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Do not eat ... unless that's your thing, man

Hey you, with the finger up your nose. I see you. That's gross. Not nearly as gross, however, as those shnoz-prospectors who eat the proverbial motherlode -- and not nearly as interesting. It's not that these lost souls are hungry, per se, so much as they're suffering from mucophagy, the mild cousin in a family of behavioral appetite disorders known collectively as pica: a craving to eat the inedible (and we don't mean Twinkies).

We can only assume that Apple had a pica-sufferer on staff when they decided to render the advice highlighted above (that's a real screengrab from the iPod Shuffle website, by the way -- isn't Apple funny?); relative to other forms of pica, eating iPods ain't all that weird:

  • Geophagic picans eat clay and/or dirt, which some doctors argue has nutritional merit. This student as Chicago's noted Art Institue admitted to eating fresh-from-the-kiln teacups she had made.
  • Coniophagics prefer the dust from venetian blinds.
  • People who eat wood suffer from xylophagia (this designation excludes young kids, who like goats and magpies, have been known to eat just about anything). Wood toothpicks are a popular favorite among xylophagics, as are matchsticks -- though people who chew on the heads of matches haven't been classified yet.
  • They're not just circus freaks anymore: hyalophagics are just like you and me -- except they eat glass. (Ouch. I'll take the iPod Shuffle instead. With a side of boogery matchsticks.)
  • Yet-rarer pica disorders include the obsessive consumption of toilet air-freshener blocks, coal, foam rubber, and cigarette ashes. Of course, there's also coprophagia ("eating poo" is as scientific as we need to get here), but if you came to mentalfloss.com looking for more info on that, this ain't that kind of website, perv.
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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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