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Tattoos For the Math and Science Geek? 1186

An anonymous reader writes "I've been thinking of getting a sleeve of math and science tattoos for quite a while now. With the money saved up, the only question remaining is, what equations/ideas should I get? I know for certain that I'm going to include some of Maxwell's equations, and definitely Ohm's Law. So, if you were going to put a tribute to the great math and science minds on your body forever, which ones would you choose?"
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Tattoos For the Math and Science Geek?

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  • Re:Before you do it (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:17PM (#32718632)

    A tattoo is so long-lasting as to be next to permanent. It will still be visible 40 years from now. If you're talking laser removal, that's more expensive than getting the tattoo in the first place, can hurt like fuck, and often still leaves it obvious that something was once there when it's as large as a sleeve so you can just compare it to the other arm.

  • Re:Before you do it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:18PM (#32718644)

    Yeah, just think, all of these [] seemed like good ideas at one point too.

    Get one of guanine & cytosine.

  • Re:Not me but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:22PM (#32718742) Journal
    The Gimbo indeed, for it is him.
  • Re:Before you do it (Score:3, Informative)

    by bensode ( 203634 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:25PM (#32718810)

    Hotlink didnt work ... try this link instead: []

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:28PM (#32718860)
    I agree that if you don't know what you want to get you just shouldn't be seriously entertaining the idea of getting a tattoo. That said...

    I've never regretted any of my tattoo work. Well, I sometimes think I should have made one bigger. As for explaining them? I'll simply tell the tykes that I like them. Beyond that I don't think I should have to fit your ideals on what's exceptable.

    No, they do not make me tougher. I never expected that.
    They do not make me stick out as an individual. I got them for myself. They can't even be seen by those around me in normal circumstances.
    They "enhance" my existence because I wanted them and I'm happy with them. You've never done anything that you like because it makes you happy?
    Tattoos are not permanent. Where does this myth come from?

    Now, how did giving a lecture on something that anyone here already knows possibly enhance your existence? Why such the rant against tattoo work?
  • Re:Before you do it (Score:3, Informative)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Monday June 28, 2010 @01:47PM (#32719234)

    Which is precisely what will happen if your mom forces you to get it removed and then bills you for the procedure by taking it out of your allowance for the next 10 years.

    Which just goes to show you, if you're a minor, make sure your parents are ok with it.

  • Re:Before you do it (Score:1, Informative)

    by uhoreg ( 583723 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:05PM (#32719570) Homepage
    a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is not a Mathematical theorem. It is an equation whose validity depends on the specific values of a, b, and c.
  • Re:Before you do it (Score:4, Informative)

    by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (8190nairb)> on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:13PM (#32719704)
    On the contrary - all laws are true within their context. And that will be true of all laws discovered in the future. There will never be a law in the future which you could definitely say will "always be true", as that would require omniscience, which is impossible. So truth requires context, and all laws are true.

    For the same reason, if I claim to be a soothsayer, and accurately predict specific global events far into the future, it would not mean that I am speaking the truth. There is no conceivable means by which I could have known that those events would have occurred. I simply guessed correct, but my statements were not true. Truth is the product of the recognition of reality - so with no possible means by which I could have recognized future events, I cannot speak truth about them.

    Even your mathematical truth, e.g. Pythagoras' theorem, is only true in the context of Euclidean geometry.
  • Re:Before you do it (Score:5, Informative)

    by severoon ( 536737 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:14PM (#32719724) Journal

    Um, if you're gonna get it tattoo'd, you probably want to go with the more traditional form of: e^(i*pi) + 1 = 0. This single equation shows a relationship between 5 important mathematical constants, as opposed to the other form, which just shows 3 (I don't think -1 qualifies, as i is the more fundamental).

    Or, you could go with the more general form: e^(i*theta) = cos(theta) + i*sin(theta).

    I might also go with the Euler product form of the Riemann zeta function [], arguably the greatest unsolved problem in all of mathematics: sigma(n=1, infinity, n^-s) = pi(p prime, inv(1 - p^-s)).

    I wouldn't worry about putting stuff on your arm that might get proven wrong—it doesn't mean F=m*a isn't a significant step in the evolution of human thought just because Einstein improved upon it. Speaking of Einstein, how about the Minkowski invariance relation (I think that's what it's called?): s^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2 + (i*c*t)^2.

    Another significant idea worth memorializing is Godel's Incompleteness'd have to find a form using logic notation.

    Finally, you might think about getting N E R D C O R E across your knuckles...

