WBEZ | tattoos http://www.wbez.org/tags/tattoos Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Weird and wonderful things you might not know about Chicago http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/weird-and-wonderful-things-you-might-not-know-about-chicago-111290 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/thumbnail for cms.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/182895289&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>There are a bunch of standard things that come to mind when locals and non-Chicagoans alike think of Chicago: Al Capone, deep dish pizza, soaring skyscrapers, sports teams, corrupt politicians, freezing winters and Oprah, just to name a few.</p><p>If you&rsquo;re so over this narrow and stale view of this multifaceted town, we&rsquo;ve got some hope for you.</p><p>Thanks to <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/questions/answered" target="_blank">your questions about Chicago</a>, the region and its people, we&rsquo;ve spent the past two years investigating some far-out places and funky moments in Chicago&rsquo;s past. (You can catch all those <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city" target="_blank">stories online here</a>, on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161?mt=2" target="_blank">our podcast</a>, and you can always <a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&amp;display_text=asfasfsad&amp;commit=Ask#ask" target="_blank">ask a question anytime, here</a>.)</p><p>In the spirit of this season of giving, we&rsquo;ve wrapped up an hour&rsquo;s worth of our favorite stories for you &mdash; stories that reveal fun facts and oddities about this town you might not know, even if you consider yourself up on all things Chicago. &nbsp;</p><p>Kick back and listen above and then dive deeper into each piece via the links below. We hope these stories get you equipped with enough local trivia prowess to wow the crowd at any gathering &mdash; or to defend your choice of calling Chicago home to anyone who dares question you. (And how dare they?!?)</p><p>You may not realize:</p><blockquote><ul dir="ltr"><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hmmm-if-only-our-curiosity-had-anthem-105512">Some</a><a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wbez.org%2Fseries%2Fcurious-city%2Fhmmm-if-only-our-curiosity-had-anthem-105512&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHoDv2paHj2fnTl0UIYQVGwj4-vJg" target="_blank">&nbsp;things can only be found in Chicag</a><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hmmm-if-only-our-curiosity-had-anthem-105512">o</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/tale-chicagos-tattoo-holdout-110185">For nearly a decade Chicago had just one tattoo parlor</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/jackpot-chicagos-hold-pinball-industry-and-artistry-110175" target="_blank">Chicago is the pinball industry capital of the world</a>&nbsp;(Hear&nbsp;<a href="http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/for-amusement-only/" target="_blank">a related story</a>&nbsp;that appeared on the 99% Invisible podcast).</li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/sweet-spot-top-chicago-107897">The city&rsquo;s highest natural point is in Beverly</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-part-chicago-has-most-biodiversity-103725">The most biodiverse section of Chicago is on the Southeast Side</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/sniffing-chicago%E2%80%99s-wild-onion-108281">Chicago&rsquo;s namesake wild onion can be found today</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/cabbage-war-west-ridge-vs-rogers-park-110648">West Ridge and Rogers Park once waged a fight involving cabbages</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fountain-youth-schiller-woods-110099" target="_blank">A public water pump in a forest preserve is touted as a &ldquo;fountain of youth&rdquo;</a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ohares-ghost-terminal-4-109632" target="_blank">Why O&rsquo;Hare is missing a terminal 4 - it has terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5</a></li></ul></blockquote><p>And if you like what you&rsquo;ve heard or read, pass on this <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curious-city/id568409161?mt=2" target="_blank">gift of Curious City</a> to the Chicagophile in your life! Note: We&rsquo;re not responsible for friends and family suddenly taking more interest and / or pride in Chicago as a result. &nbsp;</p><p><em>Curious City tweets <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezcuriouscity" target="_blank">@WBEZCuriousCity</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Dec 2014 16:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/weird-and-wonderful-things-you-might-not-know-about-chicago-111290 The tale of Chicago's tattoo holdout http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/tale-chicagos-tattoo-holdout-110185 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dAa8i2XoKQc" width="560"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/149565713&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Editor&rsquo;s note: The podcast episode available above includes two stories. The first story explains <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/jackpot-chicagos-hold-pinball-industry-and-artistry-110175">Chicago&rsquo;s fascinating role in pinball industry and imagery.