War reporting (corrected)

This is what happens in a war - conflicting reports based on hearsay and rumors and no one really knows what is happening.

Lets review three security incidents from today.

1. First, the director of security in Sayyun, Riyadh al-Khatabi, who I wrote about yesterday, was reported to have died from his wounds. Only then he didn't die, but was recovering in a hospital in San'a. The truth, as this News Yemen piece suggests is still unknown.

2. This morning the security director, Muhammad al-Baham, in Mudawiya, which has seen more than its share of al-Qaeda violence was killed. Some are claiming al-Qaeda was responsible, while others are saying the gunmen were linked to the demonstration-celebration for the Oct. 14 revolution (the one the south recognizes.) The government or at least some in the government are claiming that this was done by supporters of Anwar al-Anbari, the brother of Jamil al-Anbari who was killed in a likely US strike back in May while riding on a motorcycle. News Yemen gives the blow-by-blow.

3. On his way to investigate the attack - why the governor is investigating the attack is a good question - Abyan's governor, Ahmad al-Maysari was ambushed. And while he escaped, his brother and a guard were killed.

The war of attrition goes on and on and on.

Correction: The original post incorrectly stated that Anwar al-Anbari had been killed in the spring of 2010 by a likely US strike. It was, in fact, his brother Jamil, who was killed. Anwar is still very much alive and active within al-Qaeda.

​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
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