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LEGO Masters Recreate Middle-Earth, All of It!

A group of LEGO and The Lord of the Rings fans have managed to create an awe-inspiring LEGO version of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, spanning over 200 square feet.

The idea for this amazing project was born at BrickWorld 2010, where Chris Phipson and Mark Kelso started talking about a collaboration. After going through some ideas, and concepts, Chris said “Hey, I got it… let’s do Lord of the Rings.” Obviously, Mark’s reply was along the lines of “You mean like… a few of us build Minas Tirith or Barad Dur?” But his LEGO loving friend had something much bigger in mind – he wanted to recreate ALL of Middle-Earth using LEGO.

When they first heard Chris’ monumental idea, most of the people involved in the project thought he was crazy, but after a bit of probing, the plan was put into action. As you can expect in a project of this magnitude, things didn’t exactly go smoothly from start to finish, but what’s important is many members of the LEGO building community helped out as much as they could. And, after a whole year of planning and building, the LEGO model of Middle-Earth was finally completed and showcased at BrickWorld 2011.

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Chinese Girl Allegedly Offers Her Virginity in Exchange for an iPhone 4

It seems some people would do anything to get their hands on Apple’s gadgets – like this Chinese girl who, apparently, posted on Weibo (China;s version of Twitter) that she would trade her virginity for an iPhone 4.

The Korea Herald reports that the young unnamed teen, from Guangdong, China, resorted to such desperate measures because it is her “dream to own a iPhone4 but her father won’t let her get one.” So she just decided to trade the only thing valuable enough to guarantee her the coveted phone. The girl posted a photo of  herself along with some basic info, letting everyone know she would give her virginity to anyone that buys her an iPhone 4.

As you can expect, reactions to her message were pretty negative. Some posted that her virginity was a lot more valuable than an iPhone, while others advised her to at least wait for the newer, improved iPhone 5 to be launched. There are also those who believe someone is simply using her account to play a cruel prank. It does sound kind of hard to believe someone would go to such lengths just to get an iPhone 4, but just a few weeks ago a Chinese teen sold one of his kidneys to get the money for an Apple iPad 2. He suffered some complications during surgery and will faces serious lifelong health issues…

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Lullaby – A Theater Show Designed to Put Spectators to Sleep

Usually, when members of the audience fall asleep during a play, it means the show was pretty boring, but at the Barbican Theater, in London, it’s considered a success.

Most plays are designed to excite and entertain spectators, but the Barbican’s “Lullaby” was conceived for a totally different purpose – it aims to put you to sleep long before the final act. Guests are asked to arrive at 10:00 pm sharp, and bring their pajamas and toothbrushes, as they’ll be spending the night in one of the beds crammed inside the theater’s hall. Single, double and triple beds are available, so you can enjoy the show by yourself or share the bed with someone you know.

Once spectators have put on their pajamas and taken their place in the pre-booked beds, lights are dimmed and the show is off to a slow, gentle start. It combines singing and storytelling designed to send you off to dreamland before proceedings come to an end, around 1 am. Instead of applause, actors are rewarded with occasional snores, as they take a bow before their sleeping audience, but that just means they did a good job. When lights are turned on, at 7:30 in the morning, spectators are treated to a classic English breakfast, to send them on their way.

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CosquilleArte – The World’s First Tickle Spa Opens in Spain

Relaxing is probably one of the last words people use to describe tickling, but at the CosquilleArte Spa, in Madrid, Spain, they actually use delicate tickling techniques to relieve clients’ stress.

I’ve seen some pretty bizarre spas since I began writing for OC, from resorts treating guests to wine, tea and sake baths, to clinics that use crude oil as treatment, but I never imagined someone would get the outrageous idea of using tickling as a stress-relieving therapy. But what I found even more ridiculous was that the idea actually worked and CosquilleArte has become one of the most popular spa venues in the Spanish capital. It wasn’t until later, when I learned the tickling methods have nothing to do with the terrible torture we all had to face from childhood friends, that this unusual form of therapy started to make sense.

Instead of jabbing their fingers into clients’ sides and armpits, like I’m sure you and your friends/siblings used to torment each other, the massage therapists at CosquilleArte gently trace their fingertips and soft feathers down their backs and other sensible areas, and adjust their touches according to how ticklish every person is. Although most first time customers clench when they’re touched, they leave the wacky establishment a lot more relaxed than when they came in.

Photo by CosquilleArte

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Art Student Creates Hair Raising Necklaces from Human Hair

Kerry Howley, a creative art student, from Cambridge, England, is creating quite a buzz in the art world, with her collection of delicate necklaces made from human hair.

