He Can Create

To a lot of men, Japanese artist Macaon has the perfect job and it’s not difficult to see why.

He gets to drink beer and soda and then recycles the cans by twisting them into much-loved superstars from comic books, film and video games.

Macaon transforms the old aluminium into iconic figures like Buzz Lightyear and Woody from Toy Story, a Decepticon from Transformers, a mask of Star Wars villain Darth Vader and video play station hero Super Mario.

Transformed: An armed Decepticon created from the cans by the Japanese artist Macaon  An armed Decepticon created from the cans by the Japanese artist Macaon
Here's to Buzz and Woody: The model figures are made from beer cans twisted into their cartoon shapesThe model figures are made from beer cans twisted into their cartoon shapes
Movie icon: Wall-E as created by the artist Macaon with the help of beer cans – Wall-E was created by the artist Macaon with  the help of beer cans
Super Marion from the video game
Smurf made out of soda cans
 Cola cans and energy drinks made up the materials for Super Mario and the Smurf

Disney’s robot WALL-E,  the trash compacting robot, is the perfect subject for a recycled can sculpture.

While childhood favorite Pikachu from the Pokémon TV series is created using Japanese drinks in a bright golden yellow.

Each can is selected for color, and painstakingly cut up and bent into position with the skill of an origami master.

Other examples of the artist’s amazing work  can be seen on his Japanese website.

The force is with him: The mask of Darth Vader the Star Wars villain The mask of Darth Vader, the Star Wars villain
Childhood favourite: Pikachu from the Pokémon TV series was created from Japanese drinks
Kingfisher model
 Pikachu from the Pokémon TV series and a majestic kingfisher bird
Hooked on drink cans: A fish created from the old aluminium metal A fish created from the old aluminium

Every picture, letter, and label printed on  the surface of each can is always partly visible on the finished figures which also include a dragon fly, scorpion, a fish and a kingfisher bird.

There is one riddle: How did Macaon get through so many beer cans and still have such a  steady hand?

Only here for the beer: A figure is made from this Japanese can making sure the lettering is visibleA figure is made from this Japanese can making sure the lettering is visible
Figures: A dragon fly made from a can of Coca-cola and below a scorpion with stinger tail A dragon fly made from a can of Coca-cola

Attribution: Daily Mail

Have a Brewski & Get Healthy

If you were planning on having a beer tonight, then this will be welcome news.

Beer may contain a vitamin which can fight obesity and improve muscle strength, scientists claim.

The ‘miracle molecule’, which has been found in milk and may also be present in beer and some foods, has no side effects and could even lengthen lifespan, they say.

The snag is that the molecule, called nicotinamide riboside (NR), is extremely small, difficult to find and expensive to synthesise.

Johnan Auwerx, head of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, said experiments using mice revealed the molecule’s potential.

In an article in the specialist journal Cell Metabolism journal, Mr Auwerx called the results ‘impressive’.

“NR appears to play a role in preventing obesity,” said Mr Auwerx.

Working with Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, his team found mice on a high-fat diet that were fed NR gained significantly less weight – 60% – than mice eating the same diet without NR supplements.

And none of the NR-treated mice had indications that they were developing diabetes, unlike the untreated mice.

Mice which were fed NR supplements over a ten-week period had better endurance performance than those who were not.

They were also in better shape – and this was confirmed by observations of their muscle fibers under the microscope.

The molecule works by becoming trapped in cells where it boosts the metabolism, much like resveratrol, which is found in wine.

No side effects were discovered during the experiments.

“It really appears that cells use what they need when they need it, and the rest is set aside without being transformed into any kind of deleterious form,” said study author Carles Canto in a statement.

Mice who had been fed the molecule also performed better in endurance tests, as well as in tests measuring heat loss.

The researchers believe an increase in the molecule reflects an improvement in mitochondrial function, the part of the cell that supplies energy.

Mitochondria are thought to play a part in the aging process. It is hoped that by stimulating mitochondrial function with the NR molecule, scientists may see increases in longevity as well as other health improvements.

But the molecule is difficult to reproduce and extremely small. “At the moment, we can’t even measure its concentration in milk, so it’s impossible to know how much you would have to drink to be able to observe its effects,” Mr Auwerx added.

Research will continue with human testing at some point in the future.

Attribution: Mail Online

Shipwreck Ale

A shipwreck off the coast of Finland may hold the key to beer fanatics enjoying a brew which was created over 170 years ago.

Finnish researchers say they may be able to recreate beer from the 1840s after finding living bacteria in beer from the sunken ship near Aaland Islands in the Baltic Sea.

The 2010 discovery of the ship, believed to have sunk in the 1840s, also included the world’s oldest champagne considered drinkable, which has since been auctioned off.
Researchers analyzed two bottles of beer, which they admitted ‘had not stood the test of time well’ but retained a pale golden color and could originally have had hints of rose, almond and cloves.

‘Based on the chemical analysis we made of the beer and with help from a master brewer it would be possible to try to make beer that would resemble it as much as possible,’ Annika Wilhelmson from VTT technical research center of Finland said.

The wreck lies off Aaland, an autonomous part of Finland.

The name of the sunken vessel is still unknown, as is its destination.

It has been speculated that the cargo was bound for the Russian Tsar’s court in St Petersburg.

When it was unearthed, officials stated they believed the beer was the oldest in the world.

‘We believe these are by far the world’s oldest bottles of beer,’ Rainer Juslin, a spokesman for the local government of Aaland, said in a statement in 2010.

The enviable haul was found intact on the seabed at a depth of 50 meters.

‘The constant temperature and light levels have provided optimal conditions for storage, and the pressure in the bottles has prevented any seawater from seeping in through the corks,’ the statement said.

The discovery also consisted of the world’s oldest champagne of the labels Veuve Clicquot, Juglar and Heidsieck.

A total of 145 bottles of champagne were salvaged.

A bottle of shipwrecked Veuve Clicquot sold for $43,630, surpassing the world auction record.