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'Pyrography' artist makes hyper realistic portraits on wood using only fire and razorblades

Alex Peter Idoko's portraits made from fire are incredible.

Creating art is possibly the most uniquely human thing people do, and some of us do it exceptionally well. Just when it seems like humans couldn't possibly come up with more inventive ways to express the artistic impulse, someone comes along to surprise us. What is more fun than being blown away by artists who master various art forms and find new methods and mediums to create with?

Enter Alex Peter Idoko's pyrography art.

Pyrography literally means writing or drawing with fire, and Idoko makes incredibly realistic "paintings" on wood with a blow torch, sandpaper, razorblades and charcoal. The final pieces are almost unbelievable, and watching his process in action is equally mind-blowing.


Idoko is a self-taught pyrography artist from Nigeria and his works focus on "writing, rebranding, and editing the Black story," both on the African continent and beyond. He portrays issues and challenges that surround Black people and also provides positive images for the next generation to look to for inspiration.

His pieces make powerful statements, in addition to being artistically impressive. I mean, if most of us took a blowtorch to a piece of wood, it certainly wouldn't result in something like this:

Some of his works are hyperrealistic, looking nearly indistinguishable from a photograph. The fact that he can create something like this by burning, sanding and scraping wood is just beyond.

Idoko has shared some glimpses into his process, which usually involves burning a wood canvas to create dark shades, then using sandpaper and razorblades to create lighter shades. He utilizes those tools along with charcoal to create minute details such as skin pores and water droplets as well.

Idoko shares his work on Instagram as well as his website, where he has a blog explaining the intent and meaning behind many of his pieces.

Below is the final version of the piece he was working on above, which the caption on Instagram describes as a woman "dressed in a royal regalia and adorned with beautiful jewelries of cowries and beads with the poise of a Queen which doubtless marks her a member of a royal family."

The caption says the piece "compels viewers to understand that there is an unwritten history in history that is visible to all that wants to see, he also enables all to see that Africans ancient and present were not and are not cowards, barbaric or lazy as the history might document."

Check out more examples of his works and his process:

Just utterly incredible. You can find and follow Alex Peter Idoko's work on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Goodbye. Maureen. Your "favorite child" will miss you.

What makes a good obituary? First, it should probably reflect the essence of the recently deceased person in an authentic, honest light. Second, it should feel personal, showing how that person’s life affected the lives of others. Then, of course, the right dash of humor can certainly help spark joy in an otherwise solemn moment.

New York Times journalist Caity Weaver achieved all those things masterfully in a eulogy written for her mother—the coupon-clipping, chronically late, green-thumbed Dr. Maureen Brennan-Weaver.

Caity clearly put her knack with words to good use, because her hilarious tribute quickly went viral on Twitter, leaving people not only with a good giggle, but a very precise picture of her mom.
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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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