The idea of creating jewelry from human hair was inspired by people’s aversion to cut hair. Hair is usually regarded as a very important part of the human body and is worn with pride, but once its connection to the body has been severed, it’s viewed as slightly disgusting. Through her art, the young Middlesex student “hoped to create a delicate balance between the viewer/wearer’s feelings of aversion and attraction.” She wanted to see if she could make cut hair attractive again.

The main material for Howley’s masterpieces was provided by one of her mother’s friends, a Japanese woman with hair down to her waist. She only cuts it once every five years, and when she had 30 cm cut off the bottom, she gave it all to Kerry. The 23-year-old art student used broken saw blades to cut and weave the strands of hair into abstract shapes inspired by wallpaper patterns, and spent over 60 hours working on each of the five hair necklaces she has created so far.

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Scottish Band Releases Single on Edible Chocolate Record

A collaboration between a talented chocolatier and Scottish band FOUND, this chocolate record can be considered the sweetest release of all time.

Chocolatier Ben Milne met FOUND members, Ziggy and Tommy, a couple of years ago, and they’ve become good friends, so when Ben approached them about doing something together in the shape of a chocolate record, it’s safe to to say they were pretty excited. But while the idea sounded pretty good in theory, it turned out pretty difficult to accomplish. At first, the Fife-based chocolate master went off and bought a 7″ single vinyl and covered it with melted chocolate, but that didn’t turn out very well, and he soon realized he had actually created the opposite of a record. Then he tried making a mold of the record and casting the chocolate vinyl from that, but he still couldn’t get the desired audio quality.

By this time, FOUND’s record company got really excited about this chocolate record, and they got PR companies involved, and Ben was just thinking his idea wasn’t going to work and he was going to let everybody down. As a last resort, he decided to ask the label to provide him with a template they use to press the actual vinyl, only use chocolate instead. That idea proved a winner, and when he played the first one to FOUND, the two members looked pretty impressed.

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New Zealand Pub Serves Shots of Apple-Flavored Horse Semen

A pub in Wellington, New Zealand, has caused quite a stir after it decided to serve apple-flavored horse semen shots to its customers.

Steven Drummond, co-owner of the Green Man Pub, in Wellington, was looking for a new drink as the entry for the nationwide 14th annual Monteith’s Beer & Wild Food Challenge, when he realized the sperm harvested from a nearby Christchurch stallion farm would make a fine choice. Add some apple flavor and voila, you have the most disgusting shot ever served in a bar. And the weirdest thing is people actually pay big money to try it. If someone paid you to drink horse semen, I’d (kind of) understand, but when you’re the one paying $20 for a shot of the stuff, you have a problem.

According to Green Man Pub chef, Jason Varley, the horse semen drink known as “Hoihoi tatea” is particularly preferred by the female clientele. Most ladies down the stuff and afterwards make jokes about going home and getting their husbands to eat grass, or about the possibility of their children being born with long faces. Varley admits he tried horse semen himself and claims it tastes “ok”, “like custard”, but says it’s not very popular with men, in general. Read More »

Farmer Uses Sheep as Living Billboards

English farmer, James Metcalfe, has brought a whole new meaning to the term “branding”, after using his sheep to advertise a business venture.

After authorities denied his request to erect billboards near the A1 highway, because they could distract drivers, Metcalfe, from Dalton, North Yorkshier, decided to advertise his turf company using 20 of his sheep as living banners. Sheep marker comes in spray cans so it was quite easy to write Tyas Turf on the oblivious animals, and since the fields they graze on are right next to the A1, they’re just as good as any billboards.

Asked if he considers expanding into the advertising business, and renting his sheep as advertising space for other companies, Metcalfe, who partly owns Tyas Turf, said he doesn’t reckon his shepherd will go along with the idea, since he barely convinced him to let him  spray-paint the 20 sheep.

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German Village Hosts Weird Tobacco Sniffing Championship

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

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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Students Stage Most Romantic Break-up Ceremony Ever

Break-ups are almost never pretty, but two Chinese students have managed to melt the hearts of millions around the world, with their romantic break-up ceremony.

Xu Minyu and Xiao Ying, two students from Wuhan’s University of Science and Technology, had formed a couple for the last four years, and even though everything was great between them, they decided to break up upon graduating college. It wasn’t an easy decision for either of them, but they both agreed their careers were more important at this point in their lives, and a long distance relationship just wasn’t going to work. Xu Minyu will join the civil service in Hangzhou, while his girlfriend, Ying, has already signed a contract with a Beijing-based company. This puts 1,200 km between them and makes a normal relationship impossible.

But, unlike most couple who usually just decide to simply put an end to their relationship, or worse, have a terrible break-up fight, the two students decided to commemorate their love with a memorable with a memorable ceremony. It all went down last Thursday night, when, surrounded by burning candles and a crowd of fellow students, Minyu went up to his beloved girlfriend, carrying a bouquet of 99 roses, got down on one knee and asked for a break-up. Just like during a wedding proposal, the crowd shouted “Say yes, say yes”, and after a two-minute silence, Xiao Ying accepted the flowers and the proposal.

