Friday, February 28, 2003

Jews on Bikes

A few years ago I was at the Israel Day parade in New York and there was a group marching there called something like "Jews on Bikes" or something like that. At the time I remember thinking to my self "Now there is a Jewish organization I can join".

Anyway there are a few Jewish Biker organizations that are now operating. I wish I was a biker. I never really had the time or money to get a bike, but I wish I did. It really is a fantasy of mine. There is an article about them here finally giving them some of the recognition they deserve.

Confession of a Dangerous Mind

Last night I saw "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" at Union Square. It was an OK movie. I clearly remember the Gong Show, the Newlywed Game, and of course, The Dating Game from my youth. He was really messed up though if all the stuff in the movie was imagined. If it was real, the CIA really did pick the wrong guy for the job. Then again, if it got done. . .

But the movie was entertaining. If you get in cheaply, it is certainly worth it.

Passing of Mr. Rogers

Mr Rogers passed away. Another American icon lost. Who does not remember him being on right after Sesame Street on PBS for all those years. Who can forget lady Elaine and King Friday in the land of Make believe, and that trolley he had. Who will forget that "won't you be my neighbor" song and that weird habit he had of changing his shoes and sweater when he walked in to his house.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

The British DO have a sense of humor

I just discovered that in England's last census about 390,000 people wrote "Jedi" in the optional "religion" slot. Apparently there was a large internet campaign to do so, with the mistaken belief that if 10,000 people did it, then Jedi would be a nationally recognized religion.

And why shouldn't it?

At least we can't really accuse the British of having NO sense of humor.

New Archbishop. . . I'm not impressed

There was a new archbishop of canterbury "enthroned" today. Rowan Williams, who is pretty much as lefty-commie as they come is now pretty much in charge of the Church of England. Among the many other things I see wrong with that he said something that I thought was really annoying. The NY times wrote "He called the United States-led bombing of Afghanistan "morally tainted," hit out at the capitalist "market state," and attacked computer games, talent shows and the Walt Disney Company for exploiting young people's obsessions."

This man is a religious leader. He is in charge of exploiting whatever it is in human brains that make us need to believe in some greater power. Then he claims to represent that power, and is the official representative and chief exploiter. Then he goes on to criticize some company for exploiting that which makes us happy. How does Disney and video game companies exploit us? By giving us that which makes us happy. So naturally it is wrong.

Mind you this was from the guy who exploited Christians by writing a useless spiritual piece of crap about post 9/11 beareavement.

You would think that a man who wrote 14 books has something intelligent to say. . . but you'd be wrong.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Cute chick running

Today I was running up the east river, as is my want, and I stopped at the UN to turn around and do a minute's worth of stretching, when this *really* cute woman comes up to me and asks me where a good place to run is. So I invite her to go running with me down town. And she did. I thought it was weird just accepting these kinds of offers from strangers, but it happened. It turns out that she is from Pakistan. She is at the UN for their annual conference on Women's issues or something. So I asked her which were the worst countries when it came to this kind of stuff. Naturally, her answer was "The Islamic countries". And then she was careful to point out that there was a difference between discrimination against women and religious discrimination that is de facto against women. I was not sure I saw the difference. But the important thing is that she was cute.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Stupid Israeli politics

"The ultra-Orthodox parties are gearing up for their new role as members of the fighting opposition, and are already planning cooperation with Labor and Meretz on socioeconomic issues" reports Ha'aretz.

To that I say "go ahead, you whores". After years of denouncing Shulamit Aloni and her ilk, they finally realize that maybe they can work together after all. Their politics will forever be tainted by their associations. (So will Meretz's, by the way.) This now officially resembles middle-eastern Arab politics, where enemies are enemies of convenience and friendships are made only when you want something. Shas and UTJ officially have no ideological backbone. It is all now seen to be just about money and power.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Israel's elections

I think that most of Israel is greatly relieved that Shas has not made it in to the government. They have been on a campaign to insult Sharon since not having been asked to join. And that is fine. They have been holding the government hostage for way too long, and frankly everyone is sick of it.

I think that everyone was hoping to see a government that included Likud, Labor, and Shinui. But Labor apparently couldn't stomach another term together with Sharon, so they are babies and not taking part.

So Sharon is suddenly the centrist member of the narrow majority. Shinui is the leftist party, and the NRP is on the right. That is kind of weird. This looks like it can be a strong government. Everyone is pretty much in agreement on most issues. NRP, while it is religious, is not in the habit of making crazy demands on the government, like Shas, and could probably get along with Shinui, as they are only mildly clerical.

