ModBlog News of the Week: April 29th, 2011

With all the attention in the news this week focused on the royal wedding, there weren’t a lot of stories for this week’s news.  This meant I actually had to dig up a couple of celebrity stories just so the week wasn’t completely devoid of content.

To kick things off this week we’re going to start with a little science.  A researcher in London has developed a formula that will predict the rate at which a tattoo will fade over time.

Tattoo inks are a suspension of water-insoluble particles, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and iron, which are injected under the skin using a needle.  Over time, these inks become dispersed as the cells which contain them die, divide or leave the body.

Although modern tattooing inks are less likely to fade, their gradual deterioration is inevitable.  Dr Eames said: ‘Skin type, age, size, exposure to the sunlight and the type of ink which is used all influence how a tattoo disperses with time.  ‘Broadly speaking, the small details in a tattoo are lost first, with thicker lines being less affected.  ‘Although finely detailed tattoos might look good when they are first done, they tend to lose their definition after 15 years.’  He added that his model will help increasing numbers of young people who have gone under the tattooist’s needle.  ‘Tattoos are incredibly popular worldwide with more than a third of 18 to 25-year-olds in the U.S. sporting at least one design,’ he said.  The research is published in the Mathematics Today journal.

I wonder if his model takes into account sun exposure, as well as the fact that not everyone’s skin is the same.  I guess only time will tell.  What I don’t get is how this will assist people when it comes to getting a tattoo.  It’s not like it isn’t common knowledge that tattoos can fade over time.

To read the rest of this week’s news, you know what to do.

Over in India Guinness Rishi, a man know for holding several Guinness records, is working on another one, this one involving tattoos of flags.

An Indian businessman has been carrying the flags of 305 countries on his own body to promote amity among nations. Now 70-year-old Har Prakash, who has re-invented himself as Guinness Rishi, is vying in Nepal for his latest world record, hoping to add more flags and more records.”People call me a joker, a mad man,” says the world record aspirant from New Delhi who arrived in Kathmandu to attend the first international tattoo conference and promptly stole the limelight from other younger participants from different countries with more exotic tattoos.  “My dream is to go around the world several times,” Har Prakash told IANS, sitting in the convention hall of the Yak and Yeti hotel while cameras click away furiously. “I want the children of those countries to ask me, where is the flag of our country, spot it and then, in the process, become aware of my country and other countries as well.”

Rishi is now seeking to add a new tattoo record: have the maximum number of tattoo artists work on him.  “The record is held by an American who in 1996 had 22 artists work on him,” he says. “As a matter of fact, I did break the record in Pattaya last year when 25 artists etched 55 flags on me. But I was not familiar with the rules and forgot to make a video recording.”  This time, he has come armed and is asking the 52 tattoo stalls put up for the Kathmandu conference to send one artist each to doodle on him further.  However, while his forehead, head, arms, legs and chest are covered with tattoos, his back remains pristine clear.  “I am saving that for a dream project,” he says proudly. “It’s going to be the Hall of Fame for World Record holding tattoo artists. I will have all their names and achievements tattooed on my back.”

Believe it or not, that’s pretty much it for major stories this week, although there are a couple of other stories that do warrant some attention.

After last week’s article about the outbreak of infected piercings in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, even more cases have come to light.

Another 10 cases of infected piercings have been reported after Hawke’s Bay Today’s article last week, which revealed seven people were being tested for hepatitis because of unhygienic piercings procedures.  Hawke’s Bay District Health Board medical officer of health Lester Calder said the majority of infections were from piercings that took place earlier this year, before the public health unit worked with Trendez operators to put new procedures in place.

If you have had work done at this store, get yourself to a doctor’s office ASAP.

The same thing applies to people who have gotten work done at Sins and Temptations in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Durham Region’s Health Department is alerting clients of a Bowmanville body piercing studio after determining non-sterile equipment may have been used in procedures over the past year.  Non-sterile equipment may have been used in piercings done at Sins and Temptations on King Street West from June of 2010 until the present, the health department said in a news release issued Thursday. Use of non-sterile equipment could lead to transmission of diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, the department said.

Clients who received body piercing services at this facility during the specified time period are asked to call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. to obtain an information package. Clients can also call the health department line this Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m.

Obviously, if you’ve been to either of these studios, get in touch with someone right away.

In celebrity “news” the actor who played the lead in the horrible Beauty and the Beast knockoff earlier this year has gotten himself a tattoo.

