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Augmented jawlines, RNC hook-ups and the sounds of Star Trek

If Ben Affleck’s Batman has a perfectly chiseled chin, why can’t I?

That’s the question nearly 20,000 American men are asking themselves each year as they suck in their cheeks on their way to consultations with a plastic surgeon. Writer Brian Smith investigates the current trend behind wanting a famous face and how World War I unexpectedly led us to the chin implant. These days, however, blame it on Snapchat, Instagram and all the rest of the all-too-readily available media reflecting your double chin or puny jawline. If it weren’t for them, maybe you’d reconsider spending $5,000 to have a surgeon slice open your face.

Another solution suggested by reader Joel Emmett: Try “growing a beard instead.”

Read the full story here.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

From writer Jeremy Glass’s essay about losing his brother unexpectedly — then dating his girlfriend to feel closer to him.

Read about Jeremy’s unusual path towards coming to terms with his brother’s death here.

THREE QUESTIONS

If space is a vacuum — in which sound technically cannot be transmitted — why do so many films and TV series about interstellar travel continue to ignore the laws of physics by inserting sound effects into space scenes? We demanded answers from Peter Brown, sound designer and editor for the new Star Trek Beyond, which opens this weekend. Turns out, the rationale is way more logical than you might think.

Does that kind of tension — between what looks or sounds right on screen and what actually would happen according to the laws of physics — come up a lot when you’re working on science fiction projects?

Yeah, you always discuss those things and try them out. Like, “Hey, there are no explosions in space, let’s try it here,” and you play it through silently, and it’s like, “Nah. Boring.”

So what you’re saying is, if you were playing by all the rules, half the plot would not be there.

Yeah, there are certain things that the audience just wants to happen even if they do not make sense whatsoever. We are a service industry, kind of. [If] our hero, every time he gets thrown against a wall, sustained a spinal injury, he’d be laid up in a hospital for the rest of the film. We need him to get up and go have another fight.

What’s different about working on a Trek project versus other projects?

All these doors are opened up when you work on a Star Trek movie. There’s just a huge world of sound suddenly available to you, sounds that in normal, terrestrial-based film, even in an action film, a director would throw out and say that sounds “too sci-fi” or “too synthetic.” All the sounds that come out of synthesizers that sound like they came from a 1960s sci-fi show — using those in any film would be corny, but in Star Trek? It might just be the most appropriate sound.

Check out the rest of the interview here.

THE MEL MOVIE

Following in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp, Chinese artist Shu Yong decided to create a massive sculpture out of 10,000 recycled toilets, sinks and urinals. MEL Films encountered the piece while on assignment in China earlier this month.

Watch the video for a glimpse of your toilet’s possible future here.

LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE

Despite the GOP’s anti-LGTBQ platform, gays flooded Cleveland and the convention center this week. According to Grindr’s own data, use of the app spiked 120–166 percent during the RNC.

Check out more surprisingly sexy RNC statistics — including Pornhub data — here.

POLICE BLOTTER

Find out what happened when a large rose quartz crystal — belonging to the owner of L.A.’s most absurd health food brand and juice shop — went missing.

THE MEL TASTE TEST

Getting stoned on Xzibit brand weed taffy aboard a flight from LA to SF is the Mile High Club with a different sort of thirst.

Read the full review here.

COMIC RELIEF

Plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech was just Phase 1.

Laugh at us some more here.

THREE MORE PIECES TO KEEP YOU RELEVANT

The Unsung Tech Savvy of Grandmothers

‘So easy your grandma could do it’? Mine are as digitally literate as I am

Where No Man Has Come Before

Can the Galactic Cap take safe sex to infinity and beyond?

Into the Black: I Married Into $100,000 of Student Loan Debt, but We Escaped Together

How a young couple used the ‘snowball method,’ grad school and baked goods to pay down their loans

FROM THE MEL ARCHIVE

The “I can’t believe it’s not butter” man doesn’t just help sell margarine. Fabio also helps friends escape cults.

Read the full story here.

CLOSING SHOT

Have you ever fantasized about packing it all in to run a little store in rural Montana? Meet the guys who actually did it.

Read the full story and check out the rest of the photos here.