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Indian Artist Paints with His Tongue

Now here’s a hobby that’s bound to leave a bad aftertaste. Ani K, from Kerala, India, makes paintings using his tongue. No, he doesn’t hold a paintbrush with his tongue, as I mistakenly believed at first. He actually slathers paint on it, which he then transfers on to canvas to create beautiful images.

Sounds rather gross to me, but the talent is certainly something to behold. Ani K, who works as a drawing teacher, says he was inspired by an artist who painted with his foot and wanted to do something like that. He started off using his nose, but he realized that was done before and he wanted something unique. That’s when he zeroed in on his tongue. “I thought of giving my tongue a try and succeeded,” he says. “Many newspapers reported it. I got a good response. Then, I made it a regular practice.”

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Blo-Ball – Air Hockey Played with Your Mouth

What could make a game like ping pong more interesting? Abandon the paddles and blow the ball across, of course! And that’s exactly what Blo-Ball is all about. The game is a mix of air hockey and ping pong, with players crouching on either side of a six-foot long table. In a bizarre display of lung-power, they take turns in blowing the ball across to their opponents. Rails on either side of the table keep the ball from falling off ever-so-often, and the height is adjustable to accommodate player heights. It can be played singles or doubles, and the first sider to blow 11 points, is the winner. As fun as the game sounds, it does seem incredibly tiring.

 

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Believers Rock Out at Colombia’s Heavy Metal Church

Some may find it blasphemous, but for the members of Pantokrator Church in Bogota, Colombia, Heavy Metal is a form of pure devotional worship. I know it’s pretty hard to associate screaming and head banging with the serene image of Jesus, but somehow, the 40-member-strong church is able to make the connection.

I wouldn’t blame you if you took one look at the people gathered here and assumed it was for some kind of satanic ritual. What else could one expect, with people dressed in black clothes, army boots with metal spikes and weird body piercings. But nothing good has ever really come out of stereotyping people. So a deeper look does reveal that the church-goers at Pantokrator (Greek for ‘All Powerful’), are pretty serious about their faith. The founder of the church is 24-year-old Cristian Gonzalez, who is also a heavy metal drummer. According to Cristian, it’s perfectly normal to worship through heavy metal music, when Jesus himself got involved with people no matter what their condition – prostitutes, thieves or tax collectors.

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The Flying Men of Bolivia’s Yungas Valley

It truly amazes me how people are able to find great shortcuts in any kind of situation. A while ago, we wrote about Bamboo Drifting , which was a means to cross rivers in China by balancing on a thin bamboo pole. Deep valleys exist in the jungles of Bolivia too, but the locals have chosen flying over rowing, and it’s much faster. On foot, the journey would take a good 1 hour, as they’d have to walk down to the bottom, cross the river and climb up the other side. But 30 seconds is all it takes for the people of Yungas Valley to fly across.

No, they haven’t mysteriously sprouted wings, nor do they use any fancy machines. Their flying equipment is simple – 20 ropes strung across the valley with old rusting pulleys, 200 meters above the river and stretching as long as 400 meters. Several of the local cocoa harvesters, the Cocaleros, use the ropes every day to travel to and fro along with their goods. They tie themselves to the pulleys using strips of fabric, and glide across effortlessly. Branches and leaves are used as brakes to stop themselves so they don’t end up crashing into the other side.

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Silbo Gomero – Tweeting Is an Actual Language on La Gomera Island

The Silbo Gomero language sounds as sweet as the tweeting of Nightingales. Listening to this beautiful means of communication makes me wonder if birds are actually able to talk to each other in the same manner. Because the people of La Gomera island in the Canaries certainly do one heck of a job of talking through chirp-like whistles.

Silbo Gomero is the name given to the language of whistles spoken on the small island of La Gomera, off the coast of Morocco. It is structured in such a way that the islanders are able to mimic the spoken language of the region – Castilian Spanish – through whistles. While there have been reports of other whistling languages in the world, Silbo Gomero is the only one that is fully developed and practiced by an entire community. It is so organized and thorough that every vowel and consonant can be replaced with a whistle. Depending on the pitch and the number of interruptions, the sounds can be distinguished from each other.