One ink spotted on his toned body is that of a cross which is embedded on his right chest. Another is more discreet, nesting above his crotch and saying “Thank You”. “In case I forget to say it,” he winked, by way of explanation.

He should have stuck with the facial tattoos and implants from the film.

Finally, a few weeks back a number of questions were raised about copyright protection towards tattoo designs.  Specifically who owns the rights to a tattoo once it has been put on a person.  Well this week the tattoo artist responsible for Mike Tyson‘s trademark tribal piece is suing Warner Brothers Studios for using his design in The Hangover Part 2.

S. Victor Whitmill, an award-winning tattoo artist who calls the Tyson design “one of the most distinctive tattoos in the nation,” is asking for an injunction to stop the release of the highly-anticipated comedy sequel, set to bow in the U.S. over Memorial Day weekend.

“When Mr. Whitmill created the Original Tattoo, Mr Tyson agreed that Mr. Whitmill would own the artwork and thus, the copyright in the Original Tattoo,” argues the complaint, filed Thursday in federal court in Missouri and obtained by THR. “Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. — without attempting to contact Mr. Whitmill, obtain his permission, or credit his creation — has copied Mr. Whitmill’s Original Tattoo and placed it on the face of another actor … This unauthorized exploitation of the Original Tattoo constitutes copyright infringement.”

Given that the artist does own the copyright to the tattoo, this case could turn interesting in the coming weeks.  Especially considering he’s filed for an injunction to block the film’s release.

So that’s it for this week.  If you come across any stories that you think should be included in next week’s news post, send them my way.

18 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: April 29th, 2011

  1. Wasn’t that 1996 world record holder for most tattoo artist working simultaneously none other than Katzen the Tigress? I know she held the record for a while until some guy beat her with something like 43 artist working on him.

  2. Ugh, saying if you get a tattoo in Durham you’re making a gamble with your health, is hardly a news flash…
    I went to a shop about 6 years ago in Oshawa, and if had both a fire, a flood, and pretty frequent std scares…
    I was 18 and I just wanted a cartilage piercing and it ended with my mom taking me for disease screenings and yelling at me about being irresponsible… I thought NOT letting someone pierce my ear in a garage with a safety pin WAS being responsible… Point being: Durham tattoo shops are for kinds of people, bikers and 20 year olds who want a poorly done butterfly on their ankle… I think considering there are people who fly to other countries to get good work, I can drive for 45 minutes for something I will have for the rest of my life [EVEN, If it will fade in about 15 years...which ALSO isn't news]

  3. Lead and mercury as pigments in tattoo ink? What century is that researcher living in?

  4. I’ve been telling people to stay out of Oshawa and area tattoo shops for years. There are many good places in Toronto and surrounding areas.

  5. I work in Oshawa… Oshawa has some amazing award winning artists and studios. My studio has been over 100% on every inspection and is used locally to train health board inspectors. Oshawa, and Durham in general, use to have a terrible reputation but is slowing changing. You need to know where to look.

    Simply because one decides not to do some research, does not equate to all studios being poor. I can point out various studios in Toronto with below average work.

  6. With the exception of 1 artist at sinful inflictions who does not even work there anymore, durham = shit
    What part of: Had to get blood work from the sketchtastic bikers at longhorn didn’t you get? You need to know where to look, the city…where artists work, not tracers.

  7. Um, yeah, Rob, the mathmetician seems to indicate that skin type and exposure to sunlight are two variables he factored into his model. If you don’t understand it, you shouldn’t even try to make a comment.

    ” Dr Eames said: ‘Skin type, age, size, exposure to the sunlight …”

    Rob: “I wonder if his model takes into account sun exposure, as well as the fact that not everyone’s skin is the same”


  8. @5

    good luck changing the mind of people reading this,
    HOWEVER – Toronto is not perfect. Honestly as shitty as the town I’m living in is, the tri cities have at least 2 VERY decent shops. Just putting that out there.