</a> The story about Chicago&rsquo;s history of tattooing begins at 8 minutes, 45 seconds. Enjoy!</em></p><p>It&rsquo;s hard to avoid Chicago&rsquo;s tattoo culture. Getting ink &mdash; from simple line-drawings to Asian dragons &mdash; has practically become a rite of passage, and tattoo parlors have become staples of the area&rsquo;s street corners, not unlike barber shops and nail salons.</p><p>Which is why it&rsquo;s so hard to believe that for a single, nearly ten-year stretch, there was only one legal tattoo shop in Chicago. That&rsquo;s right. Just <em>one</em>.</p><p>Dan Zajac, from Highland, Ind., couldn&rsquo;t believe it either, and he asked to hear more about the lone shop that had stood its ground:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Strange as this may now seem, from the mid-1960&#39;s through the early 1970&#39;s Chicago had one &mdash; just one &mdash; legal tattoo parlor. How did this happen to be the case?</em></p><p>To get answers we tracked down people intimately familiar with Chicago&rsquo;s tattoo history. From them, we learned how a lone tattoo shop withstood age-restriction laws, angry sailors, and a mass exodus of tattoo talent ... only to emerge as a single (albeit important) shop in a large field of competitors.</p><p><span style="font-size: 22px;">Our sources</span></p><p>Our principal sources &mdash; Chicago-based tattoo artists Dale Grande and Nick Colella &mdash; are familiar with the operation alluded to in Dan Zajac&rsquo;s question: <a href="http://chicagotattoo.com/home.html" target="_blank">Chicago Tattoo and Piercing Co.</a>, which these days is located at 1017 W. Belmont Ave. Its former status as the only game in town is broadcast loudly and clearly by neon signs out front.</p><p>Dale Grande lived the history involved in our question, as he&rsquo;s owned or co-owned Chicago Tattoo since 1973.</p><p>Nick Colella worked at Grande&rsquo;s shop for about 20 years before opening his own, <a href="http://greatlakestattoo.com/" target="_blank">Great Lakes Tattoo</a>, in 2013. The walls at Colella&rsquo;s shop are festooned with Chicago tattoo memorabilia in hall-of-fame fashion, arranged in glass cases like vintage shrines. It&rsquo;s safe to say he&rsquo;s Chicago&rsquo;s unofficial tattoo historian, and much of it involves Chicago Tattoo.</p><p>Both Grande and Colella helped with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAa8i2XoKQc" target="_blank">our video</a>, but the interview segments below provide even more insight.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Tats and two histories</span></p><blockquote><p><strong>Nick Colella:</strong> There are two histories to Chicago tattooing. The first part is from the late 1800s until tattooing went underground in Chicago in the 1950s and 60s.</p></blockquote><p><strong>How the Chicago tattoo scene looked in the 1930s.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Nick Colella:</strong> South State Street had been this honky tonk area. It was all burlesque strip joints and diners and arcades. And in the arcades were the tattoo shops.</p><p>All this was supposedly run by the mob, so every square inch was used for stuff. &nbsp;If there was a hallway underneath the stairwell, you could put a tattooer there.</p></blockquote><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tats%20shop%20in%20Chicago%20%28R.%20Johnastone%29.jpg" title="State Street's tattoo shops mainly catered to sailors in the Great Lakes area. (Archival photo courtesy Nick Colella). " /></div><p><strong>The <a href="http://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrmw/installations/ns_great_lakes.html">Naval Station Great Lakes</a> lies 40 miles north of Chicago. Young sailors would make their way downtown.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Dale Grande:</strong> &nbsp;So, they would come to the city to party, get tattooed and go back to the base. And they are all 18 to 20-something years old. And it was a sailor&rsquo;s tradition to get tattooed.</p><p><strong>Nick Colella:</strong> The sailors would get tattooed on their arms. On State Street you&#39;d actually pick [a tattoo] off the wall then go tell the arcade manager what you wanted to pay for it &mdash; a couple bucks &mdash; then get a ticket and get [your tattoo] done. There were so many sailors and people down there, so there were hundreds of tattooers in and out over the years.</p></blockquote><p><strong>In 1963 the state of Illinois raised the legal age to get a tattoo from 18 to 21.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Dale Grande:</strong>&nbsp;New York City had a spout of hepatitis that they claim came from some tattoo shops. Chicago [sic] saw this and decided to raise the legal age law [to get a tattoo] from 18 years old to 21 years old.</p><strong>Nick Colella:&nbsp;</strong>I always heard it was about cleaning up State Street. The state realized, you know, this is downtown. There&rsquo;s money here to be made in real estate. They didn&rsquo;t want strip clubs or tattoo shops there.