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Tag: Tech (page 2 of 4)

Live Earth – The Aftermath

The concerts attracted audiences from all over the globe, with live music in major world cities ranging from Sydney Australia to New York. Some of planet’s most well known entertainers took part, including Black Eyed Pea, Madonna, Phil Collins, Police, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dog, and more. Even Israel had its own version in central Tel Aviv, playing ironically only meters from the spot where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in November, 1995. The message was clear enough, as expressed in a taped message by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore: the world is getting hotter due to Mankind’s abuse of the environment; and as a result, severe and even drastic changes are already occurring to the earth’s climate – changes that could prove fatal to many of our planet’s inhabitants in the coming years.

And in addition to the live concerts, the events were watched on T.V. the world over by at least 2 billion souls.

Little Israel, with a population of over seven million, is getting its share of the effects of global warming, the consequences of which were being shown to both the concert attendees at Rabin Square as well as to people sitting at home. Some of what is bringing on these changes in Israel, and the end result, including rising temperatures and coastal sea levels were also talked about by Channel 10 media personalities, including the fact that most of the country’s fresh water supplies, including the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee are heavily polluted; and that high air pollution levels in major cites result in the death of at least 600 people annually. With more than 1,000,000 cars on the country’s roads, at least 60% of them are leased vehicles given to employees of high tech and other companies. This fact alone, auto exhaust fumes, is responsible for 92% of the country’s air pollution problems.

Israel’s mounting problem with solid waste disposal, including hazardous industrial chemicals and other compounds was also mentioned, though not covered enough, considering the country’s problem with both ground and air pollution.

So now, just a few days later, have any changes occurred since Live Earth that can be spoken of in real terms, since the music ended? After the concerts, most people rode home in either their own cars or in public transport conveyances, some of which are also major contributors to air pollution. Ramat Hovav, Israel’s frequently talked about industrial waste disposal site, is likely to remain polluting the country’s entire southern regions for years – if not generations – to come. And the country’s ground water aquifer is becoming harder and harder to purify as more and more surface pollutants continue to contaminate it.

Madonna, one of the London concert’s guest performers and a champion of world social and environmental issues, made a very important comment by hoping that people attending the concerts will not only listen to the music but get the message of what needs to be done to prevent the end results of global warming. Many people say that the consequences of environmental pollution will eventually be far more serious to Israelis that any security problem short of outright nuclear war.

And so, people still clog the highways with their “lease-mobiles”, still throw their rubbish on the country’s beaches and in the national parks, and literally thousands of plastic bottles and other similar non-biodegradable items are seen lying forlornly everywhere. For those who aren’t aware, those plastic water and soft drink bottles are estimated to take at least 800 years to disintegrate; and the polymer composition of the plastic is very carcinogenic.

Three days later and nothing seems to have changed. – so far anyway. The future of global warming to inhabitants of this region is one in which rising sea levels may inundate parts of Tel Aviv and other coastal cities, and surface summertime temperatures may be similar to those presently in places like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. One can only wonder what the climate in those places will be like a mere 50 years from now.

Live Earth; save the planet. We all have a lot to do in order to make this dream become reality. We all live on an island we cannot leave. And unless we make a greater effort to reverse the environmental problems we all face, the future may not be very pleasant for any of us. So, make the effort and dedicate one day a week as a car-less day; and try to conserve both energy and water supplies, as well as pick up and dispose of trash more properly. Wash dishes by hand and hang out clothing to dry in our abundant sunshine. And take just one less shower per week.

It’s our world, so let’s improve it!

Vanunu Back In Prison

Mordechai VanunuVanunu is back in prison this morning for 6 months after he repeatedly disregarded warnings and the terms of his release. After spending 16 years in prison and getting released in 2004, Vanunu was giving foreign journalists interviews and contacting people over the Internet…Out of the 16 years he spent in prison, 11 years were in solitary confinement. He is now unable to leave Israel and I am wondering about the value of keeping here.

