Sunday, August 16, 2009

A life lesson learnt – from an animal

I was gutted to learn the other day that Sam the Koala had died.

Those that follow the news will remember the devastating AustralianSam  fires of last year. We were flooded with heart-wrenching stories about kangaroos with burnt paws, tortoises with melted shells, baby wallabies with burnt ears and birds dropping from the skies because of the fires – a result of suspected arson. God, how selfish we humans are. And yet Sam served as a beacon of hope when she shimmied up to a fire-fighter and accepted a drink from his water bottle. If nothing else, I’ll bet that very moment made the burnt lungs and hours of tireless work worth it for this fire-fighter. Apparently, koalas aren’t the friendliest of creatures.

Sam2 I remember crying after seeing pictures of Sam with her singed paws all bandaged up; and then laughing when I read that she had met a boyfriend, Bob, at the shelter where she was recovering. Despite the hundreds of lost lives, the miles of burnt forest, and the thousands of devastated lives, the story of Sam made it all somewhat easier to accept. It was no longer about loss and suffering; but about a lesson that one precious animal had to teach us humans: that, yes, shit happens, but it’s up to us to make the most of the shit situations, even if it means getting off our high horses and accepting a little assistance from someone we normally wouldn’t give the time of day to.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Piercing Bible – a review

A review I was asked to write on The Piercing Bible by Elayne Angel.


Thank the powers that be for Elayne Angel! Her book, The Piercing Bible, is a must-read for anyone considering this art form as a career, anyone thinking of getting pierced, anyone who is already pierced and everyone in-between.

Elayne leaves no stone unturned in this thoroughly researched guide to safe body piercing. She delves into the history of piercing and the effect this has had, and will likely have, on many generations, before exploring it in its current form as well as its future possibilities. From deciding what to pierce, to finding an accomplished and conscientious piercer; from hygiene issues to piercing trouble-shooting, Elayne has touched on it all.

Being relatively new to the art, I found myself starved for solid, trustworthy information and, with decades of experience under her belt, Elayne shares a wealth of knowledge, dispels many misconceptions and offers sound advice from the effects your new piercing could have on society’s perceptions of you to lifestyle changes that might be necessary if you want to live in harmony with your piercing. The book also discusses different jewellery styles and sizes, equipment used during the different procedures, stretching of piercings, retiring of piercings, problems that may arise, and special situations such as breastfeeding and sex that may be compromised, or enhanced, by the piercing.

The industry has waited a long time for this book and, after reading it, you might be able to tell your doctor a thing or two about infection control, blood-borne pathogens and cross-contamination.