Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label surgery. Show all posts


experiment failure

okay so the pirate box experiment gave its best shot but ultimately failed. things were fine from the installation in May 19 but at the end of December i whacked it on the door of a taxi, which hurt a lot but didn't worry me too much. however it got red and irritated looking and ultimately, i called the 111 service (free medical advice line) and they told me to go to hospital. hospital docs were pretty skeeved and clearly thought this was an utterly bizarre thing to have done, and immediately admitted me for removal. they insisted it be removed and at this point a hole had opened up over one corner of the device, through which a lot of nasty goo was issuing, so i went with their opinion and let them take it out.

so i spent New Year's in hospital, and now i have a second badass scar to show off. there's also a bit of nerve damage to my right hand which will hopefully heal up over time (it's pretty damn irritating, i have lost the grip strength in those fingers and it makes it very hard to type right).

so, cautionary tale. don't put enormous devices in your arms, folks.


grindfest 2019 and the big ol prototype

it's been a long time since i wrote anything for you guys. i will get the health stuff over with first: i'm having the Mental Health Fun Time, basically. things have escalated pretty badly in the last couple of months, & when this happens i pretty much can't do anything else. once again, i'm really sorry if you've been contacting me & didn't get a reply. the bigger my inbox & DMs get, the worse it is, and stupidly i know i'm making it worse by not checking them but that doesn't make it any easier to break through the barrier. right now the biggest problem is me, really. i shan't go into gory details, but it's been rough. i am very grateful for the access i have to doctors, psychiatrists, hospitals etc. - but also for the care & support i get from everyone in the biohacking community who knows me. you have all been fantastic.

as for Grindfest: it was incredible. i haven't been as happy as that since i was a kid. i got to travel to a beautiful place - the desert was gorgeous, and the butterfly migration we saw was like something out of a fantasy novel (a river of thousands of red and black butterflies all flying towards wherever their destination was. it was awe-inspiring.) i also got to meet Cassox, and see many friends, and everyone was lovely. we had a BBQ, we learned some useful practical techniques, there were electric knife fights, i tried every American junk food item i could. it turns out Twinkies are weird, but tasty. i brought back Lucky Charms too.

more importantly, i also had an experimental device installed. for legal reasons i'm not going to go into which of us did what during the actual install procedure, but it started off when my friend Mixael brought this little "pirate box" device in. tiny little guy, has USB storage and wifi antenna, users just connect to it via their phone or PC and they can download / upload files, anonymously chat, etc. we started to think about taking the cover off it, and at that point we all sort of looked at each other because it was immediately clear this might make an interesting subdermal device. so over the next few days it got gutted; more talented people than me took off any extraneous components, replaced the battery with a wireless charging coil, soldered the USB storage down, and filed off the corners. because we took the battery out, the device is now operated through use of a wireless charging pad held close to it on the skin; that's not ideal, but this is a prototype after all. Cass coated it with about a hundred layers of resin-type stuff (it's proprietary, i'm not sure what exactly it IS but it performs like a dream) to bioproof the device. after that had cured it was time for the installation.

there's film of this somewhere around, but the op was done very professionally in Cass' lab. the lab is an absolute dream - spacious, easily cleaned, with two main working rooms and one sort of clinic room. it's all organised to perfection and has pretty much any equipment or supplies you could possibly want for a biohacking project, from weird cell biology shit to full on opening someone up and stuffing in large electronics. the latter, obviously, being what we were doing.

we chose to put the device in my upper right arm, rather than the thigh as intended, due to worries about chafing. then we injected shitloads of lidocaine, and made a horizontal incision in the arm, which was then held open with retractors while a pocket big enough to hold the device was carved. at some point i recall we had to stop and put more lidocaine in, i think because the corners hurt more to carve out than i thought they would? anyway i bawled like a big baby at some point but it got installed in the end, and stitched up with a drain to help get rid of some of the fluid. i went off home (via a missed flight, but friends helped me sort it out & it was all OK in the end) and once i got back, pulled out the tube. this caused a large backup of about 50ml of fluid to spurt from the incision, completely overwhelming the little bit of sterile gauze i was trying to clean it with, which in turn surprised the hell out of Paul and kind of ruined the rug. was worth it if you ask me.

the incision healed up well, but slowly. this is probably due to me smoking or something rather than the quality of the work done, which was excellent. i took the stitches out a couple weeks later with no problems. the fluid buildup did cause the implant to look very raised, but this has subsided over time & didn't require draining like i thought it would. overall the install went pretty smoothly, i think. it's all healed over now, save one corner that's still a little red. no idea what's up with that but if the device fails, it fails, & we've gained some valuable information about how long these devices can last, positioning, usage and things like that.

