ModBlog News of the Week – Nov 26, 2010

After being laid up in bed last week with a nasty cold, I found out today that my inbox was flooded with two weeks of stories to get through for this week’s news round up.  There’s a lot to cover this week, so let’s get right to it.

To kick things off, LA based food stylist Adam Pearson was yanked off a flight last week, the reason:  his tattoos.

LA-based food stylist Adam C Pearson was on-board a Delta flight on Saturday morning when a flight attendant asked him to step off the plane, reported the Los Angeles Times.  He was told that he had been reported for “suspicious behaviour” because of the words Atom Bomb tattooed across his fingers.

Before the plane took off, he sent a tweet: “Just pulled off delta flight, passenger said I was suspicious looking due to my tattoos @DeltaAssist not happy at all #goldmedallion fail”  After answering more questions,  the frequent Delta passenger was allowed to return to his seat.

“A public apology would be nice,” Pearson said.  ”I’m not out for blood… but why didn’t they offer to book that other person on another flight if they didn’t like my tattoos? Why was that other person more important than me?”  Pearson said he had never before been questioned about his tattoos or behaviour while flying.  ”It really just made me kind of sad that you could just point at someone and say ‘That guy is acting suspicious,’ ” he said. “It was just a bummer.”

Of course airline travel has been all over the news the past couple of weeks with the implementation of those full-body x-ray scanners.  Well, it isn’t so much the scanners that are the issue, but rather the gate rape that you get when you refuse to go through the machine.  For those of you who are travelling and don’t mind going through the scanners, Fox News has a bit of information that may be relevant.

Byrne said this means TSA workers will see any foreign objects close to the skin, including piercings, catheters, and colostomy bags.  Breast implants and prosthetic testicles will also be easily recognizable on the scanner screen.  Still not embarrassed? The X-ray technology has the ability to tell if a man is circumcised or not, although Byrne said the scanners are supposed to be designed to avoid that.

If you do end up traveling soon and you happen to be heavily modified, drop me a line if anything of interest happens, either through the scanner or the pat down.  I’m sure there are a few ModBlog readers who are interested in hearing about it.

There’s lots more to cover so keep on reading…

You may remember from a few weeks back the story of a man who got a penis tattooed on his back by his “friend” when he thought he was getting a something else.  At the time I wasn’t able to find any photos of the tattoo, but this week, I’ve managed to find something better.  An interview with both the victim and the man responsible for the tattoo.

I guess the moral of the story is, don’t let someone tattoo you right after you get into a fight with them.  Especially if they’re not an actual tattoo artist.

Another follow up story from the southern hemisphere is about the police officer who was fired for opening a beer can at a work party.  With his PA.  This one has a happy ending as it seems the officer has been allowed to return to active duty.

Andrew Lawrance was dismissed last year from his role as a sergeant at Grafton after he attached a bottle opener to his piercing to remove the top from a bottle of beer while at dinner with colleagues in Yamba in December 2008.  He told the Industrial Relations Commission he was “egged on” to perform the trick but one man took offence.  Justice Michael Walton ruled that Mr Lawrance’s dismissal was “harsh” and ordered he be allowed back into the force, albeit at the rank of senior constable.  Mr Lawrance has since had the piercing removed and had told the hearing in July that he “regretted” his behaviour.

I really hope that the removal of the piercing wasn’t a condition of his being restored to the force.

Now back is the US a professor has undergone a procedure for an art exhibit that pushes his body to a new limit.  Previously Wafaa Bilal made ModBlog news when he was tattooed with a map of Iraq on his back, with one dot in black in for every US soldier killed, and another dot in blacklight ink for every civilian killed.  This time around Mr. Bilal is having a small camera implanted into the back of his head.

The 3rd Eye

Bilal, who is teaching three courses this semester at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, will wear the camera for one year. It is 2 inches in diameter and less than an inch thick.  The project will raise “important social, aesthetic, political, technological and artistic questions,” he said.  He declined to say when the camera was implanted or other details of the art installation, saying it “will be revealed to the public as part of the museum preview on Dec. 15″ and on a website to be launched on the same day,

He said he chose to have it put in the back of the head as an allegorical statement about the things we don’t see and leave behind.  How it all fits together is still a bit of a mystery.  The camera will capture his everyday activities at one-minute intervals 24-hours a day and then be transmitted to monitors at the museum, said curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented, who commissioned Bilal on behalf of the museum.  ”He doesn’t have to alter his lifestyle or what he does. In principal, he’s moving on with his life,” Bardaouil told The Associated Press from Doha. “It will be a three-dimensional, real space-and-time experience. Once the piece is revealed, you’ll realize that the camera is only one aspect of the work and there are aspects as important that will be experienced.”

As of right now his website is displaying a countdown to when the site is launched.  Hopefully by then we’ll be able to see some photos of the implant itself.

Heading up to the Great White North, Canada popped up in the news quite a few times in the past couple of weeks.

If you watched Ellen earlier in the month you may have seen Vancouver Island native Dustin Thut on the show.

Duncan resident Dustin Thut says he woke up Thursday to calls and text messages saying he had been featured on the show Ellen.  On the program, Ellen DeGeneres called Thut’s letter to her “the most ridiculous thing I have ever, ever seen in my entire life.”    He had asked his boss Mike Morgan for a raise, but was told he’d only get one if he tattooed Morgan’s face on his rear end.  Thut visited Bully Boy Tattoos in Duncan to request what artist Jory Helms called his “most unusual portrait to date.”  ”He came in the next day, and he had this silly look on his face, and he just turned around and dropped his pants,” Morgan said.  ”I pretty much dropped my heart right there and that was that. I gave him the raise.”

That $2 raise didn’t last long, though.  ”I quickly laid him off after that,” Morgan said.

I don’t know about you, but if I had an employee do that, especially after I suggested it, I’d find a way to keep him on staff.

While we’re still on the West coast, Performance Works on Granville Island is hosting an exhibit this weekend entitled “The Tattoo Project“.

The Tattoo Project brings together the work of 12 photographers shooting 100 tattooed models. Footage of creating the exhibit will also be edited together as the final scene in an upcoming documentary that will also be called The Tattoo Project.

The show runs Friday to Sunday, with more information available at

Over in Ontario, tattoo artist Heather Myles from InkSmith Tattoos in Guelph made the news this week with her MedicAlert tattoos.

