Monthly Archives: December 2003

Mildly amusing?

I'm just doing a new build of the search engine, and then later tonight I'll get to uploading. It's a big update, but not crazy (4,347 images and 342 experiences).

Anyway, when Eudora (the email client I use) finds messages that it thinks it downloaded in the future, it has a little freakout (since it thinks it's a corrupted index) — this happened to me when I tried to delete some spam that had been downloaded while I had my clock set to 2004/01/01 for the bots:

Normally when this happens I click rebuild. Knowing the file formats that Eudora uses, I can't think of any good reason to click “Use Old”, which would basically result in using an index file that didn't match the data (sort of like if you used the index from one encyclopedia to try and look up entries in a different one; it be a gigo sort of situation).

But, because this was a mailbox with nothing but spam in it, I decided to click the wrong button just to see what would happen. I was faced with the following message:

Well, in for a dime in for a dollar or whatever they say. I didn't mind losing this mailbox, so I decided to see what would happen if I clicked the suicide button another time.

And, true to its word, it killed off that mailbox.

It begins

OK, this morning I'm wrapping up the big update and then it should be uploaded this evening unless something goes wrong…

I did want to mention one very important news story:

The US has brought back the draft.

Now, that's not entirely true, so let me explain. What the army is doing is using “stop loss” orders to keep their numbers up. Basically what a stop-loss order does is block someone from leaving the military, even if they are up for retirement or their contract is up. To be very clear — these are people who have not signed up to still be in the army and are people who want to go back to civilian life and, other than these orders, should be allowed to do so.

But they're not — they're slaves now.

Click here for the Washington Post article on the issue. It's something you should be very concerned about, and is a very dangerous indicator of things to come… The article claims that as many as 25% of the army are on stop loss right now. That means that at least a quarter of the army wants to leave (and has finished their contracts) but isn't allowed and has been converted into slave labor.

Given that many of these slaves are being ordered to their deaths, having their families torn apart, and having their arms and legs blown off, that's not right at all. I understand that when you join the army you have an obligation to serve your X number of years — but when those are up, you should have the legal right to go back to a civilian life… shouldn't you?

While they had been all but extinct for obvious ethical reasons, as soon as 9-11 gave him the excuse, Bush ordered the military to start using stop-loss orders again… the only exception of course is if you're gay. Why do I think there will be a lot of gay military “conversions”?


There's nothing on it right now — literally just a splash page and a press release — but the new (final I hope) movie domain is up and running. You can expect the stills very, very soon, and a full public-release trailer coming by the end of January.

I really love that opening photo… I know I say it every time, but seeing those pictures always makes me want to go back. I don't regret returning to Canada after our travels, but a lot of me does wish we'd stayed, either in Antigua (or BVI), or on Maui.

Breath of life

I was capturing some stills earlier from BARAKA for its entry in the BME encyclopedia (it contains lots of body modification footage). For those of you who haven't seen it, or haven't seen it since it came out (this is the first time I've rewatched it in ten years), it's still a stunning movie:

I noticed something interesting though in the Masai (Kenya) segment. Most of the Masai had “perfect” ears as far as scarring, blowout, and so on, except for one guy (it's clearer on the DVD in motion):

You can see that he has that “double lobe” that you get when there's blowout combined with a ring of slightly tighter scar tissue… It's good to know that even in cultures where it's normal, occasionally people get excited, stretch to fast, and face the consequences!

Anyway, I'm getting a lot of work done lately. I think it's in part because of getting an espresso maker for Christmas… As if I don't have enough substance abuse problems already!!! Time to go make another.


The whatever forum last night got into “first internet experience” so I thought I'd try and remember mine. I've been BBSing (and running BBSs, usually under Wildcat) since about 1984 or 85, but those were not on the Internet and I never really got that into pseudo-net tech like FidoNet (I was more interested in porn, programming libraries, and warez), although I was a DATAPAC user, primarily to talk to distant friends. In the early 90s I got a CRS Online account, which was a big BBS that had tried to tie USENET feeds into their forums.

I was able to read USENET fine, but I couldn't post to it, and I really wanted to take part. Toronto's first ISP was just opening (Internex Online) and when I went in to sign up I got the distinct impression that the person working the desk was hitting on me on account of my stretched ears (1″ ears were pretty rare in early 1994)… Anyway, I joined rec.arts.bodyart and on August 8th, 1994 made my delurk as follows:

Well, this is my official delurk... hopefully I have my server/editor figured out. I just got a rook done today and a 10ga PA about 2 weeks agon (all healed up)... I also have various small piercings (ears, nipple, frenum - misplaced) and an earlobe that I have managed to get up to over 1" and rising. Also I have a "full body" brand - from my hip to my forearm. Some questions: 1) What are the logistics of a large (4+ ga) piercing in the conch? (2) What is this metal OSMIUM - is it part of a joke, or is it a real metal? (3) How much does an ampallang hurt in comparison to a PA, and can I have both a large PA and ampallang? - like 0+ ga (4) Did this post arrive successfully?
  shannon larratt

