Tue, Jan. 28th, 2031, 07:43 pm
This entry will be left hanging on top of this journal. Kindly comment to it for offtopic and such. All comments will be screened.
If you wish them to stay
screened, please specify so, since if I might
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Thank you for understanding.
Rumours about my death have been greatly exaggerated. I haven't been anywhere near the suicide bombing site at the time.
Sat, Feb. 26th, 2011, 12:42 am
ידידה שלי, אלה לויס פ'צוני לוי, lotus82
מתה היום בבוקר מסיסטיק פיברוסיס
היא מתה אחרי חודש וחצי בבית חולים, כשהיא מחכה להשתלת ראה
אולי במדינה אחרת היא היתה מקבלת את התרומה הנחוצה
אני מניח שאני לא מחדש לאף אחד שישראל נמצאת בתחתית הרשימה של המדינות ע"פ אחוזי האנשים שחתומים על כרטיס תרומת איברים
אני מניח שאני גם לא אחדש כל כך לגבי הסיבות של זה. והסיבות הם אנשי הדת שלנו, וציבור המאמינים שלהם
בישראל יש הגדרה מאד מחמירה של מה זה מוות-- "מוות מוחי נשימת" שנקבע על ידי שני רופאים בלתי תלוים, לא מהמחלקה שטיפלה בנפתר, ועוד בדיקות מחמירות.
אבל מה, אנשי הדת, שגם ככה לא צריך להיות להם שום תפקיד רשמי בממשלה, חושבים שיהם יותר חכמים מרופאים, ושיש להם את הזכות להתווכח עם הגדרות רפואיות ומדעיות, וגם לתת המלצות לגבי הנושא הזה.
בקושי קיבלו את הענין שתרומת איברים חשובה יותר מזה שיהיה קומפלקט מלא של איברים לימים שהמשיח יבוא.
בקושי קיבלו את הענין של "מוות מוחי"-- וגם עכשיו-- לא עד הסוף ויש ויכוחים על זה.
ועדיין, כמעט כל איש דת בעל תפקיד בממשלה הזאת יפקפק במועד קביעת המוות על ידי רופאים.
ואני רוצה להגיד להם
לכל אותם אנשים הדת
להם ולציבור המאמינים שלהם, שמעדיף להקשיב להם באופן עיוור במקום קצת לחשוב עם הראש.
מבחינתי אתם פושעים.
אתם מעדיפים שדברים יהיו, כביכול, "כשרים" מבחינה הלכתית מאשר להציל חיים
אתם אנשים צבועים, גם על פי מה שאמור, כביכול, להיות האמונה שלכם
כרנאה המושג "פיקוח נפש" לא ממש מדבר אליכם.
אתם מעדיפים, בשביל להצדיק את היותכם בתפקיד שלכם, ובשביל השד יודע מה, לפקפק ברופאים ולהפיץ פרופגנדה זולה ושקרית על זה שהם כביכול עלולים לקבוע מוות בצורה פזיזה מדי.
אתם מעדיפים לנהל ויכוחים הזוים על סעיפים בהלכה בזמן שאנשים מתיים.
אתם יוצאים עם הצהרות הזויות על ומתווכחים האם תרומה של איברים ליהודי שונה מהותית מתרומה של איברים לגוי. לקבל תרומת איברים, כולל תרומת איברים מגוי, אין לכם בעיה.
ואתם, ציבור המאמינים שלהם, מעדיפים להקשיב וללכת באופן עיוור אחרי אנשי הדת ההזוים שלכם במקום לחשוב קצת עם הראש.
אתם פושעים נגד האנושות מהסוג הגרוע ביותר.
ואני רוצה להגיד לכם
לכו תזדיינו, עם החבר הדמיוני הזה שלכם, יהוה
Mon, Jun. 28th, 2010, 10:32 am
Am 27 years old.
Thu, Jun. 24th, 2010, 01:27 pm
Today this journal is nine years old.
Finally finished this semester, some four days after its official end, since i had to stay behind in Jerusalem and, together with my project mate, complete the last exercise in object-oriented programming.
