Snails trail path to beauty
Having live snails crawling on your face sounds like the thing of nightmares, but one company is hoping people will be prepared to pay for it. Starting today, women who want to slough off dead skin, clear their pores or roll back the years can submit themselves to five minutes of molluscs. “Slime from snails helps remove old cells, heal the skin after sun burn and moisturize it,” said Manami Takamura, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based beauty salon Ci:z.Labo, “In this way, you can have 100 percent pure snail essence directly on the skin.” Snail slime is believed to have an anti-aging effect. As part of the salon’s “Celebrity Escargot Course” customers will get five minutes of snail therapy, along with a massage and other facial treatments. The snails alone cost ￥10,500 (US$106).
Rowling secretly wrote book
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling secretly posed as a retired military policeman to write a crime novel that has been hailed as one of the best debut detective stories in years. Rowling wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling under the name Robert Galbraith and kept up the pretence that it was the work of a married father of two and former undercover investigator. Her cover was blown when the Sunday Times newspaper became suspicious that such an assured piece of writing could have been created by a first-time novelist. “I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” the 47-year-old said. The book’s protagonist, Cormoran Strike, is a troubled war veteran with physical and psychological wounds. The plot follows Strike’s investigation into the death of a model in Mayfair, London. The novel had sold about 1,500 copies in hardback. However, in after Rowling was named as its author, it shot up the bestseller charts was the third-biggest seller on Amazon.co.uk yesterday. The Times said Rowling has already written the second Strike novel, due next year.
Asiana to sue for name hoax
Asiana yesterday said it was planning lawsuits against US transport authorities and a TV station for mistakenly confirming and airing false and offensive names for the pilots behind its fatal crash in San Francisco, California, on July 6. Fox network affiliate KTVU news Channel 2 in Oakland, California, identified the pilots of the Asiana Boeing 777 that crashed as “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk” and “Bang Ding Ow.” KTVU cited the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as its source, but quickly realized the mistake and apologized. The NTSB later apologized for the “inaccurate and offensive names that were mistakenly confirmed” as those of the pilots and blamed the error on an intern. Asiana said the incident had “seriously tarnished the dignity of the four pilots as well as the company.”
First female paratroopers fly
The nation’s first group of female paratroopers completed their training yesterday, the military said, hailing it as a “landmark achievement” for the country. Captain Kiran Ashraf was deemed the best paratrooper of the batch of 24, the military said in a statement, while Captain Sadia, referred to by one name, became the first woman officer to jump from a MI-17 helicopter. After three weeks’ basic airborne training, including exit, flight and landing techniques, the paratroopers made their first jump and were given their “wings” by Special Services Group Commander Major General Abid Rafique, the military said.