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This Is What They Call Coffins in Ghana

These are the famous “fantasy coffins” used by the Ga Tribe, on the coast of Ghana to both mourn and celebrate the death of a beloved family member or friend.

The tradition of burying people in strangely-shaped coffins began roughly 50 years ago when a fisherman was set to rest in a funeral casket shaped like a fish. Ever since then photographers have been buried in camera-shaped coffins, people who like to drink in caskets shaped like beer bottles and avid smokers, you guessed it, in cigarette-like wooden coffins.

Families of the deceased spend enormous amounts of cash on these intricate caskets, sometimes even as much as $600. Sure, that may not seem like a lot to you, but in a country where the average income is somewhere around $50/month that’s a lot of money. The wealthier relatives usually put up  the most part of the sum with the rest of the families providing the rest.

The coffins of the Ga tribe symbolize the essence of the deceased, his profession, a vice or his place in the community.

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Makeshift Mario Museum in New York

To celebrate the release of the “New Super Mario Bros” video game for the Nintendo Wii gaming system, a makeshift Super Mario Museum popped up at the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center, in New York.

Remember all that Mario every day stuff that came out throughout the years. we’re talking about Mario shampoo, Mario lunchboxes, cooking pans, paintings and even Super Mario adverts. All were showcased at the temporary Super Mario Museum, outside the Nintendo World Store, in New York City.

Thousands of fans gathered outside the establishment waiting to admire all the priceless memorabilia, compete in Super Mario video-game challenges and get their hands on a copy of the new video-game starring the popular Mario and Luigi duo.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out the Mario Museum on site, Wired offers you a set of photos revealing most of the Mario items on display:

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Mexico’s Island of the Dolls Is Beyond Creepy

Known as “La Isla de la Munecas”, by the Spanish, The Island of the Dolls is perhaps the creepiest tourist attraction in Mexico. Located within an extensive network of canals, south of Mexico City, the island is a place of mystery and superstition.

Almost every tree growing on the island is decorated with old, mutilated dolls that give anyone the feeling that they’re constantly being watched. The story behind the Island of the Dolls began when a hermit by the name of Don Julian Santana moved here. Although he was married he chose to live the last 50 years of his life alone.

Don Julian used to say he was haunted by the ghost of the little girl who had drowned in one of the canals around the island. Some say he used to fish the dolls from the water because he though they were real children, but the truth is he was collecting and placing them around his home as a shrine for the spirit that tormented him. At one point he even traded home grown fruit and vegetables for old dolls.

Ironically, in 2001 Don Julian Santana was found dead by his nephew, in the same canal that he said the little girl drowned in. Now his Island of the Dolls is one of the world’s weirdest tourist attractions. Some tourists who visited this place claim the dolls whisper and you must offer them a gift upon setting foot on the island, to appease their spirits.

via Bizarre

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Forget Wii Sports, How About A Game of We Pray?

Mass: We Pray, you could say it gets you closer to religion in a virtual way. Made my point and did it rhyming, thank you very much.

First of all, this is no joke folks, Mass: We Pray is a real gaming system aimed to help you and your family experience the joy of Sunday Mass anytime you want, in the comfort of your own home. “”After all, a family shouldn’t have to wait until Sunday to worship the Lord” as it’s said in the game’s press release.

Mass: We Pray was obviously inspired by the revolutionary Nintendo Wii, but instead of Wiimotes and Nunchucks it features two cross-shaped motion-detecting remotes and kneelers for a genuine religious experience. You and your kids can participate in over 24 different ceremonies and compete in “fun” challenges like Ring the Church Bell,  Spray Holly Water or Shake the…Smoke Thingy Used in Church. The more you play the more grace points you collect and with them you can unlock the “uber-cool” holy mysteries. There’s even a downloadable expansion pack with even more “fun-packed” religious activities.

“Sadly”, Mass: We Pray will be available on Easter 2010, at the soonest, but you can pre-order starting November 20, 2009. So who needs boring games like Wii Sports, when you can have the heavenly Mass: We Pray.

