Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Is Saying Very Presidential Things

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's comments are plainly spoken, aspirational, and cognizant of an American aesthetic. It's presidential material, actually.

NBA all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an astute critique of Donald Trump in The Washington Post this week. Abdul-Jabbar's comments are plainly spoken, aspirational, and cognizant of an American aesthetic. It's presidential material, actually.


So with Bernie Sanders rising in the polls, Trump already up there, and the more archetypal candidates struggling to maintain media coverage, why don't we let go our notions of what a "proper" candidate looks like. What I'm saying is this: It's time to let celebrities run things for a while. It's the American thing to do.

We Americans invented celebrity and letting our famous people run the world is a natural extension of our exceptional brilliance. If the Bernie-Jabbar ticket managed to govern as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and Al Franken, the nation could sail past the tepid waters of stay-the-course political drudgery.

Jabbar on our apparent love of Trump's demagoguery:

"Americans may flirt with the preppy life of the frathouse partier because he’s poked sacred cows, said stuff we all wish we could say (except that reason keeps us from doing it), and acted buffoonishly entertaining. But when you wake up the next morning and he’s saying you’re now in a four-year relationship, reason comes rushing in, and it is time for the 'it’s me, not you' speech."

Jabbar on political correctness:

"The term 'political correctness' is so general that to most people it simply means a discomfort with changing times and attitudes, an attack on the traditions of how we were raised. (It’s an emotional challenge every generation has had to go through.) What it really means is nothing more than sensitizing people to the fact that some old-fashioned words, attitudes, and actions may be harmful or insulting to others. Naturally, people are angry about that because it makes them feel stupid or mean when they really aren’t. But when times change, we need to change with them in areas that strengthen our society.

It’s no longer 'politically correct' to call African Americans 'coloreds.' Or to pat a woman on the butt at work and say, 'Nice job, honey.' Or to ask people their religion during a job interview. Or to deny a woman a job because she’s not attractive enough to you. Or to assume a person’s opinion is worth less because she is elderly. Or that physically challenged individuals shouldn’t have easy access to buildings. If you don’t have time for political correctness, you don’t have time to be the caretaker of our rights under the Constitution."

Images courtesy of Getty.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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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."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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