This guy is a technician and honestly what he has to offer today is all available on the Internet. It seems to me like one of these cases where no one in government is actually taking a hard look at this from a different angle. The more energy and resources that are poured into keeping Vanunu down the more he flourishes. Leaving him alone would actually render him useless and as time goes by his value as news would diminish.

Maybe he’ll move to Minnesota…

“Flagging Patriotism” on Israel’s 59th?

Independence Day 2007
Less than three days before Israel’s 59th independence anniversary, we finally put some flags out on our balcony, courtesy of a local newspaper. In many neighborhoods there appears to be a marked absence of flags and banners that are usually hung out in the days preceding Israel’s annual national holiday; and from recent articles and news commentaries, this ‘phenomena’ seems to be a nation-wide reality.

More than eight months following the end of last summer’s war in Lebanon, and with an atmosphere rife with political controversy and scandal, it’s no wonder that fewer symbols of national pride are being displayed by a public that is becoming more and more disillusioned with what is transpiring – especially among the country’s leadership. To give you an idea about what has brought all of this on, a quick survey highlight the following problems that Israelis presently have to deal with:

1. The President of the State has been indicted for charges of rape and other forms of sexual misconduct.

2. The Prime Minister is under investigation for his handling of the war, as well as a number of financial dealings involving properties and other investments.

3. The Defense Minister, chosen for a position he was completely unqualified for, is under fire and many have called for his resignation.

4. The Finance Minister is now under increasing investigation for allegations of both Grand Theft and fraud, with “clarion calls” for his dismissal.

5. More and more Israelis, especially aged ones (particularly Holocaust survivors) are living under the poverty line and cannot even buy enough food to survive. This also includes one in every four Israeli children.

6. The three Israeli captive soldiers are still unaccounted for, and the present government appears unwilling or incapable of securing their release.

7. It was revealed this weekend that emigration (Yeridah) is now exceeding immigration (Aliyah) for the first time in over twenty years. And this is despite an increase in new immigrants (Olim) from France and other European countries.

Need one say more…..

It’s not the first time that following a major military conflict that feelings of dismay and lack of patriotism have been evident in the Jewish State. What makes this year’s phenomena even more striking however, are the other problems that go along with the aftermath of the Lebanon II war.

Israel’s growing economic affluence, for some, that is, largely brought on by the “get rich quick” attitudes inspired by the technological boom, has given many people the economic freedom and mobility that enables them to relocate their entire business venture by simply packing their ‘laptop’ into a suitcase and boarding an international flight to American cities like Boston or Santa Clara California. Zionistic calls to ‘settle the land’ are becoming fewer and fewer, particularly following the mass disengagement from settlements in Gaza and planned ‘resettlements’ from large sections of the West Bank.

Though many of the ‘Yordim’ or emigrants are ones who came to Israel from Russia and other former Soviet Union republics, they as a whole are intelligent, highly educated people, whose skills are very much needed to ensure Israel’s technological edge over her adversaries. With countries like Iran on the verge of becoming nuclear powers, this ‘brain drain’ is even more critical, and could even be fatal in next few years.

We must therefore find ways to correct the many problems facing our country; and this can well begin with coming together as a nation and showing a bit more patriotism – even if it is only the placing of flags on our cars and on our balconies.

We don’t have another country.

WhiteSmoke Writing Software

WhiteSmoke Writing Software

WhiteSmoke develops writing software. In addition to the traditional English grammar, spelling, and punctuation checks found in word processors, WhiteSmoke provides an enrichment feature that suggests context-based additions to users’ texts, plus an online dictionary that includes translations and a thesaurus. The patented technology stimulates the human thought process when it reads, classifies, and stores millions of English texts.

The company developed this artificial intelligence tool that is able to scan databases from news sites such as CNN and The New York Times, and studies documents from Harvard and Yale on an ongoing basis to learn how English sentences are used real-time in business, medicine and every-day life.

