Showing posts from March, 2011

11 organs, 3 deaths, lives saved

Check out this article from the Jpost:  3 people died last week.  Two from strokes and one from meningitis. We morn their passing and send condolences to their families.  May they find solace and comfort from their friends and family.

All three of these people were ADI organ donor card carriers.  Their families agreed upon their deaths to donate their organs to those in need.  Within a 24 hour period, 11 organs were transplanted, four kidneys, a heart, three lungs, and three livers.

We give thanks to those who dies and provided the living with another chance at life.  May those living remember these selfless acts and live accordingly.

The world can be a good place or a bad place.  A lot depends on how you look at it.

In memory of a fellow student

When I was finishing my Masters degree, I needed to pass the Hebrew Language requirement at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  Go figure.  After failing the exemption test, I took the highest level of ulpan and worked very hard for one semester to improve my language skills.   I recall that we had a non-jewish student who was studying hebrew in order to translate the bible for natives in the Congo.  He was a really nice guy, but rather out of sync with the rest of us immigrants.

Last week on Wednesday, a bomb blew up near a busy bus stop in Jerusalem.  Mary Gardner was another student like my friend from ulpan.  She was studying hebrew in order to translate the bible.  I never met Mary, but I think I would have enjoyed talking to her.  She was a school teacher from Scotland and had spent the last 20 years traveling around the world teaching and working to Togo.  She went to Jerusalem to learn hebrew and lost her life to a random act of terrorism.

You can learn more about Mary from

Podcast and my hometown

I'm on a roll.  The latest Escape Pod story centers on my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  I havn't lived in Cleveland for almost 30 years, but its still home.  I suffer gladly the losing ways of all my hometown sports teams and glory in their ineptitude.  Even that guy who left just proved how wonderfully mediocre our teams really are.

The latest story is called On a clear day you can see all the way to conspiracy by Desmond Warzel.  Frankly, I didn't enjoy the story line.  Its cute, but I've seen better.  On the other hand, Terry Pratchet said that people read newspapers because they hope to see their own name, their friends names or their own neighborhoods inscribed on paper for all to see.   That's why I liked this story.

Its all about Cleveland landmarks, driving to work and seeing the lake.  The local radio announcer is perfect, just like I remembered.   Nasty, funny and smooth.  Its a taste that I savor, even if the plot line is (as I said), not that great.


podcasts and growth

Whenever I get into the car for a drive of more than 30 minutes, I try to find something good on the radio, ipod (equivalent) or podcast.  One of my most rewarding finds are two podcasts: EscapePod and PodCastle.  They are part of the same group, serving high quality short audio fiction.  EscapePod is all about science fiction, while PodCastle is on the fantasy side.  The stories are usually interesting and sometimes not for kids (although they do provide warnings up front).

This week, I listened to a story on PodCastle called State Change by Ken Liu.  I wasn't sure what to expect and the beginning started off rather slow.  The premise is that in the world of the story, people are born with physical objects that represent their souls.  According to the story, Edna Vincent Milay's soul was a candle that she literally burned at both end to bring light and fire to her life.

The story is about how people view their souls.  In that world, the physical soul can be used up, sometimes…

The shape of things to come?

The weekend offers a taste of things to come.  Empty nesting is when the kids leave home and the family becomes smaller.  My wife is working this weekend, some of my kids are home and others are out.  We are eating both meals out, with only four of us at each meal.  Change is part of our lives and this too shall pass, but I can see that our house is changing.

From a food perspective, We are bringing dessert for dinner tonight. My son made a magic chocolate cake with lemon icing.  Its looks wonderful and I'm sure will taste great.

For lunch, I'm making chicken and rice using the basic recipe from "Cooking for Engineers".  We have lots of frozen bread and a head of cabbage that has been sitting in the fridge for two weeks, so I'm making stuffing.  Instead of the apples, I'm using pears because that is what I have on hand.

Have a great weekend,