Friday, February 12, 1999

Life in the Styx, vol. VI, no. 16 (Old Styx)

Yo Styx,

  1. Mazel Tovs
  2. Doctor Doctor
  3. Parsha Page
  4. TV-Themes
  5. Thimk Award
  6. Impeachment
  7. King o'Jordan
  8. Israeli Politics


1. Mazel Tov to [names redacted] on the birth of a son, their second, on Tuesday night, February 9th. Name suggestions will be according to the rapidly approaching holiday of Purim (duck!) and the surrounding haftarot:
  • 1. Shekel
  • 2. Hodesh
  • 3. Parah (my favorite)
  • 4. Zakhor

2-4 [names redacted]

5. Mazel Tov to my brother, [name redacted] who successfully defended his thesis on Tuesday, Feb. 9. See report below.

6. Mazel Tov to Marisa Kantor Stark '95 on being nominated for a 1998 National Jewish Book Award! Hers was one of 5 books that were nominated, along with such pushover competition like Philip Roth and Isaac Bashevis Singer (who's evidently a hard man to keep dead). The winners will be announced on Feb. 22, but it certainly is an amazing recognition for someone's first novel (which was Marisa's senior thesis at Princeton).


As many of you know, my brother has been slaving away for years in Rockefeller University on the Ph.D. leg of his kamikaze MD-Ph.D. Well, after 4.5 years, and many moles, of work he has not only finished writing a 250 page thesis but on Tuesday he successfully gave an hour-long "thesis talk" to the Rockefeller community, and then proceeded to pass his oral defense. While he will be hooded in June, he is (in our eyes at least) a Doctor. He returns to Med school on the 22nd.

While I was sitting in the funky "thunder"-dome auditorium (those of you who've driven past 67th & York, or been near Sloan Kettering, know which dome I mean), listening to all these strange big words coming out of his mouth, I was struck by a few random thoughts. First of all, his work (in somethingorother biochemistry) required him to create many mutants and I must admit that any job which allows you free reign to create mutants is a good job.

However, I was only able to understand about 2 minutes of the talk. My brother had learned the primary rule of quality academia: you must introduce your paper/talk by explaining why your work is relevant. So, as far as I could tell, besides being heavily into mutants, his work was about how the organelles within human cells communicate both in and outside the cell. The rest is commentary.

But all the commentary was *fact* That's another advantage he has (besides the mutant thang) -- he's dealing entirely with fact while we anthropologist-rabbi-cultural-critic-social philosophers mainly try to carve out pretty lies from the ugly.

Yet, sitting there smiling blankly in my auditorium seat while the rest of the audience seemed to be grokking the talk, I realized that: this talk is 100% fact and, Gd love 'em, I couldn't care less.


Well, after hours of fiddling, I am ready to present the newest addition to my webpage, the Parsha section. Soon, I hope to present my own Torah stuff, but now primarily I'm using the site to organize all the decent Torah sources that I've accumulated and accrued on the net. There are 7 Torah sources featured: Menachem Leibtag, Yeshivat Har Etzion, Yitz Etshalom, Eitan Mayer, Rav J.D.B. Soloveitchik, Nechama Leibowitz, and The Judaic Seminar. Only Yitro and Mishpatim have any Torah on them (and, just noticing now -- I'm in Potomac while writing this -- the page looks very different on this machine than on my computer at home, grrr).

[2013 Update: this eventually became my famous parsha page on a separate web-address]


While surfing for Torah, I came across many good pages that I hope to use to update my linkpage (that's the next project). One category o'treasure are many pages of sound & music resources of theme songs for TV Shows. This is, of course, Gen-X heaven. There are so many shows where the theme song had more drama and narrative than the entire series (e.g. The A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, The Fall Guy, Knight Rider). My favorite is still "The Six Million Dollar Man." You must hear it again.

Check out the best source (you'll need the right software):


I routinely give the "thimk" award to the person who best misspells my name. I can't reveal the name of this year's winner (since it would be loshon hara) but I recently received a letter addressed to "Joel Bypress"


While I have nothing to say just now about the acquittal in the Senate, I will refer ya'll to today's JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) report (Fri, Feb 12):

"All 11 Jewish members of the U.S. Senate voted to acquit President Clinton on both articles of impeachment. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), the only Jewish Republican, joined with the 10 Jewish Democratic senators in rejecting the perjury and obstruction of justice charges brought by the House of Representatives."
10%+ of the senate is Jewish?! That's a better ratio than at Princeton!


So, hey, King Hussein is dead. According to all news reports, Hussein was a great peacemaker and a wonderful guy who loved puppies and nice things. I wonder how the parents and children of those who were killed in the Six Day War (and other Jordan fostered military action) feel about the great peacemaker? I wonder how the Palestinians feel about the butcher of Black September? I wonder how soon we forget that King Hussein was chief cheerleader of Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. Never forget those who murdered Jews with smiles on their faces; never.

But I will point out one conspiracy issue that has been overlooked in the media. Notice how *Michael* Jordan stepped down from basketball at the same time that King o'Jordan steps down from the throne. Think about it!


A very quick point. I was waiting and finally Labor is the first to whip out the ol' Nazi epithet against Likud, and in record time!

III. Labor Links PM's Election Slogan to Nazi Era
(IsraelWire-2/2-08:00 -IST) Members of the Labor opposition party have attacked the Likud's new election campaign slogan, "a strong leader for a strong people" drew comparisons to Nazi propaganda. "The sound of 'a strong leader, a strong people' is coming directly from he conceptual framework of the Third Reich of 50 to 60 years ago," Labor MK Avraham Burg stated in an interview with the Reuters News Agency. [...]
Anyway, Shabbas is way too close to continue. Later.

Styx :]