Cool Things In Random Places

A little refreshing randomness from around the globe

Browsing Posts in World Beat


Ada Barak Applying the reptilian treatment

Ada Barak Applying the reptilian treatment

A spa in the northern communal village of Talmey El’Azar Israel offers snake massage treatments using Milk snakes, Corn snakes, Florida and California King snakes. Ada Barak applies the treatments to those that are unnerved by the reptiles, with the belief that once customers get over the fear of the creatures, they find the contact to be soothing.

Time Magazine reporter Tim Mcgirk was brave enough to experience this trend.

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The Hadron Collider


Geneva, 10 September 2008. “The first beam in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN1 was successfully steered around the full 27 kilometres of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator at 10h28 this morning.”

Two magnets of the Large Hadron Collider are seen before they are connected together in an undated photo.

Two magnets of the Large Hadron Collider are seen before they are connected together in an undated photo.



 The world’s largest atom smasher’s first experiment will pave the way toward the recreation of post-big bang conditions. By creating hundreds of thousands of head-on collisions each second, physicists hope to understand the fiery conditions of the universe a trillionth of a second after the big bang.

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The Ultimate Claw Game coming to an arcade near you. Instead of snagging a useless stuffed animal, or a pair of fuzzy dice, this “Sub Marine Catcher” arcade game, photographed in Osaka’s trendy Namba district, allows Japanese gamers to try their hand at catching live lobsters.  The $2-per play claw game doesn’t catch goofy stuffed animals, but live lobsters. LOBSTER CLAW GAME continue reading…

Jump Those Babies!Baby Jumping FestivalSince 1620 Castrillo de Murcia has celebrated Corpus Christi with a bizarre event that sees grown men dressed as the Devil leaping over helpless babies, an act that is known as El Colacho.The Catholic festival of Corpus Christi is celebrated all over Spain with processions, mystery plays and a wide variety of popular celebrations, but this one has to be the strangest. It is believed that as the incarnate devils jump they take all their evil with them and the children are cleansed.  continue reading…



Natives target the photographers  flying overhead, with their bows and arrows. Acre State, Brazil- Images from Survival International Indian’s of the Envira, who have never before had any contact with the outside world, photographed during an overflight in May 2008, as they react to the over flight at their camp in the Terra Indigena Kampa e Isolados do Envira, Acre state, Brazil, close to the border with Peru.

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  Abandoned  Russian artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay – to be found by a curious photographer.     “Master” stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website, the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it’s still in use… as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest – much like in “The Prestige” movie.  continue reading…

Toilet House


There is a house in South Korea shaped like a toilet.

It is the work of no mere waste-obsessed eccentric. This house was built by none other than Sim Jae-duck, the chairman of the organizing committee of the Inaugural General Assembly of the World Toilet Association. Jae-Duck’s organization exists to draw attention to one thing: the criminal lack of sanitary toilets the world over.

For almost half of the world’s population, toilets don’t exist. Without the miracle of indoor plumbing, diseases like cholera can run rampant. In Africa, a movement to ban plastic bags has a sanitary basis: no latrines in sight, residents of Nairobi’s slums would defecate in the bags and throw them out the door.

Back in South Korea, this house has a name: Haewoojae, or “a place of sanctuary where one can solve one’s worries.” The house contains two bedrooms, a few guestrooms, and four deluxe toilets outfitted with elegant fitting and top-of-the-line water conservation. Its center houses a toilet showroom.



They may be the most stylish carpenters in the world.

They are Journeymen – Gesellen. Since the 13th century, these young German tradesmen have gone ‘auf der Walz,‘ or taken to the road with little more than a walking stick and their tools. Then, as now, they always were their trademark, tailored Kluft: bellbottom pants, double-breasted vests with gigantic buttons, and a black slouch hat. In modern times, fedoras are very popular.

They wander the earth, for at least three years, doing their job. Stonemasons ogle the technique of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and carpenters survey the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. They take odd jobs, and are often put up and supported by strangers, cafe owners and farmers who are inevitably impressed with their skills. They’re almost always the most interesting people at parties.

There are rules. No Journeyman can come home: not within fifty kilometers of their hometown. No cell phones. Always wear the Kluft – of which they have a second, less expensive pair, for work. And it may or may not be a rule to look fantastically snazzy at all times.

In the whole world, there are only hundreds left: estimates range from 250 to 600.
And yet, if you ask, many of them have tales of running into each other – from Morocco to New Zealand.

Miracle Berry


The miracle berry will unnerve you.

It will make lemons taste like lemonade, and goat cheese take like the sweetest candy. In the underground eating circuit, people throw ‘miracle fruit’ parties where they lay out a whole smorgasboard of bitter and unappetizing snacks. But after they take a swig of Synsepalum dulcificum, they go to town like its the most delicious food they’ve ever tasted.

This berry – and its rogue glycoprotein named, seriously, miraculin – temporarily robs you of your ability to taste sour and bitter flavors. It became a fixture in West Africa, where locals would use it to down otherwise unpalatable meals. But in a world of sweetness-hating dieting fads, a global following wasn’t long in coming.

It’s become a bit of a hit in Japan
. And yet, the miracle berry is still not readily available in the United States – classified as a food additive by the FDA in 1974, it has not yet been approved for wide distribution. Most first-timers will be forced to track down an on-line distributor – or, alternatively, befriending a friendly circle of ‘foodies’ who like to throw sweet, sweet parties.
If your really curious about the power of Miracle Berry Fruit Tablets you can try it for your self.


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Right hook to left jaw. Checkmate.

Proponents describe chessboxing as the ultimate fusion sport for the body and the mind. For up to eleven rounds, a chessboxing match alternates between three-minute rounds of uppercuts and jabs, and four-minute rounds of studious, deliberate protection of your king.

Chessboxing is not a game for amateurs. Participants are required to have boxed in at least twenty matches, be less than thirty-five years old, and an ELO rating (used for measuring chess skill) of no less than 1800. If not sparring, training often involves running laps or hitting a sandbag, and then sitting down for blitz rounds of pawns, bishops and knights.

The world capitol of the chessboxing world sits firmly in Berlin: the 2007 Light-Heavyweight World Champion was none other than German Frank ‘Anti-Terror’ Stoldt. The Chess Boxing Club Berlin has been active since 2005, and since 2006 there have opened two schools who offer chessboxing programs to children. But moves are being made to expand into Russia and the Ukraine, where there apparently reside legions of experienced chessboxers.