Brexit and Sons: Italeave, Portugo, Nicoseeya (and More)
Caught between a rock and a hard place, the EU had better get ready for some of these exit-names
The European Union finds itself trapped in a reality not unlike the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Former friends are turning into mortal enemies at a frightening rate.
In fact, the EU is stuck between a rock and a hard place: Russia actively seeks to destabilize the Union from the east, and from the other side of the Atlantic, the Trump administration seems keen to do the same. Ted Malloch, president Trump's pick as U.S. ambassador to the EU (1), has compared the European project to the USSR – and expressed a desire to see it end in a similar way:
“I had in a previous career a diplomatic post where I helped bring down the Soviet Union. So maybe there’s another union that needs a little taming”.
And then there is the UK, which has decided to leave the Union. Some hope (and others fear) that its 'Brexit' is the first of several member state exits from the EU – thus potentially precipitating the end of the Union.
Such a scenario would have sounded impossible just over a year ago (i.e. before the British referendum on Brexit). But perhaps the EU should get ready for some worst-case scenarios. What will come after Brexit? Here is a map of portmanteau descriptions for other member states leaving the Union – some funnier than others.
Strange Maps #822
Got a strange map? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) News of Mr. Malloch's candidacy for the job caused strong disapproval from EU officials. He was not appointed, and the position of U.S. Ambassador to the EU remains vacant (as of October 26, 2017) since the resignation of Anthony L. Gardner on January 17, 2017.
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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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