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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

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May 10, 2021 Edition

Manhole lights:


City planners in Tokorozawa, Japan, have a novel idea to decorate manhole covers. They outfitted 27 of these necessary, but usually unattractive, pieces of the city’s infrastructure with solar-powered LED lights. The lights reveal designs that incorporate anime characters, which are popular in Japan. The 27 artistic designs are illuminated every evening at 5 p.m., and those who are out late can enjoy them until they turn off at 2 a.m. Another motive that inspired the city’s planners is that the extra lighting may help prevent nighttime crime.

See them here...

 
Learn more about Japan's fascination with manhole covers here...

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May 3, 2021 Edition

Hot springs:


In the Tuscan region of Italy, a natural hot spring near Saturnia is a sight to behold. Called Cascate del Mulino, which means “Waterfalls of the Mill,” this hot spot features natural white limestone pools over which warm water flows. The turquoise liquid, at a constant 37°C (98.6°F), comes from an underground source and is full of minerals and sulphur. This beautiful natural wonder is free for users and is located downstream from a tourist complex called Terme di Saturnia Spa, where an entrance fee must be paid. The best time to visit is in fall, winter, or early spring when it is less crowded.

See the beautiful falls and some other hot spots of Tuscany here...

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April 26, 2021 Edition

Pandemic dress:


Peyton Manker was not able to wear her homemade dress to her high school prom, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, lots of people saw her unique dress on social media. Manker, of Sparta, Illinois (U.S.), decided to enter a contest to make her dress out of duct tape, and she succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. She spent almost 400 hours and used about 41 rolls of tape to create her dress. The coronavirus-themed gown is royal blue and gold and contains colourful scenes depicting the pandemic, such as hospital staff with masks.

See her dress here... 

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April 19, 2021 Edition

Subway splendour:


When one thinks of subway stations in big cities, visions of concrete, graffiti, and dimly lit underground corridors may come to mind. Not so in Moscow, where the metro stations look more like ornately decorated dance halls. Rather than being dirty and unpleasant, these stations are beautiful and opulent. Each station in the city has its own unique design, with some featuring stained glass and chandeliers, while others display plaster mosaics and marble seating. They are unexpected sights to see while waiting to catch the train to a destination.

See some of the incredible stations here... 

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April 12, 2021 Edition

Just can’t win:


Daredevil dirt bike enthusiasts love a competition, and there is none more challenging than the annual Andler Hillclimb in Belgium. In fact, it is such an impossible climb that no one has ever reached the top, although many have tried. The conditions on the trail include changes of surface and steep inclines that have proven to be unconquerable. To be named as a successful competitor, a rider and bike must reach the top. The closest to do so was a daredevil whose front wheel crossed the finish line, but he fell back before the whole bike crossed over. Try, try again!

See them in action here... 

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April 5, 2021 Edition

Wild winds:


On New Zealand’s South Island is a windswept area called Slope Point. This forbidding place on the island’s most southern tip, almost midway between the Equator and the South Pole, experiences relentless, howling winds that come across the ocean, uninterrupted, from Antarctica. Sheep graze there, and years ago farmers decided to plant trees to act as shelters for the animals. Today, those trees are a tourist attraction because the wind has forced them to grow sideways – literally. While people like to come to see the trees, they must make day trips because there are no accommodations on this wild, windy point.

See the trees here... 

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March 29, 2021 Edition

Snow art:


British Artist Simon Beck uses a unique medium for his work: snow. He creates geometric patterns on large stretches of the untouched white stuff by walking on it in a systematic way. His snowshoe footprints make the design, which he plans beforehand on paper. Many of his works were made in the Alps, but he has traveled to other snowy places to make a piece. The images take many hours to create and can cover an area the size of a football field. A high vantage point is the best way to see his snowflakes, checkerboards, and other intricate shapes.

See his story here... 

See his creations in Banff National Park (Canada)... 

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March 22, 2021 Edition

Purple paradise:


Those who like the colour purple now have a must-see destination to put on their wish lists: Banwol Island and Parkji Island in Sinan-gun, South Jeolla Province, South Korea. Authorities on these islands have planted lavender fields and various trees with purple flowers, and they are developing an infrastructure painted with purple. The two islands are connected via a purple footbridge, and some of the roads have been splashed with violet paint. Homeowners have even joined the action by painting their houses various shades of this vibrant colour.

See this amazing purple paradise here... 

