These 10 chic couples are the finalists in Duck Brand Duck Tape’s 2014 “Stuck at Prom” competition. The contestants are all high school students who’ve created awesome prom finery using duct tape. They’re competing for a grand prize of $10,000 each. However the second and third place prizes ($5,000 and $3,000) are nothing to sniff at either. Anyone can vote for one of these fabulous pairs once a day through July 8, 2014.

Click here to vote and check out the winners from previous years.

[via 22 Words]

This video from the 2013 World Yo-Yo Contest is so awesome it defies description (but we’ll give it a try anyway). Watch Hungarian Yo-Yo champion Janos Karancz win first place at the competition with a 3 minute and 30 second-long performance that’s a deft and graceful blend of astonishing yo-yoing skills and some of the fastest cat’s cradle we’ve ever seen. Our mouths were wide open with wonder from start to finish.

Watch it once and then click here to watch it again in slow motion. If you didn’t think yo-yoing was an art form before, you will now.

[via Geekologie]

If the summer heat is getting you down, perhaps these beautiful photos from the 2013 World Ice Art Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska will provide some temporary relief. Each of the pieces you see here are from the ‘Single Block’ category, for which each team of one or two members was given one 8’x 5’x 3’ block of ice and a 60 hours period in which to transform that block into an awesome work of frozen art.

From its beginning in 1988, the World Ice Art Championships has grown to a month-long event featuring more than 70 teams from around the world. The 2013 event, which ran from February 26 – March 31 was a great success and scheduling has already begun for the 2014 event (Feb. 24 – March 30, 2014 – 10 am – 10 pm daily)

For complete information on this year’s competition and the upcoming 2014 event, visit icealaska.com for all official details.

Photos by Kim Iverson via Ice Alaska

Visit Twisted Sifter and Ice Alaska to view even more fantastic ice sculptures from the 2013 World Ice Art Championships.

They’re covered in bees! Canadian photographer Dave Chidley captured these nerve-wracking photos of Marenda Schipper and Patrick Boelsterli showing off their awesome beards of bees during the annual Bee Beard Competition at Clovermead Adventure Farm in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada.

Marenda Schipper, a student majoring in agriculture business, was crowned bee beard champion for her impressive 2.2kg (5lb) beard consisting of roughly 20,000 bees. Patrick Boelsterli was voted crowd favourite.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to compete in a bee beard competition?

Contestants at an annual ‘bee beard’ competition allowed their heads and upper torsos to be covered by up to 16,000 insects. Each facial bee colony weighs about 1.8kg (4lb) and has to be sculpted into shape before competitors take to the catwalk.

Beekeepers minimise the risk of contestants getting stung by keeping the colonies fed with sugar water. They also sedate the bees with smoke before they are allowed to join the beard.

Swarms of bees are lured to the contestants’ faces by placing a cage containing a queen bee around their necks, which sounds like a pretty hazardous fashion accessory. Seasoned contestants sometimes use petroleum jelly, a substance bees avoid, to help sculpt their beards.

The beards were judged by their weight, which was determined by placing the contestants on the scales before and after the bees settled on their faces. Judges also evaluated the beard’s style and each competitor’s performance in front of the audience. Past contestants have even managed to hula hoop for the crowds while covered in bees.

"‘It’s itchier than you think it would be,’ beekeeper Chris Hiemstra said."

If you like the look of a beard of bees (and who doesn’t?) but don’t actually want to get this close to such a massive amount of (apparently quite itchy) bees, then our Inflatable Beard of Bees is a fantastic alternative.

Photos by Dave Chidley.

[via Telegraph.co.uk and Metro.co.uk]

These awesome sequence photos were taken by finalists in the 2013 Red Bull Illume, the world’s biggest action and adventure sports photography contest.

There are 10 different categories in this contest: Close Up, Creativity, Energy, Experimental, Illumination, Lifestyle, Playground, Sequence, Spirit, and Wings. From tens of thousands of entries, 50 finalists will be announced and invited to attend a grand ceremony in the city of Hong Kong where the winners will be unveiled.

