Competitive Gravedigging Is a Real Thing in Europe

Looking to, uh, undertake a new sport? Consider competitive grave-digging. Last Friday, the Associated Press reports that Hungary held its first national grave-digging competition in Debrecen, the country’s second-largest city after Budapest. The winners will go on to compete in a regional championship held in Slovakia later this year.

The bizarre event came courtesy of the Hungarian Association of Cemetery Maintainers and Operators. Organizer Iren Kari told the Associated Press that the organization hopes the contest will bring awareness and respect for the work gravediggers do. Kari told the outlet that it's difficult to find young people who are interested in manual labor, and willing to replace retiring diggers. Plus, the increasing ubiquity of cremations threatens the job’s very existence. But as the BBC points out, gravediggers are as necessary as ever, as crowded cemeteries can’t accommodate mechanical diggers.

Eighteen two-man teams competed in the event, and had to use shovels, rakes, axes, and pickaxes to dig regulation-size graves that were 2 feet, 7 inches wide, 6 feet, 6 inches long, and 5 feet, 3 inches deep. Diggers were judged on speed and style (i.e., how good the finished grave mounds look). The winners, Debrecen locals Laszlo Toth and Janos Racz, reportedly buried their competition in under 34 minutes.

According to Reuters, Toth and Racz will compete against gravediggers from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic in the international tournament. Check out the contestants' skills in the above video, courtesy of RT News.

[h/t Associated Press]

Banner image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Courtesy of Airpod
New Nap Pods—Complete with Alarm Clocks and Netflix—Set for A Trial Run at Airports This Summer
Courtesy of Airpod
Courtesy of Airpod

Sleepy travelers in Europe can soon be on the lookout for Airpods, self-contained capsules designed to help passengers relax in privacy.

For 15 euros per hour (roughly $18), travelers can charge their phones, store their luggage, and, yes, nap on a chair that reclines into a bed. The Airpods are also equipped with television screens and free streaming on Netflix, Travel + Leisure reports.

To keep things clean between uses, each Airpod uses LED lights to disinfect the space and a scent machine to manage any unfortunate odors.

The company's two Slovenian founders, Mihael Meolic and Grega Mrgole, expect to conduct a trial run of the service by placing 10 pods in EU airports late this summer. By early 2019, they expect to have 100 Airpods installed in airports around the world, though the company hasn't yet announced which EU airports will receive the first Airpods.

The company eventually plans to introduce an element of cryptocurrency to its service. Once 1000 Airpods are installed (which the company expects to happen by late 2019), customers can opt in to a "Partnership Program." With this program, participants can become sponsors of one specific Airpod unit and earn up to 80 percent of the profits it generates each month. The company's cryptocurrency—called an APOD token—is already on sale through the Airpod website.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Afternoon Map
8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]


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