Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Image: Cracked [larger view].

Yes, I do have a tattoo (it’s on the back of my neck, where the rest of the prison population has at least some of their tattoos, according to this diagram), and I’d have more if I could afford them. How about you?


  1. #1 Scicurious
    June 17, 2009

    I love the dark purple area. Apparently that’s now becoming the classy place to get it.

    What do they say about the front of the chest over the clavicles?

  2. #2 SimonG
    June 17, 2009

    I’ve thought about it on and off, but I could never come up with a design that wasn’t just a rip-off of someone else’s. If I ever change my mind, I’ve got a relative who’s a tattoo artist, which is handy.

  3. #3 jay
    June 17, 2009

    ..I’ll never have a job that pays taxes…


    There is a mall chain which caters to goth wannabes that has a disproportionate percentage of its sales people decorated thusly. A special employment niche.

  4. #4 Toaster
    June 17, 2009

    I’ve been leaning heavily towards getting a tattoo on my inner forearm, but close enough to my elbow that it can easily be covered by long sleeves. I don’t think I would ever get one on my face, though, because it would make zombie costumes more difficult.

  5. #5 InkRose
    June 17, 2009

    I’ve got three tattoos.

    The first one, a somewhat stylized black linework rose (hence the pseudonym), I got in April 2002, a few months after my father died, as a sort of reminder. My so far only unfortunate tattoo gaffe happened in this conjunction as well and, thanks to poor (nonexistent) research, I have a nonsense quasi-kanji on the inside of my left wrist next to the rose. It’s about 5 cm high, but as far as I’ve been able to find out, isn’t a symbol in any of the far asian languages. The rose itself is about 15 cm long on the inside of my forearm, 10 cm wide across the blossom. I keep thinking of having the “kanji” covered up but so far haven’t gotten around to it…

    The second one, and still kind of a work-in-progress because the background hasn’t been done, is a phoenix on my right arm, reaching from just above my elbow to the top of my shoulder, with the long tail feathers arcing back up my bicep. The bird itself was adapted from a piece of Cherry Creek flash with a generous helping of inspiration from a few things the artist had seen/done before. The phoenix has no black ink in it whatsoever, it was done completely in red/yellow/orange.

    The third is much more obviously a work-in-progress. It’s a big backpiece combining the four celestial animals of Chinese constellation, The Black Tortoise of the North, The Azure Dragon of the East, The Vermilion Bird of the South, and The White Tiger of the West. Arranged according to the cardinal directions with the Tortoise staying just barely under a t-shirt collar and the Bird beneath it, Tiger and Dragon taking their places naturally on either side of the middle. I’ve only had one work session on this one, a modest 8,5 hours of inking with 2 20-minute breaks. The Tortoise is all done (barring any touching-up when the whole piece is done) along with most of the linework for the Bird.

    I’m already planning a fourth tattoo, actually, despite these two unfinished ones. I’m going to get something related to my firstborn child’s name, hopefully sometime next winter, as the baby’s due in the end of August. We shall see…

  6. #6 scott
    June 17, 2009

    it came from here:

    just so we’re all properly cited here in the land of science.

  7. #7 "GrrlScientist"
    June 17, 2009

    scott — thanks!

  8. #8 Katherine
    June 17, 2009

    I always kinda wanted one on the inside of one wrist, but so far have been too wussy to get one. I also know someone who has tattoos on the tops of both of her feet; a devil and an angel. One of them isn’t complete yet but I can’t remember which one. Interesting that that’s not on the chart.

  9. #9 rcs
    June 17, 2009

    My first tattoo I got when I was 40. I’d wanted one about 20 years and finally got it. It’s a robin on my forearm. I tell people that’s so when life gets totally crazy at least I can look at it and remember what my name is. It’s about 3 inches long.

    My second tattoo on my other forearm is a hummingbird. When I get enough money, I’m going to take pictures of my birds into the shop and have them inked.

  10. #10 George
    June 17, 2009

    Any which way you look at it, tattoos are a vulgarity. Sad, sad fashion trend.

  11. #11 Cannonball Jones
    June 18, 2009

    Any which way you look at it, tattoos are a vulgarity. Sad, sad fashion trend.

    Aah, the old “I don’t like it therefore it’s rubbish” argument. Yes it’s a stupid thing to do for fashion’s sake or on a whim but if the tattoos mean something to you then what’s your problem? I’ve never understood the intolerance that some people have for tattoos, it’s bizarre – and it often comes from people who incredibly open and rational when it comes to just about anything else!

    For the record I have a tribal squid designed by one of my friends in the “dragons, wings or other faggy lameness” section and logos from two of the bands I played in on each of the “socially acceptable rebellion” zones. Got a few more planned for the next year, nothing overboard though and most likely going to be on my calves (for showing off when doing Muay Thai!)

  12. #12 Gini
    June 18, 2009

    @ Toaster concerning zombie costumes: I might love you.

