Cluster Map

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pollyanna is back from her happy vacation, September 1, 2010

שנה טובה
عيد  سعيد

Happy Holidays Rosh Hashana and Eid to all who celebrate at this time of year.

Yes, we are back with Pollyanna here and the bad guy over there.
We can start with a five part series from the NYTimes that we found of interest and we hope you do as well.  I will not spoil your enjoyment by commenting.  It indeed gives much food for thought.

Now that you have spent some of your precious time reading the above, we can go on to keep you happy and out of mischief.  Before that, however, I am going to include a beef and rant here about something that many of us dislike and suffer--passive smoking.  Even Pollyanna would not be glad about this.  In Israel, it is out of hand in too many places.  Yes, we have more or less cleaned out universities and some restaurants, but if you want to hear good jazz you usually have to put up with poisoning by your neighbors.  In Germany, smoking has been outlawed on railway ramps and in the US in stadia.  Here you are invited cordially to choke.  For a documented rant I refer you to this article in the Jerusalem Post.

Field Medal:
For the first time ever an Israeli mathematician has been awarded the prestigious Field Medal.  Congratulations of all the medalists.  The father of the Israeli winner was a classmate of mine, i.e. he studied math while I studied physics at the Hebrew University in the late 1950's and early 1960's.  Eilon Lindenstrauss and the Israeli science Nobelists are the products of an education system that is no more.  In the interest of egalitarianism, the governments of the last few decades have systematically degraded the level of education  in the country.  There is, however, some hope that this trend may be about to be reversed.  
Let us all hope this is true and that things will improve for the next generation of children growing up in our country.
I would like to share a few thoughts of the woman who took some Palestinian girls for a fun day in Tel Aviv.  This is not political, just some nice thinking. and maybe a hope for our future.
 There has been much discussion about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.   There are new studies that indicate that this is an overused diagnosis.  I do not claim to be anything of an expert, but I am posting this in the hope that someone may find this article interesting and comment.

Missing matter can be a problem if you are trying to manage a universe.  The search for it can take you to some very strange places and you never know what you might find.   Let us wish them good luck in their search.
The floods in Pakistan have killed over a thousand people and displaced millions.  Please take a minute, open your heart and pocket to help these victims.
For those of us who like science fiction (not scientific fiction), Ray Bradbury has long been an iconic figure.  He just had a  birthday (90) and it was marked by the Planetary Society and people from around the world.  I join in the good wishes to someone who has given me a great deal of pleasure over the years.


We all remember the Winnie the Poo story  of how our little bear friend got his head stuck in a jar of "hunny" and had trouble getting it out.  We have a story of such a case from the real world and it is worth a read.

Little Jarhead from Florida would have died of starvation if the plastic jar into which  he had poked his silly little head  had not been removed.  The video is interesting as well.  Kudos to the good people who saved his life.

Steven Hawking has come out with a warning that we soon will not have a planet on which to live.  Indeed we have overpopulated it, exploited it and polluted it.  His solution to the problem is very drastic, i.e. get out of here, but his point is well taken that we are in serious danger of extinction.  I know Pollyanna would not agree, but even on this blog we need to face reality.

Andy Borowitz  is a worthy competitor to Gene Weingarten so I will give you both.

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