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Archery Tag is every bit as mental as it sounds

Posted by admin on Dec 31, 2015 in geekery, Strange events

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People as a rule, are big fans of combining sports to create something new and wonderful — think trampoline dodgeball, chessboxing and artistic cycling. But the latest fitness mashup pushes ingenuity to new levels. Archery Tag is a cross between laser tag, dodgeball and paintball, and combines hand-eye coordination with the thrill of hunting — but in this scenario, you are both the prey and the hunter, which involves running and shooting people with bows and arrows.

Indiana-based John Jackson developed archery tag in 2011 after being inspired by foam pieces at a product meeting. He wondered, wouldn’t it be fun to “put these on an arrow and shoot [each other] with it?” then went home and 3D-printed prototypes. And afterward discovered that it was really, really fun. He posted a YouTube video demonstrating the game, and received so much interest that he trademarked the name, and started licensing out his equipment.

The rules of archery tag vary from location but the basic tenets involve two teams of five people facing off across a tennis-sized court, a 20-foot safety zone between them. When the whistle blows, the goal is to hit your opponents and knock out their targets. Each player is equipped with a custom recurve bow, arrows and a face mask (for safety). Read more…

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The Rise of The Sparkly Stoner

Posted by admin on Dec 5, 2015 in geekery, style

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Bongs, babes and blunts are part of cannabis’ heritage, but with weed gaining in popularity with young millennials, what’s the sparkle-loving stoner to do? It’s easy to find pipes decorated with skulls, but what about girlie greenies?

The lack of appropriately pretty cannabis accessories was the inspiration for 26-year-old Madison Alvarez’s creation of Miss Mary Jane Co., a store that caters to the “blunt bae.” We’re talking pipes adorned with lipstick kisses, Hello Kitty rigs (for doing weed dabs) complete with glass red bows, martini-glass-shaped rigs garnished with glowing green olives, and a bright yellow Smokemon spoon with the tagline “Gotta smoke ’em all!” (That’s a Pokemon reference, if you weren’t clear.)

“Hello Kitty has been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” Alvarez says. “How can someone not smile when they see [this]?” The pop culture influences are everywhere, from the pastel colors to the rig designed to look like Adventure Time’s Finn. Plus, an adorable necklace dabber that resembles a pink Sharpie. Read more…

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Hijab Couture goes haute

Posted by admin on Jun 5, 2015 in style

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At first glance, the pastel colors, monochrome prints and street-style photographs might make you think you’re reading Vogue. This online shop is flirty, friendly and doesn’t take itself too seriously — its Living Doll collection shows a Bambi-eyed model wearing clownish shoes and eyeing cupcakes. The overall aesthetic is clean and modern, with boring solids like black at a minimum. But this isn’t Madewell or Anthropologie. It’s HijUp, and the wearables on offer here are hijabs.

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We know the hijab as a religious or cultural clothing choice, but it’s also a serious fashion statement. And it’s increasingly big business: The 2014–15 State of the Global Islamic Economy report by research firm DinarStandard found that Muslims spent $266 billion in 2013 on fashion, compared with $242 billion in 2012, and projects global spending of $484 billion by 2019.

Numerous startups, keen to cash in on the demand, are now catering to the craving for stylish headwear. Like Indonesian startup HijUp. Its marketing manager, Nenden Alifa, tells OZY that the company launched its e-commerce site in 2011 to “bring a positive image for Muslim women.” She’s emphatic that wearing a hijab doesn’t leave you “trapped” — it’s a choice — and she wants their fashion to reflect that. Read more…

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Inside my first Cannabis Convention: Hempcon 2015

Posted by admin on May 23, 2015 in news, opinion, Strange events

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The cannabis “medible” industry  is gaining more traction every day (for people who  eat their weed) and I was curious to see what creators in the space were up to. A convention is the perfect place to see  industry connoisseurs, and 420 tends to have gatherings forming across the states. I chose to go to Hempcon 2015, a large cannabis exhibition event held at Cow Palace in San Jose, six miles south of San Francisco. The three-day event took place from the 17th-19th April 2015, the dedicated 4/20 weekend (naturally) and I attended on the Sunday.