  13. #13 Gini
    June 18, 2009

    Oh yes, tattoos. I have two and a third is impending.

    I have a large artist-rendition (meaning not true to form but still sweet) quetzal from my upper right buttcheek to lower right ribcage. LOVE IT. I have a small black Japanese dragon on my low left hip. My third will be from the top of my left shoulderblade down to mid-left ribcage (so it’s sort of caddy-corner to the quetzal…the asymmetry is quite lovely), and that one will depict a rickety ship being pulled into the ocean depths by a kracken. Actually, I think I’ll head over to the shop today and make an appointment!

  14. #14 llewelly
    June 18, 2009

    Having worked with dozens of game designers, sound people, animators, 3-D modelers, artists, QA people, and not a few game programmers who have tattoos in the dark red area … I find this be yet another crass promoter of baseless stereotypes, rather than a joke.

  15. #15 Carrie Burrows
    June 18, 2009

    My friend Wendy showed me this the other day, and I put it up on my blog. I am heavily tattooed and I think it’s funny.

  16. #16 John Pelley
    June 18, 2009

    Had a good laugh. Thanks.

  17. #17 Hai~Ren
    June 19, 2009

    Reminds me a lot of the girl who claims that she asked the tattoo artist to give her 3 stars on her face, but ended up with 56 stars instead. I really doubt anyone could fall asleep while getting a tattoo…

  18. #18 Mae
    June 20, 2009

    Fortunately I am impervious to drinks, pickup lines and idiotic males. I do not have a job, but have a business that pays taxes! I am also happy to report that I am part of the 33% which is considered not faggy or lame … or so I think. Luckily for me, I have never in my drunken stupor discovered my friends were assholes because I have none. FAIL. But my husband has the word CRACKER emblazoned on his abs in Old English. I fucken love it. I made him get it. People always wonder because I’m Asian.

  19. #19 Sulimeth
    June 20, 2009

    I’ve seen some really neat tattoos and some really horrible ones. I saw one woman with a really beautiful Tree of Life on her back in greens and blacks, and another girl who had the white tree of Gondor and the seven stars of Elendil on the inside of her wrist, which appealed to the geek in me.

    Great diagram.

  20. #20 tatted up
    June 24, 2009

    I have a tattoo in the dark purple zone and would like to say that buying me a drink is definitely not enough! I’d actually never heard the term “tram stamp” until about a year after I got mine there. My main reason for choosing that spot was it was an area that could be shown when I wanted it to, hidden when at work/church/etc. and won’t stretch much (unlike the yellow black striped area). This cartoon needs to be completely redone.

  21. #21 Laura
    June 26, 2009

    I have two tattoos. My first is three plumeria on my left bicep. I had it done in Honolulu as a token of our vacation. I plan on doing “travel” tattoos on or about every notable trip I take.

    The other is on the back of my neck. It’s a Chinese dragon, based off the design of a necklace a friend of mine gave me. I lost it 3 or 4 times, and every time she bought me a new one. The last time, I didn’t tell her I’d lost it because I was so embarrassed. Fast forward about 8 years, and my friend committed suicide (for obviously unrelated reasons). I found an image online of the necklace she’d bought me so many times and worked with a tattoo artist in rendering a more individualized version of it. Even though I can’t see it without the help of a camera, it’s my favorite of the two.

  22. #22 Heather sf
    July 2, 2009

    Hmmm…this is an old thread, but still in the top 5, so I’ll comment.

    I have tattoos in most of the zones, including side of neck, extensive forearm tattoos and others.

    I currently am working as a TA and intend to go to end up teaching, possibly in a research institution. At one point I was thinking about med school, and thought about getting the neck one removed at that point. But for regular academia…I’m going for it.

    The guy who did my largest tattoo is an excellent artist (long waiting list), who only tattoos by night because during the day he teaches Latin at a fairly prestigious private school. He is tatted up, neck to cuffs. They peak out of his suit, and when students inevitably ask about it he says he has a very serious skin condition that he would rather not talk about. They all get it. Isn’t that adorable?

  23. #23 Scott
    April 8, 2010

    Im laughing at the picture that says if you have a tattoo on your forearms that you will never have a job that pays taxes. I have tattoos on both forearms, and when I put on my long sleeved shirt you can’t tell. I probably make twice to three times as much as the person that came up with the picture, and I have tattoos in the areas that they say will keep you from a good job. I hope it was meant as a total joke, instead of just a little sarcasm. I know a CEO that makes around 475,000 a year and has full sleeves on both arms, and is working on his legs. It all depends on how you cover them, and how careful you are about who sees them. The face, hands, and neck might be a risk depending on your career goals, but my co-workers brother works security at a club and is working on his MMA career and the facial tattoos are a major plus with the intimidation factor becuase of the ones he chose. They look great. Don’t believe the generalized statements on how tattoos can damage your future. Some very successful business men have very surprising tattoos that nobody will ever see.TRUST ME.

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