Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stencil Graffiti Artworks that are worth seeing

1. Snort (London, UK)

“after following a white paint trail around the streets of shoreditch it ends up at this stencil. “

2. Do not cross (Copenhagen, Denmark)

3. Maid (London, UK)

4. What Are You Looking At? (London, UK)

5. The Thief(London, UK)

6. Rude Boy Rat(Brighton, UK)

7. iNeed (London, UK)

8. Dead Pedestrian (somewhere in Europe)

9. Banana Therapy (London, UK)

10. I Am Your Father (Melbourne, Australia)

11. E=mc^2 (London, UK)

12. Cut here! (somewhere in the planet Earth)

13. Taking Shower is for Dirty People (Washington, DC, USA)

14. Girl Jumping (Brooklyn, NYC, USA)

15. Ribcage (Paris, France)

16. Killing People is Rude (Chicago, IL, USA)

17. Strange Zebra (Dublin, Ireland)

18. Leopard Escapes (London, UK)

19. Just Back from McDonalds? (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

20. Just Do It! (Lisbon, Portugal)

21. Girl Slide (London, UK)

22. Take That Society (London, UK)

23. Kid and a Boat (London, UK)

24. Art Removed! (Asheville, N Carolina, USA)

25. Weapon of Mass Humiliation (Wellington, New Zeland)

26. The Truth about Capitalism (San Francisco, CA, USA)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I see a red moon rising: rare natural phenomena captured on camera

Stunning pictures of a red rising moon have emerged today.

The rare natural phenomena, which is known as ‘Etruscan Vase’, is caused by differences in air temperature near the earth's surface.

Also known as an Omega moon because of its shape, the optical effect is more usually seen in views of the setting sun rather than the rising full moon.

Photographer John Stetson caught the moment on camera at Casco Bay near Cape Elizabeth in Maine, USA, earlier this month.

Mirages such as this are possible when there is a layer of relatively warm air at the ocean surface with colder air above it, with a rapid drop in temperature the higher above surface.

On the day the pictures were taken the water was 39F (4C) while the air well above it was a chilly 18F (-8C).

Light passing through the atmosphere bends away from the warmer air towards the colder, denser air.

The result is that we see two moons - one being a mirror image of the other.

The lower part of the image is formed by rays from the moon which are reflected upwards from the warm layer of air at the surface.

If you are above this layer, you see both images together as rays also pass relatively undeflected over the top of the warm layer.

Optics expert Les Cowley said: ‘The effect is not dissimilar to the mirage seen above a hot road surface.

‘The mirage depends on your height above the sea surface. You must be above the warm air layer but climb too high and the effects diminish.’

The moon appears red in colour because it is low in the sky, and blue light from it is scattered by the atmosphere while more red light passes through.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The amazing 3D pavement art that has pedestrians on edge

Giant ice-age crevasses are few and far between - especially in Ireland.

Don't worry, it is the latest creation of 3-D street artist Edgar Mueller.

The crack, appearing to show a fault in the earth's crust, was created for the town's 'Festival of World Culture' last year in the town of Dun Laoghaire.

And locals wasted no time having fun with the work by pretending to teeter precariously on the edge of the deep hole.

Mueller said: '3D street painting itself is a very new artform which only a handful of people do worldwide. Its nature is to trick people's eyes and show them a new "reality".

'The technique itself is called anamorphism and has been known since the Middle Ages. It was used by famous painters like Michelangelo, da Vinci and others in their murals.'

Residents of a German town were horrified when they emerged from their homes to find a lava pool running through the middle of the road.

Scroll down to watch a video of the making of the The Crevasse...

Spanning over 8 x 50 metres, 'Use your eyes' is one of the biggest three-dimensional street paintings ever made.

With the help of locals, the German artist's jaw-dropping art involved clever planning so that when the picture is viewed from a certain angle it looks totally three-dimensional.
Mueller plays with big areas and elemental forces - and also asks that his audience enter the scenery and interact with the picture.

He said: 'it gets thrilling when the observer runs in the picture.'

His other works include a 250 square metre giant fissure in Ireland, that took five days to paint.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The artist who makes striking sculptures from matchsticks

Artists like to stick out and show their flair - and none more so than David Mach who creates colourful creatures from tens of thousands of matchsticks.

Mr Mach makes animals such as gorillas, grizzly bears and rhinos by combining an array of matchsticks with different coloured tips.

The 52-year-old immortalises the animals in such detail that his pieces sell for between £20,000 and £35,000 each.

His 15-inch high gorilla - with flared nostrils and a fierce open mouth - required 30,000 matches and took three months as each match was painstakingly glued onto a mould.