here is the device while it was healing up:

looks pretty dramatic, no? it's all gone back to the right colour now, & there's a badass scar where the incision was. this is what it looks like today:

kind of gnarly still but i wasn't a beauty queen to begin with, ha. hopefully the device remains in situ for a good six months or so, i'd consider that a success. (and the scar is cool as fuck.)

speaking of gnarly, the janky finger was also fixed at Grindfest, much to my surprise. a lot of weird shit came out, all tiny pips of neodymium scattered throughout the white tissue making up the lump. the incision wasn't too big, probably about 1cm length, and sealed up perfectly. i took the stitches out on the plane home & had to explain what i was doing to the poor woman seated next to me. i don't want to get the person who did it in trouble so i'll just say that this procedure (and the installation of the device above) were done with superlative skill and care, and i'd recommend them any time.

that's pretty much everything. i won't be able to make it to Defcon, for those asking, but may well be able to come to "Please Try This At Home" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in September. i'll figure that out in time. meanwhile love and best wishes to you all, especially D, Vicarious, Mixael & Cyberlass. you have all been wonderful people.



bringing home the bacon

here is a quick guide to something a lot of people have asked about: the bacon test. this is a quick test to see if something you've made or bought is a good candidate to be implanted inside you somewhere. it's a way of checking how good the bioproofing on whatever you're testing is - so you can use it to test items you've bought from wherever, especially if they're not generally meant to be implanted anywhere, or on items you made yourself, which is where the test becomes much more useful and important. there's no need to bacon test something like Steve Haworth's magnets or Amal's chips, for example, but i wouldn't skip testing on things i've made or modified myself. i did that once and it's resulted in a weird janky looking giant lump on the finger i put the component in, plus a completely broken implant of course. (more on failures at the end of this post.)

passing this test doesn't mean your implant definitely will succeed in vivo, but it means it's worth trying. once again i am no doctor and none of this constitutes either medical advice or me telling you to go put things inside you.

things you need before you can do the test:
- your component
- your coating material

okay so first up you coat up your component. here a busted RFID field detecting LED sticker from Dangerous Things is standing in for ours, which in your test can be anything you want or are experimenting with, really. i'm coating it with plain old hot glue.

things you need for the test:
- a piece of pork or bacon that you don't mind throwing away (this here is a gone-off pork steak, but normally i use bacon.)
- hand sanitiser / gloves
- tweezers if your meat piece is very thick
- sharp knife, ditto
- cling film

here's the coated up component, ready to be inserted.

sanitise your hands or put your gloves on and get your piece of meat ready. it might need washing or cleaning off or whatever. here's mine - it's a pork steak, and if it hadn't gone off it would've been delicious.

make an incision as shown. if you're using a bacon rasher, that might not be possible. with those you just roll up the component inside the rasher, putting it at the centre of the layers so it's as deep inside the meat as possible (hurr hurr.)

put the component inside using your tweezers if you need them. if you've a thick bit, it helps to make the cut at an angle so you can put the component under the little flap it creates.

once this is done, you wrap the meat up in cling film and store it in the fridge for a week or so. after enough time has elapsed, you get it back out, unwrap / unroll it and have a good close look at the component. if it's rusty or discoloured under the coating in any way, it's failed. if nothing looks wrong, it will need re-sterilising before you put it into yourself anywhere, so i recommend doing this test on a second device or failing that, doing it only once you've sorted out a good means of sterilisation such as Milton solution, ethanol, etc. failure means that if you do implant it, it's likely to get encapsulated; as i said, i did this years ago in a really dumb kind of "nah, it'll be fine" moment with a homebrew magnetic node implant.

here's the result as it looks today: you can see the dark mass of where the implant used to be, which is the neodymium core all broken down from where my tissue reacted and attacked it. it's very much bigger than the original implant too, which is because your body doesn't just break substances like Nd down but also coats them in a giant ball of scar tissue if it cannot push them out of the site. you really don't want this to happen - not only will your device not work, but the place you put it in could potentially be ruined, especially if it's a sensitive site like your fingertips. also it's not exactly aesthetically pleasing to have big giant lumps of stuff stuck to you. they don't hurt, but they do look pretty gross. learn from my mistakes, sibs. i am the biohacking Goofus to your Gallant.

