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La protonterapia è uno dei trattamenti più all’avanguardia tra le cure oncologiche e consiste nell’utilizzo di fasci di protoni per irradiare i tumori: i protoni di un atomo di idrogeno, accelerati al 70% della velocità della luce, vengono indirizzati per colpire la massa tumoriale. Il raggio viene orientato tramite un apposito ugello, che può essere ruotato a 360 gradi e orientato verso qualsiasi punto del corpo del paziente. Hitachi ne ha ulteriormente migliorato la precisione grazie alle tecniche radioterapiche spot scanning e image gating.

I fasci di protoni come cura per il trattamento del cancro non rappresentano una soluzione futuribile ma sono usati clinicamente già oggi e da più di un decennio. La tecnologia spot scanning è arrivata nel 2008: Hitachi è stata la prima azienda a ottenerne l’approvazione da parte della Fda negli Stati Uniti, mentre il sistema di image-gating ha ricevuto l’autorizzazione lo scorso anno. E anche se si tratta di una tecnologia all’avanguardia, è studiata in modo che sia possibile installarla negli ambulatori con una configurazione plug-and-play per garantire agli ospedali un’installazione rapida.

Nella terapia a fasci di protone, il raggio è controllato da un gantry che può muoversi intorno al paziente in tutte le direzioni: in questo modo è possibile indirizzare il raggio secondo il miglior angolo possibile per centrare il tumore. Inizialmente, il sottile fascio emesso aveva una forma generica, ma grazie ai modelli sagomati, allo spot scanning e all’imaging gating è stato possibile migliorarne sempre più l’accuratezza.

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Una volta inquadrato il bersaglio, il fascio viene attivato per un breve lasso di tempo verso il tumore. Quando il fascio di protoni raggiunge la massa, rilascia l’energia dei protoni colpendo le cellule malate. Tanto più l’irradiazione è mirata, tanto meno sono intaccati i tessuti sani limitrofi: il raggio, indirizzato con la massima precisione, si arresta alla massa, senza causare danni ai tessuti adiacenti. Quindi, rispetto alla radioterapia tradizionale, i danni collaterali sono ridotti al minimo.

La terapia protonica, infatti, concentra la radiazione  in modo da causare un danno inferiore rispetto ad altri trattamenti sui tessuti sani. Ma c’è sempre margine di miglioramento e i ricercatori si sono impegnati per affinarne sempre più la precisione. Le prime versioni della terapia protonica utilizzavano un ugello a fascio largo con un collimatore per ritagliare il fascio sulla forma del tumore.

La nuova tecnologia spot scanning, sviluppata da Hitachi nel 2008, mira a ridurre ulteriormente gli effetti collaterali. Innanzitutto, assottigliando il fascio: per questo motivo, la scansione spot è anche nota come “scansione a matita”, poiché le dimensioni dello spot sono larghe solo pochi millimetri. In secondo luogo, il fascio viene attivato e disattivato più rapidamente, erogando la dose punto per punto, strato per strato, mentre l’accuratezza del raggio viene controllata da computer programmati secondo un piano di trattamento. Grazie a questa tipologia di raggio, il tessuto sano circostante subisce meno radiazioni, e inoltre, utilizzando dosi ridotte, è più facile indirizzarlo sul tumore in modo più preciso.

Lo spot scanning ha, quindi, migliorato l’accuratezza della protonterapia, ma restava un’altra sfida da affrontare: mantenere quel fascio sottile come una matita focalizzato nel punto giusto quando il paziente si muove. Anche piccoli movimenti, come l’inalazione e l’espirazione, possono influenzare l’accuratezza del trattamento, facendo quindi mancare il bersaglio al raggio e rischiando di danneggiare il tessuto sano. Hitachi e l’Hokkaido University hanno lavorato insieme per trovare a una soluzione, sviluppando un sistema di tracciamento del target chiamato Real-Time Image Gating Motion Management. Grazie all’Rtigmm i medici possono abbinare il raggio al punto che si vuole colpire – anche se è in movimento.

