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History of Tattoos/ Open Lines

Date Friday - January 16, 2015
Host George Noory
Guests Nick AckmanOpen Lines

In the first half, Nick Ackman (Facebook Page), who's been a professional tattoo artist for 15 years, discussed the history of tattooing, why it's become so mainstream in the United States, and how people from all walks of life from wealthy businessmen to elderly grandmothers and everybody in-between are choosing to ink their own skin as a vehicle for artistic self-expression.

"Tattooing is as ancient as time, as modern as tomorrow," Ackman said, suggesting the art sprung up accidentally in different cultures at various times around the world. A prehistoric person may have been accidently stabbed by a spearhead and noticed a mark after it healed, which could have led to purposely carving designs into the skin, he noted. Ancient Egyptian tattoos were very simple geometric designs made using pulverized carbon, other minerals, and small sharpened bird bones, Ackman explained. If you analyze tattoo designs at points in history, you can get an understanding of the wants and needs of the people from any given era, he added.

Pain is part of 'earning' a tattoo as a rite of passage, Ackman continued. Getting a pain-free tattoo would take all the magic out the art, he proposed. He spoke about the popularity of laser tattoo removal services but favors keeping older unwanted ink as it tells a story about a person at a specific time and place. Ackman described the process of tattooing a person from the stencil to the electric tattoo machines that push pigment under the skin. According to Ackman, the ink only goes 1/32 of an inch below the surface. Some bleeding and swelling may occur but overall tattooing is not a very traumatic process, he said.

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Open Lines

During Open Lines, Ray shared a bizarre account from his Marine days when he was asked to clear out the bunk of a fallen sailor. According to Ray, he placed the deceased soldier's personal effects in a sealed bag and locked it in a security compartment. The following day the stuff was found back under the bunk and the sealed bag was empty, he revealed. Ray said he again gathered the slain man's things and locked them up only to have them once again appear at the bunk the next day.

Bud in Indiana told George about the time he experienced a financial miracle when he was $40 short on rent and facing eviction. Bud said he and his kids walked to a convenient store that night to get milk and as they moved through an alley two $20 bills blew onto his daughter's feet. George also spoke with producers Tom Danheiser and Dan Galanti about a 'day in the life' of working on the Coast to Coast AM program.

News segment guests: Mitch Battros / Steve Kates, aka "Dr.Sky" / Peter Davenport

Related Material

Eyeball Tattoos
Eyeball Tattoos
The recent sentencing of convicted criminal Jason Barnum in Alaska has drawn attention to an unusual and relatively new form of facial modification—eye tattooing. Barnum's right eye has been tattooed jet black. Less than a decade ago tattoo artist Luna Cobra first experimented with injecting ink into an eyeball to make a friend look like the blue-eyed characters from the sci-fi movie Dune. The process of tattooing an eye is permanent and, as one would expect, condemned by the American Optometric Association. Read more at BBC News and check out YouTube video of a man getting his eyeball tattooed (WARNING: Graphic Content).

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Bumper music from Friday January 16, 2015

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