O-Bits: Lines of Death Edition

A few owners of the new iPhone X have been complaining of a green line that runs along the right side of the device’s new, curved screen; the Crunch Network reports it’s quickly been named the “green line of death.”  More of an annoyance than anything else, but we can understand why anyone who spent nearly $1000 on a phone would want it work perfectly. Apple hasn’t made any announcement about the prevalence of this glitch, or whether it’s a software or hardware issue. If your phone has this problem, not to worry. Apple is replacing any phone where the green line of death appears. If, on the other hand, you dropped your new phone and discovered that the new glass back panel is as fragile as it is beautiful,  you’re plain out of luck.

In Oklahoma, the green light of death might have been a Taser. US News has the story of a man was reported to be acting erratically, and  was discovered by police sitting in a van with a container of gasoline. After not responding to the officer’s demands that he exit the vehicle, he finally stepped out, holding a lighter in his hand. The cops attempted to defuse the situation, but when that failed, they deployed Tasers, at which point the man burst into flame. Authorities have yet to determine the cause of the fire.

What to do with the bodies of the infamous after their deaths has long bedeviled  societies. In Oedipus Rex, the place where the disgraced king was buried remained a secret, so that no one could build a shrine to him. The harshest curse in Greek tragedies was for a body to be cast forth to dogs and birds of prey. In more recent times, the US Government decided on a burial at sea for 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The UK Business Insider reports that when Great Britain had to dispose of the body of notorious serial killer Ian Brady, they took a similar tact. Secrecy was the order of the day. Five months after his death, his body was moved under cover of night in an unmarked police car to a crematorium in Liverpool, where a spare furnace was put back into service, and deep-cleaned immediately afterwards. The ashes were then placed into a urn made of solid Himalayan rock salt, and weighted down, to be sure it would sink. The salt was used because it would melt after a few hours in the water, “dispersing Brady’s ashes in the current and leaving no identifiable trace of him on earth.”

Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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