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18 Stunning Black-Light-Responsive Tattoos

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Flickr: slackferno

While UV-responsive tattoos are still fairly rare (many people don’t want to bother with ink that’s almost never going to be seen), they can offer a unique way to accentuate a design or to get a tattoo in a highly visible area without having to worry about the potential social consequences it may carry. Here are a few creative and cool tattoos as seen under black light.

1. Think

Here’s one that all Flossers should appreciate—a brain with the word “Think."  Better yet, part of the brain lights up when put under a black light. Excellent tattoo, Flickr user slackferno.

2. Skeleton

Plenty of people have tattoos showing their skeletal structure, but the look becomes far cooler when it only shows up under a black light. This great piece was done for Jason R. by Richie Streate of The Dungeon Inc. in Canon City, CO.

3. The Dark Mark

When the Dark Mark lights up, you know things are about to get serious. DeviantArt user Ravensfool had this great piece done by the same Richie of The Dungeon Inc. that did the skeleton arm above.

4. Yoda

Black light tattoos offer a unique opportunity to make your design more interactive. In this case, Kenneth Bryan of Intimate Body Art Studios made Yoda poised for battle in regular light, but with a little UV, his lightsaber is ready to strike down the Dark Side.

5. Cthulhu

Similarly, UV tattoo ink can add an extra layer of detail to a tattoo so it can really pop under any type of light. For example, Flickr user graysong's friend Tom's Cthulhu tattoo looks great under regular light, but under a black light, accents on the monster and the moon make the design particularly intimidating.

6. Book Worm

Knuckle tattoos can make it harder for you to find a job, but with tattoos that only show up under a black light, your dedication to literature can be permanently inked on your fists without risking your future job prospects. Flickr user astrobri, whose art was done by Ron at Adrenaline, took full advantage of this fact.

7. Moogle

Running out of space on your sleeve? Don’t worry, you can always get in a few more fun drawings with UV ink—like this moogle on Flickr user Bio Hally.

8. Transformers

Talk about more than meets the eye: This great tattoo on DeviantArt user ShinigamisPet features an outline only visible under UV light and the word “Nerd” in cybertronix, the language of the Transformers.

9. Buddy Christ

No word on who sports Buddy Christ from Dogma, but James of Nashville Ink certainly did a great job rendering him in UV-responsive ink.

10. Cupcake

Most UV tattoos contain only one shade that glows, but this cupcake by DeviantArt user Inkedromeo18 looks particularly tasty under the black light because it has so many fun colors.

11. Zelda

With all the puzzle-solving in Zelda games, it’s only fitting that DeviantArt user DarkAngelNeo’s Triforce tattoo is only visible under a black light.

12. Another Zelda

Here’s another fantastic Zelda UV tattoo, this one done by DeviantArt user Klanklang’s brother.

13. Space Invaders

Prefer your video game tattoos to be even more old school? Then you'll love Flickr user Alan Swan's Space Invader.

14. Geek Madness

Here’s a great geek black light tattoo sported by Flickr user ThumperWabbt’s son. It features the Dharma Initiative logo from the TV show Lost with the number 42 from the Hitchhiker’s Guide. The two go together particularly well when you consider all the mysteries and oddities of the two series.

15. Apple Pirate

Speaking of awesome geek ink, any Apple fan should be able to appreciate the Apple and crossbones done by artist Art Hullender and worn by Flickr user TheMadapple.

16. The Cheshire Cat

The magic of the Cheshire Cat is that he can disappear and reappear at will, often leaving nothing but his charming eyes and smile behind. DeviantArt user RefculNatas pays appropriate homage to the creature with this tattoo that only reveals the body of the cat under black light.

17. A Goldfish

It doesn’t matter if DeviantArt user starlitefairy24 is under regular light or a black light because her cute little fish, done by her boyfriend, will always be visible. In fact, since she got this tattoo, she also had the eye touched up with clear UV ink.

18. Avatar

It’s hard to capture the magic of Avatar’s Pandora in tattoo form, but DeviantArt user danktat comes close with this tattoo of Neytiri complete with UV-reactive glowing accents on her face.