La posizione del tumore è individuata usando un marcatore in oro da 1 mm, che il sistema a fascio di protoni può tracciare utilizzando la fluoroscopia, un’immagine a raggi X che viene aggiornata ininterrottamente. Quando il marcatore raggiunge la posizione corretta, il raggio si accende, erogando la dose di radiazioni nel punto giusto, indipendentemente dal movimento del paziente. Così è possibile trattare i tumori di organi critici, senza incorrere in pericolosi effetti collaterali.

Innovazione per il futuro
La vita moderna è satura di dati, e quasi ogni giorno vengono sviluppate nuove tecnologie: come possiamo usarle per fare davvero la differenza? Hitachi punta sul concetto di Social Innovation, l’innovazione sociale, per fare in modo che tutte i propri prodotti diventino uno strumento efficace per risolvere i problemi e le sfide che il futuro ci pone davanti. Visitate Social-Innovation.Hitachi per scoprire come Hitachi sta cambiando il mondo.

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Ultimamente su Instagram circola una strana moda, nata in Cina e poi divampata negli Usa, il “wax nose job”. In foto e video un po’ inquietanti, ragazze rimuovono il make up, ma non solo ombretto e fondotinta, anche parti del loro naso, precedentemente ricostruite con la cera (#noseandscarswax). Stranezze a parte, rifarsi il naso resta sempre uno degli interventi più richiesti, soprattutto adesso che esistono valide alternative alla rinoplastica, poiché è possibile correggere le piccole anomalie, come la punta e un lieve gibbo, in ambulatorio, con l’uso di filler, botox e fili per ridare in un attimo armonia al volto.

PROFILO E PUNTA DEL NASO
Il naso rappresenta l’elemento fondamentale e centrale nell’estetica del viso, per cui ogni minimo difetto o asimmetria, accettabile in qualunque altra regione del corpo, diventa qui molto evidente generando insoddisfazione nel paziente. Pur essendo la rinoplastica uno degli interventi di chirurgia estetica tra i più richiesti, ma non è facile da realizzare e richiede un post operatorio particolarmente impegnativo. Ma esistono valide alternative.

«Per correggere il profilo del naso e il rialzo della punta si possono utilizzare alcune tecniche», spiega Lucio Miori, dermatologo e docente della Scuola di Medicina Estetica Agorà. «Per la punta del naso utilizzo la tossina botulinica per agire sul muscolo depressore del setto.

Il ricorso al filler, più o meno volumizzante, è indicato sia per la punta del naso che per la definizione della gobbetta.

Diverso è il discorso dei fili, che assicurano un’azione più duratura, ma occorre scegliere fili specifici indicati per la correzione profilometrica del naso. I fili che utilizzo a base di PDO (polidiossanone), sono montati su ago cannula in modo da provocare un minor trauma e hanno lunghezze differenti, da 6 o 3,8 cm. La scelta dei fili dipende dalla problematica da correggere e le diverse lunghezze possono essere usate in contemporanea.

L’intervento non è doloroso: si esegue una piccola anestesia alla punta del naso e lungo il decorso della cannula, poi si pratica un solo piccolo foro di accesso sulla punta dove viene inserita la cannula per la sua lunghezza che viene poi sfilata, lasciando il filo all’interno del piano cutaneo. Le piccole spine presenti sul filo si aggrapperanno al tessuto e ne contrasteranno lo scivolamento, il risultato finale sarà: punta rialzata e correzione lineare del profilo. Il recupero è immediato e il risultato definitivo si vedrà nei giorni successivi. La durata? Quasi un anno». In commercio esistono diversi fili in PDO, tra i più recenti VLIFT PRO Nose, presentati al Congresso Internazionale di medica estetica Agorà, studiati appositamente per rimodellare gli inestetismi del naso.

