Finally, a Watching Paint Dry Championship

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Contests and competitions have been used for a very long time now as a marketing tool. Some of these competitions have been quite unusual. But it doesn’t get more unusual than this – a championship for paint-watchers!

The paint-watching championship is being organized by Localtraders.com, an online resource for finding reliable local tradespeople in the UK. Normally, the website works by having people submit details of a job they need done, and several tradespeople bid over the project. Now, they’ve come up with this innovative idea to attract new customers. The “Watching Paint Dry Championships”  is truly a test of patience, mental strength and physical endurance. The way it works is that interested participants should send in a photograph of themselves watching paint dry, along with the longest time they’ve stared at the wall of paint without looking away. They’re also asking for a short write-up about your favorite paint color and why you like it.

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World Egg Throwing Championships – An Egg-centric Competition

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One of the wackiest competitions in the world, the annual World Egg Throwing Championships held in Swaton, England feature a variety of events, all having to do with smashed eggs.

According to the World Egg Throwing Federation website, egg throwing is a local tradition inspired by historic events that occurred in the 14th century. It’s believed the ancient village of Swaton has stood on theses very grounds since before Roman times, but it wasn’t until 1322 that it became forever linked to egg throwing. The newly appointed Abbot was assigned to the Parish of Swaton  by royal decree, and found a rather ingenious way of increasing church attendance. As the only person in the settlement to own chickens, he provided one egg for each attendee to his sermons. But when the waters of the River Eau flooded, cutting off the church from the village, monks started throwing the eggs to the waiting locals. Legend has it when the gap became even wider, the monks used small trebuchets to make sure the eggs traveled the required distance.

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100-Year-Old Crowned Ms. Alabama Nursing Home

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Felma Schrimshire, 100, was named the winner of the 2011 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home pageant, out of 75 grey-haired contestants from across the state.

They may have more grey-hair than your average pageant participants, but the ladies who competed in the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home contest proved they have just as much style and grace. The top ten finalists gathered at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, for the last stage of the competition. Here, the judges and an enthusiastic crowd evaluated the senior beauty queens on their outlook on life, as well as poise and personality. After a 15-minute interview in front of a panel of judges, contestants were asked to answer a surprise question. In case you were wondering, this particular pageant didn’t include a swimsuit competition.

100-year-old Felma Scrimshire won the judges’ votes with her incredible life story. She has traveled to every one of 50 of the US states, seen the Canadian provinces and much of Europe, served in the army for a year, during World War 2, and retired from a civil service job in 1976. A resident of the Andalusia Manor nursing home, Felma will serve as spokesman for nursing home residents throughout Alabama.

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Daredevils Compete in Annual Bee-Wearing Competition

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Two brave Chinese beekeepers competed in the annual bee-wearing contest, yesterday, trying to attract as many bees on their bodies, in just 60 minutes.

42-year-old Wang Dalin and 20-year-old Lc Kongjiang were the only contestants registered for the event that took place in Shaoyang City, China. Wearing only shorts, goggles and nose plugs, the two bee enthusiasts competed by each standing on a scale and using queen bees to attract as many regular buzzers on their bodies, in one hour. The queen bees were locked in small cages and tied around their bodies, and it was only a matter of time until the swarming bees picked up their scent and formed living suits around the competitors.

In the end, Wang Dalin won the bee-wearing competition, by attracting 26 kilograms of bees onto his body, while his younger fellow beekeeper only manged to attract 22.9 kilograms of live bees. Despite their valiant efforts, the two weren’t able to break the world bee-wearing record, of 39.5 kg (350,000 bees), set by American Mark Biancaniello.

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German Village Hosts Weird Tobacco Sniffing Championship

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Around 220 man and women gathered in the small Bavarian village of Kucha to fill their nostrils with tobacco, last weekend, during the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship.

The origins of this offbeat competition are unclear, but one thing is for sure: Bavarians take it very seriously. For competitors outside the region it’s mostly just a fun way to spend a summer weekend, but locals actually train for it, and come with all kinds of techniques to help them sniff as much tobacco as possible. During the German Tobacco Sniffing Championship, competitors are given a small box with five grams of tobacco called Smalzer, and they have to get as much of it in their nose.

Sounds easy enough, especially if you have a big nose, but seasoned veterans claim it’s all about skill and technique. Competitors are allowed to blow their noses, sniff and push the tobacco up their nose, but whoever sneezes is disqualified.  Tobacco sniffing is a big deal in Bavaria, and 90 % of tobacco-sniffing clubs are established in this region, so it’s no surprise Bavarians always win the competition.

This year, the contest was won by 43-year-old Christian Knauer, who managed to stick 4.993 grams of tobacco in his nose, and score a maximum score of 20, for cleanliness. Knauer, who also won last year’s competition, says his secret lies in the special plastic nails he uses to pick up the tobacco from the small wooden box. Picking as much Smalzer in only one minute can be tough, because the box has corners and angles, so he uses these custom nails.

