...glitter is a crime-solving superhero
A mother and daughter were traveling on a Florida highway when they made their way into a center lane intended solely for turning vehicles. While stopped, a pickup truck rear-ended their vehicle and both mother and daughter were killed instantly.
When police arrived, the pickup was empty, but later, an intoxicated woman was found hovering in the woods nearby. The woman, though obviously guilty, denied any involvement in the accident; however, she did not account for tiny pieces of compelling evidence she adorned her face with that would later link her to the scene.
According to retired criminalist, Bob Blackledge, in a paper titled "Glitter as Forensic Evidence," the woman driving the truck was wearing makeup which contained the glitzy substance and, upon impact, some of it was propelled onto the airbag of the truck.
The particles were then matched up under a microscope making the glitter associative evidence, or evidence that links one thing to another - a person to a person or a person to a crime scene. Other examples of associative evidence include large fingerprints left on objects, fibers from clothing and hair as well as bodily fluids.
"Glitter particles are easily transferred through the air or by touch, yet cling to bodies and clothing, often unnoticed by a suspect," said Blackledge in his report.
Even if two glitter manufacturing plants use the same machinery and materials to produce their product, there will still be significant variation between what each plant produces when examined closely. Therefore, if glitter from exhibit A and exhibit B are a match, evidence that stands up in a court of law has been obtained. It also withstands the elements since it is essentially plastic, and is much easier to spot and differentiate from other debris at a crime scene than hair or fiber from clothing.
So, in addition to be my preferred choice for sparkle far above diamonds, glitter is also pretty much a crime-solving superhero.
Glitter is made up of tiny reflective particles, commonly plastic, that reflect light and radiate sparkle.
It is usually rolled out in sheets then ground or cut into smaller pieces of fabulousness.
We used to get it from glass glitter manufacturers in Germany, but, shortly after the start of World War II, an American named Henry Ruschmann founded Meadowbrook Inventions Inc., in Bernardsville N.J., because there was no way we, as Americans, were using Nazi glitter.
Ruschmann's factory utilized scrap in the form of plastic instead of glass to produce the product and the company remains one of the world's leading glitter manufacturers to this day.
Now I just have to find out if they give tours.
Because I want to be forever covered in glitter and, until they figure out a way to permanently tattoo it into my skin, being in a glitter factory would be the closest I'd probably come to being permanently adorned with sparkle.
As we discussed earlier, whether it be as evidence or eye makeup, glitter has the tendency to cling to things and never want to entirely let go.
I imagine this works out great for the men who work at Meadowbrook Inventions. Husbands can hit up multiple strip clubs after the whistle blows and upon their arrival home, they have a very reliable alibi if the standard accusation of "Look at you. You are covered in glitter. Were you at a strip club?" arises.
Because unless you're best friends with Rip Taylor, no man really has any reason outside going to a strip club to arrive home shimmering like a disco ball.
Yes, that includes those awful Affliction and Ed Hardy T-shirts the guys on Jersey Shore wear to the clubs.
But for girls, I say the more the merrier.
Another case cited in Blackledge's paper was of a woman in Illinois who was attacked while walking through a park. The man cut her throat and, in the process, sliced through her shirt that just happened to be adorned with glitter.
She managed to kick him right in the baby maker and get away.
Her mother took her to the hospital and she survived. Later, traces of glitter found on a suspect's clothing were able to be matched up, linking him to the scene of the crime.
Glitter has always been my favorite color and now I've learned, it could even potentially save my life by helping to capture potential assailants from coming back to finish the job once I've successful incapacitated them and gotten away from their attack.
It's amazing stuff.
I remember having a type of sparkle that was applied with some kind of roller ball when I was a kid; my best guess would be that it was something Avon put out.
I applied it to pretty much everything, then eventually, I either lost it, or my parents burned it with the trash because, well, I put it all over everything. But for months, and maybe even years after that, I still found specs of glitter around the house and it was then, I knew this stuff had magical powers.
Glitter is like sparkly herpes; you never know when it's going to pop up again. But instead of being an unfortunate disease, it can be a delightful pop of shine in your life.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)