Swimsuit Skiing Carnival Held in China

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Wearing nothing but swimsuits and summer apparel, contestants conquered the snowy slopes, during a fun carnival held in the Shanyang Forest Park, China.

Skiing is fun (Or so I’m told) but sliding down the slope and climbing back up again, can only be exciting for so long. So to spice things up a little, the people at Forest Park organized a fun winter carnival where participants would wear swimsuits and summer clothes.

As you can see in the photos, it was a pretty big hit that attracted a hefty number of skiing (and probably swimming) enthusiasts.

Photos by Zhao Jingdong/Xinhua

via Sina

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The Incredible Sword-Swallowing Space Cowboy

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Chayne Hultgren, an Australian street-performer who goes by the name of Space Cowboy managed to swallow 18 sharp swords in one gulp.

31-year-old Chayne has been practicing the art of sword-swallowing since he was just 16 years old. Back then he started out by swallowing a garden hose, which he still uses as practice for the more dangerous stunts. After a few years of swallowing hoses, he finally moved on to steel swords.

According to the Space Cowboy himself, sword-swallowing is not as dangerous as it looks, if you know how to do it. It takes years of practice, meditation and knowing your own body. He says it took a while before learning how not to gag and controlling his internal organs.

The Space Cowboy Hultgren entertains Sydney passers-by for a living, swallowing swords all day long, but this time it was special. The crowd gathered near Sydney Harbor witnessed a new Guinness Record being set, as our hero slipped 18 swords down his throat, and towards the stomach, missing the heart by less than an inch.

The previous record of 17 swords, each of them 2 feet 4 inches long, was set by the same Chayne Hultgren.

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Head to Bondi Beach for a Quick Read

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To celebrate the 30th anniversary of its most popular bookcase, the BILLY, IKEA placed 30 bookshelves on Bondi Beach, in Sydney.

This festive event took place on February 2nd, and attracted a large number of bookworms, eager to check-out the books the shelves contained. Visitors had the chance to trade one of their old books for an old one from the Bondi Beach bookcase, or make a small donation for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

The 30 BILLY bookshelves were only held in place for their birthday.

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Moscow’s Army of Snowmen

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No, it’s not the Cold War all over again, it’s just the Russian way of celebrating Slava Polunin’s Snow Show.

Every year, after a heavy snowfall, Moscow becomes the home of around 100 snowmen, part of an advertising installation. This time, the army of snowmen showed up in central Moscow, but every year is pops-up in a different part of the city, in order to keep everyone guessing.

The snowmen are part of an advertising campaign to promote an annual performance by famous Russian clowns. As you can imagine, locals love snowmen and lose no opportunity to have their pictures with them.

Photos by GETTYIMAGES via Daylife

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Big Sandy Shoot – Shooter Heaven on Earth

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Every year, the Big Sandy Shoot draws in hundreds of shooter from all over the world, for what is known as the “largest shoot”.

The Big Sandy Shoot is a bi-annual event, held in the western desert of Arizona, where you can shoot your heart out for three straight days. Featuring a 1500 foot firing line, 1200 yard maximum range, over 1000 reactive targets and aerial targets, this is one shooting exhibition you don’t want to miss, if you’re into this stuff.

Machine-guns, gatling guns, bazookas, and pretty much every other type of weapon ever invented can be found at the Big Sandy Shoot. Shooters have to fork out $230 ($200 if reserved in advance) to participate and spectators just $25. Both have to sign a release waiver stating they enter the shooting range at their own risk.

The average 3.5 million rounds fired at the Big Sandy Shoot certify it as the world’s biggest shooting event. I can’t say that impresses me much and regarding the safety, seeing women and kids handling deadly equipment isn’t very reassuring.

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Britain’s Bubble-Wrapped Street

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In order to warn drivers of the dangers of reckless driving, a British insurance company wrapped the most accident-prone street in Britain in 1,500 square meters of bubble wrap.

According to Confused.com, a popular insurance comparison site, the residents of Somerville Road, Worchester, are responsible for the highest number of accident claims in the entire united Kingdom. For the last 10 years, around 10 claims per years have been registered on “Accident Avenue”.

