"Art lovers are covering their arms, legs, backs and backsides with comic-book art, classic art and vintage illustrations (think the heart from Gray's Anatomy) - a result of better technology and an influx of art-schoolers into tattoo shops," Kathryn Canavan writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer. "The proliferation of famed-artwork tattoos evolved over the last 10 years with four major shifts in the inking industry. First, the advent of tattoo stencils gave artists a blueprint to follow. It was the more elaborate stencil designs … that inspired younger artists to attempt freehand design. At the same time, more art-school grads were entering the tattoo business, infusing the industry with new talent. Premixed inks made hundreds of additional colours available, and new tat machines made it possible to ink skin without the heavy black borders that used to be de rigueur. Now customers walk into shops with art captured on their cellphones - and want it copied exactly."
"When the remains of an ancient underwater city were photographed off the coast of Bali, the Indonesian government hailed it as a potentially 'phenomenal' discovery," The Daily Telegraph reports. "Mystical statues of the gods, their faces covered in gorgonian fans, stood rooted to the ocean floor behind an ornate temple gateway [30 metres]below sea level. The undersea archeological department of the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced an investigation as rumours quickly circulated of 10 more such temples in the strait between Java and Bali. … Unfortunately, hopes of a groundbreaking discovery have been sunk. The city turns out to be an underwater theme park built by a British diver to entertain his customers. Paul Turley, 43, 'sank' the city in 2005 as an underwater attraction for visitors to his dive school in Pemuteran, northwest Bali."
"Bernadette Music, 43, of Norwood, Ohio, faces charges of disorderly conduct after repeatedly calling 911 and asking the dispatchers out on dates," The Huffington Post reports. "The dispatchers of course were then unable to respond to actual emergencies."
"For anyone thinking that student life is about cheap beer and secondhand coats, a degree course is offering an immersion into indulgent luxury," BBC News reports. "A master's degree is being launched this autumn in luxury retail management at the International University of Monaco. Instead of drafty flats and sociology, students will learn about private jets, yachts and upmarket brands including Gucci. This is the latest example of degrees linked to specific areas of retailing."
Tracking Saudi women
"Want to know whether your wife, sister or daughter has left the country?" Nesrine Malik writes for The Guardian. "Well, in Saudi Arabia, there's an app for that. Reportedly, male guardians or mahrams in Saudi Arabia are now receiving text message notifications when their female charges leave the country unaccompanied. … According to Wajeha al-Huwaider, a Saudi female activist, when she left the kingdom for a holiday with her family, her husband received a text message from the foreign ministry notifying him that she had departed. 'It is sad how Saudis use technology in a way not intended to be used for,' she told The Media Line. 'In Saudi Arabia, technology brings more restrictions and misery. They use it to have more control over people's lives, especially women.' "
Floods and lethal boxes
"Dozens of North Korean land mines loosened by heavy rains have washed ashore on South Korean riverbanks and beaches near the border, presenting a lethal new threat to residents already wary of surprises and nefarious motives from the North," The New York Times reports. "A man in the South Korean border town of Yeoncheon, northeast of Seoul, was killed [last week]when one of two land mines he had picked up from a stream exploded, the Defense Ministry said. A friend was seriously injured and hospitalized. … Soldiers with minesweepers were searching river beds where the floods have retreated. Since [last]Friday they have found 35 land mines. The mines, built in wooden boxes, were designed to explode when pressed or opened."
Thought du jour
"He who can take advice is sometimes superior to him who can give it."
- Karl von Knebel (1744-1834)