ModBlog News of the Week: December 3rd, 2010

Holy crap it’s December already.  Why didn’t anyone tell me?  With only a couple more weeks until the end of the year, there isn’t a lot of time left for any type of holiday shopping that might need to get done.  Not to mention getting travel plans finalized for the BME New Year’s Eve Party.

Thankfully the news is a little light this week so you’ll still have a few hours to get to the stores before they close.

The first story of the day is one of sadness.  Back on November 19th the Pike River coal mine in New Zealand was rocked by an explosion which resulted in the deaths of 29 miners.  One way that members of the community are handling their grief is through memorial tattoos.

West Coasters are paying a permanent tribute to victims of the Pike River mine disaster.  Greymouth tattooist Nick Reedy said he had done tattoos for about 20 people, marking the deaths of the 29 miners.  ”It’s something people naturally do in remembrance of others and have done for hundreds, if not thousands, of years,” he said.  ”With this latest tragedy … people are doing the same.”  Reedy said he had done some tattoos for free, while other customers had made a donation.  Designs had included mining tools and the yellow ribbon, which had become a symbol of solidarity with the miners and their families.

For the rest of this week’s news, keep on reading…

Last week I posted a story about a professor who was having a camera implanted into the back of his head.  At the time the procedure hadn’t been done, but this week we have video not only of the implant, but also parts of the procedure as well.

New York University photography professor Wafa Bilal had a titanium plate implanted about a week. It was done by someone who normally does body piercings. They used a local anesthetic. A small surveillance camera connects to the base magnetically.

I wasn’t able to find out who did the implant, or even if they want to be publicly acknowledged for the work or not.  It does look like they did a good job though, of course that will be determined on how it holds up with the weight of the camera over long periods of time.

Speaking of using implants in unconventional ways, it seems doctors have found a way to use a piercing that resembles a dermal anchor to assist people who have lost the ability to swallow.

Surgeon Peter Belafsky had been tinkering with ways to treat oropharyngeal dysphagia–a swallowing disorder that when severe can prevent people from being able to swallow at all–for years.  But it wasn’t until he took his two daughters to get their ears pierced–and noticed the woman behind the counter with piercings in her nose, eyebrow, and even cleavage–that he realized how to do it, and a device to manually open and close the esophagus was born.  Described as one of the world’s first medicinal body piercings, the experimental device works by pulling on a tiny metal pin extending out of the skin of the patient’s neck to move the larynx forward and open the esophagus.

“By attaching a tiny titanium rod to a postage stamp-sized plate that we’ve sewn into the neck cartilage, we’ve enabled our patient to safely and without pain pull on the device to move his larynx forward and open the esophagus to allow food and liquid to pass,” Belafsky says. “It’s the first time a person has been able to manually control the entryway to the esophagus.”

Looking closely at the implant you can see they’ve externally threaded the top so the gold colored cap will screw onto it.  It also looks like the cap has a loop on the top, which I’d assume is for a string to assist in pulling open the esophagus.

When it comes to charity drives, we’ve seen quite a few when it comes to tattoo/piercing drives.  This week we have one that is pretty much in line with all the others, and one that is taking things a step further.

Artists working at 281 Tattoo Studio in Edinburg, TX are hoping a toy drive will be able to help out a children’s charity.  Bring in a toy valued at over $25 and you’ll get a free tattoo.

Over in England, Fay Walker is trying something different when it comes to a tattoo charity drive.

“TATTOO Girl” Fay Walker has been inundated with donations after her plan to ink names on the soles of her feet was revealed.  The 27-year-old has been stopped in the street and was given £200 just hours after the Leader reported on her plans to permanently tattoo 50 names on to her size-three feet for charity.

There are still places up for grab on the soles of Faye’s ticklish feet and she is hoping for more bids – as long as they are not rude words.  She said: “I have decided I am going to wait until after Christmas to have the tattoos done and let people get it out of the way and I’m going to have it done in mid-January.  “I have already sold a foot’s worth, 25 names.”

There are still spots up for sale, and Fay’s contact information is posted in the article if you want to have her get your name (or something else) tattooed on her feet.

I normally only cut+paste a small portion of an article just to you the highlights, but this article from December 3rd, 1899 is just too good to trim down.

The present rage among Eastern girls is to have their arms tattooed. A girl at Newport last summer appeared on the bathing beach with bare arms, of course, and on the dimpled flesh was a dainty tattooed design. Since then scores have followed her example.

The girls say when in evening dress they can wear long gloves, and even if the glove is removed a pretty tattooed mark is rather an addition than otherwise. A dainty blue anchor, a shamrock leaf, a heart or arrow, or even a copy of one’s pet dog is a favorite design.

The Hindu used to be the master hand at tattoo work, but his methods were rather harsh. He jabbed the needle in a quarter of an inch with no compunction, and after five minutes most people had to give up and rest. At present in New York there are several girls who make a good living tattooing. They sponge the spot on the arm with cocaine and then, when all feeling has departed, they rapidly use the little needle, and the patient does not suffer in the least.

At present the shamrock done in green is the favorite design, but the American flag is also a popular mark.

Over 100 years later, and I’m still coming across stories written almost exactly like this.