When a user activates WhiteSmoke software he sends text to the server, which then parses the text and returns it to the user with relevant choices for text enrichment. WhiteSmoke software is compatible with all applications; the user’s text is automatically sent to the WhiteSmoke server upon activation. An OEM version also exists, consisting of a set of client and server tools that enable websites and writing platforms to provide users access to WhiteSmoke.

WhiteSmoke has been in business for three years. Notable investors include Shlomo Touboul, evolution VC, and Yair Goldfinger, a founder of online chat giant ICQ.

Why did a normally docile ‘Asian Man’ decide to become a mass killer?

The final body count still isn’t in yet as the normally quiet Virginia Poly Technical University, and Americans at large are still reeling from Monday’s mass shootings which have left at least 32 people dead and another 29 injured – some critically.

Cho Seung Hai The carnage began at 7:15 am Monday, EDT, when a lone gunman shot and killed 2 students at a dormitory on one part of this Shenandoah Valley campus, located more than 200 miles from Washington D.C. Though belatedly told to keep inside and away from windows, many students did not heed these advisories, and just two hours later, the real blood bath began when the killer, 23 year old Cho Seung Hai, a South Korean national and Virginia Tech English Major, suddenly began to open fire on students at another part of this sprawling campus of more than 25,000, virtually lining up people and shooting them in cold blood.

The mayhem which resulted, and in which the killer himself also died, has left an entire nation stunned, and became breaking news all over the world. Witnesses said that the gunman was looking for a former girl friend, and seemed to know where to be – and when. The killings are said to be the worst school shooting incident ever in America and many are comparing it with the shootings at Columbine Colorado High School, nearly eight years ago, when more than 12 students and teachers were killed.

While Columbine may have been the most recent tragedy of its kind before the V. Tech massacre, it was still not as bad as one which occurred on August 1, 1966, when a young man named Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the University of Texas Clock Tower in the City of Austin, and there, armed with a high powered rifle, killed more than 15 students and teachers in a four hour shooting rampage. Whitman, who had earlier killed both his mother and grandmother, had been suffering from a brain tumor which pathologists believe caused him to commit mass murder. His killing spree finally came to an end when Texas law enforcement officers managed to reach the top of the tower and end Whitman’s rampage by shooting him to death. Whitman, a former Eagle Scout, never had the opportunity to explain why he did what he did; and all law enforcement officials could do was speculate what caused him to kill not only his immediate family but so many others as well.

With yet another horrible shooting incident transpiring, this time even more deadly, law enforcement authorities and educational administrators in the sleepy college town of Blacksburg Virginia, will be trying to determine how such an incident could have happened; and on a scale rivaling some of the worst recent Baghdad terror attacks.

Gun control advocates will definitely have good points to say in regards to easy availability of semi-automatic weapons and ammunition, which can be readily purchased at gun shops and sporting goods stores; often without the need for a police permit. That a long gunman could come onto to a school campus armed to the teeth with an “ungodly amount of ammunition”, as described by one witness, is frightening in it self. Issues such as the availability of firearms and lack of proper security at educational institutions are areas that should be addressed and dealt with as quickly as possible.

Whatever measures that might be taken, however, won’t bring back the scores of dead, many of them young undergraduate students, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The trauma won’t go away so quickly either; and for many people, especially the parents of the dead students, their lives will be changed forever.

Americans now mourn the loss of so many innocent people, whose lives have been snuffed out by a killer who seemed to have no regard to human life. Are incidents such as this an omen for the future, as more and more violence takes place in American society? Can anything be done to stop these kinds of tragedies from occurring? Hopefully yes.

Yedda Gets 2.5 Million From Genesis

YeddaYedaa a Web 2.0 peer to peer based search community allows people to ask questions and get answers from the relevant people in the field. The company just raised $2.5 Milion from Genesis Partners. I tried it out and you can see what they offer for bloggers below:

Check out this interesting question on Yedda

Yedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.Something in my eyeToday, I struggled for hours to remove some dirt out of my eye. It was very irritating. Any techniques on ow to remove it fast and easy?