Friend from Germany

Last night I was surprised to hear that "S" was in from Heidelberg. She called and we went for dinner with a friend of hers at Madras Mahal, an Indian place on Lexington and 25th. We had a good meal and a good time. It was fun seeing her.

Acronym organizations for the war needed

There are a few organizations that need to be formed as a show of support for our country and the opressed people of Iraq. 1) USSR - United to Stop Sadam and Racism, 2) PASH - Poetry Against Sadam Heussain, 3) HCAS - Hot Chicks Against Sadam. (Need a better Acronym for that.)

Sunday, February 23, 2003

honest thinking person

Ah honest thinking person can be most aptly characterized by his willingness to have his mind changed by reasonable arguments or presentations of fact. To the extent that one is not willing to be influenced by reality, they are either not honest, or not thinking.

Friday, February 21, 2003

ANSWER is not the answer.

Sadam . . . the good guy?

The latest argument from the pro-Sadam camp (my friend "C" said this to me explicitly) is that he really is a good guy, and therefore we should not be going to war against him. Why do they say this? Apparently the 180,000 Kurds who he gasses were not really gassed by him, but rather by the Kurds' Iranian allies. There are many "reliable sources" who can corroborate this. It is simply a case of mistaken identity. Next we will no doubt be hearing that the gassing of the Kurds is a Zionist fabrication propagated to gain sympathy for Israel.

It would be hard, but not impossible to convince me this is true. Just show me some evidence that despite all common sense and reports up until now, the Iranians really gasses their allies, and Iraq ignored their ethnic enemies. To convince me this that people actually believe this, you would have to show me that they really want to be making war on Iran and getting the Iranian dictator out of power. People are such disingenuous liars.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


Here is a cleaned up version of a letter I sent to a newsgroup, about the war and the war rhetoric. The group is mostly for professors in the City University of New York. I thought I would share it with you:

I frequently emphasize to my own students the purpose of reason and clear thinking, but alas, while listening to their other professors (like many on this forum) all they manage to pull out of college is the power of rhetoric, protest, repetition. If I taught marketing, I would consider myself successful. But I do not. I teach something that requires critical thinking about reasons and arguments.

In an environment like the one in academia everyone seems to act on some sort of pack mentality. I do not understand why everyone thinks that posting messages about how many French people oppose the war is akin to a good _argument_ for opposing the war. Do I put my students at a disadvantage by asking them to think about these issues for themselves?

I really do not want to get in to every piece of nonsense given on this list lately, but when a legitimate part of debate is to just sit around and call people you don't like Nazis, and offer up what amount to a bunch of words that barely make up sentences, let alone arguments, you do a service to your agenda at the expense of truth. Any expense of truth is an expense of justice.

To claim that since we once supported someone (40 or so years ago) therefore it immoral to oppose him now, reflects a profound misunderstanding of the English word "therefore". I am no philosopher (or philologist), but there must be a fallacy named after that mistake.

To claim that we are "rushing" in to anything, reflects a similar misunderstanding of the word "rushing".

Conspiracy theories about the government cutting your phone lines, or the media not covering the anti-war rallies does not help anyone become clearer
thinkers about this issue issue.


The reasons why the administration wants to go to war is a function of a complex political dynamic which includes Middle Eastern stability, the embargo on Iraq, the protection of the Iraqi people, economic factors for the US, internal American political issues, the proliferation of WMDs by hostile countries, the distribution of WMDs and conventional weapons to terrorists, the protection of the gulf states, the protection of an ally - Israel, and a chance at Arab democracy in the long-term.

Also significant are the complaints of the American Left and the Arab world against the Iraq embargo which if the left is taken seriously it seems we can paradoxically neither lift nor perpetuate.

The presumption that the United States, Israel, and other countries that you don't like have only _interests_ while other countries that you do like, like Iraq and France have _morality-based foreign policies_ is also about as naive as they come. The fact that some countries oppose the war should not tell us anything about the justice or injustice of the war, all it tells us is about the respective interests of the countries. At the very least the presumption of the fact that countries are making these types of decisions based on the reasons you attribute to them needs proof or at least an argument. It is equally plausible that France and Germany have interests while the US is taking a moral stance.