The original idea of wrapping the whole street in protective bubble wrap belongs to the people at Confused.com, who thought to themselves: “we bubble wrap all our little breakables to keep them safe and sound – so why not a whole street?”. It took eight people 12 hours to completely bubble wrap the entire Somerville Road, from houses to cars and even garden gnomes.

This was a very inspired stunt, considering bubble wrap is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week.

Photos by GETTY IMAGES via Daily Mail

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Whiteout at the Xinzo Festival Flour Battle

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One of the many Ourense festivals, the Spanish village of Xinzo de Limia host one of the most unique food fights in the world, the “flour battle”.

Every year, Galicians from  Xinzo de Limia celebrate their very own Ourense festival. The entire festivities are centered around a number of mythical characters (peliqueiros) whose significance and stories have been forgotten in time. Still the are part of local tradition, so the people dress in colorful clothes, put-on intricate masks and run through the streets of the city, making as much noise as possible.

People all over Galicia come to see the “peliqueiros”, but also to take part in the Flour Battle, where people through tons of flour at each other. Glasses are recommended as the fine ingredient can get pretty much anywhere.

Take a look at some photos taken at this year’s edition of the Flour Battle, Xinzo de Limia.

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Soccer Tournament for the Blind

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If you thought there was no way blind people could play soccer, think again. There are even official soccer tournaments for the blind, held between national teams.

The latest tournament took place in the Sokolniki district of Moscow. Four international teams gathered for a series of matches “in the dark”. It’s hard to understand how you can play a game like soccer without seeing a thing. All the players, with different degrees of blindness, have their eyes stuck shut with a kind of band-aid and covered with a night mask that provides protection and puts them all on equal footing.

But just because their vision is impaired, doesn’t mean they can’t use their other senses to coordinate. Their developed hearing helps them locate the ball and their team-mates and guides them towards the opposite goal. The ball itself is not the kind used in normal soccer matches, it’s a lot heavier, doesn’t bounce and produces a rattle noise to alert the players to its location.

The game lasts for two 25-minute halves, in which the players, guided by their coaches and team-guides, people who sit behind opposite goal and direct players on how to approach and score. One of the most interesting things about soccer for the blind is the goalkeepers aren’t blindfolded, so they can see where the ball is going. Still, goals are scored regularly, unlike in the Eton Wall Game.

Don’t imagine the game looks anything like the normal soccer games, the players hardly ever pass long or use their heads, they mainly stick to dribbling, short passing and shooting at the goal.

Photos via Drugoi

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Models Look Even More Delicious in Chocolate Outfits

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As if ripping a model’s clothes off with your teeth wasn’t cool enough, imagine if her clothes were made entirely out of delicious chocolate. Guess what, your dreams have become a reality! Well…without the ripping clothes off part.

What’s hotter that Asian models dressed in chocolate? Can’t think of anything right now, and if you can, you’re the one with the problem. These girls took part in a parade to kick off the 2010 Salon du Chocolat, in Shanghai. I have to say this is the way every event should start.

via Telegraph.co.uk

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The Skiing Witches of Belalp Hexe

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I remember a time when witches flew on brooms. Nowadays they’re flying on the ski-slopes, using their brooms as sticks. What’s the occult world coming to?

Every year, between January 10-16, over 1,500 people from Switzerland and other European countries gather at Belalp, for one of the wackiest downhill skiing races in the world. The Witches Downhill challenge has contestants dress up as witches and race down a snowy mountain.

Races are organized for children and adults alike and between challenges there are fun parties to go to. Witches Night is the biggest, with over 3,000 participants indulging in singing, dancing, drinking and all around partying.

The Belalp Hexe Ski Race began in 1983, inspired by a real witch that apparently lived nearby and terrorized locals. she actually flew around and everything.

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Michel de Broin Builds World’s Largest Disco-Ball

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Make the entire world your disco. I bet that’s what French artist Michel de Broin thought to himself when he decided to create the world’s largest disco-ball.

