[Telegraph.co.uk] So here’s some good old fashioned Finnish ingenuity! Jerry Jalava, a software programmer from Helsinki, lost half a finger in a motorcycle accident almost a year ago, and the doctor, when told what Jalava did for a living, was a bit of a wise-ass and told Jalava he should get a USB drive installed in place of his missing digit. Jalava briefly snapped out of his blissful morphine sleep to slap this chuckling goon in the face, but then it occurred to him that maybe this wasn’t the worst idea!
Using a traditional prosthetic finger Jerry has been able embed a ‘USB key’ – like the ones used in traditional flash drives – giving him the world’s only two gigabyte finger.
The finger is not permanently attached to his hand meaning it can be removed when plugged into a computer.
“It is not attached permanently in to my body, it is a removable prosthetic which has USB memorystick inside it,” said Jerry.
“When I’m using the USB, I just leave my finger inside the slot and pick it up after I’m ready.”
Jerry said he is already thinking about upgrading his faux finger to include more storage and wireless technology.
“I’m planning to use anther prosthetic as a shell for the next version, which will have removable fingertip and an RFID tag,” he added.
Not that losing a segment of a finger is the worst thing in the world, but it’s still nice nonetheless to see people finding creative ways to deal with inconveniences (if not disabilities) beyond their control. The real hero in this story, however, is me, for making it the entire way without making a single “thumb-drive” joke. Oh, damn it.
[Toronto Star] This story has been bubbling up for a little while now, and we’ve been meaning to get an “in the know” guest on the podcast to discuss it (hopefully that’ll happen in the next couple of days), but Moonshin Tattoo in Mississauge, Ontario, has come under fire for poor record-keeping of its sterilization practices over a four-year period. A mandatory alert was sent out to all clients of the shop who visited during the period in question, saying that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Now, a $20 million class-action lawsuit has been filed against both the owners of Moonshin and Peel Region itself, with the suit claiming the latter failed to inspect the shop over that period, thereby allowing Moonshin to go on with its irresponsible practices. As the article states, “(p)ublic health authorities are required to inspect at least once a year personal services shops, such as tattoo and piercing studios, barbershops and others where there is a risk of exposure to blood.”
Truth be told, the chances of anyone having contracted anything are slim, but this is a clusterfuck any way you look at it. There’s no excuse for not keeping sterilization paperwork in order at this point, and even though the government is supposed to be monitoring that activity, when it comes to public opinion, situations like these do nothing but reinforce shitty stereotypes about tattoo and piercing shops. Well done, Moonshin.
[First Amendment Center] Oh, great, here’s a situation with literally nary a sympathetic party! Martin Robles and his shit-demon accomplice were indicted for breaking into a home in 2002 and killing two men, crimes for which Robles was sentenced to death in Texas. He lost an appeal, then made a last-ditch effort to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming, among other things, that his First Amendment rights were violated during the trial. How so?
[He argued] that his religious-liberty rights were violated when the state placed into evidence his tattoo of a religious figure. As described in trial proceedings, the tattoo depicted “Jesus with a demon devouring his brains.”
Oh. That probably didn’t go over very well in Texas.
During the trial, the judge forced him to remove his jacket and show the tattoo, located on his shoulder, to jurors.
During the penalty phase of Robles’ trial, the prosecutor said:
“You have a demon eating the brains of Christ. … Now, I don’t know what that means, but to me it’s a bad thing. That to me is a philosophy. I don’t know if it’s satanic. I don’t know what in the Sam Hill it is, but if it tells you something about him as a person, that ought to tell you where his belief system is. His conduct shows you where his belief system is.”
Robles contended that the references to the religious nature of the tattoo and the “satanic” and “belief systems” comments by the prosecutor infringed on his First Amendment free-exercise-of-religion right.
Thank you, Texas judge, for forcing me to side with a double-murderer on something. I’m no lawyer (though I’m happy to dispense legal advice for a small fee), but offensive tattoos that don’t actually make direct political statements should probably be immaterial when deciding the fate of a man’s life, right? Unless the guy was killing priests—or worse, Jesus—I’m just not sure what role it should have played in the decision. There’s even a precedent set to that effect, which was consciously set in contrast in this case:
[U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack] distinguished Robles’ case from the 1992 case Dawson v. Delaware, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a defendant’s First Amendment associational rights were violated when prosecutors introduced into evidence his membership in a white supremacist group when such association had nothing to do with the underlying crime. [...] However, the Court in Dawson pointed out that “elements of racial hatred were … not involved in the killing.”
But in Texas, a demon eating Jesus’s brain is, I guess, worse than being a white supremacist.
Applying Dawson, Jack determined that the question was whether Robles’ tattoo was relevant evidence to his underlying crime and violent nature. She concluded that the “tattoo constitutes evidence relevant to a material issue, i.e., Robles’s violent nature and the likelihood that he would commit future acts of criminal violence.”
What we should be taking away from this, in the end, is that Mike Beer will never get out of jail when he’s arrested.