ModBlog News of the Week: December 2nd, 2011

I don’t want it to be December already.  I swear only last week was Halloween.  Alright I know last week wasn’t Halloween, it was the week I put up a story about a man tattooing a pile of poop on his girlfriend’s back.  Thanks to a great many of you who were smarter than I, I now know the story was a fake.  Of course e-mails with that link weren’t the only ones I got this week, so the news must go on.  Remember, if you ever come across a story you think should be included in the weekly news round-up, just send me an e-mail.  Unless I’m mistaken almost every story this week was sent in by e-mail.

Starting things off this week is a story involving a train wreck, a dolphin, and a man from Norway.

Heine Braeck, 33, hated his stump, caused by a childhood accident on a train track.  The Norwegian realised the shape of his stump was identical to a dolphin’s head.  So he asked Bulgarian artist Valio Ska to turn the stump into a 3D tattoo, with amazing results.  Valio spent over three hours on the meticulous ink job.

Heine said: “When I was 13 I tried to take a shortcut across the top of a stationary train which started moving.  “I lost my balance and grabbed hold of the wire that powers the train and got fried.  “The first thing I saw after surgery was how much my arm was shaped like a dolphin’s head.  “I finally decided to do something about it and got in touch with Valio and arranged to have the tattoo done. “My friends think it is awesome and I love it because I don’t have to look at a tired old stump anymore.”

Of all the amputation related tattoos I’ve seen, this one may just be the best.

More news to come, so keep on reading.

Alright, so the poo story was fake, but not all of the “back tattoo revenge” stories are.  It was a while ago I that linked the story of an Australia man who thought he was getting a yin/yang symbol, and ended up with a giant cock.  Well the case went to trial and a verdict has resulted in the artist being sentenced to 12 months in jail.

Victim Chester Ives had asked for a Chinese Yin and Yang symbol alongside a dragon and a tiger.  But he was outraged when he later discovered Matthew Brady had ignored his wishes and drawn a phallus instead.  The pair had rowed in Ipswich, Australia, and the tattoo was supposed to be a peace offering.  Ives, 25, then had to get another tattoo to cover up the one Brady had done, which included a slogan implying he was gay.  Brady, 22, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm while armed, assault occasioning bodily harm and performing a high-risk service without holding an infection control qualification.  He was handed a 12-month prison sentence which will be suspended once he has served three months.

To our non-Commonwealth readers the phrase “The pair had rowed” means they got into an argument/fight.  Now personally, if I ever get into a right with someone, I probably won’t ask them to tattoo my back the next day.

In this week’s edition of “Don’t commit a crime if you have a recognizable face tattoo“, a NYC burglar has come to the realization that maybe wearing a mask would be a good idea the next time he wants to break the law.

Police arrested a 22-year-old man suspected of robbing the East 13th Street restaurant Souen after recognizing a tattoo of a bird on the man’s face, NYPD sources said. Suspect Jorge Molina was allegedly running from police in Greenwich Village the afternoon of Sun., Nov. 20, when officers recalled having seen his face in surveillance video of a recent burglary, Sixth Precinct Lt. Keith Maresca said at a precinct community council meeting Wednesday night.  “[Molina] was wearing similar clothes to what he had on in his wanted picture, and the tattoo on the face was obviously very distinguishable,” Maresca said.

Molina was charged with felony burglary in the incident and is being held on Rikers Island on $15,000 bail.  An investigation of the second man who robbed the restaurant is ongoing, Maresca added.  This is not the first time the man with the bird tattoo has been in trouble with the law. Molina did jail time earlier this year for possession of stolen property.  According to court records, he was arrested Jan. 6 on First Avenue near St. Marks Place for allegedly stealing “multiple pairs of gold earrings, necklaces and a topaz ring” — all valued at more than $3,000 — from the home of someone he knew.

I’m amazed at just how many times I’ve posted an almost identical story.  You’d think at some point someone would figure this out.

Now this article doesn’t really fall into the body modification category, however the article does bring up some things that a couple readers pointed out to me.

Occupy protesters “branded” with UV ink.   Occupy protesters in Montreal were dismayed to find they had been marked by police with a special ink that is only visible in UV light after being arrested during a raid of Victoria Square Friday.  Police told CTV Montreal they borrowed the technique from bouncers at clubs and bars and it is meant to mark protesters who might return to the square.  “They wrote on my hand with a permanent marker and then after I felt something pointy and metallic scraping across my skin,” wrote protester Nina Haigh on Facebook, continuing:  I immediately asked “What are you doing” and they simply said we wrote on you with a pen and showed me a bunch of various pens in her hand.    “It felt very similar to some one drawing on you with a nail,” Haigh tells me. “It really wasn’t a pleasant feeling and I passed a good 24 hours wondering what they had done to me before my friends and I figured it out. I did get a rash from the ink for a few days and my hand was rather sensitive.”  She adds the marking faded after four days, “but I still feel my body was violated.”

