Sometimes dreams--and ridiculous movie plot devices--do come true

class=img_thumbleft> John Woo's 1997 thriller


featured one of the silliest premises in the history of recent cinema. To summarize: An undercover federal agent (John Travolta) undergoes a face transplant, so as to impersonate an evil terrorist (Nicolas Cage) responsible for the death of his son. Straining credulity is

Woo's stock-in-trade

, but this was just too damn stoopid. Or so I thought.

The lead feature in this morning's Science Times consists of an examination of an emerging medical technology: facial transplants for the severely disfigured.

Best passage: "The face to be transplanted will be removed, or 'degloved,' from a cadaver." From there, the details become increasingly clinical/horrific/fascinating.

The lesson: The truth is not only stranger than fiction, it's grosser.

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