Saturday, October 11, 2003

It has been 50 years since the double helix

Fifty years ago, Watson and Crick came up with their theory on the structure of DNA. Today, here at Berkeley, we celebrated this amazing discovery by having the following people speak:

J. Michael Bishop MD (Chancellor of UCSF and a Nobel Laureate)

Charles Weissman MD PhD (Founder of Biogen)

Charles Yanofsky PhD (Stanford University)

Herbert Boyer PhD (Cofounder of Genentech!!!!!)

David Goeddel PhD (founder of Tularik)

Edward Penhoet PhD (founder of Chiron)

Joseph Goldstein MD

Michael Brown MD (REgental Professor at University of Texas)

Leland Hartwell PhD (President of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research)


James Watson PhD (Nobel laureate for his work on discovering the double helix)

Plus, tons of other important people like:
Art Levinson was there. I said hi to him :) He is the CEO of Genentech. I really admire him for what he has done in his life. While I was at Genentech he held a talk with the interns. I was so impressed by him. He's truly someone to be admired and respected.

Tons of my professors were there probably humbled by the level of intelligence that surrounded them. Watson, who spoke last, is a little out there. He is getting kind of old (mid eighties is my guess). But he was saying things that were just a bit outrageous. My friends and I were a little stunned by his remarks...although we had been warned that he was a little.....strange.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Come on Die already!

Arafat hasn't been feeling well....will he ever die?

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

What has happened in California?!?!

We have a new governor. He calls himself a Republican. But this is California! We are suppose to be mostly democratic. But it gets better. Here's how it breaks down:

R-Arnold: 48%!!!
D-Bustamante: 32%
R-McClintock: 13%

So Republican candidates got 61%!!!!! That is amazing! What is going on in this state? A revolution?

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

California has spoken!

Arnold is now the Governor!

Talk to many of my Ashkenazi friends who were born in Israel. They have similar family histories to mine. Grandparents are Holocaust survivors and parents are war veterans. I am not alone in this. In my entry, I was not trying to imply my case was a special one. Israel and everything it stands for and how it was formed and who forms it are all miracles. That was my point.

If you are in Cali and registered to vote, DON'T FORGET to vote!

Unless you're voting for Bustamante...Then I don't really mind if you forget. No, I'm kidding. Everyone should go out there and make their vote count!

I wanted to clarify something about my last entry. I read over it again and realized it sounded quite arrogant. That was my LAST intention. I am on my way to class but when I return, I shall clarify further what my intentions were for that entry!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

The Miracle Part 2

A few days ago I began to tell you why I felt that my existence was a miracle. I didn't get into the details of it but would like to now. I would have continued earlier but with Berkeley's support of the Jihad in Israel and then yesterday's suicide bombing I had to put it on hold.

But here it goes. For those of you who don't know me, here's a quick little summary of my family history. My grandfather is a Holocaust survivor. The only one in his entire family (other than one of his aunts who actually married a non-Jew, was disowned by the family but was saved because her husband was able to hide her). He lived in Poland and ended up at Auschwitz. After the war, he moved to Israel to start a new life for himself. After he achieved a normal body weight, he was drafted into the army where he put his life on the line to defend the new nation. All odds were against his survival through all these horrific experiences but somehow he made it through them so that my mother could be born.

Meanwhile, up in Haifa, my father was growing up. At 18, he was drafted into the Israeli army to serve and at the age of about 24 served in one of the deadliest wars in Israel: the Yom Kippur War. Infact, my dad fought in several of the wars and lived to talk about it (although he doesn't usually talk about it). The sheer fact that he survived even though he was on the frontlines is a miracle.

My mother and father met in college. Two people, whose existence and survival seemed to be a miracle found eachother and had two children.

I am so proud of who I am and how strong my family is. I will never be a Jew that dares to put the blame of what is going on on myself. There is no way that anything we as a people did deserved the types of torture, agony, hopelessness, desperation, misery that we were put through over the centuries up and including today. Israel's existence is a miracle, a beautiful one. And I will never take it for granted. It is my country. Its purpose is so that each Jew knows he or she has a place they can go to where they don't have to fear being a Jew. Anti-Semetism is still strong in this world and Israel is our haven from it (or it is suppose to be). I love Israel so much. I can't even explain it. I know it is not a perfect place (trust me it's not perfect) but the people there are working to make it a better place.

So all that is left to say is: Am Israel Chai! (The Land of Israel Lives!)

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