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'Smell Dating' Lets You Pick a Partner Based on Their Scent

If you find dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid to be a little impersonal, you might consider shoving your nose into a potential partner's dirty clothing before a first date. A new service called Smell Dating has arrived to prove that there's no shortage of angles when it comes to matchmaking services (clown dating, anyone?). It strips away all the pesky details (like appearance, job, mutual interests, etc.) and lets simple biology do the work.

To get started, a person looking for love needs to wear a shirt for three days without deodorant. Then, you mail the shirt to the company, where it's cut up into fabric swatches and sent out to potential matches. In return, the sender gets a collection of their own and lets the service know which smells are most appealing to their personal scent palette. If there's a match, the site will provide contact information to both parties and voila! Love at first smell. 

The quirky approach to dating is based off osmology: the science of smell. Humans give off pheromones, or chemical messages, and are subconsciously geared to pick mates based on scent. 

As the team behind Smell Dating explains on its website: 

At Smell Dating we understand the metrics of compatibility are chemical; connection is a matter of intercourse not interface. The Internet has replaced fleshy experience with flat apparitions, avatars and painstakingly curated profile pics. Smell Dating closes digital distance by restoring your molecular intuition. Our members make connections via deeply intuitive cues, perfected in the ancient laboratory of human evolution. Surrender yourself to a poignant experience of body odor.

Smell Dating is part of the publishing collective Useless Press. The ongoing series churns out one unique project a month. Previous endeavors include PCKWCK, a novel written in real time, and the Data Drive, a Facebook timeline from an alternate universe in which Mark Zuckerberg is on the run. 

Banner image via iStock.

[h/t Laughing Squid]

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By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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