German Artist Creates Art from Chaotic Splotches of Tea, Coffee and Juice

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Stains of coffee and fruit juice are dreaded by most people, but German artist Angela Mercedes Donna Otto actually uses them as the basis for her creative artworks. She randomly pours colored drinks on paper canvases and spends hours contemplating the splotches, looking for familiar shapes.

At the base of Angela Mercedes Donna Otto’s art is “apophenia”, a term used by psychologists to describe the pursuit of the human mind to construct meaning, order and forms even from chaotic structures (e.g. seeing faces and shapes in clouds). She starts the creative process by making random splotches of coffee, tea and various fruit juices on a paper canvas, to create all kinds of chaotic patterns. Then, she spends hours on end in her studio, contemplating the stains and using her imagination to identify meaningful patterns and shapes. Finally, the motifs she finds in the visually stimulant material are extracted from the patterns by drawing with colored ink. Though they are carefully worked out in detail her pictures provide a wide range of interpretation, different approaches and scope to “see more”.

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Aogashima Island – Living inside a Volcano

Can you imagine yourself living in a giant volcanic crater? Well, for starters, you can forget about Starbucks. But it sure would be the ultimate destination to get away from it all. It’s not all that surprising then, that about 200 people actually inhabit the Japanese volcanic island of Aogashima, with only one school and a single post office.

Aogashima, a part of the Izu Archipelago, lies two hundred miles south of Tokyo, in the Philippine Sea. The island and its 205 inhabitants (as of 2009), are a part of Japan and governed by Tokyo. When I first saw pictures of this breathtaking location, it sort of reminded me of an inverted pudding on a plate. Or an oddly shaped donut. But Aogashima is really a volcano within a volcano. The island is quite well known for having a volcanic caldera within a larger caldera. So what you have is one big, giant crater, which is the island itself, inside which is nestled a much smaller version of itself. This gives the whole island a rather mysterious appeal, almost like something out of a fantasy movie. It’s hard to believe there are such places still left in the world, untouched by noisy human activity.

The entire population of Aogashima lives on a small part of the island. This is where most of the amenities are located, such as a general store and a helipad. While it’s unrealistic to expect a great night life or gourmet food options in a place as remote as this, Aogashima isn’t totally devoid of activities to pursue. For starters, it is a great place to relax and unwind, basking in all the serenity. Scuba diving is a popular activity in the intensely blue waters. You could also consider hiking and camping by the volcano, or visiting the volcanic hot springs. In the very center of the island is a geothermal sauna. The main volcano has scalding hot steam vents around one side, which are used to power the public sauna – a perfect way to relax after a long day of hiking. You can even cook food at the steam vents, in the pots available outside the sauna to steam your goodies. Accessibility options to and from the island aren’t too great:, as it can only be reached by ferry and by helicopter. Once you’re on the island, you have access to a 24/7 live feed of the harbor, so that you can keep an eye on the weather before venturing out.

If you are planning on visiting Aogashima , you might want to know that it is actually an active volcano. The last massive eruption was over 200 years ago, in 1785. 140 people are said to have died back then, and since it has been a while, the volcano might be in store for another eruption sometime soon. If you’re not the kind to take risks, you might as well sit back and enjoy breathtaking pictures of this amazing beauty of an island. I’ll leave you to it.

Bacon-Scented Shaving Cream Makes Men’s Mornings Smell Like Heaven

As if bacon perfume wasn’t enough to help people carry the smell of the tasty treat with them wherever they went, a Seattle-based food company has just launched a ’high end’ limited-edition Bacon Shaving Cream.

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Justin Esch and Dave Lefkow, the two man behind J&D Foods, have just released their newest idea – a bacon-scented shaving cream that will allegedly make users ’smell and feel like a champion’. Yup, the smell of bacon usually has that effect on people, but what I’d like to know is how does one restrain from having a taste of the heavenly-smelling shaving cream. After all, as inventor Justin Esch himself admits, “there is nothing more powerful than the smell of bacon, nothing.”  Company co-founder Dave Lefkow also wrote in a press release: ”Bacon Shaving Cream is a high end, luxurious bacon-scented shaving cream for all skin types. Our advanced heat-activated aromatic technology lasts for hours and delivers maximum bacon scent when you need it most.” He recommends using it after a hot shower or before an important date with a potential soul-mate. It will probably make them want to eat you up.

