There’s a bit of science involved in this, but mostly it’s just grotesque.
The Huffington Post recently reported on a “hot new beauty trend” in Japan, although that description plays fast and loose with the word “beauty.”
Body modification enthusiasts — generally speaking, folks who get their whole bodies tattooed, split their tongues, stretch their earlobes and/or get Teflon implants under their skin — have found a new and temporary way to look different. All it takes is a sharp needle and a bunch of saline solution.
Practitioners inject the saline solution into patients’ foreheads. The solution gathers beneath the skin, forming a bulge so big it looks like a pimple swollen to about 500 times its normal size. Then the doctor pushes in the center of the bulge with his thumb. The saline is forced out of the center, leaving a ring-shaped protrusion on the forehead.
The bad news is that the whole thing seems painful and unpleasant. The good news is that the effect isn’t long-lasting; within about 16 hours, the saline is absorbed into the body and the protrusion disappears.
Earlier this summer, while en route to Taos, my wife, niece and I stopped by Roswell, N.M., to check out its annual UFO Festival. It was beastly hot, and I was already developing pneumonia, so I didn’t get to see a whole lot while we were there. My memory of our visit is kind of fuzzy, too. Maybe I was abducted and lost time.
Anyway, Roswell is ground zero for UFO conspiracy theorists in America. Maybe in the world. In 1947, the story goes, at least one UFO crashed on a Roswell ranch. Witnesses reported seeing aliens dead and alive. The wreckage included lightweight beams imprinted with some sort of hieroglyphics and a foil-like material that could be crushed but would spring back to its original shape. The military got involved, sending out a news release proclaiming that an alien craft had been recovered. Soon after, the military corrected the initial report, saying what they had were the remains of a weather balloon. Locals claimed they were cautioned by Men in Black not to speak of what they saw, and over the years the whole thing blew up into a major deal. Roswell has been the subject of documentaries, books and movies and is the setting for an eponymous sci-fi TV series starring a young Katherine Heigl. The government’s current position is that the wreckage stemmed from a top secret operation called Project Mogul, in which microphones were carried aloft by air balloons to try to detect audio evidence of Soviet nuclear tests.
Whatever the truth is, Roswell has captured the imagination of UFO buffs. The city has turned that fascination into tourism dollars.
Anyway, I took some amateur photos while we there. The pics aren’t great, but maybe they’ll give you a hint of what it’s like there. My next several posts will consist of photos from Roswell. Click on them to increase their size.
The attack shut down the Natanz and Fordow nuclear facilities and caused infected computers to play AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” at maximum volume — over and over again.
An Iranian scientist apparently contacted F-Secure, a Finnish cyber security site, and offered this explanation of the attack:
I am writing you to inform you that our nuclear program has once again been compromised and attacked by a new worm with exploits which have shut down our automation network at Natanz and another facility Fordo near Qom.
According to the email our cyber experts sent to our teams, they believe a hacker tool Metasploit was used. The hackers had access to our VPN. The automation network and Siemens hardware were attacked and shut down. I only know very little about these cyber issues as I am scientist not a computer expert.
There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing ‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC.
No word on who is responsible for the attack. One possibility: Tony Stark. The guy’s smart enough to design a worm, and the song is featured prominently on the “Iron Man 2″ soundtrack. I’d be looking at Jon Favreau, too.
The folks at Deadspin.com described this perfectly. I can’t do any better. This happened during last night’s Giants’ game.
Oh, Matt Cain threw a perfect game? Sorry, didn’t notice. Was too busy having my head explode after seeing a secret agent fly around the Bay on his personal water-powered jetpack. This was the first inning. You knew it was going to be a special game.”
“Happy Feet” and “March of the Penguins” don’t seem so pleasant anymore.
A long-buried report by an Antarctic explorer has surfaced, painting penguins as sexual opportunists whose appetites can only be described as extreme.
George Levick, a surgeon and medical officer on Capt. Robert Falcon Scott’s 1910-1913 south polar expedition, penned a four-page pamphlet in 1915 relating his observations of Adelie penguins at Cape Adare. He was so scandalized by what he’d seen that he labeled the pamphlet “Not for Publication.”
It remained hidden for almost 100 years before researcher Douglas Russell recently discovered it at a British natural history museum. Levick’s notes have now been published in the Polar Record journal, according to Fox News.
Turns out our favorite tuxedo patterned flightless birds aren’t so civilized after all.
Levick watched male penguins gang up to abuse their female counterparts and commit necrophilia, among other things.
“I saw another act of astonishing depravity today,” he wrote in 1911. “A hen which had been in some way badly injured in the hindquarters was crawling painfully along on her belly. I was just wondering whether I ought to kill her or not, when a cock noticed her in passing, and went up to her. After a short inspection he deliberately raped her, she being quite unable to resist him.”
At another point, Fox reported, he wrote: “There seems to be no crime too low for these penguins.”
Of course, Levick was anthropomorphizing, taking the penguins to task for actions that would’ve been criminal in humans. Among the things that shocked him was seeing penguins having homosexual intercourse — something that is far from rare in the animal kingdom.
“Homosexual behaviors in animals are no longer cause for hiding data, or even a blush,” according to the Fox story. “Plenty of animals are out of the closet, so to speak, from dolphins and killer whales to bonobos and greylag geese. Some estimates put the number of animal species that practice same-sex coupling at 1,500.”