Meet The Woman Whose Vagina Art Is Still Considered Obscene In Japan

On Monday, Japanese artists made major gains in freedom of expression when an artist who prominently features vaginas in her work was found not guilty of obscenity (though she still had to pay a fine).


Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi (tan coat) and her lawyers pose with a sign reading “a part is not guilty” in front of the Tokyo District Court on May 9, 2016. Photo: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

42-year-old artist Megumi Igarashi’s case successfully challenged how Japanese law limits artistic freedom — and highlights the gendered lens through which Japanese officials often evaluate art considered to be “decent” for public consumption. But Igarashi’s fight to justify her vagina-inspired work isn’t over yet.

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Five Of The Strangest Things Scientologists Actually Believe

According to its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, “Scientology is the science of knowing how to know answers” — and practicing Scientologists are convinced they know some pretty bizarre things to be true. Here are five of the strangest.

Scientology Building

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

IN 1950, SCIENCE FICTION WRITE L. RON HUBBARD published Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, a book outlining his new system of psychotherapy. Within four years, the the book ushered in a movement that expanded and became its own religion: the Church of Scientology.

Since then and especially in recent years, the church has been surrounded by controversy due to its questionable methods of coercion, which include stalking, blackmail, and kidnapping.

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Your World This Week, May 8 – 14

This week in exploration:Take a journey (almost) to the center of the Earth, Pluto’s planethood might be returning, Antarctic dig reveals 71 million-year-old fossils, and researchers attempt to examine why you hate the word “moist” so much.

Live Stream The Mission To The Most Mysterious Place On Earth

Stalked Crinoid

A stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus, found by the Okeanos Exporer during its mission in the Marianas Trench. Image courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

For the last two weeks, and for two months more, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been exploring perhaps the most uncharted, most mysterious, and most alien place on planet Earth: the Marianas Trench. And they’re giving all of us front-row access.

As the NOAA’s Okeanos Explorer surveys this unique ocean trench — the deepest point on Earth, located in the Pacific not too far from China’s coast — you’ll be able to both follow its mission and see the latest photos, maps, and live streaming videos.

At this one-of-a-kind site — nearly seven miles below sea level at some points, with pressure over 1,000 times greater than sea level — even the most experienced researchers don’t quite know what they’ll find. They’ve already found one very weird, glowing jellyfish, and that was just four days into the mission.

Visit the NOAA and feel the thrill of exploring some of Earth’s last truly uncharted territory.

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