Melting Polar Bear Sends Grim Message

A polar bear statue, carved out of a nine-ton block of ice and placed outside Copenhagen climate change conference center, sends a frightening environmental message.

Mark Coreth, the artist behind the Ice Bear Project created the sculpture in the hope of raising awareness to the melting of arctic ice due to increasing temperatures. A huge pool of water and the bronze skeleton of a polar bear is all that will remain as the ice statue gradually melts, revealing the fate of all real life polar bears, unless the global warming issue is addressed.

Coreth is urging all passers-by not only to look at the bear-sculpture, but also to touch it and help it melt, in the hope that more people understand how mankind “contributes” to the melting of the Arctic. Asked when his ice polar bear is going to completely melt, the artists said it is impossible to tell, just like nobody knows how long the Arctic will last.

Photos by XINHUA/ZHANG YUWEI

via People.com.cn

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The Grotto of the Redemption

The Grotto of the Redemption is an excellent example of what man can achieve with faith and hard work.

Paul Dobberstein was a German immigrant ordained as a priest in 1897. At some point he fell critically  ill with pneumonia and vowed he would dedicate his life to building a shrine to The Virgin Mary, if she would save his life. Father Dobberstein survived and soon after his recovery began gathering piles of rocks for his mission. His search for materials lasted 14 years.

Construction of the Grotto of the Redemption, in West Bend, Iowa,  began in 1912. Foundations were poured, stone slabs were set into place, all in the name of The Holy Virgin. Father Dobberson was actively involved in the building process and many times his hands would crack and bleed from all the cement. He would say “there isn’t any redemption without a little blood”.

Though West Bend isn’t the best place to look for crystals and semi-precious stones, Paul Dobberstein traveled to Hot Springs, Black Hills and Carlsbad Caverns and managed to gather truckloads of materials for his Grotto of the Redemption. The redeeming priest worked on expanding and improving the grotto until he died, in 1954, at the end of a long day’s work.

At the time of Dobberstein’s death, the Grotto of the Redemption was the size of a city block and is still expanding today. The crystals, semi-precious stones and petrified wood used to decorate the structures of the grotto are said to be worth over $4,300,000.

Considered “the world’s most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells and petrifications in one place”, the Grotto of the Redemption welcomes over 100,000 visitors every year. It reminds me a lot of the Ideal Palace.

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Cakeland – A Sweet Illusion

Do you know those dreams that start out all nice and dandy only they turn into horrible nightmares in the end? That’s sort of what Cakeland is like.

Cakeland is an art installation in Oakland, created to look like a delicious collection of cakes. Featuring cakes placed on tables, stacked on top of other cakes, mounted on walls and even hanging from the ceiling, Cakeland literally looks like heaven for sweet addicts. But alas Scott Hove’s cakes are anything but edible. Unlike the regular treats that last only until celebrations end, Cakeland cakes are made from acrylic, wood and cardboard and will last “as long as the artist or society have the wherewithal to preserve them”.

But that’s not the worst part of our nightmare. In order to protect their delicious beauty, the artists equipped some of the cakes with sharp teeth that act as defense. Hove says “without this aggressive aspect– call it the anti-cake– the beauty is vulnerable, transitory, and not to be respected”.

Cakeland is a very interesting place, but unlike Scott Hove who sees it as a pilgrimage site away from the problems of reality, some might consider it torture. After all finding yourself surrounded by seemingly delicious cakes, without the possibility of even tasting them can be a grueling experience.

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Puppy, Kitty and Rat Meats Online

Because puppy, kitty and rat steaks taste so damn good.

During one of my daily internet surfing sessions, I stumbled on one of the weirdest sites I’ve ever seen. It’s called Rat Beef.com and it’s an online rat butchery (doesn’t that sound delightful). Sure, we’ve featured photos of cooked field rats before, but to see them commercialized online struck me as a tad bizarre. RatBeef states their rats are bred and raised in 100% natural conditions and they even offer a few cooking recipes.