ĖLEVANCE NUANCE, PER DARE PIÙ VOLUME AL NASO
Oltre a modificarne la direzione, si può agire sul setto nasale anche in relazione ad altre problematiche, come il fatto che sia troppo stretto oppure sottile, oppure che determini il cosiddetto naso “da pugile” causato non solo dalla pratica della boxe, ma anche da altri eventi traumatici. «In questo caso s’interviene con Ėlevance Nuance, un nuovo filo in PDO che permette di impiantare contemporaneamente un fascio di 10 fili di diametro variabile», spiega Giuseppe Serpieri, direttore sanitario della Clinica Estetica BHS Institute di Sirmione e consulente di medicina estetica a Milano e Londra. «Questo filo ha un’azione rimodellante e riempitiva molto interessante per la quantità di fili che si riescono a inserire in una volta sola. Non è indicato per correggere la punta del naso, ma è perfetto per il rimodellamento volumetrico, per nasi incavati o infossati oppure stretti e sottili.

Il trattamento non è doloroso, ma è meglio fare una leggera anestesia poiché si deve praticare un piccolo foro per inserire la cannula smussa con i fili. Le due azioni che otteniamo sono l’effetto volumetrico e quello ridensificante. infatti il multifilamento induce la produzione massiva di collagene conferendo un importante effetto riempitivo, e determina nel tessuto una sollecitazione biomeccanica localizzata che incrementa la produzione di proteine fibrose. Il trattamento dura circa mezz’ora, mentre la durata dei fili è variabile, da 12 a 18 mesi».

Foto in apertura Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia, febbraio 2014

Le celebrities che hanno rifatto il naso

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Un collectif de 14 chefs de services hospitaliers* de la région parisienne et de Normandie réclament un décret sur la “sécurité des patients aux urgences” où ils estiment la situation “très préoccupante” dans une tribune publiée jeudi dans Le Monde.

Des conditions de travail inacceptables

“Aucun service ne doit plus fonctionner dans des conditions inacceptables de sécurité, en personnel, locaux ou matériels”, estiment les médecins. Sans quoi, les services d’urgences ne “respectant pas les normes fixées fermeront”.

Ces médecins pointent le lien entre la dégradation des conditions de sécurité des patients aux urgences et l’augmentation du nombre de visites, qui a doublé en vingt ans: “beaucoup de patients vont aux urgences par défaut”. La saturation permanente des services d’urgences augmente, disent-ils, le “risque d’erreurs médicales” et d’accidents.

Les dysfonctionnements doivent appeler à une “réflexion nationale”

Pour les éviter, les chefs de services évoquent la possibilité de “filtrer l’accès aux urgences” afin d’assurer la sécurité des patients. Ce repérage en amont aurait pour but d’éviter les drames comme celui du décès d’une patiente, retrouvée sur un brancard en décembre, 12 heures après son admission aux urgences de l’hôpital parisien Lariboisière. L’enquête interne publiée lundi, qui pointait une “série de dysfonctionnements”, appelait à une “réflexion nationale sur la définition de normes relatives aux moyens nécessaires” dans les services d’urgence. A ce titre, les médecins plaident pour un “objectif zéro brancard”.

Lire aussi.Patiente décédée à Lariboisière : l’enquête interne montre “dysfonctionnements” et manque de moyens

En outre, les signataires de la tribune avancent la nécessité d’une prise en charge adaptée prenant compte de l’âge des patients afin d’éviter les drames. Tous les services d’urgence “devront se doter d’une unité dédiée aux patients âgés, avec un personnel spécialisé”.

*Les signataires : Marie-Christine Ballester, chef de service des urgences, hôpital Foch, Suresnes ; Sebastien Beaune, chef de service des urgences, hôpital Ambroise-Paré, Boulogne-Billancourt ; Enrique Casalino, chef de service des urgences-SMUR, CHU Bichat, Paris et CHU Beaujon, Clichy ; Arnaud Depil-Duval, chef de service des urgences, CH Eure-Seine, Evreux-Vernon ; Benoît Doumenc, chef de service des urgences, CHU Cochin, Paris ; Luc-Marie Joly, chef de service des urgences, CHU Rouen ; Philippe Juvin, chef de service des urgences, hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou (HEGP), Paris; Mehdi Khellaf, chef de service des urgences, CHU Henri-Mondor, Créteil ; Catherine Le Gall, chef du service des urgences, centre hospitalier d’Argenteuil ; Eric Roupie, chef de service des urgences-SAMU 14, CHU de Caen ; Jeannot Schmidt, chef de pôle SAMU-SMUR-Urgences CHU Clermont-Ferrand/CH de Riom ; Mathias Wargon, chef de service des urgences-SMUR, CH de Saint-Denis ; Eric Wiel, chef de service des urgences-SAMU du Nord, CHU de Lille ; Caroline Zanker, chef de service des urgences, hôpital franco-britannique de Levallois.

