Need thousands of dollars worth of renovations in your home, but only have a handful of magic markers? Not a problem, if you're Charlie Kratzer. Mr. Kratzer, of Lexington, Kentucky, wanted something unique to cover the sea of endless cream-colored paint on his basement walls. He started the project mid-wall, by drawing a copy of the "Salon" by Picasso, and the idea took off. Through most of the spacious basement there is black line-drawing — around the pinball machine and the pool table and over the bathtub and toilet. You can view the entire basement artwork here, and see if you can spot Sherlock Holmes, Winston Churchill, The Walrus and the Carpenter from Alice, the Marx Brothers, and R2D2.
A New York jeweller briefly owned the world’s most valuable pet earlier this year when his golden retriever swallowed a $20,000 diamond by mistake. Sollie, the dog, had accompanied his owner George Kaufman to the latter’s jewellery shop where Mr. Kaufman and his partner were intending to inspect some gemstones. Unfortunately a diamond weighing 3 carats fell to the floor where it was immediately snatched up by Sollie and swallowed. After a vet recommended that nature be allowed to take its course, Kaufman spent the next three days carefully collecting and dissecting everything Sollie produced before finally retrieving the gem (Telegraph).
Perhaps he should have contacted Ireland’s first official dog-waste removal company, Mr. Scoopy-Poo. The brainchild of Irish entrepreneur William O’Brian, Mr. Scoopy-Poo (motto, “Business stinks – but it’s picking up!”) will clean up after your dirty dogs into biodegradable bags and hygienically dispose of them, for a price of course. After all, where there’s muck there’s brass, and occasionally diamonds (Irish Examiner).
But O’Brian may be missing a trick here, why dispose of faeces when you could be selling it as the latest must have fashion item? What sounds like insanity may be an idea whose time has come. How else can you explain not one but two manure-based products in the same week?
First up is London based artist and designer INSA, who has produced a pair of 10” stilettos incorporating elephant dung. And this isn’t just dung from any old elephant either, this is dung from the very same elephant family that produced the infamous extra ingredient for a series of paintings made by artist Chris Ofili in the 90s. Yup, in these shoes you are literally standing on celebrity elephant dung (Huffington Post).
And hot on the precipitous heels of INSA is Geneva based watchmaker Yvan Arpa, who has crafted his latest $11,000 wrist-candy from toad skin and dinosaur doo. The watches, to be made and sold by Swiss watchmakers Artya, feature a face cut from a 100 million year-old “coprolite”, or fossil faeces, left behind by an ancient plant-eater in what is now the United States. And the quality American materials don’t just amount to a pretty face as the strap is lovingly crafted from the hide of an American cane toad. The mechanism though is pure Swiss craftsmanship (Star Tribune).
With just over 800 pieces, each individually controlled piece of wood acts like a mirror. A computer refreshes the images 15 to 20 times a second, so those people standing in front of the piece create the art.
You may not be able to afford that "West Coast Customs" look for your ride, but how about the garage where you leave it?
Style-Your-Garage.com are offering a range of self adhesive garage-door covers that depict the contents of your garage as everything from a fighter jet to a strip joint. There's even one showing it to be completely empty. So if you fancy having an alligator, a speedboat or even a metro station in your garage, Style-Your-Garage.com have just the thing for you (Daily Mail).
A couple of designers, James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, from the UK have created five robots that have a taste for meat. The "robotic furniture" is designed to look cool and to catch flies and mice. Once caught, the vermin are digested and turned into energy to power the machines. NewScientist
Designer Nils Völker, from Berlin, built a drawing Lego robot that tracks and records eye movement of it's visitors. Hanging from the ceiling and positioned over a pile of paper, the robot makes one dot wherever the visitor looks. It's an experimental exhibit that explores how different people see the same thing in a different way. The exhibit will be on display in Eindhoven, Netherlands until June 14th. Fabrik
So you're going to do some surfing, or scuba diving, and the water isn't very warm. You need a wetsuit. But why settle for a plain, ordinary wetsuit, when you can get one that looks like human innards, or one that makes it seem you've been the victim of a shark attack? The possibilities are endless. Check them out here. ...bydiddo
Chocolate, you can eat it, drink it, even inhale it, and now you can run a car on it as boffins from the University of Warwick in the UK have designed a "Formula 3" racing car that runs on chocolate oil. As an added bonus, the car's body was made from potatoes (BBC News).
Meanwhile, in Bethlehem PA, Hipolito Junior Vasquez is the main suspect in a string of burglaries where the perpetrator elected to also vandalise his victims' apartments by smearing the walls with paint and chocolate pudding. Police first suspected Vasquez was their man when he was apprehended red brown handed, covered in chocolate sauce (LeHigh Valley Live).
And if that wasn't enough, a current UK advertising campaign for "Mikado" biscuits has raised some eyebrows and quite a few hackles after it depicted a secretary inadvertently taking 'upskirt' photocopies of herself while trying to reach a box of the apparently irresistible snacks, just as her boss walks in on her. The British agency responsible for advertising standards said it had received 141 complaints, but admitted that it was powerless to act as the item adhered to all the guidelines concerning high-fat foods, and was not shown at a time when it might be viewed by minors (The Sun - includes video).
According to Bon Appetit magazine, there are a number of "superfoods" that have been shamefully overlooked by most dieticians, and the top disregarded superfood is... bacon. Their argument is that 45% of bacon's fat is of the monounsaturated type that is supposed to actually lower cholesterol, and moreover half of that is the same type, oleic acid, found in ultra-healthy olive oil. Hence, it is claimed, bacon might really be half as healthy as olives and 100 times as delicious (Bon Appetit).
And bacon is not just good for your heart, your head could benefit as well. According to Dr. Elin Roberts of the "Centre for Life" in Newcastle, England, bacon is just the thing to cure a hangover. Bacon, with the obligatory side of eggs, provides just the cholesterol, amino acids and amines needed to cure the headache, stiffness and nausea brought about by a night of overindulgence, Roberts suggests. Let's hope he hasn't been a bit rasher (News Blaze).
With bacon now well established as the wonderfood of tomorrow, it is perhaps very prescient of three American entrepreneurs to launch the next must have product, "Wake n'Bacon". Simply place a frozen strip of bacon in the Wake n' Bacon the night before, and 10 minutes before the desired waking time, two halogen lights come on to slow cook the bacon to perfection, hence waking you with the delicious smell of bacon. Pure, pure genius (LikeCool.com).
In a late-breaking bacon bonus (cheers Matt), the healthy and healing wonder-meat might also be a future source of planet saving bio-diesel. Husband and wife team Dan and Tracy Kaderabek have formed Bio-Blend Fuels, a company that takes the fat that drips off pre-cooked bacon as it is microwaved and converts it into a carbon-neutral, smoke free fuel. As an added bonus, the exhaust smells like cooking bacon, thereby making the world a happier place (HTR News).
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.