Blog Posts by Jordana Divon

  • Swedish artist uses painting as driver’s licence photo

    In order to comply with Swedish law, Saker took a snapshot his self-portrait first used that image for submission. (Supplied)
    Some driver's licence pictures are so horrendous they look like outtakes from a Hieronymous Bosch painting.

    Fredrik Saker made sure that didn't happen to him. The proactive artist from Sweden decided to circumvent several years' worth of Bosch-like comparisons by painting his own driver's licence portrait and submitting it to the Swedish Transport Agency.

    His painting was so lifelike, authorities didn't think twice before accepting it and stamping it on a new card.

    Not that he didn't muss himself up first for a little photorealism.

    [ More Buzz: Microsoft drapes NYC subway car in dizzying shade of pink ]

    "I did the exact opposite. My hair is messy and I haven't shaved in several days. Under my left eye, there is a redness," he told the Toronto Star.

    "To make it more real, I made myself look bad. I kind of regret it now."

    The 29-year-old spent approximately 100 hours crafting the image. He called it "This is not me," inspired by Rene Magritte's 1928 masterwork, "The Treachery of Images

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  • On strike: Cathay Pacific flight attendants threaten to withhold smiles, booze

    Yes, as Louis C.K. brilliantly reminded us, we're hurtling through the sky in a metal chair. And that's amazing.

    But as creatures who have an incredible capacity to adapt to our surroundings (not to mention take things for granted), we've come to expect a bit more from our air travel experiences — particularly on flights that can stretch out along several time zones.

    So amid a confluence of cramped quarters, restless legs, bad food, shrieking infants and absolutely nowhere to escape said quartet of miseries for many, many hours,  a smile really does travel a long way, too.

    With that in mind, passengers who have come to rely on friendly smiles from flight attendants may want to avoid Cathay Pacific over the holidays.

    [ Related: Ryanair boss wants to get rid of seatbelts, seats on planes ]

    As the Globe and Mail notes, cabin crews aboard the Hong Kong-based airline have threatened to make conditions downright Grinch-like by refusing to serve food and alcohol or even crack a single smile

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  • Cannon used to shoot drugs into U.S. from Mexico

    Reverting to good old fashioned battle tactics, smugglers have reportedly started shooting drugs across the Mexico/U.S. border via cannon.
    Technology is a universe full of marvels, but where modernity fails, sometimes it's tempting to revert back to good old fashioned battle tactics.

    Because as the Associated Press notes, drug smugglers have reportedly started shooting drugs across the Mexico/U.S. border via cannon.

    Yes. Instead of concocting even more intricate ways to smuggle marijuana, cocaine and heroin into the United States, at least one cartel has decided to shove dozens of cans filled with illegal drugs into a medieval artillery staple and send them careening into the sky like smokeable projectiles.

    [ Related: Residents who cross Canada-U.S. border marked by flower pots face big fines ]

    The article notes that the U.S. border patrol picked up 33 cans of flying marijuana on Friday, near a spot where the Colorado River intersects with the border.

    They also found a carbon dioxide tank, leading authorities to believe that smugglers used a "pneumatic-powered cannon" to catapult the 85 pounds of mary jane — worth an

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  • Santa butts out: Christmas classic gets a non-smoking revision

    (Image courtesy Pam McColl/twasthenightbeforechristmas.ca)James Dean glamourized smoking. Santa Claus… maybe a little less so.

    But the image of old St. Nick puffing away on his corncob pipe was enough for a Vancouver publisher to yank all vestiges of carcinogenic activity from her recently released version of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas".

    As the Vancouver Sun reports, Pam McColl decided the lines: "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth/And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath" no longer belonged in the holiday classic.

    A longtime anti-smoking activist, McColl had been searching for the right platform to filter out her message. She hit her local library to conduct some research.

    [ Related: Idaho mall Santa lulls infant to sleep ]

    "I was flipping through these children's anthologies, and there were lots of smoking rabbits and bears and such. But none of them really grabbed me," McColl told the paper.

    "But then I came across a copy of 'Twas The Night Before Christmas… And I went, 'Oh, wow!' There on the page was Santa. And

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  • Milo the magnetic ‘cat burglar’ found responsible for stealing 20 sets of keys

    A LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) tanker is anchored in the distance as a cat sits on a ledge at a port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo December 5, 2012. (Reuters)As a group of neighbours in northeast London recently learned, there's good reason the expression is "cat burglar."

    The Telegraph reports that the 20 sets of house and car keys that disappeared from Stoke Newington homes over the past five weeks can all be traced to one sticky-pawed feline.

    The great key caper of 2012 began when Milo the cat's owner, Kirsten Alexander, fitted her pet with a magnetic collar. Milo's collar was intended to operate the cat flap her 27-year-old human had recently installed on her front door to prevent other area cats from hanging out uninvited.

    Delighted with this new-found means of house-to-house entry, the nine-year-old kitty proceeded to do exactly what her owner had sought to prevent in her own home, and raided the homes of other cat-flap havers.

    And that's where the magnet comes in.

    As Milo stalked around the neighbourhood living rooms, all sorts of metal objects flung themselves at her collar like willing prey.

