Beauty Mud Cup 2010 Held in China

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With the eyes of the entire world on the Football World Cup, in South Africa, local authorities from Changsha, China had to come up with something better, yet related to current events.

And what’s better than football? Mud football, played by barely dressed gorgeous models, of course. So they set up a small football pitch, filled it with mud, brought in  models from various Chinese cities, and got the Beauty Mud Cup 2010 under way. In the photos below, teams from Hunan and Hubei go head to head, in one of the first matches of the competition. I don’t know the score, and neither do most of the male spectators who resumed to roars and cheers every time any of the girls kicked the ball through the mud.


China Hosts World’s First Robot Olympics

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The World’s first International Humanoid Robots Olympic Games kicked off on June 21, in China’s Harbin’s Institute of Technology.

Two years after hosting a memorable edition of the human Olympic Games, China becomes the first country to host an Olympics dedicated to humanoid robots. Nineteen teams, from China, United States, Japan, South Korea or Germany have brought their best robots to compete in this historic three-day event.

To enter the competition, robots had to be less than 60 cm long, and have a human shape, with a head, two arms and two legs. Just like in the real Olympic Games, the sporty robots had to compete in multiple challenges, 24 to be exact, ranging from boxing, to weight-lifting, dancing, or sprint. But there are also some unusual domestic events, like cleaning or medical care.

The sprinting contest took place on the first day, with the winner running a distance of five meters in 20 seconds flat. Not bad for a small robot, I think. Check out the video at the bottom, to see these little guys sweating silicone at the Robot Olympic Games.


Leaf Eaters Compete in Nettle Eating Championships

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Around 1,500 people showed up at the Bottle Inn pub, in Marshwood, Dorset, to see 61 contestants compete in the 2010 edition of the annual Nettle Eating World Championships.

The history of this bizarre eating competition can be traced back to the mid 1980s, when local farmers started the ‘Longest Stinging Nettle’ competition, to see who could grow the longest stem of nettles. Things went along just fine, until 1989, when Alex Williams presented a 15ft 6inches-long nettle, and claimed that if anyone could find a stem longer than his, he would it, As luck would have it, an American actually found a 16ft-long nettle, and Mr. Williams kept his word. From there on in, the competition evolved into the competitive eating challenge we now know as the Nettle Eating World Championships.

On June 19th, competitors were each served two-feet-long stinging nettle stalks, from which they had to pluck and eat the leaves. After an hour of eating, the bare stalks were measured and contestants who ate the most nettles, named winners.

In the men’s competition, first time participant Sam Cunningham managed to eat a whopping 74ft of stinging nettles, and claimed the title of king of the 2010 Nettle Eating World Championships. In the women’s contest, Laura Revell managed to consume 40ft of nettle, and win the title of champion.

Photos by REUTERS/Chris Helgren via Daylife


Say Good-Bye to Austin’s Cathedral of Junk

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The 60 tons of junk that made up the awesome Cathedral of Junk, in Austin, Texas, are probably on their way to the recycling plant right now, leaving us with just photos and memories of the famous roadside attraction.

Vince Hannemann began building the Cathedral of Junk in 1988, just because he thought it would be cool. There’s was no real purpose behind it, just a nice thing to build in an Austin backyard. He was in his mid twenties when he started, and he kept adding do it over the years, until it grew into a 60-ton pile of junk. But it wasn’t really junk, it was just made of it. In reality, the Cathedral of Junk had long become one of the cities most popular attractions. Tourists were coming over just to give Vince something new to add to his masterpiece, but, sadly, that won’t be happening anymore…

After a safety complaint, fro one of his neighbors, real estate inspectors showed up at Vince Hannemann’s door, saying he needed to get a permit, if he wanted to keep his 33-f00t-tall cathedral, made of everything from bicycle wheels to old urinals, computers and lawnmowers. he tried to comply, and together with a team of volunteers, began altering the cathedral to meet required standards. But looking at his beloved creation being reduced to something he didn’t recognize anymore, Vince decided to tear it down. “It already isn’t the Cathedral. It might best be described as Junkhenge,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m not willing to get a permit for the little that is left.”

According to many, this was the work of real estate firms, who did everything they could to bring down the Cathedral of Junk. It’s a sad time for the Austin art world…



Incredible Flower Carpets at the Genzano Flower Festival 2010

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If you’re a flower enthusiast, and you happen to be in Rome, in the second week of June, you just have to visit the small town of Genzano, for its world famous Infiorata.