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Germany Hosts Big Nose World Championship

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Ever since 1961, the German town of Langenbruck has hosted the Big Nose World Championship, a competition where “nosy” people from around the world compete for the title of world’s biggest nose.

The history of this wacky contest dates back 40 years, when a group of hops growers and the town minister sat down at the Lagenbruck pub and started making fun of each other’s big noses. “We could actually create a big nose club and you with your nose, could make the board” one of them said, while another replied “If I should be on the board then you would have to be nose king!” It was all in the spirit of fun, but Max Reichart and Wilhelm Höfler actually began thinking about establishing an “Association of Big Noses”, and a few weeks later they had actually done.

Everyone could join, as long as their nose was at least 60-mm-long or 40-mm-wide, and it numbered 40 members in the first hour since sits official inauguration. The Big Nose Club currently has 330 registered members and uses a modern nose gauge to measure the nose size of contestants during the Big Nose World Championship, held every five years. The judges measure the length and width of the noses, and contestants are allowed to frown or make faces in order to enlarge their noses, but they aren’t allowed to use any illegal substances.

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Germany Holds Quirky Deer Calling Championship

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Nine of the best deer call imitators in Germany gathered in the city of Dortmund for the 13th edition of the traditional Deer Calling Championship.

Using specially designed instruments, ox horns, snail shells and even glass lamps, competitors tried their best to imitate the mating call of a red deer as naturally as possible, for a chance to advance to the European Deer Calling Championship, in Slovenia. “It’s important to imitate the deer call as closely as possible, taking into account the fact that a mating deer gives away a different call than an old deer” Konrad Esterl, one of the jury members, said.

For the first time in the history of the championship, a woman tried to best imitate the mating calls of a deer. She did not win, but said “it was a joy” that brought her a bit closer to nature. Which is exactly what this competition is all about – although it is mostly regarded in relation with deer hunting, the mating call itself is considered a nature spectacle that allows some people to get within just a few meters of a deer without the intention of killing it.

This year, the title went to Andreas Toepfer, who used a series of instruments to imitate a deer and impress the judges.

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Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather Contest Held in Georgia

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A a charity house in Tbilisi, Georgia organizes an annual “Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather” contest, to allow the elderly to fulfill their childhood dreams.

Every year, people aged over 70, from all over Georgia, come to Tbilisi to compete in the Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather contest, an event that allows them to display their artistic talents. Some play the piano, others dance, sing,and perform plays, but whether they win the coveted title of Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather or not, all contestants leave happy they were able to fulfill their dream of performing on stage.

Local and national television crews and reporters often attend the contest organized by the Ktharisis charity house, as some of the elderly contestants really are talented, and they want to speak to them, or write stories about them. Some contestants even make appearances on TV shows where they perform along established Georgian artists.

The 2011 edition of the super grandparents contest took place on January 5th.

I think there should be a “Super Grandmother and Super Grandfather” contest held in every contest around the world, to make the elderly feel like they have something nice to look forward to, every year. Well done, Georgia!

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“For God’s Sake Don’t Blow The Damn Thing Again!”

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I don’t know about you, but for me it is enough seeing the vuvuzela and I can actually hear that horrific sound it makes.

Well, at least I’m not the only one who doesn’t get why this “instrument of torture”, with which even the loudest group of supporters can’t compete, was such a hit during the South African World Cup. And the sound is not only annoying but also bad for your health, as Dr. Katijah Khoza-Shangase, professor of speech pathology and audiology at the Univeristy of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, says, quoted by CBS News: “We are not saying, ‘ban the vuvuzelas.’ The vuvuzela is part of the festivities of the game, it is part of what makes the soccer in this country, but people need to be aware that they need to just wear ear protection.”

In an attempt to transform the vuvuzela into something decorative or useful,after the end of The World Cup, Matt Blitz and some of his co-workers at Leftfield, an advertising firm, put up a blog called Wozela on which people could post their ideas on transforming the leftover vuvuzelas.

Although they started of with a few of their own ideas and were hopping to get just 20 maybe 50 more, they had to make this into a competition as they received 150 submissions in just a few months. There was also a prize of 10,000 Rand, around $1500, for the best idea.

The ideas were ranged from practical to absurd, from vuvuzela light fixtures to vuvuzela educational table or Christmas trees, but the top prize was won by a simple one: vuvuzela earrings, idea belonging to Megan Bernstein from Cape Town. She considers this as a form of redemption “Out of one vuvuzela you can make 10 earrings so there’s quite a return of investment there.”

Matt Blitz affirmed: “We’re trying to change perceptions a little bit. In the way people might have reacted and the amount of positive comments we’ve got I think we have done quite a good thing in busting the negative image of it.”

And the end of the online contest doesn’t mean the end of the vuvuzela make-over ideas. New ones can still be submitted and the initiators of the “Wozela movement” plan to organize exhibitions featuring the submissions first in Cape Town and then Johannesburg.

