Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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toy/pet ball made of living human skin tissue
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
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human skin can be grown in a petri dish in a lab. so maybe you could grow enough, in a round shape the size of a baseball (hardball), with a proper outer skin like our skin. not a seeping blob of tissue, but a proper self-contained, resiliant, soft, warm, cuddlable ball that looks like (and is) skin on the outside.

it would be living tissue, but not a living being because it's just skin. so you wouldnt have to worry about hurting it or animal cruelty.

it would need nourishment of course, or the cells would die. this could be done two ways: by injection or by soaking, say, overnight in a nourishing solution.

it they catch-on big like rubik's cubes (except they will be spherical and nonrubikal), and i know that they will, then these phenomenon might occur:

- does the fleshball have hair like most skin? would it be like your arm hair? should it have only a hemisphere of head-hair so you could give it a haircut and draw a face on it? you could use yours to express yourself. you could give it a mohawk. you could shave it smooth and put baby lotion on it.

- the fleshball can bruise so dont drop it. bruises take a couple weeks to heal.

- yes, you can tattoo your fleshball. pick it up the following day. a cheaper alternative would be to ornately decorate your fleshball yourself, with hickies.

- yes you can pierce your flashball, but it will probably leave a scar...

- they can scar, so be careful not to throw them where they can get abbrasions or "raspberries" from the sidewalk. a scarred flashball can be an early warning sign to parents of a troubled teen. if a troubled teen has obviously pocket-knifed his fleshball, no harm has been done because it is not a living being (perhaps it has no nerves). but alert parents can act quickly to discuss the evidence of violent behavior.

-if your flashball does get an abbrasion or accidental injury, DO NOT PICK THE SCAB. this will only promote scarring and delay healing.

- you can make them available in any race (skin color) that the market demands from white to black.

- flashballs are harmless, meaning that they are also edible at the time of sale. afterward though, infections are a possibility as their immune system is either very weak and primitive or nonexistent. so you should not eat them. the taste is probably not good anyway because there is no muscle tissue (meat).

- each flashball is unique. you can recognize yours by its hair pattern or birthmark.

why the fleshball? only because they're fun to have and hold, and people will buy them.

gnormal, Feb 05 2001

"Immortal Skin" http://www.news.wis.../view.html?get=5528
Could this be what got the ball rolling? [Monkfish, Feb 05 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

use your own skin! http://www.halfbake...elf-sticking_20skin
and why not scent it? [gnormal, Feb 05 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]

(?) fleshball http://home.cfl.rr.com/dahmd/dermoid.html
NOT for the squeamish. [snarfyguy, Oct 17 2004]


       A chunk of flesh is not self-sustaining, even with nutrients. It needs oxygenated blood, which means lungs. It needs that blood to move around, which means a heart. It needs waste products to be filtered out of the blood, which means liver and kidneys and bladder and urethra. It needs blood in the first place, which means bone marrow. It needs temperature regulation; sweat glands only go so far, so that means muscles to provide warmth when it's cold. It needs an immune system (or else it will rot straight away), which means a lymph system.   

       Now we've got a pretty big ball of flesh full of internal organs that requires a nontrivial amount of sustenance and must be taken to the potty not infrequently. Maybe it would be better if it went to the potty itself? Maybe you should get a cat?
egnor, Feb 06 2001

       Or a boob.
truthsyrum, Feb 06 2001

       yea but, you can grow the skin in a petri dish.... i guess it soaks in nutrients so it doesnt need organs. cant this work if you keep it submerged in nutrient soln. or maybe- how about a toy skin flap? then it's all surface area; a minimum of internal isolated cells.
gnormal, Feb 06 2001

       I'm in sympathy with egnor, but he's overstating the requirements a little. Many of the smaller and slimier forms of life are less complicated. If you could make some modifications, you might find a (happy?) compromise between "cat" and "ball of goo-nourished flesh". Then your only challenge will be passing psychological screening tests.
Monkfish, Feb 06 2001

       Even the "smaller and simpler forms of life" need to excrete metabolic byproducts.
egnor, Feb 08 2001

       I want a vat-grown fleshball. Cancerous and semi-ball-like, due to the random growth of the tumorous flesh.
Wes, Feb 08 2001

       Fair enough.   

       egnor: Yes, but they don't need organ systems to do so, and said byproducts need not even be particularly noxious (plants, other photosynthesizers). I agreed with the substance of your objection, I just didn't want to follow you as far as "cat". (A fleshball which can bruise, hickey and heal would, it's true, come pretty close to that, though.)
Monkfish, Feb 08 2001

       the vat grown fleshball is good! even better, put the vat on the new space station!   

       CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Shuttle Atlantis and five American astronauts thundered away from Kennedy Space Center Wednesday, heading off on a vital mission to lay the scientific cornerstone of NASA’s International Space Station.   

       With a full Moon rising and the Florida Sun setting, the 18-story spaceship leapt off its launch pad at 6:13 p.m. EST (23:13 GMT) and then rocketed through crisp blue skies with the U.S. Destiny science laboratory in tow chock full of starter flesh nodes for expected perfectly spherical zero-G growth.
gnormal, Feb 08 2001

       I use sea slugs myself
thumbwax, Mar 22 2001

       this is just stupid...i don't know why you would WANT a fleshball, you never explained that...
tazguynn64, Apr 26 2001

       I missed this one first time around. Just lucky I guess. The only question of relevance though, as far as I can see, is why, gnormal, your fleshballs mutated into flashballs half way through the idea? This sounds highly dangerous to me and would likely discourage caring parents from purchasing them.
DrBob, Sep 29 2001

       Just shave a tribble.
bookworm, Sep 29 2001

       i don't KNOW why i want one mommy...i just DO
1MilesWest2, Oct 31 2001

       why not create a star trek like tribble but make them unable to reporduce(by not giving them reproductive systems   

       a ball of fluff whichsorta sqermsaround would be cooler than just flesh flesh would be kinda scary   

       and no nervers or anything just a kinda biomechanical thing so there is no mistaking it for an animal   

       jsut a fluffy warm selfsuficant machine made out of materials simmilar toanimal or human tissue
halitus, Dec 24 2002

       tazguynn64 - you want a reason to own one, as if one is needed, two words: pet rock
greennightmonkey, Apr 10 2003

       When you see someone with a big mole on their neck, like this:   


       just sneak up behind them with tweezers, pull quickly and run! You will have your own fleshball.
phundug, Apr 11 2003


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