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana – almost two decades ago, in 1996 –  and as a new resident, I was intrigued  as to what  Hempcon would offer me. It’s not the most famous expo ( I’d wager The High Times Cannabis Cup has that that honor) but it has been running  since 2010,  and holds events across the country. Read more…

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21st century jousting for millennials

Posted by admin on May 18, 2015 in Animal Oddities, geekery, Strange events

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It is a scene ideally suited for Medieval times. A dark knight adjusts his visor, raises his lance and focuses, laserlike, on his opponent, the “white” knight, sitting astride his mount. The flag goes down and they charge, lances straight, bodies tensing against the weight of their custom-fit armor — often 200 pounds of solid steel. The bout, though, isn’t old; it’s happening at the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Music Festival in Mississippi in November. And lest anyone forget that we are in modern commercial times, Guinness (one of the festivals sponsors) has its logo on both knights’ armor.

Looking for a new form of entertainment, or considering the next crazy physical challenge? Jousting is growing in popularity in the U.S., both at Renaissance fairs and formal tournaments. One of its leading advocates is Canadian-born Shane Adams, who captained one of the teams at the Scottish festival. For years, he used to set up his own jousts, but he wanted the sport to be taken seriously, so in the 1990s he competed and twice won a jousting event at ScotFest in Colorado. “The style of jousting was white armor,” he says. “That means you wear 100 pounds of chainmail.” So far Adams has broken his hands, wrist, and dislocated his shoulder. And there are reports of jousters dying. But Adams wants the sport to stay physical, he believes it won’t get respect if it tries to be “historical.” Read more…

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The Dazzling World of High Tech Hula Hooping

Posted by admin on Apr 21, 2015 in geekery, news


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When Lauren Shaw starts hula-hooping, jaws drop. But it’s not her sinuous motions capturing attention, it’s the flashing light show created by her spins. Dazzling lightscapes and hip-swirling rainbows transform her movements into art performance. This is the next generation of high-tech hoopery: LED “smart” hoops.

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Five years ago, then-real estate agent Shaw was bored and decided to try hooping as a hobby, and she soon tapped into the online communities — 20,000-plus people in the Unity of Hula Hoopers Facebook group and a big YouTube hoop scene. With their encouragement, she kept improving her “flow,” which is what hoopers call their dance style. A moment of inspiration struck one night when she saw flashing red lights atop a movie theater. She had an engineer mount LED spokes on a hoop and program them to project words that glow when the hoop is in motion. “It uses persistence of vision phenomenon, where the light goes so fast that it’s created in front of your eyes,” Shaw explains. The positive response to this creation encouraged her to launch her company, SpinFX, which is dedicated to high-tech hoop solutions.

Her first version, the SpinFX Pro Hoop, became the flagship model; it’s customizable for corporate events and music videos, such as Vanessa Hudgens’ music video. For consumers, there’s the Phoenix. With 150 embedded LEDs, the Phoenix is programmed with 200-plus patterns, which create dynamic circles, spikes and trails of light. Extra patterns can be created at home, and many people in the hooping community share theirs online for free. And they’re a little crazy; think wildly spinning pizza slices and neon Mario Bros. The hoop can be controlled with its Android app (yes, a hula hoop with an app), which connects via Bluetooth.

Read more…

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Behold the Awesome Underground Bike Cave

Posted by admin on Mar 17, 2015 in random, travel

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When you enter the Louisville Mega Cavern in Kentucky, it’s hard not to gape at your surroundings. At 100 feet below the ground, the thick limestone walls are imposing, and the enormous space seems to go on forever — 17 miles, to be exact. Back in the 1930s, this was the Louisville Crushed Stone Mine, which was quarried for rock. Now it’s an underground adult playground, equipped with a zip-line course over glowing rocks, a rope course and a tram that takes visitors on a historical ride through the cavern.

But the latest addition, which opened last month, is a massive bike park — 320,000 square feet — with more than 45 trails, including a dual slalom and jump track, tunnels, wooden jumps and a skills area. “I didn’t know what a bike park was nine months ago,” Mega Cavern co-owner Jim Lowry tells OZY. But then someone asked him about renting space to make one. Lowry hired the enquirer, and they began to explore if it would work, then teamed up with Joe Prisel, designer of the Burlington Bike Park, a 40,000-square-foot indoor bike park in Washington state, to create an outline for the cavern. Construction took about three months. Read more…

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