Full Coverage: Links From All Over (Oct. 14, 2008)

[Tattooique.com] So, approximately 9,000 people have sent this to me over the last couple of weeks and, even now, I can’t tell whether the original author is legit in his assurance of the efficacy of his plan:

So they will cut you hair first, then bore in your scull two tiny foramens with a drill, then drag the ring through them with the bent needle. The foramens will be done on your nucha – there is an especially sensitive range of a brain. The ring will easily massage it and keep you in the state of euphoria. The only problem you can face is that you will have to try hard to find a piercer. There are very few persons capable. And the price is $1000 for the whole procedure.

Hot damn! Where do I sign up? Really though, this seems like the sort of thing my uncle would send in an e-mail. (“Hey, I’ve got a piercing for ya — right through the brain!” Nyuk nyuk nyuk.) Luckily, the ever-industrious Ferg spoke to a doctor friend of his, and came back with the following results:

I have to say that the anatomical descriptions and descriptions of the procedure are vague and weird. Whoever wrote it would certainly not have my vote of confidence. This is what a nuchal line is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuchal_lines

As you might have imagined already, the risk of haemorrhage and death are ridiculously high as well as that of contracting meningitis (inflammation of the membranes around the brain): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meninges

There are three membranes that surround the brain. One is closely attached to the skull itself (the dura), the second – the arachnoid – is full of blood vessels and holds in the cerebrospinal fluid, then the third, the pia mater, is what’s adherent to the brain itself.

Should one accidentally rip through the membranes, then CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) would leak out and the patient would die within minutes, or, should one rupture a blood vessel accidentally, then the piercee would either haemorrhage out (to death?) or into their skull, thus compressing the brain and resulting in coma, death, seizures, etc., etc.

I would have thought that foreign bodies rubbing directly on the brain would cause irritation and thus neurological deficits as well as seizures. (Are seizures pleasant?) Anyway, I’m no specialist and I’m sure it’s totally possible to do and survive. Whether their claims are true (euphoria?) needs to be substantiated.

Well, there you have it. Maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t, but … please don’t try to pierce your brain.

[Toronto Star, Niagara Falls Review, Guelph Mercury] There’s a lot to lose for a tattoo/piercing shop owner who doesn’t abide by the regulations outlined by the local board of health. Fines and closures are the obvious disciplinary measures, but standard operating practice in most places also includes the health board itself disseminating information to the shop’s customers, warning them to undergo blood tests, often for HIV and hepatitis. The damage to one’s reputation for actions ranging from poor bookkeeping of spore tests to actually using dirty instruments can be devastating — and for some reason, Southern Ontario has been seeing a lot of these cases lately. Last summer, Oshawa’s Longhorn Custom Bodyart Studio was the subject of a $10 million class-action lawsuit filed by former customers who had been alerted of the fact that the shop had potentially been using improperly sterilized needles:

Durham Region health authorities warned that possible use of non-sterile equipment could lead to transmission of HIV and hepatitis B and C and sent letters to 2,400 people, urging them to see a doctor and get blood tests. The 530 results that have come back so far were all negative, said spokesperson Glendene Collins.

More recently, Venom Ink in St. Catharines (and Niagara Falls) and Stigmata Body Art in Guelph faced similar issues. Stigmata Body Art was fined after it “failed to comply with an order issued in July 2007 by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to produce the results of spore tests, which check for proper sterilization of equipment,” while Venom Ink’s piercing business was shut down entirely for using non-sterile equipment.

After talking with the owner of the business, public health officials believe there are 40 customers who received piercings during the three months Venom Ink was in business – two months in St. Catharines and one in Niagara Falls.

[...] Employees working Saturday afternoon said they did not want to discuss the health department’s notice and threatened to charge a reporter with trespassing if he came by again.

In all cases, it’s still recommended that clients who received work from the aforementioned shops between certain dates seek out HIV and hepatitis tests:

- Longhorn Custom Bodyart Studio: Nov. 17, 2006-Aug. 1, 2007
- Stigmata Body Art: February, April and May 2007
- Venom Ink: It’s recommended that anyone who received a piercing from Venom Ink should seek testing

[Huffington Post] We’re through the looking glass, people — it’s the dawning of a new era. Writers are now beyond recounting their experiences with tattoos and piercings, and have moved onto the next, Falkner-approved level of body art memoir: Tattoo removal stories. Anya Strzemien over at HuffPo tells her story:

The first tattoo was a star on my wrist. Not so original nowadays, but we didn’t have Lindsay Lohan and Sienna Miller back then. [Ed. note: Slam fucking dunk.] And, sure, you have to be 18 to legally get a tattoo, but this was in the early days of Giuliani administration in New York, back when we were barely carded for anything (especially alcohol, I was elated to learn).

