Saturday, July 2, 2016

Searching for Celine #2
We have a machine down there that splits up any smell into its sub- and inter-smells the way you can split up a beam of light with a glass instrument. It is very interesting and edifying, you would not believe the dirty smells that are inside the perfume of a lovely lily-of-the-mountain

Normally here at the Riddled Pantechnicon of Stupid we would smile Reilly ryely wryly at Ninapharm of Paris and its skin-whitening pomegranate elixir, encapsulated in liposomic nanotech to penetrate the skin cells and revivify their mitochondria (all the Alt-Med cool kids have added liposomes to their scammocopeia). For it hardly seems sporting to ridicule the cosmetics industry; poking the borax at some barmpot's state-of-the-edge cutting-art Leprechaun-sperm Anti-Aging face cream is too much like shooting low-hanging red herrings at the bottom of the barrel. The cosmetic industry is meeting the customers' demands for magical-thinking-inna-bottle, and if one dream-pedlary didn't oblige, some other company would.
Extracting a watermelon
Not to mention their ActiSOD (watermelon extract) and the OXYlia (weight-loss antioxidant beans / olives / rosemary extract). When Riddled Enterprises brings out our own face cream it will be called Mundus Vult de Cipi for added Frenchyness.

Inevitably some people take their love for phytochemicals too far, and start administering the rejuvenating antioxidant juices to targeted areas of skin, but society does not approve.

But today is different from all other times, for Ninapharm leads to the phenomenon of Digital Olfaction. Follow me along the road! Though long, it is scenic, adorned with quaint Potemkin Villages with well-kept astroturf lawns, where qualifications reverberate and sockpuppets still follow their age-old way of life.

"Most excellent!" we thought on first reading of the 3rd World Congress of the Digital Olfaction Society. "Those experiments when we shut Little Tim in the Evolvamat and his sense of smell migrated from his nose to his fingertips, they will not be wasted, but can become a conference presentation!"
Is this the way to the
Scented Garden for the Blind?

On closer attention, alas, "digital olfaction" turned out to be the age-old dream of analysing a fragrance into its basic elements, like the three component colours of trichromatic vision, so that smells can be recorded, for nostalgic re-creation or for transmission as aromatic telepresence.

This is the dream of Smell-o-Vision and Polyester's Odorama, and of the Feelies before that (and no doubt of many a Victorian Retrofuture even earlier).¹ Which worked so well in those previous versions that a Japanese dude re-invented the idea in 2006, to the delight of lazy journalists. And despite the absence of technical developments, the Digital Olfactory circuses are reliable sources of entertainment.

Press releases for these meetings quote its founder (Dr Marvin Edeas) and emanate from a Mlle. Céline Mercier at
Kanaya Bldg 4F, 4-11-3, Hatchobori Chuo-ku 104-0032
Tokyo - Japan
Tel : 03 3552 5277
But despite the Japonaiserie of the address and phone, the Digital Olfactory Society domain (or rather, domains) were registered in France, by one Céline Joubet, on behalf of the Paris-based Takayama Agency. We seem to have fallen through the frayed fabric that divides reality from the fictive realm, and found ourselves in a retrofuture... not the Victorian way the world would be, but the 1980s version, of Bladerunner and Rising Sun and Neuromancer. All vat-grown ninjas and cyborg yakuzi and tentacle-porn sushi, when Japanese techno-economic prowess were going to dominate global culture and nation-states would cede place to Zaibatsu corporate empires. Remember that future?

The Takayama Agency specialise in organising and advertising conferences, and as Céline Mercier, sending out their press releases. They organise a lot of them, and helpfully set up domains and websites for the interested scholarly groups, a lot of them, if not the scholarly groups themselves. As the Takayama Publishing Group they handle those groups' journals, and the conference proceedings. They are associated with Dr Marvin Edeas (see above), whose co-author on a book chapter -- one Anne-Sophie Mailfert -- owns the Takayama domain.

So it is natural to find them sharing that office in the Kanaya Building. But we are concerned about working condition within the crowded boiler-room premises, for our judicial inquiries reveal a diverse range of other concerns operating out of the same address:

 - Axialys Innovations. Axialys are Ninapharm's liposome department, Created in 2006 with the backing of internationally-renowned anti-oxidant specialist, the company blends the innovation of a start-up with the long-standing business experience of a key industry player.

 - Viqua R&D, pomegranate processing needs moar research.

 - Aquoscare -- some other cosmetics ingredient -- OH NOES THEY ARE HARVESTING MERMAIDS FOR OIL
 - The Oceanic Science Institute -- Those "scientific catches" they conduct, they are a necessary part of research into mermaid populations.

