Sunday, August 26, 2007

No'ar (Youth)

Isn't Tobey Maguire cute? Ok, so let's throw this out there for the hell of it, 'cause it has to be asked of every celebrity and his grandmother these days - off topic but doesn't "son of a grandmother's uncle" sound like a curse? - Is Tobey Maguire gay? Wait, somebody beat me to it: LeoD and Tobey's bro-job and Spidey Don't Swing Both Ways. I loved how casually he ended up in bed with Robert Downey Jr. in the strangely titled Wonder Boys; he made it look like the most naturally appropriate normal thing in the world.

And now, a word from our sponsor. I mean, the title of the post which often, you may have noticed, bears little relevance to the content of the post. No'ar are Israeli youth. They are a subdivision of Israeli society. I guess it's kind of like what you might call teens in America, but it is so much more.

Got Tenure? Get Attention!

Ilan Pappe and the Israel Boycott. What more is there to say?

Mr. President, We Have a Situation

Doctor, I've noticed that "Friends" has recently started becoming funny. Is this something I should be concerned about?

To Boldly Go

Packindagos always a pretty emotional time for me. 'Tsbeen a great summer, though it hasn't been a big party. Can't quite say I worked my tail off, but I went into the lab every day and put in my time, ran my experiments, made my contribution to science, to my education, to my life...

I went off the pills. Didn't mean to, but I ran out and couldn't replace the stash so now that I went through the tingling shocks and constipation of withdrawal I figure what the heck. I'm not rushing back to them. They may have eased the death wish, but they also quashed the life force so who can say what's best? Truth is, I'm not convinced they actually did anything.

The weekend was party city. Something just went beep beep in the hallway. Something bit my computer. Anyway, the weekend. The megaclubs, the sauna scene, the beach and even the sushi. Way crazy. White city? Try slut city. To put it mildly. But boys will be boys. And life is beautiful. And so not worth it. How come the boys I really want, I don't get and all the others beg at my feet?

Supervisor hasn't returned from vacation, so I'll miss her when I leave. Said my goodbyes, brought in a cake for the lab, went out for dinner with some of the summer students who are left. Back to school is in the air, and I am holding onto summer like my life depends on it. Cause it does. I could hang myself when winter comes. Don't think I will but it is depressing. And if you try to lock me up or stuff me with pills because you are afraid I'm suicidal, I swear I will stick your balls through your eye sockets and make you wish like hell you could die. Now you have another reason to advise me to seek treatment. Oh for Christ's sake, you know I'm kidding.

So, New York, NY. Opportunity, sure. Responsibility, too. To go back undergrad for some bio courses? Where to apply for grad school. How to commit to a project for the length of a Phd?

I made a lot of good friends over the summer. Going back, I don't know. Most of my friends in NY are pretty religous. They wouldn't feel comfortable going out for a drink or a movie. So I don't know what to do, how to spend some quality time. I mean, we could get a coffee and talk. I think I'll do some of that. Must make an extreme effort to be social. Not ball up in a little cave like sometimes happens when I'm home. Oh, it's a tough life. Yah, an easy life is a tough life. I don't know what a hard life is and I don't want to. Though I sometimes suspect that it can't be worse than this. Then I give myself a good hard kick in the shins and remember that it can get a whole lot worse and things are really really good. Then I get depressed again because if this is good, life really sucks.

Feel like you've heard all this before? They called it a heat wave, but I thought the weather was absolutely incredible. I just eat up the heat, remembering cold, wet nights in New York.

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Sally.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, "How I wish
We had something to do!"

Too wet to go out
And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.

Only, it wasn't only the wet days either because you can't go out on the nice days either. Hot isn't fun in shachor lavan. Why can't I fall in love with someone who will return that love?

I always hold everything inside, afraid if I let it out I will get hurt. This isn't paranoia, though it sounds just like it. I almost certainly will get hurt. But maybe that is the price of life. Maybe I've been too careful. Or maybe I'll just F up everything.

This Jewland's been a pleasure. And now I guess it's time to say farewell. Onward ho. Don't look back. Also, don't look forward. And definitely don't look at the present. Not a good idea. So I guess it's - how does William Shatner say it -

To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To blindly go where no man has gone before

Or to boldly go. That could work too.

Homosexuality Gene?

"What if homosexuality is genetic, and has been spread due to widespread rejection socially, thus homosexuals married/procreated? Could this potentially mean that in the future, the acceptance of homosexuality would decrease future homosexual populations?" Covoluted on Digg

Monday, August 20, 2007

How's Your Sense of Smell?

Featured Articles : Neuroscience Gateway: "Male mice lacking TRPC2 court both female and male mice."

US genetics bill

news @ - US genetics bill blocked again - One-man lobby halts antidiscrimination law.

