English Director Stages Shakespeare Play with Sheep instead of Human Actors

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A new adaptation of the Shakespeare classic King Lear features a bizarre cast – one human and nine sheep! 24-year-old Alasdair Saksena plays the human, a director who tries to persuade his cast of sheep to perform the tragedy. ‘King Lear with Sheep’ is, needless to say, every bit as absurd and hilarious as it sounds.

The play is the brainchild of actor Saksena, writer Missouri Williams, and producer Lucie Elven – all in their early 20s. The idea came about after Missouri, having worked on a tour of King Lear with a human cast, got sick of them. “There’s little references to sheep within the text that I think planted the idea in Missouri’s head,” Saksena said. “And so she decided to do King Lear with sheep and me. And I thought, you can’t really say no to that, can you?”

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According to Saksena, the reason why this adaptation works is the thin line between tragedy and comedy. “Lear is so tragic and sheep are so untragic that it just sort of works – it comes together and is either desperately sad or desperately funny depending on what mood is catching at that particular point of time,” he explained. ..

Legendary Oakland Biker Gang Regularly Holds Fight Club-Style Events

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The East Bay Rats, a legendary motorcycle club in Oakland offers an innovative solution to barroom brawls – Fight Parties. Since 1996, the club has organised Friday Fight Nights – putting potential troublemakers (and anyone else who volunteers) in a boxing ring at the clubhouse and giving them a chance to work the violence out of their system.

According to East Bay Rats founder Trevor Latham, everybody has a violent streak in them and Fight Nights give people a safe space to test the limit of their courage. “Why not?” he asked. “The worst that can happen is you get a bloody nose.”

Over the years, Friday Fight Nights have become insanely popular, with the courtyard around the ring jam packed with spectators. Everyone who wants to fight gets a chance – it’s usually guys vs. guys and women vs. women, but you don’t have to be a professional fighter to get into the ring.  Participants range from bartenders and photographers, to bodybuilders, college students, lab technicians or musicians. That’s what this tradition is all about – real fights between real people.

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Jaws on the Water – The Scariest Way to Watch Shark Horror Flicks

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Horror and gore fans are never going to tire of the timeless classic Jaws. And to enhance the experience, they’re coming up with bigger, scarier ways to watch Steven Spelberg’s blockbuster. The latest idea is to have the audience watch it on a giant screen while sited on rubber rings floating on a lake, at night. It’s all fun and games until someone yells “Shark!”, then panic ensues.

The event, aptly dubbed ‘Jaws on the Water’, is being hosted by Alamo Drafthouse, a theater in Austin, Texas. They actually first hosted the special screening over a decade ago,and to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary they’re bringing it back at the beginning of August.

“It’s one of the most talked about events we’ve ever produced: back in 2002, we invited the brave people of Austin to join us for a special screening of JAWS where we would point our giant outdoor Rolling Roadshow screen toward the water, and the audience would all watch while floating on inner tubes,” the cinema chain wrote on their website. “It’s still one of the most talked about events we’ve ever produced, and so after years of hearing those stories whispered, we decided it was FINALLY time to bring the event back, and to bring it back in a BIG way!”

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Irish Town Holds Sheep Dung Spitting Competition

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Visitors at the 37th annual Lady of the Lake Festival in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland’s Fermanagh county, were in for a stinky surprise – a sheep dung spitting competition that literally left participants with a bad taste in their mouth.

The bizarre contest, organised by local hotelier Joe Mahon, had participants take mouthfuls of sheep dung and spit it out with gusto to see who could spit the farthest. For some reason, Mahon appeared top be the most excited of the lot, even allowing sheep to poop on his face. Ugh!

Mahon is apparently well known in the town for his quirky event ideas during the festival. This year, inspired by an emu dung-spitting competition from Africa, he decided to replicate it with sheep. Festival organisers took to Facebook to find volunteers to take part in the bizarre contest. The winner was promised £100($155). 44 people finally signed up, joining Mahon on a dung spitting spree.

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Colombians Celebrate Iconic Jeeps by Loading Them with Everything They Can Get Their Hands On

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The Yipao is a unique annual tradition in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle dedicated to the Willys Jeeps, the iconic American car the locals have been relying on since the 1940s.

For the people of Quindío district, Jeeps have been a source of livelihood and a significant part of daily life since the 1940s. The unpaved roads of the coffee mountains are filled with Jeeps that transport people and their belongings – including piles of coffee bags, livestock, harvested produce, and more. When families have to relocate, they often pile all their belongings onto one Jeep and move in a single trip.