It might sound like a crazy idea, but Michael de Broin actually did it. Using a 7.5 meter disco-ball, featuring 1,000 mirror pieces, the artist managed to light up Paris on a winter night. He did so by hanging the giant disco-ball 50 meters up, using a giant crane, and projecting light onto it.

The ball was hung up in the Jardin de Luxumburg and the light effects that covered Paris were more than worth the effort of bulding the whole installation. plus now Michel de Broin could enter the record books for the World’s Largest Disco-Ball.

via Lifelounge

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South Korean Balloons to Free North Korea

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In an attempt to undermine Kim Jong Il’s authority in North Korea, members of  South Korean nongovernmental organizations constantly send balloons filled with leaflets into North Korea.

On January 10, 2010 activists for the freedom of North Korea and the unification of the peninsula, from Paju, 51 km north of Seoul, sent two helium-inflated balloons into North Korea. They attached bags of leaflets and sweets to them, hoping to convince their northern neighbors to rise against Kim Jong Il’s dictatorship.

This practice has been going on for the last two years and North Korea has repeatedly asked Southern authorities to punish organizations who send the balloons and undermine the country’s regime. In spite of nuclear-war hints from its northern neighbor, South Korea hasn’t taken any measures against the activists.

The constant nuclear threat, reports of serious human rights violations and the existence of political prisoner camps in North Korea, make the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries virtually impossible.

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Unicycle Sports Performed at UNICON 2010

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Over 650 unicyclists from 23 countries, and even more spectators gathered in Wellington, New Zealand, for the 15th 15th International Unicycle World Championships and Convention (UNICON XV).

UNICON is held every two years and welcomes anyone who can ride a one wheeled-bicycle. This year, the 10 day event took place between December 27, 2009 and January 7 2010 and hosted  all sorts of fun competition, performed on unicycles, of course. There were 30 different events, of which the most interesting were MUni (mountain-uni-cycling), Road Racing, Track and Field, Unicycle Hockey and Unicycle Basketball.

Yup, basketball and hockey played while riding a unicycle. Maybe you’ve seen this kind of display before, but it’s definitely new to me. I found some photos from UNICON 2010 and added a couple of videos, so you can better understand the game.

I guess these fall in the same weird category as underwater rugby.

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No Pants Subway Ride 2010

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Around 3,000 people stripped down to their underwear, on Sunday, for the 9th annual No Pants Subway Ride.

Started in 2002, with just seven participants, the No Pants Subway Ride has turned into an international tradition. This year, people from 43 cities, in 16 countries joined their New York peers and boarded the subway in their undies.

Some participants to the New York event were met by protesters carrying banners and asking people not to strip, but the joy of the strippers quickly convinced the protesters to take of their pants and join the party. Wearing all kinds of underpants, from bikinis to male thongs, commuters braved the cold and spent No Pants Subway Ride 2010 talking or reading magazines, like they normally do.

No Pants Subway Ride was initiated by Improv Everywhere, an organization that made it its mission to create “scenes of chaos and joy in public places.”

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Mass Ice-Fishing at Hwacheon Ice Festival

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Each winter, Hwacheon county, in South-Korea, draws-in over one million people to the Hwacheon Sancheoneo ice festival, held on a frozen river.

Hwacheon Festival hosts sledding, ice-soccer and snowman-building events, but the highlight of the event is the ice-fishing for fresh mountain trout. Under the thick ice, abundant quantities of fish are waiting for skilled fishermen. Anyone can try their luck at catching trout, at one of the nine thousand holes drilled in the icy surface of the river.

You might want to change your seat regularly, as the fish tend to move from one place to another, quite frequently. Once you catch a fish, you can take it to one of the mane cooking centers scattered on the festival grounds. There you can have it prepare raw or grilled. Any way you choose to prepare it, the Sancheoneo fish will melt in your mouth.

Another fun event at the Hwacheon Festival is catching the trout with your bare hands. Just slip in a pool of ice-cold water and try to grab the slippery critters.

Photos by Reuters via Drugoi

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