Full Coverage: News From All Over (June 25, 2009)

[Conan O’Brien] Longtime admiration for David Letterman notwithstanding, the Conan O’Brien era of the Tonight Show has been downright glorious. I wasn’t quite sure how Conesy would adapt to sunny Los Angeles from humid New York, but, as we can see above, he’s doing his best to make friends with the locals—like, say, the folks at a local tattoo and piercing and head shop. Attention L.A. residents! The gentlemen at Xeniobiotic Tattoo will not pierce your taint, even if you’re Conan O’Brien.

[AFP] See, when I see a headline like, “China tennis star braced for battle of tattoos,” I naturally assume it’s going to be some NBA-style hand-wringing about some little harlot ruining the sanctity of the game by parading around with her demonic flesh-ink exposed for the world to see, her skin covered with graven images, each one more offensive than the last, to the point that all one can do is spit one’s strawberries and cream at the television in disbelief that a sport of such honor and integrity would allow itself to be sullied in this way. But…nah, it’s just because China is a touch draconian about the whole tattoo thing:

China’s Li Na is facing a battle of the tattoos in the second round at Wimbledon, but said if she had her way, her controversial body art would be wiped off.

The number 19 seed has a design etched on her chest — something which was not universally well received in her homeland, where tattoos have long been considered taboo.

She faces Belarussian world number 82 Olga Govortsova, who has three stars tattooed on her inner left forearm, in her quest for a third round spot at Wimbledon.

However, though tattoos are growing in acceptance in China and Li has finally become comfortable showing it off on the tennis court, she said might get tired of seeing it.

“So many people ask me about my tattoo,” Li told AFP.

“It’s a rose with a heart. I’ve had it eight years now. Before, I always wore tape, I didn’t want to show the tattoo. In China, if they see people have a tattoo, they only think maybe she’s not so good a person.”

See? Spoken like a true thug—no respect for the game or its storied history. This monster will be playing tennis for the Denver Nuggets any day now.

[Journal Now] Hey, good news, tattooed folks! We all know that tattoos will curse you with lifelong unemployment, derision from society at large and probably some sort of hybrid Hepatitis/HIV-monster virus, but one thing its been confirmed they won’t give you: Skin cancer. Hooray!

Many inks are made with metals; blue, for example, contains cobalt and aluminum, and red may contain mercury sulfide. That, along with the fact that tattooing can be traumatizing to the skin, prompted suspicion that tattoos might lead to skin cancer. Studies have documented a few cases of cancer at a tattoo site.

But Dr. Ariel Ostad, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, said that does not mean that the tattoo caused the cancer. He said that the ink is unlikely to do any harm because it is confined to cells in the skin called macrophages, whose job is to absorb foreign material.

More likely, he said, the tattoo was placed on an existing mole, making any changes in the mole hard to spot. Several case studies have dealt with melanomas that were overlooked because they arose from hidden moles. Ostad said he is often asked whether tattoos can lead to cancer, and the answer “is unequivocally no.”

Hey, maybe not breaking news, but who doesn’t like confirmation of this sort? It’s about time doctors proved their worth, am I right, fellas? Eh?

[Youth Removal] A few weeks ago, we mentioned a story regarding a program offering free tattoo cover-ups for gang members, but little did we know that a similar project was in the works in our own corner of the community! Allen Falkner, currently of Fade Fast tattoo removal, has launched Youth Removal, a program in which youths 18 years old and younger will be able to have gang tattoos on their hands, neck or face removed for free. Allen, as many have long been aware, has always been a stand-up gent, and this is just another feather in his cap. Really outstanding work.

[Twitter] And finally, if there were any doubt remaining about the value of Twitter, a tweet from earlier this afternoon, courtesy of Esquire:

Hey, that’s just sound advice right there.

6 thoughts on “Full Coverage: News From All Over (June 25, 2009)

  1. Re the “inks and skin cancer” issue: I think a lot of non-scientists don’t realize that chemical elements can behave very differently depending on what compounds they’re in. For instance, touching a drop of elemental mercury won’t hurt you, and small amounts of the preservative thiomersal don’t either (REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE ANTI-VACCINATION CRAZIES SAY), but a minute quantity of dimethylmercury famously killed the chemist Karen Wetterhahn a few years ago.

    So, heavy metals in tattoo inks? It all depends on what form they’re in.

  2. Allen Falkner RULES!!

    …but he can be a little touchy-feely when he’s drunk!

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