hope this has helped a few of you perform your own weird experiments. thanks to everyone who helps make mine possible - i know you've wanted personal updates, so these are coming in a separate post. carpe corporem



instructions for magnetic node procedure available

i finally fucking finished them. there were some ethical doubts but i still believe in freedom of information, as well as bodily sovereignty, and i hope i've written the introduction to it in a way that mitigates those problems. for those new to this: these are step by step instructions that tell you how to install your own magnetic fingertip nodes. they're at this Google Drive link, as a plain text file you can download and read anywhere you want.

link in plaintext:

just do me a favour and don't start messing with this sort of stuff if you have helicoptering overprotective American parents who are going to look for someone to sue when you have to go to hospital with a septic finger wound. i am taking a bit of a risk by putting these instructions up for anyone to read and while i wouldn't do it if i thought it was that bad, i really don't want anyone who is still the legal responsibility of their parents doing these procedures. please wait until you are 18+ before you try to do anything like this on yourself that risks another person's livelihood if you fail or if your parents decide you deserve compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced while doing it (if you were experimenting de novo you might be alright, but in this case you're following published instructions that have a definite author to point at as the person who gave you the idea / told you to do it / "misled you" / etc.) you can of course decide i'm a patronising arsehole and disregard that entirely, but if you're that young and you want nodes that badly, the best thing is to save up for a bit and then convince your parents that you're going to do it whether they agree or not so their best bet is to agree and take you to a professional piercer to have it done. make it your birthday present or something.

if you are of age, i hope this shit helps. make sure to do your utmost in terms of pre-procedure sterilisation and post-procedure aftercare. i've said this a lot but please keep a close eye on the wounds after you've successfully got the nodes in, and if there's any sign of infection at all - excessive redness, a throbbing feeling, pain that doesn't recede or stop, any sort of clear (early infection) or yellow (pus; more established infection) discharge - please go to a doctor. at the least, go to a pharmacist and get them to tell you whether they think you ought to take it to the doctor.

stay safe, have fun, if anything's not clear in the file or you've got stuff you'd like to add to it like links to good places to buy things that i didn't include, extra information that applies to your country that i didn't know about, any typo corrections, etc - leave a comment below or email me at my trioptimum address (in the sidebar) and i'll update the file to include them. feel free to throw a euro/pound/dollar at me via if you really enjoyed them or they helped you install your nodes. or you can find me IRL and physically throw coins at me. that's good too.

carpe corporem!



healing time

everything seems to be more or less healed up now - only a little redness and dead skin left around the incision sites for the nodes, and of course the xNT site is just a little pink scar dot now, bruising's completely dissipated. here's how the node & chip sites are looking:

i'm still having a little bit of trouble typing because the node on the outermost finger is still giving a tiny amount of pain when i use it to strike a key but i can't really avoid that & i don't think it's doing any damage so it's pretty much good as far as i'm concerned. the other one is further along the path, with less redness & no pain, and its scar has already gone white. as before there were no concerns with infection & i'd happily recommend the piercer who did them, Jenova, if she hadn't sadly moved to Spain just recently. she should be practicing again at a later point from what i heard so if you're gonna be in Andalucia or can get there once she's all set up, go for it. seems like there's better chances of getting stuff done on the Continent than there is here in the UK, what with Trust & other places, but the scene seems to be expanding slowly. you've got a better chance of getting stuff done by piercers now than you did ten years ago by far.

i'd also really like to thank a particular person for a generous donation on the 22nd of May - thanks to this i will be able to start messing around with chips for the compass doohickey, once i poll a friend of mine on potential microprocessors. if anyone knows a microprocessor which is small and could potentially take input from a compass module or even better, has the capability onboard, that would be fukken sweet - otherwise, i'll grope around in the dark and eventually come up with one myself. it'd also be great if i could just plug the eight or sixteen different electrodes for output right on into the processor but i don't think that's actually going to be that easy. i'll figure something out.

documentary is on track - it will feature not only me, but also some other UK transhumanists - Paul is currently working on some interviews, and i know he's filmed others already - Jenova and various other individual biohackers, plus Vicarious is also collaborating with him. he's also working on getting H+ people from further afield to send in video interviews so there will be a bit more interesting content than just my views on stuff and films featuring my screechy little "this hurts" voice. you will have to put up with a fair bit of those though. the finished film will be available on Youtube and here in late September.