Topics:  ,

Asked by Nicole on December 25, 2006

View the entire discussion on YeddaYedda - People.Sharing.Knowledge.

Pontis Gets Another $15 M

Pontis Raises $15 MillionMazal Tov to Pontis. The company raised an additional $15 Million lead by Sequoia Capital. The guys at Pontis have been working hard and its good to see they got this second round. The initial seed round was $9.2 Million. The company developed the technology that allows real time marketing campaign management over cellular, cable and other communication networks.
Here’s hoping that now that they have the money they’ll get their website done properly and maybe invest a little in their online brand (could help sales guys …..)

🙂

Prime Time Animation

Another Israeli finalist at the aniBOOM Animation Competition, Tom Dor. His entry is in the Funny category. A magical box falls from the sky and disturb the peaceful lives of two prehistoric brothers. A story about human nature and its reaction to technology.

The Ultimate Sufganiya Guide

Hanukkah SufganiyaEvery Hanukkah I go on a search for the ultimate Sufganiya. This year so far this is the official winner. The Sufganiya, basically a jelly donut on steroids, needs to have very specific qualities to be a contender. The dough has to be soft and puffy not chewy and gummy (these are all technical terms). The Jam needs to be Strawberry falvoured, and should be well injected and abundent (notice the injection hole). The jam itself has to be of good stock with bits of fruit in it (none of that exotic butterscotch crap).

Coloring is key. The Sufganiya has to be just the right golden Brown with a lighter girdle right around the center (AKA “The Unfryed Zone“). The Sufganiya connoisseur will also notice the size, this one in the picture is a full size Sufganiya weighing in at a respectable 80 grams – NOT a mini. This size requirement is well planned and is just the right size to go along with a good cup of coffee meant not to end before you even get half way through the cup.

Finally the powdered sugar – make sure there is just the right amount of powdered sugar on the top, not too little and not too much which may mean there is something to hide.

This year I came across some Sufganiyot that were well below standard and in some cases were bordering on the criminal. I actually found some that were fake donuts. They had some jam marking on the top but when you bit into them there was nothing there. Sacrilegious.

In Israel this year we are going to consume 18,000,000 of these suckers, spending an estimated 50 Million Shekels ($12 Million). The army will be providing 450,000 donuts to personnel. The average Israeli will eat 3-4 Sufganiyot during the 8 days of Hanukkah. A Sufganiya is between 2.5 – 8 Shekel (the one in the picture was 4) and despite an increase in production costs the price of the Sufganiya has not increased this year.

Chag Samech 🙂

Sportingo – Sports Social Network and Interactive News

Sportingo - Sports Social Network and Interactive NewsI came across this new Israeli Web2.0 startup that presents user content, articles, sports data and pictures for sports fans, Sportingo. The site is still in Beta and offers a new niche source of information for sports fans by sports fans, sort of a Sports social network with interactive news. The company founded target=”_blank”by Tal Barnoach and Ze’ev Rozov, veterans of the high tech industry, and uses a platform inspired by OhMyNews and Scoop was launched September 2006.

The editors for the site make sure grammar is corrected, make the headlines and approve the content on the site. The site makes use of Meta data and search engine optimization techniques that ensure it has a high rate of absorption in search engines. Although the site has been online for a relatively short time it already boasts over 9,750 indexed pages in Google and seems to be headed for greatness.

Using user generated content and interaction allows for an interactive environment that determines the ranking and popularity of news items and posts. The site does not provide a betting facility and the revenue model is based on advertising.

Oops – Sorry!