</blockquote><p><strong>The legal changes forced customers to seek tattoos elsewhere.</strong></p><blockquote><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CLIFF SHOP FOR WEB 2.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Cliff Raven's tattoo shop before it incorporated in 1973. It was the only shop in Chicago. (Archival photo courtesy Nick Colella)" /><strong>Nick Colella:&nbsp;</strong>That 18 to 21 change didn&#39;t allow those tattooers to tattoo any sailors anymore, so that business was gone. They all left Chicago and went west, east or south. Chicago became a ghost town for tattooing because you couldn&#39;t make any money off these sailors anymore.</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Dale Grande:&nbsp;</strong>Eventually, Cliff &mdash; Cliff Raven &mdash; who had Cliff Raven Studio, was the only one in the city.</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Nick Colella:&nbsp;</strong>Cliff Raven was a guy who got into tattooing in the late 50s and early 60s by a guy named Phil Sparrow, who had a major standalone shop on State Street. When tattooing went underground in Chicago, Phil briefly had a shop on Larrabee Street then went to Milwaukee [Wisconsin].</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Dale Grande:&nbsp;</strong>When everybody left, Cliff stayed because he was a Chicago man. He was a great person, talked to everyone, knew a little bit about everything. He had a B.A. from Indiana University. He was one of the great artists &mdash; I mean real artists &mdash; who got into the art of tattooing at that time.</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Nick Colella:&nbsp;</strong>I think Cliff stayed because he learned here and knew people involved in not just the tattoo scene. He was involved in leather and stuff. It was his home and he knew what he wanted.</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Dale Grande:&nbsp;</strong>He was the first openly gay tattooer, too. He was pretty big in the gay community at that time. He was part owner for a couple of bath houses &hellip;</blockquote><blockquote><strong>Nick Colella:&nbsp;</strong>That&rsquo;s why he set up shop where he did [W. Belmont Ave]. Boystown, you know?</blockquote><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CLIFF WEB.jpg" style="height: 357px; width: 350px;" title="(Archival photo courtesy Nick Colella)" /></div><p><strong>Cliff Raven&rsquo;s art changed Dale Grande&rsquo;s life.</strong></p><blockquote><strong>Dale Grande:&nbsp;</strong>The first time you stepped into the shop you could see the art on the walls was so much better [than other tattoo art at the time]. I think I was about 20 years old at the time and I said, &ldquo;I gotta get a tattoo here.&rdquo; So I did.<p>While I was getting the two pieces from Cliff I asked him: &ldquo;How do you get into this business? Mind if I hang around &hellip; be a gopher or something?&rdquo;</p><p>He goes, &ldquo;Sure, why not.&rdquo; I don&rsquo;t think he thought I was serious, but I started coming in after work nearly every day.</p></blockquote><p><strong>That was Spring of 1973. By fall of the same year, Cliff and his business partner at the time, Buddy McFall, had offered Dale Grande partial ownership. The shop&rsquo;s name changed from Cliff Raven Studio to Chicago Tattoo Co., Inc.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Dale Grande:</strong>&nbsp;I vividly remember the day were talking about it. I said, &ldquo;What about Chicago Tattoo? That says it all.&rdquo; And that&rsquo;s the name.</p><p>At that time the tattoo industry was very closed-mouth, but we would come to work and there&rsquo;d be a line already waiting for us to open the door. Something you&rsquo;d expect being the only shop in the city. &nbsp;</p><p>It was crazy. We&rsquo;d get all these artists stopping in from all over the country just to see Cliff and talk to him. I would just sit there in awe and watch and listen and meet all these artists. It was really uncanny. It was great.</p></blockquote><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP790331060.jpg" style="width: 325px; height: 350px;" title="Dale Grande, left, working at Chicago Tattoo. (Archival photo courtesy Nick Colella)" /></p><p><strong>By the late 1970s, Chicago Tattoo had attracted many new artists. Some opened their own tattoo shops in Chicago.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Dale Grande:</strong>&nbsp;When these shops started opening, first thing I would do was hop in the car and drive down there to see what was going on. And hopefully I didn&rsquo;t see anything; it was just a rumor. It was always a bad feeling when someone opened up then.</p><p>There was lots of good, stiff competition. You just gotta stay better. And we did; we stayed better &hellip; I wish those days were back again because now you&rsquo;ve got something like 200 shops in and around the city.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Cliff Raven, who operated during the industry&rsquo;s lowpoint in Chicago, left an indelible mark on the local industry.