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Dwarf Bullfighters – Human Exploitation Meets Animal Cruelty

It sounds cruel when I write about it, but watching a bunch of dwarfs running around with calves that match their size could invoke quite a bit of laughter. There’s nothing cute about this however, the fighting is quite real and dangerous. Thankfully, the calves and the men are usually unharmed.

Wondering what I’m talking about? Meet the bullfighting dwarfs of Mexico, a group of short entertainers who are by no means ashamed of what they do. The sport, for obvious reasons, has earned the title of being one of the most controversial in the world. Animal lovers say it’s cruel. Human rights activists agree. Critics worry about stereotyping. But there’s no denying the fact that it provides a steady means of income for those who otherwise would find it very difficult to get a job. Since employment discrimination is pretty widespread in Mexico, the dwarf community has actually benefited from the bullfighting shows. More often than not, the bullfighters are laughed at, and although this is the main purpose of their act, they would also like to be respected for what they do.

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Guy Spends 9 Years Digging His Basement with Remote-Controlled Earthmovers

Who could have thought that videos showing tiny amounts of dirt being pushed around by remote-controlled earthmovers would receive nearly 3 million hits on YouTube? Unbelievable, but true. The videos are those of Canadian Joe Murray digging a basement in his home. He’s been doing so for the past 9 years.

Okay, so 9 years seems absolutely unnecessary to do something as simple as excavate a basement. But not where Murray lives. In Saskatchewan, Canada, winters get as harsh as -15C for several weeks. So what he did was convert the seemingly small job into a long-term hobby, by using small tools. Murray works as a farmer of grains and cattle by day. Toying around with the basement is what he describes as his “escape from everyday realities.” Just take a look at the videos and you’ll realize how much fun he’s having with his little remote-controlled toys. The plus side is that his house gets a new basement. In a few more years, of course. After all, the excavators shift only about three cubic meters of soil every year.

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Creepy Geminoid-F Android Waits for a Friend

There are horror stories and films about mannequins in store windows that come alive supernaturally. Of course these aren’t true, but what if you accidentally waved at a mannequin and it waved right back? Man, that would be just too creepy. If you happen to be in Tokyo this time of the year, however, you might just witness this happening in the store window of the Takashimaya mall in Shinjuku. No, it’s not a ghost-mannequin on display, but the Geminoid-F, an android capable of displaying human expressions and actions.

The android sits casually in the window, as though waiting for a friend. Basic emotions and behavior have been programmed into it, which is the basis of all its expressions in response to whatever is happening around it. So you will be able to see it twitch its eyebrows, smile, frown and occasionally even wave at passersby. Not like a robot though, but like a real human being.

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Man Installs Wood Stove in His Volvo to Beat the Cold

Wouldn’t it be great to have a car-companion that simply radiates warmth on a cold, cold winter’s day? Well, Pascal Prokop has just that, except his companion isn’t human. While most people complain about the cold, this guy from Switzerland actually decided to do something about it by putting a stove in his car – a real, wood-burning stove, complete with a chimney and everything.

The sight of Prokop driving his 1990 Volvo 240 station wagon around the streets of Mettmenstetten, a town 25km south of Zurich, is a strange and funny one. With the chimney sticking up about 2m above the roof, the car looks like it’s smoking, and the effect produced is kind of cartoonish. To Prokop however, this doesn’t matter one bit, since he’s warm and happy. Temperatures across Europe have been declining steadily, especially in the past couple of weeks. So Prokop came up with the ultimate heating solution. He simply removed the passenger seat in the Volvo and replaced it with an oven, the perfect passenger. He feeds the oven occasionally with wood sticks and in turn it keeps him nice and warm all the time. Prokop likes it so much inside his car that he sometimes ends up spending the night too, mostly when he’s tired or has had too much to drink.

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Purga Nightclub – Where Every Night Is New Year’s Eve

The holiday season is a truly magical time around the world. New Year’s Eve, especially, is seen as a time of hope and new beginnings, a time to forget the old and embrace the new. Most people are in high spirits, celebrating the coming of the new year with much pomp and gusto. But what if you got to celebrate it every single night of the year? Would it still be as much fun? Apparently it would, going by the success of ‘Purga’ – a nightclub in St. Petersburg, Russia, where every night is New Year’s Eve.

