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Students Take Up Boxing to Become Better Musicians

 The students of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, N.Y., learn more than just music. In groups, they are asked to attend classes of a highly different nature. Classes that test and train them physically, and teach them the basic skills of boxing.

While it’s perfectly understandable that a musician may enjoy a little physical exercise, fitness is not a priority for these students. They have taken up boxing to improve their music skills. It all started when their professor, James VanDenmark, took up the sport himself. The world renowned double bass soloist says the classes had a remarkable difference upon his skills on the instrument. He reports better bow control, more confidence, stamina and energy. Intrigued, VanDenmark began to send a few of his female students to learn boxing, along with some conditioning and strength building. When they displayed the same results, he made this a regular feature with all his students. He now sends them in groups to Rochester gym ROC Boxing & Fitness to learn boxing basics and practice strength training. The students, he says, are now able to produce a bigger and more focused sound from the big instrument.

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Fake Pregnancy Bellies Become Top Sellers in China

China is notorious for making cheap copies of almost every item in the world. And now, they seem to have moved on from man-made objects to replicating nature itself. The latest in the long list of fake Chinese items is a fake pregnancy belly. Put it on, and you can deceive anyone.

These artificial copies of pregnant women’s abdomens are made of silica gel, and are being sold on the internet. The silica gel makes them take on a very natural quality, close to human skin texture. Some online shop owners have said that the fake bellies are highly comfortable and have a flesh color. If you’re wondering what use anyone could possibly get out of fake pregnancy bellies, we have some answers for you. For now, the people who buy it are actors, purchasing them for performances. Others have bought it as a joke, and also to get an idea of how it feels to be pregnant. Apparently, the product is a hot seller online.

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Week in Hell – Five Days Locked in a Hotel Room, Making Art

It sounds like the title of a horror flick, but it’s actually a short video documenting artist Molly Crabapple‘s project, for which she locked herself in a hotel room covered the walls with doodles.

Molly started contemplating “what happens when an artist leaves their studio, their cliches, and their comfort zone and draws beyond the limits of their endurance” and she also wanted “to see what tarts and squidbeasts look like frollicking on a massive scale”. So she decided to spend her 28th birthday locked in an East Village room, covering the walls with art. She began by launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of her daring project, including the photographic talents of Steve Prue. In September 2011 she did just what she promised, and spent five days locked in a room making art. Luckily, she wasn’t alone, as she brought along Keith Jenson from Brainwomb to document the experience, and also had a “cast of muses, musicians and miscreants” to keep her company.

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Guy Has over 10,000 URLs Tattooed on His Body

Pat Vaillancourt is the current record holder for the most web addresses tattooed on his body, with over 10,000 URL’s inked on his back and shoulders. That sounds like a lot, but he’s not stopping until his body is covered by 100,000 website addresses.

In 2010, 30-year-old Vaillancourt, from Quebec, Canada, decided he wanted to set a world record of his own, and because he wasn’t an athlete and he couldn’t do extreme stunts, he chose tattooing as the way to leave his mark on the world. “I want to break a Guinness World Record, but more importantly, I want to help others. And this is my way of doing so,” he said back then. People and businesses can pay $35 to have their URL tattooed on Pat’s body and listed on his website, Back2thelight.com, with half the proceeds being donated to help the people of Haiti and Somalia. Vaillancourt says the other half is used to pay for his tattoos and promote the project. If my calculations are correct, he hopes to ultimately raise $3.5 million, including expenses.

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Alexa Fisher – An 8-Year-Old Poker Prodigy

Alexa Fisher, from Texas, looks and talks like any other 8-year old girl. However, she has a skill that is most unusual for girls her age. She can play poker fabulously well. In fact, Alexa is so good at poker that she can take on card sharks seven times her age. She was introduced to playing cards at the age of three by her father Justin, a 35 year old poker enthusiast. He says he taught her the game to help improve her Math skills.