Medic Alert tattoo

“It was a challenge,” said Heather Myles, the Guelph tattoo artist and owner of InkSmith Tattoos who made up the stencil and did the work for Bortolon-Vettor.  Myles used to be a nurse and understands the crucial role of the MedicAlert system. The engraved tag tells paramedics that someone is allergic to penicillin or peanuts, or has diabetes or a heart condition, for example.   “I really felt I had to make the symbol unmistakable or medical staff won’t take it seriously,” Myles said. “So it’s bold, plain and nothing fancy.”

Robert Ridge, president of MedicAlert Canada, doesn’t see anything wrong with a MedicAlert tattoo when used to supplement the existing program.  “The tattoo is very much a niche response,” Ridge said. “Most people would choose the bracelet or necklace. And emergency responders have been trained to look for the bracelet, not a tattoo.”  Still, “I saw a photo of the tattoo and this one is quite clear. There’s probably no harm as a complement to our program.”  Ridge said members pay an annual fee, which keeps their medical file current. Tattoo wearers would still have to pay the fee.

While we’re talking about medicine, a doctor in Germany recently refused to perform surgery on his patient because of the patient’s tattoo.

A 36-year-old man needing an operation was tattooed with the image of theReichsadler, or Imperial Eagle, perched upon a swastika, daily Bild reported on Friday.  The patient’s 46-year-old doctor said he could not reconcile proceeding with the surgery with his conscience, the paper reported.  “I will not operate on your husband,” the doctor told the man’s wife. “I’m Jewish.”  The doctor then had another physician finish the procedure.

The article doesn’t go into much depth, but I suppose this could bring up a number or moral and ethical problems.  On one hand you have the Doctor who has sworn an oath to take care of his patient, yet at the same time, if something were to happen during the procedure, a case could be made against the doctor that the error occurred on purpose because of the doctor’s personal views towards the patient.  Was the doctor in the right in this situation?

In other news, a woman was arrested last week for trying to perform a type of surgery herself, when she tried to remove her boyfriend’s tattoo with a knife, without his consent.

Miner said Amerson “grabbed a knife and attempted to cut the tattoo of her name off his neck.” A cop reported that Miner had the name “Tressa” inked on the left side of his neck, and that he “observed what appeared to be two scratch marks that ran across the tattoo.”   When questioned by police, Amerson denied assaulting Miner, saying that she had “been sleeping all day.” Cops recovered a small paring knife from the living room floor, reporting that “this was believed to be the knife used.”

In an interview, Miner told TSG that he got the 2” x 2” “Tressa” tattoo in late-July and has been dating Amerson for about a year. Asked if he considered Amerson his girlfriend, Miner replied, “kinda, sorta, not really,” before adding, “she’s pretty crazy.”

I’m not going to lie to you.  I burst out laughing when I read his response to TSG.

Now while we’re on the subject of dumb ideas, and you can’t tell me that trying to cut off your boyfriend’s tattoo with a knife isn’t a dumb idea, when going out to get a tattoo it’s best not to pay with stolen merchandise.  Especially when the stolen property is an accordion.

The instrument was then recovered from Skintone tattoo shop in Pershore, where it had been left as part payment for an unfinished tattoo.  Police are now trying to trace the man who left the instrument behind under a false name.  He is described as white, aged between 25 and 35, thin, taller than 6ft and with a local accent.  His incomplete tattoo features two wolves, a larger one on the upper arm and a smaller one going down the arm to below the elbow.

Another bad idea?  Wanting to get a massive Rolling Stones logo tattooed on your horse.  Thankfully the police intervened when the court ruled that it would be considered animal cruelty.

Finally, in the history of bad ideas, this may take the cake.  Now, I realize this may very well be a hoax or a clever photoshop, which I certainly hope it is, but so far nobody has stepped up to claim responsibility.  What you see pictured below is allegedly a 13 year old son of a Russian tattoo artist, with a full sleeve.

Now before I get into celebrity round-up there is one story this week that qualifies for the round-up, but I won’t be making fun of.   A few days ago Kat Von D‘s house burnt down, and while possessions can easily be replaced, she did lose her cat in the fire.  So Kat gets a free pass this week from my usual snark.

Actually this week was pretty light in terms of celebrity news.

Model Lily Cole dyed her hair black which instantly made her “gothic” in the eyes of the press, who made sure to take note of her “brooding tattoo in Latin” on her foot.

Some website called has published a story rating 12 musicians based on their piercings.  From what I can tell, nipple piercings on guys are bad, single lip rings are good, but multiple lip piercings are bad.  I’m fairly certain the author of the article just picked up the stack of photos and randomly decided what was considered good and bad without actually looking at them.

Finally, Former WCW World Champion (and technically WWE Champion because the title was merged — note: sorry Jen I couldn’t resist), David Arquette was spotted partying it up in Miami.  After hitting up some gay bars, and hanging out with Wee-man, David went and got himself a new tattoo to celebrate his newfound singledom.

Which brings us to the end of this week’s news.  I hope everyone has a great weekend, and remember, if you ever stumble upon a news story that you think should be included in the ModBlog news of the week, just click here to send in the link.

Early news coverage of The Great Omi

One of the most famous “tattooed freaks” of the classic sideshow era — heck, of ANY ERA! — was Horace Riddler, better known as The Great Omi (read more on the BME wiki). I thought it might be interesting to share with you some of the very early news clippings about him — the very first I could discover was dated October 20th, 1934, and was printed in the Lethbridge Herald of Alberta, Canada. Since it’s more than a little hard to read (scanned from old microfiche archives), let me transcribe it:

MIRACLE OF TATTOOING GETS FINISH:The Great Omi, called the ninth wonder of the world, being completely tattooed head to foot. He designed the tattoo patterns himself and the work on his head alone took nine weeks to perfect. Prof. Burchett, shown completing this part of the job, considers it a masterpiece.


A slightly later AP story expanded on those comments and was widely reprinted in papers across the nation (I happened to find it in the Galveston Daily News of April 7th, 1935). It reads:

TOTALLY TATTOOED: The Great Omi, who believes himself to be the only man in the world who is “tattooed all over,” explains it by saying, “I was penniless after the war and–well, I had to do something, so I decided it should be something never done before. It has taken me three years to be tattooed from head to foot–a dreadfully painful process. I suffered agonies. Moreover, it was meant sacrificing every social asset I had. Some people would say I look pretty terrible, but my wife has been wonderful about it. She assures me it is only a matter of getting used to it.” The Great Omi served during the world war as a major in the British army.

He quickly became the most famous sideshow performer of the time and people clamored to see him all over the world. For a time — especially in late 1934 and 1935 when his tattoo transformation was complete and his popularity exploded — his name became synonymous with tattooing, and if you were a journalist assigned to write about tattoos, odds were good you’d fill some column inches with The Great Omi’s story. For example, I was reading an interesting article about the 1934 Tokyo tattoo convention in The San Antonio Light‘s December 2nd, 1934 edition, and they actually spent more time talking about Omi than the convention itself!