Any debate that does not reasonably address these issues really amounts to ranting. Now if you could think of a clever little slogan that throws in the word "daddy's war" somewhere in there, that does not mean that you should not be taken for profound. You should realize that you are missing the point, and depriving less-informed people the opportunity to have a real understanding of the factors that go in to the situation in the Middle East.

Depriving students and colleagues of reasonable avenues for debate is up there with plagiarism and taking advantage of students as a top academic sin.

Encouraging others to miss the real points the point is no doubt good for you, if a person is inclined to listen to your cute slogans without thinking. And of course that is what you want, no doubt. But I challenge any of you to admit it in public.

Telling our students that in the absence of a democratic forum for promoting your agendas, all you need to do is take 10 people or any other significantly annoying minority and have them force people in power to take them seriously. Is it the case that if students are not listened to, you'll be telling them to "martyr" themselves in the university president's office? To what lengths of irrationality will you go?

I suppose that just to be fair to my own views, I should not close off any avenues of rhetoric to myself. Though I have not bothered to share any war views with you folks on the list (other than to say how complicated the questions are), I would be happy to allow you to think clearly about it, like I try to do. However, you have shared your views with the list and your tactics of persuasion as well. Thus, I would like to take up your methodology, just to be fair. So for all of those on this list who sit around (or whatever you do) and oppose war, consider yourselves compared to Hitler.


Not in my freaking name

If you are like me, you are still getting all these emails and articles and analysis addressing and analyzing the fallout of the the protest this past Saturday. I was not there, of course. I was not there because I do not oppose the war. However there were all these shits from my university who were there marching under the banner of my university. Not in my freaking name. I can't believe that people would protest in my name. It was bad enough that the official posters said something like "the world says no to war". I DO NOT SAY "NO" TO WAR. I support the decision of my country. I am really tempted to get school T-Shirts and sew American flags on them and write something like "We Support Bush".

Anyway, as I understand it, the whole thing did not have any impact on our troop morale. That is good. If there are any military personel out there reading this, I hope they realize that they are protecting our right to protest, and even our rights to say stupid things. That is democracy.

Monday, February 17, 2003

Weather chatter

It is good to see that despite all the chaos in the world the most important thing to most Americans right now is the weather. And even better, this is not particularly harmful weather.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Snow in NY

It looks like mother nature is starting to bury New York in snow. I wish there was something profound to say about it, but for now it just looks nice. I wonder why I evolved to find aesthetic appreciation in the mundane. It is weird. One would think that it would be a strange evolutionary quirk to design a brain that has a particular admiration for some of its surroundings. Moreover, it is not always the safe surroundings that inspire us with awe. Things like the Grand Canyon and Snow are awe inspiring, while tornados are not. The grand Canyon and lots of snow do not seem like human friendly thngs, yet we admire them. It is not like it is an adaption on the part of the snow either. The weather, as far as I know, does not evolve following any principles of natural selection in the way the flora and fauna of our planet do.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Dolly dies

I was saddened to hear of the passing away of Dolly, the sheep who changed the face of biology. She was 6 years old. Not that bad for a sheep.

I hate tech support sometimes

The sys admins who lose my email all the time apparently could not secure their assholes if their heterosexuality depended on it. (pardon the offensive simile)

Modern Philosophy of Science

I suspect that the philosophy of science that is discussed now, with its emphasis on explanation and theory formation and laws, and stuff like that is a result of its positivist legacy. One really only thinks in terms of laws and explanations and other such generalities in a time when, as Kuhn put it, you have a revolution in progress and there is lots of talk of new laws and new theories. In times of "normal science" these are all non-issues, and that part of philosophy of science is really irrelevant. During the positivist era there was the Einsteinian revolution in progress, and Einstein himself as well as all the Quantum Mechanic people were thinking in terms of these grandiose paradigms that were all about fundamental laws and comprehensive explanation of all this phenomena. This does not happen now.

That is not to say that all of Philosophy of science is useless. Even those questions are not useless. Rather there is a rift between what does and does not apply to a scientist in the lab anymore. The question of what a law of nature is bothers ONLY philosophers. It no longer interests a biologist who is not really in need of new laws to understand. Your average scientist is perfectly happy with the laws he has. When there is a period of crisis there will likely be a renewed interest in all of this.

You can see this by the examples that are used by the philosophers of science. Everyone from Kuhn, to Fayerabend, to Lakatos, to anyone writing now only talks about the big paradigm shifters. The stuff that happens during periods of normal science is hardly applicable to normal philosophy of science. There ought to be a philosophy of normal science, as opposed to the philosophy that we get as a result of analyses of those pivotal moments in the history of science that are anomolous (although they are the profoundest moments).

