Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stop the [Fruit] Madness

It's Tu B'shvat. One of the customs is eating fruits from the Land of Israel. Of course in the Diaspora, there weren't any fruits at this time of the year, so we had dried fruit. But why on earth are we eating dried fruit here when plenty of fresh fruit is available in any neighborhood supermarket? Not to mention that most of the dried fruit is imported from Turkey. This year, shops went over the top and also offered candied fruit to the hordes of tradition-hungry buyers. And to top the outrage, people are making cakes out of dried and candied fruit!

How about a nice natural fruit salad or shake?

Friday, January 22, 2010

C2H Index

No wonder you don't know what it means, I just made it up. It means Contribution to Humankind Index. There are lots of indices that rank states and people: GDP/capita, credit rating, academic papers and Nobel prize winners, sport achievements and many, many more. So one more can do no harm. All we need to do is associate a weight to any actions states take and calculate a weighted average. Starting an unjust war to conquer a neighbor state would give a state -100 points or some other negative number that takes into account the number of injured, dead and ruined facilities. Polluting rivers, seas, deforestation, violating human rights etc., would also give some negative number. Scientific achievements and humanitarian aid would give a positive number. You got the idea. The criteria need to be set by the UN (in endless debates, what else?) and the results continuously publicized. A true mirror to our world that will ultimately improve it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


How come people's most irritating features become their signature behavior that with time we actually miss? The only answer I could find is that the behavior sneaks into our routine and we get used to it. David Ben Gurion kept eating Paula's 'kuch-much' after she died to remember her

Don't we hate our routine (but sometimes also miss it)? Don't we always wish we could change it and do what we want? Turns out that what we want is just a different routine. Most people can't afford to change their routine completely (except for the courageous or those who won the lottery), but introduce one or two enjoyable activities in your daily routine and watch for Pareto to take effect. 

So easy to advise others...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Old vs. New

We have a gramophone, an analog stereo system (amplifier, radio, double cassette player/recorder), big old loudspeakers, old TV (not even flat screen), old VCR, no DVD. If we want to listen to a CD, we connect a discman to this old stereo system.

NEW: I think we should replace this entire anachronistic 'package' with a new, functional home cinema system. After all, music and movies now mostly come from the net, so all you need is a comm cable and USB connector (for disk-on-keys).

OLD: I am not a gadget person. I don't like learning new buttons.

NEW: I am not a nostalgic type of person. Things that happened in the past are all in a big nebulous timeframe, whether they happened 2, 5 or 10 years ago.

OLD: I have an ancient cell phone which I'll carry until it dies. I won't buy myself a new, technical item while the old one functions well.

NEW: For my own home, I prefer functional, new designs over intricate antique furniture.

OLD: I won't buy any new item just to feel renewal, only if I need it. Don't understand why people need more than a small number of any type of item in their possession. Imelda Marcos's shoe collection comes to mind.

NEW: I am an early adopter of the newest versions of software applications I use.