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Crazy Halloween Traditions: Underwater Pumpkin Carving

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As Halloween draws ever closer, pumpkin-carving enthusiasts take their pumpkins and carving tools for a session of underwater pumpkin carving.

It might sound like a weird event, but underwater pumpkin carving is pretty common in the US, with several competitions being organized in Florida, South Carolina, Lake Tahoe or Pennsylvania. Contestants put on their diving gear and drop down to a depth of less than 30 feet, where they try to carve the most intricate jack-o’lanters, and claim the top spots. All the gear is supplied by the organizers, so contestants need only bring their talent and inspiration.

While it may sound like a fun thing to do, carving a pumpkin underwater is a pretty difficult task, considering the buoyancy of the pumpkin (at least until you cut the lid off) and Newton’s third law of motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).

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Pumpkin Lovers Compete in Giant Pumpkin Boat Race

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The Pumpkin Boat Race of Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival has people racing each other in hollowed out pumpkins, across Ludwigsburg Lake.

Known as the biggest pumpkin related event in the world, the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival draws in pumpkin enthusiasts from all around the globe, every year. They travel to the small German town to see over 500,000 pumpkins, from 450 different varieties, arranged in all kinds of different shapes, from animals to abstract sculptures.

One of the most eagerly awaited events of the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival is the pumpkin boat race. Giant pumpkins, some of them over 90 kg heavy, are hollowed out and launched onto Ludwigsburg Lake, and contestants have to paddle their way to the finish line, in the cheers of onlookers. I’m not sure what the prize is for winning such a bizarre boat race, but I could swear it’s something related to pumpkins.

If you’re a pumpkin lover yourself, you’ll be happy to know the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival continues until early November.

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Belarus Hosts Phone Throwing Championship

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Hundreds of odd sports fans gathered in Minsk, Belarus, for the 8th edition of the country’s Cell-phone Throwing Championship.

It may not be the only competition of its kind in the world, but the phone throwing championship of Belarus is definitely the most important, at least for Belorussians. They take so much interest in this wacky event that they actually film and televise it.

The 8th edition of the Cell-phone Throwing Championship took place last Saturday, and consisted of several phone throwing events, including long distance throwing and precision tossing, where contestants had to throw their mobile devices into plastic buckets. Throwers received scores from a group of judges, and although prizes were not revealed, I’m pretty sure winners got a new phone.

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World Gravy Wrestling Championship 2010

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One of the wackiest competitions in the world, the World Gravy Wrestling Championship drew in quite a crowd this year, at the Rose n’ Bowl pub, in Stacksteads, Britain.

Over 1,000 people gathered at the famous Lancashire venue, to watch 24 competitors get down and dirty in a pool of gravy. All the contestants had to do to defeat their opponents was get most of the applause, after the 2 minute-long wrestling match. To do this, they wore funny costumes and tried to impress the audience by performing special moves.

Over 2,000 liters of past-its-before-date gravy was supplied for the 2010 World Gravy Wrestling Championship, all of it made following a special local recipe. Hopefully wrestlers didn’t swallow too much of it…

The World Gravy Wrestling Championship is a fun event that aims to raise money for charity, despite the competitive streak of most competitors. This year’s winners were Elliot Rooke, who was dressed as a bunny, and Elisa Samson, who wrestled as Little Bo Peep, in the ladies’ contest.

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The Frog Jumping Festival of Valley City

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Ever since 1962, the small town of Valley City, Ohio has hosted one of the weirdest, most fun events in the world – the Frog Jumping Festival.

Over 2,000 fun-loving people take part in the Frog Jumping Festival of Ohio, every year, eager to watch the annual Frog Jump Contest, participate in a series of games, or simply spend some quality time with family and friends. Attending the festival is free, but those who want to enter the Frog Jump Contest have to pay a $3 fee.

The most important event in the Frog Jumping Festival is the Frog Jump Contest, where around 600 competitors, from toddlers to the elderly, try to get their frogs to jump as far as possible. No touching is permitted, though, the frog jockeys are only allowed to tap the ground behind their frogs, scream at them, or blow at them to make them jump. That doesn’t always work though, some frogs just don’t feel like jumping.

Competitors are allowed to bring their own frogs, or they can rent one for $5. Winners get trophies and bragging rights for the whole year. The 2010 Frog Jump Contest, held on August 15, was won by one year old Lindsey Jackson, who got her frog to jump a total distance of 14 feet.

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Bee Beard Competition 2010 – A Truly Stinging Contest

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Bee beards have been around since the 1700s and up until a hundred years ago, honey vendors used them to attract customers, but now these organic disguises have their very own competition. Ever year, the world’s bravest apiarists gather in Aylmer, Ontario for the Clovermead Bees & Honey, Bee Beard Competition.

It’s not exactly the kind of contest people are dying to get into, for obvious reasons, but there are those who enjoy having tens of thousands of honey bees around their necks, or even covering their faces. The object of the Bee Beard Competition is to get as many bees on your body as possible. Contenders are weighed before and after they are covered in bees, and the heaviest one wins.

 

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