Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance. You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver. You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two Parades

Today Jerusalem saw a Gay Pride Parade, and a "stroller parade". The former, of course, promoted a form of sexuality which would end the human race without assisted reproductive technology, while the latter bemoaned how expensive it is to raise kids in Israel -- the unspoken corollary being that if children were more affordable in our society we would probably have more of them. Certainly a large proportion of the couples pushing strollers, being heterosexuals, would like more children.

The juxtaposition of these two "causes" both amuses and fascinates me. The government, you know, actively supports fertility treatment, and not just for classically heterosexual married couples. Single women, and lesbians can have subsidized treatment, and male homosexuals can find surrogate mothers if they wish. It undoubtedly spends more money on the subsidies than on assisting working mothers who need child care but can't afford it.

Chelm, anyone?

Just Another Gazan Fun Day

This is a very bizarre story. Not because Gazan children might enter the Guinness Book of Records [gee whiz!] but because the organization which has sponsored the event was trashed in protest, apparently. I can't really see the connection between setting such a record and statehood, but I guess the Palestinians think this is how civilized countries behave all the time.

There are times when I think the Palestinians really don't know what they are doing, and times when I think they know all too well what they are doing. In this case, it's biting the hand that feeds them.

And this is what they consider normalcy?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mike Smith
Las Vegas Sun
Jul 27, 2011

This is going to be a weird autumn and winter, between the NFL which hasn't had its usual warm-up, and global warming, which needs to cool off. We haven't had a decent winter in Israel since 1992 -- I mean one in which I had to actually wear a coat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The clinic telephone rings.

"Hello, my name is blah-blah and I came to the emergency clinic yesterday because I had sex with my boyfriend two weeks ago and I wanted to know if I'm pregnant. The doctor sent me for a blood test but I don't understand the results".

So far, nothing out of the ordinary. I'm not allowed to give results over the phone, but I can explain them if the patient has gotten them off the internet. It is a bit tricky, because the norms are given immediately below the actual result, and [1], you'd be amazed how many Israeli women don't understand the meaning of a decimal point ["but it says 0.59, isn't that 59?"], and [2] they insist on reading me the normal values and arguing that it does or does not mean they are pregnant [less than 3 international units of human gonadotropin is "negative" for pregnancy; more than 25 means 100% definitely pregnant]

I walk her through the results ["Look for the line which reads HCG QUANT., etc"], which usually takes a few minutes as most Israelis have trouble with the Latin alphabet, especially with abbreviations. Finally she announces that the result is "Three". I ask her how late her period is. She tells me it isn't. I explain that it therefore is too early to have a definitive result and she needs to repeat the test, if she doesn't get her period, in a week or so. She's not exactly happy to hear this: she doesn't like getting stuck for a blood sample [who does?]

"Can't the lab use the blood I've already given?" she asks, at which point I realize that she thinks if the sample "cooks" longer, she'll get a positive result. Sadly, I have to inform her that it doesn't work that way. "Why not?" she asks, and frankly, I can't think of a really good way to answer her. There is a kind of mad logic here -- it IS the blood of a woman who is possibly already pregnant, the sample simply hasn't "matured" enough, like a good wine which improves with age.