Monthly Archives: March 2012

Crossed Free Webcomic

I am so thrilled to see that Crossed is doing a free webcomic!! The pictures below link to issues one and two, and I guess they’re going to be posting them weekly, on Thursdays. Crossed, which has done a few series in print (and still is), is one of my favorite comics. Of course that means that it’s post-apocalyptic. In this case a virus has broken out that turns the victims into sexually depraved sadistic psychopaths (and it’s called crossed because they get a cross-shaped rash on their faces). I’ve never seen more sodomy or more torture in a comic. It’s the most evil perverse comic I’ve ever read, and it’s actually quite shocking that it exists in the mainstream, not deep underground, or at least in tentacle rape Japan. I think if I was going to get another comic tattoo (I already have a Jim Woodring sleeve) or another perverse tattoo (hello BME/HARD gaycocktorture chestpiece), Crossed would be high on the list.

Adults only! But really that applies to my blog as well, so need I say it?

Read Volume 1, Chapter 1

Read Volume 1, Chapter 2

I’ve been downloading them and converting them to CBR files so I can read them on my tablet.

The print issues push the boundaries much further. The original series by Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows is incredible, as are the follow-ups Family Values and Psychopath. I think there’s a new one coming soon called Badlands that I’m eagerly awaiting while I enjoy this free web series. The adept searcher can find them online in the obvious places but I hope that if you download a pirate copy you’ll enjoy it enough to invest in the real deal to support the creators. As I’ve said many times, too many great comics die a young death. Oh and if you enjoy crossed you must also check out the BlackGas series (two short three part volumes have been released two date), which are very similar in character.

On the perverted tattoo note, my doctor actually saw my chestpiece for the first time a couple weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if I should warn him somehow when he said “can you take your shirt off for this”, especially because he’s a great guy that’s done a lot for me and I don’t want to risk that relationship. He just said something along the lines of, “wow, that’s quite a tattoo!” and left it at that. Well, not that he didn’t already know I was a bit odd!!! I actually have had a positive turn of luck medically in the last week, and have a long line of tests coming up. I have a long EEG study booked in a couple weeks (I think related to my breathing stoppage and oxygen deprivation issues, which is good since that’s one of the things that easily could do me in short-term), and then an appointment mid-summer with a doctor that’s apparently a national expert on these subjects that I’ve been waiting to hear from for six months. My CT imaging is still falling through the cracks, but I have doctors fighting for me which is really nice.

I also had a whole bunch of bloodwork done earlier in the week, which was an odd experience to say the least. I showed up for the tests at 8:30 AM but the tech was 45 minutes late, and when he arrived he was obviously extremely frazzled. I’m sure the fact that when he printed out the labels for the vials of blood for me, the string of stickers was a meter and a half long. He has to do not just the taking of blood and giving of other tests (I’ve had heart monitoring done there for example), but also data entry and all the clerical tasks of the office. There used to be two people working there (and since it’s a little room on a lonely floor, another person would have been nice not just for workload but also just for company), but when the senior guy died of old age, they never replaced him “for budgetary reasons” and doubled the young guy’s workload. He spent the whole time he was taking vial after vial of blood out of me complaining sadly about how no one there respects him and how terrible the job is. He wasn’t so much angry about it — he was more depressed than anything. His voice was cracking and his eyes were welling up with tears. It was extremely awkward. I wasn’t sure how to respond…

Latest leg sleeve pictures

I’ve been meaning to post some newer pictures of my zombie Nazi UFO tattoo but haven’t gotten around to it until now. So here you go — these were taken after the most recent session, so the white of the moon and the surrounding highlight are fresh, as is one of the moon stormtroopers on the back of my leg (the one in the inset picture). You can click these photos to see very high res pictures 1800 pixels across. Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the symbol on the armband. In Dead Snow, where that zombie is taken from, he wears a swastika, but we thought it would be both prudent and more appropriate to choose something else here.

You really must zoom in to see any detail, sorry.

Also remember that there is still a LOT to do, and much of it is the non-obvious work like filling in the sky that will tie it all together and make it look “finished”. Every session it looks better and better. I’m really happy with how it’s going. As always the work is by Shane Faulkner of King of Fools tattoo in Toronto, Canada.

I also shot a really crummy video with my phone to show you how it looks in context. The quality is crap, but perhaps it shows it better in some ways nonetheless. Here you go:

I told you it was crummy! I think if you fullscreen it the quality improves.

Nokia’s Magnetic Tattoos Patent — Prior Art? Stupid Idea?

A ton of people have been sending me links to stories (here, here, here) about how Nokia has patented the idea of putting tiny magnets under the skin (generally described as being in the form of magnetic “tattoo ink”) so that they’ll vibrate in response to an EM field and make it easier for you to feel your vibrating phone and create a more intuitive haptic interface…

Um… Hello?

Todd Huffman invented and realized this concept back in January 2004 [edit: not quite true, see the comment from Jesse below], covered first on BME by me in The Gift of Magnetic Vision and then followed up with other articles like So What’s It Like Having Magnetic Vision, and later picked up by Wired (since writer Quinn Norton was an early adopter) and others. Steve Haworth, the 3D artist who along with implant design pioneer Jesse Jarrell, is responsible for taking Todd’s idea and actually making it possible, has a magnetic implant FAQ on his page. So for Nokia to lay patent claim to this concept is, well, patently ridiculous.

