Monthly Archives: April 2005

Oh Luther darling, heaven knows…


I've just posted an experience update with 141 new stories to the site. In addition to Gillian's deeply traumatized mother, there's been some funny commentary on the latest annual “interview” as well out in the blogosphere (since it's been picked up by Screenhead and others)…

I don't love you this much.
Isn't it great, to have upper boundaries on love? A finger's width away, say, from overdosing on schmoop?
...And we used to think Billy Bob and Angelina were creepy.(more)

Maybe im getting progresively more cinical about relationships lasting (or even working at all) but i think despite that, THIS is way too much for me.
Amputation by itself is way beyond from what i think i would ever go as far as body mods are concerned... but actually chopping fingers for love (i wont judge if its real love or if theyre just too high on phenylethylamine) by BITING each other...dude, thats light years beyond my limit for what i consider reasonable.
Anyway i used to think the same about getting a tattoo for a girlfriend... and i did so (i still think is not a advisable thing to do, even though i dont regret it coz i think that the tat fucking rocks). So if you happen to see me with a chopped finger... please wish me luck with that relationship and then call me a fuckhead (more)

Other that that of course some very nice comments (most serious) from IAM members, and I think that the sentiment is definitely appreciated even if there's a story-telling element to it all. Jeers to the no-sense-of-humor-having desperate-to-feel-superior spoil-sports who wanted to advertise how clever they were by trying to take away other people's fun… You guys officially made my “don't include them in the next fun toy you build because they have no sense of humor” list. Congratulations.*

If you enjoyed that interview by the way, from back in 1999 you may also like Adding and Subtracting, an “interview” with identical twin amputee/transplant artists (feedback and more). “They” have an IAM page as well… It really was my favorite interview/article/event of the bunch.

While I was waiting for some stuff to process earlier, I did a little mini-interview with a highschool student who's doing a project on underage body modification. Here's what I told her… it's a little sloppy because I had to rush my answers, but I hope it helps.

What do you think of a minor getting any type of body modification (even with parental consent)?

I was tattooed and pierced as a minor, without parental consent. While it caused the occasional social friction, beside that it was an entirely positive thing in my life, an important part of my growing up and development, and I don't regret it one bit. Who am I to tell others that they can't do something that I not only did myself, but was helped by?

Young people are going to explore their identity, the world, and their place in it. Body modification is a valid — and safe — way of doing so and it should be encouraged… And even to people who don't like it, they must agree it's definitely a lot “better” than unprotected sex, drugs, and alcohol, right?

Do you think that a minor realizes that what they are doing to their body is a commitment? And does the minor realize any risks associated with the body mod?

The minors that I talk to tend to be more aware of the issues involved than adults are most of the time. When young people get interested in something — whether it's body modification or some pop star — many go to great lengths to educate themselves on every possible facet of the subject. Few adults do that.

Since there are shops (at least in my area) that will tattoo or pierce a minor without parental consent, do you feel that the minor is being taken advantage of? From what I've heard, some of the shops aren't very clean, don't autoclave, etc.

In a case like that, unless the shop is exclusively catering to minors, I don't see that they're taking advantage of “minors” — they're screwing over all of their customers, adult and minor alike… But I think you have to look at the bigger picture — the fact that young people are “forced” to go to crappy studios is because of unjust laws that ban them from reasonable activities that they are interested in. So it's not so much disreputable studios taking advantage of minors, but — once again — the government abusing young people who have little to no say in the laws.

Are minors mature enough to get a tattoo or piercing?

It depends on the minor — I've seen plenty of adults who are not mature enough to handle body modification!

Do you think that most teen think of piercings and tattoos as a fad (ex:navel or nose piercings), or as a way of actually expressing themselves?

I suspect you could answer this one better than me… I almost only come in contact with people who take piercings and tattoos pretty seriously.

Should there be a legal age for body modifications (or as a lowered age without parental consent, something like 16), or should the age requirement stay at 18, where the person is legally able to make their own decisions?

Well, I'm from Canada where it's usually sixteen (but many studios will pierce a fourteen year old without parental consent, although some do use eighteen). I've gotten photos from South America of kids as young as six getting piercings… Certainly I think 18 is ridiculous — we let people drive a car at age sixteen, and in Canada (and I think in the US as well) go hunting on their own at age twelve. To me both of those seem to require a lot more maturity than a piercing… I really don't think there should be age laws at all, although I'd strongly encourage piercers and tattoo artists to use careful judgment when deciding whether or not to work on an individual young person.

Anyway… Enjoy the experience update… I've got some graphic design work today and perhaps some programming work on a non-BME-related project.

* Was that an April Fools joke too? I'm dastardly that way.

DIY RFID implant follow-up

As you may have already seen on boingboing (they beat me to my own post!), Jordan got an interesting follow-up letter to the RFID article he wrote that will help those of you who've been asking the “how can I do this” question.

Hey Jordan,

I just ran across your RFID article with Amal. I couldn't believe what I was reading, especially since I sold him the RFID chip and reader! I remember him asking about the biobond stuff and now I know why. I had no idea someone was going to be crazy techie enough to put one in their own hand. Wild.

Anyhow, I was surprised to see a whole article about someone using an RFID reader and chip from us with no mention or link.

I have no idea what policies the site has about such things, but I'm a small business doing everything I can to grow and I think this article will generate some publicity and would love to let people know where the RFID reader + chip came from.

Phidget RFID Reader and Tags
Small Glass Ampoule Tag
RFID reader

Matt Trossen