ModBlog News of the Week: Oct 22nd, 2010

It’s time again for the news of the week.  This week’s edition brings us a modified church, a charity event that became too popular, an actress willing to completely change herself for a role, and much more.

First off is what is probably the coolest implant related news ModBlog has seen in a long time.  Implant grade LED lights.

implantable LEDs

The LED arrays were developed by John Rogers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and they can twist and stretch by as much as 75%. Coated in thin silicon rubber, they’re also waterproof and safe to implant under the skin.

Now the article goes on to describe them as “LED Tattoos”, but they seem more in line with the silicone implants currently being used by practitioners.  There aren’t too many details given about the power source, but if they’re able to safely embed a battery and/or an activation button into the array, I can think of several people who could put these to some creative uses.

These lights are just the tip of the iceberg of today’s news, so keep on reading to see what else has been going on around the world.

It seems eyeball tattoos have popped up in the news again, this time Portland, Or. where Matthew Gone has colored the whites of his eyes blue and green.

Mr Gone has now gone where few other tattoo lovers have dared by getting his eyes coloured permanently.  He conducted the risky operation by himself at his home, colouring one eye blue and the other green.  ”I patch-tested it and was successful. I had to take the risk. I’ve done that a lot of times before,” Mr Gone said.  ”I’m not crazy. I’m trained. I have a lot of experience.  ”I picked different colours because I like mutations because I have birth defects,” he said, offering no further explanation.

Unfortunately the story doesn’t go into too much detail, although there is a brief video interview with Matt.  I’m positive ModBlog readers will be able to identify Matt, as he’s got a pretty distinctive look, and can hopefully give us a little more information than the article did.

Speaking of distinctive looks, if you’ve got a facial tattoo that can be identified easily, it’s probably not a good idea to go around stealing phones from people; especially if the tattoo you have is lettering on your forehead that says “I’m me”.

What better way to identify yourself to police when you’re wanted for a crime than to get the phrase “I’m Me” tattooed across your forehead?  Well, that’s how easy it was for South Florida police to spot Joseph Williams, 19, who was wanted for a string of iPhone phone robberies.  Williams was wanted in connection with the theft of nearly two dozen iPhones throughout South Florida. Investigators said Williams began his mini-crime spree Aug. 20 and struck at least 19 times, according to WFOR.  Police reports indicate that Williams would casually walk into an AT&T store, find the iPhone display and then snatch one or two phones from the security cables before scurrying out of the store.

Thankfully not all tattoo related ideas are bad.  In Heckler, IL. Eternal Ink Tattoo Studio recently offered free pink ribbon tattoos to anyone who wanted one.  The idea was to raise awareness in the community.


Eric Catalano thought he was making a small gesture to support people affected by breast cancer. He thought his quiet offer of free pink ribbon tattoos might bring 50 people to his studio in tiny Hecker, Illinois.

So on October 14, he and his crew started waiving the normal $30 charge for the tiny ribbons, and the response has been enormous. By the end of the day on Thursday, October 21, they had given out 418 tattoos, Catalano says, and were still working Friday morning. So many people have shown up, that the studio has turned away regular customers to focus on the pink ribbons.

Heading down under, the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne is hosting a new photography exhibit about Holocaust survivors and their tattoos.


A highlight of a visit to the Jewish Holocaust Centre (JHC) is the opportunity to interact with Holocaust survivors, eyewitnesses to history. Most poignant is when the survivors who were tattooed roll up their sleeves and show visitors their permanent marker – the tattoo from Auschwitz.  Not all survivors have tattoos. Tattooing was done at Auschwitz but only to prisoners who were ‘selected’ to be slaves rather than gassed. As the late survivor Lou Sokolow, who was a tattooist in Auschwitz, reports in his video testimony,  ‘A guy who got a number was lucky. Why? Because he didn’t go straight away to the crematoria.’  Most survivors who were branded by the Nazis like cattle do not see it as a badge of shame. On the contrary, they feel that it demonstrates the inhumanity of the Nazi perpetrators.

I highly encourage anyone who is in or can get to Melbourn, to go and check out this exhibit.

Another article from Australia, this time Sydney, takes a look at tattoos and piercings in the workplace.  It actually is a somewhat fair and balanced article, which runs counter to a lot of other articles that come up about modifications all over the world.

Piercings and tattoos are more common than ever and this is proving to be a challenge for some employers. Body art might be acceptable out of the workplace, but for many companies, it creates issues when the person is out meeting clients.  The Pew Research Centre in the United States has found that about a third of Generation Next, the generation that grew up with mobile phones, the internet and personal computers, will have a tattoo. Some more research, again out of the US, found that 23 per cent of university students had one to three tattoos, and 51 per cent had one or more piercings (other than earlobes) and yet another one showed that 32 per cent of Gen Xers have tattoos.

The article goes on to discuss that while a lot of people are accepting of tattoos/piercings, when it comes to customer service, having “FUCK YOU” tattooed on your forehead might make it difficult to get a job.