  • Re:Let me see. (Score:4, Informative)

    by D Ninja ( 825055 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:21PM (#32719828)

    Somehow I knew a story about anything on Slashdot would trot out a bunch of people who know absolutely nothing on the topic.

    Fixed that for you. (Now, do I get modded Flamebait or Insightful...that's the real question.)

  • Re:Let me see. (Score:2, Informative)

    by ChrisLeif ( 67430 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:42PM (#32720146)
    The Mayo Clinic says that there are health problems even if everything is done correctly: []
  • Re:Lazer removal? (Score:2, Informative)

    by xystren ( 522982 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @02:57PM (#32720446)

    People have that attitude that tattoos are easy to remove with lasers. But one also needs to remember that tattoos themselves are a wound - depending on the talent of the artist, wounds tend to scar. The ink my get lightened (removal is a bit of a misnomer); the laser breaks up the pigment molecule which is then removed through the body's lymphatic system.

    Laser removal is also a long process, and generally is not a one time process either. Generally a person needs to go through a series of sessions, and depending on the color of the inks used, that are different wavelengths required for the requirements. Not all laser machines are created the same. Also hope that you don't have a lot of white (Titanium Dioxide) since that has a tendency to turn complete black when laser removal is done.

    The lasers themselves also have the danger of creating scaring. So even though you might not have the ink there, you still can often see the scaring that is left.

    Consider very carefully before getting a tattoo, and if you go into with the attitude that "Ohh, I can get it laser removed if I don't like it in the future" don't get one. There are so many factors that are very rarely considered.

    I speak from observed experience, research and from attending educational seminars. My girlfriend owns a tattoo studio and also runs (executive director) an international tattoo association. I've learned far more about tattooing and the body modification industry than I ever wanted to know.

    Laser is not the answer. Carefully consideration and placement are your best options.

  • Re:No it isn't (Score:2, Informative)

    by labiator ( 193328 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:01PM (#32720498)

    As he pointed out, You don't HAVE to work there. If you don't like the policies of Company A, try to get on at Company B, Don't like those options? Give entrepreneurship a shot. My bet is YOU won't succeed because you figure everyone else is a tool. Me, call me a tool, but I will keep cashing those corporate paychecks as long as they come in.

  • Re:Obligatory xkcd (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:03PM (#32720520)
    At least get up to date if you want an xkcd reference: []

    Or at least admit how often you'll get laid with a math(s) tattoo: []
  • Really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:34PM (#32721018)

    This is the most poignant question you've seen in a long time? Seriously?

    Ok, look. Here's some wiki for you. []

    2,332,760 / 4,314,880 * 100% = 54%

    54% of the arable land in North America is not utilized. If you want to live on a farm go do it. Uncle Sam will even help. [] But if you're totally punk rock and don't want to "be part of the machine", then go be Amish. They manage it pretty well.

    The reason why nobody actually does this is because that way of life is stupefyingly difficult. Up before dawn to a full day of hard labor every single day.

    Go spend a week on a real farm. Just a single week. I'm sure they'd be glad for the help. I'll bet you don't last two days. I doubt I would.

  • Re:Before you do it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:46PM (#32721228)

    Not "ict"! I believe it is standard now to use the Minkowski metric (with a signature (-,+,+,+) or (+,-,-,-)) rather than "ict". The framework of the former generalizes to other non-Euclidean metrics found in General Relativity while the latter (which I believe comes from the study of Clifford algebras / geometric algebras?) does not. To fill in the gap, this changes the relation to

    ds^2 = -dt^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2

    (or ds^2 = dt^2 - dx^2 - dy^2 - dz^2, if you like).

  • Re:No it isn't (Score:4, Informative)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Monday June 28, 2010 @03:50PM (#32721286) Homepage
    I agree. What's needed is a sort of planned economy, to give jobs to everyone. With the plan in hand, we could make just the right amount of goods, with no waste. We could get rid of advertising as it would no longer be needed. There could be no more than 3 or 4 times pay difference between ordinary American peasants and the Ivy League elite. This system would only work if we were all on the same page about it, so we'd need political education at a national level. We could have sort of town meetings every Tuesday night where Obama could brief us by video on last week's progress and tell us what we need to work on for the coming week. Everyone would register in a work unit so we could make sure nobody missed the meeting.

    Or you could just, you know, get another job. It's up to you. Where did this bizarre idea that someone else is responsible for your job come from? Has this idea ever been tried before, on a large scale? How did it work out?

  • Re:Before you do it (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @08:11AM (#32728884) Journal

    If anyone was wondering, that appears to be a Schrödinger equation.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas