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The (Real) Smell Of Death
08.18.2009
03:20 pm
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As the recent earthquakes in China and Italy showed us, tragedy can keep unfolding far beyond those first few seconds of violent shaking.  In the China quake alone, vast number of people were either killed or buried, still alive, under mounds of earth, steel and concrete.  Locating these bodies can take days, even weeks.  With this in mind—and as an occupant of quake-prone Los Angeles—I’m very much encouraged by the progress made in “chemical profiling” which

could eventually lead to a portable device for detecting human bodies at crime scenes and disaster areas.  To develop such a device, scientists must identify what gases are released as bodies decompose under a variety of natural environmental conditions.  In addition, they must detail the time sequence in which those odorant chemicals are released in the hours and days after death.

How far off is such a death-sniffing device?  Well, researcher Dan Sykes is currently affixing sensors to decomposing pigs, “They go through the same phases of decomposition as humans, as well as the same number of stages.  And those stages last about as long in pigs as they do in humans before complete decomposition occurs and only the bones remain.”
 
Via Physorg: New Insights Into The Smell Of Death
 
The Aftermath: How To Embalm A Body

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.18.2009
03:20 pm
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Swine Flu Fever: Then And Now
08.17.2009
11:55 am
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Before you or a loved one get jabbed, better read this report from The Mail Online which suggests a link between the new swine flu vaccine and the unpleasant-sounding Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).  According to a warning authored by the Health Protection Agency (HPA)—and withheld from the public until it’s leaking to The Mail—GBS “attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.”  The warning goes on to draw parallels between the current vaccine and the U.S.-issued batch from ‘76 which went on to claim the lives of more people than the flu itself.  As one senior HPA neurologist put it, “?

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.17.2009
11:55 am
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Octopus Mimics Fifteen Different Species
08.15.2009
11:51 am
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The Indonesian Mimic Octopus, Thaumoctopus mimicus. This fascinating creature was discovered in 1998 off the coast of Sulawesi in Indonesia, the mimic octopus is the first known species to take on the characteristics of multiple species. This octopus is able to copy the physical likeness and movement of more than fifteen different species, including sea snakes, lionfish, flatfish, brittle stars, giant crabs, sea shells, stingrays, jellyfish, sea anemones, and mantis shrimp. This animal is so intelligent that it is able to discern which dangerous sea creature to impersonate that will present the greatest threat to its current possible predator.


Diving with Mimic Octopus

(via Presurfer)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.15.2009
11:51 am
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Inside The Gun Camera, Peeping Tom
08.12.2009
02:39 pm
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Behold the DORYU 2-16 “pistol camera.”  According to World Famous Design Junkies, it’s a 16mm, Japanese police-issue camera and is not at all a “toy.”  It doesn’t seem capable of firing bullets, either.  Yet.  Or until they roll out the inevitable update of Michael Powell‘s career-killing film, the relentlessly creepy, Peeping Tom.  In it, camera-crazy Carl Boehm stalks and murders women with a knife concealed in one of his tripod’s legs.  Why the camera?  Well, how better to capture his victim’s dying screams?  Yeah, all this from man who gave us such celebratory fare as The Red Shoes, and Stairway to Heaven

For your viewing pleasure, YouTube hosts in its entirety the Criterion version of Tom—albeit broken into 12 parts.  You can start with Part I below.  Oh, and interesting bit of movie trivia: Tom also features the first bit of nudity in a British film—from legendary “glamour model,” Pamela Green.

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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08.12.2009
02:39 pm
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ColorSuckr: Extract Colors From Photos
08.11.2009
01:04 am
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Colorsuckr is great browser-based tool for designers and artists. Input any picture and—voila—Colorsuckr automatically creates a palette for you. I tried to come up with the most colorful image I could think of and for whatever reason, I came up with Bjork. She’s colorful!

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ColorSuckr

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.11.2009
01:04 am
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Hubcap Prayer Wheel: Burn Rubber, Burn Karma
08.10.2009
09:13 pm
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Dangerous Minds pal Erik Davis sent us news of his wife, Jennifer Dumpert’s new project, The Hubcap Prayer Wheel:

Hubcap Prayer Wheel is a high-quality vinyl decal that depicts the most popular mantra in Buddhism, Om Mani Padme Hum. Long ago in Tibet, people inscribed this mantra onto prayer wheels that were turned by hand, but also by water or wind—a premodern version of sacred automation. With every spin of the wheel, by your own labor or otherwise, the prayer spread through the universe. So by affixing the decal to your hubcap, you can convert your car into a mobile prayer wheel. With Om Mani Padme Hum revolving as you drive, you can help ease your karma while radiating wisdom and compassion into your life and into the world.

Hubcap Prayer Wheel

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.10.2009
09:13 pm
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Fully Functional Bioengineered Mouse Tooth
08.06.2009
12:47 am
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Pink Tentacle explains, “The bioengineered tooth, which was grown in place of a lost molar, has the same properties of the old tooth and is strong enough to allow the mouse to chew food normally.

To create the new tooth, the researchers ?

Posted by Tara McGinley
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08.06.2009
12:47 am
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The Other Museum: Photo Essay by Artist Justine Cooper
08.04.2009
02:46 pm
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SEED magazine published Saved by Science, a wonderful portfolio of Australian-American artist Justine Cooper’s large-format photographs of what lurks behind the scenes of the American Museum of Natural History with an accompanying essay by Carl Zimmer.

I used to know Justine quite well in the early 90s in New York but have not seen her in about fifteen years. Her work displays the quality of wide-eyed curiosity about the world that I associate with my memory of her:

A natural history museum is really two museums, and when you?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.04.2009
02:46 pm
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A Pictorial History of Dentistry
07.30.2009
02:57 pm
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If you “love” going to the dentist as much as I do, then you’re in for a delightful treat!  Dental Assistant has a frightening pictoral tribute to the

Blue M&Ms; ‘mend spinal injuries’
07.28.2009
12:33 pm
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No, this item did not come from News of the Weird… and no, that furry character above is not an extra from “Willy Wonka” either…

The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area - an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury.

BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, the rodent tests showed.

Those treated with BBG were later able to walk, although with a limp. Rats that did not receive the BBG solution never regained the ability to walk.

On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma. The test injections were given within 15 minutes.

Blue M&Ms ‘mend spinal injuries’

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.28.2009
12:33 pm
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