I now have a primitive emule-style file-sharing network written in java, which even works. Someone should tell the RIAA about the kind of exercises that they give us. Or something.
Ah and yeah, I now know way more than mere mortals should about concurrency, multithreading and sockets. And I'm going to know even more.
This journal has been on a little hiatus lately due to studies occupying way too much time; hopefully I should be able to resume posting here. Facebook makes me kinda sick lately.
From "The Feynman lectures on physiscs, vol 2- electricity and magnetism":
""Mathematicians, or people who have very mathematical minds, are often led astray when "studying" physics because they lose sight of the physics. They say: "Look, these differential equations - the Maxwell equations - are all there is to electrodynamics; it is admitted by the physicists that there is nothing which is not contained in the equations. The equations are complicated, but after all they are only mathematical equations and if I understand them mathematically inside out, I will understand the physics inside out." Only it doesn’t work that way. Mathematicians who study physics with that point of view - and there have been many of them - usually make little contribution to physics and, in fact, little to mathematics. They fail because the actual physical situations in the real world are so complicated that it is necessary to have a much broader understanding of the equations"
Long time no updates. So, here goes:
A friend of mine, Nurit, has composed music to my poem "the bubble" (בועה). This is the video of her performance of that song:
Fri, Dec. 11th, 2009, 01:58 pm
What pisses me off continuously about the political situation in this country is the way various political and human rights issues are mixed up in the way they are represented. Nothing illustrates this better than today's human rights march
. If there is something that does a disservice to what I stand for and believe in it's this march more than anything. Why, if I am against homophobia, must I also stand against the deportation of illegal immigrants? Why, if I am against homophobia, I must be implicitly assumed to be voting meretz or something of the sort? Why, if I don't like the biometric database, I must be assumed to be against the naqba law as well? Why, on the other hand, if I am right-winged in some of my views, must I be represented by some bigots who think this country should have a halakha law? In short: why can't I have some moderate right-wing and some moderate left-wing views without those being monopolized by fascist racist religiously-balooney homophobes from one side and whiney cocksuckers who think the human rights of people who violate the law, like suicide bombers and illegal immigrants are sacred, from the other. Why can't there be some sanity?!
I haven't written for a long time; this is because I'm very very busy those days with my studies of comp. engineering in huji occupying all my time and I have absolutely none left to write any sort of coherent entries. I do, however, update my facebook with short status messageses a lot and so whoever isn't there yet is welcome to join and add me.
Sometime, when I'll have the time to breathe I might post a longer update.
Also, I don't have time to read my friends page, so if there's something you want me to see, post a comment in my journal in the always-on-top entry, or email me.
"When I arrive to some foreign country," he quoted, "I never ask whether the laws there are good or bad, but only whether they are enforced." (c) the Strugatsky brothers, (often misattributed to Confucious).
The hysteria around those Israeli-born foreign workers' kids and the protests against their deportation is really getting on my nerves; and it's even not so much the foreign workers themselves as the various "human rights" organizations (who should probably rather be called "human rights of some selected groups of people" organizations, said groups of people including Palestinian terrorists, foreign workers etc, but never the citizens of Sderot or Gilad Shalit), and not so much the human rights organizations as the fact that the government chooses to succumb to them (see latest article
In this note we will overview the overview the Israeli citizenship law, the two methods used in defining citizenship laws around the world, the repatriation laws around the world and the (lack of) logic behind the demands of the "human rights" organizations.
So, here goes the citizenship law of Israel-- the full text of the law is here: http://www.geocities.com/savepalestinenow/israellaws/fulltext/nationalitylaw.htm--
And here's a short summary of ways to get Israeli citizenship from that law:
1. Any Jew who makes Aliyah may be granted Israeli citizenship
2. Anyone born in Israel among whose parents at least one was an Israeli citizen at the time of his birth may get an Israeli citizenship
3. By naturalization: having had a permanent residence permit and resided in Israel at least three years out of five years prior to submission of his application
4. Someone who served in the army may get an Israeli citizenship as may the parents of a soldier who died during army service.
