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Pens and Needles: History's Strangest (and most useful?!) Tattoos

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If Momma refuses to let you spend your allowance at the tattoo parlor, maybe you should drop some history, and let her know just how "useful" a tattoo can be.

Tattoos as Telegraphs
The Tattoo: secret messages
The Tattooed: slaves
The Reason: It beats paying for postage
According to Greek Historians, back in 312 BC, Greeks used to shave the hair off their slaves, tattoo a message into the back of their heads, and then wait for the locks to grow back. Once the message was all covered in hair, they'd pack the slave off, and send him running.

ink-8427.jpegTattoos for Mercy
The Tattoo: a crucifixion scene
The Tattooed: troublemakers in the British Navy
The Reason: To get out of being whipped
There's a reason Eminem and Snoop both suited up for their court appearances. Similarly, British mischief-makers used to get "Jesus on the cross" inked onto their shoulders to make themselves seem like upstanding citizens. That way, if a religious captain was somehow moved by the WWJD message, he might drop the whip in favor of a lesser punishment.

miketyson.jpgTattoos to Intimidate Boxers

The Tattoo: A tribal-looking thing
The Tattooed: Mike Tyson's face
The Reason: To honor the Mayans?
Claiming he was into history, Iron Mike made the unfortunate mistake of telling reporters that his new face tattoo was a Mayan New Zealand symbol. The fact that Mayans aren't really from New Zealand didn't stop his enthusiasm. Of course, history is the least of Mike's concerns. According to Sports Illustrated, the former heavyweight is currently trying to fight women in the ring.

valpop1.jpgTattoos as Punishment
The Tattoo: a vagina on the forehead
The Tattooed: lusty Indian priests
The Reason: To make an example of 'em.
If you thought laws were severe in Texas, any priest caught with his trousers down in ancient India got a "little girl" branded into his noggin.

tatoo-golden-palace.jpg Tattoos as Billboards
The Tattoo: GoldenPalace.Com, also on the forehead
The Tattooed: Karolyne Smith
The Reason: Cash money
In need of some quick cash, Karolyne Smith did the first thing any enterprising young American would do, and auctioned off her forehead on e-Bay. After 27,000 visits, online casino GoldenPalace.com outbid everyone with a cool $10,000 offer. Each letter on her forehead is an inch high, and the terms are that she has to leave it there permanently. Still, it beats having a vagina on there.

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Take a Rare Glimpse Inside the World's Largest Seed Reserve
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Since 2008, the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen has been home to the world’s largest seed storage facility, known as the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.

The 11,000-square-foot facility contains nearly 865,000 seed samples—many of which are crops—and functions as both a reserve in the event of a catastrophe and as a backup for other seed banks around the world. Countries can send samples for preservation and access the reserves as needed (the effort is funded by Norway in conjunction with the organization Crop Trust). The vault was opened for the first time last year in light of the destruction caused by the Syrian War.

Access to the fault is notoriously limited, but AJ+ has a glimpse inside on its YouTube page. It’s a rare look at a place that isn’t known for its looks, but holds some of the planet’s most beautiful and valuable offerings.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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iStock
This Infographic Explains the Difference Between Perfume and Eau de Toilette
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iStock

Ever wondered why you can't smell the perfume you dabbed on earlier this morning? Maybe it's because you aren't actually wearing perfume. Instead, you likely applied eau de toilette, cologne, or another type of fragrance.

These sprays contain different concentrations of fragrance oil dissolved in solutions of alcohol and water. Scents with a heavier amount of oil are stronger, they're more expensive, and they also last for longer periods of time. Even the most discerning shopper might not know whether to opt for parfum or eu de parfum when perusing bottles of Chanel No. 5 at the fragrance counter—or even realize there's a difference. 

If you'd prefer to smell like a few roses instead of a field of them, it's handy to know the difference between perfume, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, cologne, and eau fraiche when you're out shopping for a new scent. Lifehacker recently ran this handy infographic by Real Men Real Style, which breaks down the strength of each fragrance along with how long it lasts. Use it as a guide to purchase the perfect product for you.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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