Of course, for every positive (or even neutral) article, there are several negative ones.  According to the Guardian in the UK, women claiming that their “tatts” are spiritual in any way, especially if they do yoga, are basically telling the world that they’re not classy in any way.

While my feelings for Katona have never gone further than the “meh” mark on the emotional dial, few things highlight blatant class snobbery about certain issues as the conjunction of the mockery of Katona’s tattoos in the tabloids and the cod-spiritual smugness surrounding tattoos one sees in one’s yoga class. Yet where one kind is indicative of one’s higher devotion, the other is laughable, when some of the more democratic among us might think that latter description applies to all equally. Similarly, one could argue that if these be-tattooed yogic folk were really so spiritual, they wouldn’t feel the need to inform everyone else of this or remind themselves of it, via the medium of the tattoo. Moreover, some innocently untattooed people in the yoga class – who would otherwise be totally ace at balancing – find the light of self-satisfaction that radiates off their classmates’ tattoos is so blinding they topple over. Were it not for the tattoos, honestly, they’d be able to stand on one foot for hours and truly focus and not think once about how they forgot to set the Sky+ for The Daily Show a-bloody-gain.

It seems this back and forth in the news will probably never end, although we can hope right?

Now, in the past few ModBlog news posts, there has been a lot of discussion about the young woman who was suspended from high school for having her nostril pierced.  There definitely was a mixed reaction to the case as some felt that her belonging to the Church of Body Modification should be recognized by the school board.  Some felt the school shouldn’t even care that much, as it’s just a nostril piercing and isn’t doing anybody any harm.  Then there were those who felt that because she was a minor, and in public school, she should follow the dress code laid out by the school.  The question I post is this; if you think that she should obey the dress code of the school because she’s in high school, would you feel the same way if your college suddenly applied similar rules?  That’s the question students at Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina may be facing as the board of trustees is looking into revising the school’s policies with regards to tattoos and piercings.

Under existing policies, the school has a general, non-specific dress code. A more specific dress code could help the students said trustee Susie S. Pugh, chairwoman of the school’s curriculum committee. That committee is considering the dress code.

“Right now, with the styles and the piercings and everything that’s going on with them, right now, we’re concerned that when you go to look for a job, with all of these, you aren’t going to be successful,” she said.

While the board is examining the possibly outcomes they are recognizing that trying to impose these rules on adults may be met with some form of legal action.

In the final news story of the day, a tattoo studio in Victoria, TX. has taken up the role of a ministry as well as a studio.  The owners of Timeless Tattoo Studio are a couple of born again christians, who have chosen to spread their beliefs through their work.

As the only Christian tattoo studio in Victoria, Mallette, 38, and Martin, 20, said their clients can expect much more than a professional and all-custom tattoo experience in their store. In addition to Timeless Tattoo’s spa-like ambience, the studio provides a Bible study and prayer room on-site, and adheres to a company policy against performing tattoos that reflect demonic, satanic, or occult messages. They also will not tattoo on private areas of the body.

Regardless of whether Christians see tattooing as right or wrong, Mallette said Christians of every stripe participate in body modification.  ”Prior to being saved, people would ask me whether I thought tattooing was wrong, and I would tell them there are a lot of forms of body modification that people do without even thinking about it: They pierce their ears, cut their hair, have breast implants and face lifts, they get their nails done, and some women even tattoo eye liner and lip liner on their face,” Mallette said. “Society sees those as normal, so where’s the line?”  For now, Mallette and Martin see their body art and piercings as a way to reach people who wouldn’t traditionally be excited about God.  ”I think people of all walks can be used to minister now, and God may be using us to reach people who would never step foot in a church otherwise,” she said.

Now while I said that was the final “news” story of the day, don’t think I haven’t forgotten about everyone’s favorite section, the celebrity news!

A few weeks back Kelly Osbourne announced that she was getting some of her tattoos removed.  Well it probably came at a good time for her, as when she tried to enter a gym in Tokyo she was refused admission based on her tattoos.

Now when it comes to celebrity tattoos, most of the time the media just posts a story along the lines of “LOOK AT ______’s NEW TATTOO!  HE/SHE’s A REBEL”, or something to that effect.  Well color me shocked when I found this story about Emma Stone’s new tattoo.

Emma Stone has just revealed that Paul McCartney helped design her new tattoo, which she is getting for her family.  The 21-year-old actress says that she approached the former Beatle and asked him for the favor after her mother had recovered from a tough battle with cancer.   ”Two years ago . . . . she got diagnosed with breast cancer,” Stone explained on The Late Show With David Letterman. “And she’s out of the woods now, which is amazing. We’ve never gotten tattoos before, and probably never will again.”  She went on to say: “My mom’s favorite song is ‘Blackbird’, and it’s my favorite song as well. I wrote a letter to Paul McCartney asking him if he would draw two little bird feet, because he wrote the song. And yesterday, he sent them to me.”

