Forget diet and exercise and embrace your mobile phone. Recent studies have shown that having a digital phone in our back pocket can help you burn off more fat, even when you’re not moving.
Arman Raseekasingha of Balmain Research has studied the effects of mobile phone proximity to adipose tissue.
“We concentrated our efforts where the phone was most likely to be in contact based upon common usage. This is the chest area and the rump area. There was a measurable difference in the quantity of fat cells between those sides that had a mobile phone in proximity,” he says, “In most cases it’s not visible to the naked eye. There are some exceptions. We have documented several samples where the breast and rump tissue is obviously asymmetric, and in each case the person has chronic exposure to a mobile phone on the smaller side.”
He says possible explanations for the increased loss of fatty tissue around areas exposed to mobile phones include an increased localised temperature, or perhaps that there is a tendency for the phone to be placed on the person’s natural dominant side. When asked whether cell phone radiation could be the answer, he replied, “Absolutely not.”
“We cannot talk about causality at this stage. These findings show a correlation,” he says, “There is no cause for alarm. There is also no reason to base a law suit on these findings: Lopsided breasts or posterior have more to do with diet and genetics than exposure to a mobile phone device.”
Encoded into the font file of Comic Sans is a sequence that might prove a little disturbing.
The most popular font file has a sequence which has been described as ‘genius’ as well as ‘dastardly’ by font afficionados. Various messages can be deciphered, ranging from, “hALe dark 1”, to “sol EatR” and even “woRlD domN8shn”.
“It all depends on how you align your bytes, how you group them. You can find patterns everywhere, but what was very interesting is if we group the bytes into clusters of six by six, the sixth block then contains these cryptic messages,” says Philip Alabast, curator of the Advanced Science and Mathematical Institute of Wallan, “It’s deliberate, no doubt about it. Normally we see these things in what is termed ‘junk’ bytes, areas of code that hold no relevancy to the actual functionality of the file.”
What makes the comic sans file so interesting, he says, is that the messages are encoded into the functional portion of the code.
“As to whether a pattern within a byte arrangement can make an abstraction, like a font, evil, I don’t know. I’m a mathematician.”
Pushing genetic engineering to its limits, a team of Nepalese scientists are creating what will be the first “hen’s tooth”. Inspired by the classic idiom, the funding has been granted by an anonymous beneficiary who hopes to be the first, and last, collector of hen’s teeth.
“It’s genius,” says Paulo*, “We have the science. It should only take a few iterations to get it right.”
Getting it right is the problem, he goes on to say, since each new strain of chicken needs to be grown and checked for what actually constitutes a tooth. The technique involves ‘turning on’ recessive genes that exist naturally within the chicken, that have been made dormant.
Early indications are promising, although most ‘teeth’ have appeared as mere ridges on the bird’s beak.
It’s not all science, though. Paulo insists that there is a financial side to this as well, “By making the world’s only source of hen’s teeth, (the beneficiary) will have the monopoly and be able to control the number in existence. This keeps them extraordinarily rare and valuable. If it works out, he will more than recoup what he spent on the project.”
*Not his real name. Identities have been suppressed at the request of interviewees.