In the old days, people used bacon grease to shave their beards, and since the breakfast food is so hugely popular these days, a bacon-flavored shaving cream just made sense. And at $14.95 it’s a steal if you can’t get enough of that crispy treat smell. But you’d better act fast, as J&D have created just 2,500 jars of the delicious-smelling lather, and with the holidays just around the corner, they’re bound to sell like bacon hot cakes.

Even though Justin and Dave claim theirs is the world’s first bacon-scented shaving cream, there’s a Wisconsin-based shop called Mama Bears Shop that claims they’ve been selling a similar product since 2010.

The Most Expensive LEGO in the World

Hey, people of money, listen up. If taking nightly dives into your pool of gold coins (like Scrooge McDuck) hasn’t completely desensitized you to the appeal of all things golden, there’s a little something you could buy. Provided of course that you share the geek’s enchantment with all things LEGO.

This brick is 25.65g of 14K gold (0.8246 troy oz). The brick is the same size and shape as the original 2×4 LEGO brick.

This incedibly rare piece was given to LEGO employees that had 25 years of employement at the Hohenwestedt, Germany factory and was also given to couple of very special business partners of LEGO of the time. It was only given out from about 1979-1981, only one or 2 per year from my understanding.

This amazing brick comes in its original display box which features the LEGO logo of the time that it was given out. The box itself is plastic and has a minor amount of storage wear on it.

So yeah, you can buy it. This particular one was made in 1980, and the asking price is $15,000. That’s a roughly tenfold premium on regular gold, so there’s definitely some collector’s salivating going on.

Us, we’re gonna stick with spray painting our bricks with yellow paint and pretending we’re rich.

lego paling mahal di dunia

Celebrity Portraits Made from 5,000 Sweets Taste as Good as They Look

Florida-based artist Cristiam Ramos creates portraits of celebrities like Marylin Monroe, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj out of thousands of sweets, giving the expression “eye candy” a whole new meaning.

The 32-year-old Mexican artist uses Gummy Bears, liquorice, M&M’s, bubble gum and after dinner mints to craft colorful portraits of various celebrities. Each of his tasty artworks contains over 5,000 individual sweets, and his largest creation so far, a life-size candy motorcycle is made up of over 20,000 sweets. Ramos says he got the idea to use sweets as a medium for his art four years ago, while he was in a park. He saw a dad give his son a piece of candy to sooth his pain, and after seeing the boy smile, he realized sweets make human beings happy. He kept thinking “what if they saw one of their favorite artists enshrined in their favorite sweets?”. That thought turned into a reality soon enough, and now Cristiam Ramos’ celebrity portraits sell for up to $18,000, depending on the size of the picture and amount of sweets used. Celebrities immortalized in candy by Ramos also include Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Believe it or not, there’s no paint used in any of them.

Photo: Cristiam Ramos/Barcroft Media

“I love and feel inspired to create different things with new materials,” the Mexican artist said. “My only desire as an artist is to convey to people the pleasure I feel in doing this work and that if ever anyone sees a work item out of the ordinary rest assured that is Cristiam Ramos.” His works have been displayed in museums around the world, and some can be admired in Ripley’s Odditoriums.

Photo: Cristiam Ramos/Barcroft Media

Photo: Cristiam Ramos/Ripley’s 

Photo: Cristiam Ramos/Ripley’s 

Living in a box: Inside the homes made from shipping containers that will soon be housing Britain’s homeless

Living in a box: Inside the homes made from shipping containers that will soon be housing Britain’s homeless

  • Brighton Housing Trust wants to use converted containers to help people while they search for permanent home
  • Each container comes with bathroom, kitchen and plasterboarded wall
  • Shipping container homes have already proven a success in Holland

Here’s a fascinating glimpse inside the shipping container homes set to be used as temporary accommodation for homeless people.

