ModBlog News of the Week: March 11th, 2011

I’m beginning to hate that every week there is a new disaster to report.  By now you’ve heard about the earthquakes that have been rocking Japan since last night, as well as the devastation that the tsunami’s have been doing to the coastal cities.  The worst news is that the quakes still haven’t ceased.  Following the 8.9 last night, there have been a number of aftershocks as well as 2 new earthquakes that occurred this afternoon.  While it is still to early to know the extent of the damage, if you have friends or family in the affected areas, or you yourself are in Japan right now, our thoughts are with you.  Google’s appspot has set up a person finder for Japan, which should hopefully help those who haven’t been able to get in touch with their loved ones.  As always, the Red Cross is on scene and providing aid as they can.

It’s in times like these that people can come together from all walks of life to help others.  A number of years ago artist Shelley Jackson put out a call to the world for people who would be willing to get a tattoo of a word on their body in order to form a story.  Since that time people all over the world have come together, bound by the power of words and skin, to contribute to her project.  While it isn’t finished, Shelley recently put together a sub-story, using videos submitted by the owners of the tattoos.

“Shelley Jackson’s story ‘Skin’ exists only in the flesh — the flesh of about 2,000 volunteers. In 2003, when she wrote the story, she called for participants to each be tattooed with a single word (some also get a bit of punctuation, like ‘ankles,’ with the comma included). The story has never been published in any other form…[For] the Berkeley Art Museum, Jackson has cut together video footage from a small set of participants to tell a new sub-’Skin’ story. Recently Jackson e-mailed them to ask that they record a video of their word tattoo, and to say the word. From those words recorded by participants, she’s edited and assembled a new story.”

This week is pretty light on the real news, but ridiculously heavy on the celebrity news.  So strap yourself in for a wild ride that includes Julia Roberts, Pee-Wee Herman, and some tiger’s blood.

To kick things off this week is an announcement about an upcoming seminar in NYC.  For one weekend in March, you can have the opportunity to attend classes and witness performances by a trio of body modification artists.

It is our great pleasure to present to you an opportunity to be a part of something paramount! For the first time in a decade, the most innovative minds of the body modification community have come together to form a collective consciousness: C-Y-B.ORG. Its goal: to educate, demonstrate and liberate our community. Body modification pioneer Steve Haworth has rejoined forces with two of the top practitioners of today and the future, Lukas Zpira and Samppa Von Cyborg. Together they are C-Y-B.org. This event will give the opportunity for those yearning to learn the art of body modification. Through seminars, workshops and live performance, including but not limited to magnetic implants, branding, scarification, tongue splitting, flesh stapling, and suspension.

If you’ve got an event coming up, feel free to drop me a line and let me know about it.

We’ve seen in the news countless stories of schools banning facial piercings.  Well some kids thought they found a loophole by using rare earth magnets to fake a tongue stud.  While great in theory, it turns out that if you accidentally ingest several magnets it will end up doing some major damage.

The tiny ball bearings – known as ‘buckyballs’ – are sold as an executive desk toy which can be moulded into any shape.  But some teenagers are using them as fake tongue rings to make it look as though they have a piercing.  If swallowed, the balls can cause serious damage, burrowing through the small intestine. The packaging warns of the danger, and says they are not suitable for children.

Lauren, who lives in Wheat Ridge, rung her mother last week in tears, complaining she couldn’t walk because of an intense pain in her side.  She said: ‘They bounced off my tooth and went down my throat, and I couldn’t stop it.’  Lauren is now in hospital recovering after an operation to remove the magnets.  Her surgeon, Dr Saundra Kay, told the channel: ‘You have one strong magnet in one loop of intestine, another magnet in another loop of intestine, and those magnets are so strong that they will bring those intestines close together and the two loops joined.

So just to review, magnetic implants: good, swallowing magnets: bad.

One of the most often questions modified people hear is “did it hurt?”.  Well it turns out that when you get a tattoo removed, it also hurts.  No big shock there, but what is surprising is that tattoo removal can come with some pretty nasty side-effects beyond pain.  Because of this, the FDA is holding a “webinar” next Tuesday to educate people about the dangers of tattoo removal.