Everything that’s needed for a typical Russian New Year’s Eve celebration is available at the club. The Russian national anthem, the new year’s speech of Vladimir Putin on TV, fun costumes, decorations, contests, dancing and singing. Professional actors work at the club as ‘bunnies’, who are basically there to entertain people and make sure they forget all their worries. Ever since Purga was started way back in 2002, it has been popular in town, with table reservations being made at least a week in advance.

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Meet the Man Who Lived on His Bicycle for 382 Days

It’s difficult to imagine someone living, eating, sleeping and even washing clothes on a bicycle for over a year. But that’s exactly what French artist and copyeditor Guillaume Blanchet from Montreal has done. He even cooked his own food and flirted with women, while perched on the narrow bicycle seat. And that’s not all.

A three-minute film depicting Blanchet’s life on the bicycle, starts off with a dedication to his 64-year-old father who rode his bike for over 120,000 km. Going by the film, Blanchet does everything on the go, and he never stops pedaling. As he rides hands-free, he is occupied with the various mundane activities of life. Numerous items make an appearance, such as frying pans, shaving kits, laptops, telephones, Rubik cubes, and even musical instruments. It’s pretty amazing how he’s able to handle all these things with ease, as though he were sitting on a couch.

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Thousands of Iranian Women Training to Become Ninjas

Ninjutsu is considered to be one of the deadliest forms of martial arts in the world. But this doesn’t deter the 3,500 odd Iranian women who are currently receiving official training in the sport.

In fact, when I saw a video of these women in action, I was awestruck by their agility and the ease with which they performed gravity-defying stunts and back flips. I couldn’t even tell that the ninjas were female until they removed the masks from their faces.  Iran, like many other Islamic countries, has stringent rules regarding the freedom and conduct of women. The laws severely restrict them from participating freely in society; perhaps this is where they derive their quiet strength from. The Ninjustu school in Iran was started in 1989 by Sensei Akbar Faraji. This was the first time the martial art was introduced to the country. While the club now has over 24,000 members, the number of female participants is slowly on the rise. According to Faraji, in Ninjutsu, men are called ninjas, while women are addressed as kunoichi.

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Real-Life Photoshop – Model Has 20-Inch Waistline

30-year-old Ioana Spangenberg has something some skinny female models only dream of. A 20-inch waistline and a body that doesn’t accumulate fat, no matter what she eats. Now, isn’t that a dream come true? Not for Ioana, though. In a classic case of the grass being greener on the other side, the Romanian model says she wants to put on weight in order to be able to look normal.

Ioana seems to be blessed with the much-coveted ‘hourglass’ look, quite literally in fact. She says that she was of normal weight when she was a kid, and the transformation started to occur when she was a teenager. At age 13, her waist was only 15 inches and her friends could actually put their hands completely around it. In an attempt to put on weight, she would eat Mars bars and other sweets, but nothing ever worked. Ioana blames this on the small size of her stomach, which makes her feel sick if she eats too much. Perhaps her body’s constitution is too much of a good thing, because she was never happy with herself until she married. It was her husband who encouraged her to become a model, and she is now finally comfortable in her own skin.

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Artist Paints Portrait of Yao Ming Using a Basketball

I can think of a few things one can do with a basketball, but painting is definitily not one of them. But I guess that’s exactly what makes Shanghai-based artist’s, Yi Hong, so special.

Yi, who goes by the name of “Red”, and describes herself as an artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush”, recently posted a video of herself painting a detailed portrait of retired NBA superstar Yao Ming, using nothing but red paint and a basketball. In the time-lapse she dips the ball in paint and carefully bounces it on the canvas, and slowly by surely, the portrait starts to take shape. All the help she got was in the shape of a print of the famous Chinese basketball player, which she checked a few times, for accuracy. The amazing video got 400,000 views in just a few days, and the artist posted about how flattered she is, on her Facebook page. Yi Hong was born and raised on the island of Borneo, and also spent some time in Australia and the Netherlands, but she ultimately settled in Shanghai.

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Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

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