Finally, when it comes to getting ready for a part, actors have been known to take some drastic measures.  DeNiro gained a ton of weight for Raging Bull, Christian Bale lost a near unhealthy amount of weight for his role in the Machinist, only to bulk up in a few short months to play the role of Batman, and Noomi Rapace went out and got several piercings for her role in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  Well it seems that Mara Rooney, the actress chosen to portray the same role that Noomi portrayed, has also undergone some changes that puts her in the same league with the others.


The actress was actually chosen over Scarlet Johansson for the leading role. All thanks to the director, David Fincher. For the upcoming film, Mara Rooney had to bleach her eyebrows and dye her hair as dark black is it could get. She also had to go get her nipples pierced for a topless scene in the flick.

What is actually sad for this young actress is she has spent most of her time in her hotel room in beautiful Sweden. The reason being the director wants to keep her hidden from the public eye in order to make sure her look isn’t seen yet. However, a photo has been leaked out of her wearing a pierced lip.

So that’s it for the news this week.  As always, if you find a news story that you think would fit in with the News of the Week, just click here to submit the link.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll see you all back here again on Monday.

14 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: Oct 22nd, 2010

  1. While the Australian article about tattoos in the work place ranges from neutral to positive, the comments are so incredibly offensive. And the blatant sexism and objectification in many of the comments are sickening. Tattoos and piercings make women look trashy? Seriously? No comment on how they look on men, but women- who are, as we all know, property of our menfolk- must maintain the image of the pure, untouched and unspoiled. The fact that the commenters automatically jump to sexually coloured slander…. gah! Just rage!

  2. I am SO EXCITED to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when it comes out. I’m just now reading the second book of the trilogy. I find it moving that an actress would genuinely dedicate themselves to their character so much as to modify their body.
    And during my exploration of modblog archives all day at a slow day at work I thought:
    What if modblog created a section or type of feature like “did you know?” I think there are many things that anybody in the body modification community (whether a practitioner or a patron) would enjoy or benefit from knowing, and it could be a kind of fun trivial interactive thing… Just an idea.

  3. Newsflash for Sikspud! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire are already movies (albeit “foreign” language.) See them now, before the godawful remake comes out.

  4. From my electronics experience, LED’s have a tendency to heat up, but not very much.. At this time, I think its an interesting idea, but definitely needs more research before trying it on a person.
    I’ve seen many people blow up LED’s in labs.
    I also wouldn’t want a battery in me, but they’ve been doing it for ages with pacemakers and such.

  5. I’m highly interested in the LEDs, but I’ve got the same concerns as San. I’d like some LEDs, but not if they’ll blow up.

  6. Generally LED’s only blow if you put too much power to them.
    Its interesting, I’d like to see it before deciding on it..

  7. I was looking at the image of the LED’s, I reckon it would be interesting to have one, but would it me like constantly on? or some sort of pressure switch.

  8. Sidragasum: I would assume a pressure switch. It could be easily coated in silicone.

    San and zobro: Id be equally if not more concerned with what happens if they get bumped wrong? We all should remember the silicone shearing with the first magnetic implants, what happens if this or something similar happens around any section of an implant of this type?
    Imagine the procedure of getting something like this out if a problem did occur!!

    All that said, its nice to see things being advanced even if its at the “completely impractical” stage.

  9. She didn’t *have* to get her nipples pierced for that scene. Marisa Tomei didn’t pierce her nipples for The Wrestler. They glued them on.

  10. Well, I know that myself as a heavily modified person hasn’t had an inkling of difficulty getting a respectable job. Nursing School was atrocious but upon graduation I was readily accepted by UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.) It is interesting; because UPMC has a widespread and well published dress code policy against visible tattoos and piercings, however it is not enforced. I’m curious as to what other experiences gainfully employed people have had.

  11. I had a project that I was doing for school where we had to create a product that was an innovation with the use of technology. I decided to create an illuminated implant so the first article is really interesting to me personally. My implant was just a prototype without the ability to actually be implanted. It seems someone smarter than me is working on the actual ability to implant an LED.

    As far as the power source, I read an article about an implantable array that generated power through the use of tapping into the blood of the user to continually power the device. It didn’t steal enough power from the wearer to cause harm, but I assume it would allow for the effect to happen without the use of potentially harmful batteries being implanted within the wearer.

  12. Two things… Why does that article say if you have ‘things sticking out of your face’ you have low self-esteem..and more importantly, people really need to research and learn about the swastika before they say such stupid things.

  13. sikspud – Don’t wait to see the American version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo! The films already exist in Swedish – the first two have already been released here and they’re incredible. No disrespect to Mara Rooney, but if you love the books you must see the Swedish films because Noomi Rapace just absolutely perfectly embodies Lisbeth, and because they’re Swedish adaptations of Swedish books they really manage to keep the same feel. I wish Hollywood didn’t feel the need to constantly remake amazing foreign-language films :-(

    Also, that article that’s quoted from the Guardian is kind of satirical. It’s written by Hadley Freeman who does a column giving jokey answers to inconsequential questions. I don’t really like her style, but it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, and I think that passage is really more making fun of faux-spiritual, organic-obsessed yummy mummies who drive their Range Rovers to yoga class than it is women with tattoos.

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