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The Weekly BTSF 3
The hair edition
In 2021, Howard University dissolved its classics department due to a lack of inclusion in the curriculum. In response, Cornel West wrote a powerful response to this retrograde act. In it, he explains how the great thinkers of the western world gave Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr the moral clarity and fortitude to undertake their dangerous journies to help lead the oppressed towards freedom. In part, he wrote:
Howard University is not removing its classics department in isolation. This is the result of a massive failure across the nation in “schooling,” which is now nothing more than the acquisition of skills, the acquisition of labels and the acquisition of jargon. Schooling is not education. Education draws out the uniqueness of people to be all that they can be in the light of their irreducible singularity. It is the maturation and cultivation of spiritually intact and morally equipped human beings.
Indeed, schooling is not education. Read Professor West’s powerful words here.
For all the “follicly challenged” men out there (see - bald), this is for you. Researchers at the University of California - Riverside have discovered a single chemical responsible for the death of hair follicles, TGF-beta. Ironically, the same chemical is also responsible for the follicle dividing itself. Based on their research, as with so much in medicine, the dose makes the poison.
The bad news is that they still don’t understand how or why TGF-beta decides to kill the follicle, so there is more work to be done to cure the bane of middle-aged men, but this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
We are certainly in a moment of ascendency for the green energy movement, no matter how unethical, unworkable, or costly Before the climate change/global warming hysteria, environmentalists would address some legitimate concerns about oil spills. The earliest spill I recall discussions about was the Exxon Valdez in 1989 and, more recently, the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Now, a nonprofit called Matter of Trust has found an amazingly effective, environmentally friendly to clean up oil…mats of human hair, which they source from over 30 countries.
How scalable is this solution? I’m not sure, but I never cease to be amazed at human ingenuity in solving complicated problems.
In the early days of the internet, when most of the web consisted of chat groups and news sites, several sites went “viral” before going viral was a thing (and when it was limited to sites, not people, for the most part). One of those sites was Mullets Galore. You can probably guess the site’s aim; expose everyone to the glorious world of mullets…and boy did they. They created classifications of mullets, had people email pictures of “mullets in the wild,” and had Mullets of the Week. It was a sensation for a while. Sadly, the site is no more (fortunately, we have the Wayback Machine), but I would be remiss if I didn’t include the greatest of all hair sites in the hair edition of BTSF.
Thanks for reading, and have a great rest of your week.