egg House

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Daihai Fei, a young Chinese designer, has built himself a sustainable egg-shaped house and spent the last two months living in it.

Originally from Hunan, 24-year-old Daihai Fei came to Beijing to attend the university and make a future for himself. Now, just six months after graduation, he has become somewhat of a local celebrity, after people started noticing he lives in an egg. Rents in China’s capital are very high, so living in a conventional home meant Daihai had to spend most of his income on rent, and that was not an option for this resourceful designer. In just two months time, and with a budget of only 6,400 yuan ($960), Daihai Fei managed to build his very own mobile home.

Daihai Fei built his amazing egg-house on a bamboo frame, covered with various insulating materials, and topped with a layer of stitched bag. The bags themselves are filled with sawdust and grass seeds, which he sprays with water regularly, to help the grass grow faster. Inspired by the grass-covered roofs of Norway, he knows the grass will over greater protection for his home. On the inside, he has all the necessary facilities, including a bed, a small sink, a lamp powered by a small solar panel and even a tiny bookshelf.

Using very cheap materials the designer built his wacky-looking egg house, and after two months of living in it, he says his quality of life greatly improved. He doesn’t have to worry about paying any rent, he has enough money to go out for coffee or a soda, occasionally, and since he’s moved his egg-house right across from his workplace, he doesn’t spend anything on bus fair. If you’re wondering about Daihai’s hygiene, you should know he’s very careful with his earnings, making sure he always has enough to go swimming, every day after work, where also takes a shower.

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Chinese Woman Adopts 1,500 Stray Dogs and 200 Cats

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Ha Wenjin, a dog lover from China, has given up her job, sold her house, car and jewelry to take care of over 1,500 dogs and 200 cats.

The middle-aged woman says she started out with just a few dogs that she could tend to in her spare time, but as their number kept growing, she had to give up her career and spend her entire day caring to the dogs’ needs. Before she knew it, she practically had her personal animal shelter, complete with 10 workers who look after the dogs, and 2 more who take care of the cats.

LIFE Magazine first reported on Ha Wenjin‘s amazing animal shelter, in 2006, and the resourceful woman managed to keep the facility outside Nanjing running until now. She had a number of volunteers coming in at least once a week to check on the dogs, and people donated most of the food. But now, the 1,500 dogs and 200 cats have to move to a new home, as Chinese government officials reclaimed the land the shelter is built on, and threaten to close the place down.

Ha Wenjin had to act fast, and find a cheap but large enough space, where her beloved pets could relocate to. She managed to find it in Houyu village, far away enough from human settlements, because she admits 1,500 dogs are not quiet. Now all she has to do is find enough volunteers to help her move the dogs with the help of four buses, and clean the vehicles afterwards. Ha Wenjin definitely has her work cut out for her, but she has no intention of giving up in her fight to save as many stray dogs and cats as she can.

Back in 2006, LIFE Magazine reported it cost around $37,500 a year to take care of the dogs, but now, with more than double the number of animals, you can imagine how tough it is for Ha Wenjin to keep her animal center open, especially with no help from local authorities. Luckily, most of the food comes from donations, but there are many other things that cost a lot of money.

Just to be clear, the animals are not as crowded as the photos show. It’s only like this at feeding time.

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Chinese Artist Showcases Venus de Milo Statue Made of Excrements

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Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most famous and talented sculptors, has helped nine of his art students to create a replica of Venus de Milo out of excrements.

Now, I know we’ve had quite a few strange art mediums here at Oddity Central, from garbage to chewing gum, but excrement has to be the weirdest one yet, by a long shot. Zhu Cheng helped and direct a team of nine art students to recreate the Venus de Milo statue out of feces. Now, the source doesn’t actually specify if we’re talking about animal or human excrements, but I’m pretty sure it’s the last one…A symbol of beauty created from something so disgusting, the idea is pretty cool, but I can’t help but be grossed out by the thought of having to mold feces into a statue with your hands.

Ad you can see in the photos, the excrement-made Venus de Milo is encased in a transparent box, to protect it, and make sure the smell of crap doesn’t drive everyone away from the exhibition at Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China.

But the most unbelievable thing about this “shity” statue of Venus de Milo is that it was actually bought by a Swiss art collector, for a staggering 300,000 yuan ($45,113). Talk about spending money on crap, right?

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Street Artist Hailed as China’s Chalk God

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Mr. Hou is an average Joe who recently became popular thanks to a few photos of his chalk art being posted on Chinese forums.

The first photos of Mr. Hou’s 3D chalk art first appeared late last month, and Chinese netizens quickly gave him the nick name “Chalk God” and compared him to the architects from the sci-fi blockbuster Inception, for his ability to create unbelievably realistic-looking landscapes.

Because his works first appeared on a Chinese forum, his identity had to be dug-up by the media, and everyone was surprised to discover the talented chalk artist was just an average citizen who exercised his talents for the fun of his little boy. The humble Mr. Hou said he doesn’t believe his artwork are that impressive, but actually the ideas behind them.

Check out a video of Mr. Hou in action, at the bottom.

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Chinese Stuntman Munches on Light Bulbs

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Zhang Yujian, a Chinese stuntman from Mudanjiang City, Heilonjiang Province, has eaten two light bulbs during his performance, on Monday. XInhua reports the glass-eating master has a record of three light bulbs eaten in just 120 seconds. Now, I’m not sure if he eats the entire thing, but he certainly made short work of the sharp glass, without any serious cuts.

I knew the Chinese had some pretty bizarre foods, at least for my taste, but Zhang Yujian is taking things a little too far. I wonder if he’d be interested in meeting Russia’s sand-eating woman, I bet they’d hit it off.

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