Convention of Tattooed People, But the Champion Didn’t Attend

Despite the fact that it is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment and fine, for a Japanese to have his person indelibly inscribed with the tattooer’s needle, a convention of tattooed people recently was staged in the city. The alert police did not molest the delegates to the conclave because every one of them was able to prove that he, or she, had not been tattooed within the past few years, since the ban has been in force.

As the photograph of some of the delegates shows, when an Oriental makes up his mind to get himself tattooed, he does a thorough job of it and covers himself with the sort of red and blue skin pictures that seamen carry around on their arms and chests.

But the convention was not all that it might have been because the grand champion of all tattooed men–a fellow who calls himself the Great Omi–either was unable to attend or just passed up the event as unworthy of his notice.

While the convention was in session and the human art galleries were getting their pictures in the newspapers of the Japanese capital, the Great Omi was touring the British Isles and astounding people who did not envy him in the least. Not for a million dollars would the average human being let himself be so “ornamented.”

The Great Omi is one of the few tattooed men in the world who has permitted the artists with the needle to work on his face as well as his body. As two of the photographs show, there is hardly a square inch of Omi’s head that isn’t covered with a design that makes him look stranger and more savage than the wildest of African medicine men, who go in for that sort of disfigurement.

Prof. Burchett, said to be the world’s outstanding expert in the art of tattooing, supports Omi’s claim that he is the most tattooed man in the world.


I have corrected Their Annoying Capitalization, but underneath the first photo of Omi it says, “The ‘Great Omi,’ most thoroughly tattooed of humans, who holds forth in London. He has spent most of his life decorating his skin with weird designs.” The rightmost picture of Omi reads, “The ‘Great Omi’ submitting himself to the needle to put the finishing touches to the bewildering decorations of head and face.” Finally, the central picture which is of the convention attendees reads, “Six of the many delegates to the convention of tattooed people recently held in Tokyo. These animated Japanese prints are covered with designs from their necks to their thighs but the ‘Great Omi,’ now traveling through the British Isles, found it inconvenient to attend the conclave and told spectators that he is the grand champion of all tattooed people, including the human picture galleries of the orient.”

In addition to being called “The Great Omi” proper, he was often colloquially referred to as “The Zebra Man”, and then as in now, when you become a pop culture icon, you can expect yourself to be referenced in the most unexpected places. For example, the September 17th, 1938 edition of the syndicated serial pulp comic strip “Ella Cinders” (running from 1925 through 1961), which I think is as good a place as any to end this entry. Zoom in so you can read the words clearly.


ModBlog News of the Week: November 25th, 2011

I hope everyone is having a safe Black Friday.  Nobody got injured at Wal-Mart over a $2 waffle-iron I hope.  It’s time again for the news of the week, but first I just want to remind you that if you find a story you think should be included in the news of the week, just send me an e-mail with the link.

Starting off today is a quick follow-up from a couple of weeks ago.  If you recall I mentioned a scam that is targeting tattoo studios.  Well since posting that warning, more people have spoken up and it’s not limited to the east coast.  In addition, the scammers are using the relay service designed for deaf people to communicate over the phone.  Obviously if you get a client calling you and demanding your credit card to pay a driver, you know it’s a scam.  However there are a number of deaf people who do use the service legitimately, so don’t dismiss every relay call as a scam.

Now then, on to the news.

A couple of Dayton, Ohio residents are going to be spending some time in court after a tattoo related incident led to a lawsuit.

Tattoo artist, Ryan L. Fitzjerald was hit with a $100,000 lawsuit last week by his ex-girlfriend Rossie Brovent.  She claims that her boyfriend was supposed to tattoo a scene from Narnia on her back but instead tattooed an image of a pile of excrement with flies buzzing around it.

Apparently Ryan found out that she had cheated with a long-time friend of his and this was his way of getting even.  Originally Rossie tried to have Ryan charged with assault but it turns out this crafty tattoo artist got her to sign a consent form prior to the tattoo and it said that the design was ‘at the artists discretion’, she claims; “he tricked her by drinking a bottle of cheap wine with me and doing tequila shots before I signed it and got the tattoo”.  “Actually I was passed out for most of the time, and woke up to this horrible image on my back.”

Man, that’s a crappy tattoo.

More news and bad jokes to come, so keep on reading.

This is directed mostly at the modified parents out there, but even if you don’t have children, feel free to chime in.  What would you think if you showed up at your child’s daycare to find that their ears had been pierced without your knowledge or consent? A woman in Texas just had that happen to her this week.

Eloise Cardenas, 45, said she went to pick up her daughter, Mia, and her son Wednesday evening at the Marquita KinderCare, 3700 Marquita Drive, when one of Mia’s teachers told her that the girl had been complaining that her ears hurt.  “She’s been having allergies so I thought maybe she was coming down with an ear infection,” Cardenas said. “I turned around and looked at Mia, and she had loop earrings on, like for an adult. I was like, ‘Who pierced your ears?’ I was so mad I was seeing red.”

Cardenas said Mia told her that a teacher in a different class had done the piercings, which left the girl’s earlobes sore and red. When confronted by Cardenas, that teacher reasoned that Mia had said “it was OK,” according to Cardenas.  “I said, ‘She’s a kid. You’re the adult. You should have known better,’” Cardenas said. “I don’t care how you look at it, it’s wrong.”  Colleen Moran, a spokeswoman with KinderCare’s corporate office in Portland, Ore., said the company takes such situations seriously and has disciplined the teacher.  “We wrote her up, which is part of our disciplinary protocol,” Moran said. “We talked to her about the situation and choices she made, and how safety and security of the children in our care is our top priority. Parents trust us every day, so we value that trust.”

Cardenas and her husband filed a report with Fort Worth police Wednesday night.

Now here’s where things get interesting.  The couple filed a lawsuit, however when it comes to piercing children’s earlobes, the law is a little murky.

While the Texas Health and Safety Code prohibits body piercings on children younger than 18 without the consent of a parent or guardian, the law does not apply to earlobe piercings.  The Police Department’s crimes against children unit reviewed the case, but the incident was found not to meet the criteria of a crime because the girl’s “ears had previously been pierced and earrings reinserted,” the unit’s supervisor, Sgt. Jim Thomson, said Thursday.  Thomson said, however, that police are referring the case to the state Department of Family and Protective Services’ child-care licensing division.

