joi, 20 mai 2010

Top 10 Bizarre Sports

Canine Freestyle
Technically it isn’t a sport, but you really need to see this – it is weird. Musical canine freestyle—also known as musical freestyle, freestyle dance, and canine freestyle—is a modern dog sport that is a mixture of obedience, tricks, and dance that allows for creative interaction between dogs and their owners. There are two types, musical freestyle and freestyle heeling (also known as heelwork to music), the main difference being that freestyle heeling focuses on a dog’s ability to stay in variations of the heel position while the handler moves to music, whereas musical freestyle demands that the dog perform a variety of tricks and other obedience talents, and places a greater focus on the trainer’s dance abilities and creativity.

Swamp Soccer

Swamp Soccer is a form of association football that is played in bogs or swamps. The sport is said to come from Bishop Auckland, in the north east of England, where it initially was used as an exercise activity for athletes and soldiers, since playing on soft bog is physically demanding. However the first organized championship was the 1998 Finnish championship and was the brainchild of Jyrki Väänänen, nicknamed “The Swamp Baron”, when the creator of swamp football moved there. There are currently an estimated 260 swamp football teams around the world. At the swamp football world championship games of 2005, some 5,000 players participated.

Tractor Pulling

Truck and tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a competition using tractors and large trucks to pull a heavy sled (sledge) along a ‘track’ and is very popular in rural areas. Usually the sled offers progressively greater resistance as it is pulled. It can be a great spectacle, although the pulling vehicle produces a great deal of noise and smoke, and tends to kick up dirt. Also, the tractors pulling don’t actually travel very far (a typical “full pull” is 300 feet (100 metres)). There are many different classes, from “factory” tractors, to custom built vehicles (modified) with multiple engines.

Bun Climbing

Each spring, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents and visitors swarm the minuscule fishing island of Cheung Chau to witness man vs. bun. Just outside the Pak Tai temple, 60-ft.-tall (18 m) bamboo and metal structures are covered in steamed, sweet and blessed buns. At midnight on the final night of the weeklong festival, in an event known as the Bun Scramble, athletes try their best to scurry up the bun towers and gather more buns than their opponents. [Source]

Mountain Unicycle

When I think of unicycle I think of clowns at the circus, not rugged men taking it to some of the most dangerous terrains on earth. People take a unicycle and ride it on rocky terrain. Unicycles are one of the hardest things to ride, right next to the pogo stick. This is just a sport of pure insanity but it has gotten national coverage on major news channels like FOX. As you can see from the video above, this is not a particularly graceful sport.
Chess Boxing

Two words you never thought you would see together. Chess Boxing is a sport for nerds. It involves a two minute boxing round with a four minute chess competition. There is even a governing body, it’s called the “World Chess Boxing Association” and their motto is “Fighting is done in the ring, but war is waged on the board.”

Punkin Chunkin

Punkin chunkin is the action of hurling a pumpkin, in a competition, by mechanical means over distances greater than those of other competitors. Pumpkin chucking competitions, formal and informal, exist throughout the United States in the autumn, when pumpkins are harvested. In order of increasing effectiveness, the devices include compound slingshots, catapults, trebuchets, and pneumatic air cannons. A pneumatic air cannon named Young Glory III holds the current world record by firing a pumpkin a record 4483.51 feet (1,351 meters) during the annual 2008 competition in Delaware. As you can tell from the video above, this is not a particularly interesting spectator sport!

Outhouse Racing

Mackinaw City actually hosts a series of outhouse races every year. The event is billed as “The Best Case of the Runs You’ll Ever Have” by Greg “Big G” Yoder, who first commissioned the event. The rules require each racing outhouse to contain a toilet seat and a toilet paper dispenser. There can be only two pushers, two pullers and one rider per outhouse, which is mounted on skis.