Most philosophical questions about science are really questions that just concern philosophers - like the question of realism versus anti-realism, and what is the interpretation of a probability statement. These are good questions, but it is important to keep the philosophy of science accessible to scientists.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Valentine's Day in Saudi Arabia

It recently came to my attention that a few years ago, all traces of red clothing, hearts, and the word "Valentine" were made illegal in Saudi Arabia on Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day was said to be the Devil's work. I am not sure if these laws are still in effect. If they are I would like to wish a very happy Valentine's day to all the Saudi Women out there.

I would recommend that as an act of defiance, you all wear red underwear or something that the Sheiks are not allowed to look at.

What a screwed up country. I can't believe that the US has to pretend they are civilized just to kick the a55 of some other country that is a neighbor of theirs. And as long as we are on the topic, who left Pakistan out of the Axis of Evil?

My night

Hung out tonight with "M" and a bunch of other people. We started at Another Room where there was this exhibit of photographs taken by this guy that "M" knew, when this guy went to Vietnam. When I walked in this other guy cleaned my glasses. He turned out to be quite friendly. I was amused.

Then we went to Namaskaar, an Indian Restaurant that turns in to this weird bar thing at night. Had some drinks there and we went back to "M" for a bit and then I left. Enjoyable, as always.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Academics and their opinions

I want to clarify a bit about something I said a few days ago about academics and politics.

Your average academic is probably a only little brighter than your average person. That is to say that when you take all the crack whores, criminals, and the insane, add to them your average Joe-Sixpack-factory-worker, who is a good guy, but really has never done any thinking in his life and then add to them your average housewife who watches Oprah all day, you have the bottom 50 or sixty percent of the population. Just above them on your IQ scale you have your PhDs in poetry, sociology, French, literature and the like, and above them you have the good hard working people of this fine nation who actually do work. In other words, it seems to me that (and I mean no disrespect to anyone) your average professor in the humanities probably has an IQ lower than George Bush, only George Bush spends a lot of his spare time talking to intelligent people about foreign policy and academics talk to each other and get a lot of inbred information.

Nonetheless, academics all sit around and dis W, and moreover when they get in front of a classroom they are suddenly all experts in foreign policy and ethics, and the theory of Just War, and political economics, and environmental sciences, and just about every other field of knowledge that they are not in because they are just not bright enough.

There is of course free speech. In this country you have the irrevocable right to speak your mind and I would never deny it to anyone. A professor too has that right, so long as he or she also teaches what he or she is supposed to be teaching. He does have obligations to his students and his right to free speech does not permit him to ignore his duty to teach writing just because he has the right to rant about Bush. There is something I would like to stress though: It is a clear breach of professional ethics for academics to speak with authority on something they are not experts in. Professors are respected not because they are the social consciousness of America. Professors are and ought to be respected for their scholarship. Many of us really work hard to become good at what we do, and many of us think long and hard about how to best convey what we know to our students. For that we deserve respect and some deference to the authorities that we are. However when it comes to issues outside our field, like whether George bush should go to war, the moral instinct of anyone is not that much better than anyone else (with the possible exception of a very well informed foreign-policy-educated ethicist who has written or taught in this field). When one hears from a professor that there is some right and wrong about these issues it is an abuse of the power of the professor.

Now of course one may claim that a professor will have considered his opinion rather carefully, and have some special insight in to this. I have yet to see this. Reading the postings of the professors, talking to them, and talking to students about other professors where I teach tells me that the average professor has learned all he or she needs to know about the war on Iraq from watching the people speak at the rallies on CSPAN. Your average professor knows about as much about the affirmative Action debate as they once heard about on CNN. Your average professor (economists excepted) knows less about political economics than a second year economics undergrad. (I frequently hear this stuff, and that is explained by the annoying and usually irrelevant "but in my other class we leaned . . ." phenomena.)

Speaking on one's authority as a professor is no less an abuse of power then taking advantage of a student sexually - it is quite analogous actually. In the latter case professors are repeatedly cautioned that we are acting from a perceived pedestal, a position of authority. Students are vulnerable, an can be manipulated by a clever professor in to doing something that he or she may not want to do normally. Students are often susceptible to being taken advantage of for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. This is an abhorrent practice, and I have heard of more than one case where this has happened. Many of us have. I am glad I have not heard about it happening in any place I am teaching now, certainly not lately, but anyone in academia with their ear to the ground can repeat stories. This case is no different. Students in search of meaning, or an ideology, or a political consciousness are very susceptible to ideological manipulation. Forcing ungrounded, unconsidered, non-expert opinions down their throats is the intellectual version of rape - And I do not say this lightly, nor is my meaning to be taken as hyperbole.

