Afternoon InquisitionSkepticism

AI: God, You Are So Vein

Real quickly: Last week, I mentioned the playable Les Paul Google Doodle in the Thursday AI. Apparently, companies around the world lost a total of 10.7 million man hours because so many employees were distracted by the doodle. Glad we could contribute, in some small way, to wasting so much time.

Okay, I came across a story this morning about a Wichita, Kansas woman who, while scoping herself out in a mall dressing room mirror, discovered the word “God” written in her leg veins.

Seems deities, their mothers, and assorted divine sub-creatures have grown tired of appearing in tree rings, water stains, and grilled cheese sandwhiches, and have taken to branding people. Or perhaps the lord is just finally getting around to signing his artwork.

Now despite the fact that the vein-signature is a little vague about which god might have left the message, the woman is sure it’s a sign that god is working through her. Doing what exactly is not clear, though it doesn’t appear that he is teaching a calligraphy class. Sheesh! I wouldn’t bid two bits on this autograph if it came up on eBay.

But since the Afternoon Inquisition is all about you:

Do you have any freckles, moles, pimples, stray hairs, or liver spots that form a picture or words? Have you ever seen, say . . . Carol Channing’s face in a tortilla, Richard Simmons’ face in a urinal cake, etc.? How many of you are thinking, “No, but I’d like to see Carol Channing’s face in my pubic hair,” right now? Richard Simmons’? Is it just me? Any other instances of pareidolia you’ve encountered recently you can share (links to pics are welcome)? In what would you most like to find the image of a face or words?

Ed. to add: I just realized “Taking God’s Name in Vein” would have been a better title. Damn, I’m way off my game.

Sam Ogden

Sam Ogden is a writer, beach bum, and songwriter living in Houston, Texas, but he may be found scratching himself at many points across the globe. Follow him on Twitter @SamOgden

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  1. I have a set of freckles just above my left knee that are shaped like the points of a pentagram. Looking at it from my point of view, it’s perfectly right side up, but anyone looking at it while I stand would think it’s upside down. All in all, it’s been very disappointing as no magic powers or speaking in tongues has resulted.

    1. the freckle pentagram is more common then I thought. I have one on my right arm that is also right side up to me. when I realized what it was I looked it up apparently a lot of people have them. ironically I’m goth and some people call me creepy but I’m not evil at all! despite pop-culture a pentagram is not evil or satanic so your not possessed!

  2. I’m pretty sure that first letter is a Z. No idea what Zod would be doing there, though.

    I’ve collected a whole bunch of faces in various materials, some of which I’ve posted on Mad Art Lab.

    And just yesterday I saw Chevy Chase’s face on a garage door.

    1. Looks more like an “s” to me. So is God telling her to sod off?
      If people are made in god’s image, does this mean god has his name written in his leg veins? Someone consult the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel ASAP.

  3. I have this weird-shaped scar on my back from a childhood surgery. People say that if you look at it sideways — which I’ve never felt motivated enough to figure out how to do — it looks just like North America.

  4. I’ve got nothing. I’d be willing to let the right person examine me to prove this and I’d be willing to tattoo “Will you marry me” in mole coloured dots somewhere on my body to make it a memorable experience.


    Coolest pareidolia ever was after roasting marshmallows over hot coals at the beach with some friends.

    As the coals died down I wanted to show off a bit. So I took my mate’s fancy digital camera and took a photo of the near-dead coals.

    Black body radiation showed up on the digital image as intermingled blue, with a few splashes of red for the tiny embers that were left.

    To make it cooler, the image presented was a very passable outline of a person screaming.

    “Holy shit!” I said. “Coolest paredolia ever!”

    At which point I had to explain what ‘pareidolia’ meant.

    Unfortunately, the mate of mine who owned the camera was more enamored with photos of people and landscapes than just close-up photos of radiating debris… So he deleted the image in a purge when the camera ran out of memory a couple of days later. *mutters darkly*

  6. Yeah, turns out the freckles on my back can be connected to create a picture of the Liberty Bell. I was going to get on Odd But True and get $500 dollars but it turns out the crack was actually tiny scars that I got while crawling under a barbed-wire fen….
    No, wait. I appear to have confused my life with a TV show again. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.
    No, I’ve got nothing.

  7. I got nothing, either (too?) but I wanted to say that that Les Paul doodle WAS pretty cool. I played with it for about 15 minutes, but I was at home, not work, so I missed out on the chance to get paid for playing around! :( That reminds me of something a past coworker once told me: “Never sweat when you’re on the clock, and never shit when you’re OFF the clock.”

  8. I have a freckle on my chest that looks like a love heart and a group of freckles on my leg that look like a cartoon version of a shooting star.
    But being of Irish heritage and living in sunny Australia I have heaps of freckles, I could probably find one that looks like the flying spaghetti monster if I looked hard enough.

  9. I think that Steve Novella had a blog post about a scam where an MRI is taken and then the various different sections searched until an image that was meaningful to the mark was found. Since the images can be looked at in multiple different planes, the odds of finding something are very high. He had a picture of someone’s “inner Jesus”, but noted that the image was upside down and not at an angle that would be useful for diagnostic purposes.

  10. I had a friend whose cheeks would flush red often. Once, they flushed in a way that the non-red part created a near perfect smiley face on his cheek. (just 2 eyes and a mouth, no circle to make the head) It was very cool!

  11. I have groups of three freckles all over my body that form triangles of various sizes. Isn’t that amazing!!

  12. Soon after Kurt Vonnegut died, I ripped wallpaper off my bathroom wall to prep for painting. The rip resulted in a perfect copy of Vonnegut’s profile a la his cover art from A Man Without A Country. As a fan of Vonnegut, I have been waiting ever since for a message, but so far, nothing. Perhaps he is pissed that I went ahead and painted over him?

  13. Hey hey. My My. Carol Channing will never die.
    Better to burn out, Then to fade away.
    Carol Channing … is here to stay.

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