Marissa Gonzales, a spokeswoman for the state agency, said licensing employees had never heard of such an allegation before.  She said such an incident would probably be investigated under the standard of whether the caregiver demonstrated competency, good judgment and self-control in the presence of children.  Moran said KinderCare has also alerted the state’s licensing division about the incident. She said that while the teacher has not been fired, as the Cardenases have requested, “if licensing comes back with something then we would, of course, follow their direction on that.”

Cardenas telephoned the day-care center Thursday morning and said Mia and her brother will not return. She said that while she and her children had loved the day-care center, she will not allow them to go back as long as the teacher is still employed.  “I don’t blame the day care,” Cardenas said. “I blame her.”  Adding to her anger, Cardenas said, was that the teacher had accused Mia of lying when the crying girl told her mother that the piercings hurt. The teacher insisted that Mia had told her that it did not hurt, Cardenas said.

“She didn’t act like there was anything wrong with it. That’s what got me,” Cardenas said. “I was just shocked about the whole thing.”  Cardenas said she was also troubled when the teacher told her that she had also put earrings on other children.  “What are you doing putting earrings on kids? Even if their ears were already pierced, that’s unsanitary,” Cardenas said. “I don’t know where those earrings have been. … It’s just gross.”

So somewhere out there is a daycare worker who thinks that it’s alright to pierce a child without consent, and will continue to do it as long as the kids ask for it.  Is a 5-year old child old enough to make the decision to modify their bodies?

I was going to save this article for later, but seeing as how the previous one touched on consent and ethics, here’s an article that examines one of the most controversial modification related subjects: circumcision.

A couple of Christmases ago, my family was discussing the impending birth of my cousin’s son. As a rule, we don’t breed that much and with an average of one new addition every 17 years the entire table was quickly caught up in the excitement. Discussion ranged from possible names and parenting styles to whether or not he was going to make a good front-row forward.  It was all a bit of fun until the question of circumcision was raised. That’s when the convivial mood suddenly changed. Battle lines were quickly drawn with the men especially keen to jump in. Each side made impassioned protests that it is cleaner, safer or, conversely, barbaric and reduces sexual pleasure.

“It is the combination of public health benefits, minor surgery, sex and vitriolic minorities opposed to it,” explained Brian Morris, Professor of Molecular Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney and founder of website Circ Info.  Seeking expert medical opinion on the matter in order to gain a more impartial perspective, I was surprised to discover how divisive the issue is among doctors. I was warned by Morris that his opponents “use emotive fallacious propaganda to distort the truth and further their cause” and to be “extremely sceptical about everything they have to say.”  Meanwhile, Dr Robert Darby, author of A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain, said, in response to claims that anti-circumcision practitioners are propagandists, “It is the circumcision advocates who are both ill-informed and tunnel-visioned.”  “At least one in two uncircumcised males will experience a urinary tract infection, which in infancy leads to permanent kidney damage in half of cases,” reported Morris. “Phimosis [tight foreskin], balanitis [inflammation] and high-risk HPV mean one in 1000 uncircumcised men will get penile cancer over their lifetime. The risk of prostate cancer has been found to be up to twice as common in uncircumcised men. In the female partners of uncircumcised men, risk of cervical cancer is up to five times higher, genital herpes two times higher and chlamydia up to five times higher.”

With the possibility of potentially fatal complications like excessive blood loss and meningitis, and the far more common danger of excessive skin removal and accidental partial glans amputation, caregivers need to weigh up the proposed benefits against the risks of what is essentially cosmetic surgery. A growing trend towards foreskin restoration, of which a couple of my friends are a part, also indicates long-term psychological implications.  “For a surgical intervention to be ethical and indeed legal, the person must give informed consent,” said Dr Darby. “This means that the doctors must provide an accurate account of all the possible complications and adverse outcomes of the operation. This rarely happens in the case of circumcision, where the warnings are often less comprehensive than those on a packet of aspirin … The basic principles of bioethics have been set out by Beauchamp and Childress; circumcision of minors violates every one of them.”

Then there’s the factor that most adult men are concerned with: sexual pleasure. While professor Morris claims sexual pleasure “is either the same or better when circumcised”, Darby acknowledges that while it’s notoriously subjective, there’s plenty of evidence that it reduces functionality of the penis. A recent Danish study discovered that circumcised men have a threefold risk of experiencing delayed orgasm and their female partners are twice as likely to be sexually frustrated.  “Not only does the foreskin contain the vast bulk of the pleasure-sensing nerves of the penis, but it provides a gliding action that facilitates and enhances sexual activity of all types,” he said. “Before the 20th century it was well understood that the foreskin was the sexually dynamic and responsive component of the penis, which is why Victorian purity and anti-masturbation campaigners were so keen to cut it off.”

So there you have it.  One side shows studies that prove circumcision is the healthy option, and the other side can show that complications can arise, and there may be a lack of sexual function.

Moving away from the hot button topics, we have Movember, which is coming to an end.  A town in the UK has taken up the Movember cause, and a number of the women are showing their solidarity by getting finger tattoos.

Females from Barry, South Wales, have been flocking to their local ink parlour to get the designs on their digits.  Going under the needle costs £10 a time – with all the proceeds going to the campaign which seeks to raise awareness of male cancers.  Traditionally men seek sponsorship to sport facial fuzz during the month of November. But the town’s Chameleon Tattoos offers women a choice of nine different taches or the option to design one of their own.  The styles include The Wisp, The Trucker, The After Eight, The Rock Star, The Connoisseur, The Undercover Brother, Abrakadabra, The Box Car and The Regent. And the girls also have a number of different colours ranging from traditional black to more subtle flesh coloured tones.

Harriet Tutton, 22, yesterday showed off her body art and explained she liked it because it wasn’t too obtrusive.  She said: “I really love my moustache tattoo. “It looks really good and it’s for a great cause, but the best thing is it’s not too visible so I can hide it if I really want to.”  Explaining her choice of style, she added: “I’ve gone for the connoisseur because it’s the classiest.

I can’t wait for Decembeard.  ModBlog needs more bearded men submitting photos, so make with the submissions.

In yet another story of government creating unnecessary legislation, a Kentucky state representative is seeking to create a law that would require all tattoo studios to put up a sign that says “any tattoo on the neck, forearm or lower leg shall automatically disqualify the wearer from military service in the United States Armed Forces”.

State Rep. Ron Crimm, R-Louisville, pre-filed a bill that would require tattoo parlors to post a sign reminding patrons of military restrictions on body art.  Crimm told The Kentucky Enquirer that the warnings would serve as a reminder and the bill isn’t aimed at hurting tattoo parlors.”I thought this would serve as a word to the wise,” Crimm said.Military regulations regarding tattoos don’t necessarily prohibit tattoos on arms and legs and vary according to the branch. Generally, the military prohibits neck tattoos and tattoos with racist or other material deemed obscene by military command.

