Rotating Suspensions

360animation I’ve always been told that rotating or “rotisserie” are the most horribly painful suspensions you can do. I was just talking to Jason from Third Eye Perception Flesh Suspension out of Austin, Texas (or online at about his — that’s him in the animated GIF on your right, which is nabbed from the video below of the 360 degree vertical rotating suspension (followed by an earlier horizontal rotation video of Tom Moore, recorded by Jared Anderson, just so you can see both), and he elaborates,

The 360 was the most horrifying yet peaceful moment of my life. I have never been an emotional person during any suspension, but as soon as the first hook pierced me, I was flooded with emotions and literally cried the entire time I was being pierced. The amount of people helping and contributing humbled me beyond expectation. Being tensioned into it — instead of the traditional method of rigging in — felt as if I was being torn into various pieces, but it also made me feel a bit more secure that I wouldn’t fly out of the device. As soon as I gave in and started spinning the pain was beyond anything else I have ever done, and I stopped after a few rotations. Once I stopped, I restarted and began spinning backwards, which is when I felt amazingly calm.

At the upcoming Suscon he’s planning a rotisserie, and after that will be exploring more suspensions along the same theme — maybe a full-on XYZ gyroscope. All of the fabrication of these impressive suspension rigs is by Tom Moore, an essential part of making these unique suspensions possible. Others contributed as well, for example, Emrys Yetz put together the tensioning rig, a ratchet set up (which Jason admits drove him insane because of the clicking noise, but getting the tensioning balanced and tight is what makes this suspension bearable).

Mr. O and Mr. R got nothin’ on this

The Monsters of Schlock, Burnaby Q. Orbax and his brother Sweet Pepper Klopek, just rigged up a tattoo machine to run on battery power and brought it onto the PNE’s big — and very shaky — wooden rollercoaster and tattooed a lizard logo onto Sweet Pepper’s leg. Photo by Syx Langemann (click to zoom), and there was lots of HD video shot so don’t be surprised if you see more that just this quick teaser video in the future on television.

Yes, yes, I know, this is an insult to everything you hold sacred. We’re all very offended.

For the first time in recorded history, a man has been tattooed on a running roller coaster. That man was none other than Sweet Pepper Klopek, one half of the world’s most extreme two man circus sideshow comedy magic extravaganza known as the Monsters of Schlock. His brother, and other half of the daredevil duo, the great Orbax, performed the tattoo. As a matter of fact it was the first time he had EVER tattooed!

The wild stunt took place at the PNE Playland fairgrounds in Vancouver BC Canada on Oct 24th 2012 on the wooden roller coaster. Two successive trips around were required, totalling in just under four minutes of track time covering a total distance of 1732 m. At points the coaster hit 47 mph, took a drop of 75 ft and pulled 2.2 g’s.

The tattoo itself was a lizard face, the logo of their long time sideshow friend and coworker, Erik Sprague, the world famous Lizardman. As the coaster hit the first incline, the five time Guinness World Record breakers proclaimed ‘One small tattoo for man, one giant leap for douchebags everywhere!’.

The Monsters of Schlock have performed skilled, daring and dangerous all over the world but this, by far, they claim to be their stupidest.

Arriving on the Red Eye

Well, well, it seems that Brazil’s population of eyeball tattoos has just jumped dramatically in the last week, with Emilio Gonzalez having done a handful of them, and also Rafael Leão Dias of Dhar-Shan in Jundiaí, who did the striking red eye pictured below that’s going to leave nineteen year old Mary Jo with a life of assuring people she hasn’t been injured. As I’ve said many times, I really like colored eye tattoos a lot.

I know I’m sounding like a broken record on this point, but I think it’s justified — I really implore people to exercise extreme caution and respect with this particular mod. For example, if a practitioner wants to forge ahead and isn’t interested in playing it safe and waiting until the procedure has been thoroughly developed and training is available, I’d really really urge them to use a similar learning curve to Howie five years ago — do a number of small single test injections and get an understanding of the anatomy and how it behaves with the smallest amount of damage. With eye tattoos, remember too that less is more. You want to inject the absolute minimum amount of ink you can get away with — the more ink, the more risk. Do not underestimate the effect it will have on someone’s life if something goes wrong. Hell, even if everything goes right, don’t treat this lightly — be sure that your client is mature enough (and I’m not saying that a teenager can’t make drastic permanent life-altering decisions — that’s got to be handled case-by-base) to understand that if they do this, they will never, ever, ever have a normal life.