okay this is super late since it was very hard to type with fresh implantation wounds all over one hand but last Thursday night i had a couple of upgrades at Jenova Rain's studio in Leicester, for Paul's documentary project - got a couple of nodes put in so he would have something to compare to my own procedure, both in terms of the surgical procedure Jenova used vs. the one i've developed and in terms of the atmosphere of a professional piercing studio with legit equipment / supplies vs. ...well, my place and whatever shit i can get hold of. as you all know though the other major difference is that piercers are expensive as FUCK since they have to pay for their studio rent, huge expensive bits of equipment like autoclaves, a constant flow of sterilisation stuff, needles, jewellery, aftercare stuff etc etc etc so of course it took a big fat chunk out of the funds i had saved up. to be fair it was two nodes plus an XNT chip from Amaal that i got offered on the night and couldn't say no to, plus the train fare to and from Leicester and an Uber to the studio on the way which turned out to be fucking stupid because the place was ten minutes from the station and it was city centre rush hour so the fucking thing charged us about twenty quid for this tiny little journey.

the XNT is healed up, more or less, just a bit of extremely light bruising around the area where the chip settled and a tiny scab from the needle hole:

and the incisions for the magnetic nodes have also scabbed up. they're still just barely noticably redder than normal because of the internal damage done when creating a "pocket" inside the fingertip for the node to fit in (this is inevitable, more on the procedure differences in a sec) but there are no signs of any infection or any non-essential damage and they are now secure enough that they don't require a tight binding dressing and can just be protected with medical tape and a bit of gauze or melolin dressing. this is them an hour ago, taken at the same time as the chip:

of course there has been no sensation from them as of yet - it seems to take a week or so in a person who has never had any installed before, and about five days in someone who already has some. i think this is because if you already have some, your brain has already got some connections associated with receiving that sort of input, whereas if you didn't, it needs a bit extra time to make those in the first place. a couple of things have set them off magnetically which as i remembered before is super mondo uncomfortable with the internal wound still healing. the pain is gone completely, although it probably helped that i had heavy pain medication, so idk if that's typical or not. yesterday was fine too in that regard, it was mostly Friday and Saturday where it really hurt and Saturday wouldn't have been that bad if i hadn't fucked it up trying to type stuff.

re. the actual procedure i found that Jenova was using a 1.7mm diameter cannula needle - the ones i use are 5mm diameter and they're not cannula ones, meaning they are sharp on only one edge of the tip, rather than both (and obviously the ones i use are way bigger.) the actual incision she needed to make was just as wide as the one created by the needles i use, and she also needed to remove some tissue from the centre of the finger pad in order to make a big enough pocket for the node to fit in, which is something you don't need to do if you're using the great big ones as they just punch a big fuck off hole by themselves. because of this need to make a pocket, i think using the 5mm one is faster overall; Jenova's procedure is a lot more delicate, though, since i have to use a considerable amount of force behind the needle to make my incisions and she didn't need to do that at all. i think her way is a lot less likely to come up with complications like the needle potentially going all the way through the finger pad and out the other side or making a much deeper hole than was needed (i've never run into either one of these myself but they're possible i think.) i'm not sure which one would hurt less - sharper, smaller needles would hurt less with ordinary piercings, but the larger one is also probably faster and doesn't need any excision of flesh. as ever i said fuck a lot and felt awful - didn't white out though like i usually do with my own stuff. i am gonna guess they're probably about the same when you take it all into account, although Jenova's obviously a professional so it would be way safer to have someone like her do it if you can afford to pay for it.

overall, it was a perfectly fine experience, and pretty nice to have the luxury of someone else doing it for a change. Jen herself is a lovely person, it was really nice talking to her and another biohacker from France who showed up for a small meetup, and Paul did a full interview with both of them so you will get to hear from other people than just me in the finished film (also others too, he is not finished getting content / contributors). he got some good nasty footage of the installations too, & if the film people at UoB complain that it's too gory i'll get him to upload it to a Google drive or Megavideo or somewhere so you can all see it (would go youtube but it deleted both my older surgery videos last time i tried that so i'm not even gonna try this time. fuck youtube) pretty much the only bummer is that she's moving to Spain within the next week, so i can't make it a regular destination. would fucking love to go see once she gets set up in Spain. i also nicked half a tube of EMLA cream. result.




