New Cars

New Cars

Water Wheels,

The road does not stop at the sea this ultra light concept car.

At the push of a button, the Rinspeed Splash transforms into an amphibious vehicle,

and an integrated hydrofoil system enables the Splash to “fly” two feet above the water.

Powered by a 750cc natural gas engine, the vehicle reaches speeds up to 125 miles per hour as a sports car,

30 miles per hour as a boat, and 50 miles per hour as a hydrofoil.

The bodywork is made of a state of the art plastic normally reserved for Formula One racing cars.

 

Truck Transformer, 

Brazilian Olisio da Silva and his two sons,

28 year old Marcus and 20 year old Marco, have created a real time Transformer.

Accompanied by loud music, smoke, and flashing lights, the body of their ordinary looking Kia Besta van rears up and,

six minutes later, it has morphed into a 12 foot robot.

It took the da Silva family from Sau Paulo nine months and $122,000 to create the Super Robo Car.

 

Fly Drive,

Jim and Chris Milner’s AirCar might get you out of a jam.

At the flick of a switch, the car unfolds its giant wings to reveal a pair of propeller engines.

Jim Milner, a former pilot, always dreamed of building a flying car.

His son Chris, an engineer based in Bethesda, Maryland, hopes to turn the dream into a reality.

On the road the vehicle will reach top speed of 85 miles per hour,

in the air it will cruise at 200 miles per hour at 25,000 feet.

The AirCar could be on sale by 2010.

 

Catch a Wave, 

Where would you find a wave in the middle of the dessert ?

Sculpted by wind and water,

The wave, a spectacular rock formation south of the Utah Arizona border, was once a field of Jurassic sand dunes,

perhaps home to Stegosaurus and Allosaurus.

The soft sandstone is so fragile that the number visitors is restricted to 20 a day, then chosen from an online lottery

and ten pickedusing bingo balls at the entrance to the trial.

 

Weird Facts

Weird Facts

Dream Screens,

TV sets are not normally huggable, but this cute blue elephant is just asking for a squeeze.

Choose from a zooful of animal designs including a zebra, a giraffe, and a monkey.

If cuddling the TV is not your thing, there are fire trucks, big rigs, and steam locomotives too.

The TV in the shape of a box of fries with a ketchup packet remote could have you reaching for the phone to order a burger.

For a healthier option, try the apple complete with leaves and a stalk.

 

Going Green,

Beijing’s Zero Energy Media Wall is not just colourful, it’s green too.

The worlds largest colour LED display is composed of 2,292 lights and covers a massive 24,000 square feet,

as well as being powered by the latest photovoltaic technology.

Visible from up to half a mile away, it absorbs sunlight during the day and uses the energy to create a fantastic night time show.

The wall is expected to display sporting events, video art, weather forecasts, and video gaming, while the building will house the city’s first exhibition of media art.

 

Find The Person,

Australian artist Emma Hack had her first taste of body art as a teenager, painting children’s faces at parties for pocket money.

After studying makeup artistry at college, she was inspired to create her 3-D ” living wallpaper.”

The process is exhausting for both artist and model because it can take up to 19 hours to painstakingly copy the patterns onto the model’s body.

Hack sometimes includes animals in her wallpaper works and has recently started painting on cows and hourses too.

 

Pencil Palace,

The three story stairwell of Jaina Davis’s San Francisco home is plastered with pencils.

Jaina say’s she’s always loved office supplies, so she was happy to go along with mosaic artist Jason Mecier when he suggested taking the pencil theme to extremes.

The project which used 92,626 pencils, took five years to complete and cost $50,000.

The designs include a futuristic pencil portrait of Jaina when she reaches her 80s, a compass cactus forest, wind chimes made of rulers, and a built in notepad.

 

 

 

 

Weird Facts

Crazy Things

Crazy Things

Stretch Your Legs,

Australian Jewgenij Kuschnow held a side split position between two cars for an impressive 36.48 seconds during the impossibility Challenge in Dachau in Germany, on March 30th 2008.

