How "Disgusting" Became Luxury
Bird droppings, snail slime, excreted coffee beans—there's no substance so vile that it can't be a must-have product. The Independent explores a world of very gross profits.
News of it has only just reached the West, but bird poo facials have been big in Japan for several years. It's not just any old bird poo: the pricey stuff is the excrement of nightingales from the island of Kyushu; it is said to have an enzyme that breaks down all the dead skin on the user's epidermis. Just ask Victoria Beckham, whose dewy complexion is reportedly down to the songbird's guano—dried, mixed with rice bran and faeces and applied as a face mask in selected high-end spas.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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