The Free Press, Mankato, MN

May 12, 2013

Fire facial. Really

The Mankato Free Press

---- — Imagine the person who first suggested this

• The newest beauty-treatment rage in China, according to Chinese media quoted on the website in March, is the “fire facial,” in which alcohol and a “secret elixir” are daubed on the face and set ablaze for a few seconds, then extinguished. According to “ancient Chinese medicine,” this will burn off “dull” skin —and also alleviate the common cold and reduce obesity.

• Most of Iceland’s 320,000 inhabitants are at least distantly related to each other, leading the country to compile the “Book of Icelanders” database of family connections dating back 1,200 years.

With “accidental” incest thus a genuine problem, three software engineers recently created a mobile phone app that allows strangers to “bump” phones with each other and know, instantly, whether they are closely related.

In its first few days of release in April, the developers said it had already been used almost 4,000 times.