5. Israeli citizenship is conferred to children of people who acquire Israeli citizenship.
6. By marriage to an Israeli citizen
Also, I believe there is a provision allowing the minister of the interior to grant an Israeli citizenship in exceptional circumstances, which for some reason I'm not finding in this text-- but there is no regular legal way (=an established procedure) for children of illegal immigrants to obtain an Israeli citizenship under the current legislation.
And I don't see why should there be one.
But then, step up the human right groups and claim that deporting those children (and their parents) would be immoral and violate human rights etc etc and thus citizenship should be granted to them. Some argue further that the Israeli citizenship law is racist and that it deports all those "poor children who had lived in Israel all of their life" while allowing some other people to immigrate and get citizenship, only because they're Jewish.
But is it?
Let's examine citizenship and repatriation laws from around the world and find out.
There are two models all citizenship laws all around the world are based on: lex soli (law of the land) and lex sanguinis (law of the blood); the most common case being a mix of the two.
Basically what they say is:
1. Lex soli: anyone born within a country's territory is its citizen (e.g USA)
2. Lex sanguinis: any child of a citzen is its citizen. Sometimes further descendants may get citizenshp as well. This is the mode in most European countries.
Wikipedia articles about those, recommmended as a very educational read:Lex soliLex Sanguinis
So, Israel's situation is far from unique, being some form of lex sanguinis, with the exception of the law of return (which, thinking about it, also falls under lex sanguinis, but it deserves to be addressed separately).
However, upon investigating the issue we find that the Law of Return is not that unique either and a lot of countries have repatriation laws allowing people of certain ethnicity to acquire their citizenship. Those include Greece, Japan, Finland, Germany, Serbia and others (see here
and note the "criticism" section in the latter article).
Now let's compare what happens here to what happens to children of illegal immigrants in the United States (where, for the record those children are citizens by birth).
And here's a nice article: link
(also, interestingly, there's a term for those children in the united states-- "anchor babies."-- see here
Yup. Children may be given citizenship, but their parents are deported. Why? Because this is the law. If there was no law in the US that anyone born on its territory is automatically a citizen, those children would be deported too, and no one would have a problem with that (and in fact those anchor babies are a reason that the US consider changing their nationality law) .
What I'm trying to say is-- Israel has certain laws regarding citizenship. They aren't something out of the ordinary. To protest against the enforcement of those laws on the grounds that they are allegedly racist, as though Israel was the only racist country in the world, when in fact they're widespread around the rest of the world and no one criticizes countries other than Israel for being racist for having similar laws is ridiculous, to say the least.
And yes, I think that laws should be either enforced or changed if they are bad or cannot be enforced. But this particular law? There is no problem with it (except with the definition of who is a Jew, but as the illegal immigrants addressed in this paper are definitely not, this issue will not be addressed in this note). There is a problem with its enforcement.
And its enforcement should be way more strict than it is and that extending the foreign workers' residence permits is a wrong thing to do. The possession of and unrestricted usage of genitalia by some people is not a reason to allow illegal immigration.
The law may be bad, but as long as it exists, it should be enforced. This is what laws are for.
Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009, 03:57 am
this track is very representative of my current mood
Sat, Oct. 3rd, 2009, 12:33 am
And click in the video for the next parts.
I'm proud of him as our prime minister.
Wed, Sep. 23rd, 2009, 05:58 pm
Mon, Sep. 14th, 2009, 03:00 am
Ilan Ramon's son, Assaf Ramon, was killed today
in an F-16 plane crash
Some definitions from "meitar"1
A WORLD is recursively defined as: 1. A property of something, defined as everything it has, had or may have immediate interaction with.2. The worlds of all those things defined in #1, except itself.
INTERACTION: Any event that introduces change of its participants (axiom: we know what is an "event" and so it is not defined).
CHANGE: Every two states of any thing or entity are presumed to have a worldline
between them; the process of movement of some thing or entity on that worldline is defined its "change".
