ModBlog News of the Week: November 5th, 2010

The week is coming to a close for most people, which means that it is time for the weekly news.  Overall there wasn’t much going on in the world when it comes to mainstream news reporting on modifications, but there were still a few interesting stories.

First up is news out of Dubai, where temporary tattoos are getting a lavish upgrade.

The UAE’s first real gold and platinum tattoo business will set up shop in the iconic five-star Burj Al Arab hotel next week, Arabian Business can reveal.  Starting at AED200 for a small gold tattoo and AED400 for an equivalent platinum one, the temporary tattoos have been available in the emirates for just two months.  Originating from Japan, the tattoos are created from 99 percent gold or platinum foil that is applied directly to the skin. Application takes around 10 minutes.

I guess when you live in a city known for it’s expensive tastes, getting gold or platinum painted onto you just seems like a normal accessory.  I would be a little curious at seeing some of the designs.  Can you imagine a massive platinum “blackwork” piece?  Or maybe a gold zombie portrait?  The possibilities are limitless.

You’ll have to keep reading to find out what world record is being attempted on new year’s eve, how dumb some criminals can be, as well as some positive stories about scarification and a couple of tattoo studios.  Oh, and of course, the celebrity round-up.  I know how much everyone looks forward to it each week.

A few years back an Arizona tattoo artist set the world record for most tattoos performed in a 24 hour period.  This year Denver tattoo artist Kaos is going to attempt to break the record, and make some money for charity while he’s at it.

Under the watchful eye of officials from the Guinness Book of World Records, Denver tattoo artist Kaos will try ink 900 tattoos during a 24-hour period beginning this New Year’s Eve at the P66 Tattoo and Art Galleria, located at 800 Kalamath St.  But this isn’t just tattooing for the sake of tattooing. Kaos will apply pink ribbons on breast cancer survivors, their family and friends and anyone else who pays a $10 minimum donation. Proceeds from the record-setting attempt will go to breast cancer research.  Kaos says that ringing in 2011 isn’t a publicity stunt despite the record-setting aspect. “This is a cause that is close to all of us,” he said. “Every day we hear of someone that has been affected by breast cancer and this is my way to contribute and make a difference.

It seems this year is the year of the pink ribbon when it comes to charity tattoos as this is probably the 4th or 5th story I’ve reported on it.  Don’t get me wrong, this is a good thing as I too have been affected by breast cancer.  It just would be nice to see other charities supported in the same manner, as this seems to be an excellent way to raise money and awareness.

Sure enough, there is another drive going on.  All day tomorrow Guy Daniels, the owner of Expressions Ink in Wausau, WI will be tattooing puzzle pieces to raise money for autism awareness and treatment.

Daniels says many of his customers at Expressions Ink expressed their struggles raising children with autism. Saturday Daniels gave a family with an autistic four-year-old a permanent reminder of their battle, and a gift to the entire autistic community: profits from Saturday’s sessions will go towards autism treatment.  ”There isn’t a lot of support groups around and I want to be able to help out any way I can,” said Amanda Mrozek, who bought an autism puzzle piece tattoo Saturday. She says it’s been a struggle getting her autistic child to be social and share what’s on his mind.

If you’re in the area, stop on by and make a donation, or get a tattoo, as the proceeds will be donated as well.

Of course the flip side to these charity drives is that it also provides excellent press coverage for the studios.  Clearly it’s working.  Yet there are other ways to get the word out about your studio, and Toronto’s own Speakeasy Tattoo has been working tirelessly to redefine advertising in the digital age.

When a colleague told me about Toronto-based Speakeasy Tattoo, I was intrigued. She said Lizzie Renaud, the shop’s owner, was doing some really cool things online – Ms. Renaud and her team fill last-minute cancellations through Twitter and share their stories and artwork on WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr and other tattooing websites. You name the social network, Speakeasy is there.