I say this as a caution to my fellow educators, and to students as well. If you do it stop, and apologize to your students and tell them that they are allowed to think for themselves. If this happens to you, say "no" and tell someone you trust. I have seen too many students with their heads messed up because they believe what they are told. Many of them then repeat this cycle by going to graduate school, just like their professor.

If our students are expecting facts and grounded theory from us and our respective disciplines, and we feed them rhetoric and the latest crap that comes to our head, we are not only abusing our professions, but our students as well.

Lincoln's Birthday

Today was Lincoln's birthday. For me it meant a whole day of sitting in a really boring meeting that I really would rather have not known about. It is amazing how you can take a bunch of people who have the combined IQ of a small neighborhood and put them in to a room and still see them act like they are in a kindergarten class. To be honest, this was not that bad, but it came close.

I went with "L" and "S-L" (Formerly just refered to as "S") and "S-N" to eat at Fuji Hana in Brooklyn on Ave U off Ocean Parkway. The food was good. "S-N" and I had mostly sushi. If you are there make sure you have the Toll House cookie and ice cream for desert. Fun and merriment was had by all.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Divine Intervention. . . .needed for this to be good

I saw the film Divine Intervention in the Angelika yesterday. The film frankly sucked. I do not say this out of any prejudice, other than the one I have for decent film. In the whole 92 minutes of the film there were about 10 lines spoken. The rest was just scenes of people doing dumb things, some of which were supposed to be metaphorical. It was the most boring hour and a half I have ever spent.

The movie has some Arabs coming, going and reading their mail and paving their road. There is a joke or two here and there about how pathetic the Israelis are, and there is a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon moment somewhere in there where a terrorist (who we are supposed to see as a Muslim Savior and also as Christ Himself) kills 5 Israelis who are in middle of target practice. Apparently the woman terrorist is supposed to be a hero of sorts. There is a kind of alluded to love interest there, which all takes place in a parking lot near a checkpoint.

This is not artsy, it is not entertaining, and it is not philosophical or political. It is just someone who thought that if an Arab makes a film there will be stupid people who will think it is profound. He was right, no doubt. There is no thinking person though who will find this film in the least bit interesting. I give it 5 black holes.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Media Biases

There is a lot of meta-type-criticism on the media these days. You hear all sorts of conservatives bashing the "liberal" press. You also hear all sorts of lefties 1) defending their belief that there is no "liberal" press, and 2) bashing the corporate media industrial complex. You hear the same thing said about the middle east and the Zionist controlled media and Hollywood, and on the other side the ant-Israel bias of the left-wing media.

The fact is we have all seen biases in both directions. Some reporters, or newspapers are more prone to consistently lean one way or the other. That is how it is. The Times will allow some of its reporters to omit crucial details going one way, and The post will omit the other side. Balanced reporting is a myth, and now thanks to the internet you can read a few papers and get almost the whole story.

The reason for the rhetoric however, is a bit different. The rhetoric is in a vicious cycle. Once someone accuses one side of being biased then the first volley has been fired. At that point the other side can either go on the defensive, and everyone knows that once you are on the defensive, everyone thinks you are guilty, or go on the offense in the same way. So the other side, not wanting to deprive itself of the rhetorical weapons of its enemies, will just announce the same thing. And since they are actually both right, they will both find ample evidence to support their claims.

But are they really both right? Well, yes and no. They are both right in the sense that there are biases in newspapers. But one obviously has a bigger bias, leaving a net bias that is not being countered by the other side. The question is which one is it? (I suspect it is the left, but that is my bias.) The question can only be answered if 1) we look at the assumptions made (ie, do we assume the left is the standard and everything else is viewed from that point, which would be a left-leaning bias, or is it the other way around.) 2) we had a good metric for determining what constitutes a bias and 3) we know all the psychological factors that allow us to manipulate people in to believing some t things (eg, do we have Paula Zahn's reporting left-slanted news and commentary and Walter Cronkite's reporting right leaning news and commentary) and 3) we know who watches what and how often and how much exposure each media source gets . . . There are a whole host of factors that go in to this.