Since glow in the dark tattoo ink is particularly uncommon, potentially dangerous and occasionally itchy, UV tattoos are currently the closest we can get to making our own bodies glow like those of the Na’vi. Would you guys ever get a black light tattoo and if so, what would you get?

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The Library of Congress Wants Your Help Identifying World War I-Era Political Cartoons
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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. government’s official library wants your help. And it involves cartoons.

The Library of Congress just debuted its new digital innovation lab, an initiative that aims to improve upon its massive archives and use them in creative ways. Its first project is Beyond Words, a digitization effort designed to make the research library’s historical newspaper collection more search-friendly. It aims to classify and tag historical images from World War I-era newspapers, identifying political cartoons, comics, illustrations, and photos within old news archives. The images come from newspapers included in Chronicling America, the library’s existing newspaper digitization project.

The tasks involved in Beyond Words are simple, even if you know nothing about the illustrations involved going into it. The Library of Congress just needs people to help mark all the illustrations and cartoons in the scanned newspaper pages, a task that only involves drawing boxes to differentiate the image from the articles around it.

Then there’s transcription, involving typing in the title of the image, the caption, the author, and whether it’s an editorial cartoon, an illustration, a photo, a map, or a comic. The library also needs people to verify the work of others, since it’s a crowd-sourced effort—you just need to make sure the images have been transcribed consistently and accurately.

A pop-up window below an early 20th century newspaper illustration prompts the user to pick the most accurate caption.

Screenshot via labs.loc.gov

The data will eventually be available for download by researchers, and you can explore the already-transcribed images on the Beyond Words site. Everything is in the public domain, so you can remix and use it however you want.

With the new labs.loc.gov, “we are inviting explorers to help crack open digital discoveries and share the collections in new and innovative ways,” Carla Hayden, the library’s head, said in a press release.

Other government archives regularly look to ordinary people to help with the monstrous task of digitizing and categorizing their collections. The National Archives and Records Administration, for instance, has recently crowd-sourced data entry and transcription for vintage photos of life on Native American reservations and declassified government documents to help make their collections more accessible online.

Want to contribute to the Library of Congress’s latest effort? Visit labs.loc.gov.

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Berlin Is Now Home to the World's Largest Street Art Museum
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With vibrant murals and colorfully tagged buildings and alleyways, Berlin is internationally famous for its street art scene. Now, the German city is home to a new museum that celebrates urban visual works from around the world, according to Deutsche Welle.

Billed as the largest of its kind, the Museum for Urban Contemporary Art made its grand public debut in mid-September, complete with a street festival that allowed visitors to tag a community wall. The five-story museum is housed in a converted late 19th-century house in Berlin's Schöneberg district, with a façade that's covered in a rotating assortment of murals. Its collections include between 100 and 150 international and local artists, including big names like Shepard Fairey and Banksy.

"Except for two or three historical pieces from the collection that must be shown simply because they are important for the development of the scene, all exhibits were specially created for the museum—all by artists who started on the street and continue to work there," Yasha Young, the museum's artistic director, told Deutsche Welle.

The Museum for Urban Contemporary Art's opening exhibition includes portraits, pop art, and socially conscious works, and serves as an introduction to urban art. Other attractions include a library stocked with street art photographer Martha Cooper's collection of books and magazines, and a central staircase adorned with British street artist Ben Eine's signature colored letters, according to the AP.

Some purists might argue that street art belongs on, well, the streets, instead of inside a museum. That said, the Museum for Urban Contemporary Art appears to be committed to keeping the art form's democratic spirit alive. Artists will be routinely invited to create art on the museum's exterior, special grant programs will provide practicing artists and curators funded opportunities to hone their vision, and the central exhibition space changes every year to highlight different movements and talents. The museum also plans to host workshops, live performances, and art shows.

Plus, some might say that a museum dedicated to graffiti and street art—an overlooked niche that galvanized greats like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring—is long overdue.

According to BBC News, British street artist Louis Masai shared this at the Museum for Urban Contemporary Art's opening: "It means that the artists who have been a part of this scene and movement for a long time are now getting the respect that they deserve."

[h/t Deutsche Welle]

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