So Ms. Renaud and her team did something innovative to set Speakeasy apart: they reached out to five well-known tattoo artists and asked them to work as guests in the summer of 2010. Despite her commitment to blogging and social media, when it came time to promote the roster of guests, she deployed a completely integrated campaign that used a combination of online and offline tactics.  “We decided to go old school,” says Ms. Renaud, speaking about her offline strategy. She worked with a designer to produce glossy, postcard-shaped handbills, which included art by the guest artists, the dates they were coming, and the shop contact information.

The rest of the article goes on to examine how Speakeasy is showing that it requires a mix of both old and new media in order to have a successful ad campaign.  It’s an excellent read for any shop owner looking to expand business.

From Toronto we head west to Saskatoon, where the U of S newspaper, The Sheaf, has written an in-depth article about scarification and branding.


Scars often draw powerful and visceral reactions from their observers, whether sympathy, concern or machismo respect and admiration. That’s because most people view them as violations of an unwilling body.  Others, however, choose to have patterns, symbols and words carved into their skin in order to be meaningfully and permanently marked. This is scarification, a form of body modification that originated in equatorial cultures but is now attracting adherents in Western culture.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, self-harm — also known as self-injury or self-mutilation — is the causing of mental, spiritual and physical injury to oneself without suicidal intent. Those who self-harm usually don’t know how to effectively express and deal with emotional issues such as loneliness, depression, anger, psychological pain, numbness or stress. Injuring themselves through practices like cutting or burning flesh is a coping mechanism that leads to immediate release of, and temporary relief from, negative emotions. The pain distracts from other problems, or, if the issue is numbness, allows them to feel something, or anything, again.

Body modification, on the other hand, is done for positive emotional reasons — perhaps simply to make one’s body more aesthetically pleasing. Another person, usually a professional artist, also does scarification. However, even those who cut or brand themselves just to see what will happen, what it feels like and how it scars, aren’t self-injurious, says Kenny. As long as there is no negative emotion involved, they’re just curious.

This week was a banner week for people to do dumb mod related things.

First, a prison inmate stole medical supplies just so she could keep her lip piercing from closing up while she was in jail.

Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said told the Decatur Daily that Word had used broken pieces of a plastic comb to stick in her lip piercings and stole the blood kit from a jail nurse’s station to push the plastic out.

Then, in Lexington KY, an attempted robbery at a tattoo studio was foiled by a customer who fought with the man and chased him away.  Oh, did I also mention he wasn’t there to steal money?

According to Lexington Police, a man went into the Purple Haze Tattoo Parlor and demanded something called ‘White Lightning’, which police say is a powdery insect repellent.

Now, if you’re planning on a life of crime, it’s probably not a good idea to have a distinctive tattoo visible that can easily identify you.  It’s also probably not a good idea to get a dollar sign tattooed on your forehead when your crime of choice is money laundering and forgery.

Newport News police said they received a Crime Line tip leading to the Monday arrest of Elias Sedale Jones on eight felony charges, the Newport News Daily Press reported Wednesday.  Investigators said Jones has a dollar sign tattooed in a prominent position on his forehead.

Finally, you may recall a certain online casino that offers people money to get the website address tattooed on their bodies.  Well it seems they’re at it again, this time a woman got the site address tattooed across her chest.  Her payment?  A NASCAR helmet, oh and some money to charity.

In the last story today before the celebrity section, we have what appears to be the worst possible advice columnist, “helping” a woman who doesn’t like her husband’s new tattoo.


My husband went out and got a tattoo which I just hate. It’s of a sexy naked woman and it’s not me. He says it’s not anybody else he knows, either. Call me suspicious but I think he knows her from before. She looks vaguely familiar, like somebody from the bar he worked at in the evenings — not the present one — but the one before. How do I find out if he’s messing around with her?  I lie awake all night, looking at that tattoo on his back. By the way, we’ve been married two years, and have no children yet. — Jealous Over Tat

Dear Jealous:

It seems unlikely a guy would be so bold, or think his wife so stupid, he’d get a tattoo of another woman he’s seeing inked on his body. It’s more likely he picked a type of woman whose look he likes, and he’s disrespectful enough to have it tattooed on his back where you can stare at it in bed. Frankly, it sounds like this guy is not in love with you anymore and is trying to get YOU to break up with him. When it gets to that point, do you really need to go out and get proof?