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Talk about Dragon Ball long enough, and you’re bound to hear a joke about shirtless men screaming at each other while their hair gets inexplicably sharper. In much of the popular imagination, the franchise evokes thoughts of a kids’ anime show in which animated characters yell and power up and flex for several episodes in a row, an endless prelude to actual fighting. Nevertheless, in 2019—35 years after the original manga, written and drawn by Akira Toriyama, premiered in Japan—Dragon Ball is a sensation.

The story of Goku, a boy with a tail looking to grow stronger, and Bulma, a genius girl seeking wish-granting orbs, has long grown into an international pop cultural juggernaut, but almost two decades after its original animated run came to its completion in the United States and Japan, Dragon Ball is having a moment. Last year, the finale of the newest Dragon Ball anime, Dragon Ball Super, drew record audiences, filling stadiums in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America drawing tens of thousands of people. Dragon Ball FighterZ, one of the best games of last year, became the hottest new title on the competitive fighting-game circuit. And this week a new feature film, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, earned over $7 million dollars on its first day in theaters—an astronomical number for a limited-run anime film.

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“It is very surprising to me,” says Chris Sabat, a Texas-based voice actor and producer who has voiced Vegeta, Goku’s rival, in just about every piece of Dragon Ball media created since the mid-’90s. “I honestly thought this was going to be a job that lasted me a year or something like that. I had no clue.” Instead, it’s lasted him about 20, with no signs of slowing down now. But while Sabat’s work for a long period was either redubbing remastered versions of the anime or rehashing the same old stories in a dozen or so mid-budget videogames, now he’s working on entirely new material, with a higher budget and more attention than ever before.

Why now? How did a niche childhood sensation—Sabat says he used to describe it to confused parents as “Pokemon but with fighting”—become a resurgent cultural juggernaut?

Partially, it’s just the right demographic at the right time. “Dragon Ball was first sold as a kid’s show, because back in 1998 the networks still believed that cartoons were for children,” Sabat says. But, he continues, those kids are now the same age as the franchise’s very first fans: “The people who loved Dragon Ball in Japan in 1998 and 2000 were people of all ages, particularly people in their twenties who were reading these manga on the subway on their way to work.”

Dragon Ball has grown into something more totemic and straightforward, something almost like professional wrestling: A collection of stories about larger-than-life heroes and villains brawling, with stakes that are both impossibly high and completely absent.

In other words, Dragon Ball has managed to keep pace with its audience. Quickly after Akira Toriyama began the manga, which was at first a madcap adaptation of Journey to the West, the narrative started to shift, emphasizing fighting and superhuman strength over hijinks. After a significant time jump near the middle of the manga’s run, hero Son Goku was revealed to be not a monkey boy but in fact a member of a race of superpowered alien warriors—because sure, why not?

From there, the series leaned heavily into melodrama and impossible action, a direction that it’s only doubled down on during its current revival, a renaissance that began with the 2013 movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods. From a specific, goofy adventure story, Dragon Ball has grown into something more totemic and straightforward, something almost like professional wrestling: A collection of stories about larger-than-life heroes and villains brawling, with stakes that are both impossibly high and completely absent. The good guys will win and the bad guys will bleed; justice meted by cartoon fists and psychic energy beams.