Two misguided IDF artillery shells, resulting in the deaths of 19 Palestinian civilians (many of them children) has again raised public outcry against Israel’s recent military operations in the Beit Haoun area of northern Gaza. Calling the occurrence a “technical failure”, Israeli P.M Ehud Olmert announced that he is “greatly disturbed” by this tragedy; and that he is willing to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “anywhere, anytime” to try to bring calm to a situation that has almost deteriorated to the point of no-return.

The incident occurred on Wednesday when Israeli artillery fire was supposedly directed at a location where Palestinian militants were hiding. These men were alleged to be responsible for a new wave of Kassam rocket attacks against Israeli towns and settlements located near the borders with Gaza, resulting in a new IDF incursion called Operation Fall Business. Palestinian fury was so rampant that Hamas and other Palestinian spokesmen referred to Israelis aa ‘animals’ and vowed to renew widespread suicide terror attacks not only against Israelis, but against Americans as well (due to America’s close alliance with Israel). “We shall erase Israel from the face of the earth” one Hamas spokesperson was quoted as saying. Several Palestinian militants were also killed in continued targeted assassinations, including many responsible for launching the home-made Kassams at towns such as Sderot in southern Israel.

Abbas has not yet responded to Olmert’s offer as his countrymen are not willing now to enter into any type of negations with their sworn enemies; and this includes deals to release prisoners. This incident brings to mind other incidents involving Israeli bombings in both Gaza and during the recent conflict in Lebanon, where the Israeli military has been blamed for the deaths of either Palestinian or Lebanese civilians. While these events are tragic enough, it should be noted that it has never been Israel’s deliberate intention to put civilians in harm’s way. The Palestinians’ castigating Israelis as ‘animals’ is a bit odd considering various acts they have been involved in against Israeli civilians; whether these acts have been on buses and other forms of public transport, in restaurants, shopping malls, and other public places; as well as during religious events such as Passover Seders. To denounce Israelis in this manner also fails to note events such as Palestinian shooting attacks on Jewish settlements, where women and children were shot to death at point-blank range; and numerous attacks on Israelis in automobiles, including the slaughter of an entire family, the Kutiels, less than three years back.

Abbas should be happy to meet with his Israeli counterpart. His Palestinian Authority is on the verge of disintegration, and the people are nearing starvation due to the P.A,’s ruined economy. The Israeli Prime Minister said that he has many proposals to present to Abbas concerning assistance to the Palestinians, as well as to putting an end to the cycle of violence that has spiraled out of control to the point that even the Palestinians are now fighting each other. Even Palestinian women are becoming more militant as they chant “martyrs by the millions – we are going to Al-Quds (Jerusalem)!”

With Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran watching these events with even more animosity, the main concern now is what will happen next.

photo: www.haaretz.co.il

Paper Chase: 2006/7 Academic Year Begins

Israel’s 2006/7 academic year began officially October 22, with a number of challenges facing the country’s 254,000 students enrolled in the country’s state universities and private colleges.
Facing rising tuition costs and related problems a as result of last summers 34 day military conflict, many students will find it even harder to achieve that cherished “Toar” (Degree) that may make the difference over entering a good career path. Academic institutions in Israel’s northern cities will commence their academic year even later, due to students in ones like the Technion and Haifa University having end of term examinations put on hold last summer due to the war.

Bar Ilan UniversityOther difficulties facing this year’s academic programs include fewer course subjects (due largely to administrative cut-backs), and possibilities of shortage of supplies and laboratory equipment, also a result in severe government budget reductions over the past 5 years amounting to over 1.2 billion New Shekels. Due to the Lebanon war, the government has yet to transfer a sum of N.S. 140 million to the country’s academic institutions.

Other factors also will affect the demographic student ‘mix’ in the countries institutions of higher learning; one of these being the growing disparity between students of European and North American backgrounds and those from African and Asian origins. Only 26% of all matriculating students from North African or “Mizrachi” (eastern) backgrounds go on to study in a college or university, compared to 48% of those from Western backgrounds. While women outnumber men in undergraduate and higher degree programs, 55% and 56% respectively; in the higher academic degree staff positions, there are still fewer women than men.

