Tuesday Papers

Khalid al-Hammadi writes about violations of press freedoms in al-Quds al-Arabi, which goes well with this report from the National on a proposed new press law in Yemen.

Of course Minister of the Interior al-Masri's supposed remarks that there is no al-Qaeda presence in the country is getting a lot of play. I don't believe that is what he meant, I think he was just talking about a list of 4,000 was indicating that there was no al-Qaeda presence on that list but rather that they were all petty criminals.

(CAUTION:) Mareb Press is reporting that Muhammad al-'Awfi, one of the former Guantanamo detainees, who traveled from Saudi to Yemen and showed up in a video back in January has turned himself into authorities. As Henry pointed out in the comments yesterday, some guys tend to show up over and over. Initially it was reported that Qasim al-Raymi was killed in August 2007, then he was supposedly killed months later, but he is of course still around. My hunch is that this story will be modified in the coming days. There were reports that some Saudis were captured, which if al-'Awfi was one of the ones captured then it would be big news, but we'll have to wait for some sort of confirmation.

The news continues to be bad out of Abyan, today the head of the court had his car stolen from in front of his house in Ja'ar, which has long been a producer of militants, many of whom fought in Iraq.

For those interested in a bit of history of the Imamate, News Yemen conveniently reposts this item about the assassination of Imam Yahya in 1948, although for some reason they include the picture of Imam Ahmad, his son. I think I remember reading that while no photographs of Yahya exist, there is a sketch done by the American Anthropologist Carleton Coon, who also enjoyed measuring heads.

Update: More and more news outlets are reporting the capture of Muhammad al-'Awfi, one of the relapsed Guantanamo detainees.

​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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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

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.

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)

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
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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