Ernie Banks and Lessons on Being a Good Sport

Ernie Banks was a Hall of Fame baseball player who spent his entire 19-year career with the Chicago Cubs. Despite his vast personal success, Banks never won a World Series ring.

Ernie Banks (1931-2015) knew a lot about being a good sport. Banks was one of the best hitters in baseball over the course of his 19-year Major League career and picked up back-to-back National League Most Valuable Player awards in 1958 and 1959. He entered baseball's Hall of Fame in 1977 on the strength of 14 all-star appearances and 512 career home runs. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and named by the Library of Congress as an American Living Legend.


But Banks was best known as "Mr. Cub," a legendary icon of the beleaguered Chicago team. Thus, the most notable absence among Banks' list of awards and accolades is a World Series appearance. The Cubs haven't been to a World Series since 1945; they haven't won since 1908. The team never even reached the playoffs during Banks' illustrious career. Despite this, Banks is remembered for his infectious smile, charming personality, and "let's play two" eagerness.

"The only way to prove that you're a good sport is to lose."

[UPDATED - Jan 23, 2015]

We're sad to learn that Ernie Banks has died. We're reposting this today in his honor. He was 83.

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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."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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