In Hong Kong, tourists often find their photos ruined by a cloud of smog. To improve the image of their city in the world’s eyes, Hong Kong authorities have set up a station where people can stand before a photo backdrop with a clear blue sky. Smiling tourists can pose in front of a poster showing Hong Kong on a rare pollution-free day, without letting the smog ruin their souvenir photos. With photo retouching so common in all aspects of our lives, why can’t a city do the same?
Source: The Guardian
Leave it to our pal Werner Herzog to craft an unsettling, uncanny and unromantic view of “old” nature. Lest we think of the rainforest as a happy place full of cavorting monkeys and pretty butterflies, Herzog is here to set us straight:
“Of course we’re challenging nature and it hits back, it just hits back, that’s all, and that’s [the] grandiose [thing] about it, and we just have to accept that it’s much stronger than we are. Kinski always says it’s full of erotic elements. I don’t see it so much [as] erotic, I see it more [as] full of obscenity. It’s just… nature here is vile and base. I wouldn’t see anything erotic here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and… just rotting away. Of course, there’s a lot of misery. But it’s the same misery that’s all around us. The trees here are in misery, the birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing, they just screech in pain…”
In South Korea, the global epicenter of plastic surgery, a newly popular form of augmentation is the “liptail”. Originally invented to help middle-aged folks reverse the downturned lips brought on by aging, this surgery is reportedly being adopted by the younger set to permanently create a cute, cheerful smile. While most opt for a more subtle lift, some girls go for the full-on duckface. Unlike other surgeries that merely change the body’s form, this one permanently alters its expression – perhaps an effort to be more happy by looking more happy.
In what’s probably the most fun form of environmental protest ever, Banksy has created a morose-looking dolphin ride to protest the BP oil spill. The ride is complete with fish nets and a filthy barrel of BP crude. Go to Brighton Pier in England if you fancy a turn on the convulsing cetacean.
Remember those good old days days when you were actually carrying goods out of the racks in a shop? If the Korean Virtual Shopping Store becomes a success, all shop shelves will soon be LCD Screens.
Customers simply choose their desired items by touching the LCD screen and checkout at the counter in the end to have all their ordered stuff packed in bags. Image consumption in the overdrive. Thanks Arnoud.
Because date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless, victims don’t normally realize they’ve been attacked until it’s too late. In a clever, necessary bit of information decoration, the founders of DrinkSavvy are working to invent disposable cups, straws and stirrers that change color in the present of date rape drugs.
DrinkSavvy’s products detect the common drugs GHB, rohypnol and ketamine, acting as discrete chemistry kits during a night out drinking. Though it’s a sad commentary on the world that this technology is even needed, anything that prevents rape should be put into widespread use. If Drinksavvy holds up in real-life scenarios, there’s no reason their goods shouldn’t become standard at clubs and bars.
Greek and Roman writings are filled with accounts of people doing the dirty with statues – a sexual fetish so common that it had its own term, agalmatophilia. The scholars Alex Scobie and Tony Taylor argued in 1975 that these sculptures were
… representational in appearance, coloring and size. The statues were placed on street level rather than high up on pedestals. Hence the statues were life-size, life-like and so conveniently accessible as to enable the populace to form personal relationships with them.
Despite its prevalence in ancient times, agalmatophilia is all but unknown today. Over at Scientific American, author Jesse Bering theorizes that the disappearance of this sexual paraphilia is due to changing technology. People who might have been statute-lovers now own RealDolls and robots. According to Bering, “advances in technology mean that we’ve since gained everything from latex fetishism to mechanophilic arousal by automobiles to the electrophile’s sexual dependence on electric currents.” Our sexual natures change along with us.
You’re looking at the madidi titi, also know as the Goldenpalace.com titi – the first species whose name is also an ad. Discovered in 2004, the honor of naming this new monkey was auctioned off to raise funds for the national park it calls home. Since its christening as Callicebus aureipalatii, however, there’s no evidence that the titi enjoys online gambling any more than it used it.
Image via Nova Taxa.