Air Sex

Air sex is a performance activity invented in Japan; clothed men simulate sexual activity with an invisible partner, often in an exaggerated manner, set to music, and in a competition before an audience. This is somewhat akin to playing air guitar, explaining the name. The creator, J-Taro Sugisaku, says that it was invented in Tokyo in 2006 by a group of bored men without girlfriends. The reigning “world champion” in air sex goes by the name of Cobra.

Mind Ball

Mindball is a two person game controlled by players’ brain waves in which players compete to control a ball’s movement across a table by becoming more relaxed and focused. Mindball is produced by the Swedish Company Interactive Productline. The concept, introduced in 2005, originates from the prototype Brainball which was developed by the Smart Studio at The Interactive Institute, also in Sweden. If you found that video interesting, here is another one I found of grass growing.


sâmbătă, 1 mai 2010

Top 10 Diamonds

The-Eugenie-Blue1. The Eugénie Blue
This valuable deep blue diamond weighs about 30.82 carats. There is an old story that this gem belonged to the consort of Napolean III, queen Eugénie de Montijo. It is also referred to as the “The Blue Heart”. This diamond was given its unique shape in 1909 or 1910 and later was purchased by Cartier.

The-Centenary-Diamond2. The Centenary Diamond
This was De Beers’ unique diamond with a fine color and initially weighing 599 carats. Though it was discovered much earlier the company flaunted it only during their centenary celebrations. For several years it was loaned to the Tower of London. It is claimed that the gem is sold but the owner’s anonymity is maintained by De Beers.

The-Cullinan-Diamond3. The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan is the biggest diamond ever found and weighs 3,106.75 carats. It was however cut into 96 small portions, nine big portions and unpolished pieces weighing 9.5 carats. The nine big chunks now can be found as a part of the private collection of the royal family:

4. The Golden Eye Diamond
The-Golden-Eye-DiamondThis is the world’s most beautiful flawless and biggest Canary Yellow diamond. It weighed over 124.5-carats for several years when it was uncut earlier. After it was cut to about 43.51 carats the gem became embroiled in a drug scandal group in Ohio. It was later brought under the ownership of the U.S. government. The government stated that it would place the diamond under auction!


5. The Koh-i-noor
The Koh-i-noor has an old history and some say it is over 5,000 years old. It was installed in the peacock throne of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor and also under the possession of various other Indian emperors. Later Queen Victoria showcased it at the Crystal Palace Exhibition. After being cut down to its present 108.93 size, the diamond was placed in Queen Elizabeth’s crown in 1936. Now it is locked up in the Tower of London.

6. Spirit of de Grisogono
It weighs 312.24 carats and also is the biggest cut black diamond in the world. It weighed 587 carats before it was cut. This diamond is set in a ring which also has several white diamonds and its sale was made to a private collector.

7. The Earth Star
This gem weighed around 248.9 carats when it was discovered at a De Beers mine in South Africa in 1967. It was of a unique brown hue and Baumgold Bros. jewelers bought the gem and gave it its unique pear shape which weighed 111.59 carats after the cut. Its name was also given by Baumgold.

The-Golden-Jubilee8. The Golden Jubilee
The Golden Jubilee is a rare and biggest faceted diamond in the world. It was found in 1985, but it was not very attractive. Jeweler Gabriel Tolkowsky transformed the ordinary diamond into a yellow hued diamond of large proportions. It was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997.

The-Ocean-Dream-Diamond9. The Ocean Dream Diamond
Although this is a tiny gem weighing about 5.51 carats, it is one of a kind. The diamond has a rare blue-green hue which has resulted owing to its exposure to natural radiation in Central Africa for several years. It’s under the ownership of Cora Diamond Corporation currently.

The-Hope-Diamond10. The Hope Diamond
The Hope is a really unique diamond which weighs 45.52 carats and has a nice deep blue color. It was originally of triangular shape weighing about 115 carats. It was sold to King Louis XIV in 1669. Noted jeweler Pierre Cartier bought this rare gem in 1910 and made the sale of it to American socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. She wore the stone for 37 years.