small update

i need to use this blog more. i kind of stopped because it felt like a biohacking-only blog and while i've been ill there's been fuck all to say about that, but it is actually my personal blog so i might as well update it for my own sake. there was a comment on youtube that said something along the lines of "this used to be a good biohacker now it just whines on its blog" and that also had a lot to do with not feeling like i could update this unless it was to say something really ~*good and positive*~ that could in no way be interpreted as whining or off topic. of course there is fucking nothing that i can say that fits these criteria so whatever, i should never have broken my "don't read youtube comments" rule (i ended up doing it as part of a "people do too say nice things about you!" conversation a good friend was trying to have with me a couple of years back, and lo and behold i was right.)

anyway this blog doesn't have any followers so i can write what i want. i'm not going to stop writing about biohacking stuff, but right now all i'm doing on that front is gathering money for components (i made a savings account for it! like an ADULT!)

i'm aiming to finish my array of nodes first, since i've been mostly screwing with chip stuff since last i did anything. i'm thinking i might break the rule of not putting them in your index fingers, although the thumbs are definitely still out, but these will go last if i do install any there since it's gonna be hardest to heal those. including the indices i'll need five nodes (i know, i know, that's shameful) but one particular site is filled with keloid, encapsulated debris from a prior experiment & this will require its own extensive operation to remove that shit. i'm not looking forward to that particular procedure but it's necessary for a complete array and besides it probably should come out anyway. my mess, my problem. this operation will require a nerve block at any rate since otherwise it will be too painful and i won't be able to do any decent excavation work on it, i'll just end up shakey and probably won't be able to take it for very long. hopefully not too much of the tissue is compromised, i'll be annoyed if it doesn't leave me with enough to work with for nodes later (especially since i'll have to come up with some sort of compromise where i maybe install the node at the same time as i remove the mass, which of course will require some additional pain and lengthen the procedure).

i also need to consider potential other projects, whether that's things i stopped doing in the past because of ill health or new ideas i couldn't pursue during that time. i'm well aware that i have utterly fucked myself over by not being available for years on end, but i am still trying to climb out of the hole, after all this time failing and falling back down to the bottom again.

lastly, if you tried to contact me in the last while and never got a response, please feel free to try again now, and please accept my apology for leaving you hanging. i am trying hard now to not do this to people anymore.



the winter feast

it will probably be christmas day by the time most of you read this, or later. i hope you have or had a good day wherever you were or whatever you were doing. may 2017 be less shit than 2016 was.

if you sent me email in the last year, i'm really sorry for not replying to you. i do read most of what arrives but there's a high volume of spam plus a similarly high volume of legit emails, so it's hard to reply to them all when you have no motivation to do ordinary day to day tasks and even less to interact with people.

my partner is looking after me - he's doing a good job. i have not been very well this last year, and it didn't help that i spent about six months trying to do a networking qualification that was too advanced for me and not actually relevant to my eventual CEH qualification since i already know basic networking (it turns out that the one i was trying to do, the CompTIA Network+, is actually quite high level and involves a LOT of background reading for someone who has been on the programming or security side of things rather than the network engineering side. it's probably a fantastic exam to take if you want to be able to understand the logistics of every network everywhere and be able to engineer the perfect network for the situation your clients are in, every time, but it is way too in depth for a hacker to learn from scratch.) i've contacted the training provider about this & luckily they were really understanding - they apologised for having suggested the Network+ to me on the phone, and reset the time i had paid for so that i didn't pay for six months of wasted training and stress that got me nowhere. i'm currently working on the CompTIA Security+ & should be going back to that after christmas. i haven't done lots and lots of it but it seems like it's a lot closer to what i've been teaching myself for all this time than the Network+ was.

i am trying to be more accessible this coming year. my immediate plans are to attempt to restart my haptic compass project, and to complete my magnetic implant array. this will eventually also involve removing the failed experimental debris left in my right small finger (this debris is what you could see in the short BBC3 documentary, for those that asked - it is the encapsulated remains of a node whose experimental covering i was testing. it no longer works and will have to be removed before i can use the space to install a new node but this would be a long and involved surgery with a lot of pain and for this reason i have been avoiding it.)

