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Stock art junkies

Ethel, 31, is briefly distracted and confused by the presence of an observer. Drugs are not only debilitating, but so delicious that addicts will chew through syringes when injection becomes too time-consuming to satisfy their depraved urges.

FRACT is an increasingly popular street drug that causes its users to contemplate devastatingly complex math puzzles. Tina, 13, has been an addict for months. Here she struggles to determine whether, for any given integer a > 0, there are infinitely many primes p such that ap - 1 ≡ 1 (mod p2).

Though it has been reported that marijuana confers the power of levitation upon women, it is less widely understood that it causes hands to weigh as much as the sun, and may cause mascara to teleport to random locations upon the user's face.

Cornstarch is not the preferred drug of hardware store employees, but may be snorted should more desirable narcotics such as sawdust and portland cement be unavailable.

Astrological knowledge is essential in the drug "scene," as injections must be placed carefully upon meridians to ensure the efficacy of the delivered compound. Some users claims that there is no compelling scientific evidence for the existence of meridians and that drugs should be injected in patterns consistent with modern astronomical observations. Lena, 17, has stabbed the constellation of Cepheus in her forearm.

Though illegal for human consumption in almost all jurisdictions, most members of the United Nations have ratified the Convention on Undead Rights and now provide certified zombies with a specified weekly ration of cocaine.

Some drugs mask a deeper pathological attachment. Patricia, 27, chomps down on a thick sandwich of prescription medications, unaware that her true addiction is to the cold frisson of revulsion experienced when chewing aluminum foil.

Not everyone involved in the drug trade is an evil, subhuman, despicable, psychopathic monster. Emma, 16, has developed a flour habit, but her concerned, fatherly, protective, secretly honorable flour dealer has served her favorite buckwheat-tapioca blend in an arrangement he hopes will alert her to her growing problem.

Some street drugs cause normally passive individuals to become frustrated with the Internet. Sheila, 22, was raised to believe that everything should be accepted with grace and feminine forbearance. Having drunk a bottle of beer, however, she has become mildly sarcastic at the sight of a foolish comment upon a blog post. Experts say that even just two bottles of beer could cause weary disdain to progress to eye rolling and exclamations of "would you just look at this shit on Reddit."

Though most consider drug dealing a disreputable, even criminal profession, its adherents lay claim to a tradition stretching back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Second-Dan dealer Jordan, 23, performs a skag kata for reporters in Duluth, Minnesota.

All images courtesy of Shutterstock.

Plastic toys often used to illustrate Eurozone finance stories

Every editor has their favorite way to cheaply generate art for stories with no visual component. Arranging little plastic toys in a cute tableaux is among the classier alternatives to stock art—especially when it comes to the exciting world of international finance.

The current cover design theory at Bloomberg offers a particularly refined version of this school of imagery, unusually comfortable with the absurdity of trying to make this kind of journalism visually engaging.

Pictured above is a photo by Getty Images' Sean Gallup, an emerging master of the genre whose arrangements wed the same ironic self-awareness with genuine storytelling skill.

Hey, it beats the alternative: photos of coins.

Women struggling to drink water

The Hairpin has a gallery of stock art of women who are unable to accurately pour water into their own mouths.

How to Paint Shutterstock image #774846

Photo: Sascha Burkard. Top good result at you know where! Previously: Is this the new face of jazz or Getty Images stock photo #LS008662 [The Onion]

Hacker stock art

All photos: Shutterstock and Reuters.

Problem: Until they're captured, alleged hackers don't make for stories with good art. But readers won't look at words unless they are immediately adjacent to pictures. Solution: stock art! I am delighted to report that there is an abundance of stock art geared toward illustrating news stories about cybercrime.

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