Justin began by having ESPN and other poker game shows on TV playing in the background all the time. He also used playing cards as a way to teach her to count and learn math skills before she began school. And his efforts payed off. Alexa slowly began to understand which cards were higher and recognized poker terminology, like a flush, a pair and three of a kind. He then went on to get her poker chips. By the age of four, when other kids are barely able to hold an entire pack of cards in their tiny hands, Alexa was could shuffle, deal and also knew the basic strategies of bluffing. When she reached five, she could play No-Limit Texas Holde’m like a pro. She slowly began to learn more games like Badugi, Double Flop Hold’em, and many other WSOP (World Series of Poker Tournaments) games.

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Students Claim Haunted Toilet is Causing Them to Faint and Scream

Kids love exchanging horror stories at school, even if it means weeks of sleepless nights. But what if a real ghost decides to make a guest appearance? It could cause kids to lose not just sleep but even their sanity. In Vietnam, it’s causing them to faint on a regular basis.

The students of Son Hoa Ethnic Boarding High School in the Son Hoa District claim to have had supernatural visitors in the bathroom at night, causing many of them lose consciousness. It all started with K Pa Ho Luon, a student of the school. He returned to his dorm one night  in November, from the toilet area, in a state of hysteria. He was talking gibberish, fell to the floor and began to scratch the walls and the floor. All this, just before he passed out. Luon was then rushed to the hospital by school authorities. When he recovered, he claimed to have met a ghost in the toilet.

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Photocopied Portrait Recreated with 3.2 Million Dots

People have been photocopying their body parts for a while now, and even though it’s still pretty funny, it’s not that impressive at it once was. But what about a portrait of a photocopied face recreated with over 3 million dots, is that impressive enough for ya?

Artist Miguel Endara started out with a portrait  of his father’s photocopied face, and somewhere along the way he decided to recreate it with millions of dots made with a variety of Micron pens. he took a piece of paper, drew an outline of his dad’s face with a pencil and started adding dots. As you can imagine, this kind of painstaking work takes a lot of patience, and luckily Miguel managed to keep it together for all the 210 hours it took him to finish his masterpiece. He even made a cool video documenting his amazing effort and posted a high resolution image of the portrait on his website, so you can actually see all of the 3.2 millions of dots he had to use.

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Germaphobe Artist Spends Four Days Living and Sleeping with Pigs

I’ve always thought that the best thing in the world would be getting paid to just eat and sleep. Well, Miru Kim, a Korean-American performance artist found a way to do just that. Except, she calls it a form of art. Influenced by Buddhist teachings that all livings beings are connected in a circular manner through life force, Kim wanted to mingle with animals and feel her existence more than ever.

She therefore decided to eat and sleep with pigs, naked, for four straight days. Starting last Friday, she ended up spending 104 consecutive hours in a makeshift pen right in front of her gallery, in the company of pigs. Her project “I Like Pigs and Pigs and Pigs Like Me,” for Art Basel in Miami, is in fact a small scale version of what she had done earlier, when she curled up naked next to pigs in hog farms.

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No Snow? No Problem, We’ll Just Ski on Rocks

Although it’s December and the skiing season is officially open, there is no sign of snow in the Tyrol region of Austria. But that’s no reason not to ski, at least not for those brave enough to practice the winter sport on a rock-covered slope.

45 kilometers west of Innsbruck, near the picturesque village of Haiming, skiers have found the perfect place to test out their skiing equipment, even though there’s not one white patch of snow in sight. The brave daredevils climb a rock-covered slope on foot and descend on their skis, leaving a cloud of dust behind them. The rocks aren’t as smooth as snow, and they obviously do a lot of damage to their equipment, but the avid skiers don’t seem to mind, as long as they get to practice their favorite sport. Falling of your skies during a descent on the rocky slope of Haiming isn’t what you’d call a pleasurable experience, that’s why only experienced skiers are advised to try their luck here.

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In Thailand, a “Like” on Facebook Can Get You 15 Years in Jail

In older times, it was “off with your head” if you spoke ill of the King. Now, you go to jail for posting your feelings on Facebook about the Thai monarchy, which many of the Thai folk actively do. In fact, over 10,000 pages of material was found on the social networking, containing images or text that is offensive to the royal family.