This Annual event attracts competitors with all kinds of unusual talents,

such as juggling with a ball and two chain saws, tearing up telephone directories, making tiny paper ships, and nonstop laughing.

Cannonball Catcher,

Pain proof fitness instructor Ken Richmond has a stomach of steel.

His shows of strength include having a wrecking ball collide with his belly, having a cannonball dropped on his head, and having a cannonball fired at his stomach.

As the cannon prepares to fire, Richmond tenses his belly.

When the cannonball hits, he starts to double up and is thrown backward by the impact, falling into the straw bales behind him.

 

Hold On Tight,

Called ” Game for brave people,” this eye wateringly high swing has been set up on the 700 foot high viewing platform of a TV tower in Heilongjiang Province China.

The swing takes people beyond the platforms edge, over the city of Harbin.

At 1,100 feet, the tower is the worlds second highest steel tower, after the Kiev Tower in Ukraine.

 

Ready For A Bite,

Georges Christen from Luxembourg started bending nails as a teenager.

Soon he turned his attention to tearing a deck of playing cards, then telephone directories.

His next tools were his teeth,

In 1987 he used them to stop a fully revved 110 horsepower Cessna plane from taking off,

then using both arms and his teeth , he held back three Cessna’s.

In 1991 he pulled a 100 ton ship 100 yards upstream.

Later he turned a 65 tone, 150 foot high Ferris wheel with his teeth.

On one occasion Christen bit into a table and carried it with his teeth while some one sat on top.

 

 

 

Crazy Things

Pushing Boundaries

Pushing Boundaries

One Wheel Wonder,

With more than 18 years riding experience, Kris Holm a geologist living in Vancouver in Canada,

is considered to be the worlds greatest mountain uni-cycling rider.

One of the pioneers of the sport, he has appeared in some of the most extreme uni-cycling documentaries, where he performs stunts such as riding along handrails, and over cars, and jumping up steps and bleachers on his one-wheeler.

Mountain uni-cycling, which was created in the late 1980’s, is he art of riding off-road on terrain such as rock, dirt, ice and snow.

 

Icy Innings,

Old cricket adversaries England and India faced each other across the pitch again in April 2008,

but this match took place in the Arctic, close to the North Pole.

It was there that a group of Indian navy bumped into a team of British explorers, who challenged them to a game.

Because no one had thought to take cricket set with them, they had to improvise with a ball made of taped bungee, using skis as wickets, and a shovel for a bat.

Cricket was not the only game played during the expedition.

One of the British team was a member of the English Bridge Union, and together they played bridge at the North Pole on an ice table.

 

Fearless Fishermen,

The Khon Phapheng waterfall in Southern Laos is the biggest in Southeast Asia.

During the rainy season a huge volume of water roars over the falls from the Mekong River, which is rich in fish.

Local fisherman take great risks tightrope walking above the jagged rocks and white water so they can fish among the rapids.

 

The Lion Whisperer,

Animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson, who is based at a wildlife conservation area near Johannesburg, South Africa, has such a bond with his big cats that he can play fight with lions, and is happy to kiss, cuddle, and spend the night curled up with them.

He claims he can make friends with any lion less than a year old, because it is still young enough to accept him as part of its family.

However Richardson once had a close call when an aggressive four year old male started biting him.

Fortunately Richardson’s quick decision to display passive behavior stopped the lion in it’s tracks.

 

Aerial Antics,

*British couple Darren McWalters and Katie Hodgson exchanged their wedding vows while standing on the wings of two biplanes,

1,000 feet above the ground.

The minister flew ahead on a third aircraft.

*Twice a year, people in Southern China and Southeast Asia climb flimsy bamboo ladders 200 feet above the ground to collect the nests of cave dwelling swifts for birds nest soup, risking certain death if they fall.

*Leaving his plane behind, Swiss pilot Yves Rossy flew for nearly six minutes thousands of feet above the Alps with an eight-foot jet powered wing strapped to his back.