Given how many people — even people inside the piercing industry — are having stretched ears reversed, I have real serious concerns about the regret train that could come smashing into us in ten years over eye tattoos (and that’s assuming that it’s as safe as I believe it is and there’s no larger apocalypse). Stretched ears have a very minimal impact on ones social and public life when compared to eyeball tattoos. I’m not telling anyone not to do these things. It would be silly and hypocritical for me to do so. Personally I think eyeball tattoos are awesome. But more than any other modification, I hope that people treat it with respect and caution. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that because I think they look amazing and you think they look amazing that the world agrees with us. The world thinks we’re fucked in the head for doing this, and I don’t see them changing their mind on that any time soon. And, if eventually they beat us down and make us regret it, guess what? Too bad. This tattoo can’t be lasered off. If you hit the ink particles with a laser, the body can not remove the broken down bits. And you certainly can’t excise the tattoo surgically without destroying the eye. Regrets be damned, because this is for life.

Rafael also posted a video of himself doing the eye tattoo that I posted yesterday. Please, do not treat this video as a “how to”. If anything, note how incredibly differently the first injection and second injection behave — the margin for error in this procedure is extremely slim, and unfortunately the only way to figure it out at present is trial and error because the procedure is still being refined and is still experimental. You can’t sign up for a class in it at the next APP convention. So it’s almost certain that every practitioner that throws their hat into the ring is going to mess up some eyes — over-injection, lumpy eyes, various sorts of damage, aesthetic shortcomings, facial stains, and perhaps even serious injury. Different types of tattoo ink respond very differently (for example, UV ink has responded badly in some people). Again, trial and error. In a perfect world, people would seek out experienced practitioners, and practitioners seeking to add this to their roster would seek out training from those with years of experience. But unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. Just remember, if you may a mistake on an eye, it’s not like a piercing or an implant or a normal tattoo — there’s no rewind button. You can’t go back. You can’t go to someone and have it reversed. It’s for life. No going back, whether you get it perfect or whether something goes wrong.

Awright, time to break out the ink syringe!

Bubbles and Blindfolds

It’s the weekend — and a long weekend here in Canada — so I hope you can permit me to post a couple of silly YouTube videos. The first one I want to share with you is of our old friend Rafa Mendes, who you probably know has a ginormous lip plate. If you’ve ever watched videos of indigenous cultures that wear large lip plates eating and drinking, you know that they sometimes integrate their lip discs into the activity, using them as bowls and such from time to time. Rafa takes a trip down that road and uses his to blow soap bubbles in this clip.

I’ve got to post a thumbnail of that as well because it’s just so charming. The size of your lip disc may not determine the size of your wedding dowry any more, but it does at least determine how much fun you’re going to have entertaining the little kids at the the wedding you’re invited to!

The other video is maybe a bit more controversial, and for the obvious reasons you’d assume when I tell you it’s filed in the “Dildo” category. That’s because it’s my friend from Dildo Tattoo Studio ( in Greece having some maniacal fun doing a “piercer challenge” at the shop to test their piercing kung fu… That’s right… BLINDFOLDED PIERCING. They tell me that the next challenge is a blindfolded eyebrow piercing. I hope they’re kidding — the only time I want to see a needle in the eyeball is when it’s injecting ink.

Ok, I mostly hope they’re kidding.

And before you get all stick-up-your-ass cranky about this, these are all friends just goofing around together. It’s harmless fun. Or I should say “low harm fun”. Either way, it makes me happy to see people having fun.

Video Interview with Tye Olsen

I am just terrible about telling you about these on time, so go subscribe to his YouTube channel! J.C. Potts has posted the most recent The Modified World (and the new one should come online tomorrow I hope), and you’ll be happy to hear that it’s an interview with long-time IAM/BME member Tye Olsen, talking about his “surgically modified pointed elf ears”. Another great show.

