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Girl Meets Bug – Where Insects Are the Main Course

Daniella Martin is the host of a web-based show called Girl Meets Bug, which tries to show viewers just how eco-friendly it is for people to eat insects and worms.

Daniella’s fascination with eating bugs began 10 years ago, while she was doing anthropological work in Mexico. She discovered the Maya used to eat a variety of creepy crawlers, and while feasting on a small bag of chapulines (dry-roasted grasshoppers with lime and chili) in Oaxaca, she noticed street kids gathered around her table and started eating the bugs off the table. This inspired Daniella to dig deeper into the history of insect eating and upon conducting some research she found 80% of the world’s cultures eat bugs.

Ms Martin says “the day that I was introduced to edible insects changed everything” so she decided to become “an edible insect advocate.” She’s eaten dozens of insect varieties so far, and says each of them has its unique taste and texture, but has a long way to go if she wants to experience all the 1,500 types of edible insects currently known to man. “It’s just about culture, you know, thirty years ago, sushi was considered to be very strange…honestly, I think of it as a cultural matrix that’s in our minds and I don’t know what it’s going to take to change American minds,” Martin says about Americans fear of insects, and adds that all bug cuisine needs is good marketing.

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Inspiring Iranian Artist Paints with Her Feet

Zohreh Etezad Saltaneh is a 49-year-old Iranian artist born with a birth defect that affected the growth of her arms, who manages to paint, weave and do house chores with her feet.

Born in 1962, Zohreh struggled with her condition at first, but says she owes everything she has achieved to her parents, who “brought me up in such a way that I have become self-reliant.“ Chores that once seemed impossible to do with only her feet gradually became easier and, although things like shopping are still a bit challenging, she can now do some things even better than normal people. It has taken her over four decades but “now I have come to terms with this issue. Sometimes when I’m working, I don’t necessarily think ‘these’ are my feet, or that I don’t actually have any hands.”

Zohreh remembers her mother put the paint brush between her toes at a very young age and encouraged to express herself in an artistic way. But not even her mother could have foreseen Zoreh’s success in the artworld – she has received numerous awards and her paintings have been showcased in over 60 national and international exhibitions. She is a member of the International Association of Painters and is currently studying for a masters in psychology. “My slogan has always been: ‘being disabled does not mean being restricted’,” she says, and her life achievement stand as proof.

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Scooter-Riding Dog Becomes Internet Sensation

Norman, a 20-months-old Briard, has become quite the online star, after his owners posted videos of him riding a scooter.

The incredible canine who lives with the Cobb family, in Canton, Georgia, started playing with a razor scooter in the backyard, when he was a pup. Karen Cobb says they saw him playing around with it and decided to give him a ride on it. He seemed to like it, so they tried to teach him to push it on his own. Now, Norman loves riding his favorite toy as often as he can.

Norman is a very clever dog; he got his Companion Dog Title when he was just 15 months old, and is a regular at canine obedience competitions. In fact, the French Briard breed is known for talents like search and rescue, police work, guarding and herding. Throughout history, they’ve been loyal companions to important figures like Napoleon Bonaparte or Thomas Jefferson.

After the Cobbs posted videos of him riding around on a scooter, Norman quickly became an Internet sensation and is now one of the most popular friends on Facebook and has made an appearance on Stupid Pet Tricks on The Late Show with David Letterman.

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Cycle Ball – When Cycling Met Football

Cycle Ball is a niche sport that combines football and cycling in a unique way. It’s been around for over a century, but it’s still regarded as an unusual sport, especially in America.

Also known as “radball”, Cycle Ball was invented in 1893, by a German-American named Nicholas Edward Kaufmann, and steadily gained popularity around Europe. The first Cycle Ball championship was held in 1929, and the sport even reached far lands like Japan, but it never really caught on in the US. You’d think Yanks don’t fancy weird sports played on a bike, but how do you explain the increasing popularity of Bike Polo, or Unicycle Basketball?

Cycle Ball is played by two teams made up of two players riding around a basketball field and trying to shoot a ball through their opponents’ goal, using their heads, or the front wheels of the bikes. It may sound strange, but it’s a pretty simple and fun game to play. A match consists of two seven-minute halves, in which players must keep their feet off the ground to avoid a free-kick, and try to score more goals than their adversaries. While defending the goal, one of the players is allowed to use hands, but you’d be surprised how hard the ball is usually struck in one of these games, so using hands doesn’t help much if the ball is well directed.

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Terje Isungset’s Ice Instruments Make Cool Music

Terje Isungset, one of the world’s most talented percussionists, creates ice music with instruments he carves out of pure glacier ice.

Born in the Norwegian village of Geilo, Isungset grew up surrounded by a family of musicians, and grew up to be one of the most innovative percussionists of our time, Over the years, he has created musical instruments out of natural materials like arctic birch, granite, slate, but the thing he is most passionate about is making ice music, a style that he pioneered through the creation of ice instruments.