 - Three research laboratories. At the Delhea Project, Dr. Mizuho Nasu is a pharmacist who works on health product formulation [and] introduces the importance of brain satisfaction to succeed sustainable healthy style of life -- specifically, inventing weightloss sweets for the Mexican obesity market.
Mirei International's Innovation Labo is managed since 2003 by Dr. Mizuho Nasu, who graduated from Keio University pharmacology department in biochemistry. After a successful experience on sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical field, Dr. Nasu joined Innovation Labo to give a global research dimension to the company.
While as CEO of Sanki-Mayor, Mizuho Nasu oversees the repackaging of Ninapharm's ingredients:
scientists have developed a combination of nutraceuticals: Kronuit and BelAge, made from the Oxylia and Orisod ingredients issued from the fermentation technology.
Kronuit and BelAge help balancing body enzymes and blood sugar in the long term, providing more energy and less obesity.
Sanki Mayor formulas are based on the chronobiology concept, a field of biology that examines periodic cycles. Liver biological rhythm distinguishes 2 periods
This is presumably the same Mrs Mizuho Nasu whose anti-oxidant green tea extract (from Mirei International) was available through the Société Française Des Antioxydants. And who serves elsewhere as "Directrice Scientifique de la JAS (Japanese Antioxydant Society)".

Since the JAS domain is registered in France and owned by Ninapharm, and the Society seems to serve little function except to pimp conferences (from its office in the Kanaya Building), cynical and skeptical readers may begin to worry that the JAS is a legal fiction, with no members other than its Scientific Director. And perhaps a few Japanese cultural-chauvinist Mishima fans who mis-heard the name and thought they were joining an Anti-Occident group.
Sock puppets: doin it rong
It is equally hard to discern the membership of the sister organisations, Société Française Des Antioxydants and International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health, other than Anne-Sophie Mailfert, and Marvin Edeas as shared president. Both are Takayama vehicles, with activities limited to promoting conferences and processing registration fees.² The aroma of sock-drawers begins to permeate the narrative, although I cannot break it into constituent elements.

I had begun to suspect a Potemkin-Village nature for the Task-force for Infectious Diseases, since they are also domiciled in that over-populated Kanaya Building office (with a Céline Joubet / Takayama domain), from where they Target Infectious Diseases by advertising conferences. "Who is their contact person, Dr Reiko Suzuki?" I wondered.
But then it developed that someone of that name participated in a French nutriceutical exhibition in 2012 under the wing of Bejit Edeas, sharing her experience on “Innovation applied to everyday life of Japanese seniors”. There her affiliation was listed as “Professor, Mirei international”. I was embarrassed to have doubted her existence, even fleetingly. I was also impressed that in Japanese academia, professorships can be bestowed by a tea-export company.

Dr Bejit Edeas is brother of Marvin, and Scientific Director of the Sanki-Mayor that we encountered above. He and Mizuho Nasu are due at a group discussion at a fringe-medicine show, as panel members, if you happen to be in Paris at the Palais des Congrès in October. He appears in misspelt form as 50% of the Oceanic Science Institute:
General manager : Dr Yuki Ikeda
Scientific Director : Dr Bejit IDEAS
Dr Bejit is a Ninapharm stalwart... that company may trace its history to Versailles and Marie Antoinette, and is as Parisian as poodles and Oh là là, but it has a Japanese branch, with Dr Bejit as chairman. Surely you remember him from his co-authorship of two papers in a neutraceutical trade journal --
-- that allowed Ninapharm to make claims about clinical benefits in their advertising for ActiSOD and OXYlia. The “Synergetic mixed nutritional ingredients” being beans, olives and rosemary.

At we learn that
These human clinical trials are internationally recognized by the Pasteur Institute of Scientific Research and are published in the Pharmacist’s Reference Encyclopedia of Medications. 
Sadly, neither the P.I.S.R. nor the Pharmacist's Reference Encyclopedia exist; perhaps they are bleed-through from a parallel reality, or vestiges of an otherwise-suppressed alternative past. That website also provides a decorative CV:
Dr. Bejit Edeas, Scientific Director of Sanki-Mayor, was nominated for the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Presumably on the basis of his publication history. In addition,
  • Director of the Japanese Society of Antioxidants
  • Affair Manager of the Pasteur Institute of Japan
  • Member of International Society of Antioxidants in Nutrition and Health (ISANH)  since 1998
The source for this information is not wholly reliable, for it stems from Bejit's day job, as CEO of Sanki-Global -- parent company of Sanki-Mayor -- which spruiks Ninapharm products through Multi-Level Marketing. As any fule kno, in the MLM business model the responsibility of bullshitting about products and signing up suckers devolves upon the previous tier of suckers (sorry “Independent Wellness Advisers”), but someone needs to give them a template for the bullshit. Such templates are a genre where no-one expects an over-scrupulous adherence to mere facts.