PROCESS: either a single event or a set of two or more events following one another in sequence on the worldline.
ENTITY: Anything purpose-driven which may arbitrarily change, define or redefine that purpose without interacting with anything which is not itself or part of itself is called an entity (axiom: "purpose").
PREMEDITATION: The definition of one or multiple causes, reasons and, optionally, purposes for engagement in a process.
ACTION: Any premeditated process.
PURPOSE: Any terminating condition for an action, which is known in advance [incomplete definition]
CAUSE: Any event or process or feeling which serves as a setting condition for other events or a purpose. [incomplete definition] (axiom:feeling)
FEELING (strong): Any cause for things done by an entity, which have a purpose, is not an interaction of that entity with anything in its world and may persist after achievement of the purpose. [e.g. I hate someone-->I kill someone, but I still hate him after I kill him, as opposed to: I'm hungry-->I eat-->I'm no longer hungry]
FEELING (weak) Any cause for things done by an entity, which have a purpose, is not an interaction of that entity with anything in its world and does NOT persist after achievement of the purpose (e.g. I'm hungry-->I eat-->I'm no longer hungry).1
A project whose stated purpose is to find discrepancies between declared and/or believed-in ideologies and actually practised beliefs and behavior and make appropriate adaptations of one to another and vice versa.
Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009, 02:40 am
WTF of the day
about a man living in the midst of tel-aviv, who has (at least) 32 wives and 89 children and the authorities are unable to do anything about it.
Sun, Aug. 23rd, 2009, 03:05 am
Sun, Aug. 16th, 2009, 12:18 am
Started reading "steal this book" for general entertainment. Its first advice on how to get great free food:
Great places to get fantastic meals are weddings, bar-mitzvahs, testimonials and the like. The newspaper society sections have lists of weddings and locations. If your city has a large Jewish population, subscribe to the newspaper that services the Jewish community. There are extensive lists in these papers of family occasions where tons of good food is served. Show up at the back of the synagogue a few hours after the affair has begun with a story of how you'd like to bring some leftovers of "good Jewish food" back to your fraternity or sorority.
Tue, Jul. 14th, 2009, 04:39 pm
This story with a Yeshiva student who ran this cashier over with his car is getting uglier every day. Did you know that the giyur of this cashier, which she had undergone a few years ago, was cancelled by our rabbinate?
And also that the story only surfaces now, when the candidacy of the judge who gave this ruling is being considered for the high court, with the ruling having been given quite some time ago, says a lot about our whole court system.
For the record, the name of this yeshiva student was, apparently, published in earlier court documents
Mon, Jul. 13th, 2009, 10:41 pm
toying with dreamwidth.org account
not sure if (and why) i need one. testing whether is imported and crossposted correctly.
this entry should get autocrossposted to livejournal.This entry was originally posted at http://talash.dreamwidth.org/322516.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Some idiot whom I don't know has made a friend request with me on facebook.
This is the exchange that followed
UPD: It seems that the avatar is related to one Alon Gur Arye and the movie HaMosad HaSagur. How pathetic.
Exactly three years ago today, I went to London, a trip between jobs.
This entry will be about two artifacts left from this trip I found in my room.
We will start with the end of course. The writing on this pack of cigarettes
is in Korean. I took it from a korean girl on my last night.
Here's how it happened: I had a flight back to Israel from heathrow early in the morning. On my last night I decided I wouldn't sleep, but rather spend it in the hostel bar, drinking and having random conversations. That I did.
A girl sat next to me. She had just arrived to that hostel. We started talking. Drank a couple of pints, moved to the mess room. She took out that pack of cigarettes and tried to light one. At that moment, being drunk, I (surprisingly for her) took it away from her. "This is confiscated" I declared. "Give it back to me!"-- "No, this is confiscated."-- "But why?!"