Isungset first fell in love with ice music in the year 2000, when the commission for the Lillehammer Winter Olympic Games asked him to compose and play in a frozen waterfall. He was already renown for creating musical instruments out of other primitive materials, but he had never worked with ice. He took it as a challenge and managed to compose a greatly appreciated minimalist composition with just whatever the river provided – ice, water, stone and some wood.

Terje Isungset describes the process of making ice music and ice instruments as hard work and a continuing learning process. Most of his tools are made of pure glacier ice, so clear you can see through meters of it. He just cuts the ice cubes with a knife and carves them into instruments. Most of his creations are percussion tools, but he has been known to make an ice guitar, an ice harp, a trumpet and even a fiddle.

While Terje Isungset’s ice music can’t exactly be referred to as radically new (considering man actually started making using with whatever materials nature provided him with), it’s definitely a breath of fresh air, in this modern age.

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Christmas Tree Made Out Of 80,000 Plastic Spoons

A team of young Taiwanese students as created an impressive Christmas tree out of 80,000 plastic spoons, in Taichung city.

In their quest to deliver a message about the environment, this Christmas, a team of six students from Taiwan’s Transworld University have created a unique Christmas tree out of 80,000 plastic spoons. The young environmentalists entered a competition for the best Christmas tree made of recyclable materials, and their original idea came up on top.

The 80,000 plastic spoons used in the making of the tree were provided by the Taiwanese branch of KFC, who was probably looking for a way of improving its overall image. After the holiday season, the spoons will be taken to a recycling facility and used to create something useful. Impressed by the feat of these young students, mayor Jason Hu felt the need to send an environmental message of his own: “”Christmas must be celebrated in an eco-friendly way, and it is the same when we choose clothing or when we take a shower.”

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Scooterputer – A Computer You Can Actually Ride

Have you ever wished there was an easy way to take your computer everywhere you go? No, I don’t mean laptops, tablets or smartphones, but the old trusty desktop.

Stephen Popa, from Portalnd, Oregon USA, has definitely given this idea a lot of thought and came up with this beautiful casemod he called “Scooterputer” – a computer casemod that you actually ride, like you would a normal scooter. Stephen showcased his original invention shortly after introducing the world to “Rog-R” – the world’s first remote-controlled gaming casemod.

The Scooterputer is made up of a Thermaltake Element V case housing components like an Intel i7 processor, 4GB RAM, GTS 250 graphics card, three RAIDed hard drives, USB 3.0 port, dual layer DVD burner, Thermaltake TR2 1200 Watt power supply and a Thermaltake Big Water 850I cooling kit. The PC is attached to a 24v rechargeable  electric scooter. This has to be up there with the coolest rides a geek could ever own.

 

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Brian Olsen’s Art in Action

By combining artistic talent with music and lots of energy, Brian Olsen puts on a memorable show called “Art in Action” where he transforms a blank canvas into a regular masterpiece, in a matter of minutes.

Brian Olsen is more than just a talented painter, he’s an entertainer. Unlike most painters who enjoy working in the comfort of their own art studios, in piece and quiet, Brian does it in front of an audience, using loud music as the source of his inspiration. Dressed in one of his paint-splattered outfits, he goes to work on a blank canvas, and in just ten minutes time turns it into the colorful portrait of a popular rockstar, and he does it all by using up to three brushes in each hand, as well as his fingers and palms. He brushes away to the beat coming from the speakers, jumps and kicks into the air, and splatters paint at his artwork from time to time, as if to release some of the energy that builds up inside of him. In the end, the audience gets a beautiful painting, as well as a unique display of creativity.

Having studied under Denny Dent, the painting sensation of the 1980s, Brian Olsen inherited his master’s secrets and is now on a mission to keep his legacy alive and take Art in Action to new heights.

Be sure to check the videos at the bottom, to see Brian also perform his adrenaline-filled Art in Action show.

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Asher Bradshaw – The 7-Year-Old Skateboarding Sensation

While most kids his age spend their day playing with action figures or mashing the buttons on their Xbox, Asher Bradshaw likes to show off his skateboarding talent, at the Venice Skatepark, in Los Angeles.

I’m sure Asher isn’t the only seven-year-old skateboarder out there, you may even see younger ones, but his talent and fearless attitude are really unique. The young prodigy only took up skateboarding in May 2009, but in just a year and a half his become a master with the board. Looking at him in his oversized clothes, with a big helmet on his little head, people first think something along the line of “he’s so cute!” but as soon as he slides down the half-pipe, that attitude quickly changes into something like “damn, he’s rad!”

Most skateboarders train for years to master some of the most difficult moves, but little Asher has done it in just a few months time. He throws himself inside the giant bowls, jumps over up to ten steps, slides over stuff, and does it all fearlessly. And since he’s such a rad skateboarder, on the rare occasions that he does fall, he does it so hard that he spends a few minutes crying in his dad’s arms and quickly gets back to skating.