Modified World Video Update

This past Friday J.C. of Pangea Piercing just posted the latest The Modified World videocast show, this week talking about things like fossil, bone, horn, and amber body jewelry — organic body jewelry other than wood. As always, a wonderful introduction to and in-depth discussion of the subject from J.C.’s encyclopedic love of all things bodmod for the piercing geek — and always great “educated consumer” information as well, protecting you from the many scams floating about in what has become a multi-billion-dollar industry. It’s about nine minutes of meat (11:11 total), and this video gets into more depth than the wood jewelry one did and it was quite enjoyable — and a superb advertisement for Pangea’s enticing selection of jewelry.

I’m just terrible about regularly promoting things, so I should mention that last week J.C. interviews and does some work for Alexis Brown of the band “Straight Line Stitch”. Fans of either The Modified World or Straight Line Stitch will enjoy this. Here’s the link:, although if you only have time for one of these two, the one on jewelry above was more to my liking.

Three weeks of The Modified World

I realized today that lately I’ve neglected to feature J.C. Potts’s “The Modified World” when it airs on Friday nights. I have so much respect for what J.C. is doing with his videos, and think they’re an incredibly valuable contribution to body modification culture. As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for one important fact I’d do everything in my power to have Rachel offer him a job at BME and have ModBlog host his videos rather than just linking to them. But that big important fact is that one of the things that makes J.C. so valuable is that he is a true independent, and is beholden to no one other than himself. He’s not afraid to say what he feels needs to be said. I can’t say I agree with every word he’s spoken — although I do more often than not — but I can say emphatically that he’s an intelligent person whose opinions and knowledge I always take the time consider. He’s broadening horizons and spreading the gospel of the modified world for the betterment of this community, and I hope he continues finding the energy to produce “The Modified World” for a long time to come.

Anyway, his most recent show is a continuation in his excellent body jewelry series, this week focusing on Glass Body Jewelry Basics — a follow-up to his earlier introduction to wood body jewelry — seven minutes of stuff every piercing lover needs to know (about four or five minutes of actual “meat” — as he admits, there’s not all that much to say about glass). As a side comment, beautiful production and editing on this show as always — even though it’s only seven minutes of video, serious time and effort went into creating it. This is a true “television show”, not some vlog with a kid rambling into his webcam.

As I write this, Rachel is still moving BMEshop to its new location, but she carries some beautiful glass jewelry made by our old friend Jason from Gorilla Glass.

The glass video was admittedly brief, so hopefully you’re hungering for more. The previous week saw a quick interview with Jared Silverman, a St. Louis-based professional piercer. Personally I like the long videos and you may recall my interviews on BMEradio were often well over an hour, but five minutes is admittedly much easier to fit into your day. This interview I think will be of great interest especially to people thinking about a career in piercing. I also always enjoy interviews from different areas because it gives me a peek into the way this culture that’s so dear to my heart expresses itself in different geographies.

That’s actually part two from an earlier video from the same day that I won’t embed here but you can follow a link to it. It shows you what J.C. got himself up to in St. Louis both as a tourist, and while doing a guest spot at TRX.

But I also wanted to feature another interview that J.C. did a week before that one, with young but very sharp piercer Courtney Maxwell — she’s no stranger to ModBlog either, as you may remember from this charming older client and even a guess where (adult) that better shows off her skill-set — who recently set up a site for professionals to share information via a private forum without the restrictions of being on something like Facebook (that is, she’s seeking to create a safe space). Another great interview that I again would really recommend to people interested in becoming a piercer.

Russian Suspension and BodMod Documentary

The full-length body mod documentary below is all in Russian I’m afraid, but I still watched every minute of it and greatly enjoyed seeing so many friends and BME members that I’ve known over the years — Sinner Team for example is broadly featured as are a number of other well-known Ruissian body play icons. I also really liked it because it feels like body modification in America has gotten very “fashion conscious” and gentrified, but most of the people in this video felt very “real” — not all dressed up with lots of makeup and styling for lack of a better way of explaining it. I felt like I could relate to it, and it was just really nice seeing lots of modded people with a real purity about them. Or maybe because I couldn’t understand what was being said I was just projecting what I wanted to see? I can’t say for sure, but I do want to recommend this video. Put on some music if you can’t understand the words.

