Alcohol Free Whisky?

Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beer has been around for decades. Popularized during prohibition, “near beer” has stuck around ever since for those who enjoy the taste of a malt beverage but can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol. Now, Arkay Beverages is hoping to expand on that market with the introduction of alcohol-free whisky.


Whereas most types of “non-alcoholic” beer are brewed in the traditional way and still contain trace amounts of alcohol, Arkay’s whisky-type beverage isn’t distilled at all; instead it uses a variety of natural and artificial flavors to (supposedly) mimic the flavor of whiskey with zero alcohol content. As such, it will be legal to purchase and drink in regions where alcohol is outlawed.

Also available in cans. For those times when you want a can of whisky.

Arkay is slated to go on sale later this year. It remains to be seen whether fake hard liquor will become a new trend, or go the way of Crystal Pepsi…


Jim Doran’s Tiny Dioramas

If you’ve ever been to a museum or art installation with a diorama, you know just how large they can be; perhaps the best example being Germany’s Miniatur Wunderland.

Artist Jim Doran goes the opposite direction by creating extremely small paper dioramas and artistic pieces inside everyday objects such as Altoid and sardine tins, iPod cases and even lip balm jars. These three-dimensional works are fascinating to look at, and they conveniently fit in your pocket!

All art and photos via Jim Doran.

100 Year Old Marathon Runner?

A few weeks ago 100 year old Fauja Singh finished the waterfront marathon in Toronto in 8 hours and 11 minutes, possibly becoming the oldest person ever to finish a race of that distance.

However, as no birth certificate exists there is some doubt to Singh’s real age. Supposedly born in India in April, 1911, Singh didn’t take up running until the age of 89 and competes in various events.

Guinness World Records is holding out until more proof of his age can be found, but regardless, the man nicknamed the “Turbaned Tornado” should be commended for completing a race most 40 year olds couldn’t finish!


Tiger Skin Rug Made From 500,000 Cigarettes

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a rather interesting installation right now. Renowned artist Xu Bing has created a giant tiger skin rug made out of nothing but cigarettes stood on end. Over half a million smokes were used to create the piece, which is supposedly inspired by the artist’s recent visit to tobacco farms and factories.

With the average price of cigarettes in the U.S., at $5.29 a pack, the “rug” is worth over $130,000. It’s a wonder he didn’t make a camel.


The Longest Songs Ever

Just a few days ago, Oklahoma City-based psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips released a 24 hour long song entitled “7 Skies H3”. You can attempt to stream it here, but as only 999 people can listen at a time, your chances are slim. The only way to purchase a physical copy is by shelling out $5,000 for a hard drive with the song on it encased inside a real human skull (with chrome hair); really.

Strap that to your arm at the gym.

As ridiculously over-the-top as a 24 hour long piece of music may be, “7 Skies H3” is nowhere near the longest song ever written. That honor is currently bestowed upon a piece of music written by Jem Finer called “Longplayer”. This computer processed song began on January 1st, 2000 and is scheduled to continue without repetition until December 31st, 2999. You can listen in here.

If you’re the type that doesn’t really think looped computer-generated music should count, how about pipe organ? Right now, an organ performance is taking place inside St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany that began on September 5th, 2001 and will not end until 2640.

The St. Burchardi organ.

The organ is performing a piece called “Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow aS Possible). Originally composed by John Cage in 1985, the piece is typically performed in 20 to 70 minutes. However, Cage never specified how slow the piece should be played, so musicians and philosophers decided to reduce the tempo so much that the duration of the performance would last 639 years.

The organ's mechanically-filled bellows.

A mechanical blower fills the organ’s bellows, allowing the pipes to hold notes virtually indefinitely, and it only requires a human presence during note changes. The organ’s current note has been played since August 5th, 2011, with the next note change scheduled for July 5th, 2012. An acrylic glass hood is placed around the pipes at all other times to hold down the constant droning noise, which has been likened to the sound of an air raid siren.

You can attempt to endure a recording of the most recent note change below.

Beer Bottle Temple

If you’re considering building a house but aren’t sure if you can get the money together, the answer might be in your recycle bin.

The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew Buddhist temple in Thailand is a model for using inexpensive sustainable building materials in creative ways; the entire 20 building temple complex is made completely from beer bottles.

The monks began gathering green and brown bottles in 1984 and have been building ever since. Over 1.5 million bottles have been used in construction so far and they have proved to be durable, easy to maintain and basically free; even the bottles’ caps have been used to make mosaics!


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