Using the same method in 2008, he crossed the English Channel in under ten minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Pushing Boundaries

Cool Facts6

Cool Facts6

Blind Ambition,

Miles Hilton Barber lost his sight in his twenties, but it hasn’t stopped him from seeking out challenging adventures.

Now in his late fifties, Hilton-Barber , from Derbyshire in England, has hauled a sled more than 250 miles across Antarctica.

Also completed the 150 mile Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert, raced the 11 day Ultra-Marathon across China,

climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc, performed more than 40 skydives, and piloted a micro-light from London, England to Sydney Australia, a journey of 13,360 miles, with a slighted co-pilot.

 

Loud Colours,

Neil Harbisson always painted in black and white because that was all he saw.

The British artist suffers from achromatopsia, or complete colour blindness.

Then he met cybernetics expert Adam Montandon, who came to lecture at his art college.

Montandon decided to try to solve Neil’s disability and invented the Eyeborg, a system that converts the way in which colours reflect light at different frequencies ( with violet light vibrating the fastest and red the slowest ) into sound.

Now Neil can hear 360 colours.

 

Seeing Is Believing,

*Dominic Head of London was born with such weak eyelids he had to tip his head backwards to see.

Doctors took a strip of tendon from his thigh and used it to link his eyelids with his forehead muscle to allow him to open his eyes.

*Although he has a co-pilot in case of emergencies, blind Steve Cunningham from Banbury England,

takes full control of his plane, using talking computer software that updates him on its height, position, and speed.

*After giving birth to her first baby, British mother Mandy Rotchell, who was partially blinded after suffering from glaucoma,

was warned that she might lose her sight entirely if she had any more children.

Now the proud mother of nine is legally blind but has never regretted giving up her sight for her large family.

 

Cool Facts6

Cool Facts5

Cool Facts5

Mower Man,

In 1953 Robert Dotzauer of Los Angeles in California, successfully balanced three lawnmowers on his chin,

which with a combined weight of 145 pounds, weighed five pounds more than he did.

Comedian Mark Faje also balances lawnmowers on his chin, but only one at a time.

The difference is that Mark’s lawnmower is motorized and running.

 

What is echolocation,

Dolphins, shrews, and most bats and whales use echolocation to navigate and hunt.

These animals make sounds, then wait to hear its echo.

The length of time between sound and the echo shows how far away an object is.

The slight time difference before the echo reaches each of the animals ears indicates direction.

Dolphins have especially sensitive echolocation systems and can tell the difference between similar objects, even in a noisy environment.

 

Out Of The Dark,

” I am not blind, I just can’t see “, says Ben Underwood, who lost his eyes to cancer at the age of three.

As Ben zips around fearlessly on his Roller blades, rides a bike, and plays football and basketball, the only sign that he is not just an average Californian teenager is the constant clicking sounds he makes.

Aged five, Ben discovered that he could find his way around by making noises with his tongue.

Now he ” sees ” with his ears, using echolocation, just like bats and dolphins,

Echoes can give detailed information about the size and location of objects, and the type of sound gives further clues-a sharp echo indicates glass, for example.

By putting all the information together, Ben is able to build up a picture of his environment.

Scientists have discovered that the part of the brain that processes visual images does not stop working when people lose their sight and it can be activated by other senses, such as touch or hearing.

One of the earliest known cases  of human echolocation is that of British navel lieutenant James Holman ( 1786 – 1857 ),

who traveled the world on his own, using the sound of a tapping cane to get around, after losing his sight at age of 25.

 

 

Cool Facts5

Cool Facts4

Cool Facts4

Towering Achievement,

Thousand of visitors to the Legoland theme park in England have helped build a record breaking tower.

It took four days of hard work and almost half a million bricks to complete the tower, which stands almost 100 feet tall.

Children built eight inch sections that were lifted into place by a crane, then the final brick was placed by Lego engineer,

Bo Dahl Knudsen.