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Nick Colella:</strong>&nbsp;The tattooing landscape would not be anything without Cliff and Dale and Chicago Tattoo. People who are tattooing now don&rsquo;t know where it all started from. They don&rsquo;t know that there was a core group of people who are monumental in this city&rsquo;s tattooing history.</p><p>A lot of tattooers now take it for granted that these guys were the only tattooers in town. They think &ldquo;Oh! They got all the business, that&rsquo;s great!&rdquo; &hellip; but they also got all the flak in town; all the b.s. They were those few guys going to work every day tattooing when it wasn&rsquo;t cool, when it wasn&rsquo;t on TV. They just did it because they had a drive to tattoo.</p><p>And that&rsquo;s why I keep this history alive - because no one else does. You go to Chicago History Museum and look up early photos of State Street and they only have three images, but I have the originals of them.</p><p>Chicago wants to put that area of history under the rug so bad. The city&rsquo;s always changing, but you have this history here that&rsquo;s important &hellip; to some people.</p></blockquote><p><strong>Cliff Raven left Chicago to open a new tattoo shop in California in 1977. Raven invited Dale Grande to join him.</strong></p><blockquote><p><strong>Dale Grande:&nbsp;</strong>It didn&#39;t feel right. I&rsquo;ve been here for all of my adult life. And I&rsquo;m still here. And we&rsquo;re still operating. We&rsquo;re still Chicago Tattoo. I just try to let others know that we&rsquo;re still around.</p></blockquote><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Capture.JPG" style="height: 285px; width: 500px;" title="Chicago Tattoo and Piercing Co. is located at 1017 W. Belmont Ave. (Logan Jaffe/WBEZ)" /></p><p><span style="font-size: 22px;">Our question comes from: Dan Zajac</span></p><p>Dan Zajac is a lawyer who lives in Highland, Ind. He had known about Cliff Raven and Chicago Tattoo for a while, he says, but couldn&rsquo;t put his finger on why the shop was ever the only one in Chicago. He had even done his own research on the topic.</p><p>&ldquo;At least half the books in any public library on the subject of tattoos have Cliff Raven in the index,&rdquo; Dan wrote in an email. &ldquo;Many of the tattoo artists in various parts of the country (except the younger ones) seem to claim that they had studied under Cliff.&rdquo;</p><p>While we invited Dan to come along with us to investigate his question, he was only reachable by email. But he did let us know there&rsquo;s a reason why he&rsquo;s on the hunt for answers. A personal reason: Chicago&rsquo;s legendary tattoo artist was his uncle, Cliff Raven.</p><p><em>Logan Jaffe is Curious City&rsquo;s multimedia producer. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">@loganjaffe</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 14 May 2014 19:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/tale-chicagos-tattoo-holdout-110185 Mural restoration heartens Puerto Ricans http://www.wbez.org/story/mural-restoration-heartens-puerto-ricans-92248 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/mural-2_WBEZ_Chip-Mitchell.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>One of the country’s oldest outdoor murals covers a storefront on Chicago’s Northwest Side. People who care about the 40-year-old painting are finishing a facelift. The mural restoration is doing more than brightening up a gritty stretch of North Avenue. It’s got Puerto Ricans in the Humboldt Park neighborhood talking about their heritage.</p><p>MITCHELL: A celebration of the restoration included music with roots in Puerto Rican slave plantations.&nbsp;José López of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center recalled the artists who painted the mural in 1971.</p><p>LOPEZ: Young Puerto Ricans from the street — people who were marginalized — decided to give us a legacy for our historical memory.</p><p>MITCHELL: The mural covers the side of 2423 W. North Ave. and includes portraits of nine Puerto Ricans who struggled for abolition and the island’s independence from Spain and, later, the United States. Three of them are on crosses. Those three all served long U.S. prison terms in the mid-20th century. The artists, led by Mario Galán, named the mural “La Crucifixión de Don Pedro Albizu Campos” after a Puerto Rican Nationalist Party founder. They put him on the biggest cross. López said the mural has special meaning in a part of Chicago where many Puerto Ricans can no longer afford to live.</p><p>LOPEZ: Gentrification means, many times, the writing away of people’s history.</p><p>MITCHELL: Restoring the mural took a decade. Neighborhood leader Eduardo Arocho attributes that to a developer who owned a vacant lot in front of the work.</p><p>AROCHO: His plans were to develop a three-story condo unit. We tried negotiating with him for several months, even at one point offering him several lots in exchange. And he refused and he just started to build the wall, covering the mural intentionally. And so that’s when we grabbed our picket signs and started to protest.</p><p>MITCHELL: The city finally won control of the lot and helped turn it into a small park to keep the mural visible.