Jeeps are such an integral part of life that they’re fondly known in Spanish as ‘mulitas mécanicas (mechanical mules). The country’s farmers use them to get to places that were previously accessible only by riding pack animals. Given how deeply Jeeps have impacted the life of locals, it’s only befitting that they pay homage to the vehicle during the annual Yipao parade.

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Game of Drones – Australia’s Awesome Underground Drone Racing League

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Drone racing is a mushrooming trend in Australia, catering to a growing band of enthusiasts looking to fulfill their need for speed. The races, organised by underground ‘leagues’, generally take place in rundown warehouses, farms, and go-kart tracks in the fringe suburbs of various cities.

The relatively unknown sport is called FPV (first person racing). Participants spend countless hours custom building their quadcopters, fitting them with onboard cameras and ‘blinging’ them up with LED lights. During the actual events, racers don special goggles – sometimes held together with gaffer tape – to give them a drone’s-eye view as they steer their machines around the course. So it’s a lot like video gaming, except players get to control a real device instead of a virtual one.

“It’s addictive. It’s like playing a video game,” says drone racer Darren French, who has clocked over 60 kmph. “It’s fast. The more you do it, the more you want to fly.”

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Men Shower Themselves with Molten Iron During Fiery Chinese Celebration

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Every year, during the Lantern Festival, the Chinese village of Nuanquan hosts one of the most spectacular pyrotechnics show in the world. Called Da Shuhua (Chinese for “tree flower) the tradition involves experienced blacksmiths showering themselves with molten iron.

Da Shuhua is believed to have originated over 300 years ago, when local blacksmiths came up with a unique alternative to fireworks. The rich would always celebrate New Year with fire crackers, but poor blacksmiths could not afford them, so they had to rely on their to find a cheaper alternative. Inspired by iron striking, the blacksmiths started melting iron at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius and throwing it at a large stone wall to create an effect similar to fireworks. In contact with the cold stone, the splashed molten iron would generate beautiful iron flowers that rained down on the brave blacksmiths.

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Pop-Up IKEA Cafe Serves Breakfast in Bed

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IKEA has been selling food and furniture for years, but they recently managed to marry the two with a pop-up restaurant called ‘The IKEA Breakfast in Bed Cafe’. The uniquely themed eatery was furnished with luxurious beds instead of the traditional chair and table setup. Visitors were shown to their beds, from where they could order food and drinks, get expert advice from sleep specialists, and even take naps!

Located on Leonard Street in London’s hipster hub Shoreditch, the pop-up was open between 7am and 3pm, until May 20. Patrons chose between single and double beds, kicked up their heels, and relaxed, while being served by specially trained waiting staff. The menu included classic British breakfast food like salmon, toast, fresh juice, and sleep inducing teas, along with traditional Swedish breakfast options.

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Chinese Boss Takes 6,400 Employees on Holiday to France, Books Hundreds of Hotels

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A Chinese billionaire has made a serious claim for the title of best boss ever, after taking half of his employees – over 6,400 people – on an all-expenses-paid nine-day holiday to France, to celebrate his company’s 20th anniversary. The epic trip is expected to cost a whopping 33 million euros, of which 13 million will be spent in Paris, and 20 million in Nice.

Li Jinyuan, the chairman of Tiens Group Company, booked rooms in 140 three, four, and five-star hotels in Paris for 6,400 employees, and made reservations at some of the most popular attractions, including The Louvre museum. The huge group, consisting of Chinese, Russian, and Kenyan employees, has also traveled to the breathtaking French Riviera, where Li Jinyuan booked a whopping 4,760 rooms in 79 hotels in Cannes and Monaco.

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Medieval Fighting Meets MMA in Russia’s Newest Combat Sport

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While Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) matches generally incorporate striking and grappling techniques from a variety of other combat sports and martial arts, the use of medieval fighting techniques is unheard of. Until now, that is. St. Petersburg based MMA promotion M-1 Global plans to introduce a new kind of MMA events featuring sword-wielding knights in armor, called M-1 Medieval.

It all started when M-1 had the brilliant idea of staging medieval sword fights as filler during MMA events last year. The response was so phenomenal that they decided to make this unique form of mixed martial arts a permanent fixture. The first official M-1 Medieval division fight took place on April 10 in Moscow. “I liked the fans’ reaction when we did it for the first time in St. Petersburg at M-1 Challenge 50,” said M-1 president Vadim Finkelchtein. “They seemed to really like it. They were impressed and supported the knights. So, I thought it was worth continuing.”

