Re: What inspires you?

Question: What inspires you?

Jeanne Shaheen: You know I think seeing the difference that I can make. So whether . . . As governor it was being able to go to a new kindergarten that was being built because of work that I had helped lead, and seeing the excitement on the faces of those five year olds as they went into that public kindergarten. It's working with the students here at the Kennedy School and at Harvard and seeing how idealistic, and energetic, and optimistic they are about their futures; and thinking the world is in good hands because we've got those future leaders who are committed to making a difference.

Question: To whom do you look for inspiration?

Jeanne Shaheen: Well I think there are a lot of them. One person that I always talk things through with is my husband. If I could go to somebody to talk to them about a difficult problem, I think my first choice would be Abraham Lincoln. I think for Lincoln to have been able to believe strongly enough in keeping the union whole; to be able to see so many of his constituents die in that process must have been so hard, that I think his knowledge and his values would be something I would really love to hear him talk about. It’s been wonderful to read some of Doris Kearns-Goodwin . . . her recent book “A Team of Rivals” which talked about Lincoln and how he dealt with people, and how he was able to keep things together through what was just an awful time for this country.

Recorded on: 6/13/07

Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns-Goodwin and Shaheen's husband inspire her.

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

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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.