Having had magnetic vision for over half a decade now personally (I think I was the third person to get these implants, having been crazy for the since the moment the idea was passed my way), I think Nokia’s vision for them is shallow and, frankly, useless. To do what they appear to be describing, you’re still going to need to have a physical device to create the vibrating field. It seems to me there is absolutely no advantage to using an implanted magnet to pass on the sensation. For starters, it’s needlessly invasive, and most importantly, it’s highly unlikely that any new capability is added by using this interface.

The advantages to having a magnet implanted are much more profound. I am able to feel electricity flowing through cables. I can feel a tiny electric motor spinning through plastic (like a harddrive in a laptop). I can sense the power and frequency of power bubbles coming off transformers and diagnose electrical problems by touch, without the need for voltage meters and other tools. “Seeing” into the electromagnetic spectrum has become second-nature to me. It’s given me access to a richer world than I had access to before. Using it for something stupid like an alternative to a vibrating cell phone seems completely pointless. I’m sure they’ll get lots of press on it, and maybe that’s its real value. I wonder if any mainstream media (or even secondary media) will have the sense to call them on the prior art?

Body modification artists, especially those with transhumanist leanings, need to start filing patents!


First a memory.

A few days ago someone burned down the main section of the kid’s castle at High Park. Over the years I’ve played there hundreds of times with my duaghter and her friends — the picture above is one she drew of it a while back. I have many, many fond memories of that castle, and you’ve seen pictures from it many times (there’s even a photo of it in the background of my now rather out-of-date art portfolio page). It’s a wonderful part of Toronto’s landscape and the memories of more childhoods than I can imagine. And now it has been destroyed.

Over the years I have seen small charred pieces of this castle replaced many times. It’s not easy to kill, and I am quite certain that whoever did it this time must have poured gasoline or some other accelerant all over it. I don’t see the fireproofed materials burning like this otherwise. I’m sure it was completely pointless too. Just a dumb “let’s break shit” thing by some remorseless teenagers. Unfortunately it’s something I’ve seen around town over and over. I hope that the outpouring of grief by the community at least makes them realize what a terrible thing they have done. It’s incredibly sad. I don’t know what else to say about it.

The only positive is that I’m pretty sure that I heard the city counselor for this region on the radio say that loads of people have been calling in with offers of help in rebuilding the playground. Hopefully it happens quickly, since summer is practically upon us. If you are reading this and want to chip in, I’m guessing that a good first step would be to contact Gord Perks‘s office. Caitlin just told me Canadian Tire just donated $50,000 to the rebuilding — that motivates me to shop there next time I need something they sell.

Late last night I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep but I couldn’t because my right knee kept dislocating and was in a lot of pain. I thought it might help to walk it off so wandered through the many loud St. Patrick’s revelers crowding around bars (I hadn’t realized the day so it took me a minute to clue in to why there were so many drunks about) and took an extremely spooky walk through the dark forest (I did have a flashlight in my pocket, which might only have made it spookier) and eventually ended up in front of the dark burned out husk of the castle, surrounded by a temporary fence. I stood there for a while looking at it and trying to remember all the good times I’ve had there. Amusingly Caitlin did not believe that I took a midnight walk until I showed her the blurry pictures in the background of the animation as “proof”.

This graffiti is on one of the warehouses on my street.

While I’m talking about places…

A friend was looking for flowers for a tattoo, and I joked that she should get daffodils because they have an interesting mythology. It’s not so flattering a mythology, thus the joke. In my dreams Toronto is surrounded by fields of daffodils, which I’m sure comes from their original name. I’m not talking about “Narcissus” (which comes not just from the legend, but also the root word which means “to grow numb”, due to the plant’s narcotic uses), but the alternate form, the “Affodell”. This comes from “Asphodel”, as in “Asphodel Meadows”, which is a part of Greek underworld where people who are neither good nor evil end up. These fields are quite pretty, full of daffodils as far as the eye can see, and these daffodils are also the dead’s only food. Being neither good nor evil as in being boring — being middle of the road nobodies. Before entering, they drink the poison waters of the river Lethe, which strips them of their identities and leaves them like a mindless machine — a harmless zombie in effect. They just sort of stumble about mute and mindless, eating daffodils. It’s incredibly unflattering and a little disturbing.

Politically the reasoning behind this part of hell is quite interesting. The more heroic members of society got to go to the more paradise-like Elysium Fields, and it’s thought that the concept of Asphodel Meadows was created to brainwash people into becoming soldiers. Ironic, really. But the thing that’s a real head scratcher for me takes us back into the real world. A bit east of Peterborough, so a little North of where I grew up, there is actually a region called “Asphodel”. Why in the world would someone choose this as their namesake? I mean, I get that the average person desperately wants to be an anonymous nobody that never makes waves, but they rarely want to admit it so publicly!!!

Just like the good ol’ days!

What a great blast from the past I had today. Since Caitlin and I have exposed I-beams and extremely high ceilings here at the studio, Russ (I got to see his solar branding, which he just wrote about on his website — I’ve been meeting more and more people playing with that technique lately it seems) and Jason stopped by with some friends to spend the day doing suspensions and pulls. It’s definitely been too long and it was real nice getting to “hang out” with everyone (har har har) and shoot the shit about body modification in general. It’s always been the interest closest to my heart and I’m sure it always will be. I never get bored of it. I took some crummy pictures with my cellphone.