But there’s another reason for the Dragon Ball resurgence, too, and that’s just that it’s been so damn good lately. When the original Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z anime series were created, they were modest operations, with limited budgets, questionable dubbing, and no direct involvement from Akira Toriyama himself, who was busy writing the manga. Now, the new movies and the Dragon Ball Super anime (which, while discontinued, is rumored to return) are all being created with Toriyama’s direct involvement and an increased focus on the value of good animation. While Super, as any fan will tell you, has its rough moments in terms of visual quality, moments late in the series are incredibly visually compelling, and Dragon Ball Super: Broly is the best the franchise has ever looked.

The truth is, the detractors joking about men screaming and flexing weren’t necessarily wrong. The original anime is packed full of filler and repeated animations to save money and buy time for Toriyama to write more of the manga, leading to fight scenes that are questionably paced and not nearly as visually compelling as they should be. Recent Dragon Ball media, particularly the Broly movie, works hard to correct this, and in the process captures the power that fans’ imaginations have always imbued Dragon Ball with. This is vibrant, fast, world-destroying heroic conflict, with each moment rendered in vivid color and with striking visual flair. Dragon Ball as it’s always deserved to be.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly, then, is a culmination of years of slow building and at least a year of popular resurgence. And it might be, pound for pound, the best piece of Dragon Ball animation ever produced. The plot could be stronger, and the series has more iconic moments in its history, but it’s never looked or sounded so good. It’s never had the style it has here, with a new type of animation helmed by animator Naohiro Shintani, designed to give the series a more hand-drawn look drawn directly from the manga. Every frame is graceful and striking. It’s one of the most lushly animated films I’ve ever seen.

If this resurgence continues, maybe the cliché conversations about Dragon Ball will change. Instead of evoking what the series used to be at its worst, maybe they’ll more quickly reference the best. Something big and goofy and violent, and also kind of beautiful. Just the way some of us have always wanted it to be.


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The Portland Trail Blazers center opens up about why he wanted to lose weight, how he keeps it off during the season, and the direction he hopes the league takes in the years to come.

Two summers ago, Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic prepared for his first season as a full-time starter by shedding some 35 pounds from his 7-foot frame, thanks to boxing, cardio, and—perhaps most importantly—learning to ignore his sweet tooth a little more often. It paid off in the form of a breakout 2017-18 campaign in which he averaged career highs in points and rebounds per game, helping lead the Blazers to an unexpected three-seed in the always tough Western Conference.

In July, Nurkic was rewarded for his hard work with a four-year extension, and says he’s now in the best shape he’s ever been. Earlier this month, he became the first player in NBA history to notch more than 20 points and rebounds and more than five assists, steals, and blocks in a single game since the league began tracking those defensive statistics in 1973.

As the team looks to avenge last year’s first-round sweep at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans, Nurkic is establishing himself as the defensive anchor who complements the Blazers’ high-scoring backcourt. The man nicknamed the “Bosnian Beast” recently spoke with GQ about learning to embrace his cheat days again; moderating his love of coffee before games; and the one chocolate mousse that he can’t get enough of.

GQ: After the 2016-17 season, you had lost about 35 pounds coming into training camp. How did you feel throughout the season that followed?
Jusuf Nurkic: It feels amazing. It was new to me because I hadn’t played that many minutes or games in my career, so I wanted to be prepared. And it could have been difficult, over 82 games and the playoffs. I have really high expectations for myself, so it was amazing to see how much I could do in an offseason once I really focused and put in the work.

Did you have to overhaul your wardrobe?
Yeah, it’s difficult when you lose that much weight. [laughs] You have to change everything and buy all new clothes. Now all of my clothes are more fitted.

You picked up biking in Denver to help avoid the traffic. Where does a seven-footer purchase a mountain bike?
Of course, it’s customized. [laughs] I used to ride it around in Boulder, close to Denver. It was good exercise, and amazing to see the beauty of the Mile High City. I don’t have much time for it right now, but probably in the summer I will try to bike in Portland, too.

What foods did you have to eliminate from your diet?
The main thing was cutting out the sugar. It was very difficult for me, because I love a lot of desserts—everything sweet. But when you want to do something good, you just have to focus and get out of your comfort zone. That was important for me.

