Strange place: Italian Village has Artificial Sun

As our collection of strange places builds up, we have realized that a number of them are actually beneficial to humans such as:

This place might beat all of them though.

Viganella is a small village in Italy Located at the bottom of a deep valley

It being so deep in the valley means that from November to February, the village gets no sunlight.

Town of Viganella

Town of Viganella

Having no sunlight can be devastating to the growth of crops and even the health of people. These people miss the sunlight so much that when it comes back every february 2nd, they throw huge celebrations. These celebrations ended in 2006 when this issue was resolved thanks to  architect and sundial designer, Giacomo Bonzani.

He has built a mirror that rests on the slopes of a mountainside above Viganella, and it reflects sunlight into the town. Now the people of this town have sunlight all year-long.

The mirror is 40 square meters in size, 8 meters wide by 5 meters high and is located about 870 meters above the village. It is controlled by a computer software that tracks the sun and tilts and turns the panels of the mirror so that the rays are always reflected downwards.

Viganella has become a lot more popular now after the creation of this “artificial sun.”

mirror sun in viganella,italy

According to Bonzani, who first came up with the idea of reflecting sunlight on to the square, “no one believed it was possible at first. But I was certain. I have faith in physics.”

Engineer, Emilio Barlocco, designed the mirror for Bonzani.  According to the Mayor of the village, Pierfranco Midali, it wasn’t easy getting the mirror ready. “We had to find the proper material, learn about the technology and especially find the money.”

This mirror cost around 100,000 Euro’s.

It’s nice to see money being spent on technology that benefits the human race, rather than money being spent on nuclear weapons or war.

Mirror in Viganella

The Mirror of Viganella

Source: BBC News



The “Zen of Baseball” May get MLB Outfielder Back on Track

blue jays outfielder Travis snider

24 year-old Travis Snider

2011 was one of the worst years for Blue Jay’s outfielder Travis Snider

Snider, 24, has been considered one of Toronto’s top prospects since he was a first-round draft pick in 2006. But he has yet to produce consistently in the majors. He had the starting job in left field, and lost it two times to teammate Eric Thames. When he was sent down to the minors, Sniders season quickly ended after he was diagnosed with tendonitis in his right wrist.

At this point, I can’t even imagine how he felt. From being a starting left-fielder in the MLB, to being cut and sent down to the minors where he eventually injured his wrist. Questions must have been running through his mind like, “Will I ever make it back to that level?” or “Will I be forgotten about by the MLB?”

This has to be such a let down for any major league baseball player. Imagine spending your entire life training and making your way to the major league level, and then having them tell you that you are not good enough, twice. This can cause someone so much stress that it can possibly lead to depression.

Travis Snider decided that he was not going to allow this to ruin his career, or his life. This is when he started leaning towards Zen.

He was first introduced to the art of Zen while reading a book written by a  former Blue Jay’s outfielder, Shawn Green. The book is called “The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH” in which he talks about how the game of baseball taught him to be “in the moment” and how to find inner stillness.

After reading this book, Snider explained how he quickly became interested:

“That kind of propelled me into a few other books,” said Snider, who is competing with Eric Thames for the starting job in left field. “I had read that book right before I got called up. I couldn’t put the book down and read it twice. It was not just an enjoyable read for me but I was able to relate to a lot of things.”

He also said that all of his learnings of Zen applied to his own life:

“I don’t claim to be Buddhist or any particular religion from that sense,” he said. “But I definitely was able to take some things and put them in perspective . . . Our minds as competitors can get the best of us at times and (it’s a matter of) being able to take a step back and saying. ‘OK, I’ve done everything I can do to this point, just go out and play. At times, it’s easier said than done but that focus that you are able to refine over the years of experience is what’s key for me moving forward in my career.”

Now as spring training begins this month, Snider believes that he was given a second chance. He will be battling with Thames once again for the starting spot in left field. He feels that his injury in the minors could have been a blessing because he learned so much in his time away from baseball.

“Maybe it was a blessing in disguise,” Snider said of the season-ending injury. “It gave me some extended time to spend with some friends and family and doing some good self-reflection and really putting things in perspective.”

One of them is going to make it, and one of them is going to be cut. Two left-handed batting left fielders will not be needed to roam the outfield in Toronto. Whatever the outcome happens to be, Snider is mentally prepared for it.

