The 2010 Lemon Festival of Menton

Each year, the French town of Menton hosts an event unique in the world, La Fete de Citron, or the Lemon Festival.

This year’s 77th edition of the Menton Lemon Festival takes place between February 12 and March 3 and has the theme “Menton does cinema”. The second most important festival on the French Riviera, after the Carnival of Nice and just before the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco, The Lemon Festival draws in a crowd of over 230,000 people.

The lemons grown in the Menton area are favored by the world’s star chefs, for their distinct flavor and superior sugar content. The French town enjoys a sub-tropical climate,sheltered by a nearby mountain chain.

Back in the 1930s, locals used to celebrate by parading a few carts loaded wit orange and lemon trees, but throughout the years, the festivities turned into an international carnival. Over 300 professionals work on arranging around 145 tons of citrus fruits as giant sculptures.

Photos via CCTV

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Gator Bike is an Alligator on Wheels

Jim Jablon used the skin of a dead alligator to create one of the strangest bikes ever seen on the roads of Florida.

Ironically enough, Jim Jablon’s ‘Gator Bike‘ was created using the skin of an alligator killed by authorities, but it’s now used to raise funds for a wildlife foundation. Alligator are constantly culled, in order to keep their numbers under control, and most of the skins end up pinned up in people’s yards. So Jim thought to put one to good use and get some exposure for his Wildlife Rehabilitation of Hernando (WROH) foundation. That’s basically how the Gator Bike was born.

The Gator Bike took Swedish leather expert Benny Ohrman a full year to complete. The skin and tail come of the bike, but the alligator head is fixed in place and has the speedometer and the rest of the gauges in the back of the head.

Jim Jablon decided to raise money for his foundation by organizing a raffle with the Gator Bike as the prize. A raffle ticket costs $100 and only 1,000 will be sold. The winner of the bike will be selected in May, in Fort Lauderdale.

It’s worth mentioning the Gator Bike comes with a powerful Ultima engine, and over $86,000 to make.

via Daily Mail

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Rainbow Roses Are for Real

I know they look ‘photoshopped’ but these amazing flowers are the real thing, and can be bought at some select flower-shops around the world.

Invented by Peter van der Werken, the owner of a flower company close to Den Bosch, Holland, rainbow roses look like they’ve been seriously modified in programs like Adobe Photoshop. But, they are actually the result of careful flower engineering. Dye is inserted into the stem of the rose as it’s growing, and the petals simply absorb it. Sounds easy enough, but it’s a very difficult process.

Sadly, you can’t buy rainbow rose bushes, only cut, or dried flowers. And even those come at a price meant to keep most of us away. Five cut rainbow roses sell for $55 and two dozens cost up to $325. But it you’re going to spend a small fortune on a flower, why not buy a freeze-dried rainbow rose that will last for years.

Rainbow Roses are special, but I for one like the common kind better. I guess I’m old fashioned.

via TheFunTimesGuide

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American Farmer Proves Love Stinks

Minnesota farmer Bruce Andersland thought to himself “Nothing says I love you like a big heart made of manure”.

That’s right, the (overly) original Bruce decided to surprise his wife of 37 years with a stinky Valentine. He used his animals’ manure to draw a half a mile wide heart , on their farmland. Y’all might think it’s gross, but his wife Beth says she thinks it’s cute and by far the most original Valentine she has ever received.

The stinky Valentine’s Day gift isn’t visible from the ground, so Darren Schone, from the Minnesota Aviation took some photos, as proof.

Photos by Darren Schone/AP

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Na’vi Support Palestine

In order to draw attention to their protest against the Israeli barrier near the village of Bilin, a group of activists dressed themselves as Na’vi from James Cameron’s Avatar.

A barrier that Israel says is needed for its protection has been rerouted to swallow the Palestinian village of Bilin. Palestinian as well as foreign protesters dressed in blue suits, wearing loincloths, wigs and tails sought to show the similarities between their situation and that of the Na’vi aliens from the blockbuster Avatar.

Really colorful protest, I must say, but sadly it won’t make a hell of a difference…

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The Relaxing Cat Cafes of Japan

Cats are famous for their relaxing effect on people, but in a country like Japan, where space is an issue, having a pet is problematic. That’s when cat cafes come into play.

For a modest fee of between $5 and $8 Japanese animal lovers can enjoy their usual coffee surrounded by dozens of playful cats. Spending an hour in the company of cats can work wonders on the human mind, and when you’re as stressed as Japanese business-men, even more so. Many of them can’t fit a household pet into their busy schedules, so they opt for a relaxing one-hour break in the company of purring felines.

It might seem like an oddity to us, but ever since the first cat cafe opened in 2004, in Osaka, this sort of establishment has become mainstream in Japan. While you can pet the cats and pay with them, you must obey a very simple set of rules regarding hygiene. In order to prevent infection OF THE CATS, customers have to wear disposable socks and slippers, as well as wash their hands with antiseptic.

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The Incredible Climbing Mountain Goats

You might think you have mad mountain-climbing skills, but nature’s got you beat. I don’t know how they do it, but these mountain goats climb on to the most precarious places.

Living in mountainous regions around North America, mountain goats can be found at altitudes of up to 13,000 feet, climbing cliffs all day long, in search of food. Thanks to their cloven hooves, each featuring two widely-spaced toes that provide great balance, mountain goats can challenge any seasoned climber and probably best him.

Their double-layered, thick white coats provide camouflage in snowy settings, but the altitude they can reach provides enough protection from most predators. And if they happen to run into trouble, they can jump 12 feet in one leap, and reach a safe point. Just check out the pics to get an idea of their climbing capabilities.