The Scot, who works from a studio in London, recreates the animals' features and different skin shades using 14 different coloured matchsticks imported from Japan.

He said: 'I like to make figures that are instantly recognisable and make people take notice.

'The animals are a joy and a challenge to make because they have difficult features such as antlers and horns.

'I love to use a variety of material for my pieces. I try and use common things, like matchsticks or coat-hangers, because people know exactly what they are. These items are in everyone's lives but are almost invisible.'

Mr Mach and his wife Lesley, who helps him run the studio, have made more than 350 of them so far.

The sculptures are crafted by firstly making a clay mould of the head and creating a fibreglass or plastic version from it. The matchsticks are then stuck on using wood glue.

But although their work is labour-intensive and much sought after, their sculptures are not always kept for posterity.

Despite all the work that goes into them - sometimes the couple burn the figureheads at exhibition launches.

Mrs Mach, 51, said that some customers even request that the pieces are burned to achieve an eerie effect.

She said: 'They are highly flammable and when they go up it's highly dramatic. It can send flames shooting 6ft into the air but because they're just matchsticks, it's all over in a few seconds.'

The practice of setting fire to them came after the couple accidentally set fire to one of them in the studio.

Mrs Mach said: 'A lot of people think that David is something of a pyromaniac but it's really not the case - he just enjoys working with matchsticks.'

But it's not just matchsticks that hold a fascination - his style is based on flowing assemblages of mass-produced objects and he has experimented with pieces made of magazines, newspapers and car tyres.

He once crafted a 12ft-high sculpture of a gorilla out of coat-hangers which sold for £200,000.

Other works include a public sculpture depicting an LNER Class A4 steam engine made from 185,000 bricks on the A66 near Darlington, County Durham.

He has exhibited all over the world and in 1988 was nominated for the Turner Prize.

In 2000 he joined the Royal Academy of Arts as Professor of Sculpture.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

15 Strange Meals of the World

1. Balut - Embryo and Yolk

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. They are common, everyday food in some countries in Southeast Asia, such as in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer.

2. Deep-Fried Crickets

Crickets are eaten by humans in some African and Asian cultures, where they are often considered a delicacy. There have been movements to promote the eating of insects in Western countries because of high protein content, often with little success as most Western people are naturally repulsed by insects.

3. Deep-fried cockroaches

4. Pig Brain

5. Roasted Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs were originally domesticated for their meat in the Andes. It continues to be a major part of the diet in Peru and Bolivia, particularly in the Andes Mountains highlands; it is also eaten in some areas of Ecuador and Colombia. Because guinea pigs require much less room than traditional livestock and reproduce extremely quickly, they are a more profitable source of food and income than many traditional stock animals, such as pigs and cows; moreover, they can be raised in an urban environment.

Guinea pig meat is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, and is described as being similar to rabbit and the dark meat of chicken. The animal may be served fried, broiled, or roasted

Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year, and the animal is so entrenched in the culture that one famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco shows Christ and the twelve disciples dining on guinea pig.

6. Silkworm kabobs

7. Deep-fried Scorpions

Fried scorpions are quite commonly seen on Asian markets. You can taste them in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangkok. Scorpions same as insects are high in protein and apparently consist of important fatty acids and vitamins.

Recipe: Scorpions on a bed of endives and herb cheese

Remove the stings and pincers from the scorpions. Marinate for 30 minutes in white wine, honey and lemon. Bake in a 250°C oven for 5 minutes. Stir-fry the endives, together with garlic, pepper and salt. Serve them hot on plates and add 50 g of herb cheese, allowing it to melt. Top each plate with a few scorpions.

8. Sannakji - Live Octopus Dish

The Korean delicacy sannakji, is very special dish, as the seafood isn’t quite dead. Live baby octopus are sliced up and seasoned with sesame oil. The tentacles are still squirming when this dish is served and, if not chewed carefully, the tiny suction cups can stick to the mouth and throat.

9. Deer placenta soup

10. Fried Tarantulas

There’s also mushrooms, flowers, black chicken, and deer tendon in the broth. The placenta bits where elastic but not rubbery. The portion is small, especially considering you’re paying 158 RMB (over 20 USD) for a small bowl.

Deer placenta is said to be good for — these guys are good at marketing! — male sexual performance, kidneys, women’s skin, people of all ages, and in all seasons. Hmmm. How can you continue life without it? No worries, you can order deer placenta in pills! You can read more about this dish on

11. Lamb Testicles

12. Bee larvae

13. Cazu Marzu

14. Ox Penis

15. Spotted Dick


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