While I was browsing the site’s pages, looking for some suiting pics, I found Rat Beef has two sister (to be read siNIster) sites, Puppy Beef and Kitty Beef which sell…well, you can guess. I know these types of meats are very popular in some Asian countries, but to see them sold on websites containing the words puppy and kitty is just ridiculous.

In case you don’t believe this is odd in anyway, at least you know where you can buy your exotic meats from now on.

TAIWAN-RATMEAT/

Inside a Steampunk House

Bruce and Melanie Rosenbaum have always loved steampunk and decided to turn their passion into a business. That’s how ModVic Home Restoration was born.

The couples offer home-design services to people who want to restore their Vicrorian houses to their original beauty and, to prove their skills, they turned their 1901 Craftsman-style home into a steampunk paradise. Combining antique pieces with modern gadgets, the Rosembaum’s managed to preserve the original charm of their Victorian residence as well as incorporate all the modern gadgets of our times.

If you’d like to know more about this amazing steampunk house, head over to Steampunk Workshop and learn every little detail.

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Delicious Brain Cupcakes

Is this what they mean by brain food?

The disgusting-looking brain cupcakes you see below were baked by a girl named Pamela, back in August, but I just discovered them today and couldn’t help but share with you guys. Delicious red velvet raspberry cake, cream cheese frosting and chocolate brains, created with moulds, make up some of the weirdest deserts I’ve ever seen.

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Man Sleeps with Dead Wife for Five Years

They say love knows no boundaries, but this is taking it a little too far. A Vietnamese man has been sleeping next to his wife’s corpse for the last five years.

Le Van, a 55-year-old man from Quang Nam province, Vietnam, lost his wife in 2003. Because he couldn’t go to sleep at night without hugging his beloved spouse, he slept on top of her grave for about 20 months. When he couldn’t stand the rain and wind anymore, he decided to dig a tunnel into the grave, so he could sleep with his wife.

When the kids heard his crazy plan, they did everything they could to stop him, so Le Van had to think of another way he could cuddle up to his wife at night. In 2004 he unearthed her remains, wrapped them in pieces of paper and a clay mould and put a dummy mask on her face. The man has been sleeping next to his dead wife ever since. Read More »

Giant Pink Snails Invade Milan

A group of 12 overgrown pink snails have taken over Plazza Scala, in Italy’s fashion capital, Milan.

These unusual plastic models were created by the Italian Cracking Art group and are on a mission to change people’s lifestyle. In a world where everything is happening so fast, the pink snails are here to let you know “speed isn’t always a virtue” and slowing down to enjoy the beauty of the city can be quite refreshing.

“We need to play with the city to break with our obvious daily routine and rediscover the experience of moving about the city” said Finazzer Flory, Milan’s culture counselor. He added that the giant pink snails are shaped to resemble an ear to also make people listen to what’s going on around them

The slimy giants will be moved periodically towards the Palazzo Reale and, in January, they’ll make an appearance at the central train station. They’ll then go on a series of international visits to Amman, Tel Aviv and Chicago. They’ll return to Milan in 2015, as part of a 120-snail army. That sounds kind of scary…

via UPI

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Christmas Trees Made from Plastic Bottles

French designer Fabrice Peltier used the holiday season to raise awareness to the environmental issues of our time.

In one of the central squares of Paris, passers by can admire 4 very unusual trees, made out of used plastic bottles. Over four meters high, Peltier’s Christmas tree’s are decorated with LED lights.

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Condom Santa Claus at Cabbages and Condoms

Cabbages and Condoms, a Thai restaurant that promotes safe sex as well as good food decided to celebrate Christmas by displaying a life-size Santa Claus made of condoms. Cabbages and Condoms is the only restaurant in the world where you get a free vasectomy, at the clinic next door, with every ordered meal. One of the most original eating establishments on Earth, is one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the past two years, the guys at the Cabbages and Condoms restaurant have been greeting the holiday season by building a Condom Santa Claus. I have been able to dig up much info on this latex covered mannequin, but I’m willing to bet it took hundreds, maybe thousands of condoms to make. Here are a few photos of the 2009 Condom Santa:

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Kerry Skarbakka and the Art of Falling

The Falling Photographer, as he is commonly known, shoots photo of himself right in the middle of a big fall, in the name of art.