Source: The Star


Strange Place: A Beautifully Fake Beach in Japan

Seagaia Ocean Dome is the largest artificial beach in the world.

It is a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort in Mayazaki, Japan. The artificial beach is about 300 meters long and 100 meters wide, allowing an estimated 10,000 tourists to fit comfortably in it all at once.

One of the main attractions is its fake flame-spitting volcano, which becomes active every 15 minutes and spits fire every hour. This helps make the artificial waves more powerful for the surfers’ that visit the beach. Obviously, the sand is artificial along with the palm trees, and the retractable roof (largest in the world) has a permanent blue sky. This allows people to go to the beach even on the ugliest days.

These pictures will make any viewer want to visit:


Image Source

More Strange Places!


The “Euthanasia Coaster” is Designed to Kill You

Julijonas Urbonas

Is Julijonas Urbonas the next Dr Kevorkian?

If you have ever experienced a basic roller coaster, you probably remember that slow climb up to the top before making your way down a steep drop. Now imagine making your way up and knowing that this roller coaster will end your life.

Sounds pretty scary, right?

Lithuanian designer Julijonas Urbonas envisions such a roller coaster, and for some strange reason it might become a reality.

According to Urbonas, the “Euthanasia Coaster is a hypothetic euthanasia machine in the form of a roller coaster, engineered to humanely — with elegance and euphoria — take the life of a human being.”

The ride last for what might be the longest (and last) 3 minutes of your life. It begins with a very long and slow climb to the top (about a third of a mile). On the way up a 1600 foot climb, the riders have time to re-think their decision, or reminisce about their lives. The long climb is followed by a massive fall which turns into 7 deadly loops. Traveling at a speed of 223 mph, the drop and the loops combined take a total of one minute. The gravitation force that is created by this combination is lethal.

Urbonas said that he was inspired by his love for amusement parks and his PhD study. He explains that the roller coaster isn’t just about death. It is more of an art to him and he defines it as an “Euthanasia system that offers a person an artful departure from the world.”

Seems pretty ridiculous to me!

To me he sounds like Dr.Kevorkian with a little touch of excitement. He is basically assisting people with suicide which is something Jack Kevorkian did. Instead of a physician-assisted suicide, this roller coaster can be considered an attraction-assisted suicide.

Basically, people who choose to ride the roller coaster will experience cerebral hypoxia. This is something that happens to people when they fly at high altitudes or deep-water dive.

Urbonas explains what a person would experience:

“if you are lucky, or rather g-force-resistant enough to be awake [after the initial fall], your vision may blur, lose color (greyout) and peripheral sight (tunnel vision), even disappear completely (blackout) together with hearing. Eventually, this experience — accompanied with disorientation, anxiety, confusion, and, most importantly, euphoria — is crowned with GLOC (G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness), during which the body is completely limp and vivid bizarre dreams occur such as being in a maze and unable to get out, or floating in a white space, not knowing who you are, why you are here, etc.”

This euphoria seems pretty intense and some may want to experience it, but the part where you die at the end is not that appealing.

Euthanasia Coaster

Euthanasia Coaster's deadly design

He tries to make his idea sound somewhat sane when he explains one of the coasters features:

“The rider has a few minutes to contemplate his decision and his life in retrospect. He would find enough time to adapt to the height and get through a series of imaginary fatal falls, while realizing that the objects on the ground are getting smaller…The slightest movement of the car would trigger intense heart-beating and goosebumps and most importantly it would test your decision. Therefore the very top of the tower is an ideal place to give the very last word.”

I don’t buy it at all.

If this roller coaster is built, expect a great amount of lawsuits against it. Although Euthanasia is legal in Lithuania, the coasters inhumane nature will cause too many problems. My prediction is that Euthanasia will actually be made illegal if this attraction is built.

Dr.Kevorkian thought he had a good idea until he was put in jail for 8 years. Personally, I believe it is a terrible idea, and it would only add to the stupidity of the human race.

Source: Discovery News

Is Marc Martel the Next Freddie Mercury?

Freddie Mercury and marc martel

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was arguably the best front man of all time. The way that he performed for his fans was unbelievable. He kept the audience involved from beginning to end, putting on an amazing show every single time he stepped foot on the stage.

Not only was he known for his physical performances, but he was also known as one of the best male vocalists ever. His voice sends chills down the back of any listener. He was the core of one of the most successful world-wide rock bands ever, Queen.