Yeah, I was a real newb, but not long afterwards I was already posting info files. Can you tell it's an obsession with me? Check out the very earliest version (August 11th, 1994) of the Ear Piercing 101 diagram… gotta love ASCII art:

Places to pierce your ear:
   /          __------__
  |          / _-----__ \
  |        ,/ |     4  | |   1 is a rook (top-inner fold)
  |* *     +  |--1__   | |   2 is a tragus (triangle-thing)
  |/       __ \     \  | |   3 is a daith (innermost fold)
  /  _.      \ `3-_  | | |   4 is a conch piercing
 |___/      2 | --   |  ,'   5 is a lobe piercing
   |___      /     __/  |
   |__/        ---'    ,'
   |         .    5   ,'
   |          -_____-

On August 12th a better version was posted:

             ,-'              `-.
           ,'   ,------------._  \
         -'     |        4     `. `.
             6 ,'--._         4 |  |
             ,'      `1.        `. `.
             |          `-.      |  |
             `-.           `.    |  |
                `-._        `.  4`. |
          ,-----.3_ `--.__   |    | |
          `-.      `---.     |    | |
           2 |            4 ,'      ;
            ,'          ,--'       ,'
         ,-'        4,-'          ,'
         |    4  ,--'            ,'
         `------'          5    ;
                       5       /
       -.    5    5      _,'
         `.            ,'
          |       _.--'

1 is the rook (topmost inner fold of the ear shell)
2 is a tragus (that triangle)
3 is a daith (in the fold of cartilage tissue just above the ear opening)
4 is a conch piercing (yes, all the way down are still considered conch's)
5 is a lobe piercing
6 (i think) is called a helix.

Not long after that (only August 15th) I was already trying to get a magazine or book rolling:

Is anyone out there interested in starting an e-zine dedicated to piercing and bodyart? It's a project I would like to get started... I have access to a 1200dpi scanner, and lots of equipment, and have various piercings of my own I could use, but obiously I need help... If anyone is interested please email me.

For a first issue I would like to make a sort-of-FAQ with photos (among other stuff) - something that newbies could ftp and would answer a lot of question - but I don't want to use magazine pictures so I would need people to mail me pictures or email me scans of stuff... not just finished piercings but procedural photos if you have an unusual piece of pierce. (I will probably use photos of having an 8mm dermal punch put through my conch.)

At about the same time I was running super early versions of what would later become the MegaSurvey; on September 9th, 1994 I posted some early results:

General Piercings:
 ear         (61%)|**********************
 nipple      (51%)|******************
 navel       (17%)|******
 septum      (17%)|******
 tongue      (11%)|****
 eyebrow     ( 5%)|**

Male Piercings:
 pa          (35%)|*******
 frenum      (21%)|****
 ampallang   ( 5%)|*
 hafada      ( 5%)|*
 rev pa      ( 5%)|*

Female Piercings:
 inner labia (16%)|**
 clit hood   (16%)|**

Originally the magazine had been planned as an email newsletter with attached photos, but then it shifted over to being an FTP site (remember, this was before the days of Netscape; only Lynx was used for browsing and Mosaic was a prototype with limited penetration). On October 15th, 1994, I announced that the site was up:

OK - This is a confirmation of the FTP site for piercing that is STARTING to become active. It's address is:
and it's directories are:
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart - main directory
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/incoming - uploads of all types
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/ezine - the ezine when it starts to exist
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/ezine/incoming - incoming articles, submissions, letters
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/pictures - pictures, JPEG or GIF usually
  /u/u3/g/glider/bodyart/text - text

CURRENTLY, these directories are mostly empty, but hopefully will start to fill up soon.
 shannon larratt

ps. if you want to subscribe to the ezine, mail me...

However, that course of action didn't work that well, and I don't really count it as “officially” launched at that point — it was just a small collection of photos really. The web started taking off as well, so, on December 7th, 1994, the following post was made:

Subject: Body Art Magazine / WWW Site

Ok, well the magazine is much more on its way! The initial pictures from the first issue are available on my WWW site.

There are a bunch of pictures: hand web, large piercings, stretching, implant surgery, eyebrow... they are 1200dpi colour 24bit scans, all 640x480 in .jpg format - check it out. Text will be there soon too...

 shannon larratt

So that (BME) is “my first internet experience”. Beginners luck I suppose. I'm sure folks like Barry (maybe Keith as well but I'm not sure) who pre-date me on RAB probably get a chuckle out of remembering those days… given that Barry almost got me shut down for slander — but that's another story!

Anyway, feel free to post your “first internet experience” story in the forum…