Check the trailer at the bottom to see how happy it makes people. 😀

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Chinese Hair-Stylist Showcases Hair-Made Obama Sculpture

To celebrate President Barack Obama‘s visit to China, Huang Xin, a talented hairdresser, created a small sculpture of the US head of state from human hair.

This is not the first time Huang Xin captured the attention of the media with his hair-molding talent, he was the man behind the Tiananmen Square model made out of hair. The Chinese hairdresser spent seven days and seven nights making Hairy Obama and used four kilograms of human hair.

The Chinese found many ways to welcome President Obama on his 4-day-visit to China, but Huang Xin’s hair sculpture has to be one of the most original.

Photos via ImagineChina

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Delicious-Looking Edible Chocolate Couch

Entitled “You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”, the chocolate couch was created by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich for an art-exhibit appropriately named “Let Them Eat Art”.

The chocolaty art-piece was covered in a thick layer of chocolate that not only made it look like a brown leather couch, but also feel like one. All the couch details, including buttons and stitching were made from chocolate.

That chocolate couch looks so real I bet there was someone at the gallery door telling visitors not to sit on it.

via mocoloco

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Love Dessert – A Viagra Enhanced Sweet Delight

Students from a Colombian cooking school presented their unusual “love dessert” at the Gastronomy 2009 culinary show, in Bogota.

The special pudding contains dissolved Viagra, passion-fruit and is garnished with whipped-cream and chocolate. The students, aged between 17 and 23, found a way to safely dissolve the magic blue pill in their dessert and create a new, sweet aphrodisiac. They say their recipe contains detailed instructions on how to dissolve the pill.

Because Viagra is a prescription drug, the Love Dessert can’t yet be sold, but once Colombia’s food and drug institute concludes its analysis of the dessert, you may find it in cafes and restaurants near you. Enjoy and make sure to wear baggy trousers.

Photos by William Fernando Martinez / AP

via IBN Live

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Clubs for “Thick Madames” Gain Popularity in America

More and more overweight men and women who normally don’t go to clubs for fear of discrimination, choose places like Club Bounce of Butterfly Lounge.

Women who call themselves “BBW” (big, beautiful women) and “BHM” men (big, handsome men) have recently discovered there are places where they can go to dance and enjoy themselves without being laughed at or forced to wait in line at the entrance, just because they pack a few extra pounds. Tired of complaining, some of them decided to do something about these problems, so they opened special establishments like Club Bounce, in Long Beach, California and Butterfly Lounge, in Orange County.

This is where everybody’s welcome, thick or thin. Owners say they opened up their businesses as support for people like themselves, but they also get a large number of normal weight men who love big women and celebrate them. In this clubs like these big people can feel comfortable dancing , without everyone’s eyes focused on them and bring thinner friends for an experience they won’t soon forget.

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Steampunk Animals by James Corbett, The Car Part Sculptor

James Corbett takes used card parts and, using them like pieces in a puzzle, creates amazing steampunk sculptures.

Corbett showed artistic talent ever since he was a little boy. Colleagues at his Redcliff school would always tell him he’d grow up to be an artist. But, at 36 years old James was running a motor wrecking business. That’s when he started welding together a bunch of car parts and awakened the dormant talent inside. In just 18 months he closed his wrecking business and became a full-time artist.

James Corbet says he makes these original sculptures because he can and it would be a shame to waste his God-given talent. The Car Part Sculptor has exhibited his works in galleries all across the world.

via John Davies Gallery

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Jewelry Made with Human Teeth and Hair

Teeth and Silver go together like horse and carriage. At least according silversmith Polly van der Glas, who created a strange collection of teeth encrusted silver jewelry.

Polly van der Glas, who won the Craft Victoria Fillipo Raphael Fresh! Award, in 2006, handcrafts a unique type of silver jewels, using collected human teeth and hair. The teeth are collected from all around Melbourne and sterilised, while the hair is sometimes imported from China and India.

Apparently the teeth are pretty hard to come by in Australia, so maybe miss van der Glas should get in touch with an Indian street dentist. I’m sure they could work out some sort of agreement.

via Ecouterre

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Spain’s Death-Defying Bull Leapers

In the name of entertainment and adrenalin, Spain’s bull leapers, known as “recortadores”, continue an ancient tradition that can be traced back to 1500 BC, during King Minos’ reign.

Teams of 5 to 7 bull leapers gather each year in cities like Valencia or Barcelona, to take part in a performance that many compare to the Russian roulette. Each team may face up to three bulls in the ring, at once, taunting and jumping over them just when the beats prepare to impale them.

The bull leapers all look calm and brave, but they don’t hesitate to run for their lives after a successful jump or evasion, to stay well clear of the angry bulls. The atmosphere in the bullfighting arena is said to be exhilarating, with the crown cheering every successful trick.

Sure some may call these death-defying artists insane, but I have a lot more respect for them than I do for bullfighters. At least bull leaping doesn’t get the bull killed in a violent way. sadly it can’t quench the Spanish thirst for bull-fighting blood.

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The Unique Coffee Art of Karen Eland

Karen Eland, a talented sketch artists and painter from Tulsa, uses only espresso to recreate some of the most famous paintings in history.

Karen’s talent and her love for coffee created a unique art-form that propelled her to celebrity status on the internet and TV shows. As an art student she used to practice her skills in coffee shops, seeping espressos. One day, as she was watching red-brown coffee pouring into her cup, she realized her favorite drink could be a part of her art.

That’s how it all started and over the years she became a master at blending layers upon layers of espresso and creating beautiful coffee-scented masterpieces. Some might find Karen Eland‘s way of blending a cup of coffee in her paintings offensive, but I think it makes for a perfect trademark.

Photos via Gizmodo

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China’s Kingdom Of The Dwarves

Over 100 height-challenged Chinese people perform in a show called Kingdom Of The Dwarves, close to Kunming, Yunnan Province.

Casting for the Kingdom Of The Dwarves show took place last summer, with only two conditions stipulated: the performers had to be between 18 and 40 years old and be shorter than 130 cm (4’3″). No other special skills were required. Now they take the stage of the Kunming World Butterflies Garden twice a day, singing, dancing and performing comedy sketches to entertain the crowds.

I know it looks like exploitation and discrimination, but the short performers see it only as another form of migrant labor and a haven away from people who mock and tease them on a daily basis. With discrimination and unemployment still high in China, the little people saw the Kingdom Of The Dwarves as an opportunity.

Just to clear things up, this is just a profitable theme park, not a community formed by the dwarves themselves as a shelter, and the mushroom houses only serve as decor and changing rooms, not as living quarters.

Photos by REUTERS

via Telegraph.co.uk

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24,000 LED Dress Will Make Any Woman Shine

Not that women need to wear a dress made out of LEDs, but CuteCircuit’s Galaxy Dress is, at least, a very interesting project.

CuteCircuit, a design company that specializes in “wearable technology”, presented their work of art, a dress made from 24,000 LEDs, attached to multiple layers of chiffon and crinoline. Apparently a few iPod batteries, hidden in the crinoline,  will keep the Galaxy Dress shining for about an hour. That’s more than enough time to make an impression.

And to make sure the wearer shines even after the batteries run out, the LED dress is decorated with 4,000 Swarovski crystals. The dress itself is made from silk and the LEDs are 2×2 millimeters each. The Galaxy Dress is now a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago.

Check the video at the bottom to see it in action.

Photos by J.B. Spector

via Ecouterre

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Sydney Swimwear Parade Fails to Break World Record

In an attempt to set a new Guinness record and raise money for charity, hundreds of Australia gathered on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera for the city’s largest ever swimwear parade.

Dressed only in bikinis and “smudgie smugglers” business men teamed up with construction workers and marched into Sydney’s financial district, all for a good cause. Although everyone had a lot of fun participating, their effort wasn’t enough to beat the recently set record for World’s Largest Swimsuit Parade. On November 9, 287 women took to the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, dressed in swimwear and unfortunately for the Aussies, they couldn’t even match that.

The funds raised during the Sydney Swimwear Parade will go to the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, an organization that encourages the young indigenous population to attend university.

Photos by Getty Images, AFP, EPA, AP, Reuters

via Etoday

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