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Owner Has His Porsche 911 Executed by Firing Squad

Fed-up with his dream car’s reoccurring engine problems,  a Porsche 911 owner decided to donate it to a local gun club, to be shot with 10,000 bullets.

What do you do when having to repeatedly fix an expensive car gets too frustrating? Well,we’ve seen a Lamborghini owner who had it destroyed with jackhammers,  a man who had his Range Rover pulled to the dealership by donkeys, and now a man who preferred to donate his beautiful Porsche 911 for target practice, rather than pay over $20,000 in repairs.

When the members of Comm2A, an organisation dedicated to protecting US gun rights, from Massachusetts, first heard they would get the chance of emptying their magazines in the expensive German sports car, they probably thought it was a joke, but after he took the first shot himself, they knew he was serious. 140 gun-wielding men, women and children shot more than 10,000 bullets at the poor Porsche putting its sturdy body to the ultimate test. Although it was ultimately reduced to a pierced pile of junk, members of Comm2A were surprised about how well it held up against the rain of led. There was little damage done to the passenger side of the Porsche, where bullets seemed unable to penetrate the gas tank. Only the larger, high-velocity rounds managed to pierce both sides of the car.

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Cake Boss Star Creates Mind-Blowing Bumblebee Cake

It was definitely not a piece of cake, but Cake Boss star, Buddy Valastro, managed to create an incredibly realistic cake shaped like the Chevrolet Camaro-shifting Autobot, Bumblebee.

With Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon scheduled for a July 1st release, the people at General Motors though this was a good pretext to gain some exposure for their gorgeous Chevrolet Camaro, so they asked Buddy Valastro to create a detailed cake shaped both as a yellow Camaro and as Transformers star, Bumblebee. Many asked if he could deliver something impressive enough, but when the rolled in at the 2011 New York Auto Show, no one had any more doubts.

The event was featured on TLC’s Cake Boss, in an episode that aired June 20, and viewers got to see one of the biggest, most incredible-cakes ever made. The Camaro-Bumblebee cake weighed 1,500 pounds, and was made of yellow sponge cake, Rice Crispy Treats, buttercream frosting, and yellow and black frosting for the Transformers figure. The unique cake had moving wings, lights and pyrotechnics.

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Would You Pay $100,000 for a Simple Razor?

Ok, so maybe the Zafiro Iridium limited-edition razor isn’t what you’d call simple, after all its handle is made of 99.9% pure iridium, but it’s still just a razor. Only it costs $100,000.

Gillette may hold the record for world’s biggest shave, but they don’t even come close to Zafiro in terms of razor prices. Using experience gained in fields such as rocket engine manufacturing, nanotechnology and particle physics, Zafiro makes razors…I’m thinking all that precious experience could have been put to better use, but I guess some people just take shaving more seriously than I do. Anyway, their latest achievement is the Zafiro Iridium, a special razor that will be produced in a limited series of just 99, each engraved with a serial number and monogrammed to your specifications at no extra charge. No extra charge to the $100,000 you’ll have to pay for the razor.

But what on Earth makes any razor worth $100,000? Its two blades are made from white sapphire grown at a former Soviet Union lab in Ukraine. They are only 80 atoms thick on their cutting edge (about 1/10.000th the width of a hair) and are a lot sharper than any of the common blades on the market today. Zafiro claims the sapphire blades will stay sharp for about a year, and offers complimentary cleaning and resharpening for an entire decade.

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Man Makes a Living Scraping the Sidewalk for Gold and Diamonds

Believe it or not, the streets of New York really are paved with gold, but you have to get down and dirty to get your hands on it. For urban prospector Raffi Stephanian this isn’t an issue, just a great way to pay the bills.

Using only a Styrofoam cup, a butter knife and tweezers, 43-year-old Raffi scours the streets of New York’s Diamond District searching for gold, diamonds and other precious jewels. You’ve probably walked on 47th Street countless times and didn’t realize the riches that were right there in front of you, but don’t beat yourself up about it, Raffi was probably the only one who ever thought there was something valuable on the sidewalk. And that only because he worked as a stone setter, years ago, when he found gold scraps on the floor of a diamond exchange. He realized if he could find gold inside, then people must have carried it outside, as well.

The gold and precious stones industry is a hectic one, and you can see people running from one shop to the other, from a diamond supplier to a diamond dealer, and so on, and in the process, they drop tiny valuables without even realizing it. Most of the fragments found by Raffi Stephanian were carried into the streets by diamond merchants who accidentally picked them up on their clothes or on the soles of their shoes. He also finds platinum chips, loops from broken necklaces, watches or bracelets, all of which were dropped by mistake.

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