Resistor-code tattoo, with free/open design

Jimmie P Rodgers shows off and describes the thinking behind his new tattoo, which provides a crib for resistor code, symbolizes the rainbow queer pride flag, and is also five inches long and can be used to measure lengths in fractions of that measure. It was designed in Processing, and Jimmy's posted the source so that you can replicate it, learn from it, tweak it and share it:

So in summary, it’s a resistor color code chart, it’s a rainbow, it’s a ruler, it’s got both the golden ratio and Tao built in, and it was written in a programming language. So it’s a meaningful tattoo that’s also useful for me beyond looking great.

New Tattoo (via Evil Mad Scientists )


  1. But what happens if we suddenly switch to using Metric? He’d have to shrink his forearm to 100/127 its original length to keep the ruler function working. And have you ever tried shrinking your bones by a ratio involving a Mersenne prime? It’s harder than it should be.

    1. Anyone who’s ever been to the Folsom Street Fair knows that tattoos lose their proportions quite rapidly.

    1. An inch is exactly 1.0 cm, but only for centimeters that are at least two and a half times fatter than they should be because they’ve been eating deep-fried American sketti (with ketchup-and-margarine sauce.)

    2. In the UK nowadays, the “inch” is only employed as a unit of penis length.

      Btw, I think it should be “tau” (the number we should be using instead of pi), and not “Tao” (the Chinese metaphysical concept).

    3. an archaic unit of measure used to describe phalluses online, the measurement is often reduced in that situation to make them sound much more impressive.  ex. AOL Inches.

      1. There’s a scene in Shortbus where a potential date texts that his dick is 15 cm, and the American characters all ooh and aah.

  2. The geekiest tattoo I ever saw was last year. A guy in our bike club has a computer matrix  thingy that represented the logic (or output?) of a Turing Machine tattooed on his calf. It is quite big, maybe 6cm x 15cm. Not that interesting from a purely artistic/graphical standpoint perhaps; but people who recognise what it is without asking are members of a different club. I had to ask.

        1. Ohmigod! Is it still the current thing, to make topical puns? I find it revolting. If it were in my power to end the practice, I would. Yet, each post gives us a new ton of such silly things.

  3. I remember the mnemonic (now, as always, painfully politically incorrect) passed along by my dear physics teacher, back in high school:

    “Bad Boys Ravage Our Young Girls, But Violet Goes Willingly. Get Some Now.”

    It had the advantage of being memorable, but I know it’s horrid. Please tell me it’s been replaced by something more appropriate.

    1.  Better Be Right,or Your Great Big Venture Goes Wrong, is the one I teach. Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well is common too, except among teetotalers.

    2. I remember it as “Bad Boys Rode Our Young Geese But Victor Got Wet,” although my electronics teacher hinted at a naughty version.

    3.  We were taught even more non-pc, and used rape, not ravage. But do resistors still have color codes? Maybe the cheap ones, but any I have, have the values printed on in a font too small to read.

    1. “Don’t be an ass” -Me, just now.

      There, I’ve negated your argument from authority with an equally valid counterargument from authority.

      1. Not only that but, unlike the “authority” quoted above, you are tangible and in a position to clarify/ correct should the need ever arise.

    2. Right there in the Bible alongside condoning slavery, avoiding shrimp and not playing American football.

  4. Not sure that is a tat.
    But I have to say that these tats now days are just sad.
    Given that that lovely butterfly of today will be a sad moth in a few years.
    Love those neck tats too. “I never want to have a good job”
    My choice for a tat would be my blood type and my last wishes.

    1. Peoples tattoos end up looking that bad because they never give them a new lick of paint. They need a bit of upkeep every couple decades but people just don’t. 

    2. Are you saying the lovely butterfly will degrade that fast? I’m old, me and mine have tats that are still looking great 20 years on. 

  5. Tats end up looking bad…!? They are temp tats that you pick out off the wall.
    they then stick it on and color it in.
    Your new unique tat is on you and a million others. I have yet to understand the desire for them. 4 years in the navy and the thought never crossed my mind.

    Tats on the hands face neck

    Yep… O-neg  Please do not fold bend or spindle. Return for recycling
    Would be my choice!

  6. I love pieces like this! It’s always nice when a client puts some thought and creativity into their orders. 

    Tattooing something “simple” like this is much more difficult than it looks, but the payoff is worth it. Then again, I’m a sucker for geometric straightness on curved body parts!

  7. I’m constantly amazed that at such an enlightened blog, there are always multiple posts of “It’s going to look awful/ugh why would you do that” on EVERY tattoo post.

    I think it looks amazing.

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