</p><p>PITMAN WEBER: It’s remarkable that this mural has survived.</p><p>MITCHELL: John Pitman Weber is a professor at Elmhurst College in DuPage County. He has studied and created public art for more than four decades. And he provided consulting for this mural’s restoration, carried out by Humboldt Park artist John Vergara.</p><p>PITMAN WEBER: Its content is unique, not only in Chicago but nationally.</p><p>MITCHELL: And aesthetics? Pitman Weber calls the mural formal and stark.</p><p>PITMAN WEBER: Kind of Byzantine, in a way, quasi-naïve -- executed by some very, very young artists. The style possibly even adds clarity.</p><p>MITCHELL: Not all Puerto Ricans appreciate the artwork or the idea of the island breaking from the U.S. But when I ask the ones who walk by, most have strong attachments to the mural.</p><p>WOMAN 1: My mom used to go to St. Aloysius. My parents did and so...</p><p>MITCHELL: That’s a church right here.</p><p>WOMAN 1: It’s a church down the street. I used to go there when I was a little girl. And my mom would drive us to church and that’s how I knew we were getting close is when I’d see the mural almost every Sunday.</p><p>MAN 1: I see Don Pedro on the cross being crucified for what he believed in. Crucified the same way as Jesus!</p><p>WOMAN 2: I used to get up every morning and look at this mural.</p><p>MAN 2: I went to prison. I was 17 years old and I went to prison for 20 years. And, during those 20 years, when I used to think about home and I used to think about Humboldt Park, it was this mural that I used to think about.</p><p>MITCHELL: Why is that?</p><p>MAN 2: I remember when I was first looking at it, I think I was maybe 9 or 10 when I first noticed it, I didn’t know anything about Puerto Rican history. To me it was just a painting that was up there. I didn’t understand who was up there, what it was about. But when I went to prison I learned about my culture, I learned about who I was. I even got this guy on my arm. Two of these guys are on my arm.</p><p>MITCHELL: Tattoos.</p><p>MAN 2: Yeah, Pedro Albizu Campos on my right arm and I got Ramón Emeterio Betances on my left arm. And I think I can attribute that to this mural, man.</p><p>MITCHELL: The mural restoration will be complete with the addition of calligraphy this fall.</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/mural-restoration-heartens-puerto-ricans-92248 New electronic sensors stick to skin as temporary tattoos http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-11/new-electronic-sensors-stick-skin-temporary-tattoos-90517 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-12/skin_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Researchers have created a new thin flexible sensor that can be applied with water, like a temporary tattoo. Measuring activity in the brain, heart and muscles, the innovation could cut down on the number of wires and cables medical personnel use to monitor patients, among other applications.</p><p>The electronics can bend, stretch and squeeze along with human skin, and maintain contact by relying on "van der Waals interactions" — the natural stickiness credited for geckoes' ability to cling to surfaces.</p><p>In addition to being designed with a hardy serpentine pattern that resists tearing, the sensors are thinner than a human hair.</p><p>"These devices were made through 'transfer printing' fabrication processes that create flexible versions of high-performance semiconductors," <a href="http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/electronic-skin-grafts-gadgets-t.html">according to <em>Science</em></a>.</p><p>The sensors could even be integrated into actual temporary tattoos, making patients feel a bit less Borg-like — and even offering a chance for style points.</p><p>In one test, a device that included a microphone was applied to a person's throat. The computer hooked up to the sensor could make out the words "up," "down," "left," and "right" — opening up the possibility that the sensors might help people with disabilities.</p><p></p><p>In an abstract of a <em>Science </em>article publishing their research, titled "Epidermal Electronics" (the full article is available only to subscribers), the study's authors say the "tattoos" could run on solar cells — and may eventually be used to create a new class of game controller:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Solar cells and wireless coils provide options for power supply. We used this type of technology to measure electrical activity produced by the heart, brain, and skeletal muscles and show that the resulting data contain sufficient information for an unusual type of computer game controller.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>"The skin represents one of the most natural places to integrate electronics," materials scientist John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, told <em>Science</em>. "As the largest organ in our body, and our primary sensory mode of interaction with the world, it plays a special role."