Everyone in the world knows Queen for songs such as We Will Rock You, We are the Champions, and Bohemian Rhapsody. To be honest, these songs are at the bottom of my list of favorite Queen songs, but they are still legendary.

After Freddie passed away, Queen was not the same. Although some of their famous songs still live on in movies and shows, they weren’t able to make the great music that they did with Freddie.

Years after his death in 1991, Queen started to have competitions to see who can sing or perform like Freddie, whether it was just for fun or to actually try to find a new front man.

There has been bands such as Almost Queen, who are pretty good, but nowhere even close to the original band. About 6 years ago, I went to see Queen perform with Paul Rodgers as the front man. Paul Rodgers is the lead singer of the band Bad Company. He did a good job respecting Freddie and doing the band a favor, but in my opinion, he sucked.

It is very hard to match Freddie’s voice, but someone is ready to prove that he has what it takes.

Marc Martel is a lead singer for a small band of him and his friends. When he was informed about a recent competition that Roger Taylor (Queen’s drummer)  was running to find the best musicians to make a Queen tribute band, he decided to send in his video. I am a big Queen fan, and let me tell you, he is AMAZING! Obviously he can’t sound exactly like Freddie, but I bet he is the closest in the world.

This video went viral very quickly, and now it has close to 6 million views. That is unbelievable!

At first I didn’t believe it was his real voice, but Ellen DeGeneres quickly helped verify this. She saw his video, and made sure to get him on her show.

He sure doesn’t have the stage presence that Freddie Mercury had, but I believe his voice is the closest that you can get to Freddie.

If you turn away from your computer screen and just listen to him, he sounds even more like Freddie Mercury.


Top 5 Movies That Make You Think

Some people enjoy watching simple movies that make them laugh, cry, or cover their face in fear. These are great when you need to kick it back and relax, but they lack creativity.

Personally, I enjoy watching movies that have me thinking from the beginning to the end. I know that a movie is amazing when I catch myself re-winding a certain scene over and over again, or searching google for answers within the movie. You can also feel a sense of strength and power within these movies. They don’t always have to confuse you, but they can simply just blow your ordinary mind away.

Basically, I am talking about movies for intellectuals. Not just the ordinary movie seekers.

Here is a list of the top 5 movies that had me thinking so much that I got the chills.

5. Requiem For a Dream (2000)

requiem for a dream

Requiem for a Dream

The way this movie portrays how drug addiction ruins lives will blow your mind away. Characters are introduces in the beginning, and the viewer watches their lives spiral way down hill all the way to the end. Every time that I watch this movie I repeat the same sentence, “This is sick.”

What gets to me the most is how you see a mother and her son suffer from drug addiction simultaneously. Y0u can actually feel the horror simply from the camera angles, coloring and script.

I get similar feelings when I watch the movie Kids. They just punish you with reality.



4.Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Yes, a Jim Carrey movie made my list of top movies that make you think. Who would have thought, right?

The same guy that played Ace Ventura and the Cable Guy also starred in a brilliant movie.

A couple’s relationship is falling apart, and they want to erase each other from their memories. So they undergo a procedure that will do this, but it is through this process of loss that they find out what they really had.

Real love and human rationality is put to the test in this movie. The movie indirectly asks the audience an honest question, “If you knew the future of your relationship would fail, would you continue with it anyway?”


3. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

A clockwork orange

A Clockwork Orange

This movie explores crime and punishment and the results it has on society as well as the individual’s psyche.

The mix of darkness and comedy makes this movie very unique. A gang of psycho’s go around assaulting people because they simply love violence, but the way the movie was created was so much more than just that.

Obviously there is a more complicated plot that keeps you thinking (thanks to Kubrick).

I recommend watching this for yourself to see Kubrick at his best.


2. Donnie Darko (2001)

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko is a character that does not get along with anyone in his life. One day, he is approached by a large bunny that lures him out of his bedroom. Moments after, a jet engine crashes into his room.

He does not know why and where this bunny came from, but he saved his life and it was destiny. Donnie is the only person that can see this bunny, and he eventually is the cause of Donnie committing multiple crimes.

This psychological film has a mixture of horror (for people scared of evil bunnies) and pure genius. This is one of the strangest movies I have ever seen.


1. Inception (2011)

This is that movie that you just can’t explain in words. GO SEE IT! (maybe twice)



 Honerable mentions: Fight Club, 2001: a Space Odyssey, High Tension, the Matrix.

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