    "I put a magnetic cat flap to stop other

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  • Florida man steals, snorts dog and human ashes

    (Photo courtesy Marion County Sheriff's Department)It's a story where the picture already says everything you need to know, but for the sake of context here are a few extra details.

    Jose David Diaz-Marrero was recently sentenced to eight years in prison. Diaz-Marrero would be the gentleman in the middle.

    According to the Ocala Star-Banner, the 20-year-old had been accused of perpetrating a string of burglaries between December 2010 and January 2011.

    But the sentence reflects more than your simple garden-variety break-and-enter.

    Because the laptop, jewelry, 42-inch screen TV and DVD player stolen from Holli Tencza's home can ultimately be replaced.

    [ More Daily Buzz: Alberta man gets Christmas letter 69 years late ]

    The ashes belonging to her late father and two deceased Great Danes cannot.

    And not just because Diaz-Marrero and his two accomplices also stole the urns in which the ashes were contained.

    Rather, they cannot be returned in their entirety because the trio mistook the urns' contents for "crushed pills" and reportedly

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  • Elephant poop coffee: Maybe I’ll just have a cup of tea, thanks

    No matter how fussy you are about your brew, there comes a cup in every coffee lover's java career that's so horrendous, so weak, so sour to make you exclaim, "This coffee tastes like crap!"

    Thanks to the marvel of engineering, a Canadian entrepreneur is hoping to flip the script on crap and turn it into the world's most prized cuppa joe.

    Black Ivory Coffee, the brainchild of businessman Blake Dinkin, sells artisanal coffee made from beans that have been digested and excreted by Thai elephants.

    This is an accurate description of their harvesting process.

    A herd of 20 elephants in the Golden Triangle region of Thailand spends its days chewing on handpicked Thai Arabica coffee beans (among other fun, elephant-y activities). Their digestive systems behave as a sort of "slow cooker," taking 15-30 hours to break down the beans in a gastric stew comprised of sugar cane, bananas and other key elements of the pachyderms' vegetarian diet.

    Then they poop.

    [ Related: Arabica coffee beans in

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  • B.C. bus driver ejects family while another locks doors with passengers still aboard

    A bus driver in Victoria, BC is being accused of taking matters a little too far after he ejected a mother and her three children from a city bus on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy B.C. Transit)Yes, there are times when you wish the squalling infant who shrieks for the entire duration of a nine-hour flight had been born with slightly less endurance.

    And the toddler who thinks that kicking the back of your bus seat is the most fun game he's ever invented can make rush hour public transit an even more trying experience.

    The desire to travel in peace can lead to all sorts of child-free transportation fantasies.

    But a bus driver in Victoria, BC is being accused of taking matters a little too far after he unceremoniously ejected a mother and her three children from a city bus on Tuesday.

    As the Toronto Star reports, the bus driver was reportedly irritated by the noise the family was making and asked the mother to quiet down, even though a fellow passenger said the noise was not "disruptive" at all.

    [ Related: Woman freaks out after being kicked on Ontario commuter train ]

    "He finally said, 'you can get off the bus . . . this if your stop, you're going to get off' and kicked her

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  • Besse Cooper, world’s oldest person, passes away at 116

    In this 2011 file photo, Besse Cooper, sits in her room at a nursing home, in Monroe, Ga.

    Her life touched the corner of three different centuries, a remarkable feat that Besse Cooper carried with grace before she passed away at age 116.

    As the Associated Press reports, Cooper, declared by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the oldest person in the world, died "peacefully" on Tuesday at her nursing home in Monroe, Georgia.

    Cooper's son, Sidney Cooper, told the AP that his mother had recently battled a stomach virus but appeared to be improving on Monday.

    On her last day, the supercentenarian had a hair appointment and watched a Christmas film before her breathing became laboured and she was put on oxygen.

    She died at approximately 2 p.m.

    [ More Buzz: Old dogs, new tricks: New Zealand canines taught how to drive ]

    Though she was the first person from Georgia to hit the age world record, Cooper was a Tennessee native, born in Sullivan County in August 1896.

    Her love of education drew the bright young woman to the teaching profession and the promise of higher

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  • ‘Ice Breaker’ snowman pranks unsuspecting pedestrians

    Though no videotaped prank will ever touch the evil involved in the Brazilian elevator nightmare, Rich Ferguson also enjoys giving unsuspecting folks a good shot of adrenaline-pumping terror on candid camera.

    Known for his self-styled "Scare Pranks," the California-based magician made good use of his "Ice Breaker" alter ego by dressing his cameraman up in a creepy snowman outfit and having him scare the bejesus out of holiday shoppers.

    The anti-Frosty drops his Happy Holidays sign just as a kind, conscientious citizen walks by, banking on the fact that said citizen will do the kind, conscientious thing and retrieve it for the immobile snowball person.

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    To see what happens next, you'll have to watch the video.

    This isn't the first time a snowman has been used for similar purposes. Last year, a pair of friends constructed the Grumpy Cat of snowman costumes and terrorized pedestrians across the U.S. East Coast.

    [

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