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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Miracle – Polish Kite Surfer Walks on Water

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In everyday life we usually only use the phrase “walk on water” as a figure of speech, but Polish kite surfing champion Maciek Kozierski traveled to the Sea of Galilee, in Israel, where Jesus himself did it, and accomplished the feat.

Accompanied by a team that included Israeli wakeboard champion Lior Eliyahu, and photographers Predrag Vuckovic and Joerg Mitter, Kozierski spent four days in the Sea of Galilee overlooking the historic church at Capernaum, trying to accomplish the miracle of walking on water. The plan was pretty simple: Maciek would use his kite to accelerate to maximum speed, then release the kite, step off his board and start walking on water.

But, as always, the plan looked a lot better on paper than in practice. The elements just didn’t seem too eager to help him achieve his Miracle (the name of the project) and the Polish kite surfer encountered serious difficulties that caused him to hit the water at high speed, over 50 times. Strong winds caused the waves to become too rough, while a calm sea meant no wind power for his kite, so the daredevil had to repeat his attempts until he nailed the perfect walk on water.

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The Incredible Flower and Sand Carpets of La Otorava

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In the Spanish town of La Otorava, Tenerife, the festival of Corpus Christi Festival is celebrated by lining the streets with beautiful themed carpets made from flower petals and colored volcanic sand.

Featuring some of the most fragrant art displays in the world, the feast of Corpus Christi attracts thousands of visitors from all around the world, eager to see what the skilled alfombras (carpet makers) come up with every year. In the Canary islands, Corpus Christi has been celebrated for the last 300 years, but the first person to ever create a flower carpet is believed to be Leonor de Castillo Monteverde, who in 1847 decided it would be a good idea to decorate the road in front of her house with flower petals, for the procession to walk over. It measured only three square meters, but made a strong impact on the community, and eventually became a local tradition. In the 164 years since then , La Otrava flower and sand carpets have only been suspended twice, in 1891 and 1897.

The tradition of making large carpets with scented flower petals and volcanic sand from the foothills of Mount Teide has come a long way since its humble beginnings and the artworks are becoming more spectacular with each passing year. Several days before the celebration, local families and even design companies draw the carpets on paper, and on the big day, men and children draw the outline on the streets, while women fill the designs with various flower petals. All the locals get involved in this beautiful celebration and create a truly pleasant atmosphere.

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The Haro Wine Battle – A Water Fight for Grown-Ups

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Every year, the small town of Haro, one of the biggest wine producers in Spain, hosts the traditional “Batalla del Vino”, the Wine Battle, where participants throw tons of red wine at each other.

Part of the Haro Wine Festival, the annual Wine Battle takes place on June 29, the day of the patron saint San Pedro, and is attended by thousand of people from La Rioja region of northern Spain. The day starts early, at 7 am, with the town mayor parading through the town, on horseback. The procession of people old and young, dressed in white clothes, wearing red scarves and carrying all kinds of wine-filled recipients, follows him on foot through the nearby Mountains of Bilibio, all the way to a small chapel of San Felices. It’s a 7 km walk from Haro, but the fun everyone has after the short mass performed there.

As soon as the mass ends, the wine battle begins. Some people pour buckets of red wine on each other, other sprinkle it from water guns, or throw bags filled with wine. It’s really up to the participants what kind of “weapons” they choose to bring to the Haro Wine Battle, as long as they don’t cause injuries and are full of wine. After a few hours of bathing in wine, the whole mountain smells like a regular bodega, and everyone’s clothes go from white to purple. It’s estimated over 50,000 liters of wine are used every year, during this unique event.

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Have a Ball at Serbia’s Testicle Cooking Championship

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Every year, teams of chefs from all over Serbia, gather in the remote mountain village of Ozrem to cook various testicle dishes, in the World Testicle Cooking Championship.

For most people, the mere thought of eating any kind of testicles is sickening, but for the Serbians, who believe testicles contain a lot of testosterone which helps men’s libidos, it’s just a welcome challenge. So, to turn it into a competition, Ljubomir Erovic created the World Testicle Cooking Championship, back in 2005. Since then, it’s been organized every year, and more and more tourists come to try, or see others stuff their faces with various testicle-based foods. The festival has become so popular that Erovic, a seasoned testicle cook, has even published a testicle cookbook.

The motto of the event is “Scots have their scotch, the Swiss – their cheese, and we, the Serbs, have balls,”, and judging by the number of testicles cooked and consumed by the audience, I’d say that’s very true. The cooks use testicles from all kinds of animals and birds, including bulls, pigs, ostriches, roosters, kangaroos, or turkeys. Each of them have original recopies which they hope will land them the annual prize and the title of testicle cooking champion.