In a public university, for those living in dormitories, annual expenses including tuition, runs about N.S. 32,500. With the announced tuition increases, these expenses will rise considerably, making the cost of achieving an academic Degree even more difficult for many students, especially those who work part time to help pay annual costs. Private colleges, such as the Managerial College, results in annual tuition alone costing more than N.S. 26,000. This fee does not include ‘extras’ such as supplies and fees for taking various examinations.

Many academics are also studying abroad, especially for MBA’s and other advanced degrees; with more than 3,000 Israelis holding academic positions in American colleges and Universities. While the cost of obtaining an advanced degree in an American university can cost an average of $50 – 60,000 per academic year; the prestige of having such a degree from a university such as Harvard, NYU, UCLA, etc., can mean much higher incomes and career opportunities.

Popular study curriculums include Business Administration (1,700 enrollees in Hebrew University), economics (1,946 in Univ. Tel Aviv), and Law (1,671 in Univ. Tel Aviv). Even in Israel, the total cost of obtaining an advanced degree can run more than $30,000, making the ‘paper chase’ for degrees such as an MBA something for wealthier students only, with stipends received for working in University offered positions paying little more than minimum wage amounts.

Videogames: Israel’s New High Tech Challenge

At a recent conference in Jerusalem, a noted American video entertainment company head reviewed the future potential for Israeli success in the development and marketing of a new generation of video gaming, now a world-wide $25 billion business. Speaking before a group of more than 200 young software company representatives, Jesse Sutton, CEO of the New Jersey based Majesco Entertainment Co. said that a new generation of home video games will change the entire market, by making them more attractive to virtually all people “from 8 to 80”, and not just a limited group of mostly young male ‘game jockeys’.

Sutton, an Orthodox Jew living in the Flatbush district of Brooklyn, said that Israel is already a leader in software design products for internet security, biotech, and medical devices; and that programmers and other computer professionals are “overflowing with creativity”. The seminar, organized by the Israel branch of International Game Developers Association in conjunction with Jerusalem Joint Venture Partners, invited Sutton, whose company sells video game products playable on most popular gaming devices, including Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance and GameCube, Sony’s Play Station 2, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

Sutton’s company being publicly traded, has sometimes resulted in his having to consult religious authorities concerning the ‘content’ of some gaming programs to exclude those with too much sex or violence. “Being Orthodox, I have my limits” he added.

FuntactixMaking the games more ‘virtual’ and easier to play will entice a much larger user audiences, Yaron Laitenberg of the Funtactix company added, citing the example of improved resolution, game details and artificial intelligence which will make game players feel that they are actually in a movie. Games will be used more by people in all types of settings, including using hand-held devices and cell phones while waiting for office appointments, public transport, and other settings; playing with other people all over the world, via the internet.

Game sales in the USA have already surpassed sales of cinema tickets, due to new game programs and user possibilities. Ilan Grazier, Laitenberg’s partner at Funtactix, added that games will become a “new social experience”.

The Jerusalem Joint Venture Partners have already set up a computerized animation company which now has over 105,000 ‘free’ subscribers world-wide and 10,000 paying members.

Ease of playing and playing instruction are two very important factors, the participants added, as games will have to be able to be played with one thumb and without an instruction manual, and not requiring deep thinking. “Even political leaders will be able to enjoy using these game programs”, they added jokingly.

End of the Israeli Macho

Machismo in Israel (Hat Tip: Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times)

A recent New York Times article, dealing with the sexual misconduct affairs of Israel President Moshe Katsav, questions whether this and other publicized sexual misconduct and harassment cases involving Israel generals and political leaders marks the end of the stereotyped “macho” image of Israeli men. Referring back to former years, when men such as Moshe Dayan were known womanizers and even international sex symbols, the more recent scandals and court cases involving Israeli male personalities may mean that the cliché of the macho image may fast becoming history in present day Israeli society.