  9. JonP: Rob thinks he’s a scientist and he double posts the same picture or he brings up beckham or gaga…
    And yeah, Oshawa is sketchy. I wouldn’t get anything done there. I had a good friend who is apprenticed from wildink(s) she wasn’t able to stay at one long, so they moved her to another, so she’s apprenticed at a lot of shops but only because no one can stand her, and she tattooed me in a safe, clean, professional environment and I hate that tattoo everyday and it’s right on my wrist and I have to wear gaudy bracelets or watches [I check my cell, why do I NEED a watch?!] or sleeves, all the time… So, again, thanks dirty ‘shwa

  10. Scrunnel – Actually the vast majority of tattoo pigments consist of metal salts in a carrier…

    You can also look up the paper “Market survey on toxic metals contained in tattoo inks”. You may or may not be able to get access to the paper, so I’ll summarize. The researchers did an analysis of four brands of tattoo pigment in order to determine the prevalence of various metals (aluminum, barium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, manganese, nickel, lead, antimony, strontium, and vanadium). As you would expect, the results indicated the presence of these metals at varying concentrations dependent on both the brand and the color of ink that was analyzed. This really isn’t a surprise.

    That said, the effects (if any) of tattoo pigment on the body remain unknown. I think we all know that it’s possible to have an allergic reaction to pigment, but is there a risk for long-term effects? Who knows… if you look around the internet you’ll find all kinds of articles preaching the dangers of tattoo pigments. More often than not these are sensationalized articles written by people who are less than experts and have no idea what they’re talking about. Common sense would say that the risk is probably minimal, but it’s always a good idea to know what’s being put into your skin.

  11. I’d also add that in the US there are currently no official regulations on tattoo pigment.

  12. It’s also good to note that BME did an interview with a dermatologist a while ago who said that the layers of skin that tattoo pigment stays in is meant to prevent potentially harmful things away from the blood stream (which could be why when people are allergic to a certain ink, it pretty much is pushed out of the skin). Just putting that out there.

  13. I guess this means that the crappy faux-tribal blackwork will ultimately win out against the excellent modern detail work we all gush about here. That’s a shame. I’d much rather hear about ways to keep tattoos from dispersing and fading than how they will inevitably fade.

  14. I’d love for that tattoo design case to go to court and then at the end after all the deliberating over it, the Judge just throw the case out saying the artist has no grounds to sue since the design is a TRIBAL PIECE OF SHIT which requires ZERO artistic skill

    And yeah, stop hanging shit on Rob you pack of bastards

  15. “Tattoo inks are a suspension of water-insoluble particles, such as mercury, lead, cadmium and iron, which are injected under the skin using a needle.” = totally wrong information! Tattoo pigments (erroneously referred to as “inks”) are not necessarily a suspension, and mercury, lead, and cadmium are all toxic metals that are not deliberately in tattoo pigment/ink. The person who wrote this doesn’t even understand the difference between pigments and ink, or color and trace amounts of toxic impurities, even going so far as to define ink with the pigment definition. Also tattoo ink isn’t supposed to be placed under the skin, but in the dermal layer, and it’s not actually injected as the needle goes in but is mostly drawn in by the suction created as the needle comes out of the skin- unless the skin isn’t stretched enough to allow suction from the skin surface on the back stroke; most of the ink goes in as the needle comes out! Because Dr. Eames is claimed to be a Doctor I’m not going to give him any breaks for failing to comprehend the makeup and dynamics of human skin.

    The easy way to tell if a tattoo color is a pigment or an ink is to let a drop fall on a paper towel, if the liquid creeps away from the color leaving a colored spot in the middle it’s a pigment, if the color spreads evenly as the liquid creeps into the towel it’s an ink.

    Talens and Pelican are examples of a tattoo ink, most other brands are pigments.

    Most modern brands of tattoo color are actually pigmented ABS plastic ground down to a fine and even particle size, and very few artists know this, some even swear off plastic based pigments without even knowing that their favorite brands are all ABS based. The best way to estimate if your color is an ABS suspension is to shake the bottle, if the pigment starts to settle out in a minute or so then it’s most likely a pure pigment color; if the pigment doesn’t settle out do a drop test (described above) to see if it’s a pigment or an ink.

    I’m fed up with Dr’s who do fake research purely for personal gain with no consideration for even comprehending basic concepts and definitions; about five years ago I saw a documentary on scarification where all the medical experts mispronounced it as “Scare-ification”.

    I can’t find a link to “Mathematics Today Journal”; did you mean “Mathematics Today Magazine”? I want to read the original article, and if it’s as described will seek clarification directly from Dr. Eames.

  16. The Tyson tattoo case should be thrown out in a U.S court due to the fact that the tattoo is being used to parody a public figure. Now, if the artist takes the suit abroad he will most likely be able to stop the release in many European countries not as protective of parody.

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