A housing trust in Brighton wants to use the 36 adapted containers as a stop-gap for people without a permanent home. It is the latest plan aimed at tackling Brighton and Hove’s ‘desperate’ housing crisis.

Success: The shipping container homes will be similar to this student accommodation built in Amsterdam in 2006Success: The shipping container homes will be similar to this student accommodation built in Amsterdam in 2006

Problem solving: Brighton Housing Trust hopes the shipping container will help solve the city's housing crisisProblem solving: Brighton Housing Trust hopes the shipping container will help solve the city’s housing crisis

Container city: The stacked container homes have proved successful in Holland where they have housed the Amsterdam's student populationContainer city: The stacked container homes have proved successful in Holland where they have housed the Amsterdam’s student population

The containers have been transformed into self-contained studio flats, and feature bathrooms, kitchens and plasterboarded walls.

The structures were designed for a social housing project in Amsterdam two years ago but the scheme had to be abandoned after hitting funding difficulties.

It is hoped they will instead be used as temporary homes in Brighton and Hove from late spring next year until a permanent roof can be found.

The Brighton Housing Trust and developer QED are to submit a planning application to the local city council for a central site featuring the modified containers with allotments on the roofs.

Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton Housing Trust, said ‘imaginative solutions’ were needed to deal with the ‘desperate’ housing situation in the city.

Concern: Brighton and Hove authorities recognise homelessness is a serious problem in the city. Some 43 rough sleepers were counted this month (file picture)Concern: Brighton and Hove authorities recognise homelessness is a serious problem in the city. Some 43 rough sleepers were counted there this month (file picture)

Shipping-container homes have been used elsewhere, including in London, and are seen as a significantly cheaper housing option than bricks and mortar.

The plans in Brighton follow a warning from leading housing bodies this month that homelessness and overcrowding are getting worse amid Britain’s housing shortage.

High property prices averaging around £302,000, steep private rents and low average wages in the seaside city have contributed to high levels of homelessness

The problems come against a background of rising private sector rents and as more people are claiming housing benefit nationwide, a report by Shelter, the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing said.

Mr Winter said: ‘I have to admit that when it was first suggested to me that shipping containers be used for housing I was a bit sceptical.

‘However, having seen what can be achieved, I was quickly won over. The WC and shower unit is exactly the same as my daughter had in her student accommodation and she much preferred it to having to share bathrooms and toilets with other students. Who wouldn’t?

‘What really excites me about this opportunity is that land that might otherwise lie idle for five years will be brought back into life and used to provide much-needed temporary accommodation for 36 men and women in Brighton and Hove.’

Much-needed: Bright Housing Trust say the container homes are desperately needed to help solve the city's housing crisisMuch-needed: Bright Housing Trust say the container homes are desperately needed to help solve the city’s housing crisis

Production: Tempo Housing has these shipping container homes manufactured in China before they are installed around EuropeProduction: Tempo Housing has these shipping container homes manufactured in China before they are installed around Europe

When the site comes to be redeveloped, the containers can be transferred to other locations.

Mr Winter added: ‘This appears to me to be very attractive from a sustainability perspective.’

Comfortable: The shipping container homes will be a stop-gap for people without accommodation in BrightonComfortable: The shipping container homes will be a stop-gap for people without accommodation in Brighton

Exciting: Brighton Housing Trust says it needs 'imaginative' solutions to help solve the city's housing crisisExciting: Brighton Housing Trust says it needs ‘imaginative’ solutions to help solve the city’s housing crisis

Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb said the Government ‘simply isn’t delivering the new homes we need’.

And David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said there had been’“words and policy’ but ‘we’ve not had delivery’.

In Brighton and Hove, the authorities recognise homelessness as a significant problem, with 43 people found sleeping rough during an annual headcount this month, up six from the previous year.

Mr Winter highlighted the case of one man who was living in his car and holding down a job.