At just seven years of age, Asher Bradshaw is already a local celebrity and those that have seen him perform on a skateboard say he has a bright future ahead of him. Check out the video below and see for yourself:

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Ben Wilson’s Tiny Chewing Gum Masterpieces

English urban artist Ben Wilson has made it his mission to make the streets of London more colorful, by painting every piece of old chewing gum he can find on the pavement.

Over the last six years, Wilson has been roaming the streets of London, looking for pieces of chewing gum to turn into miniature works of art. Spitting a piece of gum, rather than throwing it away in a bin, or at least using a tissue is definitely the wrong thing to do, but fortunately, an artist like Ben Wilson can turn the whole situation around, using his talent.

Wearing a paint-covered coat and carrying his trusty paint kit, Ben spends most of his days looking for suitable pieces of gum to turn into artworks. He needs them to be a bit old, so that they lack any moisture, then heats them up and applies lacquers. This makes a much better surface for his acrylic paints and hardens the piece of gum. He paints his own designs, but also gladly accepts commissions from passers-by or institutions like the Royal Society of Chemistry, who asked him to paint 118 themed chewing gum artworks, one for each of the known elements.

Each of his beautiful pavement masterpieces takes between a few hours and days to complete, depending on the level of detail. So far, Ben estimates he has painted around 8,000 pieces of gum throughout London, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon, although his passion got him into trouble, a couple of times. He’s been arrested twice, but the charges were eventually dropped, since he wasn’t the one who threw the pieces of gum on the pavement, in the first place.

Ben Wilson’s chewing gum art have made him quite popular around London, and even in distant South Korea, where he was featured on a television show.

 

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Twinkle Dwivedi – The Girl Who Cries Blood

For the last three years, doctors have been trying to figure out what makes Twinkle Dwivedi‘s body ooze blood through her eyes, feet and even her head, but she remains a medical mystery.

When Twinkle’s case first appeared in the international media, many hurried to call her a fake, but after countless tests and procedures, including blood transfusions, doctors are still baffled by her strange bleeding. A group of medical specialists, led by dr. George Buchanan, recently traveled to North India to investigate the 14-year-old Twinkle, but all they have been able to say was that “she really suffers from a condition we have never seen before.”

The young teen remembers her disorder first appeared when she was just 11, and her classmates started mocking her and calling her disgusting. Although her bleeding didn’t hurt at all, she felt scared and alone, because no one would come near her. At first she would cry when she saw her clothes soaked with blood, but now she just keeps quiet, and prays she will eventually get better.

Despite her parents efforts, who took her to see the best doctors, Twinkle Dwivedi still bleeds from her eyes and pores, up to 14 times a day. Read More »

Dog Castle – The Coolest Dog House in Japan

Nanami,  a playful Japanese pooch can claim to be the only dog in the world to be living in a regular castle.

Built as a small replica of Japan’s famous Matsumoto Castle, Nanami’s castle stands 2.5 meters tall and features three rooms. At the front is the main hall, where Nanami can just lay on his belly and watch out for the mailman, while at the back he has a sand-floor room, for cooling down during the hot summer days, and a rear room to hide in during thunderstorms.

Located in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Nanami’s castle took his owner six months to complete, and cost 50,000 yen ($583). While it may not be as old and famous as the real Matsumoto Castle, built in 1504, Nanami can be proud of his new dog castle.

If you’re a fan of over-the-top dog houses, you’re going to love this veritable dog mansion.

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The Bizarre Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival

Every March, the Wat Bang Phra temple of Nakhom Pathom, Thailand, becomes the scene of a weird celebration, known as  the Wat Bang Phra Tattoo Festival.

While in most western countries tattoos are viewed as an art form, in Thailand, a country with a culture deeply rooted in superstition and spirituality, tattoos are considered more than just skin deep artworks. The traditional Thai tattoos, known as “Sak Yant”, are believed to have magical powers, and people get them done at temples, for protection against evil spirits, and as good luck charms. Many members of Thai police, army, and the underworld think some tattoos have the power to stop bullets and blades from piercing their skin.

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Ti Jian Zi – The Ancient Art of Shuttlecock Kicking

One of the most popular traditional Chinese arts, Ti Jian Zi, known in the western world as shuttlecock kicking, requires a great deal of skill and practice.

The game of shuttlecock kicking is believed to have been invented sometime during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and gradually increased in popularity,  to a point where shops that specialized in the making of shuttlecocks began appearing all over China. The art of shuttlecock kicking reached its climax during the Qing Dynasty, when competitions were held between masters of the game from all over the country.

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Real Life Terran Marine Spotted in Russia

The launch of Starcraft 2 was a monumental international event, but Blizzard went out of its way to surprise Russian fans of the popular RTS franchise, by featuring a life-size replica of the Terran Marine costume.

A day before the official launch, photos of what seemed to be a Terran Marine in the middle of Moscow’s Red Square appeared on the Internet. Most claimed it was just a Photoshop job, and a bad one at that, but when the real-life Starcraft Terran Marine made an appearance at the launch site, everyone put their doubts aside and began cheering like crazy.

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