The tower is designed to look like a viking longboat mast to mark the opening of the Land of Vikings attraction and to celebrate Lego’s 50th birthday.

 

To the Point,

It takes the warrior monks of Shaolin Monastery, in Henan Province in China, the birthplace of kung fu, three to ten years to master the skills of this unique martial art.

Imitating the movements of fighting animals, the monks perform extraordinary physical feats as they scale walls, walk over knives, stand on their fingertips , break bricks over each other, and balance their bodies on the tips of spears.

Founded in the fifth century, the Buddhist monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.

 

 Feat of Clay,

Pioneering potter Peter Lange loves bricks, but the way he uses them might raise an eyebrow.

His two tone 20 foot long brick boat, with its corrugated iron sails, made its maiden voyage on April Fools Day, 2002.

The idea came to the New Zealander when he was working inside a kiln and was reminded of sitting under a boat.

It took him three months to make the boat using 676 bricks and it made a successful voyage around Auckland harbor.

His other unlikely brickworks include bags, teapot, a bu,per car, a “paper” plane, and a airbed.

 

Anyone for Tennis,

Tennis stars Roger Federer and Andre Agassi took the sport to new heights during their friendly game on the helipad at Dubai’s sail shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, which is set on a man made island.

The helipad is 692 feet high, with an area of only 496 square yards.

They couldn’t find any volunteers to act as ball boys, unsurprisingly, and eventually they had to give up after losing all the hotels tennis balls.

 

 

 

cool facts4

Cool Facts3

Cool Facts3

Trash in Paradise,

In 1998 a British eco-pioneer Richart Sowa began building his own paradise island in the sea near Puerto Aventuras,

off the coast of Mexico.

He filled nets with more than 300,000 discarded plastic bottles, which supported a bamboo framework covered with plywood,

and topped it with sand gathered from a nearby beach.

Mangroves were planted on the raft which is 66 x 54 feet to provide shade.

Their roots grew down into the sea and helped to stabilized and anchor the structure.

He built a house with a composting toilet, a solar oven, and a plastic sheeting roof to gather rainwater.

Other trees and vegetables were planted to provide food.

Chickens, a duck, cats and a dog joined the lone inhabitant.

Sadly the Spiral Island, as it was called, was destroyed by hurricane Emily in 2005,

but Sowa has now built an even better island, Spiral Island 2.

The new structure, which is 60 feet in diameter and has beaches, a house, two ponds, a solar powered waterfall, and solar panels, is in a lagoon away from bad weather at Isla Mujeres in Mexico.

Volunteers helped on the project, which is still work in progress, always growing.

 

Toothpick triumph,

This Ferris wheel and bridge were built entirely from toothpicks by 14 year old Barry Pariser,

27,000 toothpicks were used to construct the wheel alone.

Barry built toothpick towers too, but probably not as large as those in Toothpick City, created by Stan Munro.

Featuring replicas of some of the tallest buildings in the world, including Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the Petronas Towers in Malaysia,

Dubai’s Burj Al Arab Hotel, and the Washington Monument, this extraordinary sculpture uses more than two million toothpicks.

 

Marathon Masterpiece,

diagnosed with Cushing’s Syndrome as a child, Londoner Annette Banks was not expected to live past her 20th birthday.

Because she was interested in history and had a passion for sewing, her father suggested that she recreate the 230 foot long Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the 1066 Norman invasion of England.

Luckily Annette’s health improved and she married and had children.

She kept working on the tapestry and when her father died she vowed to finish it.

It took her 20 years, but her 50 foot long recreation is finally complete.

Embroidered on the tapestry are the words:

” Dedicated to my wonderful father who has always given me inspiration “.

 

 

cool facts3

Cool Facts2

Cool Facts2

Thinking Big,

Joshua Taylor doesn’t have to go shopping for a Halloween costume.

He just needs to choose from his collection of more than 400 masks.