Now obviously there wasn’t any actual branding taking place, but the fact that she mentioned being scratched after being written on could indicate that the police are trying to get the ink deeper into the skin so it lasts longer.  I guess it brings up the question, can the police do something that is essentially a really lightly done DIY tattoo to mark a person of interest?

A few months back I brought up an article that revealed something that a number of people had already known.  The province of Nova Scotia has no safety regulations with regards to tattooing and body piercing.  While thanks to the tattooing community in Nova Scotia, all of that is about to change.

Services such tattooing, piercing or scarification will fall under the Body Art Act, which Health Minister Maureen MacDonald introduced in the legislature Wednesday afternoon.  There’s an increased risk for infectious diseases and blood-borne pathogens to be transmitted when the skin is intentionally broken for various types of body art, MacDonald told reporters Wednesday afternoon.  She said seven other jurisdictions regulate the industry. Nova Scotia will be the first to require permits, although officials haven’t decided whether the business or the individual providing the services will need one.  Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer, said body art businesses will have to meet standards for hygiene, sterilization, knowledge of basic infection control and other areas.  MacDonald said the body art industry has grown as the popularity of piercings, tattoos and other services have increased, especially among young people.  There are about 50 parlours just in the Halifax-Dartmouth area, said Danny Bartlett, a tattoo artist with Kara’s Urban Day Spa in Halifax, in an interview Wednesday. He said it is surprising there have been no guidelines, let alone regulations, in Nova Scotia, considering the navy city’s long history of tattoo work.

“There’s too many people out there who don’t know, they don’t have the proper training,” said Bartlett, who began tattooing 18 years ago after an apprenticeship with a Newfoundland studio.”As it is right now, anybody can buy a kit online and do tattoos. There’s no proof of knowledge required, it’s kind of buyer beware. So it will be nice to be able to have a certificate that says, look, I’m sanctioned and licensed.”  Tattoo shops should have property trained staff who sterilize all equipment with an autoclave, use single-use needles and make sure all work surfaces are clean, Bartlett said.

This is fantastic news for anyone in Nova Scotia.  Well, except for those who are purposely running dirty shops.  They’ll probably not be fans of this.

As always, I like to leave you with a couple of pieces to read over the weekend.  This week we have this article which discusses the burgeoning trend amongst scientists to get tattooed with images related to their fields, much like chefs all over the world are.

I happen to be friends with Professor Sandeep Robert Datta, a neurobiologist at Harvard Medical School. I call him Bob. In the summer of 2007, Bob and his wife Eliza and their two boys, Jasper and Theo, came to a pool party for the birthday of my nephew Blake, and the esteemed neurobiologist splashed around in the water for hours. It was then that I noticed something on Bob’s arm. He had a tattoo.  When I complimented Bob on his ink, he let me know that the DNA in the picture was not just any DNA. It had a message.

DNA stores information for making proteins in units called nucleotide bases. There are four different bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). It takes three consecutive bases to encode a single amino acid, the building block of protein. There are 20 different kinds of amino acids in humans, each abbreviated with a letter. Bob took advantage of the fact that E is the abbreviation for the amino acid glutamate. He explained to me that his tattoo spelled out the initials of his wife, Eliza Emond Edelsberg.  Once he had a sequence picked out, Bob decided that he did not want to use letters to mark each base in his tattoo, so he came up with his own colour scheme. Green would stand for G, amber for A. And since the bases on one strand of DNA bind to corresponding bases on its partner (A to T, and G to C), Bob needed colours for C and T as well. He chose blue for C (cyan), and – in something of a stretch – red for T (tomato). “Pretty cool,” he said to me.

Sure he may be an eminent neurobiologist, but even I know that it would have been better to go with crimson and teal for the letters C & T.

And finally here’s a gallery showing off the steampunk inspired tools and decor that are currently on display at Wooster St. Social Club in NYC.

Alright, that’s it for this week’s news.  Have yourselves a great weekend, and we’ll see you back here Monday.

3 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: December 2nd, 2011

  1. pretty sure that dna base colour scheme is the standard colour scheme, look in any genetics text book.

  2. Ah, I LOVE it when people can turn personal tragedies into pure awesomeness. Like a boss, good sir. Like a boss 🙂

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