Will Fidel's death bring change to Cuba?

Question: Will Fidel Castro’s death bring change to Cuba?

Robert Menendez: Well I don’t think that that act alone will change Cuba. Certainly Fidel Castro will be the end of the dictatorship of one person, but that does not guarantee democracy on the flip side. I do believe that when Fidel Castro meets his maker, that ultimately the question is, “How does change take place?” I don’t believe that Raul Castro has a relationship with the Cuban people that Fidel Castro had, which was both a love-hate relationship. And I believe that he will not be able to continue to be the next dictator because the Cuban people, in that human spirit that we talked about earlier more generally, desire the fundamental things that any human being on the face of the earth desire. That individual freedom; the opportunity to worship at the altar that they choose; the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential without being told by the state what their potential is; the opportunity to prosper by the sweat of their own brow; the opportunity to choose those who govern them. And so that and so much more that is pent up within Cuban society, I don’t think will allow Fidel Castro’s brother Raul to stay in power long. But I just don’t simply think that the death of Fidel Castro, whenever that takes place, automatically means democracy or respect of human rights of the Cuban people. That still will be a work in progress.

 

Recorded on: 9/12/07

 

 

 

Democracy in Cuba will be a work in progress for some time.

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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.