Tattoo artist Tommy Partin, who works at Designs by Dana in Covington, said most of his customers are aware of the military restrictions.  “I know people that get stuff covered up to get in the military,” Partin said. “If they have a pinup girl on the arm, they are asked to put a top on her.”A picture of any tattoo on anyone who enlists in the Army National Guard in Kentucky gets reviewed by Maj. Fred W. Bates V, recruiting and retention battalion commander for the Kentucky National Guard. He can sign a waiver or send it to leadership for a recommendation.Sometimes the Army tells the enlistee to cover a tattoo or get it removed if the person wants to enlist, he said.”The military is inclusive, and you don’t want a tattoo that racially offends someone else or that’s degrading to women,” Bates said. “In the military, you have to serve together and fight in combat together. You don’t want these issues causing problems. And there are standards in the uniform. There are standards in the Army about haircuts and piercings that people can and can’t have.”

Lind said tells customers who want tattoos on the neck or other highly visible areas the potential consequences and what types of tattoos they should consider, such as the names of children instead of names of their partners, which could change.  “Saw a girl last week who got a tattoo of her significant other, his name on her neck,” Lind said. “She wants it covered up now, a week later. You try to explain to people, but they want what they want. They’ll look at the sign in the same way.”

I can’t think of a single artist that will tattoo above the neck without first mentioning the “jobstopper” speech.

To wrap up this week is a pair of articles examining two different cultures.  The first is from the BBC and they discuss the historical significance of this new trend in “ear gauging“.

Ear stretching goes back a long way.  But you don’t have to visit a museum or travel to a remote-ish part of the world to see it because the practice has been adopted in many Western countries.  However, it is not so common that it goes unnoticed. Stretched piercings do tend to stick out like the proverbial sore thumb, particularly if the hole is substantial enough to hold a small object. For many people, there is an “ouch” or an “eugh” factor when they see someone with a substantial ear lobe stretch but for those that have it done, it is a thing of beauty.

Statistics are not easy to come by but, as with tattoos, there is extensive anecdotal evidence that ear stretching is on the rise. More people are wearing them, DIY kits are more widely available and there is a much greater choice of jewellery.

Ear stretching has became more mainstream in the last decade and different people have become attracted to it because they see it on the catwalks and celebrities.  Hard-core modifiers have to up the ante to defy the commercialisation of the practice, Prof Pitts-Taylor suggests.  “It is a slightly more committed body art than temporary practices or ear piercing. The more you stretch the skin, the more commitment you are expressing to a counter cultural look.”  People who are obsessed with getting the largest stretch possible are known in the business as a “gauge queen” or “gauge king”, according to Fox.

I’m sorry.  I can’t bear to copy any more.  I’ve never, ever, heard the terms “gauge king and queen” before.  To be fair the article does go on the mention the cultures that stretching comes from, as well as discussing techniques.  Plus they get bonus points for stressing people to take their time and not rush things.

Today’s last story is somewhat of a sad one.  In South West China there are only 41 remaining Derung women with traditional facial tattooing.

It’s a rare sight to see a facial tattoo. But you may be surprised that in China’s southwest, there are 41 old women who have retained their facial tattoos once seen as a symbol of beauty.  Facial tattooing is an unique tradition of the Derung ethnic minority. They live in the mountains of the Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province. Girls used to have their faces tattooed before marriage. But as time goes by, only 41 old women are left to testify about the now extinct practice.  Most of the tattoo women live on the Gaoligong Mountain, more than 2,000 meters above sea level. In order to make this cultural heritage live on longer, border police started to give a medical checkup to the old women with facial tattoos in 2006 and established archives for them.

Yan Xiulian, is one of four facial-tattoo women who are over 90. However, with the passing away of the last tattoo master, the facial tattoo has become a riddle that nobody can decipher.

It’s a great article and includes an English-language video from a Chinese news outlet.  I think the saddest part of the story is that within a few years this tradition will become completely extinct.  With no master to pass on the secrets of the techniques and meanings, there isn’t much hope for it to be preserved.

That’s it for this week folks.  Have a fun weekend and I’ll see you back here Monday.

ModBlog News of the Week: October 28th, 2011

Well another week has gone by which means it’s time for another edition of the ModBlog News of the Week.  After missing last week’s news there’s quite a bit to get caught up on, so lets get going.

Now a few weeks back I linked to a story about parents complaining that there is a Barbie doll being sold with temporary tattoos that is offending some parents.  Well those offended parents must not have been keeping up on the latest Barbie news as they’re only now starting to complain about the Tokidoki branded Barbie.

The Internet is abuzz with the news that a recently released Barbie designed by the L.A.-based Tokidoki brand comes complete with a pale pink bob, stacked bracelets, an annoyed-looking pet named Bastardino (seriously) and, oh yeah, a ton of tattoos on her neck and shoulders.  Media outlets such as U.S. News & World Report and The Telegraph have suggested (with meager evidence) parents are outraged that Barbie has been tattooed. And on television, concerns about the doll’s new ink and its impact on children have been raised on the “Today” show, “Good Morning America” and CNN.

But here in L.A., the folks at the Tokidoki offices are shaking their heads in wonderment at the media frenzy and fielding phone calls in amusement.  It’s a lot of fuss over a $50 doll that has been marked “For adult collectors only,” they say.  “The doll was meant for adult collectors. Only 7,400 were made; it’s only available online,” a spokesperson for Tokidoki told The Times. “It’s not like your kid is going to pick this up at Target.”

The Tokidoki Barbie, which became available for sale Oct. 6, is just one of a series of collaborations that Mattel has done with designers over the years.  On Mattel’s Barbie Collector website, buyers can purchase a Barbie clad in a full leather cat suit designed by Christian Louboutin ($150), and a Countess Dracula Barbie with a deep-V dress that descends to below where her belly button would be, designed by Bob Mackie ($150).

For any Barbie related questions, please direct them to BME’s resident doll collector, and current owner of the Tokidoki Barbie, Jen.

Alright, there’s much more news to come, including a video that has been sent to me over 20 times in the past week.

I’m not sure who came up with the idea, but you would think that even if you tattoo people out of your kitchen or living room, you would recognize that tattooing a nine year old is a bad idea.  Well, someone in Scotland disagreed and now the police have to issue warnings like this one regarding “tattoo parties”.