</p><p>The new sensors were developed by Rogers and his colleagues in Singapore, China and the United States. <a href="http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/38296/?p1=A1">According to <em>Technology Review</em></a>, the researchers see many uses for the technology:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>Ultimately, Rogers says, "we want to have a much more intimate integration" with the body, beyond simply mounting something very closely to the skin. He hopes that his devices will eventually be able to use chemical information from the skin in addition to electrical information.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The new electronic tattoos should not be confused with the <a href="http://gizmodo.com/359018/cellphone-display-concept-designed-for-dracula-is-bloody-ridiculous">Digital Tattoo Interface</a>, a 2x4-inch touch-screen implanted subcutaneously and powered by blood. And that, in turn, should not be confused with the more common "plasma display" used in many TVs. </p>Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. </p> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 14:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-11/new-electronic-sensors-stick-skin-temporary-tattoos-90517 Venture: The mistress of metal http://www.wbez.org/story/business/venture-mistress-metal <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/IMG_3542.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Here on Venture, we'll trek out into the business world to hunt up people who can tell us more about the economy than the numbers alone.<br> &nbsp;<br> Every week, the economic news cascades over us like a waterfall of numbers - housing starts, consumer confidence, jobless claims. It's easy to tune them out.<br> <br> But all those numbers signify someone's livelihood, someone's home, someone's wallet. That someone is us. We want to get insight into the health of the economy by exploring how people all around us are experiencing it.<br> <br> This week, we'll get data on the manufacturing sector.&nbsp; Someone in the Chicago area who knows a lot about manufacturing is Marsha Serlin.<br> <br> Back in 1978, she was stuck in a situation a lot of people face these days - she was newly divorced with two kids, staring at foreclosure. She needed to make some money.&nbsp;So when she saw a neighbor with a truck picking up scrap metal in alleys, she had a flash of inspiration.<br> &nbsp;<br> "I was strong, I was young and I said, you know, I can do this," Serlin said. "I said, if he can do it, I can do it."<br> &nbsp;<br> She didn't let her lack of knowledge stand in the way. She just started asking other scrap collectors for tips.<br> &nbsp;<br> "I said what about all that material, where do you get it?" Serlin said. "And they said, 'It comes from factories.' So I started knocking on doors. I was driving the truck in the beginning and then I had to hire people to do that and lo and behold, I had a fleet of trucks."<br> &nbsp;<br> Now she wears a bubblegum pink hardhat and oversees a scrap empire in Cicero that stretches over 38 acres. United Scrap Metal’s annual revenue is about $200 million.&nbsp; It’s a noisy place. There are gigantic sorting machines that Serlin describes as straight out of Willy Wonka.<br> &nbsp;<br> Outside she stops in front of a mountain of metal that includes remnants of old Coca Cola vending machines.&nbsp; From these scrap piles, she has a unique perspective on the economy. Serlin can tell if the country’s factories are humming or dead,&nbsp; based on how much metal they buy from her.<br> &nbsp;<br> That’s the kind of savvy that can help us make sense of this week’s manufacturing numbers, which have been showing some improvement lately.&nbsp;She says the industry is clawing its way out of a deep hole:</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483413-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-10/venture-scrap-seg-1.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Marsha Serlin's business is now one of the largest scrap recyclers in the country. I wanted to know what gave her the drive and business savvy to go from picking up scrap in alleys to running a multi-million dollar company.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483413-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-10/venture-scrap-seg-2.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>From scrap yards to tattoos...</p><p>Tattoos are this week's Windy Indicator, where we search the Windy City's nooks and crannies for a read on the wider economy.</p><p>Even on a recent snowy day, customers stream into Tatu Tattoo in Wicker Park. Marci&nbsp;Mundo is the manager. She says business has slowed down since the recession hit, but they've adapted as their customers have scaled back:</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483413-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-10/venture-tattoo.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>Check back in with us next Monday for another installment of Venture. We'll meet an artist who's become an accidental real estate mogul and then head over for a good old-fashioned shoeshine.</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 05:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/business/venture-mistress-metal