Back to School with Punkle Henry (Rollins)

Henry Rollins: Young person, you’ll find in your life that sometimes your great ambitions will be momentarily stymied, thwarted, marginalized by those who were perhaps luckier, come from money, where more doors opened, where college was a given--it was not a student loan; it was something that Dad paid for--to where an ease and confidence in life was almost a birthright, where for you it was a very hard climb.
 
You cannot let these people make you feel that you have in any way been dwarfed or out-classed.  You must really go for your own and realize how short life is.  You got what you got, so you have to make the most of it.  You really can’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about his.  You really have to go for your own.  If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree.  You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way.  You’re young.  That’s why you can survive on no sleep, Top Ramen noodles and dental floss and still look good. 

All the people you admire, from Mohamed Ali to any politician, they work and work and work.  Your president right now is a man who got where he is through very hard work and scholarships, mainly hard work and application and discipline.  If these people can do it, why not you?  

We live in very interesting times and, as a young person going into a very turbulent and fragile economy that is going to get better--it’s going to take awhile--, it is easy to lose your moral compass, your decency, your sense of civility and your sense of community.  Very easy.  You known, things in traffic make you mad.  People are getting a little desperate.  They might not show their best elements to you.  You must never lower yourself to being a person you don’t like.  

There is no better time than now to have a moral and civic backbone, to have a moral and civic true north.  This is a tremendous opportunity for you, a young person, to be heroic, to be morally upstanding, to be helpful, almost Boy Scout-like, presidential, to be altruistic.

Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia, desperation, cruelty, brutality, all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.  It’s by being strong in the face of all of that, not lowering yourself to it, that’s how you lead.  That’s how you liberate others and maintain freedom.  You don’t have to beat your chest.  You don’t have to wave a flag, but to maintain a high level of decency

And it sounds like I'm a cranky old man, like something you want to rebel against, but really think about what I'm saying.  I think I'm right about this.  When you look at what real desperation and ignorance looks like, when you have to run from it, like, literally run from it, you don’t want to be that.  You want to be that which leads others out of that.

And now more than ever is the time to show these great qualities, to extol these great qualities and to embody these great qualities, which you have.  Now it’s time to magnify them, personify them and inspire others with them.  And there’s never been a time where they're needed more than right now.  

Directed / Produced by
Jonathan Fowler & Elizabeth Rodd

The legendary punk rocker offers some advice to today's youth.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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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."

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

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  • 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.