A warning has been issued over illegal “tattoo parties” after a nine-year-old child was given a permanent tattoo.  In another incident in the Falkirk area an adult gave tattoos to adults under the age of 18 at a party involving alcohol and drugs.  Central Scotland Police has issued a warning over the practice of tattooing children after they had received reports of both recent incidents.

Sergeant Allyson Blair, of the interventions, intelligence and information bureau, said that current laws only allow for under-18s to receive a tattoo to indicate a medical condition such as a chronic illness or allergy.  She added: “The legislation states that it is an offence to tattoo a person under the age of eighteen except when the tattoo is performed for medical reasons by a duly qualified medical practitioner or by a person under his direction.  “Further research is being carried out into the information we have received but we would strongly advise anyone who is carrying out such acts to think of the potential consequences both in legal and criminal terms as well as health implications.”

Speaking of bad ideas, a Wisconsin man was arrested last week after breaking into a tattoo studio in the middle of the night.

Over the weekend, police arrested an intoxicated man for breaking into a North Frances Street apartment and a tattoo parlor allegedly to “get a tattoo on his buttocks” at 1:24 a.m. Sunday morning.  When officers arrived, they found the suspect inside Big Guns Tattoo acting “agitated and confused,” according to the report from Madison Police spokesperson Joel DeSpain.  The report said the man “reeked of alcohol,” slurred his speech and claimed he was at the parlor “getting a tattoo.”

A concerned citizen alerted police early Sunday morning after witnessing the suspect “smash through two glass doors” in the 400 block of North Frances Street, according to a police report.  The citizen who reported the incident said the suspect was outside the tattoo parlor earlier in the evening “yelling something about needing to get a tattoo on his buttocks.”

Police arrested the suspect, 22-year-old Ryan Brennan, on two counts of criminal damage to property, two counts of entry into a locked building and underage possession and consumption alcohol off licensed premises.

For some reason I don’t think he used the word “buttocks” in his late night drunken ramblings.  There was no report on what design he was looking to get.

Police in Adelaide, Australia have turned to local tattoo artists to help find a suspect in a sexual assault case.

The victim, who was attacked on October 19 after the suspect broke in to her Croydon home, has worked with police and a tattoo artist to recreate the tattoo.  The victim saw a tattoo of a woman on her attacker’s inner left forearm.  Police have canvassed up to 30 tattoo parlours and studios across Adelaide in an attempt to identify any men with a similar tattoo.  Sexual Crime Investigation Branch Detective Sergeant Simon Bell said the tattoo was the police’s strongest lead to identify the suspect.  “The tattooist community that we have spoken to has been extremely helpful,” he said.  “We have had a great amount of assistance from the tattooist community where the artists have spoken with our victim, with our assistance, and they have created a likeness to the tattoo that the victim saw on the suspect’s arm.”

If you live in or around Adelaide and recognize this design, the article has a list of contact information you can use to get in touch with the police.

In legislative news, the Welsh government is looking to put in place age restrictions on piercings.  As it stands currently, Wales has no minimum age limits for any type of piercing.

Under-16s would be stopped from having cosmetic piercings without their parents’ permission under a proposal from the Welsh government.  It will consult on whether there should be a legal age of consent for piercings, including to ears.  Ministers fear young people being exposed to problems after being pierced, such as infections.  Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said there had been tragic cases when people had died after being pierced.  There is no minimum age of consent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for piercing. Under-16s in Scotland need parental consent.  The Welsh consultation will ask whether new restrictions are needed and, if so, how they should be implemented.  In a statement to AMs on Tuesday, Ms Griffiths said: “If a minimum age of consent for cosmetic piercing were introduced in Wales, I would favour setting the age at 16 years.”

If you read the article all the way through, the comments section has some comedy gold:

“Tongue piercings are basically a sex aid, like nipple and genital piercings, and should be illegal for under-16s for this reason.”

The US Military is also looking to change some of their rules regarding modifications, in particular tattoos and manicures.

We don’t often think of strict military standards being decided over Facebook. But several weeks ago Sergeant Major Raymond F. Chandler III posted a proposal on his Facebook wall: do the army standards for personal appearance need to be stricter?

Over the next few months, we will be revising AR 670-1. We are especially looking at Chapter 1, which deals with grooming standards. What parts of that chapter do you want to see changed? Give me your thoughts on earrings for females in ACUs, or if French-tipped fingernails should be allowed. What about tattoos? Do visible tattoos in ACUs (neck, hands, etc.) keep us from being professional Soldiers? Thanks again for all who voice their opinions but remember to keep it professional.

Chandler and his fellow military leaders are looking to tighten up the rules, he told the Army Times. “I believe that we can better visualize to the American people and the Army what it means to be an American soldier than we’re doing now,” he said.

I’m not 100% of the legitimacy of this story simply because it came from The Huffington Post’s style section, and they spent more time worrying about the impact not having french tips would have on women in the military.

More news this week from Springfield, Mo.  As many of you know, the local AGRO chapter has come under fire by some city councilors and are facing the possibility of having suspensions forced indoors.  This week things have finally taken a turn in a positive direction as the local media published a story defending their right to suspend in their own backyards.

It must be our age showing, but we don’t get the Anti Gravity Relaxation Organization’s use of hooks threaded under the skin for suspension in the air. Heck, we don’t even like splinters.  But in any case, we don’t really believe this is such a popular and growing pastime in Springfield that a new city ordinance is needed at this time.  A proposed ordinance would follow the state’s lead and not allow the practice if the state prohibits it. The draft would also prohibit the use of public parks or property.  But the city’s action may have more to do with it being uncomfortable — not just for the practitioners, but observers.  A suspension session held in a nearby private backyard recently prompted concerns by neighbors Aaron and Cathy King. We can understand that it was a problem for these parents. But a bit of rope and some sheets by one party or the other after a brief conversation might have been the immediate solution.

No one is arguing that suspension practitioners don’t have the right to push pointy steel into their skin.  In fact, a quick Internet check finds that this practice of suspension appears to have followers not only in a number of states but around the world. Practitioners reference the spiritual as well as the social aspects to the activity. Addressing the health issues is evidently a real concern of the people involved — though you are still wounding your body.  The issue for us is whether this has reached the level of city involvement. We believe the staff and City Council time should be spent on more pressing issues. If there comes a time when suspension clubs proliferate in the Ozarks or fishing enthusiasts report a shortage of hooks, then it can become a matter of public concern.  Shane Shields, co-founder of the local group, has said AGRO will make some concessions. So for now, we urge AGRO members to be good neighbors. A less conspicuous site would be best.

I’ll continue to keep an eye on this and report back on any new developments.