It’s better not to stay and have kids with a guy who doesn’t love and respect you enough to keep another woman off his body. But since you can’t sleep, you need to find out what’s up. Stop in at his old workplace with a best friend and see if the lady you suspect still works there. If, as you suspect, one of the staff looks exactly like the tattoo, you might have your husband followed by a private investigator to see if he’s cheating with her, and then actually listen to what the detective has to say. Lots of people won’t accept the evidence they’re given and totally waste their money. Best of luck.

She also goes on to give advice to a young woman who is lusting after her high school teacher.  Her advice?  Date guys your age to make him jealous so he’ll become interested in you.

And now, today’s abbreviated celebrity section.  Sadly there are only two stories this week.  Hopefully next week there will be more action.

That Harry Potter actor, the one who got naked with a horse on stage (Note: Equus is a great play), is talking about getting a HP tattoo when the films are finally finished.  Maybe he’ll get a wand tattoo.  That way he’ll have an excuse as to why the girls run away from him.  He can just grab his wand and shout “Expelliarmus!” and maintain his dignity.

The offer still stands

Lastly, in an effort to stay relevant, one of the spice girls, Old Spice, is going around telling anyone who will listed that when she got her tongue pierced she made out with all the other girls.  Not surprisingly she admits the other girls were “grossed out”.

Well that’s it for this week’s news.  If you happen to stumble across a story you think should be included in the news of the week, just click here to submit the link.

Have a great weekend everyone, see you back here next week when you’ll get another edition of Movember Monday!

14 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: November 5th, 2010

  1. “is the causing of mental, spiritual and physical injury to oneself without suicidal intent.”

    What? Seriously. How do you cause spiritual harm? By offending someone’s religious/hippy-bullcrap sensibilities? How do you cause harm to something which doesn’t exist and is a delusion in the mind’s of the herd?

    That’s really weird that a Health Association would list harming someone’s soul as a legitimate cause of self-harm or self-mutilation.

  2. AED 200 is about US$54, which is a lot of money for a temporary tattoo, but, well, not *that* much money.

  3. what a waste of money for the fake gold and platinum tattoos that rub off after… omg, $500 for stick on tattoo that glitters…???

  4. Daniel Radcliffe is NOT talking about getting a Harry Potter tattoo, at least not in the article you linked, in which he’s quoted as saying he wants to get a tattoo but

    “I don’t know if the first thing I would rush out to get would be something Harry Potter related, because let’s face it, I’m going to have this [experience of the films] for the rest of my life anyway as it is.”

  5. also, might want to try reading the articles you’re reporting on. though, it’s obvious that you were just looking for an excuse to make that (lame) wand joke

  6. @meow: When it comes to the celebrity articles, I really don’t pay much attention to them. As for the Radcliffe story, I pretty much just read the headline “Did Daniel Radcliffe get a Harry Potter tattoo?”

  7. I figured that, but it’s a little silly to post news if you’re not posting it accurately. Just stick to the stuff that sounds really interesting, and if you have motivation to read the article, we will probably want to hear about it too.

  8. @mela- Nice Atmosphere reference! <3

    Seriously, jealous of a tattoo? The amount of insecurity that a woman must have to be jealous of a drawn woman. It seems like she just doesn’t understand her boyfriend, or tattoo culture. And it also seem that the conservative right can equate anything different to bad.

  9. did this woman seriously just tell her writer to stalk her husband and then pay somebody else to stalk him more effectively? wtf? is she a high school homecoming queen???

  10. The bit about the “white lightening” robbery makes me laugh a little.. and sad a little. The thief wasn’t looking for money, he was actually looking for fake drugs. Much like K2 and pot, White Lightening is a “fake” and “legal” version of cocaine. The fact that the cops thought it was bug spray is the funny part. Rock on for the Speakeasy, a lot of people don’t realize how important the internet is these days!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *