Monday, July 23, 2007

A Present From the IDF

I got a letter from the army today informing me of my permanent discharge from reserve duty. Since my release from my mandatory 3-year service a few years ago I've never been called to reserve duty, but there was always a chance the army would summon me one day. But now, as part of cuts in human resources, the IDF has decided I'm not needed.

Thank you, IDF! Not being needed has never felt better!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Long Live President Peres

Don't die on us, President Shimon Peres. Yes, you're 84 years old, and you'll be 91 by the time your term ends, but hang in there. We don't need idiots like Ruby Rivlin as our head of state, which will surely happen if you push up daisies any time soon. You yourself aren't that great. You should have retired long ago. But at least you're a Nobel laureate and the world sees you as a great statesman.

You'll probably make the presidency interesting again, and this time not for possibly illegal behavior. You're the most active and political person in Israel, but you're in an office that is ceremonial and apolitical. You'll give the governments that serve during your presidency a lot of hell.

Let the fireworks begin!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Unhappy Anniversary

It's the one year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War. Hizbullah still has Israel's soldiers and we still have Ehud Olmert as our Prime Minister, despite the Winograd commission's findings of incompetence. Just great, huh?

So, will we have any war with Syria this year? Two back to back wars are not a good idea (just look at Afghanistan and Iraq). The Middle East needs to wait a while till its next frivolous war.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

You're Fired!

I've been let go from my current university-related source of income. Bummer. I have to find a new job next year or find a scholarship. It's all for the best, though. I don't like what I've been doing and now I might find something that will interest me.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Williams Syndrome

The New York Times Magazine has an article this weekend about a rare condition called Williams Syndrome. It has one thing in common with autism - people with Williams don't understand facial expressions, body language, phrases and context. Everything else is pretty much the opposite of autism. People with Williams are overly friendly and talk a lot.

I have a neighbor who probably has this condition. I always thought she was just retarded, but she fits this description exactly. She talks to me whenever she sees me, and when I'm in a hurry she doesn't notice I don't want to talk. She's like that with everybody, even complete strangers she has never met before.

Now neurologists are using Williams Syndrome to study the role genes play in human behavior and personality. Unlike autism, the exact cause of Williams is known. When DNA separates in two to become sperm or egg cells, instead of having all the 30,000 genes of a regular reproductive cell, about 25 genes go missing, causing the embryo created by that cell to have Williams. Fascinating stuff.