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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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Matchmaking Event Held Only for China’s Rich Bachelors

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Chinese bachelors (with enough cash in their bank accounts) who wanted to find a nice hot girlfriend, had a chance to pick from 60 beautiful women parading in swimsuits, during a rich-only matchmaking event, in Wuhan.

Beautiful girls dressed in sexy swimsuits parading on a small stage set up on a beach – that sounds a lot like a beauty pageant or a fashion show, except for the audience made-up almost exclusively of men who couldn’t take their eyes off the beautiful contestants. It was actually a special matchmaking event addressed to China’s rich bachelors. The 60 girls who paraded in front of their potential boyfriends had qualified from a previous round, and tried their best to prove they made suitable arm-candy.

In order to gain admittance to the event, the men had to pay a 99,999 ($15,425) fee and provide proof they owned assets of over 30 million yuan ($4,627,000) or had an annual income of at least 1 million yuan ($154,237). So the next time you’re in China and you see a hot  chick, check your pockets before making your move, you may have to qualify for a date.

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Roger Federer Gets World’s Biggest Shave in Gillette Publicity Stunt

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Tennis legend, Roger Federer, has set yet another world record, after he (well, a giant portrait of him) got the world’s biggest shave, on a field near London.

Anyone seeing Gillette employees sprinkling weird paint on a green field near London, the other day, would have probably thought the company switched from shaving to landscaping, but it was only a big publicity stunt to promote its new Fusion ProGlide razors. With the help of Gillette’s Facebook community and laser-guided robots, workers covered the green field with environmentally-friendly paint to create a big portrait of the Swiss champion.

Then they used cannons to cover his face with bio-degradable foam, which they then removed with lawn mowers. To finish the job, they brought in these giant Fusion ProGlide razors to show how smooth a shave can be when you use them. Kind of a wacky idea, but they did a great job with the portrait.

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90 Teams Take Part in the Annual Bed Race of Knaresborough

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The Great Knaresborough Bed Race of 2011 attracted a crowd of about 25,000 people eager to see one of the wackiest races in the world.

When the popular bed race was first organized, in 1965, it was considered so difficult that only members of the Army, Navy and American Marines were allowed to take part, but nowadays everyone is allowed to compete, as long as they pay an entrance fee and have a bed decorated according to the annual theme. This year, 90 teams from as far as Germany and the USA came to Knaresborough to compete in one of the strangest, most fun races on Earth.

Teams participating in the Great Knaresborough Bed Race are made up of six runners, a decorated bed and one member brave enough to sit on the bed. The runners have to carry the bed through the 3-km-long countryside course, while the seventh member tries to hold on for dear life. The race starts easily enough, along the banks of the River Nidd, but turns into a nightmare halfway through, as teams face five difficult hill climbs to Castle Fort. Going downhill is no picnic either, especially for the guy sitting on the bed, but if they manage to reach the bottom, they’re faced with the final hurdle, crossing the river.

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Man and Horse Compete in Wacky Marathon

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It might seem like horses have a clear physical advantage in a race, but hundreds of people show up to compete against them, every year, in the traditional Man vs. Horse Marathon.

The history of this wacky competition dates back to a night in November 1979, when Gordon Green, a pub owner from Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, was arguing with local Glyn Jones about the physical capabilities of men and horses. Green was absolutely sure a man could win over a single horse in a race over a long distance, while Jones argued the exact opposite. In the end, the two agreed a real race was the best way to decide their argument, so the very next year, 50 runners and 15 horses competed in a 22-miles-long race through the hills and marshes of the rural Welsh town. Glyn Jones, riding the fastest steed in Llanwrtyd Wells, won easily, but the race proved so popular that Green organized it again, the following year.

Cyclists were allowed to join the Man Versus Horse Marathon, between 1985 and 1992, and in 1989 a man (on a bicycle) crossed the finish line first. The Welsh government finally banned cyclists in 1992, arguing that bike wheels damaged forest paths and man were back to competing against horses, on their own two feet. Believe it or not, we actually managed to beat the horses, twice even. The first was in 2004, when Huw Lobb, a British marathon runner, came first, and the second was in 2007. There (kind of) was a third human success in 2009, when runner Martin Cox claimed victory, but judges decided to give the title to a horse named “Duke’s Touch of Fun”, after discontinuing the time in which the mare was checked by a vet, during the race. Cox threw away the trophy and vowed never to race again.

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World’s First Amphibious Ice-Cream Truck Sails the Thames

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HMS Flake 99, the world’s first floating ice-cream truck, was seen sailing the river Thames, yesterday, trying to attract attention to the decreasing number of land ice-cream trucks in the UK.