merry christmas to you all, and many happy winters to come





it begins! (again.) i think living independently is good for me. i feel like a burden when living off other people, and having my own place is always nice. more or less settled in now, all the account information has been updated, bills set up etc. had a slight hitch on Thursday (08.10.15) when my old Fedora laptop finally gave up the ghost. the HDD made an ominous, bomb-like ticking noise for a few minutes, the system abruptly stopped responding, then the power died and refused to power back on. no luck with diagnostics/repairs that night or the morning after, until one last Chinese reboot convinced the machine to power on and load GRUB. from here i was able to get into Fedora, but only after about seven or eight minutes of loading and fan noise... when i actually got the window manager up, i found it responding slower than if i were sending commands via satellite from the fucking Moon. the terminal was no exception. i'd click or press a key, and literally several entire minutes would go by before the machine reflected what i'd pressed by opening a menu, showing the typed character onscreen, switching windows or whatever. with this excruciatingly slow method, i transferred my WIP novel to an SD card (it was the only irreplaceable file, i'd lost its backup on USB in the moving chaos). the machine itself is unusable and not worth buying a replacement hard drive for, so i haven't lost any data this time, but i have lost that. a new one's coming in a few weeks. it's one of these nice cheap preloaded Ubuntu ones for poor people so it should suit me fine. i don't need an SSD or fifty terabytes of disk space or 16G RAM, i just need some form of Linux laptop so i can function.

and meds. i also need lots of pain meds so i can function.

this Hallowe'en i will be speaking about transhumanism and biohacking in Nottingham, not sure of the exact place and time yet. i'll put up a post and a twatter update when i do, it shouldn't be very expensive if anyone wants to show up.

other news: next planned work is to upgrade my first ever implant, the little RFID ampoule tag i used for the various access hacks i took out of RFID Toys. it's very old and not writable or secured, so i've been wanting a replacement chip for a long time & am now in a position to replace it. (i say "replace", i really mean "install a new one and just stop using the old one because it's a pain in the arse to get things back out from under the skin of the hands and i can't be bothered".) i have a few ideas re where to source a suitable tag. will update you all as i get there.




google before you post

i am seeing lots of reactions, mostly on io9 where they reprinted the article about me on Wired, that have misconceptions. i would very much like it if the uneducated masses who like to call me an idiot would disavail themselves of the following precepts:

1. that i cost the NHS money without contributing to it.
no, i pay taxes just like you do, and fund the NHS just like you. some of my experiments have led to hospital, one to an overnight stay; i've never been in ICU, and the service is meant to help all people, not just people with tragic accident-related injuries.

2. that i sacrificed all or some of my sense of touch. i did not. next.

3. that you are just as much a "cyborg" as i am because you use an iPhone and wear glasses. fuck off if you are going to tell me that what i do is pointless, and i do not want to debate the definition of 'cyborg' with any normal.

4. that i don't do this voluntarily, and it's some sort of compulsion; also that because you can buy topical anaesthetic creams for stings and burns, that must mean those would work fine for surgery and would definitely go deep enough, so i must just "like the pain". do your goddamn research.



bride of the return of the son of das update goes to Hollywood

the node's fine, wound is scarred over completely although the site is still just perceptibly redder and more heated than the rest of the finger. that's unusual; i blame the cyanoacrylate glue i used to repair the node before i shoved it in there, or perhaps it is rusting. in either case it will be good for science.

there is a Megavideo of the procedure now. if you need it there will be a RuTube as well, although currently i cannot be arsed to put one up.

there is a stashbox of the video at

goals further to this project:
1. source raw neodymium discs for coating.
2. create and test homebrew implants with said discs and Sugru.

goals further to the Northpaw project:
1. find some goddamn motherfucking neuroelectrodes.
2. toss a coin to decide whether i go with some sort of kinetic power assembly or whether i just say fuck it and go with a coated lithium cell. currently, odds are favouring the latter, since a dynamo would require quite a lot of complex electronics - capacitors, resistors, other regulatory circuitry and the like - and would slow my prototyping down by quite the major factor, when i'm used to rapid prototyping as the One True Path of software (and wetware) engineering.

in other news, today i cut a failing microdermal out of my face with a scalpel and realised exactly how much better scalpel use is when you actually have a goddamn handle.

carpe corporem



bride of the return of the son of das update

all doing fine, if incredibly bruised; side of finger opposite the node is purple, we obviously hit a blood vessel this time. real post later when i am not so rushed, pictures forthcoming. several things in the meantime:

0000. i am aware of the fact that the YouTube got pulled - it is because YouTube are pussies and summerfags who can't handle a little guro in the name of science. i will put it up again on MegaVideo and RuTube asap.

0001. i am no longer suicidal, haven't been for a long time. just wanted to clarify. the combination of willing slavery to Morpheus and actually having a contribution to make towards the knowledge and experience of the species helped.

0010. i try to reply to everyone's comments, but if there's something i missed, feel free to email me or ruthlessly spam the blog until i respond. there's nothing worse than being ignored when you're trying to have a discussion.