A good example, this article talking about the latest trend:  stretching your earlobes.  Since it’s Friday and almost the end of the work day, why don’t you grab a drink before reading this article.  Then, take a sip every time the author uses the term “gauge” in place of “stretch”.   (Warning: If you’re drinking alcohol you may end up drunk by the end of it)  Here’s a small sample.

People stretch their earlobes for a variety of reasons, Burnidge said. Some like the aesthetics of gauges and the ability for self-expression, while others like the primitive look of them.Western junior Canaan Folk-Reinke has been gauging her earlobes since she was a sophomore in high school. She currently wears 00g, or 10 millimeter gauges.

My apologies if you get alcohol poisoning.

When it comes to discussing the risks involved in getting a tattoo, most articles focus on cross-contamination and unsterilized equipment.  What is often neglected is the risks inherent in some types of inks.  The interesting part of this story is that it is coming from a vegetarian news site, which focuses on the fact that some tattoo inks are not vegan friendly.

Black pigments, derived from kerosene soot and burned animal bones, are considered to pose minimal health risks…that isif you don’t mind walking around with charred critter remains under your skin for an indefinite period of time. While you can even try your hand at making your own DIY black pigment using India ink from an art store, be forewarned that while many modern versions are made with burned wood and/or resin, some are still made with bones…so read the label.

Now I’m not saying that all inks are bad, so don’t shoot me if you think the writer of the article is in the wrong about any of their claims.

Finally, it’s time for the celebrity round-up.  This week there is actually a somewhat interesting story buried within the madness that is celebrity news.

British singer Kerry Katona has opened up in an interview as to why she got her children’s names tattooed on her wrists.  It seems that she’s continually struggled with self-harm and cutting problems so she got the tattoos to remind herself that she has to take care of her children.

Of course with every thoughtful story about a celebrity, there are 100 ones about useless crap.

While Kerry’s wrist tattoo is a coping mechanism to help with her issues, The Jersey Shore “star” Angelina’s wrist tattoo is because she felt that the editing on the show made her look bad.  I’ve seen Jersey Shore.  If the editing was intended to make her look bad, then why wasn’t there any editing to make the others look good?

While I’ll admit to having seen Jersey Shore, I can honestly say I’ve never heard of this next person before in my entire life.  Supposedly there’s a show called Teen Mom, and one of the moms on the show recently had her kid taken away by child services.  She has since gotten her child back, but not before getting a portrait of her daughter on her stomach.

Fans of Inception will likely recognize Tom Hardy from his role in the film.  Do yourself a favor and check out Bronson, Hardy is brilliant in it.  Hardy himself is no stranger to getting tattooed and this week he went out while on the set of his latest film and got himself a new one.

I may have a small man-crush on him

The 33-year-old actor recently added a Union Jack tattoo on his upper left chest when he popped into the shop, one of his favorite local hangouts while he’s been filming This Means War.

In the final story of the day, while it isn’t really celebrity news, thefrisky.com has put together a collection of the ten best Golden Girls tattoos.  I’d have to say #6 and #9 are my favorites.

And thus concludes our broadcasting day here at ModBlog.  Remember to send in any links you find to news stories from around the world.

Have a great weekend everyone, and good luck getting everything on your shopping lists.

11 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: December 3rd, 2010

  1. If more people thought about getting the Golden Girls tattooed on their skin, the world would be a better place.

  2. Was really touching to see the Pike River Miners story leading the way this week — I live in NZ, about 4 hours from the West Coast where Pike River is, and while not geographically very close, in a small country like ours it really touches everyone when something like this happens. The whole country at the moment is feeling it, and sending love to all the families/friends/loved ones of all the Pike River miners. Much love xx

  3. The camera in the back of the head idea is cute and all, but the concept of magnets as subdermals used to hold up something has been tried and failed miserably. Those experiments were done with much lighter, purely decorative objects and still the magnets quickly wore away at the skin between them. Those experiments were done on much thicker skin with much lighter loads to support. There is almost no way this could be successful.

  4. @Sean: Are you sure the magnets are under the skin? The impression I got from the video was that they put a titanium plate under the skin and then connected it to an outer baseplate for the camera, and that the baseplate had the magnets on it.

  5. The “gauging” article is so factually incorrect that it makes my head hurt.

    1) ““I don’t think the time has come yet when all jobs accept half inch gauges,” Hall said. “It is rational to say that people need to be informed about how to stretch.””

    You work in a shop, and you’re still referring to it as gauging?

    2) “Piercing shops can often pierce up to 4g. But, the issue with piercing that large is the hole will not be able to close unless done surgically, Burnidge said. Unlike starting at a lower size and gradually expanding the tissue of the ear, this method removes the tissue from the ear completely.”

    Piercing at 4g doesn’t “remove tissue from the ear completely”, it displaces it. Dermal punching would remove it.

    3) “Another piercing technique, the piercing gun, is not recommended by Hall or Burnidge because it leaves skin tissue attached where the new piercing occurred, making it more difficult to heal and may raise the risk of infection.”

    Good job not mentioning blood borne pathogens, cross-contamination, inexperienced or untrained piercers using the guns, etc.

    4) ” Two weeks is the minimum amount of time that should be taken between gauging up.”

    I don’t even want to look at that sentence again.

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