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Having a Giant Hamster as a Pet

Well, it looks like a giant hamster, but it’s actually a capybara, the largest rodent on the planet, and it makes a great pet,apparently.

Melanie Typaldos, from Buda, Texas first came into contact with a capybara on a trip in Venezuela. Her daughter Coral fell in love with them the moment she got to pick one up and hold it in her arms. The moment they returned home, Melanie began searching for a capybara as a pet. She found 11-day-old Caplin Rous on a rare animal farm in Texas and it instantly became a member of their family.

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The World’s Smallest Postal Service

If you truly believe great things come in small packages, then you’ll want to use the World’s Smallest Postal Service to surprise your better half, on Valentine’s Day.

The World’s Smallest Postal Service was created by San-Francisco-based postmistress Lea Redmond, who decided to put the crazy idea into practice as soon as it popped into her head. She just strapped her small desk to her back, hopped on her bicycle and set-up shop in one of the local cafes. Since then she’s come to realize many other people are simply charmed by her miniature postal service.

At the World’s Smallest Postal Service, your letters are written in tiny letters, carefully wrapped and sealed with a miniature was-stamp bearing the sender’s initial. To make sure the tiny messages don’t get lost in the traditional mail, they are packed in transparent envelopes equipped with a magnifying glass for identifying the mailing address.

For Valentine’s Day the mailing rates at the World’s Smallest Postal Service are: $8 plus shipping for letters, and $10 plus shipping for small packages containing an antique china button and a note saying ” You are as cute as a…”

More info on how to order at leafcutterdesigns.

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The Unique Chandeliers of Hans van Bentem

The chandeliers designed by Dutch artist Hans van Bentem are anything but ordinary, taking all kinds of weird shapes, like skulls, revolvers or airplanes. But that’s exactly what makes the special.

Everyone who has set eyes on van Bentem’s glittering masterpieces, from celebrities to members of royal families, have fallen in love with them. Madanna ordered a revolver-shaped crystal chandelier designed by Hans van Bentem, to be hung somewhere in her house.

The artist claims he finds inspiration for his work in everything around him, from culture, to history or the daily news. Thus he manages to take classic crystal chandeliers and, while maintaining their beauty, transforms them into something “contemporary and meaningful.”

The smallest of Hans van Bentem’s chandeliers costs around $23,500, but the larger custom models reach the hundreds-of-thousands level. Every one of them is hand-crafted by Czech chandelier-makers, from diamond-shaped crystal beads, according to van Bentem’s design.

Photos by HANS VAN BENTEM/CATERS NEWS

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Brazilians Celebrate Underwear Day

Scantily clad models showed up at malls, bus stations and on the streets of Brazil, as part of the celebrations for Brazilian Underwear Day.

The event took place on Tuesday, and was organized by Brazilian fashion website Finissimo. The models, both male and female, showed off their underwear in the most crowded places, to attract as many views as possible.

I know it sounds meaningless, but there’s more to Underwear Day, than beautiful models and plain fun. Style consultant Maria Thereza Laudares explains the aim of this national event: “The aim of the National Underwear Day is to make people recognize the importance of these garments left unseen, but which are the first to be put on and the last to be taken off.”

She’s got a point there, and since this is the fourth edition of Brazilian Underwear Day, people seem to be responding positively.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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The “Gourmet” Meals of Cobra Gold 2010

Cobra Gold is the largest multi-nation military exercise in the world, where soldiers from six nations learn how to deal with critical situations.

In 2010 the Cobra Gold military exercises are being held in Thailand, and this was apparently a chance for US soldiers to get acquainted with Thai delicacies. During a survival exercise at an army camp in Chon Buri Province, soldiers had to eat cooked scorpions and lizards, as well as drink that legendary wonder cure, cobra blood.

In some Asian cultures, snake blood is believed to enhance male potency and can be found in panacea stores. Now, why would Thai masters want to feed cobra blood to soldiers? After all, that’s not the gun they should be using, if you know what I mean…

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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Woodwalk – Limited Edition Wooden Sneakers

French designer and architect Paul Coudamy has created a series of 25 limited edition sneakers, made out of wood and named Woodwalk.

The Woodwalk wooden sneakers were all designed on the computer, but were hand-sculpted from real wood. Each pair has its own unique design and looks good enough to wear. The shoes were all created for sports company K-Swiss.

Paul Coudamy’s Woodwalk sneakers are not exactly new, they were created back in 2008, but the awesome sculpting work make them hip even two years later.

Photos by Benjamin Boccas

DesignBoom via bookofjoe

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The Salt Labyrinths of Motoi Yamamoto

A former dockyard worker, Motoi Yamamoto is now one of Japan’s most talented artists, known all over the world for his intricate artworks, made of salt.

His working with this unusual medium was caused by the death of his younger sister, back in 1994. Mr. Yamamoto says that by working with free-form salt he is able to touch precious memories from the time his sister was alive, something he just can’t do by simply looking at pictures or reading a diary.

Some of his most amazing works are the intricate salt labyrinths. When he’s creating them, Motoi Yamamoto feels like he is following a trace of his memory that he can only reach when the work is completed. He stands in a cross-leg position for hours-on0end carefully laying the lines of salt, until he reaches the essential point in his memories.

Salt plays an important role in many cultures Like Hinduism or Japanese Shinto. Motoi Yamamoto uses salt as a life-giving substance, so after his art installations are no longer exhibited, he insists the salt be thrown back into the ocean so it can continue its path.

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Swimsuit Skiing Carnival Held in China

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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