5 Boring Hobbies Taken to the Extreme
Some hobbies are cool, like bear fighting or gambling with dangerous drug kingpins. Actually, we’re not sure those are cool hobbies so much as death wishes in disguise, but you get the point.
Then there are hobbies that are far less exciting. A good way to determine if the activity in question is one or the other, imagine James Bond doing it. If you’d pay $11 at the theater to see that, it’s a cool hobby. But worry not, those with lame interests. Turns out, there’s awesome stuff going on for you, too…
5) A Finnish Artist Crocheting a Police Car
Knitting and Crocheting are like the Batman and Robin of dull hobbies. There’s an excellent reason that most people associate them with old ladies, and we’re not talking about the Dynamic Duo (although we’re sure old ladies would probably find Batman perfectly acceptable once they got to know him a little). It’s not exactly something that gets you laid.
Unless, that is, you’re Finnish artist Kaija Papu, who hand-crocheted an entire freaking police car. Okay, not the entire car. The base is actually foam, but she did shape and carve that by hand. (You can see that in this time lapse video.) The cover, though, is totally crocheted. We’re betting there’s a couple of people who’d go home with her for the night based on that accomplishment.
You’d have to drive, though.
According to the artist herself, the reasoning behind the piece is that the police are often seen as very masculine and crocheting as very feminine. Thus, you have what is essentially a highly-detailed, giant car cozy. Maybe she could mass produce them and you could put them over your car like a cover. No more parking lot dings for you.
4) Astronauts Playing Chess from Space
Pop culture has clearly stated that chess is the nerd hobby. Every four-eyed geek is totally down for a game of chess, at any moment, usually with an older mentor character. Also, they play it by slapping a clock really meaningfully, because that’s the only fucking way to make chess seem intense.
However… well, we couldn’t find anything that made chess intense per se. There are folks who pretend to play chess on roller coasters, all thanks to an XKCD comic, but that’s just for the photo op. They’re not actually playing speed chess on a two minute roller coaster ride, unfortunately.
Knight to E… oh, fuck, it’s over.
There is something that certainly makes chess seem a lot cooler, though. (Or a lot nerdier if you’re the type who still compulsively gives anyone remotely interested in science a wedgie, we guess.) In the past five years, NASA and the United States Chess Federation have been hosting Earth vs. Space games of chess, which is probably the closest we’re gonna get to fending off invaders from the stars in any of our lives, sadly.
Basically, the astronauts in the International Space Station play a one-move-a-day game with opponents on Earth. In the original 2008 game, it was the third grade U.S. Chess Championship Team (they won) and in the 2011 game, it was an open game where anyone who was interested could vote for the moves performed by the Earth side (Earth won that one, too, though only because we voted ourselves the winners in history’s most unbalanced poll of two against seven billion, a situation which the United Federation of Planets will surely be taking an interest in any day now).
Even using best out of three rules, we kinda kicked the crap out of the astronauts, which allowed all the chess geeks of the world to feel superior to space dorks, at least for a little while. The nerd hierarchy might never be the same.
Pictured: The biggest nerdlinger in the history of nerddom.
3) Ironing in Places Where You Shouldn’t
Okay, ironing isn’t so much a hobby as it is a chore, but it’s still boring as hell. Also, some people take it serious as a heart attack, and there’s an excellent chance those people are either hardcore ex-military types or have no friends. Or maybe both, we don’t know.
But it might still warm your heart to know that there are people out there who decided that ironing just wasn’t cool enough. Those people are obviously equal parts responsible housekeepers and totally insane, but we digress. The point is, extreme ironing is a thing that people seriously do.
“First I tried to get my ironing and extreme sports done at the same time with meth. Then I died.”
So what exactly constitutes “extreme” ironing? Exactly what you’d think– ironing in the most ridiculous places possible, like, say, on top of a mountain or at the bottom of a blue hole in Egypt. Basically, if it would be insane and/or dangerous to iron there, it is a valid target for extreme ironing. How about the middle of the M1 Motorway? Totally doable. It’s also possible to do in the middle of other activities, such as skysurfing. If you’re god damned insane it’s possible, we mean.
Obviously, they’re not actually ironing in many cases, since the iron typically isn’t plugged into anything. It’s a little disappointing, we’ll admit. If there’s no promise of a crisply pressed pair of slacks afterward, then you can hardly call it ironing, right? But at least it’s more interesting than actually ironing things, we suppose.
2) Dead Animal Insanity
Maybe taxidermy doesn’t have a reputation for being boring so much as for being creepy, but we’re willing to take a stand on the issue and declare it to be both. That’s us, willing to weigh in on arguments no one else is making or even gives a fuck about. Total trailblazers here.
Anyway, you’re spending hours with a dead animal and making it look alive again. It’s like reupholstering a chair, except the chair was taking a dump in the middle of the forest not long beforehand. Also, unlike a chair, you can’t sit in the finished product unless you want an antler or bear claw up your ass.
Speaking of, next Saturday is Erotic Pastry Night.
And maybe it’s not surprising that the same kinds of people who might be interested in taxidermy are also the same kinds of people who’d make really weird things out of dead animals, but it’s still super-impressive. (Also, doesn’t it make a weird kind of sense that a whole freaking lot of them are on Etsy?)
There are plenty of random taxidermy projects of unknown origin that have gone viral online, such as the sheep throne or the turtle snake. However, there are also people who make their entire damn career out of strange taxidermy, like Enrique Gomez De Molina, who has created hundreds of amazing and bizarre taxidermy hybrids (and it also got him put in prison on charges of animal smuggling, so let that be a lesson to all you kids who are thinking about illegally bringing animals into the country).
Finally, there are some things that are too weird even for the professionals. Meet Bart Jansen, a Dutch artist who turned his dead cat into an RC helicopter. Just in case your brain shut off halfway through that because it sounded too insane to believe, yes, the guy turned his cat’s corpse into a flying demon-machine. It’s not his first piece of taxidermy-based art, but it’s certainly the weirdest.
If ghost-cats are a thing, this guy is so getting haunted.
1) Mindblowing Wood Weaving Sculptures
Wood weaving is such a jerk-off activity that it’s become shorthand for bullshit college courses. Ever heard of underwater basket weaving? That’s not a real thing. It’s a term used to make fun of stupid elective courses at liberal arts colleges and places like that. (Essentially, most of the classes the gang on Community has taken.)
So, y’know, weave your baskets, you hippies. Out here in the real world that will never be…
Oh. Whoa, maybe we…
Jesus Christ, is that a woven car? As it happens, yes, it is. Ojo Obiyani of Nigeria has a basket-weaving business, and he is really, really fucking good at it. Turns out the easiest way to prove that is showing everyone you possibly can, so Obiyani covered his car in wicker. Added bonus? The seats are really breathable in the summer.
Then there are the artists who make absolutely jaw-dropping sculptures out of, essentially, nothing but freaking sticks. Willow sculpting is quickly becoming a huge medium for outdoor art. See, for example, the beautiful wicker people and animals of artists like Trevor Leat, or the abstract creations of Tom Hare and Jaakko Pernu. Finally, get ready to pick your brain up off the floor after seeing the absolutely giant pieces created by Patrick Dougherty. The guy makes entire buildings out of branches. No one tell the big, bad wolf.