Of course, to preserve the tattoo, it first has to be removed. The Association doesn't send someone out to do this. Instead, they ship a kit to the funeral home and have them do it. The end result is a nicely framed piece of tattooed human skin.
The "Nose Pore Blocker Hanabijin" (spotted over at Book of Joe) promises to prevent the formation of ugly nose pores. First you cool the thing in a refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then you put it on your nose, whereupon it will "tighten and block off the pores, preventing dirt from getting inside and turning you into someone with a beautiful nose."
It kinda reminds me of the Trados Nose Shaper from 1916 (that I posted about way back in 2010), although the two things were designed for different purposes.
Back in June 2012, I posted about a guy down in Australia, Geoff Ostling, who hopes to have his tattooed skin hung on a gallery wall as art after he dies. I got the impression that Mr. Ostling thought his idea of displaying tattoo art postmortem was something new, but it turns out there already is a decades-old tattoo hall of fame.
The April 3, 1950 issue of Life magazine included an article about Dr. Sei-ichi Fukushi, curator of the Imperial University of Tokyo's collection of tattooed human skins. As of 1950, he had already acquired 38 human skins which were on display in the University's gallery, and Dr. Fukushi was eager to expand the collection.
Sure, they had to work in hot, stifling conditions. They frequently suffered from bronchitis, silicosis, TB and rheumatism. Rock falls, flooding, and arsenic poisoning were constant dangers. (Arsenic being a by-product of tin mining). But they didn't get pimples. So life was good.
[info about the dangers of tin mining from bbc.co.uk]
I don't normally pay much attention to banner ads, but my eye was drawn to this one. Why, I wonder, is the person's face a bright shade of purplish-red like a boiled lobster? Is that a side-effect of whatever treatment this company is offering, or just a poor choice of model?
Retired teacher Geoff Ostling is covered in tattoos by Australian artist eX de Medici. He likes them so much that he wants them to be preserved for posterity. So he's bequeathed his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra so that after he's dead it can be tanned and hung on the wall for everyone to see. The Gallery hasn't accepted it yet, and Ostling realizes the bequest is controversial, but he thinks the controversy is a result of people being overly squeamish:
What are the ethical problems with the display of human skins? Is it because a beautiful tattooed human skin may force people to confront their own mortality? That we all will die one day and none of us really knows what will happen after we die. Is this the big problem that makes some people shiver? I see the tanning of my skin and donating it to the Gallery as being no different to allowing the transplant of my heart or my lungs if they will save another person's life. The skin is the largest organ of the body.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.