0011. if anyone wants a tarball or zip of the complete set of photos and video i have so far you're welcome to ping me and i will put it up on stashbox.

as you were.


edit: fucking grammar.


return of the son of das update

i think it's doing alright; it sealed back up overnight. problem is, it's still redder than it ought to be and hot to the touch, which worries me - might be bruising from the procedure itself, which is very likely to have happened, might be a staph resurgence. the wound itself has closed nicely, though, and is sitting there playing good with no discharge or anything.

fingers crossed, gentlehumans.



son of das update

hey look, whitey's not dead yet.

node state: i'm still taking antibiotics for it, which seems wise; this morning i changed the dressing again to find the opening white, bloodless and clearly dead or dying. i am half-convinced that this is because it was kept too wet under the Jelonet, which is weird moist jelly-like clinging mesh that keeps wound lips together (my fault, i ought to have removed that shit as soon as i got back from the lab yesterday.) since wounds that get like that tend to reopen, it's not really a good sign, but i re-dressed it dry and here's hoping it will seal again. there's no sign of the node coming out. site was warm this morning, but seems to have cooled down since (probably something to do with the large amounts of antipyretics routinely flowing through my system as a catalyst for the DHC...) pain has abated greatly even when my dose runs down - yesterday was an opiate downday and i could still move all three joints without pain, unlike the day before. today my usual chemical halo is back in place and i feel nothing except when the wound itself presses against something.

status is therefore tentatively good.

sensory-wise, it's still too early for any EM sense to have come through, although magnetic function is obviously active (boring.)

also, i really like Cesium_137, and you might too.


test nodes: result so far

looks like this:


that's all for tonight. will keep the blog updated (okay, will try and will finally do it when endless email slews up about it) with the situation on the node; it's still hot as fuck and painful to touch, but not as much so as before. remember, no matter how much of a doughy Caucasian loser with nasty pallid skin and too many scars you are, the machines will always love you.



das update

(cf Combichrist's 'Get Your Body Beat'.) i woke up this morning to a small chorus of little dull pangs that mean 'oshit, son, get your fat ass to a doctor'. so i did; i was about to take a picture of the node site, but first the examining doc made me take off the bandage, and then had to send me to the nurse so she could patch me up with shit tons of gauze and Jelonet and stuff that's making it hard to type right. i had several interesting conversations about why it is that i do this shit to myself, which is something i can never explain properly to non-transhumanists - i've gotta learn to do that, otherwise i'm never going to get anything like a research grant or unbiased medical help. the nurses are alright, but the doctors still think of me as some exotic species of self-harmer.

i have been known to slice my arms open for shits'n'giggles, sure, and do a fair amount of damage in the process (none of this emo cat-scratch bullshit, i've split my arm to the tendons like the little psychopath i sort of am), but this is not something i do when properly medicated. i need a better way of communicating that.

fortunately the doc didn't decide to cut the node out of me just yet and gave me a box of flucloxacillin, which will doubtless play havoc with my system. still, it's not like i'm not grateful.

that is all. also you should check out Project Pitchfork, because their track 'A Cell' is kickass.


the things i do for biohacking, part 2

here is footage of the latest node-siting, completed about an hour ago. in this little flick you can see yours truly, in hood and surgical gloves, trying a new way to do this operation: i have my hand on an ice pack, and it's been in the freezer for about ten or fifteen minutes before the footage starts. this time i asked Muad-Dib, the other guy you see in the video, to do the puncture and shove the node in - doing it myself takes such a long time and is so fucking painful that we thought this way would be better. as it happens, it is; i still scream, but the process itself is far quicker.

i did try to strip the sound, but it wouldn't fucking encode, and i got pissed off with it, so fuck it. y'all can hear me screaming like a little girl. i've been told i sound like Jack from Mass Effect II, if that makes it any the less disturbing. also it came out all weird and high-pitched, fuck knows why. the quality is, as expected, godfuckingawful. apologies.

