Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Aug 25, 2017 in Stuff You Should Know

Bannon is Out

Another key member of the Trump presidency’s advisor group is gone. The most recent departure is Stephen K. Bannon, who left his position as chief strategist last Friday.

Bannon was always a controversial figure in Trump’s cabinet. A former editor of Breitbart News, a far-right publication that often printed opinions and stories in support of white supremacy, Bannon helped shape some of the new presidents most unpopular actions–such as his Muslim travel ban. There is debate over whether Bannon wanted to leave his White House position, or if Trump fired him. Either way, sources say that the relationship between the two men had been deteriorating steadily over time. Recently, Bannon has criticized the president’s aggressive position on North Korea. He has also been accused of leaking sensitive White House information to the press. After last weekend’s clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, there was a great deal of public outcry to remove Bannon..

After leaving the White House, Bannon returned immediately to Breitbart. He says that he believes he can wield even greater influence from the “outside” than he could with his previous position in the administration.

Other members of the Trump administration who have been dismissed by the president include Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff; Sean Spicer, White House press secretary; Katie Walsh, Deputy chief of staff; Michael Flynn, National Security Adviser; James Comey, FBI director; Sally Yates, acting attorney general; Mike Dubke, communications director; Anthony Scaramucci, communications director; and several members of the National Security Council.

What Do You Think? After his dismissal, Bannon told reporters, “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over.” What do you think he meant by this? Do you agree or disagree with Bannon’s statement? Explain.

White House Business Council Crumbles

President Trump disbanded his business advisory council last week after several of its CEOs pulled out. They were protesting the way Trump had responded to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the previous weekend. Immediately on Monday, Merck CEO Ken Frazier (one of only a handful of African American Fortune 500 CEOs) withdrew from the manufacturing council in protest. Later that day, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned as well.

The following day, Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his position that both sides were to blame for what happened in Charlottesville. As a result, three more CEOs resigned from the council, followed by two more on Wednesday morning. A few hours later, Steve Schwarzman, the head of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, held a conference call with the remaining members during which they decided to dismantle the council. However, in an afternoon tweet, the president claimed that the decision to dissolve the council had been his. Several other CEOs–including Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Apple CEO Tim Cook–released statements throughout the afternoon, condemning Trump’s stance on racism and explaining their decision to withdraw from the council.

The week ended with several prominent organizations stating that they would no longer hold fundraisers at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, including the Cleveland Clinic, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the Susan G. Komen foundation.

What Do You Think? Have you ever had the opportunity to stand up against injustice? Do you think the CEOs who withdrew from the business advisory council did the right thing by taking a moral stand, or do you think they had a responsibility to fulfill their duties to the president, regardless of whether or not they agreed with his position on racism? Explain your position, remembering to be respectful of other points of view.

Terror in Barcelona

Last Thursday, a van plowed into a group of pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain, killing 13 people and injuring over 120 more. It was the deadliest terrorist attack the country has seen since bombings in Madrid in 2004.

About 5:00 pm, the van crashed into crowds on Las Ramblas, a busy tourist promenade. After committing the attack, the driver fled on foot and is currently still on the loose. ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the attack. Later in the day, a car ran over two police officers at a security checkpoint in what is being treated as a related attack.

Even worse, authorities believe that this event was linked to several other terrorist attacks that happened nearby over the course of three days. On Wednesday, the day before the Barcelona attack, bomb-making materials exploded in a house in Alcanar, which is 100 miles southwest of Barcelona. It is believed that this was the terrorists’ base, and that they had been planning to use explosives in the attacks on Barcelona on Thursday, and in Cambrils on Friday. In Cambrils, which is 75 miles southwest of Barcelona, five terrorists drove into a crowd of people, killing one person and injuring six more, including a police officer. They were shot by police.

So far, four additional suspects have been arrested, one in Alcanar and three in Ripoll. None of the suspects were previously on any terrorist watch lists. Spanish authorities believe the perpetrators were part of a 12-person terrorist cell, which had been planning the attacks for the past six months. At least one suspect remains at large.

Dig Deeper To help you better understand the events that unfolded in Spain, create an annotated timeline of the attacks. Then locate the three affected cities on a map. Label each with the day it was attacked: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.

Ink and Sweat

Do you have a tattoo? If so, it’s possible that it may affect your workout.

Woman exercising

Do tattoos affect your ability to sweat effectively? Credit: Ingram Publishing/AGE Fotostock

A recent study has found that tattooed skin doesn’t sweat the same way that non-tattooed skin does. Tattooed skin sweats less, and the sweat itself has a higher concentration of sodium. The researchers who conducted the study have several ideas about why this might be so. When you get a tattoo, your skin is punctured with a dye-filled needle up to 3,000 times per minute. The dye is deposited in the same layer of skin where the sweat glands are located. Immediately after receiving a tattoo, your immune system responds by sending special inflammatory cells that cause swelling and help the skin to heal. It’s possible that the dye blocks sweat glands, or that the inflammatory cells change the composition of the skin in a permanent way, even years after the tattoo itself has healed.

It’s important to remember, however, that this was a very small study, and conducted only on young, healthy men, excluding both women and the elderly. Also, it is unlikely to have any great impact on an athlete’s health; if you sweat less in some areas, the body compensates by sweating more in others. However, because tattoos are extremely popular with many male athletes, scientists plan to broaden the study and continue to examine the interesting relationship between ink and sweat.

What Do You Think? Based on what you’ve read, would you be more or less likely to want to get a tattoo, knowing that doing so may affect the amount and composition of your sweat? Why or why not?