Reader, What's Your New Year's Resolution?
I like the idea of "literary New Year's resolutions" suggested by Ruth Franklin in The New Republic, and I've decided to hop on the bandwagon. But while Franklin's resolutions primarily concern general reading habits, I'd like to be more specific: I propose that 2012 be the year we all read the one book we're most embarrassed never to have read.
You know which book I mean. Everyone remembers the "Humiliation" scene from David Lodge's Changing Places, in which a group of academics confesses to the biggest gaps in their literary education, until finally...all right, I've never read Changing Places either. But you get the idea, and I trust that you're as eager as I am to put your worst humiliation behind you. I'll go first:
This is the year I'm finally going to read Jane Eyre, goddammit.
Now, before you say anything: I've always intended to read Jane Eyre. I read the first few chapters of it once (and stopped after the "death of Helen" scene; no particular reason). I've even seen a film adaptation. And I have no problem with the nineteenth-century novel in general or even the Brontës in particular (I love Wuthering Heights as much as the next former English major)...
None of this helps when Charlotte Brontë's ghost is staring daggers at you.
"...If from this day you began with resolution to correct your thoughts and actions, you would in a few years have laid up a new and stainless store of recollections, to which you might revert with pleasure." —Jane Eyre, Chap. XVI (or so a Web search tells me)
Therefore, Reader, I make my solemn vow. Jane Eyre. This year. As soon as I finish a few other books first.
What's your resolution? Or as Jane might put it, what's your pleasure?
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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