The inks and pigments applied in tattoos can cause allergic reactions, infections and scarring, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Also, tattoo removal process is not as great as it seems.  FDA will be holding a 30-minute tattoo safety webinar at 1 p.m. CT on March 15.  Bhakti Petigara Harp, a specialist from the agency’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors, will discuss potential problems, along with the misrepresentation of the inks and pigments as “FDA approved.”

What a lot of people don’t know when they get tattoos is how painful they are to remove, Shamontiel Vaughn. Some say laser removal feels like the snapping of a rubber band against the skin. Vaughn, who spent about hundreds of dollars getting one tattoo and three cover-ups removed, called the process of laser tattoo removal “insane.”  “Each time I got laser surgery, there were a bunch of small bumps that resembled keloids, rock hard skin and a little bit of bleeding,” said Vaughn.  “I made the mistake of falling asleep on that arm the day after surgery, and I woke up and thought something was crawling on me. It turned out that my arm went completely numb. I woke up screaming and jumping around trying to get my own arm off of me because it’d turned into dead weight. After I turned on the light (while still jumping around), the feeling slowly came back into my fingers,” concluded Vaughn.

It seems as though tattoo removal is not as fantastic as it is often portrayed.  It is not only pricey but also very painful.  The FDA’s 30-minute tattoo webinar will be held Tuesday, March 15 at 1 p.m. (CT). You’ll have a chance to ask questions at the end.

In case you weren’t aware, spring break is happening next week.  This also coincides with the annual “go get drunk and tattooed/pierced” week.  I’m sure it’s just a strange coincidence.  In any case, universities are starting to pay attention and are putting forth efforts to educate students about safe practices, so that when they’re completely smashed they won’t get pierced with the same needle that the 10 people before them were pierced with.

The last thing on a college student’s mind during spring break is contracting HIV, Hepatitis C or Tetanus.  Who would have thought that getting a spur-of-the-moment tattoo or piercing could leave not just a mark but a life-long disease?

On March 8, the Office of Counseling and Student Development and Student Health Services passed out information to students about body art safety and how to protect one’s self over the break.  ”Stamped and Stabbed” offered the soon-to-be spring breakers pamphlets and brochures on the harm that coincides with tattoos and body art.  ”They [students] tend to rush into things during spring break. We’re here to get students aware of what consequences they can face as they jump into getting a tattoo or piercing,” says Joy Wunderlich of the Office of Counseling and Student Development.

“Students meet a girl or guy, get their name tattooed and then realize the next day that they’ll have to explain to their future spouse whose name is tattooed on them,” said Williams.  As students departed with information on body art safety, they were given a temporary tattoo as a reminder to make appropriate decisions during spring break.

And with that, we’re on to the celebrity round-up.

To kick things off Ke(dollar sign)ha, has expanded her clientele of tattoo customers beyond her band to include fans.

A big fan gets a Ke$ha tattoo. A SUPER fan gets a tattoo from Ke$ha. Well, a SUPER fan who is okay with having a subpar tattoo gets one from Ke$ha, anyway.  The singer posted this video to her Facebook profile of herself marking up a dedicated fan with her safety pin, giving her dollar sign to the emotional, fawning fan.

Last week we saw rapper Yung LA get a duck tattooed on his face in honor of his new record contract.  Well it seems he jumped the gun, as the record label never actually offered him a contract.  The quick thinking Mr. LA rushed out to a studio and covered up his already fresh duck with an LA Dodgers logo.

Not to be outdone by the boys, “femcee” (their word, not mine) Diamond also joined the facial tattoo club with a tattoo of a bullet.

The rapper debuted some new ink on Tuesday (March 8), via Twitter (@DiamondATL), posting a pic of her new face tattoo of a bullet with the accompanying message: “IN LIFE: You only get ONE SHOT!!!!!! Remember dat!”

In happy news this week, Avril Lavigne has promised to not get any more tattoos for a while.  So for the next little while the celebrity round-up will be Avril free!

In other bad pop singer news, Britney Spears has gotten in shape and did a photo shoot.  Supposedly the fact that she’s showing off 10 year old tattoos is a shock to some people.

Pee-Wee Herman made an appearance on Lopez Tonight earlier this week and was stunned to find out a woman in the audience had a Pee-Wee tattoo.  I think the real news here is that Pee-Wee was actually shocked to see little Pee-Wee sticking out in the audience.  You’d think he’d learn his lesson by now.