Shheva Berachot and a Night Out

I spent all weekend in Brooklyn at the sheva berachot of a cousin. It was difficult, as always. At night I went with "L" and "S" and "S" and "I" to Kush on Orchard Street, and then to Ray's Pizza on E Houston, and then to Smalls on 7th ave and 10th street for some nice jazz where we chatted with some friendly Sara Lawrence chicks about the theory of "whooooing". Apparently the precise time and way to "whoooooo" is quite complicated. Then we went to Odessa for some late night munchies. (I puked in the bathroom, and I hope I cleaned it up well enough. Sorry 'bout that.)

Human Nature

Most species have instincts. Those instincts are generally well suited to work within a certain environment. Take dogs, for example. They have an instinct to bury stuff. There is a reason for this. But if they live in an apartment in Manhattan they will still try to bury stuff. You really have to do a lot of training to get them to give up. They should realize that their attempts to dig up the tiles will be futile, but they must try. Their instincts leave them little choice.

Why do I say this? I A few days ago I caught a few snippets on CNN, and verified this with some other on-line news places. Apparently dozens of the terror suspect inmates at camp X-ray have tried to committ suicide. In the complete absence of school busses, or dynamite strapped to their chest they still try to do what their very insticts direct them to.

Human nature is facinating.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Abuse of Academic Authority

There are some countries where the population takes their academics seriously. In Israel if you are an academic, your name is in the paper from time to time, and if you say something interesting, there is a good chance it might get picked up.

This is not the case here in the US. I am not suggesting that our culture is less intellectual, but the media is certainly not as interested.

Of course, I know lots of academics and intellecuals. I aspire to be one. And therefore I can say with high confidence that it is really good that we are not taken to seriously here. Academics are mostly lunatics with degrees.

If you look at Creationist propoganda they tout the number of PhD.'s who believe in their junk. Most of these people have degrees in electrical engineering and stuff. There are few geologists or zooligists or biologists. They are all people who are educated in some field, and happen not to believe in evolution. There is usually at most one person who has ever read a book about evolution.

It is the same thing with academia as a whole. Every shmuck who is put in front of a college classroom suddenly thinks that they are economists, biologists, political theorists, tactical strategists, linguists, and sociologists. Usually they have degrees in poetry, creative writing, or philosophy.

That is not to say that those people should not be thinking about the situation in Korea, Afghanistan, or the Middle East. But they abuse their authority and proclaim so many things that are supposed to be true, that they just make up. It is very annoying.

Your average academic in this country who is not a political scientist knows little more than anyone else who reads the newspapers about foreign policy. They are usually not any brighter then your average person either. Do not take their word on anything.

Mitzvah Tance and Shoes

I have been preoccupied lately with the events of a cousin's wedding and my own work. I am doing too much in too little time. The wedding was OK. There was a badchan at the mitzvah tance. He sucked. I think I mentioned this once before, but someone ought to study these badchans. This guy was half in English and half Yiddish, with a bit of Hebrew thrown in for good measure. He was British, and his humor was just stupid.

Today I bought some shoes, and I have got to tell you that I am not looking forward to breaking them in. That is one of the most unplesant tasks I can think of. I once heard that in medieval times or something, rich people would pay others to break in their shoes for them. That has got to be up there with the worlds worst jobs.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Dinner in Baluchi's

I had dinner tonight at Baluchi's on 29th off Lex. The food was pretty good. I am not used to Northern Indian. They have vegatarian and non-vegatarian dishes. Good food.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Ilan Ramon

I have been quite saddned by yesterday's event. It was a blow to humanity, science, NASA, the US, and the Jewish people. I especially felt for my friend "D" who spend some time working with NASA on some medical projects. I caled him and he was distraught as well.

I have been realding a lot of people who do not yet have much to say about the accident. Howver, I noticed that there are many pictures of the crew. It seems that in almost every picture Ilan Ramon, the Israeli is standing on the far right, displaying his flag. Because of the positions, it is the only flag visible in most pictures. I wonder if that was done on purpose. If so, it is good to see Israelis proud of their flag. Americans have been pretty proud of theirs and have started showing it since 9/11/01. They are two countries who ought to be proud of their flags. Kol HaKavod, Ilan.

Saturday, February 01, 2003

NASA Tragedy

A couple of hours ago the NASA space shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry in to the atmosphere. This is a sad day in the history of the US, and in the history of Israel, the nationality of one of the astronauts aboard. My condolences to the families of the astronauts and to the people of both countries who were changed forever by the tragedy.