Kerry Skarbakka says he first began taking falling pictures right after the events of 9/11 and uses his body ” as a metaphor to describe the tensions and anxieties we all feel.” For some of his works, the artist uses special rigging and climbing equipment to achieve the desired effect, but he often  plunges dangerously, with no protection.

The Falling Photographer travels all over the world in search for suitable locations to shoot his photos and he also sets up scenes in his personal studio. For the bathtub photo below, he installed an installation to make him flip in the air, but he still banged his head on the side of the tub a few times.

Kerry’s works have been exhibited in art galleries across the world and he plans to shoot enough photos to put together a book. So far he has around 40 photos that can be purchased for as much as 4,500 pounds.

Photos by KERRY SKARBAKKA/BARCROFT MEDIA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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This Year Santa Is Biking to Town

Dieter “Didi” Senft, a hardcore cycling fan and bicycle builder, showcases his latest creation, the Santa Claus Bicycle.

Didi is probably the most famous cycling fanatic in the world. Ever since 1993 he has been making appearances during Le Tour de France, dressed in a red devil suit and carrying a trident. His unique costume earned Didi the nickname El Diablo.

But Mr. Senft is much more than an entertainer, he’s also the creator of over 200 over the top bicycles, 17 of which are acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records. This year, to celebrate Christmas, Didi Senft built the Santa Claus Bicycle, an original contraption that’s 7.30 meters long, 2 meters wide and 3.10 meters high. Santa’s bike weighs 800 kilograms and it’s decorated with 3,000 Christmas lights.

But the most impressive thing about Didi’s Santa Claus Bicycle is that it’s fully ridable.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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The Clinging Beggars of China

To make sure they squeeze some money out of them, young Chinese beggars have begun clinging to the legs of their victims.

Picture this: you’re walking down the street, minding your own business when this helpless little beggar girl comes up to you and asks you to buy a flower. You say something like “no thanks” and move on. But wait, one of your legs seems to be immobilized. You look down at the leg and see that same girl wrapped around it saying she isn’t going to let go until you buy a flower. This sort of harassment takes place more and more often on the streets of China’s major cities.

Now, considering there’s rarely any police around to help you with the issue, there are two things you can do. One way to resolve this would be to kick her with your other leg, but what kind of animal hits a child, right? So your only other option is to actually buy the flower and see to your business. Maybe you think there are other ways to escape the grip of these persistent beggars, but those already trapped by one say they don’t let go no matter how hard you try to reason with them or even hit them.

So the obvious question is: are these clinging beggars to blame? I would be inclined to say no, because they’re just doing what they must to survive. There are criminals that send them to “work” every day and if they don’t earn their keep, they’re in serious trouble.

via bbs.163.com

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Nail Art at Tokyo Nail Expo 2009

Held at the Tokyo Big Site, on Odaiba Island, the Tokyo Nail Expo featured some of the most amazing fingernail artworks.

Apparently, the nail industry is really big in Japan right now, so it’s no wonder they’ve actually organized an exposition where nail artists could showcase their latest masterpieces. The Japanese nail industry has grown to 200 million yen, so it’s no wonder this year’s event drew in a crowd of approximately 50,000.

I’m not a big fan of painted, long nails, but I have to admit the nail artworks presented at the Tokyo Nail Expo 2009 were pretty impressive.

Photos by Junko Kimura/GETTY IMAGES

via 923NOW

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Meat Water – Dinner in a Bottle

Damn, I’m so thirsty, I’d kill for a bottle of Buffalo Wings right now. Whew, thank God for Meat Water, right?

The best way to describe Meat Water drink is “dinner in a bottle”. This high efficiency survival beverage brings you all your favorite foods in liquid form. that’s right why bother cooking Italian meatballs, pizza, fried oysters or whatever else you like, when you can just drink them out of the bottle?

Apparently, Meat Water is perfect for athletes because it allows them to cut down on exercing and eating time and allows them to enjoy themselves. Of course that doesn’t apply to me because, one: I’m not an athlete, and two: I actually enjoy myself when eating.

Read more about Meat Water on their official site

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