Sunday, November 25, 2012


Feel free to send in your cartoons and art! We might just publish it. 
Cartoonist, Lesa Martin:
Lesa Martin, after retiring from a career of professional ballet and graduating from UCLA, has sparked a wonderful career as a multi-media artist. She has shown her work in the SF MOMA Rental Gallery, and has many ambitious plans concerning enticing new paintings people are itching to see! Her subtle humor leaves us thinking about life. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Coming back from Thanksgiving...


If you’ve already been tattooed, then you will be familiar with much of the content of this article, but for the readers out there considering getting inked at some point in the future, here’s some useful information about the process as well as some of the health risks associated with it.

To start, what is a tattoo?

A tattoo is and image created by the injection of ink just under the epidermis (your outer-most later of skin), which stains your dermis (your second-outer-most layer of skin). The ‘pen’ used during this process pierces your skin anywhere between 50 to 3,000 times per minute as it draws out lines and designs, one tiny dot at a time. Although each of these punctures only goes about a millimeter deep, receiving a tattoo can be quite painful, especially in areas where the skin is close to the underlying bone.

Fun fact: The modern tattoo machine was invented in the 1800’s by Samuel O’Reilly, who took Thomas Edison’s design for the autographic printer (an engraving machine) and modified it for the use we know today.

Because the tattooing process involves stabbing you thousands of times, there is obviously a considerable health threat associated with the transmission of disease and risk of infection. Here are a few things to consider if you are getting your first tattoo, or if you are looking to add more art to your body.

Much of the ordeal of receiving a tattoo is (or at least, is supposed to be) centered on safety. Many materials used to give a person a tattoo are disposable (such as ink cups, gloves, and needles), and therefore are generally safe for you, provided they haven’t fallen on the ground or been contaminated after the tattoo artist opened the packaging. Many tattoo artists are professionals, and therefore take the safety aspect of their job very seriously, but you should make sure that they open sterilized packaging in front of you, and do not hesitate to ask where anything that will be touching you came from and whether it is clean. If you hear anything along the lines of, “ya I normally only use these once but I ran out, so I’m just going to rinse this old one off.” This is a red flag! Stand up for yourself and demand satisfaction! Demand sanitation!

There are some major components of the tattoo artistry that are not reusable (such as the pen’s needle bar and tube) and these features are supposed to be sterilized after each use. No amount of scrubbing, soaking, or rinsing is good enough to clean these parts; there is only one acceptable sterilization method, and that is by autoclave. Autoclaves are used by hospitals to sterilize their reusable materials, and basically combine high heat, high pressure, and steam to kill every organism on the tool. This cleaning process normally takes up to 55 minutes, and is quite trustworthy.

An example of an autoclave
To open a tattoo parlor, artists need to complete a health department course on transmission of infectious diseases and pass an exam. However, there are no governing bodies that regulate or inspect tattoo parlors; anyone can get licensed, buy a machine, and start tattooing (which also means that there is no artistic exam or training required in order to become a tattoo artist), so do your research and find a place that is capable of producing the quality of work that you want to have on your body for the rest of your life.

In many places, you may be denied the opportunity to donate blood if you have received a tattoo before, especially if that tattoo is recent. The American Red Cross refuses to take blood from anyone who has been tattooed in the last year. This is because tattooing, however safe, can transfer diseases such as hepatitis, syphilis, tuberculosis, and potentially even HIV (though there has not been a documented case of HIV transmission by tattoo needle or other equipment contamination).

Here are some precautions you can take to ensure a safe tattoo experience:
Ask questions:
Can I see you autoclave?
What do you re-use and how do you clean it?
Do you [the tattoo artist] wear gloves?

Look around the parlor and see if it’s clean and well kept.

Pay attention to the tattoo artist:
Are they careful?
Do they explain what they are doing?
Did they open the packaged sterilized equipment in front of you?
Do they have holes in their gloves?
How long have they been tattooing?



Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

Medical Section Columnist, Kurtis Morrish:

My name is Kurtis Morrish. I graduated from Cal last year as an Integrative Biology major. I am now in the process of applying to medical school in the hopes of one day serving people as a family doctor. By no means do I write to you as an M.D., but I have extensive experience doing all kinds of scientific research; boiling-down long, dry, mumbo-jumbo-dense medical journals into a reduction that is a little sweeter, useful, and hopefully informative for you. I hope to learn as much from my writing as you do, so please hit me up with further questions, concerns, or comments!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RIPPLE EFFECT: How Thanksgiving Has Progressed, and Why It's Not All That Bad


"Thanksgiving is celebrating the death of hundreds of people-- the slaughter of Indians. It was not the making of friendships, but the violence of overtaking to succeed." -Unknown

Many have spoken about the political-incorrectness of Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to the English coming to America and making peace with the Indians so that they might share a land together--the land that is now so many of ours. We learn this at a young age, and as we grow older, we learn of the small pox-- the death. But, is that what Thanksgiving is really about? 

When you ask friends what they are doing for Thanksgiving the key words you will here are "Family" and "Friends." With technology, college, work and globalization, people become more and more estranged from each other. At this point, Thanksgiving truly is a giving of thanks: for a holiday like Thanksgiving as an excuse to bring everyone together. Thanksgiving is now a reminder for people to appreciate those around them. Thanksgiving has been adapted. You hear Thanksgiving associated with football, now, more than you might with Native Americans. 