Nine year old Joshua from West Jefferson, North Carolina, has been mad about masks since he was a toddler.

When he was younger his favorite movie was the Haunted Mask and he began wearing a werewolf mask at every opportunity.

He even started making his own masks using sliced sausage and tortillas, as well as the more common material paper mache,

before being given a rubber mask making kit for Christmas.

Since then Joshua has come up with extraordinary range of designs, and his family is planning to make him a basement workshop so he can indulge his talent to the full.

Joshua’s creepy collection features all kinds of monsters, ghouls, werewolves, skeletons, and aliens along with the occasional superhero.

Anyone who breaks into his house could be in for a freight.

 

Sole Obsession,

Darlene Flynn takes calls on a phone that looks like a red stiletto,

eats of plates decorated with shoes, and reads by a shoe shaped lamp.

In fact almost everything in her house in Romoland California, resembles or is decorated with a shoe,

but the major part of her collection can be found in the display cases that line her living room.

Here more than 700 tiny shoes jostle for space with shoe thimbles and other shoe themed curios.

Darlene has spent around $200,000 on the 7,765 items of shoe memorabilia.

But one of her favorite pieces was a Christmas gift from her son, a shoe made of coins worth $15.07 that he spent 40 hours gluing together.

 

Flush With Success,

As a plumber Barney Smith must have seen a few toilet seats during his work life.

Now that he’s retired, his garage museum in San Antonia Texas, is lined from floor to ceiling with hundreds of them.

It all started 30 years ago, when he glued a seat of deer antlers to a toilet seat lid.

Now his collection features license plates, Boy Scout badges, Pokemon cards, False teeth and even a small piece of wreckage from the Challenger space shuttle.

The one thing he doesn’t have is a functioning toilet seat the museum has no bathroom.

 

 

Cool Facts2

Cool Facts1

Cool Facts1

High Flier,

David Smith Sr. found a novel way to beat the lines at the Mexican border.

The human cannonball was launched headfirst over the rusty fence between San Diego California, and Tijuana Mexico,

Landing in a net on the Mexican beach.

Smith had special permission to cross the border this bizarre way, but he carried his passport, which he waved as he flew through the air.

The one time math teacher has been fired from a cannon around 9,000 times without breaking a single bone and has raised a high flying family , his son and two daughters and a cousin are all human projectiles.

 

Motoring Mystery,

How could “Texas Zeke” Shumway from Dallas Texas, drive cars and motorcycles more than 50,000 miles but never get more than 25 feet his starting point?

The answer is that he set off from the center of a 46 foot wide motordrome and drove round and round the track.

Motordromes were popular during the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

The tracks banked up to 60 degrees, creating high G-force on drivers.

Spectators watching from above were at great risk if a car lost control.

After a number of accidents involving fans and drivers,

motordromes were gradually replaced by dirt tracks.

 

Soaring Centenarian,

While most centenarians in the UK are happy with a card from the queen,

this British great grandmother chose to mark her hundredth birthday in a more exciting way by paragliding from the top of the Five Finger Mountains in Cyprus.

Peggy McAlpine who did a bungee jump at the age of 80, leaped from the 2,500 foot peak and enjoyed a 15 minute tandem flight before sharing a bottle of Champagne with her family.

Currently the worlds oldest paraglider, she is hoping to repeat the experience when she reaches 105.

 

Rocket Roller,

At first professional inline skater Dirk Auer was more interested in distance than speed,

spending several weeks skating through Spain, then nonstop from Frankfurt to Munich Germany, in less than 24 hours.

Then he turned his talents to more extreme stunts , including skating down a roller coaster while holding a glass of water and straight down the wall of high rise building.

The German daredevil reaches unbelievable speeds.

With a jet pack strapped to his back, he zoomed 117 miles per hour through a tunnel in the city of Darmtadt Germany.

In 2007 strapped to three jet engines , he took on an Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster in a half mile race on the British TV show Top Gear sadly he lost.

 

 

 

Cool Facts1