"Can't you read Korean?," I replied, taking out the pack of the cigarettes in my pocket. "Here, let me read it for you. The Ministry of Health Warns You: Smoking is Dangerous for health". She tried to snatch the pack of cigarettes back from me, but failed. "You know, there are a lot of other, healthier activities other than smoking" I said. "That a young girl like you destroys her body increasing her probability of lung cancer in the future is most unfortunate..." I said and put the cigarettes back in my pocket.
We talked some more and then there was more to this; later, much later, at around 4am when I was about to leave my room to take my bag and get the hell out of the hostel, I noticed that the pack of cigarettes was still in my pants' pocket. I took it out and put it in my bag instead, got out of the room, checked out; night bus to paddington and heathrow express and a plane back to Israel; the cigarettes in the bag lay forgotten for a very long time; they were in some sidepocket and I didn't take them out immediately, so I only discovered those when I needed the bag for some con or something.
The other artifact
is actually from the first day of that trip. It has a partial list of multiple versions of the name "aya" as they may be spelled in Japanese to reflect its different possible meanings. "aya" was the name of one of the girls in the hostel room I stayed in on the first night. There was another one, but I do not remember hers. The first night I talked to them and somehow the conversation got to the meaning of names. "Michael means something related to god, no?" she asked me. "Yes," I answered. "Who like god." -- "And what does 'aya' in your case mean?" I asked. "It's a long story." -- "Really?" I said. "I do know several meanings of that name; none of those seemed too complex to me" -- "what meanings do you know?"-- "well, 'truth' for one" I said. "also 'beautiful' and 'colorful-like-the-rainbow'. and also silk, but not just regular silk, rather, a very special kind of silk with patterns and twill-woven. And I believe I also know how to write the kanji for ''colorful''".
At her request I then wrote the kanji. "yes, it is correct what you said" she told me. But my name is different. She wrote the hieroglyph. Then she explained.
It was a long story. I do not remember all of it now. Something involving her ancestors and a feud between two clans of samurai which lasted for 200 years and ended with a marriage between members of those clans sometime in the 13th century and that she is a descendant from that marriage and so "aya" in her case means something like "peace and prosperity between earth and sky" (IIRC) with earth and sky being significant to the two clans in question and so reflected in the way her name is written. There was also some bit about some ancestors of hers committing seppuku over this, but I don't remmeber that part.
She talked about this until some 3am. It was fascinating.
They moved out after that first night to go to Scotland I think. Pity. I would love to have talked to her some more.
Sun, Jun. 28th, 2009, 10:38 am
Which reminds me of the following "netlenka" ny shaulreznik
Спать пора, уснул бычок.
Спи и ты, мой дурачок,
А иначе Майкл Джексон
Тебя схватит за бочок.
У него горячий пыл,
Парк автомашин и вилл.
Его музыка плыла
От столицы до села.
Его нос из силикона,
Его глаз из оргстекла.
Повернись к стене бочком,
Спи, малютка. Всё пучком.
Скоро будет Майкл Джексон
В камере играть очком.
Wasn't familiar with this excellent translation, and since it's not on the internet yet, I think it should rather be. Here goes:
טיגריס/ ויליאם בלייק
תרגום: דורי מנור
טיגריס! טיגריס! ברק אורות
בלילם של יערות:
מה יד-נצח תחמה
את שלמותך האיומה?
אילו תהומות, שחקים,
מה כנפיים לו לשאוף?
מי מהין אִשִּים לכֹף?
גידי-לבך ידעו לפף?
הודות למי הפעימה,
איזו יד כלילת-אימה?
אי כורו של מֹחך?
מי סדן לו, לפיתה,
שם לצרור אימות-מיתה?
כוכבים ידו מֵרום
החיך אז העושה?
הבראך בורא השה?
טיגריס! טיגריס! ברק אורות
בלילם של יערות:
מה יד-נצח תחמה
את חיל דמותך האיומה?
Rule 35: there will always be worse shit you will be disgusted by on the internetz than what you had seen before.
yup. they made a SECOND bme pain olympics video. address is bmepainolympics2.com. And I'm not linking. You don't want to see this one. Copy and paste on your own responsibility. You have been warned.