Legislators rush into action without understanding the issues in another example of preemptive lawmaking. Every company wants to hire the most suitable candidates. They use resumes, interviews, questionnaires, tests, and contact with previous employers as surrogates for the information they seek: Is this person my best candidate? If there is a genetic marker that will provide this information as accurately or more accurately than current methods, is it fair to make companies continue to go the roundabout and inefficient route to picking employees? To answer no is to promote either gross inefficiency and waste on the part of companies using imperfect selection practices or an obscurely random style of welfare that has companies taking on a percentage of unequipped employees because it couldn't use an appropriate filter system.

Do I advocate racially biased hiring practices, then? No, of course not. What has one thing to do with the other? Why is the epithet of "racial discrimination" flung at anyone who believes that the genotype of a human being contributes to his or her phenotype in a way not radically dissimilar to the way the genotype of say, a rat, contributes to its phenotype?

Many school districts use parental income or location as surrogates for race. Banned from overt racial discrimination against Caucasians by law, they give preferential admissions treatment to people from "black neighborhoods" (who often belong to a certain race - can you guess which?). This is just one example of how surrogate measures are obscenely concocted to circumvent anti-discrimination protocols. It is also an example of what any company has to do when hiring: It can't measure competence directly - there is no "employee competence scale" - so it uses surrogate measures. Ultimately, efficient companies will find the most competent employees. So assuming that genetic screening could become a practical tool in employee selection (an unlikely possibility in the near future), this proposed bill will dictate either inefficient selection procedures or lead to not hiring the most suited employees.

Google: An explanation of our search results

Why does a search for "Jew" return so much anti-semitism?

My Hat it has 3 Corners

Thiss sentence has threee errors. (Nelson, 1996)

Psychology Defined

From Politically Incorrect Truths

". . .the human pupil dilates when an individual is exposed to something that she likes. For instance, the pupils of women and infants (but not men) spontaneously dilate when they see babies." Psychology Today

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Latest LinkList


Everything's better if you do it on a huge scale, and automate it. - Virgil Griffith

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Economics of Congestion Pricing

Bloomberg's traffic reduction plan has won federal grant money to the tune of $350 million (Daily News). Why they need a federal grant to charge more money is beyond me, but let us examine the logic of congestion pricing as a traffic reduction plan.

Bloomberg argues that a congested city will not attract business as well and this will hurt New York's economy. He therefore proposes a plan to charge tolls for cars and trucks entering the city to reduce the amount of traffic and make the city more appealing.

The catch is obvious: The only way the fee will reduce traffic is if its cost is higher than the cost of sitting in traffic! If people would rather shell out than sit in traffic, the city will be clogged anyway. And if the fee is high enough that it is worse than the traffic, then it will drive people (and business) away faster than grid-lock. So what gives?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Forgot Where This Came From

For He is a Jolly Good Fellow

Who saw the news headline, 4 Dead in Minnesota Bridge Collapse, Toll Likely to Rise? No pun intended, I'm sure.

Summer winding to a close, project deadline approaching. Too soon it will get cold again. And Wake Me Up When September Ends will pulsate through me so violently I'll feel like a plucked guitar string. The longing for those summer days will make me wish I was dead. And it will be a sweet feeling. And then winter will wash over me and make me dead. I'll hibernate. Walk through life unthinking. Unfeeling. Until summer. Until I don't exist. Until I realize that this is existence. That life is like that.

I love movies that make you say, "Life is like that." Books can do it even better sometimes. And even though life isn't like anything. It is nice to see that someone knows what life could be like if it was.

The question mark of next year looms large again, glaring at me from its haughty place above the horizon. So I stare back at it, daring it to make the first move. It won't. Because things happen. Life is like that. Who is John Galt?

Shabbos was relaxing. Eat and sleep and sleep and dream. And stay up late because I slept all day. And wake up early for lab Sunday morning and ride the bus, the legroom-free special, cursing the day until I get back on campus and like magic my mood picks up, a smile lifts my face, and I'm ready to face to day. To go get 'em tiger. I didn't even take a coffee before lunch.

So I've applied for quite a number of jobs for next year, but no one seems to want me. It's like a Groucho Marx kind of situation: I wouldn't want to be a part of any company that would hire me. I only apply to jobs for which I am not qualified. Anyway, better to take it easy for a while. I'll need the time to study for GREs. Maybe take a few extra prereq courses. Working isn't sexy is it? Somehow school seems so much sexier.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Gibberish for Another Day

blithering fuckers
big fat lies
evil conspiracy plot
murderous disgusting hateful

sweet smell of flowers in the garden
hot bodies all gyrating and moving together
hard work and blissful sleep
slacking off and wasting time
late as usual
to call or not to call
consecutive waking hours: 23