Military dentists, interactive gravestones, boobquake, and a museum in a porta-potti

Today's post examines the effects of cleavage on earthquakes, grave markers installed with video, the Bog Standard Gallery, and 3rd Dental Battalion.
This first entry is not so much exploring an unusual article (though it listed at WP:UA) as explaining why it isn't as odd as you might think. The 3rd Dental Battalion is a unit under 3 Marine Logistics Group on the Japanese island (and prefecture) of Okinawa, where there is a sizable Marine Corps presence. While it seems like it may be a bit of a trivial mission for a military unit, especially a Marine unit (the Corps is reputed to be heavy in teeth and light in tail), dental health is one of the odd fascination of the United States military. In addition to the obvious hygiene and pain relief benefits, the importance of dental readiness is a lesson derived from wars of antiquity up through World War I: an army moves on its stomach. If a soldier can't chew his food, he can't eat, and he's useless! In the days of muzzle-loaded black powder weapons, the teeth also were required to tear the wadding (and in later years, the paper "cartridge") while loading a rifle or musket. What is unusual about this unit is that each of the four dental (and the four medical) battalions in the Marine Corps are commanded and manned by Navy personnel, with only a few Marines. The Corps doesn't maintain jobs for personnel who aren't allowed to fight (medical, dental, and religious personnel); the Navy provides them. Whether this is just a tradition from the days aboard ships (Marines would enjoy the services of a ship's doctor and chaplain), or from the ethos that "every Marine is a rifleman", Marines cannot have their ability to fight being fettered by a categorization under the laws of war.
The battalion activated on November 1, 1979, but two of its companies served in Vietnam between June 1965 to November 1969.

The Bog Standard Gallery is world's smallest art gallery, being entirely located within a portable toilet. Measuring just over a square meter, it was created by Melanie Warner in 2007 as part of her interactive arts degree to house her 'Bog Standard Signs' series, a collection of photographs of toilet signs from around the world. The gallery tours the United Kingdom, typically housed within an art museum or public facility, and surpassed 50,000 visitors in 2009. This installation art is intended to highlight cultural differences between nations, but there are other sociological implications as well.
At least she took out the toilet.

I've always been a believer in modesty, eschewing the flashy lifestyle to let my actions define me, rather than my symbols. I have a small home, a cheap car, and wear clothes that are functional rather than fashionable. Someday, my tombstone will be rather simple, but some people choose the opposite route. A Video-Enhanced Grave Marker is equipped with weatherproofed video playback to make visiting the dead an interactive experience. Originally an idea from Science fiction (first appearing in 1981 in the story Walpurgisnacht, though the 1904 novel Ulysses has a character contemplating the addition of gramophones to grave sites), a patent was filed in 2006. The approximately $9000 device is remote operated, and can be used with wireless headsets if there are concerns of disturbing nearby bereaved.

Boobquake was an event on April 26, 2010 where gatherers refuted Iranian cleric Kazem Seddiqi's claim that immodestly dressed women caused earthquakes. Purdue University student Jennifer McCreight, a self-described atheist and feminist, began poking fun at Seddiqi's claim on her blog, and then devised the experiment on April 19. An estimated 200,000 people attended at the university and in Washington D.C., New York City, and Vancouver. Though there was a 6.5-magnitude earthquake 195 miles off the coast of Taiwan hours before the event began, there was no other significant seismic activity. There were favorable reaction regarding civil rights in Iran, though some were concerned about the objectification of women.
McCreight at the boobquake gathering.
Today's bonus is a photo of construction at Mount Rushmore. I will let the reader come up with his or her own booger joke.

Happy reading!

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