The Information Minister of Thailand, Anudith Nakornthap, warned the people of Thailand that if users on Facebook so much as even like or share any kind of information insulting the monarchy, the consequences would be severe. Such a person could be charged with violation of the lese majeste laws of the country, and could serve up to 15 years in prison. He also advised people to ‘unlike’ any pages and remove any comments made on similar lines. In a world where democracy and freedom of speech are taken for granted in most countries, this news might come across as quite surprising. I mean, we’ve lost count of the number of jokes made online at the expense of Bush, Palin and the likes. Thailand however, has always been strict in enforcing laws that protect the dignity of the sovereign.

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Design Student Creates Fashionable Dress from Condoms

Apparently, women can now wear condoms too! Thanks to a Vietnamese student, Nguyen Minh Tuan, who created a dress entirely made of condoms.  He made the dress for his graduation project at Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City. The dress is called “Breaking the Condom Taboo” and contains 700 condoms.

Tuan says he created the dress with a purpose – to raise awareness of the use of condoms among the Vietnamese people. According to Tuan, the attitude of the Vietnamese towards sex and safe sex practices needs changing. So he decided to make the dress a part of World AIDS Day on the 1st of December. He hopes that the dress will encourage people to use condoms and protect their loved ones against STDs. The dress itself is quite pretty, and has been getting compliments from designers and models worldwide. In fact, unless the dress is looked at up-close, it’s hard to tell that it has been made from condoms. The dress is being described as quite versatile, designed to suit different body types. Read More »

Oscar Wilde’s Tomb Protected from Dangerous Kisses

Oscar Wilde is famous not just for his writings, but also his tomb. The legendary writer who died of meningitis in a Paris hotel, was buried outside of Paris in a beautiful tomb designed by modernist sculptor Jacob Epstein, decorated with a flying Assyrian-style angel.

The monument, undoubtedly beautiful, was a major attraction for women to plant their kisses on. Indeed, the tomb that had long been victim to increasing graffiti, had a new, pressing issue since 1999 when someone had the idea to plant a big, lipsticked kiss on it. This became the rage for many of Wilde’s admirers visiting Paris. The grease from people’s lips was slowly starting to sink into the stone, causing it great damage.

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Gun Club Offers Photos with Santa and Machine Guns

The holiday season is when most businesses tend to rake in the big bucks, thanks to promotional offers and discounts. A gun club in Arizona has apparently decided to make use of the season too, by offering its customers the chance of posing for photographs with Santa while holding military-style rifles and pistols.

According to Ron Kennedy, the general manager of the Scottsdale Gun Club, this is a fun way for people to express their holiday spirit, and also their passion for firearms. The photo event was held last weekend and about 500 people attended. He says that the photos are being uploaded to Facebook and also being used on Christmas holiday cards. It is interesting to note that kids were allowed to pose for the photographs too.

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Crazy Drinking Habits: Teens Drink Bleach to Pass Drug Tests

Where there is a will there is a way, they say, and this definitely seems to hold good for teens these days. Especially the ones on drugs. While it is no secret that a vast number of teenagers choose to use illegal substances these days, it is shocking to see the lengths to which they would go, in order to pass a drug test.

Drug testing is common in almost all schools across America. Testing positive could be devastating for kids, because it could mean getting kicked off a sports team or other important events. Students have always devised new methods to pass the test, and the latest according to the Sheriff’s Office of Mobile County, Alabama, is bleach. Yes, teens are actually ingesting bleach in the hope that it will purge any traces of drugs that they have consumed. While there are several products advertised on the internet that claim to help wash away drugs from the system in the form of drinks, chewable tablets, etc., teenagers seem to be throwing caution and common sense to the wind, looking no further than the kitchen sink. According to Sergeant Joe Mahoney, the Sheriff’s office has seen cases where kids have ingested straight bleach that caused significant damage to the body.

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World’s First Sex School Opens in Vienna

If you felt that Sex Ed classes in school were rather inadequate, we have some good news for you. There is now a school that provides courses related exclusively to sexual education, and includes practical instructions as well.

The Austrian International School of Sex (AISOS) will soon be open to students near Vienna. The opening was announced by the headmistress of the school, Ylva Maria Thompson. The vision of the school, according to Thompson, is to teach people how to be better lovers. She goes on to say that people spend time and money on training their mind, muscles, and fitness, but do not spend enough effort on developing their love-making skills. This is precisely what the sex school hopes to address. Read More »