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back to article New surveillance-CSI method: Beverage hair-isotope trail

International master criminals, spies, investigative journos, subversives, rebels and others who may find government agencies trying to monitor your movements: take note. You already, of course, make sure never to travel in a vehicle whose numberplate can be linked to you, for fear of generating a trace in the ANPR traffic-cam …

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Happy

The call him "The Bald Guy"-

No-one knows where he comes from, or where he goes.

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Ha!

Good point...

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Coat

Title!

Just remember, there is hair on the rest of your body, not just your head.

Mines the one with the industrial sized bottle of Nair in the pocket.

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FAIL

Guinness?

I think you can foil this pretty easily. Just drink Guinness and that means you've spent your life on the Emerald Isle!

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Silver badge

and when you've drunk enough ...

.. all the paranoia, free floating anxiety and insecurity will just fade away. You'll become a normal, well-balanced and calm individual .... who farts a lot.

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Read the can

Its brewed in the UK

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WTF?

title is required!

F*ck me! 100 pages of preamble for five lines of info. Thanks!!

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Bottled Water, Wine, etc.

I don't tink Perrier will ever come from any other source than the southern french one... as most (good) bottled water brands... Or just drink Wine!

FAIL!

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Pint

Crime avoidance

There could be a large trade in tap water (Peckham Spring anyone?) as an alibi for a planned crime.

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Silver badge

Take two bottles in to the shower?

Right, that's water and hair to be collected and sold off.

But does all this mean that those who keep all thier nail clippings etc. etc. are sort of right? That the nasty men can get you?

Does it also mean that those people (as seen on Clean My Whatever) who collect pee and poo are all spies and not poor sad buggers?

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Black Helicopters

Thanks for the tip off

Now I'll be safe from monitoring of all my covert comings and goings!

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Anonymous Coward

Always drink the aforementioned French bottled water

Thereby proving that when the alleged crimes took place, you were on or near the French Riveria.

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Anonymous Coward

Hairbrush?

Simple solution - don't brush your hair.

(Can't imagine many Reg readers do that anyway. Now there's an excuse.)

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Anonymous Coward

here's the science

the udnerlying paper is called

"Links between Purchase Location and Stable Isotope Ratios of Bottled Water, Soda, and Beer in the United States"

and all it really goes into is that you can make a reasoned guess as to whether the water in your drink is local or not.

Probably of more use in investigating cases of orange juice from concentrate being passed off as "fresh"

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FAIL

Take water with you?

So it only works if you drink tap water?

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Pint

Pink as a baby mouse!

Fortunately, all my water filters through my own volcanic lair... and like all true arch criminals, i am completely hairless. MWU HAHA!

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Ah but...

Shorry, but you forgot one minor detail....

There´sh hair on your cat too, and he alwaysh drinksh tapwater. And it jusht sho happensh that you take him wherever you go.

You won't get away thish time!

<cue US marine frogmen entering lair>

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Unhappy

Thought I was alright

Ran my hand over what should be hair but isn't and thought they would get nothing from that. Then caught sight of my ears in a mirror.

Does anyone know why, as you get older, nature deems it OK to stop growing hair on your head but grow it in your ears (and nose) instead?

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Pint

yes you were ...

As we get older, it seems that our hair becomes less strong. It has less strength to climb so high before popping out, so it pops out at lower levels instead! That's why older men also have a greater propensity to growing beards. And as for hair coverage when you are ready to pop your clogs, well I will leave that for the reader to conjecture ...

Beer? 'Cos everything is solved with a beer!

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Age

Must be gravity, like with all those other saggy bits!

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Welcome

Anyone remember 'Point Break'?

Keanu 'Woah' Reeves and Gary 'I get the jobs Nick Nolte turns down' Busey use a similar technique to figure out what beach the 'Ex-Presidents' were using to surf.

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Big Brother

Quick - need information!

Does this work with the hair of the white cat I habitually stroke while muttering something along the lines of 'No, Mr bond, I expect you to die."?

If so, I may have to change puss's whole diet!

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FAIL

WRONG!

EPIC FAIL!

That was Goldfinger, who didn't own a cat. The leader of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. has the cat.

Now go watch all the films again till you get it right.

There will be a test afterward, right next to the shark tank so study hard.

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Untraceable?

Presumably for the few spies and subversives, and the rather larger number of paranoid people of no interest to TPTB, they'd have to increasingly worry about being tracked *because* they'd paid for a ticket with cash, via cameras in the ticket office/machine, and/or near the turnstile where they swipe that suspiciously 'untraceable' ticket?

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Buxton and Malvern

Crime capitals of the world, must be some huge mob meetings going on there or something.

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Anonymous Coward

the only crime

is how much they charge for water

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Nicely done Mr Page

But as to the claim that one's short term presence in a location can be traced from isotopes in hair, I call bullshit. I'm pretty sure you need a largish sample with fairly uniform isotope distribution to get any decent fix. My hair just doesn't grow quickly enough for that.

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Anonymous Coward

To Mr Baldie Criminal

All those smarty pants Bald Criminals who think shaving your head will help....

Don't forget all the other hair on your body. Chest Hair, Pubic Hair, etc... time to get the razor out.

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Thumb Up

Nice work

Do you think they need a researcher? I could quite fancy doing the calibration by visiting lots of places and drinking enough beer to change my hair to the local isotope ratio (I wonder how much that would be exactly?). I could post them a strand now and then...

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Bronze badge
Thumb Up

The Register to the rescue

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/01/holy_water/

Just don't commit any crimes in Lourdes.

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