The media as well as some people
have been discussing the latest visit of the pope and what he said or did not say in his speech.
I find this amusing.
It is not really relevant what the pope did or did not say. The so-called "Holy See" is a fucking criminal organization and the pope is the head of that fucking criminal organization. As such, it's not really important what he does or does not say during his visit.
Short historical recap: here are some links to some things the criminal organization in question did in the past:
1. Had a nice institution called the Roman Inquisition
2. Executed Giordano Bruno
by burning him at the stake.
3. Tried and tortured Galileo and a bunch of other scientists whose theories did not fit the dogma
4. Banned Books
(abolished only in 1966!)
5. Kidnapped people
in more recent times:
6. helped nazis escape
7. is being the #1 money-laundering organization in the world (link
8. Funds terrorists in the palestinian authority and others (link to be added)
9. Harbors pedophiles (link
10. Impedes stem-cell research and other science it deems "unholy" (fortunately they can't burn people those days).
11. Spreads anti-abortion propaganda
Q: What has changed in the Holy See and the structure of the catholic church since the inquisition?
A: they lost some of their former power
. Naturally, this did not happen voluntarily. And nothing at all changed in its internal structure. If they could torture scientists that do "ungodly" research, like that into embryonic stem cells, they would.
But instead of being treated like the criminal organization that they are, they are given a seat in the UN and have presense in most of the world-- this is called "diplomatic relations," mind it.
oh well, not that I would expect anything else.
Clearly the best thing of anything this year. In fact I think this is the best thing I've ever hear on a Eurovision contest, ever.
Also, will please, please, please Israel stop pushing politics into everything? Fuck, it's a nice-sounding song, not worse than most of the other stuff, but damn, this feels so much like ass-licking.
Apparently, the Mossad uses a Linksys router
to spy on Lebanon Also loved ynet's "router that was used for data transfer" caption under pic.
In fact I'm stealing this one for a u-pic.
And also they have it in the big version:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, article on Ice AxeAnother usage for the ice axe is as a weapon. The revolutionary Leon Trotsky was killed with an ice axe.
In the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show Frank slaughters Eddie with an ice axe in jealous rage.
I owe a large part of my searching and evaluation skills to this man.
I have been following his website and messageboards since 2002 or so and
RIP Fjalar Ravia 1952-2009http://www.searchlores.org
Wed, May. 6th, 2009, 12:14 am
Anyone knows of a cool lag-baomer gathering to be in?
Like most Russians, I think, I was taught that the radio was invented by Popov
. This isn't something that someone specifically said to me, but rather what I heard and saw all the time. In physics books that I used to read as a kid (which, obviously, were in Russian) and in all sorts of russian sources
the invention of the radio was credited solely to Popov, the Radio Day
in Russia, sometimes announced by the news readers is celebrated in honour of Popov, my parents are firmly confident that the inventor of the radio is Popov and nothing ever seemed wrong about it.
I do not know when did I first hear the name "Marconi," but one thing is certain and that is that it has been significantly later than "Popov." And not in a scientific book at all, but rather, I think, something by Umberto Eco, I think "Foucalt's Pendulum." I must have been thirteen or something by that time. I didn't investigate the thing back then and after that I have, of course, heard the name Marconi many more times after that, but that did never shake the firm inner conviction that this is all bullshit, that those who credit Marconi as the inventor of the radio do not know what they're talking about.
That is until some sort of an argument prompted me to investigate. Investigation turned out that:
- Marconi was not the first to actually invent the radio, but rather only the first to massively commercially distribute radio units.
- Popov carried out his demonstration a few months before Marconi's experiments
- It seems, however, that Marconi was not aware of Popov's demonstration when he conducted those and so invented the radio independently
- The two met later in 1902
- Nicola Tesla had a demonstration of radio waves production in 1893, two years before Popov and Marconi. On this basis Marconi was denied a patent in the United States (imenno
, you were correct!)
- However, it is not actually clear what does it mean to "invent" the radio in the sense we know it today and whether what Tesla did could actually be called inventing the radio.