To those of us that are tattooed, how long was your longest tattoo session?  6 hours?  8?  10?  Well if your name is James Llewellyn that number may soon be 50.

A charity fundraiser is attempting to break a world record – by going under a tattooist’s needle for 50 hours.  James Llewellyn, a 27-year-old call centre manager, will have a large and intricate design drawn onto his leg in a bid to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest tattoo session.  The extensive piece of body art, featuring scenes from the Bible and Milton’s classic Paradise Lost, will be completed by Blackwood tattooist Dave Fleet.  James, who lives in Cardiff, will put himself through the ordeal at the city’s Grosvenor Casino to raise money for Cancer Research Wales – a charity close to his heart.

James, who already has a number of tattoos, but has been on a healthy diet and has gone through hypnotherapy to help deal with the pain of the 50-hour-long tattoo session.  Tattooist Dave, who owns the Abracadabra parlour in Blackwood, has 33 years of experience with a needle, but has never worked on a tattoo for more than 10 hours.  He said: “I’m not nervous yet, but I may be when I’m there. I’ll do it though, no problem and long as James will sit through it.”  Most of James’ tattoo will be hand drawn by Dave, who will have to adapt the designs to fit onto the leg.

Honestly, I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like.

Alright, for today’s last story, it’s the video that so many of you have sent to me.  Montreal’s Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy to many of you, has had a busy year.  After being selected by stylist Nicolas Formichetti to showcase Mulger’s spring collection, he was then featured in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video.  Now Rick has become the spokesmodel for Dermablend make-up, which has garnered him even more attention thanks to this brilliant piece of advertising.

And that’s all for this week.  Remember to keep sending me those news articles, and make sure to take lots of pictures this weekend.  Halloween is on Monday and I’m hoping to see some great costume and pumpkin photos!  Have a great weekend folks, and remember to be safe.

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.

ModBlog News of the Week: February 18th, 2011

Fridays on ModBlog mean a couple of things.  It’s the day for the scarification follow-ups, there often is a BME Girl post, Sean posts the latest entry in his Cliff Cadaver series, and the day ends with the news.  With last week’s news being celebrity heavy, this week it’s back to business with some real news, although those damn attention seekers just couldn’t stay out of the news for just one week.

First up is an interesting story out of China.  A Belgian tattoo artist has set up shop at an Art Farm, and is using live pigs to display his art.


He decorates them with smiling faces, Louis Vuitton logos and various words. Art collectors can buy the pigs and pay for their upkeep or purchase their tattooed skins after the pigs pass away, paying up to a few thousand dollars.

Forty-six year old win said the pigs are a nice allegory that makes us think about what art means to us, and where the line exists between what art is and what art isn’t.

Now this story appears to be a couple years old, but looking back through the archives it seems that it was never featured in the news before.  As you can imagine, at the time a large number of animal rights groups were opposed to this type of art.  The main issue I see is the one about consent, in that animals can’t give it.  Judging by the video the pig being tattooed may have been sedated, as it reacted to the needle negatively, but only needed one hand to hold him down.

There’s more news to come, including a young man getting a skull tattooed over his face, and an implant that wasn’t wanted.

Much to my surprise, it seems that England has it’s own version of the Jerry Springer show.  Or possibly Montel.  Anyway, earlier in the week “Mad Dog” Deon appeared on the Jeremy Kyle show because his girlfriend wasn’t too happy with his recent facial tattoo.

His girlfriend Catherine, 31, also appeared on the ITV1 programme titled “How Could My Boyfriend Destroy His Own Face?”, during which she complained about his decision.  Kyle said: “I’m slightly struggling as to why anyone would have a skull tattooed on their face.”

Layabout Deon told the ITV1 show that he wasn’t finished with his “artwork” yet – saying he was planning to have even more tattoos on his neck.

Ignoring the biases in the article (the author referred to him as a Layabout, workshy, and a waster), it does appear that young Deon is relishing the attention being given to him as of late.

While Deon’s facial tattoos are affecting his family life, it seems that all over the world tattoos are becoming the new family scrapbook.  Gone are the days when a crafty type would come out of a shop with an armload of decoupage.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, tattoos were historically, “permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment.”  This has been going on for thousands of years. Not too far removed from where we are today.

I’m starting to understand that there must be a great emotional tie to this behavior. A memory of a loved one, a stand for independence or even an expression of deep seeded emotion.  The process goes way beyond the pain, the color and the permanency.

The author goes on to describe how her husband and son have strengthened their bond by getting tattooed together.  It’s sappy, but it’s always nice to see a story where people who get modified aren’t portrayed as lazy or criminal.

In fact, the myth that modified people can’t get a job is slowly disappearing.  The Vancouver Sun stopped by the Canadian offices of Google and discovered that business are starting to look at people for their skills, and not their appearance.

At Google’s Canadian headquarters, a strict dress code is enforced: employees must wear clothes.

There was a time when tattoos and piercings would mean difficulty getting onto an organization’s staff; today, eliminating employees with tattoos and piercings would make it difficult for many organizations to even have staff.

So while people may be more accepting of piercings and tattoos in the workplace, it seems that the idea of the Queen of England having a tattoo isn’t something everyone is ready for.

The cartoon-style image hangs outside the newly-refurbished Queen’s Arms pub in Acomb, near Hexham.  Acomb Parish Council chairman Major Charles Enderby described the sign as “most distasteful and inappropriate”.  But owner David Crawford-Emery claimed the image was based on his mother, who he said “looked like the Queen”.  The sign shows a woman resembling the Queen smiling, with what appears to be Buckingham Palace in the background, her arms folded with a tattoo of the name Phil on one of them.

Buckingham Palace said it would not comment.

While we’re on the subject of acceptance, the Arizona Daily Wildcat has an interesting piece on Jewish law and how it applies to tattoos.

While Jewish law explicitly prohibits having a tattoo, there is no basis for restricting burial rites for Jews who violate this rule, contrary to popular myth.

The Torah, or written Jewish law, states “you shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.”  This, as well as the Jewish concept that Jews are created b’tzelem Elokim or “in the image of God,” is sometimes interpreted to mean Jewish people are banned from getting tattoos, according to information provided by the Hillel Foundation. While, in Judaism, voluntary tattooing shows disrespect for the gift that is the body, it is no worse then violating any other “halacha,” or Jewish laws.

Max Rusinov, Hillel’s Israel fellow, said that tattoos are a symbol of slavery. For example, during the Holocaust, the Auschwitz concentration camp prisoners received number tattoos as a form of identification. This helped propel the myth that Jews cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery if they have a tattoo because it disrespects Holocaust victims.