QR-Codes and Augmented Reality Tattoos

I was recently asked if I’d seen the “animated tattoo” that was recently done for the first time, and I replied that I didn’t think this was possible with current technology. The person who asked me the question did a little searching, and discovered that it wasn’t truly an animated tattoo — the tattoo didn’t move — but a tattoo of a QR-code type link that would cause a cellphone to display a specific YouTube video designed to sit as the center piece of the tattoo. This is the very misleadingly labeled news report they got back to me with:

The tattoo was done by French tattooist K.A.R.L. in June of 2011, and claimed to be the “first ever” animated tattoo, but of course readers of ModBlog know that it is neither an animated tattoo, nor is it even the first “augmented reality” tattoo of this type — let alone a particularly impressive one. For example, in May of last year, before K.A.R.L. did this PR stunt, Rob had already covered the subject of augmented reality tattoos here on ModBlog, and over the years many have been posted. A simple search shows that QR-code tattoos like the one K.A.R.L. claims to have invented, are not only incredibly common, but are regularly used in marketing in the form of temporary tattoos.

However — and this is a big “however” — people considering this should be aware that QR-tattoos do not translate well to skin. For starters, most tattoo artists are not particularly adept at the sharp and consistent linework and geometric perfection that QR-Codes demand, and to make matters worse, the undulating contours of the skin are anything but flat, and while QR readers are able to compensate for skew (taking a picture of the code at an angle), they are not able to compensate for warping that comes from the code being on a surface with multiple curves. This limits QR-code tattoos not only to the best artists, but to flat areas of the body. I took a random sample of ten clear pictures of QR-code tattoos, and tried to scan them. I was successful only with two of them. It’s likely that in real life, with careful repositioning and better lighting that I might be able to scan a couple more, but I don’t see more than half of QR-code tattoos being functional, which is pretty depressing — it’s the digital equivalent of a spelling mistake so bad as to make your quote gibberish.


You can zoom that in and see if your phone does any better if you want.

In addition to QR-code tattoos — which are really just an odd way of writing text data that I would argue would be better achieved just using regular letters — there are augmented reality tattoos. These don’t just give your phone a URL. They actually provide a “junction point” for the world of virtual reality to interface with your body. As you may have realized if you read Rob’s article, they provide your phone or computer information about the location, size, and orientation of your body by showing it a symbol that it can recognize from many angles. The computer is then able to take the video shot of your phone and add three-dimensional elements that move synchronized with your body’s movements — thus the term augmented reality. You can find more videos with a simple search for “augmented reality tattoo”, but let me show you a couple relevant videos to get you started. The first one, of the dragon, is from 2009 and one of the first that I know of. The second is more recent, but notable because it uses a realistic skull as its recognition symbol, showing that you don’t have to use a blocky icon that instantly identifies your tattoo as a digital interface.

I know, this falls far short of what people hope for when they hear the words “animated tattoo”, but it’s a start. It shows the dreams that people have for their bodies. It also points out that people are starting to see their bodies as interfaces to the virtual world, which is an important first step for cyberpunk and transhumanist body modification. One day we will surely have animated tattoos in the literal sense, but these QR-code and augmented reality tattoos are an unrelated trend — they are however very interesting for their own merits.

The only person to bend a 4ga Gilson

A lot of people will tell you what you see in this video is not possible, but following up on the photo at the bottom of this recent entry, in this video you’ll see Neil Chakrabarti — already a heavy guy himself — lift two other heavy guys for a total of something around 800 pounds. Off a single 4ga Gilson hook. He didn’t tear out, but the hook did bend slightly. I doubt there is a single other person on the planet who can make that particular claim. I should mention that this video is from a great big YouTube playlist of 122 videos showing Suspension Mecca 2012. Never forget that the human body is stronger than steel.