Someone sent Charlie Sheen a bottle of tiger’s blood.  To celebrate he got “Winning” tattooed on his wrist.  I can’t make fun of this at all.  I truly believe that Charlie Sheen is winning.  What he is winning has yet to be determined, but he’s definitely winning something.

And now the story you’ve all been waiting for, because including Julia Roberts in a ModBlog news post is something of a special event, a man has come forward to show off his love and devotion to Julia.  By getting her portrait tattooed on his body 82 times.

Film buff Miljenko Parserisas Bukovic enjoyed one of the actress’ films so much he got 82 tattoos of her FACE permanently etched all over his body.

Miljenko – a newspaper vendor in Mexico – has covered himself from head-to-toe with the pictures.  He splashed out HUNDREDS of pounds on the tattoos after seeing Roberts in her film Erin Brockovich.

So what was that you were saying about the woman with a bunch of Robert Pattinson tattoos?

That’s it for this week everybody.  Remember to keep sending in those links to news stories the world over.

Have a safe spring break, to those in college, and for those affected by the disaster in Japan, please drop someone a line to let them know you’re alright.

24 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: March 11th, 2011

  1. My deepest condolences to those in Japan. I have friends who have relatives in the area, so I hope they’re alright.

  2. BUAHAHAHAHAHA, love to see how that LA tattoo came out after having that ridiculous duck tattooed on his face. that shit is just great

    pamphlets, not a bad idea. didnt realize kids were so quick to jump the gun on getting other peoples names tattooed on them though.

    as for Sheen… hes winning at life. i might have to get that done now too, just cuz hes that amazing

    Ke$ha needs to be shot, right after gaga… *shudders*

  3. Positive thoughts to those in Japan. Luckily my father avoided a business trip that would have brought him over there. <3
    and whats with the bullet, it looks nasty broken up. :(

  4. @pharmacist: I’d put kesha before gaga…by a long shot…(no pun intended)

    This week’s news seems to mostly be a round-up of people doing stupid things… >.<’

  5. Still with that same tired Pee Wee joke? The character may be annoying as hell, but the man never deserved to have his career ruined.

  6. @Kat: I’m about as thrilled as you are when it comes to this week’s stories. Unfortunately there are some weeks where the news outlets seem to focus on celebrities over real stories.

  7. news presenters always seem so surprised that they can still feel aftershocks- aftershocks can continue for well after a year. We had a 7.1 in September in Christchurch- no where near the devastation of Japan- and then had another 6.3 in February which killed many and the aftershocks are still going. My heart goes out to Japan.

    I thought the same thing when I saw the bullet/tampon :D
    And Ke$ha :S

  8. I wonder what’s next. I hope Japan recovers with no more earthquakes, but I’m polishing my shotgun, readying for the zombie apocalypse.

    um…ke$ha hopefully become “who?”.
    the julia roberts guy FREAKS ME OUT!!!
    and lastly, I thought it was a tampon as well. if you’re going to ink your face, at least make it understandable!!!

  9. As much as I love the idea behind “Skin” That movie is incredibly annoying and it is impossible to follow the sentences. I couldn’t even get through two minutes of the movie without getting annoyed. Cool concept though.

  10. I don’t get the story about tattoo removal.. So he fell asleep on his arm and it went numb. Wow. Has happened to me numerous times with a completely healthy, non-lasered arm. I remember the magnetic “piercings” from when i was a kid, we wore them as septum piercing though, mostly.

  11. That video has me in tears, it is hard to follow at certain points, but well worth the minor amount of mental effort that takes to read/listen to something that epic. Maybe if people would stop giving a fuck about lady gaga or any of that shit it wouldn’t be so hard to be some what mindful and be able to sit through a 10min video

  12. love that video for the most part, needs to have the volume/tone levelled a little better, and i don’t really understand the purpose of the one older lady being nude, but it’s a really cool concept!

  13. :( i realise sometimes there is no news, but i come to modblog to escape the celebrity mainstream crap. not to be reminded of all the douche bags out there.

  14. In the event that anyone is curious, that ‘prison’ tattoo that Ke$ha did has (so far) not had any complications like infections or the like. That person she tattooed is actually a friend of mine.

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