Moving over to medical news, researchers at MIT have found a way to implant microscopic medical sensors into a person without having the body reject them.

MIT is exploring embedded microworm biomedical sensors that detect medical conditions. And reading them could be as simple as shining a light on the skin and seeing the microworm tattoos glow.

A number of research effortsare underway to exploit micro-particle technology to sense medical conditions, but though there are significant benefits to the technology the actual design of the system is problematic–nanoparticle and microparticle sensors can be swept away from where they’re supposed to be by normal body processes. Enter MIT and Northeastern University with a new variety of microparticle sensor that’s shaped like a long narrow tube–hence microworm–that is better at staying put in tissue and provides a greater surface area for chemical reactions. They’re also so small that the body is effectively unaware of  their presence, and there are fewer of the rejection issues that can occur with larger embedded sensing devices.

While the author of the article calls them fluorescent tattoos, they are much closer to an implant than a tattoo.

Speaking of implants, imagine what it would be like to wake up one morning and discover that you have a piece of metal embedded in your flesh.

After a woman, Anne, in Lyon, France, complained of postsurgery abdominal pains, an X-ray revealed a pair of 4-inch-long surgical scissors that somehow had been forgotten and left inside her for five months.

Anne realized something was wrong after a coughing fit when she discovered that the point of the scissors had suddenly pierced her navel. The scissors were finally removed and she’s reportedly planning to sue the surgeon.

Ok, so it might not have been an implant in the traditional sense, but it does have a great gallery of other medical instruments found in people.

On a completely unrelated note, some people really love their iced coffee.

But Kieran Hollis of Stuart Park loves Paul’s Iced Coffee so much he had a carton of the stuff tattooed on to his shoulder.  Mr Hollis, 26, hasn’t even told the iced coffee manufacturer, Parmalat Australia, about the tattoo, because the thoughtful fellow feared it might be upset about copyright issues.

The tattoo was inked in “one of the better” parlours in Thailand, where his parents work, after a Darwin tattoo shop refused him. “They wouldn’t do it, they said it would look stupid,” he said.  At the airport on the way to Thailand, Mr Hollis downed a carton of the tasty milk drink before flattening it into his baggage, so the tattooist could recreate the image about six months ago.

He said that the tattoo cost about $100, and took about 7 1/2 hours.

I think the most newsworthy item in this story is that he got 7 1/2 hours of work done for $100.  I wonder if I can get that price from my artist.

To wrap things up with the real news, we have a story that isn’t actually news at all.  Heck it’s not even an article.  Irena Werning is a photographer working on a project that has adults recreate a photo of themselves when they were a child.    One of the subjects of her work is someone longtime ModBlog readers will recognize, La Negra.

I love old photos. I admit being a nosey photographer. As soon as I step into someone else’s house, I start sniffing for them. Most of us are fascinated by their retro look but to me, it’s imagining how people would feel and look like if they were to reenact them today… A few months ago, I decided to actually do this. So, with my camera, I started inviting people to go back to their future.

And now it’s time for the part of the news that really shouldn’t be called news at all… The Celebrity Round-up!

According to news reports, if you put two moderately tattooed celebrities near each other, they become the best of friends.  Because of their tattoos.  No other reason whatsoever.

Kelly Rowland, who you may remember as the one who wasn’t Beyonce in Destiny’s Child, got her first tattoo.  There isn’t much else to say other than it’s a masterpiece.

When she’s not taking naked pictures of herself to be “accidentally” leaked on the internet in an effort to bring back 70s bush, Vanessa Hudgens got her first tattoo as well.

Vanessa Hudgen got her first tattoo, a butterfly on her neck, at Bang Bang Tattoos in NYC on Wednesday. Vanessa’s friend/MTV Australia VJ, Ruby Rose, tweeted, “Please don’t blame me… But i may have convincedVanessa hudgens to get a tattoo.. Now. Her first… ” Apparently, the choice was between her neck or her ribs

So while Vanessa had her friend tweeting about her new tattoo, some “celebrities” like to do their own tweeting.  Like this pearl of wisdom from Teen Mom 2 “star” Jenelle Evans.

“Getting tatted up 🙂 straight chillin. singleeeeee :P,”

And that’s a wrap.  For this week anyway.  Enjoy your weekend everyone, and to my fellow Canadians, enjoy the long weekend.

As always, if you find a story you think should be included in the weekly news, just send me the link through this handy webform.

In other news, water is wet

Every day I get a large number of news stories in my inbox.  Some from ModBlog readers (Botexty, Quinnchick and Nexizydrate, I’m looking at you), but mostly from google news alerts.  The problem with google news alerts is sometimes I’ll get stories that are unrelated to mods completely.  To give a quick example, every day, for the past few months, I’ve gotten at least one story regarding the casting choices for the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  While the original films are fantastic, I just want the US ones made so I don’t have to hear the latest Hollywood casting gossip.

While I do get unrelated stories all the time, I do get quite a few stories that are relevant, and some that are ModBlog worthy.  Then, every once in a while, I get a story that makes my eyes roll.  This is one of them.

Tongue piercing was a ritual tradition of the Maya and the Aztecs, ancient and — apparently — gap-toothed peoples. Now the dental cause and effect has been established: Those who choose to pierce their tongues run the risk of developing a gap between their teeth, says a report from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Lets just stop right there for a moment.  A study was conducted to find out if someone put a piece of metal in their mouth, and over the course of several years of constantly pressing it against ones teeth, it would cause dental problems.

The case study, led by Sawsan Tabbaa, an assistant professor of orthodontics at the UB School of Dental Medicine, involved a 26-year-old female patient who had developed a large space between her upper front teeth. She’d had a barbell-shaped tongue stud inserted seven years earlier.

The patient reported “playing” on a daily basis with her stud  — a term commonly used by people with tongue piercings to describe the habit of pushing the metal stud up against and between their upper front teeth. Over time, the patient’s front teeth separated, creating a gap large enough to permit her stud to push through.

The article basically goes on to pretty much state the obvious.  It’s almost as if these people had never thought that metal + pressure = tooth movement.  I wonder if they could invent something that could move the teeth to fix them.  Like a metal bracing or something to slowly adjust the teeth over time.

Unfortunately this article will probably be cited repeatedly by people condemning oral piercings, not realizing that with proper care and awareness, the chance of a problem diminishes greatly.

We here at ModBlog feel much differently about piercings.  Well, today is state the obvious day right?  Anyway, here’s an recent addition to the tongue piercing galleries.  The uploader is “9jlt-ajaaah”, and it was submitted to us from Tallinn, Estonia.  I think the image sums up how I feel about people who think reporting the obvious can count as news.