The photos you see here were taken (in order of appearance) by Lucas Gilman (featuring Rush Sturges kayaking down Lower Tomata Falls, Mexico), Mike Leeds (featuring Rush Sturges kayaking down Spirit Falls, Little White Salmon River, WA), Scott Serfas (featuring John Jackson snowboarding in Aniak, AK), and Zakary Noyle (featuring Gabriel Medina surfing in Oahu, HI).

Visit the Red Bull Illume website to view more amazing photo entries from the contest.

[via My Modern Metropolis]

What is a dog, if not a fluffy, walking canvas? That seems to be the mindset of competitive dog groomers. Photographer Ren Netherland (previously featured here) is still traveling around the United States taking awesome canine portraits at creative dog grooming competitions. We’re still impressed by just how many characters or creatures a groomer is able to include on one dog thanks to careful dyeing and shearing.

Why settle for simply transforming a dog into Yoda when you can make one end look like Yoda and the other end look like an Ewok? And just how many different Sesame Street characters can you fit on a single dog?

"It takes two intense hours for the groomers to produce their masterpieces before facing judges. Mr Netherland said: ‘The owners have to grow out their dog’s hair in preparation for the show - so that it’s long enough for them to make something. They train and rehearse throughout the year in preparation for the competition, whittling their creation down to a fine art.

'The best thing for spectators is that when the poodles fist come onto the stage, they just look like normal poodles. Suddenly they are transformed before your eyes into something colourful and completely different. The dogs seem to enjoy the pampering and all the attention.'”

Visit Ren Netherland’s website to view more of his fascinating photos.

[via Laughing Squid and Neatorama]

Did you know that roosters can be taught to mimic the sound of human laughter? Neither did we until we watched this awesome video of a ‘Laughing Cock’ contest. Yep. You read that correctly. Read on:

"A total of 187 chickens took part in a laughing contest during the exhibition of flora and fauna in Jakarta, Indonesia on 16 July 2011. Contestants were divided into four categories; a category for novice chickens under the age of 1, a category for chickens with a routine or crowing sound, a category for chickens with a unique sound and a category for chickens and a category for chickens with low voices, and these chickens are seen as the most prestigious and most expensive (and can be sold for up to tens of thousands of US dollars!)."

Video shot by Barcroft Media

[via Laughing Squid]

This fine fellow is Dieter Besuch, a competitor in the Whiskers Freestyle category of the International German Beard Championships. And those are some seriously awesome whiskers. 
(Don’t fret if you haven’t got the time or ability to grow such splendid facial hair of your own. We’ve got you covered over at our Mustache Shop.)
[via Telegraph.co.uk]

This fine fellow is Dieter Besuch, a competitor in the Whiskers Freestyle category of the International German Beard Championships. And those are some seriously awesome whiskers.

(Don’t fret if you haven’t got the time or ability to grow such splendid facial hair of your own. We’ve got you covered over at our Mustache Shop.)

[via Telegraph.co.uk]

The 30th annual Weifang International Kite Festival recently took place in Weifang city, located in Shandong province in eastern China. Weifang is known as the “kite capital of the world" because it is considered to be the birthplace of kites themselves. "Legend has it that kites were invented in China 2000 years ago and introduced to the West by Marco Polo."

"As an internationalized event of the proud folk tradition, the Weifang International Kite Festival attracts numerous Chinese and foreign kite masters every year. The tantalizing stunts and spectacles of competing kites amuse thousands of visitors, as well as their distinctive models, colors, styles and the particular flying techniques perfected in different countries."

We’re captivated by the incredible variety of awesome kites that were flown at this year’s festival - from teams or horses to an assortment of be-tentacled underwater creatures, monsters, tigers, bears and, of course, the splendid traditional dragons.

Visit designboom to learn more about the Weifang International Kite Festival and Weifang’s colourful kite-making history.