Is Iran Leading Israel Into A Trap?
A thought occurred to me last night as I watched one of the BBC’s Diplomatic Correspondents, Mark Urban on the channel’s flagship current affairs programmes. Newsnight. And it was that perhaps Iran is egging Israel on to attack her nuclear facilities? Urban’s report focussed on Iran’s big nuclear build out, and the fact that much of the new processing plant is now buried underground, making it even more difficult to destroy. He also suggested that Israel, on her own, would have to use everything at her disposal in one all out air strike attack on Iran, because it seems unlikely that the country could stage another. Of course President Ahmadinejad of Iran continues with the fiction that his country is only interested in the peaceful use of nuclear power, which is quite useful for all of those countries, including Russia, who have continued to supply Iran with the technology and material she needs. But then this is a time honoured ritual. The West was supplying nuclear know how to the late Shah of Iran at the back end of the 1970s.
Most Western commentators reflect an accepted wisdom that there is a 50% chance that Israel will strike Iran, with devastating consequences for the region, not least Israel. They usually fail to report that Israel is herself a nuclear weapon state, which unlike Iran, has not signed the Non Proliferation Treaty. So no UN inspectors have ever set foot in an Israeli nuclear facility – nor are they likely too. What the same commentators don’t seem to grasp, is that if Israel strikes Iran, she will play directly into the hands of the unpleasant hardliners who have shown through their actions against their own people, that they have no intention of ever surrendering power voluntarily.
President Ahmadinejad has further infuriated the Israelis this week with a provocative visit to Hezbollah controlled areas in Southern Lebanon – a stone’s throw from Israel’s northern border. And here is the rub. Should Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Iranians will not necessarily unleash some of their missiles, which could in theory pierce Israeli defences, they will declare war on Israel through their surrogates in Southern Lebanon and Gaza. It will be bloody, unrelenting and long.
There is now a desperate urgency for a final peace deal in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians, not least to isolate Iran. What the Middle East so desperately needs now are cool heads and focussed minds. It needs the real spirit of compromise. And in this too, Israel may have to face up to the inevitable – that it cannot destroy Iran’s nuclear capability, and it will have to learn to live in peace with all of its neighbours – and they with it.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.
- Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
- Recent glacial melting, caused by global warming, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
- While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
The bodies that remain in view are often used as waypoints for the living. Some of them are well-known markers that have earned nicknames.
For instance, the image above is of "Green Boots," the unidentified corpse named for its neon footwear. Widely believed to be the body of Tsewang Paljor, the remains are well known as a guide point for passing mountaineers. Perhaps it is too well known, as the climber David Sharp died next to Green Boots while dozens of people walked past him- many presuming he was the famous corpse.
A large area below the summit has earned the discordant nickname "rainbow valley" for being filled with the bright and colorfully dressed corpses of maintainers who never made it back down. The sight of a frozen hand or foot sticking out of the snow is so common that Tshering Pandey Bhote, vice president of Nepal National Mountain Guides Association claimed: "most climbers are mentally prepared to come across such a sight."
Other bodies are famous for not having been found yet. Sandy Irvine, the partner of George Mallory, may have been one of the first two people to reach the summit of Everest a full thirty years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did it. Since they never made it back down, nobody knows just how close to the top they made it.
Mallory's frozen body was found by chance in the nineties without the Kodak cameras he brought up to record the climb with. It has been speculated that Irvine might have them and Kodak says they could still develop the film if the cameras turn up. Circumstantial evidence suggests that they died on the way back down from the summit, Mallory had his goggles off and a photo of his wife he said he'd put at the peak wasn't in his coat. If Irving is found with that camera, history books might need rewriting.
As Everest's glaciers melt its morbid history comes into clearer view. Will the melting cause old bodies to become new landmarks? Will Sandy Irvine be found? Only time will tell.
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