The second tattoo came about during my freshman year of college, and this one really marked some silly adolescent judgment on my part. I knew what I wanted it to say (and it’s something so college, so 18, and so earnest that I can’t even bring myself to tell friends what it means anymore, let alone HuffPost readers), but I didn’t want it to be in English. Arabic, Farsi and Hindi looked too linear, Chinese felt too cliché. So, naturally, I settled on Japanese. I could have lived with the star for the rest of my life, but really, Asian character tattoos are a crime of fashion that should be punishable by law. The characters themselves are beautiful, but as a tattoo…especially on a non-Asian body…well, nothing says “I Tried To Rebel In The ’90s” more.

So when I turned 29 in August, I decided it was time for me and the tattoos to part ways, and schlepped out to New Jersey to see Dr. Mitchell Chasin at the Reflections Center For Skin And Body, where I was told the cost of the removal for an average-sized tattoo like mine would be about $300 or $350 per treatment, and it would take at least four treatments (the number varies depending on the color and type of ink, skin type, and quality of the tattoo). So if the average number of treatments is four to ten, then it costs between $1200 and $3500. Note to 16-year-old self: you were wrong.

The post also includes some (inexcusably poor) photos, and assorted musings on the oozing, bubbling and general grossness that comes along with tattoo removal. But surely the erudite HuffPo commenters will have worthwhile input, right?

A tattoo just means you’re dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in ya.

Oh for God’s sake.

20 thoughts on “Full Coverage: Links From All Over (Oct. 14, 2008)

  1. “A tattoo just means you’re dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in ya.”

    so is taking for granted that the guy in the white coat in the hospital really is a doctor……

  2. “A tattoo just means you’re dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in ya.”

    So… s/he’s against ear-piercings, immunization and IVs too, I take it? God, people are stupid.

    As for “Funny, folks who’d never dream of wearing the same clothes and jewelry for 30, 50, or 70 years don’t seem to think tats’ll be a problem,” people who put actual thought in their tattoos generally won’t regret them. I’d wear a diamond ring for that long, and t-shirts don’t exactly go out of style.

  3. Re: Huffington Post article– Funny, that tattoo seems small enough that it could have been covered up for far less money than the laser removal cost. But I guess only “dumb people” let somebody shove a needle in em…. and she’s learned her lesson DANG NABBIT

  4. Well, her last statement was almost right, she just missed a word…..
    A shitty tattoo just means you’re dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in ya.
    I think she’s just bitter at the fact that she was dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in her and so now she’s putting down everyone who actually has nice, original tattoos.

  5. If I’m reading the HuffPo article correctly, tattoo removal turns you orange and makes you blurry.

    BTW, isn’t AIDS almost impossible to spread with piercing unless you are sharing needles?

  6. As a (body modded) neuropsychologist I can confirm that the part about piercing the nucha (BTW a bone, not a structure of the brain) is complete and utter bullshit.

  7. “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me.”

    … Not really. I’m interested as well.

    Anyone else notice the “Warning: Graphic images of tattoo removal below, not for the faint-of-heart” at the top?
    I can’t think of anyone who would find those pictures graphic. She needs to read modblog.

  8. The plural of “foramen” is “foramina” =P

    Re Strzemien’s essay: she’s right about “Asian character tattoos are a crime of fashion that should be punishable by law” at least. People who don’t know Chinese or Japanese always end up with horrendously ugly tattoos that are worse than a kindergartener’s handwriting (at least when I was in kindy, they drilled us on writing characters A LOT), and people who know rudimentary amounts of the relevant language pick fonts that are the East Asian equivalents of Arial or Times New Roman. I’ve seen very few tattoos that had nice calligraphy.

  9. “A tattoo just means you’re dumb enough to let ANYONE stick a needle in ya.”

    hehe… dumb little me. i’m so dumb that i have a tattoo and a few piercings, and i love them.

    note to 16-year-old self : you were right! (i got my tattoo at that age, i had parental consent and i went to a really good artist. i still love my tattoo, and it still looks awesome)

  10. The Japanese tattoo is “tsuyosa,” “strength” :)

    Technically, only the first character is kanji. The “sa” is hiragana.

  11. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » UPDATE: Brain Piercings, Face-Tattoo Hoaxes and a New Article

  12. Pingback: Vero Beach Business Guide » Vero Beach Tattoos, Skin Art, and Piercings

  13. Im from Oshawa and before Longhorn sent out the warning for everyone to get checked it was a very popular place. Now, its closed. Thank god I never went there. I just didnt like the looks of having a tattoo booth in the main window so passers by would watch.

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