The Genzano Infiorata is a flower festival that can be traced back to 1778. Every year, local artists cover an entire street (Via Belardi) with intricate flower carpets, inspired by famous artworks, religious paintings or geometrical shapes. The flower carpets are made by talented local artists who have to stick to a previously agreed upon theme, like ‘The Colors of Michelangelo’ or ‘The Designs of Bernini’.

The Infiorata of Genzano begins with the harvesting of millions of flowers, 2-3 days before the event. They are stored fresh, in caves around Genzano, while the artists draw their masterpieces on the pavement of Via Belardi, for the Saturday parade.

Preceded by a ‘mini Infiorata’, where children from local schools create the flower carpets, the Infiorata ends on the Monday of the third week of June, when children are allowed to destroy the colorful artworks, by playing on them.


Soccer World Cup 2010 Held Behind Bars

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World Cup 2010 Behind Bars is a soccer competition, held in Bangkok’s Klong Prem Central Prison, between 18 seven-player teams, made-up of inmates.

On June 10, the opening match, between Mexico and South Africa, was played on a muddy soccer pitch, inside the Thai prison, under the watchful eyes of dozen guards. It ended in a 1-1 draw, but the prisoners on the sidelines enjoyed every minute of the rare spectacle. They cheered and banged cow bells for the entire match, showing their support for the teams.

The World Cup Behind Bars was also held in 2002 and 2006 and this year it features 18 seven-player teams, from 45 different countries, picked from the prison’s 1,000 inmates population. They can each represent whatever nation they want, even if it’s not their own, and free spots are taken by Thai prisoners.

The winners of the World Cup Behind Bars 2010 will receive a replica of the FIFA World Cup trophy.


Germany Hosts European Mud Olympics 2010

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Over 500 contestants, from all over Europe, gathered at the Brunsbüttel dike, near Hamburg, Germany, for the 7th edition of the Mud Olympics, on June 6.

The event is unique on the North Sea coast, and features different wacky games, like mud football, mud volleyball, tug of war, or the eel relay race, all of which involved getting covered in mud, of course. And since playing in mud is apparently one of the most fun activities known to man, the 2010 European Mud Olympics drew in contestants from Italy, Switzerland, Belgium or Denmark, all looking to have a good time.

Prizes were awarded for winning the wacky events, as well as for the best team name, best team fans, or the funniest competing team. The good thing is participants to the Mud Olympics weren’t only fighting for themselves, but also for a good cause: the proceedings, over 100,000 euro, will be donated to the Schleswig-Holstein Cancer Society.



Chinese Taxi Drivers Invited to Destroy Unlicensed Cabs

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With so many people to drive around, it’s no wonder the Chinese taxi business is so competitive, but authorities are finally doing something about those unlicensed cabs that are ruining perfectly legitimate companies.

To show the world they are committed to riding China of illegal taxi cabs, authorities in Chengdu have invited 50 taxi drivers to publicly destroy 140 illegal vehicles, captured by the police. Armed with iron bars, the drivers released all their anger and frustration on their competition’s cars, until they reduced them to mere scrap metal.

Out of the 140 destroyed cabs, 73 were knock-offs, and 67 were illegal vehicles whose drivers failed to pay their fines, in due time. Most of the illegal taxi cabs in China are put together from scrap metal parts, and made to appear brand new. Their severely used parts and tires often lead to severe accidents, and the cars are very difficult to chase down.

Photos via ImagineChina


Superhero Gathering Sets New World Record

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1245 people dressed in superhero costumes gathered in Melbourne’s Federation Square to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people dressed as superheroes, in one place, at one time.

No villains dared even come close to Federation Square, on Saturday, when Batman, Superman, the Flash, Wolverine and dozens of other comic-book superheroes, of all ages and sizes, gathered to set a new world record. The event was part of the 75th anniversary of DC comics, and people showed up to honor the superheroes they grew up with.

Just last week 1091 people dressed as superheroes gathered at a rugby tournament, at Twickenham Stadium, in London, but their record only stood for seven days.

Photos by Quinn Rooney/GETTY IMAGES


Walking on Water at Dixon High School

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The “Walk on Water” challenge of Dixon High School has reached its 8th edition. Just like every year, since this event was started, students had to walk on water, without falling in.

Over 120 physics students, in 27 groups, tried to cross a 50-meter-long pool, in the 2 minute time limit, without getting wet. To complete this task, they were required to build mechanical gear that would keep them afloat and moving, at the same time. From giant hamster wheels, to floating skis, the students tried everything.

A few of them actually succeed in walking on water, and thus won the big prize: the chance to skip a final exam. Now that’s worth getting a little wet, over.