When you first started your career, how did you adjust to all the different food options that are at your disposal in each city?
That was big. I’m a guy who likes to try different foods, and there are so many options. We have people in the organization and on the team who try to help. But when you’re traveling to other cities with all these different foods and restaurants, it can be a problem.

Watch:

Do you get more cheat days now?
Hell, yeah! When I had all the extra weight, it was a lot different. But now I’m where I want to be, and I’ve kept the weight off for more than a year. I’ll only put on a few pounds during the season, and if I have a good training day, sometimes you have to treat yourself.

When I go to L.A., there is a restaurant called Il Piccolino—they have the best chocolate mousse in the world. I’m dead serious. It’s the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever tried.

Was the increased pace of the NBA the motivation for your weight loss?
I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily the reason I lost the weight. You’re right, though, because the game is ridiculous now. It really has changed. There are all these small-ball lineups, and everyone is trying to play that way. You have LeBron playing the 5, and K.D. playing the 4 or even 5.

I think that every ten years or so, the game switches up. In this most recent draft, a lot of big guys were picked, so that might help. Hopefully in a couple of years, or when someone beats Golden State, we can get back to real basketball, like the way it used to be. But I lost the weight because I wanted to be in the best shape I possibly could.

What’s your game-day routine?
Typically, I’ll come into the practice facility in the morning and eat some scrambled eggs with shrimp, mushroom, and tomatoes. Then there is our shootaround. My pregame meal is something like teriyaki—rice, chicken, and shrimp. I need something in my stomach, but I don’t eat too much. Postgame is normally a salad, more rice, and chicken or fish. I try to eat light on game days.

I heard you’re a coffee guy. Do you drink coffee on game days?
I’m a big coffee guy! I’m drinking a Stumptown coffee right now. [laughs] Every day! If we have a shootaround in the morning, I cut the sugar, but I will have coffee. The problem is having it late in the day, because you’re probably not going to get much sleep or be able to take a nap before the game. It can be tricky.

To be honest, I have to drink coffee right before games—I have a routine. During the second half of the season, you’ll see more guys having coffee 30 minutes before the game, or even right before tip-off. Lots of players do. Everyone is different, but you have to be aware of what works for you and what doesn’t.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

How to Embrace Healthy Eating in 2019


How to Embrace Healthy Eating in 2019

A New Year’s Resolution Guide to Building Muscle in 2019


A New Year’s Resolution Guide to Building Muscle in 2019

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As Trump’s partial government shutdown drags on with no end in sight, attention is beginning to shift from furloughed federal workers and unperformed tasks to “essential” federal employees who are being forced to work without pay. Their ranks swelled this week as the administration “recalled” an estimated 46,000 furloughed workers, the majority of them at the IRS, where the GOP’s precious tax cuts are being doled out via endangered refunds.

Many of the “essential” employees are at work on chores remote from the public eye, such as processing oil-drilling paperwork for the nation’s extremely vital fossil-fuel industry, already reeling from years of Democratic persecution. Even IRS staff are invisible to most taxpayers lucky enough to avoid audits or other enforcement actions. And so the most visible symbol of involuntary servitude during the shutdown has become the 51,000 employees of the Transportation Security Administration. For anyone who flies, they are essential employees indeed, and the rising number who are calling in sick to protest the situation have already caused serious airport delays.

The union representing TSA employees has gone to court to challenge the work-without-pay system, but a parallel petition by the union representing IRS employees was rejected earlier this week by a federal judge who warned of chaos if unpaid workers were allowed to go home until pay is appropriated. So each day that passes without progress toward a resolution of the stalemate in Washington increases the possibility of the previously unimaginable: a TSA strike.

