Not long ago, a precious packet of blood traveled more than 7,000 miles by special courier, from America to Australia, to save the life of a newborn. Months before the delivery date, a routine checkup of the mom-to-be had revealed that the fetus suffered from hemolytic disease.
Doctors knew that the baby would need a blood transfusion immediately after delivery. The problem was, the baby’s blood type was so rare that there wasn’t a single compatible donor in all of Australia.
A request for compatible blood was sent first to England, where a global database search identified a potential donor in the United States.
From there, the request was forwarded to the American Rare Donor Program, directed by Sandra Nance. The ARDP had compatible frozen blood on hand, but Nance knew that a frozen bag might rupture in transit.
So her organization reached out to the compatible donor, collected half a liter of fresh blood, and shipped it across the Pacific. When the mother came in to give birth, the blood was waiting. “It was just magic,” Nance says.
You’re probably aware of eight basic blood types: A, AB, B and O, each of which can be “positive” or “negative.” They’re the most important, because a patient who receives ABO +/– incompatible blood very often experiences a dangerous immune reaction.
For the sake of simplicity, these are the types that organizations like the Red Cross usually talk about. But this system turns out to be a big oversimplification.
Each of these eight types of blood can be subdivided into many distinct varieties. There are millions in all, each classified according to the little markers called antigens that coat the surface of red blood cells.
AB blood contains A and B antigens, while O blood doesn’t contain either; “positive” blood contains the Rhesus D antigen, while “negative” blood lacks it. Patients shouldn’t receive antigens that their own blood lacks—otherwise their immune system may recognize the blood as foreign and develop antibodies to attack it.
That’s why medical professionals pay attention to blood types in the first place, and why compatible blood was so important for the baby in Australia. There are in fact hundreds of antigens that fall into 33 recognized antigen systems, many of which can cause dangerous reactions during transfusion.
One person’s blood can contain a long list of antigens, which means that a fully specified blood type has to be written out antigen by antigen—for example, O, r”r”, K:–1, Jk(b-).
Try fitting that into that little space on your Red Cross card.
Looking at Danny Birch’s avatar on Facebook, his clenched fist over his chest, it is a reminder of the passion in him and why he opened a tattoo studio by the name of Heart for Art.
A shop with red wallpaper and antique frames and clocks and French chairs.
It is a stylish and inspiring space for both him and his fellow artists, like Ash Higham, and Sam Barber who’s done an impressive tribute to dark fantasy film, “Pan’s Labyrinth,” as shown in the image above.
Douglas Mcdougall is a geographer of the human face and psyche.
Charcoal-driven perceived notions bound to phrenological psychoanalytical surrealism is the method in which he records the life into his chosen subjects.
In his most recent series ‘A New God’, Theo (the bearded one) plays the Devil’s advocate out to confront new age society’s ails.
Like the anthropomorphic being Golem (from Jewish folklore), or modern day Frankenstein, he is mobilised, pushed out into the forum to confront the only God in man that can lead us through the ever perpetuating paradigm of life.
Inside and outside of who we are, what we achieve and what we do to one another as a the primary species.
The mark of man’s ‘ego’ has always set the terms, ploughed the patterns of education, construction of life and contradictory deconstruction within the human evolutionary pathways.
Is it not wisdom, imagination and willpower that is the only true God, and everything else is just that; everything else…
You are your new God.
‘by carving into the paper in a particular way, one can feel the power and the magic and the luck. The face is a mirror of the soul – for better or worse. Portraiture is my way of understanding and encapsulating the ongoing museum of human experience, to show who we really are, body and spirit’.
Douglas Mc Dougall learned how to draw as a child to pass the time while going in and out of hospitals with a blood disease. He spent countless hours in hospital wards trying to draw his surroundings, and the experience fueled his passion for art.
In his younger years, the 50-year-old artist used to do a lot of pen and ink illustration work during the night, after coming home from his day job, but eventually settled on charcoal as his medium of choice. He is currently based in Scotland.
Traditional tattoo designs, like anchors, swallows, and nautical stars, are popping up on the arms and ankles of kids in every hip neighborhood from Brooklyn to Berlin, Sao Paulo to San Francisco.
Yet these young land lubbers probably don’t even know the difference between a schooner and a ship, much less where the term “groggy” comes from. (Hint: Grog once referred to a watered-down rum issued by the British Royal Navy to every sailor over age 20.)
“There’s no way to take a tattoo home, except in your skin.”
In fact, contemporary tattooing in the West can be traced to the 15th century, when European pilgrims would mark themselves with reminders of locations they visited, as well as the names of their hometowns and spouses to help identify their bodies should they die during their travels.
“The attractions of tattoos for itinerant populations are quite obvious,” says tattoo-art historian Matt Lodder. “They can’t be lost or stolen and they don’t encumber an already heavily burdened traveler, so it’s not a surprise that they became inextricably linked with sailors.”
Though tattooing was already present in much of Europe, during the 1700s, the visibility of exotic voyages taken by the likes of Captain James Cook helped cement the connection between tattoos and seafaring men in the popular media.
The English word “tattoo” is actually a descendant of the Tahitian word “tatau,” which Cook recorded after a stop on the island while travelling in the South Pacific.
Captain Elvy, who worked as a sideshow attraction, displays his beautiful back piece designed by “Sailor” George Fosdick.
European explorers frequently returned with tattooed foreigners to exhibit as oddities in the West, like Omai, the native Raiatean man Cook presented to King George and members of British royal society. Such publicity soon ignited a more widespread fascination with body art.