Photos by Renee C. Byer/


Wave Gotik Treffen – The Goth Festival of Leipzig

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The festival-friendly city of Leipzig, in Germany, has hosted the 19th edition Wave Gotik Treffen, considered the world’s largest Goth event.

Around 25,000 Goth fans, from all over Europe, gathered in Leipzig, four a 3 day festival (22 – 24 May), that started back in 1992. Covered in tons of eyeliner and makeup, and sporting shiny jewelry and extreme piercings, attendees paraded their eccentric outfits, on the city streets, and turned Leipzig into a dark fantasy realm, if only for a few days.

During the Wave Gotik Treffen, Goth enthusiasts enjoy Goth rock concerts, theatrical performances, film premieres, exhibitions and discussions on various philosophical topics. Take a look at some of the coolest costumes from the recently ended Wave Gotik Treffen 2010:


600-Kilogram Hero Book on Display in Russia

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In order to better familiarize the people of Chelyabinsk (the city that brought us the human smiley face) with the tragedies and heroes of World War II, local authorities have created a giant Hero Book.

6 meters long, 3 meters wide and weighing around 600 kilograms, the Hero Book of Chelyabinsk contains photos of the people who were killed here, during World War 2, and stories about how they fought for the freedom of Mother Russia.

Photos by CFP via Cri Online


The Annual World Custard Pie Championship

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Inspired by a Charlie Chaplin comedy, the World Custard Pie Championship is held every year, since 1967, in the village of Coxheath, Britain.

Teams came from as far as Germany and South Africa to compete in one of the wackiest events on the face of the Earth. Working in teams of five, contestants had to throw pies as accurately as possible, and hit opponents in certain parts of their bodies, to gather as many points as possible. Hitting an adversary in the face, earns the maximum of six points. Judges will also grant an extra five points for original and amusing styles of pie throwing.

Twelve teams took part in the World Custard Pie Championship 2010, and the champions were the High Pressure Cleaning team, who disposed of last’s year’s winners, Coxheath, in the final match. The pies used don’t actually contain custard, but they are made using a secret recipe.

The World Custard Pie Championship began as a charity event, in 1967, and as the years went by, it became more and more popular. Now bankers, and other people working in stressful environments welcome the opportunity to just let go and pummel someone with pies.

Photos by DAVID ROSE via


World Poutine Eating Championship

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The Poutine Eating Championship is a yearly food-eating competition where the contestants have to eat as much poutine as possible, in just 10 minutes.

I bet you’re still stuck on poutine, right? Many people outside Canada have never even heard of this delicacy, but they just eat it up there in the north. Poutine consists of french fries, cheese curds and brown gravy. Some say it sounds disgusting, but I wouldn’t mind trying some.

Anyway, during the World Poutine Eating Championship 2010, contestants had to gobble up as much poutine as possible, in 10 minutes time. The winner, 24-year-old Pat Bertoletti, churned 13 lbs of the stuff, and won himself a $750 prize and a cool trophy. Asked what he was going to do with his prize, Pat said he will spend it in a bar.

REUTERS photos by Mark Blinch via Daylife


16-Year-Old Girl Sails Around the World, in Pink Yacht

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Many said she would never make it, but teenager Jessica Watson shut them all up when she completed her months long journey, and sailed into Sydney Harbor, on May 15, 2010.

The Australian sailor took off on her daring trip around the world, on October 18, 2009, all by herself. For over 200 days and 23,000 nautical miles, Jessica was all alone on her 30-foot-long pink yacht, “Ella’s Pink Boat”. She had to overcome strong winds, waves as high as mountains, and loneliness, in order to prove young people can accomplish their dreams, whatever they might be.

Ms. Watson said the toughest times were when bad weather was forecast, and she had to fight against monster storms. But she managed to keep her cool, kept her boat afloat, and against all odds, complete her journey around the world.

Having become the world’s youngest person to sail around the world, non-stop and unassisted, Jessica Watson captured the attention and admiration of the whole world, and become rich and famous, in consequence. While she was away at sea, her team managed to secure deals estimated at around $1 million, with several companies, including one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers. She also has a nationwide book tour coming up, for her “True Spirit: The Aussie Girl Who Took on the World” book, due to come out in July, as well as other souvenir sales.

But saying Jessica Watson did it all for media attention and profit just wouldn’t be fair. She is clearly in love with the ocean, and she said that even after seven lonely months at sea, she was reluctant to leave the pink yacht that had become “more than a home”.

Photos via CourrierMail


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