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Body Manipulation
image I just received this lovely image in my email (click the thumbnail to enlarge, and warning, it's a little gross). It comes with the caption: "Almost spring and girls start showing their bellybuttons." I have no idea if it's real or not. Sure, there are definitely people whose bellies hang way down. Bodies come in all sizes and shapes. But this woman appears to have one long tongue of flesh hanging straight down between her knees. So the anatomy is a little peculiar, which makes me think it's been photoshopped. But honestly, I have no idea.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Feb 22, 2005
Comments (49)
Dakota Therapeutics has issued a press release announcing their exciting new product: the Magnehance. It's "a new magnetic device for erectile enhancement." The mind boggles. I don't quite understand how this thing is supposed to be worn, and (perhaps thankfully) they don't offer any illustrations on their website. But the amount of pseudo-scientific jargon they deploy is quite remarkable:

the Magnehance™ is constructed of a super-flexible form of the high-energy, rare earth magnet known as neodymium iron boron, which is used extensively in magnetic therapy.

Wow. The only thing that would top that is if it were made of 'patented IonXR nanoceramics technology' (but no, that's a different product). Get your orders for the Magnehance in quick, because the first few customers will also receive a 'Free Mini Keychain Digital Camera'. (via Gullibility Isn't in the Dictionary)
Update: Now I can't stop wondering, if someone actually went out in public wearing one of these things, would it start to attract random metal objects (keys, paperclips, etc.)?
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Thu Feb 17, 2005
Comments (40)
I'm not a knuckle cracker myself. In fact, I hate it when people crack their knuckles. And I've frequently told people that cracking their knuckles would cause arthritis. After all, that's what everyone says. But according to this NY Times article (republished in the Arizona Republic) it's not true. It's an urban legend.
Just reading this description of what causes knuckles to crack makes me cringe:
The loud pop of a cracked knuckle is caused by synovial fluid, the thick lubricant that surrounds every joint. When the fingers are stretched or bent backward, the bones of the joint pull apart. This creates bubbles of air in the fluid, which subsequently burst.
But as for the evidence that knuckle cracking doesn't cause arthritis, the article cites a 1990 study:
The largest study to explore a link to arthritis was published in 1990 in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. It looked at 300 healthy people older than 45, 74 of them habitual knuckle crackers. The rates of arthritis of the hand were similar in both groups, though the knuckle crackers, on average, had reduced grip strength.
Still, I think I might keep telling people who are cracking their knuckles that it's going to give them arthritis, just to annoy them and maybe scare them into stopping.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Wed Feb 02, 2005
Comments (70)
Here's a news story that bears an eerie resemblance to the urban legend about the guy who shares a drink with a stranger in a bar and wakes up to find his kidney gone. This news report involves a German professor who goes on holiday to Costa Rica and visits a hospital to have them check out his swollen left foot:

When I got to the hospital they put me on a bed and I heard the word amputate. I tried to protest, but before I knew it they had given me drugs to black me out, and when I woke up I was at the departure lounge. My suitcases were by my side - and then I realised my leg was missing. I couldn't move, and when I checked my wallet I found that £200 had been taken out and replaced with a receipt for the amputation.