- There had been theoretical research into radio waves before Tesla by Hertz and other physicists
- Marconi was a fascist
Based on this
article, I would probably say that the inventor of the radio is first and foremost Tesla, then Popov & Marconi, with Marconi after Popov.
Another interesting thing is the propaganda surrounding this issue. Russians and russian sources are most likely to hail Popov as the inventor and ignore all the rest. I imagine the opposite is true in Italy with Marconi.
The really interesting thing is, if you answer the question "who invented the radio" unhesitantly with "Popov," you are probably Russian. The inverse relationship, as this survey shows (of people answering something else-- e.g. Marconi-- not
being Russian by origin) is not true (although I should probably try this survey with people who grew up in Russia), but I haven't yet seen anyone mentioning Popov who wasn't Russian.
And deep inside I might still be thinking that Popov is the "real" inventor.
Deep and firm inner convictions that persist from childhood are bitches.
Please answer the following question without checking with google or wikipedia or elsewhere and without thinking too much:
Q: Who is the inventor of the radio?
(comments are screened).
Tue, Apr. 14th, 2009, 10:42 pm
This last Saturday I went to the Body worlds
exhibition together with a friend and it was beyond amazing. Bodies in various postures and cuts revealing different internal organs, body parts of internal organs of healthy people vs internal organs of people with various diseases, embryos on all stages of pregnancy, blood vessels, nerves etc. It was the most amazing thing I had seen for years.
After that we wandered around Haifa for some time then went home. On the way back we got into a huge traffic jam because everyone and his dog was coming back from a holiday day out.
Saturday was a good day, but starting from Saturday evening moderate crap started to happen.
In the evening I went to the Olamot convention hoping to see the "Life and death of Liam O'Leary" musical but tickets were sold out. Went back, almost ran over someone who decided that taking the evening walk in the middle of a dark highway is a good idea. Saw the idiot, braked and swerved in time; thankfully there was nobody in the other lane.
Sunday and monday was the Olamot con. It was mediocre, although people have been met. Queerest event of the con: "meet the committee" event on Sunday (to which I went hoping to get amused by it and it exceeded all expectations in that sense) during which the head of the Israeli Science fiction committee, Amir Arad, delivered a 40-minute speech full of drama about "a certain man who had decided to wage a personal bloody vendetta against the Israeli Science fiction society who is sitting in this crowd and whose name is Ittai Greif"-- he went on into details about this "vendetta"-- which included way too much information for a speech one would expect at a public "meet the committee" gathering and was more like a reality show. He didn't let Greif speak when he was delivering the speech and he finished it with the announcement that because of said "vendetta" he is resigning from his position as head of the committee. Went out of the room and turned in his badge, still without letting Greif reply to that. He hadn't notified the rest of the committee members of this before he actually made that speech so it came as a surprise to them as well and everyone kinda sat baffled by it. So now no one knows whether there will be an ICON this year and whether the Society will be a part of it.
The Israeli Science Fiction Society has always been known for its amazing capacity for internal conflicts and drama, but here it exceeded its own self.
The rest of the conventioion was, like I said, mediocre and ZOA house isn't a very good venue IMO. On sunday I lost my parking ticket so I had to pay some outrageous price to the motherfuckers, which wasn't nice.
The message on my IM was there on Sunday night. It was from someone I hadn't spoken to in years. It said: "hello". The hour tag on the message was 03.34am; I saw it at about 5am. I ignored it and went back to the con Monday afternoon.
When I got back someone else on my facebook had a status update about the death of a certain guy called Assaf Rozenrot.
I didn't really know the guy in question, but his name was familiar to me from Ultinet, an Israeli FTN-based network I used to be a member of once (FTN-based=works on the same principle as Fidonet
); it used to be popular in the days of BBSes, but still had been operating over the internet until the beginning of 2008 I think).
(the "hello" message that I got was from someone else from that network whom I had known)He fell from a cliff
to his death during a trip. He was 26 years old.