ANYWAY you will be glad to know that
Dr. Marvin Edeas, one of our key scientists, was also nominated for a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on Targeting the Mitochondria.
Indeed, Dr Marvin has worked in real science (on Superoxide Dimutases) and authored numerous papers, some of them so important that they appeared two or three times. Was he the "internationally-renowned anti-oxidant specialist" who helped Ninapharm establish Axialys? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. He organised a conference on SOD in 1998, and evidently enjoyed it so much that he founded Takayama that same year and has been founding scholarly societies and chairing their meetings and staking out domains ever since.

Some of these monetise his core interests, like the World Mitochondrial Society and the accompanying journal and yearly World Congresses. Or the International Society of Microbiota (chaired by Dr Yuki Ikeda of Oceanic Science Institute, from her Kamaya Bldg. office). The ISANH holds yearly Congresses on merchandisable plant-based antioxidant polyphenols (the Oceanic Science Institute was a sideshow at the 2015 Malta meeting). From there the circle widens rapidly, through weight-loss and diabetes / obesity and sugar substitutes, hence the World Stevia Organization. Not to forget the
Digital Olfaction Society and the Targeting Infectious Diseases group, which leads into an opportunistic burgeoning of Targeting-disease-of-the-month sites and congresses, all the way to Targeting Ebola 2015. "Targeting hair loss" suggests that the disease does not have to be mortal, although the site was never developed.

In theory there are journals, immortalising the Abstracts of conference attendees. Back in April the Takayama Publishing Group showed five journals; while at the end of June, Jeffrey Beall recorded eight. Only three are presently shown, and DOIs go nowhere, bad luck for authors and presenters!

There are no end of other Takayama / Edeas projects for readers who want to go dumpster-diving. "" sounds intriguing but in practice is a placeholder, advertising a 2014 conference that seems to have never happened. "" advertises the "Overweight & Obesity World Congress 2013 - Paris, France" (otherwise non-existent). I am somehow inspired to invent "Potemkin Village -- the Game", a Monopoly knock-off where the idea is acquire an entire section of domains and construct websites on them.

In these endeavours Edeas is assisted by Céline Joubet, whom we already met... she may be related to Rouby Joubet, a co-author and Takayama press contact who owns four of the Takayama domains. We have also met Céline Mercier. Also Céline Mailfert, who may be related to Anne-Sophie; and Céline Duval, who owns anti-oxidant / cosmetology domains on behalf of Ninapharm (along with Jacques Burin and others). Yuri Hatanaka handles the Mirei International side.³ I wonder how they keep all the Célines straight. Céline Duval has the advantage of being real; she is pomegranate researcher at Axialys, earning her the prestigious Malta Pomegranate Award from ISANH at the 2009 Malta Polyphenols Congress to recognise her contributions in making up total tosh.

Me, I have had enough of all this. If anyone wants me I will be in the Victorian Retrofuture, watching the tennis on my Telephonoscope.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Much of this saga has already appeared, with more information and different contributors, at ScholarlyOA. I would hate to commit plagiarism all inadvertent.
1. In 2000,
Third dimensional color television will be so commonplace and so simplified at the dawn of the 21st century that a small device will project pictures on the living room wall so realistic they will seem to be alive. The room will automatically be filled with the aroma of the flower garden being shown on the screen.
2. Also, bestowing a "Best Slimming Ingredient" award to Ninapharm (for OXYLIA®). Awarding oneself a prize hardly seems something to boast about, any more than nominating oneself for a Nobel Prize, or masturbation, although as bloggers we know nothing of such activities.

3. Yuri appeared on the scene at ISANH's 2nd International Conference on Stevia Applications (Malta, 2010) where she was recruiting members for the International Association of Stevia. For some reason the IAS never came into actual existence (despite having the domain all set up), and instead the World Stevia Organization became the designated Stevia-related Edeas / Takayama affiliate.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


Actually I AM reading. Just it's quite a bit, these bits, so I thought I'd put up a bit of comment just to get me going.

Smut Clyde said...

Just it's quite a bit, these bits

It was kind of a self-imposed literary challenge. Given this whole hairball of interconnected characters and activities, is there any way to unwind it into a linear narrative that is still vaguely readable? [Spoiler alert: NO]

fish said...

state-of-the-edge cutting-art Leprechaun-sperm Anti-Aging face cream

This totally works hater.