Muad-Dib does drop the node three or four times before he gets it in there. i had to evacuate the house so i wouldn't scare my roommates with the yelling, not that it bothered any of us. the guy filming is a buddy called Mike, who's a photography genius and remarkably unbothered by this.

goddamn, i do some fucking nasty things in the name of transhumanism.


the things i do for biohacking, part 1

okay, so i finally managed to get the photos of the pre-insertion test blob operation up here. i will try to format this shit correctly, but do bear in mind i went through with the node insertion itself about an hour ago and i'm consequently just a wee bittie fucked up. here is the blob of Sugru i made as a test node:

here it is next to a standard Swann-Morton 24 blade so that you can see the size; it's about 4mm diameter, i think:

this is both of them - the other one is the hot-glue blob. i sterilised both components in standard surgical spirit before i did anything, in a fucking teacup of all things:

then, like the idiot i am, i started cutting holes in myself (the goal of this particular session of batshit insanity, as you recall, being to get the neodymium node out of the back of my hand and then to insert the test blobs of Sugru and hot glue into the hole left behind.) as ever, the initial cuts are bad, but as soon as you do any real damage to yourself, you get an adrenaline rush to the area that inhibits bloodflow and turns you into a bad enough dude to finish the job. it took me a very long time to get the node out from under my skin; it was pretty deep down, and all this fibrous, stretchy shit had grown around it that just didn't wanna let go. i had to use my fingernails to grab the bundle of fibrous crap, pull it out of my hand as far as it would go, and slice its "roots" out from under it with the scalpel blade, then cut the remains from around the node once it was out; i couldn't photograph that both because it was fucking nasty and because i needed both hands. this is the resulting mess:

and this is the freed neodym, kicking about in the teacup of ethanol:

note the rust you can see on its side; that's where a snick in the silicon/gold coating had caused some damage. i fixed it with superglue last night, but fuck knows if it will hold; i figured i'd find out. if anything does happen, at least it won't be toxic to me. after i finally fucking got that out, i shoved the two blobs under the lips of the wound and cleaned it up. here you can see the size of the incision, and the Sugru blob at the south end. the glue blob was at the north end, but as previously and reluctantly stated, i've now lost the fucker.

in this photo you can also see the weird, white area around the wound where no blood is flowing; i am half-sure that this is because of adrenaline from where i shoved in the blobs. see also the little scar next to the opsite, which is from an old and rather pathetic attempt of mine to see how much i could make myself bleed by opening veins; i got nothing from that save a patch of numbness around the area, since in severing the vein i also severed a nerve. gg, Anonym. here is a rather cool-looking picture of the blade i used for this episode:

and here's the hand all bandaged up with some totally unnecessary Overkill 9000-size dressings i had lying around:

then i went and had a bowl of muesli. the end. oh, and here are some Arduino shock shields and press-buttons invading my workspace in the lab to get to a Penguin caffeinated mint:

biohacker out.




sorry for the loss of updates, guys. my lack of medication is making it pretty hard to function. fortunately i see the doc tomorrow, and i should be alright after that.

the lumps are both fine - it's official, after about 4 weeks of waiting Sugru seems to be compatible in practice with the human body. there's been no itching, bruising or what have you, no irritation or leaking. it sealed up in about two days and has been peachy ever since.

some notes: i made the Sugru lump too big, and so it looks incredibly fucking nasty right now cause you can see this massive fucking thing on the back of my hand. i also made the hot-glue lump too small in my ever-flowing fucking wisdom, and i shit you not i have lost it. i don't know where in my hand that fucker migrated to, but it sure as shit isn't where i put it anymore. it seems to be non-toxic too, as expected.

i also can't find the Crackberry cable anywhere. fucking photos. i will get them to you guys if it kills me.

so, i got my scalpel handle and a shit ton of antiseptic for the real op, which is next on Lepht's Happy Fun List of Pain. i've got like two thousand hospital-standard bacteria-killer wipes as well, plus some proper finger bandages and another big fuckoff needle, and some sterile surgeon's gloves (latex-free, motherfuckers!) for once rather than crappy exam ones. i will see if anyone in the house has a cam i can use, otherwise you'll be getting crappy Crackberry footage, but there will be footage.

and i hereby grant you all permission to fuck with me mercilessly until i remember to update the blog. jesus, i suck at life sometimes.



progress bar

no infection or irritation so far; in fact the site's doing pretty well, although i had to put superglue out of the toolbox in it yesterday. if all is still calm by next week, i will take it that Sugru doesn't cause major immediate damage to the interior of the human body, although it could still be damaging in the long-term. i'm not so bothered about that, since anything that fucked me up over a long period of time has historically been detected by people giving me biopsies and scans and shit and sliced the fuck out before it could do any real damage.

if it works, then, i'll probably use the sugru to coat up both the parts of the modified Northpaw for implantation and two plain pieces of Nd in order to complete my array. i have the node that came out of my hand the other day ready for re-insertion, but i'm waiting on supplies.

and i'm scared shitless of how much it's gonna hurt, of course. i'll have a spotter to video that one. pictures of the blob-siting tonight with any luck.