Delving into the history of modern day Zionism, in which Jewish “Hatluzim”, or pioneers, tamed a harsh and disease ridden land while constantly fighting off hordes of Arabs no longer appears to be the character of the modern Israeli male. While the colorful Dayan was able to carry on his activities without undue controversy, and male actors such as Uri Zohar and Yehuda Barkan displayed images of Israeli playboys and beach boys in their movies, the present legal embroilments of several Israeli male personalities have resulted in this ‘trait’ becoming more of a hindrance than an attribute.

A law passed in 1998 now makes sexual advancements and harassment by men a crime, with women able to come forward to take their cases to court against employers, army superiors, and others. The case of former defense minister and transportation minister Yitzhak Mordechai, which occurred around the time this new law (based of a similar U.S. law) was passed, resulted in his leaving political life and public disgrace; as well as being divorced by his wife, Kochi, who herself may have been one of his “victims”.

With the present sex scandals of both Moshe Katsav and former justice minister Haim Ramon being not only splattered across the front pages of newspapers both in and outside of Israel, ‘The Times’ article has drawn it’s own conclusions on the future image of the Israeli male.

Sex scandals are not the only reason why this phenomena has come about, as the country has undergone substantial changes since the days of Uri Zohar and of comedy flicks such as “Lemon Popsicle”, portraying the sexual antics of three Israeli male teenagers. Fewer young men seek careers in the military and in other macho-type occupations which were popular years back. More and more men, and women, are seeking professional or technological based careers; and instead of meeting on Friday afternoons to play “cadur-regel” (football), these guys may be more inclined to be surfing the Internet. In fact, while being an Egged bus driver was an ideal career about 30 years ago, being a computer software guru is now much more popular.

For those Israelis who still long for the nostalgia of the “good old days”, however; they can probably access onto some of Uri and Yehuda’s old movies via YouTube or other film-sharing websites.

Alice in Job Hunt Land (Part 5)

Read part one, two, three and four of this series.

Alice in Job Hunt Land
(Photograph: Mark Seliger)

Wanted: young woman (that’s me), nice-looking (I’d like to think so), liberal (sure, but…?), for 2 hours’ work, 4 times a week. Job description: sex. Oh my.

I’m looking on-line for job openings and keep seeing these interesting ads. It makes me wonder about the lonely, potentially insane, people out there. But it also makes me wonder about professions and about working life in general. How does one choose his profession, or perhaps – how does one find himself in a certain profession? And what is the criterion for a profession to be deemed prestigious?

Having Jewish moms or not, we’re not all lawyers and physicians. Nor do we all want to be. Never mind the fact that although people in both professions can become extremely successful in these trades, a lot of others find themselves unemployed or barely making a living. But now I’m just thinking of the interesting combination of natural inclination and aptitude that leads us to our career choices. IQ level is definitely another important factor, or perhaps even a necessary qualification, as are self-confidence and the possession of some “hutzpe.” And we should not forget good connections with the right people, of course.
But, back to natural inclination. Let’s say that a person who’s good at figures would ideally use this talent and work in a finance/business-related profession; a man of words – in writing, editing, PR, etc.; a technical know-how – computers, industry, manual crafts. What about a person whose natural gift lies in their genes, literally? I just wonder why models are much less valued than, for example, business managers. They may lead a more glamorous lives and get a lot of attention, but they are not valued and end up only envied or coveted.

It’s a cheap trick, I know, the way I’m leading you on in this direction, but, the lines between good and bad, decent and indecent are so blurry… In any case, here’s my real question: what about the “old trade,” or even surrogate treatments? How different is using your body and natural gifts to help and please others, from using your mind and soul to that same end, when, say, editing other people’s writing, or analyzing their dreams and fantasies?

Hmm. Next on “Alice in…”: does unemployment contribute to mental instability?

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