Get ready for a boom in spit cosmetics

Scientists have discovered a process that enables them to guess people’s age within five years based on their saliva. This method could revolutionize forensics because now criminologists won’t have to saw the bodies in half and count the rings.

But, the real story is one that was briefly mentioned and that we’re still waiting for: what the researchers were doing when they figured this out.

“[Dr. Eric] Vilain and his team, whose findings are reported in the online edition of the Public Library of Science One journal, made the discovery while studying 34 pairs of identical male twins with different sexual orientations[emphasis ours].

Now that’s how you tease for grants and donors.

The Real Story: ‘Person-years’

Sometimes, everything you need to know in a story is right there in the first sentence. Sometimes, its buried further down. And, sometimes, its buried so deep that the story itself is about something else entirely. That’s where “The Real Story” comes in.

According to Time, the story is that China has started distributing free antiretroviral treatments to 63 percent of those in their population who are  infected with HIV. The other 37 percent? Not so much, because they got pre-AIDS from sex or drug use.

In order for this item to be news, this would mean believing that the Chinese government can do anything without at least one evil element.

No, the real story here is how the worldwide medical community rates the effectiveness of antiretroviral treatment: in “person-years,” or “an estimate of the number of years that would have been lost due to early death from AIDS.”

We’re sorry. Your dog may be 12 in “dog years,” but in “person-years?” Barkplug has AIDS.

Between the Rock and a hard drink

UCLA archaeologists uncovered the world’s oldest winery, stretching humanity’s history with crunk juice all the way back to 4000 BC now. The ancient Armenian wine was believed to be used for funerals, usually held daily between 5 and 8 pm. It is believed to have evolved into “Happy Hour” once hygiene was invented.

But, that’s not the real story.

Every so often, the real story gets buried in the later paragraphs. Say, story, what was the oldest use of grape seeds before this discovery?

“The oldest previous evidence of grape seeds and other organic materials dates to around 3150 BC and was found in the tomb of the Egyptian king Scorpion I.”

That’s right: there really was a Scorpion King. And here we thought that was the most ridiculous of all the Mummy films.

The Real Story: Earmarks possibly banned via earmark

No, the headline above is not a LOL; it’s purely observation of a phenomenon witnessed only in Washington D.C. and Mr. Magoo’s torture cellar:  clueless execution. And, as Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. hoped, the Associated Press missed it in the midst of their story about an FDA bill.

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. got an agreement to move the legislation by allowing Republicans to offer amendments not relevant to the bill. […] Coburn is expected to offer an amendment to place a moratorium on spending for ‘earmarks,’ or pet projects in lawmakers’ states and districts[.]”

Alright, technically, it’s not an earmark. But it sure ain’t a straightforward bill, neither.

The Real Story: Putin’s mug

When it comes to modern leadership, there aren’t a lot of charismatic characters.

You get the wannabes like Kim Jong Il, who think parades and sorority girl sunglasses make them colorful and interesting. There are the merely entertaining like Sarah Palin, the Snooki of politics who doesn’t lead anything and thinks any attention is good attention. And let’s not forget the many boring 6-to-9ers that think attendance is a real achievement.

But then there’s Vladimir Putin.

Vlad’s in the news for what appear to be covered-up bruises on his cheeks. The press wants to know what exactly he’s rouging up, and the latest theory is plastic surgery.

Yet, they once again missed the real story, right there in the image caption:

Where is this story?! We heard he shot one, but tiger wrestling? That’s gotta be illegal somewhere!

The Real Story: Botox users already dead inside

While the news media may report on a story, sometimes they miss the actual story in their own reports.

Today’s case: People who receive botox injections famously have difficulty moving their faces or expressing emotion after treatment. But, according to a new study, the recipients may also experience difficulty feeling emotions as well.

The test subjects reported “less emotional response to some emotional video clips, and as a result, did not feel their emotions quite as deeply as their counterparts who received treatment with a wrinkle filler called Restylane.” Oh, my!

The Nugget:
“That said, those who received Botox reacted to the same to video clips after their injection as they did before they received the injections.” [Emphasis ours.]

So, despite this admission in the article itself, it still maintained a “botox may kill emotions” standpoint when the results were no different before and after injections. The real story here isn’t that botox kill emotions, but that people who get botox treatments may be emotionally shallow or even dead inside already.

The Real Story: Nickelback sucks

Distortion pedals turn anything into rock music!You ever read an article–be it in magazine or on news site–and notice one nugget of information that proves the author wrote the article about the wrong subject?

Case in point: “While My Guitar Gently Beeps” (New York Times Magazine) was about how Harmonix and the remaining Beatles and widows developed not only an authentically-mastered Beatles track pack for Rock Band, but also a system for future bands to simultaneously release new albums on CD and Rock Band’s online store.

Interesting, right? Especially since the whole article is peppered with quotes from Paul, Yoko and the guy who invented Guitar Hero?

The Nugget:
“The Rock Band Network is so potentially consequential that Harmonix went to great lengths to keep its development secret, including giving it the unofficial in-house code name Rock Band: Nickelback, on the theory that the name of the quintessentially generic modern rock group would be enough to deflect all curiosity” [emphasis ours].

So the real story here isn’t the inevitable release of a Beatles’ Rock Band Track Pack, but that Nickelback sucks so bad that their very name inspires people to tune out, change the station or improve their immediate lot in life by doing something that isn’t Nickelback-related.

We’re not saying that Chad Kroeger should hang himself about this news. We’re saying that people might not notice if he did.