The mobile ice-cream business in England has definitely seen better days, as the number of ice-cream trucks has dropped from 20,000 to around 5,000, in the last 50 years. They have been banned in areas like housing estates, parks and outside schools due to concerns regarding childhood obesity and noise pollution, and the rising prices of ingredients and fuel don’t help much either. The bizarre HMS Flake 99 was created by Fredericks, the company who makes Cadbury’s ice-cream, hoping it will attract attention to the problem of ice-cream trucks in Britain.

The world’s first amphibious ice-cream truck has sailed past the British Parliament, in London, yesterday, and after a tour of Britain’s beaches, it will embark on a voyage across the English Channel and on to the canals of Venince, next year. It has a top speed of just five knots so you’ll have no problem catching up to it in pretty much any motorized boat, and asking for a refreshing treat, wherever you are.

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New York Hosts Rat Fashion Show

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I thought rats were the most hated creatures in New York City, but it seems now it’s become fashionable to actually have them as pets.

On Sunday, dozens of rat lovers gathered in Manhattan to attend the world’s first Fancy Rat Convention, where pet fashion designer Ada Nieves showed off her rodent clothing collection, featuring rat tuxedos, wedding dressed, bridesmaids gowns and other exclusive designs. Her creations come complete with crystals or feathers and sell for about $80 each. ‘The rats look very cute and seem to like wearing them. Rats are very popular these days and the owners love to dress them up,’ the pet fashionista said.

According to rat owners present at the Fancy Rat Convention, despite the negative stereotype people have about rats, these creatures have amazing personalities which make them much more suitable pets than cats, dogs or ferrets. They are very sociable, intelligent, loving, and can be trained to do all kinds of tricks, from dancing to fetching stuff.

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This Is What I Call a Smoking Car

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In celebration of the World Anti-Tobacco Day, campaigners in Mumbai, India, have created an impressive life-size car model from 200,000 cigarettes. The smokable installation was placed on display in a Mumbai shopping mall, where it attracted the attention of everyone who passed by. But it was the message in the background that really caught my eye; apparently an average smoker will make short work of the 200,000 cigarettes in just a few years…

India is currently the second largest producer and consumer of tobacco, after China. At least one fifth of India’s population (roughly 241 million people) consume tobacco in some form.

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Thai Temple Offers the Ultimate Chance at Rebirth

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Wat Prommanee, a Buddhist temple, 66 miles northeast of Bangkok, offers believers the chance to lay in a coffin for a few moments, then rise up and feel reborn…

I for one find coffins to be really creepy and I wouldn’t dream of lying down in one if someone paid me all the money in the world, but at Wat Prommanee people actually wait in line and pay a fee for a chance to do just that. It’s one of the strangest ceremonies in the world, but one that has been rising in popularity ever since the temple started practicing it, over six years ago. Nine colorful coffins dominate the main hall of Wat Prommanee Temple, and hundreds of people lie down in them every day, playing dead for about a minute and a half, listening to religious chants, and rise up at command feeling cleansed and relaxed.

Wat Prommanee basically offers a daily resurrection service that many Thais believe washes away bad luck and helps prolong their life. It makes sense that people wish for a second chance in life, especially when confronted with serious issues, but lying down in a decorated coffin hardly seems like a solution. I mean, what if it doesn’t change anything, right? Well, they just go back and do it again. The ceremony apparently relaxes them and gives them positive thoughts, so many people come back to Wat Prommanee Temple for the chance to be reborn several times over a few years. All they have to do is pay a small fee.

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French Artists Create World’s Largest Comic Strip

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On Saturday, May 28th, a team of 11 writers and 111 designers have created the world’s largest comic strip, stretching 1 kilometer along the banks of the Rhone River, in Lyon, France.

Work on the world’s largest comic strip began Friday night, when students from the Emile Cohl Drawing School, in Lyon, were tasked with drawing up the simple but interesting script of the comic on 1-meter-long sheets of paper. They were coordinated by their teachers, while another 50 students handled the logistics of the project. It all had to be done in 24 hours to count as a valid Guinness Record and everyone involved gave it their all. “Initially everybody thought the idea a little crazy, but we did it!” said Mathieu Diez, director of the Lyon Comic Festival.

The black and white comic didn’t contain any words, but the script and graphics were simple and eloquent enough that everyone who saw it understood the story. It tells the tale of a shaggy Tarzan-like character, with a passion for drawing, who discovers the ways humanity has invented to represent itself (painting, sketching, etc.). 1,000 meter-long sheets of paper, weighing 800 kilograms, and 250 markers were used to create the 1-km-long comic strip. It was installed on the banks of the Rhone River, and passers-by reactions were very positive: “It’s nice to walk while reading. We could go on like this ten kilometers!” a young woman said while her six-year-old daughter was busy checking out the artwork.

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