“At the time, the knight-fight was to fill the pause between the undercard and main card fights,” he added. “If we find enough fighters to make enough fights, we will have a separate medieval show with its own weight categories, title fights and champions.”

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The Endurance Race So Hard That Only 14 People Have Completed It in 30 Years

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The Barkley 100-Mile Marathon, held annually in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee, is considered to be one of most challenging ultra-marathons in the world. So tough, in fact, that only 14 people out of about 1,100 participants have ever managed to complete it since its inauguration in 1986! That’s just two more than the number of people who have walked on the moon.

The 100-mile run, which some claim is actually 130 miles or more, has a cumulative elevation gain of more than 60,000 feet – the equivalent of climbing mount Everest twice, from sea level. It consists of a 20-mile loop around a mountainous course that participants need to complete five times. Loops three and four need to be run in the opposite direction, with the direction for loop five being the runner’s choice. Experienced runners looking for something less extreme can opt for the 60-mile ‘fun run’, where they have to run the 20-mile loop just three times.

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Teapot Racing – The New Favorite Sport of New Zealand’s Steampunk Community

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Last weekend, New Zealand’s capital hosted its first ever teapot racing event at CubaDupa – Wellington’s vibrant new street festival modeled on the lines of Cuba Street. The sport, a new favorite among Steampunk enthusiasts, involves navigating radio-controlled teapots through an obstacle course with tunnels, ramps and jumps.

Organised by Capital! Steampunk, a Steampunk events community in New Zealand, Splendid Teapot Racing saw radio-controlled cars carry teapots through the indoor obstacle course in under two minutes. Steampunk enthusiasts interested in participating had to register in advance, and according to festival co-ordinator Helen Jansen, the level of interest and curiosity in the race was quite high. “This event has pre-sold more tickets than any other so far,” she said. “This is a first in the steampunk world and a great addition to the Southern hemisphere’s premier steampunk event.”

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Disco Shopping in Amsterdam – Dutch Group Turns Supermarkets into Discos

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Shopping for groceries can be dreary, but a group of Dutch entrepreneurs is trying to change that. They’ve come up with a unique concept called ‘Disco Boodschappen’ (Disco Shopping) which basically involves throwing a disco dance party at an otherwise boring supermarket.

The organisers said they came up with the plan after they saw a tweet with a similar idea. “A friend of mine posted a tweet with a picture of a note from a supermarket where a student is proposing an hour of disco shopping,” said entrepreneur Joost Aarsten. “I thought, ‘Wow, we gotta do that!’”

So he got together with a few friends to formulate a simple event that would make shopping for food seem like a celebration. With a high quality sound system, a few decorations, and a DJ, they plan to convert the most mundane supermarkets into a hip place for a few hours.

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Canadian Hot Springs Resort Holds Awesome Hair Freezing Contest

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Canada’s Yukon territory is well-known for its wide range of cultural and sporting events that attract tourists from all over the world. Perhaps the most bizarre of these events is the International Hair Freezing contest, held at Takhini Hot Springs every year, in February. As the name suggests, the contest has people enter the springs and just wait for the cold air to freeze their wet hair!

In order to win the $150 prize, all contestants need to do is sink their heads in the hot springs that are at 40 C, and then wait  for the freezing outside air to fix their crazy hairdos in place. At temperatures of under -30 C, hair can freeze in under 60 seconds, creating a stunning effect.

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Buying Love at Bulgaria’s Roma Bridal Market

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The Romani people, who constitute one of Bulgaria’s largest ethnic minorities, have a unique marriage tradition – a ‘bride market’. Held four times a year on various religious holidays, the market is a chance for poor families in the community to arrange financially beneficial marriages for their children.

The families that gather in the city of Stara Zagora for the festival are part of a gypsy community of 18,000 Roma known as Kalaidzhi. They are traditionally coppersmiths, and among the most poverty-stricken people in the nation. The bride market is a chance for these families to get together, catch up on gossip, and arrange matches for their adolescent children. The event is a colorful one, with grannies dressed in traditional Kalaydzhii long skirts, and children running about and eating candyfloss.

The prospective brides are usually dressed provocatively in mini skirts, with gobs of mascara, flashy jewellery and towering heels. They dance alongside their male suitors on car hoods, which is quite rare in a community that generally does not allow youths to mingle with the opposite sex. In fact, the Kalaidzhi, who are devout Christians, take girls out of school at age 15 to keep them away from temptation.

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