This specter was raised publicly in a New York Times op-ed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Gary Stevenson, who noted the relatively low pay (a starting wage of $23,000) and high visibility of TSA agents, plus the possibility that they could build on last year’s wave of public-sector labor activism:

T. S.A. workers should use last year’s teachers’ strikes as a model. They were called not by the leadership of the teachers’ unions but by the rank and file. It was a new kind of labor activism, starting at the bottom and depending heavily on community support. By sticking together and creating their own communication system, the teachers succeeded in sending a powerful message of solidarity and strength.

But Ehrenreich and Stevenson also acknowledge a specter haunting the potential TSA strike that could shut down the nation’s airports:

In 1981, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization struck over wages and working conditions, prompting President Ronald Reagan to fire 11,000 highly skilled workers, replacing them with military personnel. Patco was destroyed and unions in general retreated into a defensive crouch. Who wants to risk something like that again?

That’s a good question. Reagan’s decision to fight the illegal strike was risky and curtailed air travel for quite some time. But it worked wonders for him politically, as Joseph McCartin observed years later:

He showed federal workers and Soviet leaders alike how tough he could be. Although there were 39 illegal work stoppages against the federal government between 1962 and 1981, no significant federal job actions followed Reagan’s firing of the Patco strikers. His forceful handling of the walkout, meanwhile, impressed the Soviets, strengthening his hand in the talks he later pursued with Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Whatever it did or didn’t accomplish in concrete terms, the PATCO strike and its aftermath became a key part of the Reagan mythos and the enduring adulation he earned from conservatives. You could see how that example might be appealing to his current successor, who views himself as a world-historical figure fighting resolutely for America against a host of subversive forces.

So just to play this out, if TSA workers did go on strike, could Trump respond the way Reagan did? That’s unclear. On the one hand, there is no military equivalent to the armies of TSA screeners deployed at U.S. airports. On the other, screening is a vastly less complex process than air traffic control functions; presumably military personnel could be trained to take on screening responsibilities with reasonable dispatch.

The politics of breaking a TSA strike are not entirely clear, either. PATCO members struck over standard collective-bargaining issues like pay, benefits, and working conditions. The federal government has clearly breached its contract with TSA employees, and nobody supports the travesty of extended involuntary work without pay, even if pay is guaranteed (as it has been in legislation passed by Congress and signed by Trump) when the shutdown is finally resolved. In addition, Trump has the alternative remedy of simply letting the federal government reopen and continuing his fight with Democrats over his border-wall fetish without the hostages he’s chosen to take. And in the final analysis, Trump, the border wall, and the shutdown are all significantly less popular than Ronald Reagan was in 1981.

Still, one can imagine malevolent aides whispering in Trump’s ear that breaking a public employee strike could be a legacy-making “accomplishment,” much like it was for Reagan, and long before that, for Calvin Coolidge, whose successful battle against a Boston police strike in 1919 led to his vice-presidential nomination in 1920 and his ascension to the presidency on the death of Warren Harding.

Axios reported today that Trump is fond of citing boxer Mike Tyson’s dictum that “[e]verybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” He is contemptuous of the very idea of having a plan for the end of the government shutdown. A TSA strike might push him to an impulsive action a more prudent executive would avoid like the plague. But for unpaid workers and those spoiling for a definitive fight with Trump, it might be worth the risk to defy him.

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A woman has been caught trying to smuggle 24 gerbils into Taiwan under her skirt.

Border patrol stopped the woman in Kinmen on Friday after they discovered her walking awkwardly and wearing a puffy skirt that was an “abnormal size.”

The 60-year-old revealed that she had placed the rodents in plastic bags and strapped them to her legs.

Images from the country’s border force show the animals in plastic bags after they were removed from the woman’s legs.

The woman had been returning from China and told officers that she had brought back the animals for friends but failed to explain who her friends were.

She said she had bought the animals from a pet store and paid 50 yuan for each male and 150 yuan for each female. She was then going to charge 60 yuan for a transportation fee.

Officers believe that the woman may have been sent by a smuggling ring to test the inspection procedures in the port.

She was transferred to the prosecutor’s office on charges of violating the Infectious Animal Disease Prevention and Control Act.

Later on in the day, the animals were euthanised, in accordance with regulations, according to Taiwan News.

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