Shortage: The shipping containers will house Brighton's homeless population
Temporary: Each self-contained home has a bathroom, kitchen and plasterboard walls

Shortage: The containers are manufactured in China using old shipping containers before being delivered to Europe

Problem: Average property prices of more than £300,000 and low wages have contributed to high levels of homelessness in BrightonProblem: Average property prices of more than £300,000 and low wages have contributed to high levels of homelessness in Brighton

Innovative: The 36 containers purchased by Brighton Housing Trust which had been earmarked for a social housing project in Amsterdam two years ago but funding fell throughInnovative: The 36 containers purchased by Brighton Housing Trust which had been earmarked for a social housing project in Amsterdam two years ago but funding fell through

He said he would not want to see the shipping containers used as a long-term housing option here, but there are examples in mainland Europe.

‘The most notable project is in Keetwonen, Amsterdam, a development by TempoHousing, of 1,000 containers using exactly the same internal design layout as the ones we are proposing to use. It was completed in 2006 and is still in use today,’ he said.

QED director Chris Gilbert told local newspaper The Argus: ‘We’re not intending to dress them up and pretend they’re not containers.

‘I think it could be an exciting way of addressing, quickly, what’s a massive problem.’

Innovation: Shipping containers have been used as homes in the UK before such as this Container City in LondonInnovation: Shipping containers have been used as homes in the UK before such as this Container City in London

Unusual: 36 shipping containers, similar to these pictured, have already been converted into studio flats complete with bathrooms and kitchensUnusual: 36 shipping containers, similar to these pictured, have already been converted into studio flats complete with bathrooms and kitchen

Meet the Flintstones in Arizona’s Real-Life Bedrock

If you are a loyal Flintstones fan, then you’re going to love this, especially if you live around northern Arizona. Because that’s where the real-life Bedrock city is located. Not an actual city of course, but a place to go to 365 days a year to experience Stone Age with your favorite cartoon characters. Closed only on Christmas day, it’s an improvement over the first Bedrock city in Cluster, South Dakota, which is open only from the middle of May through Labor Day.

Arizona’s Bedrock City was built in 1972, by Francis Speckles, son of an investor. At the time it used to feature a live Fred and Barney. But that wasn’t easy to sustain, given the isolation of the area and the shortage of local workers. But the isolation is actually a blessing-in-disguise, because it gives the place a whole lot of charm, and an authentic Stone Age feel. Today, the place consists of colorful concrete structures that recreate the magic of the 1960s animated series. Located at about a half hour’s drive south of the Grand Canyon, Bedrock City is a great roadside stop for people who want to relive some wonderful memories, especially those who grew up in the 60s and 70s.

Photo: mlhradio

Once you enter the city, you can find all the buildings associated with the Flintstones – the general store, police station, jail and beauty parlor. And how could Bedrock ever be complete without the Flintstones’ and the Rubbles’ houses? The interiors of the houses are surprisingly detailed, with saber-toothed-tiger-hide bedspreads, pet dinosaurs, and a pterodactyl record player. You can actually buy stuff at the general store, like some dinosaur ribs and comically large watermelon slices. Everything in the city is painted in garish colors, and the place itself carries a rather ghostly feel around it.

Photo: mlhradio

But the City isn’t completely devoid of activity. The Bedrock theatre still plays Flintstones cartoons with audio broadcast over loudspeakers. A Fredmobile tram is still in operation and loops around St. Wilma volcano. At the snack bar, you can try out from selections like a Chickasaurus dinner, a Fishasaurus sandwich, or a Gravelberry pie. The City was recently renovated, incorporating some stylish new fiberglass structures of the main Flintstones characters. However, it’s hard to say that the rest of the place has been maintained well. Perhaps it is good for a few hours well spent. If you ask me though, I’d  prefer this $3.5 million Flintstones-inspired luxury house any day.

Photo: mlhradio

Photo: mlhradio

Photo: mlhradio

Photo: mlhradio

Photo: mlhradio

Photo: mlhradio