Like I said, didn't really know him, but this sucks.
And today was friggin' hot. I hate this weather.
It is my hope things are going to be getting better soon.
So since last night I had this feeling in the right ear, like when you're taking off in a plane, yeah? Didn't really hurt, but didn't feel quite right. Didn't go to a doctor immediately, decided to wait one night to see if it would pass. It hurt mildly during the night, but seemed to pass in the morning and during the day there seemed to be only the clotted feeling. Decided to wait and see if it worsens or gets better prior to going to a doctor.
So during the day I was in the local pharmacy on an unrelated matter. This pharmacy is actually considered the health fund pharmacy, yeah? So while paying for something else, I'm casually asking the pharmacist if they have some drops for the ear they can give without prescription. She replies that most of the stuff they have contains antibiotics, however they do have a "great homeopathic remedy" she can give me.
Mind it, homeopathic. Now if you don't know what homeopathy is, please read this article
. Short summary: homeopathy consists of serial dilutions of an active ingridient in water until you have no molecules left and have just water
(you would need something like 30000000000 times the volume of water in all the earth's oceans to get just one molecule of the ingredient). this pure water is then sold as remedy; this is probably the most expensive water ever. No scientifically rigorous reproducible double blind randomized controlled tests have ever shown any effect of this stuff beyond placebo effect, but for some odd reason many people claim it actually helps them.
Anyway, I tell the pharmacist I don't believe in this stuff. So she goes on and tries to convince me for a good few minutes that homepathy works and I should take the remedy. I say I won't argue with her, pay for the other stuff and go.
Later during the night my ear starts to hurt again. So I go to the hospital. In the hospital I am quickly diagnosed with an ear inflammation
. So the doctor pours some ear drops with antibiotic into my ear, then gives me the prescription for this stuff and says: "don't let the ear come in contact with water. this will worsen the inflammation
See above what that bitch of a pharmacist tried to give me? Water.
I am so pissed off.
By what right do regular pharmacies (and this bitch in particular) to which I'm going to buy regular medicine try to give me stuff which does nothing in the best case, or might actually don harm, like in my case-- as "remedy"-- when its actual effects are unproven?! If I will want an alternative medicine treatment I will go to an alternative medicine outlet. And those too should in the best case have much more regulation than they do now.
And this pharmacist, I am so going to write complaints about her to the health ministry or something. I hope I can get her license revoked.
(That snake oil like homepathic treatments will not be sold in regular pharmacies is probably too much to hope for in this day and age. Sadly I do not have the time, energy or money to bring a representative lawsuit about that like this deserves).
Ah and my ear is better of course. Much better. Like it should, naturally be, when one trusts proper medicine and properly trained medics rather than some idiots and their quackery. Which, as this case illustrates, might sometimes have dire consequences.
Thu, Apr. 2nd, 2009, 01:41 pm
Wed, Apr. 1st, 2009, 04:32 pm
This is public now.
About a week and a half ago I got a call from some other recruitment agency; they offered me the same relocation job to Nigeria
that I had already been offered, as they apparently couldn't find anyone. It seemed funny back in February, but due to the financial situation and lack of other decent propositions recently, I agreed to go to the interview with them.
The news from today is that, having got a call about my acceptance yesterday, I signed the contract with them ("them" being a certain outsourcing company in Israel which has the contract with the actual Nigerian ISP I am about to work at) and so starting from next month and for the next two years I am going to be positioned in Lagos.
Because of this I am organizing a going-away party sometime within the next two or three weeks. I will announce the date separately.
Please reply here if you intend to come.
"This northbound train to Kanyakumari
is last tonight. The platform is to sink
with all the land. And lost beneath the sea
all of its stories. Severed the railway links
of stainless steel. The sleepers between them broken."
I sleep to the beat of wheels. This is what they have spoken
One to another. I wake. The train calls at "Deva"
This is my destination. I disembark. I shake
the feeling off with some effort. I let the mundane overtake.
This place was just around the corner of Tavistock place in London, where I stayed.( cut for picCollapse )