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March 15, 2021 Edition

Pyramid crazy:


Andrey and Victoria Vakhrushev from the village of Istinka near St. Petersburg, Russia, are enamoured by the Great Pyramid of Giza. In fact, they are so captivated by the ancient structure that they built a replica in their backyard. While much smaller than the original, the couple’s creation is still a sight to behold. They thoroughly researched the project and applied similar specifications to scale. They ended up using about 400 tonnes of concrete blocks. Finding a contractor took a while, but eventually one agreed to take on the job.

See their creation here... 

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March 8, 2021 Edition

Jumbo jigsaw:


A jigsaw puzzle maker decided to challenge puzzle aficionados with what is dubbed the “world’s largest puzzle.” Made by Kodak, the puzzle has over 51,000 pieces that make 27 different scenes of photographers’ images, such as Venice, the Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal. When all the completed images are put together, the final product measures 8.7 metres (28.5 ft.) by 1.9 metres (6.25 ft). Alternatively, the scenes, which each measure 99 centimetres (39 in.) by 61 centimetres (24 in.), can be kept separate for those who don’t have the space to display the entire thing as one gigantic wall hanging.

See the puzzle here...

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See the puzzle being put together...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

March 1, 2021 Edition

Melon mania:


Carving pumpkins at Halloween might be a normal thing to do, but carving watermelons to use as bandit masks is quite another. That’s what two thieves in Louisa, Virginia (U.S.), did to cover up their identities when they robbed a convenience store. They arrived at the business in a stolen vehicle, then strolled in, looking through carved-out “eyes” in the melons they wore on their heads. Police managed to find one of the culprits, and they are still searching for the other one.

See the melon heads here...

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Feb 22, 2021 Edition

Roadside bonfire:


Toilet paper has been in high demand and short supply during the pandemic. So when a transport truck carrying a large load of the stuff crashed on a highway in the state of Texas (U.S.), it would have been understandable if bystanders had helped themselves to a few of the rolls. Unfortunately, the toilet paper – reported to be the type used in businesses – caught fire. Instead of cleaning up the spilled load, onlookers ended up watching a bonfire of the important commodity. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.

See the mess here...

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Feb 15, 2021 Edition

Weather dog:


A Tampa, Florida (U.S.) weatherman recently got some help with his broadcast from a furry friend. Paul Dellegatto was on camera in his home office, with the cameraman aiming the lens at him from outside his window. Suddenly, Dellegatto’s golden retriever, Brody, entered the frame. In doing so, he nudged the computer, and the weather map blinked off. Dellegatto soldiered on, reading the material instead. Brody then decided to go to the window to greet the cameraman, blocking the camera’s view. No matter – viewers loved the interruption!

See the broadcast here...

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All those times Brody the dog interrupted Paul Dellegatto's weathercast...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Feb 8, 2021 Edition

Car museum:


Many famous automobiles have appeared in movies over the years. Anyone with a hankering to see their favourite movie vehicle can visit the Celebrity Car Museum in Branson, Missouri (U.S.). More than 100 such cars are collected there, from the Ford Explorer in Jurassic Park to the Flintstone’s granite car to the Batmobile from the 1966 TV series. The museum is the brainchild of the Velvet family, who have been car collectors for years. Displays change because the family regularly buys and sells cars. Visitors are welcome to pretend to be a movie star behind the wheel.

See come of the cars here...

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Feb 1, 2021 Edition

Hard cheese:


It may not appeal to everyone, but there is a type of cheese made in the Himalayas that provides a great source of protein for those who must survive in cold mountainous regions. Called Chhurpi or Durkha, this cheese is made from the milk of yaks or chauri, a yak-cow cross. The cheese can be cured to be soft or hard. It is the hard version that is the most unusual. It is so hard that, before biting into it, people must keep it in their mouths to soften it up, and chew on the outer layers as they soften. It can take a couple of hours to eat a piece of this cheese in this way, but there is no loss in flavour.

See how it is made here...

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Jan 25, 2021 Edition

Unusual art:


Artist Reijo Kela of Finland must have been a bit bored when he decided to make some friends – literally. He came up with an art installation consisting of over 1,000 “people” made of wooden frames and dressed in colourful clothing. All the figures, which have heads of peat and hair of straw, face the same direction. Called “The Silent People,” the installation is situated in a field near a highway, in the Finnish municipality of Suomussalmi. Drivers who are accustomed to the sight may not look twice, but those who don’t know about it experience quite a shock when they first view the army of scarecrows.

See the creepy field here...

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And here's an aerial view...

Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Jan 18, 2021 Edition

Big loaves:


The country of Vietnam holds many tourist attractions, but one unlikely item has people talking – giant loaves of bread. Baker Pham Thi Bac of An Giang province in the Mekong Delta, started making the big loaves in 2018, just for fun. At about one metre (3 ft.) long and weighing approximately three kilograms (6.5 lbs.), the loaves taste great and are glazed with butter and seeds. Local people heard about the bread first and started asking for it. Then tourists joined in, wanting to take home a loaf or two as souvenirs – if they could figure out a way to carry them!

Take a look at these monster loaves of bread...

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Jan 11, 2021 Edition

Tiny tree:


Fairy Lake near the town of Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, Canada, draws people to its shores so they can view a little fir tree. This small conifer is special because it is growing out of a log that is submerged in the lake. The tree is thought to be between 30 and 40 years old, and no one is quite sure how it survives on the log, which is the source of its nutrients. The tree is the subject of many photographs, and no two are alike. In times of high water, it may be almost submerged, while on still summer mornings, it sits peacefully in the mist.

Check out how a local photographer captures the moment...

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Jan 4, 2021 Edition

Lost in the maze:


Those who don’t mind getting lost might want to visit the rare Elizabethan hedge maze in the VanDusen Garden in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Planted in the fall of 1981, the maze is made of over 3,000 pyramidal cedars, which have been growing ever since. Some people come to test their sense of direction as they walk through its cool passageways, while others enjoy finding a quiet spot to contemplate life. Those who are afraid of getting lost can view the maze from an observation terrace and watch others try to find their way out!

Take a walk in the maze here...

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4K tour of the gardens here...

Jan 4, 2021 Edition

Stay home!


The originator of Batman probably never envisioned the caped crusader as a virus fighter. However, that was the case in the Mexican city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. A man dressed up in a real Batman suit drove around the city in a Batmobile, taking it upon himself to tell people to stay at home. He blasted a recorded message from the vehicle asking people to keep their distance from each other. The vigilante apparently was Candelario Maldonado, a Batman impersonator known in the city.

See the Mexican Batman here...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Dec 21, 2020 Edition

Brotherly love:


A caring brother from Zamboanga City, Philippines, wanted to do a good deed for his sister, so he learned how to sew. Rather than taking on a small project, Maverick Francisco Oyao made a prom dress for his sister, Lu Asey, because the family couldn’t afford to buy or rent one. And what a dress it turned out to be! Wearing the dress, Ly Asey looked like a princess from a fairy tale. Her brother had learned how to sew by viewing YouTube videos. The finished project was royal blue and white, and featured large pleats and winged sleeves.

See the dress here...

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Dec 14, 2020 Edition

Snail Power:


When thinking about pets, most people conjure up images of cats, dogs, bunny rabbits, parrots, and maybe even pot-bellied pigs. But snails? That is the choice of Pepper Apollo, a woman from the United Kingdom who cares for approximately 150 of the creatures. She started collecting them a few years ago when she found some near her workplace. Today, she keeps her large collection of tiny pets in tiered terrariums where they live a luxurious, well-fed life. Apollo genuinely feels that each one of her little charges has its own personality.

See the Snail Lady here...

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Dec 7, 2020 Edition

Bad Luck Chuck:


Milwaukee, Wisconsin (U.S.), is home of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. It houses a large collection of those little figurines with the oversized heads that bob up and down. The dolls portray a huge variety of figures, such as sports heroes, emojis and characters from movies. One of the newest bobbleheads is “Bad Luck Chuck,” a caricature of Charles Penn, who is a super fan of the Kansas City Chiefs football team. He is known to make the team lose if he attends games. Hopefully, those who buy a Bad Luck Chuck bobblehead will keep the figurine at home!

See Chuck here...

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See the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Nov 30, 2020 Edition

Ball Catcher:


Many dogs like to play catch, but one Labrador retriever, named Finley, can’t get enough of it. Finley lives in Canandaigua, New York (U.S.), with his human family, the Molloys. He has fine-tuned his catching skills to the point that he can fit six tennis balls in his mouth without help from his human playmates. When he was two years old, he could pick up four balls; eventually he graduated to five, and then to six. Finley looks a bit odd with all those balls in his mouth, but his family is convinced he is proud of his unusual talent.

See Finley in action here...

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Finley sure does LOVE his tennis balls (awe)...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Nov 23, 2020 Edition

Icky desserts?


How would you feel if you were presented with a dessert that looks like a kitchen sponge topped with a sudsy soap bubble? Or beans on toast? However, if the dessert is made by British chef Ben Churchill, you’d be wise to overlook the illusion and take a bite. That’s because Churchill’s creations are sweet treats. For example, the beans are made of marzipan and sit atop a cake drizzled with a sweet orange-red syrup that appears to be ketchup. The kitchen scrubber is really an olive oil sponge cake topped with green mint crumbs, with sweet milk foam as soapsuds. It’s a weird but interesting hobby!


See the "icky" creations here...

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  and more...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Nov 16, 2020 Edition

Avocado creations:

You’ve never seen an avocado like one carved by Daniele Barresi of Bagnara Calabra, Italy. The food sculptor got interested in carving at a young age, and he has tried many mediums, including soap and resin. But it’s the carvings he creates in avocado halves that really attract attention. He turns the soft flesh of the fruit into detailed representations of flowers, vines, fruit, faces, and animals. Sometimes the pit is kept in place and carved as well, becoming part of the picture. Other times, the pit is discarded to make room for another unique scene. Whatever the case, this art is edible!


See Daniele in action here...

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Not JUST avocados, other fruit, soap and more...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Nov 9, 2020 Edition
 
Garden mania:


A unique gardening competition in Japan is known as the Kei Truck Garden Contest. In it, competitors use the bed of a Kei Truck (or kei-tora) as the canvas for their creations. These small trucks are well-known in Asia for use in construction and agriculture. Once a year, competitors meet at the designated location with an empty truck. Then, they begin their creative projects and soon the truck beds are filled with soil, greenery, flowers, pebble paths, waterfalls, benches, and even aquariums. The mini-garden creations are ranked by a panel of judges who name a winner.


See the creations here...

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And here...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Nov 2, 2020 Edition

Big Burger:


Those who enjoy eating great big burgers might want to visit Chris Steaks and Burgers in Bangkok, Thailand. The burger in question is enormous. The ground beef or pork patty weighs six kilograms (13 lbs.) and is loaded with fattening extras, such as bacon, mayonnaise, and onion rings. Lomdech Kongsuwan, the restaurant owner, is offering 10,000 baht to any diner able to gobble up the meal in nine minutes. So far, very few customers have been able to accomplish the feat.

See the Big Burger here...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Oct 26, 2020 Edition

Weird weather forecast:


Watch out! It might rain iguanas! Weather forecasters in the state of Florida (U.S.) aren’t kidding when they make this prediction. A cold snap in the area that usually is warm can stun these reptiles. If they are in a tree when that happens, the creatures could fall out. But locals know not to worry about the health of the iguanas that lie on the ground after falling from their perches. Once the temperature warms up, they are able to move again, and they get up and walk away.

See the newscast here...

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And another...

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Coffee News - Vancouver Island

Oct 19, 2020 Edition

Big Book:


Paper-making experts Bela Varga and his son Gábor Varga, of the tiny village of Szinpetri in northern Hungary, made what is thought to be the world’s largest handmade book. The duo’s book measures 4.18 x 3.77 metres (13.7 x 12.4 ft.) and weighs 1,420 kilograms (3,130 lbs.). Its 346 pages are filled with information and photos about the flora and fauna of the region. On display at the Szinpetri paper mill, the book had to be lowered into place with a crane. So as not to rip the paper when reading, six people are needed to turn one of the enormous pages. The name of the book is Our Fragile Natural Heritage.

See the book here...

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Guinness World Record...

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Oct 12, 2020 Edition

Billboard love:


Whether or not he ends up finding love, Mark Rofe certainly has a sense of humour. The 30-something single man from Sheffield, England, recently rented a billboard to suggest that interested individuals contact him if they’d like to go on a date. Rofe had tried the usual online dating methods, to no avail. So he paid £425 to advertise on the roadside space, on a busy street in the city of Manchester. The billboard states: “Date Mark. This could be the sign you’ve been waiting for,” followed by his website address.

See his interview below...

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And more... News presenter gets awkward during flirty exchange

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Painter’s message:

A house painter in Bolsover, Derbyshire, England, hadn’t been paid for the work he’d done on a building, so he took matters into his own hands. On the front of the freshly painted, cream-coloured, two-story structure, Dean Reeves painted a message in black: “Want your house painting? Don’t be like Terry. Pay the bill! Now you will!” According to Reeves, building owner Terry Turner had continually refused to pay all of the agreed upon amount until the painter completed extra tasks. When Reeves understood what the owner was doing, he decided to paint the message.

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Fly Over Victoria, BC 

Highly illegal in a "real" plane but no problem here...

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Canada Road Trip: Best Things To Do In British Columbia

In this video, they share some of the best things to do in BC,
including the best things to do in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Kelowna, and more!

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This moving short film takes viewers on a cycle tour of Vancouver BC during the COVID-19 pandemic...

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