It sounds rather odd that people are celebrating by watching football and rejoining family, and they are celebrating the deaths of so many innocents, bombarded by the Trojan horse of colonization. But, you have to ask yourself: what are we really celebrating now? We are celebrating the beginning of  our life in America. This holiday no longer seems to connect to the deeper past, but moves to the immediate one. What do I have to be thankful for now, since I was born? Sure, football, the excessive of food, the need for faux leaves when there are so many real ones outside, and the now more personalized approach to a holiday that once included an entire history reflects a consumerist market, because many of us live in one. But, when you get down to it? Thanksgiving has morphed into a beautiful holiday: simply the magnetic bringing together of loved ones. 

Negative news sells. There is always a way to shed a darker light on a matter. And, of course there are so many tragedies to bow our heads. But, it is important to choose our battles wisely. And, Thanksgiving? Just step back-- remember the blood it cost for you to enjoy yourself now and be sorrowful--pray, wish, love, apologize, whatever makes you feel better. And then? Look at your family and friends, and realize that this holiday is not about the pilgrims any longer. Thanks to an ever-changing, "modernizing" society? It's about you and your family, whoever that might be. 

Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed

Women in the World and the Ripple Effect Section, Sasha Martin:

I made my own major, The Nature of Emotion as investigated through literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and other interdisciplinary fields, and am minoring in Creative Writing. I created Unleashed for the general empowerment and knowledge of women and men everywhere, and continue to be involved as editor, designer and writer. I am an editorial and PR intern for City Lights. I happen to love the Unleashed staff quite dearly, as well as readers like you. It's amazing what words can do! Feel free to email me at Unleashed. I hope you enjoy!   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012



What is beauty?
Is it mascara, brown as rich mahogany?
Eyeliner, black as the fur of a wild jungle panther?
Lipstick, red as a blood orange with its flesh freshly squeezed from out the skin?
Is beauty eye shadow, green as imperial jade?
Blush, pink as a flamingo’s delicate wings?
Or fingernail polish, purple as a mountain range during sunset?
Is it foundation, ivory as the pebbles on a sandy beach?
Contact lenses, blue as the clear ocean waters?
Highlights, gold as the sweet honeycomb of a tree?
Ask me what beauty is and I’ll tell you.
It’s a smile, welcoming like the mat in front of one’s door.
It’s open arms, warm as a sweater on a chilly winter night.
It’s you, strong as the Earth’s pull on the moon.
What is beauty?
It’s right inside of you,
With no price tag attached.

 Feel free to contact columnists at 
Creative Writing Columnist, Caroline Lewis: 
My name is Caroline Lewis, I am a super-senior at Cal (they just can't get rid of me!), and I am studying Integrative Biology with a minor in Creative Writing. Some might be thinking, "Why, those have absolutely nothing to do with each other" but I love writing fiction, it's my means of escape from the rigorous world of science. I especially love to incorporate humor into my writing; sometimes you have to search for it, but don't worry it's hidden in there somewhere! I hope you enjoy my work as much as I love creating it, and I look forward to working with this great group at Unleashed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

WORDS OF WISDOM: What Do You Want?

I assume you’ve read the title, so….what’s your answer? What do you want?

Clearly, the first step in getting what you want, is knowing what you want. Once you can do that, the first step of your work is complete! But the problem is that determining what you want can sometimes be challenging, in part because your body and your mind often provide signals that mask your true desires or needs.

Take the human body as an example. Imagine you’re craving chocolate. You think –I’m craving chocolate, therefore I really want chocolate, so I shall eat chocolate and my craving will be satisfied and I’ll be happy…not so fast. Apparently (according to Huffington Post Healthy Living), when you’re craving chocolate, or carbs in general, it is often because your body is tired and is looking for the slight energy boost that it will reap from the carbs.

Here’s a few more biological/psychological examples: if you’re craving something creamy, you’re seeking “comfort food,” which can mean you have worrisome thoughts and desire something soothing. If you’re craving caffeine, you may be discouraged, dissatisfied, or dehydrated. And if you’re craving something crunchy, it might be a sign of inner frustration or irritation that the action of “crunching” may momentarily release.  So, it’s not always easy to know what you really ‘need’ from the signals your mind/body provides.  The key is to go beyond the signals and discover the needs. 

Emotionally, we wrestle with the same issues.  We can crave new feelings, new circumstances, new friends, etc. and sometimes be disappointed when the changes we make in our lives don’t bring about the hoped-for happiness – discovering and tending to our needs is the key to success.

Let’s consider a desire that most of us have -- to go to college.  Why do we desire this; what is the deeper need?  Because I’m supposed to? Because my parents told me to?  Because I enjoy learning?  Because all of my friends are going to college? Because I enjoy school?  Because I don’t know what else to do? Or maybe it’s because you know you have a bigger goal, and although you may not know what that goal is yet, you know you need a college education in order to be one step closer to achieving it.  Clearly there are many possible needs associated with this desire to go to college – sorting them out and prioritizing them is the key to getting traction towards a decision, and then action.  

But there may be information gaps to fill in order to better understand your desires and the needs ‘beneath’ them.  Fill these information gaps first – friends, family and Google can all be useful!  Once the information gaps are filled, stop Googleing and start thinking (the internet never actually solved a problem – it only helps provide you with the means to do so). 

So, turn your desires into needs and your needs into questions.  These questions can be big, little, important, or perhaps even embarrassing, but  I can assure you that you will benefit from formulating your questions, filling in the information gaps associated with them, and then thinking about them carefully and with a purpose – to get what you need.

Feel free to contact columnists at Unleashed 

The Words of Wisdom Column, Lia Vosti:
Lia Vosti is an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, majoring in Bioengineering. Growing up together, her words always made the most obscure situations crisp and clear. She is the up and coming Renaissance woman, able to give homely advise after a day in the lab, and wise beyond her years.