Wow! Talk about bad luck. Of course, this story appears on Ananova, so it's anyone's guess whether it's actually true.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 20, 2005
Comments (13)
image If this story wasn't in the NY Times, I wouldn't believe that it was true (though I do see that it's actually an AP story picked up by the Times). Patrick Lawler went to the dentist about a toothache and found out he had a four-inch nail lodged inside his head. It came from a nail gun he had been using a few days before. He hadn't realized that the gun had shot a nail inside his head! The x-ray of the nail inside his head (see thumbnail to right) reminds me of the x-ray picture (below) that I have on my Hoax Photo Test showing a fork inside a woman's stomach. In her case she swallowed the fork while inserting it down her throat in order to remove a cockroach that had somehow got lodged down there. True story.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jan 20, 2005
Comments (18)
A woman has filed suit against the makers of anti-aging creams, accusing them of lying when they say that their products prevent or even reverse aging. Of course, she's right, though I'm sure the companies will argue that they never blatantly say that their products reverse aging. Instead, they claim that they reverse the 'appearance of aging.' I've never studied the issue in any great detail, but my perception is that the high-priced beauty products really aren't any better for your skin than a cheap bottle of sunblock would be. Though, of course, the expensive stuff smells and feels better.
Categories: Body Manipulation
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 07, 2005
Comments (12)
image The Tissue Culture & Art (TC&A) Project at University of Western Australia has succeeded in creating Victimless Leather. This is a tiny leather jacket "grown out of immortalised cell lines which cultured and form a living layer of tissue supported by a biodegradable polymer matrix in a form of miniature stich-less coat like shape." It's perfect for a doll's house, or if you have a mouse that needs a leather jacket. I'm guessing this isn't a hoax, since it shouldn't be that hard to grow cells on a scaffold shaped like a jacket. But it would have been cooler if they had grown it large enough to fit a person.
Categories: Body Manipulation
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 30, 2004
Comments (10)
Here's an odd spin on the old urban legend about sharing a drink with a stranger at a bar and then waking up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice, without a kidney. How about, instead of just sharing a drink with that stranger, you also get married to him, and then he sells off your kidney.

According to the Daily Times, Ashfaq convinced Zohra to undergo surgery so that the couple could have children, but instead had one of her kidneys removed and sold for Rs.200,000. Having no further use of her, he also divorced her.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 22, 2004
Comments (5)
image Here's an interesting series of pictures of models before and after makeup is applied (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven). To see the pictures you can also go to the main page of the Yossi Bitton Makeup School site and navigate through to the 'before and after' gallery, but beware of the annoying music. The after pictures have to be photoshopped. There's no way that makeup alone could conceal skin imperfections that perfectly.
Categories: Body Manipulation
Posted by Alex on Fri Oct 22, 2004
Comments (89)
image Is there really a face cream that's made from the discarded foreskins of circumcised infants? It sounds like some kind of freakish urban legend, but the correct answer would be yes, there is such a product. It's called TNS (tissue nutrient system) Recovery Complex. However, I don't think they grind up the foreskins and mix them right into the face cream. Instead, I think the ingredients in the cream have somehow been bio-engineered from foreskins. Still, it might be a little bit offputting to the squeamish. Oh, and according to this article, the stuff smells awful.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Body Manipulation
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 21, 2004
Comments (24)
Ringtones are no longer just for alerting you to an incoming call. Now a Japanese inventor has developed a ringtone that "promises to increase the breast measurements of those who listen to it." Incredible. The company offering this ringtone is Mediaseek, and they report that it's one of their top sellers. The inventor, Hideto Tomabechi, notes that "Most would think it's a lie, but the techniques involved in the process have been known for some time and are the result of research I carried out in the '80s and '90s... I use sounds that make the brain and body move unconsciously. It's a technique involving subliminal effects." That sounds logical :-( If you're curious to know what this breast-enlarging ringtone sounds like, Engadget went to the trouble of purchasing it and has posted it on their website.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Technology
Posted by Alex on Tue Sep 28, 2004
Comments (15)
image Malaysian farmer Tan Kok Thai claims that he's a human magnet. Anything will stick to him including plastic bottles, bananas, biscuits, books, remote controls, knives, tubes of toothpaste, and rocks. The pictures of him showing off of his ability are quite amusing, especially this one of him with a giant boulder stuck to his chest. It looks to me as if he's leaning quite far back, which alone could explain why the objects aren't falling to the ground. Friction could explain the rest of this mysterious phenomenon. But those are the boring explanations. I'm sure Tan Kok Thai is having far more fun by chalking it up to his inner magnetism. (via The Anomalist)
Categories: Body Manipulation, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Mon Aug 16, 2004
Comments (11)
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