PIC IN THE HEAD
New York University arts professor Wafaa Bilal had his camera surgically removed in February—the one that was implanted in the back of his skull in November to record, at 60-second intervals, the places he had left behind (beamed to and archived by a museum in Qatar). The camera had been mounted under his skin, braced by three titanium posts, but his body very painfully rejected one of the posts. His temporary solution is to merely tie the camera to the back of his neck (even though that work-around is unsatisfactory to him because it represents a less-personal “commitment” to the art). In the future, he said, communication devices like his will routinely be part of our bodies.
BOOZE YOUR FRIENDS WISELY
In December, a company in eastern Ukraine (a country known for hard drinking) announced a “drinking buddy” service in which, for the equivalent of about $18, it would supply a barroom companion for the evening, “qualified” to discuss politics, sports, women, etc., and even to offer psychological counseling if appropriate.
EAU DE POON
“Vulva Original” is the “scent of a beautiful woman” reported in Harper’s magazine in August 2010. And German company VivaEros is selling it as a fragrance concentrate for the equivalent of about $35 a bottle. (The promotional video is a lavishly photographed gym scene featuring a handsome male who observes a beautiful female working out on a stationary bike and then gently sniffs the seat.) “The female smell of intimacy,” promises VivaEros, “triggers sexual attraction and desire” and increases intensity “during self-stimulation.”
“You’re not going to like this,” warned NPR’s Robert Krulwich, about to deliver a February story about visionary robotics developers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau who created a carnivorous clock, supposedly able to power itself for 12 days merely on the carcasses of 12 dead houseflies (which the clock traps with fly paper and then mechanically razors in two). The pair also showed a prototype of a coffee table that catches mice by luring them up the table legs with cheese into a hole in the center, where they are guillotined. Auger and Loizeau said their creations are just extensions of TV nature programs showing animals hunting in the wild, but Krulwich fretted about the dangers inherent in “giving robots a taste for [meat].”
Another “negative cash-flow” robbery occurred in February, in Kansas City, Missouri, as an unidentified man tried to distract the clerk at a gun store by laying $40 on the counter to buy a box of bullets, then pulling a gun and demanding all the store’s money. The clerk thwarted the robbery by pulling his own gun and scaring the robber off—while the $40 remained on the counter.