Saturday, February 28, 2004

Brewed Awakenings

If you ever come to Berkeley, you may end up enjoying a hot cup of coffee at a cute cafe on the northside of campus called Brewed Awakenings. I used to love to sit there and do homework as I watched people come and go. It used to be a daily activity for me. I became a coffee drinker. I quickly learned that the owners are Palestinians and that didn't change anything. I continued to go there. Until I used the bathroom there one day. I don't know how I didn't notice sooner. As I waited to use the facilities I took a look at the articles that were posted up around the bathroom. My jaw dropped. Article after article about the Israeli occupation and maps showing the occupied territories and editorials about how horrible the Israeli occupation is. I couldn't believe it. From that day on I stopped going there. I was suddenly alienated. How could I not be. My friend judged me. Claimed I was blowing it out of proportion. I wonder how she'd feel if she were me.

I was there again the other day. I checked if the articles were still there. They were. Infact, there are more now. *sigh* Just another reason I hate Berkeley. Freedom of speech only goes one way there.

Should you come to Berkeley, you should of course contact me, and then I can take you to an Israeli owned cafe shop where you can order your drink/food in Hebrew. Cafe Yali's is very cute and the servers are pretty cute too. :)
Cartoon about the Security fence

I got this from Little Green Footballs

Friday, February 27, 2004

Tel Aviv in January! Taken by yours truly!

Armenian in Berkeley

The other night I made a new friend. A 26 year old Lebanese fellow. He came to the US to go to school and lived in Beirut through all the turmoil. I was very curious to hear about his experiences and so he shared them with me. He told me that bombs were going off all around his home. He even has scars from debris that richocet. He showed me pictures of Beirut. I was expecting to see pictures of a ghetto neighborhood but it is being rebuilt. Many buildings still shed the scars from all the fighting. He also showed me a building that the Israelis bombed because they knew that Arafat was in. Only problem was, they only took out the top few floors and he had left about a half hour before the bombing. It is really too bad. But from the pictures, Lebanon is a very beautiful country. The guy told me I should go visit and that made me laugh. Can I, a Jew born in Israel, visit Lebanon? I mean, and come back that is. He claims I can. Tells me I could travel on my American passport. Somehow I doubt it. I mean considering that if I were kidnapped or something while I was there....well...I don't even want to think about what they might do to me. Makes me sort of sad to know that there are beautiful places in the world that I can't visit because of who I am. For no other reason. Oooof. Do you understand my frustration? This kind of stuff should not be happening in this day and age.

Which brings me to another thought. Many Israelis go to Sinai for vacation. They sit on the beach in little huts and just chill for days at a time. They all recommend that I go. They tell my parents that they should go to. But my dad has no desire to ever go to Sinai again. The last time he was there was in a tank fighting. He was there for a long period of time and was definitely not there to relax. The idea to go there to relax does not appeal to him on any level. Makes sense. If there was a place that I had such an experience in, I doubt I'd ever be able to step foot there again. Which is why it amazes me that my grandfather was able to step foot back in Auschwitz. Ok well, I went on several tangents in this entry. Hope it was at least interesting!
Avastin APPROVED!!!!!!!

Genentech just got FDA approval for Avastin which is its colon cancer drug. It works by blocking VEGF which is a growth factor needed to make blood vessels. Cancerous cells often secrete more of this protein so that the cancerous area will receive more blood and thus receive more nutrients and be able to proliferate. By blocking VEGF, the tumor will be "suffocated" so to speak. Blood vessels are not formed around the tumor. I believe that this drug will be used for more than just colon cancer. I believe that, for now, it has only been approved for the treatment of colon cancer but soon enough it will be used in many other types of cancer. Such great news! To add to the good news, because of this announcement, the stock jumped up to $103 per share!!!! Jumped about $7. Not as good as after the last drug approval when the stock jumped from like $40 a share to around $70 in a day!!!!! Sheesh... I love that company. Amazing things are being discovered there. They are finding drugs to prolong life, and now, cure cancer. Words cannot describe how amazing that is.

The head researcher on this project: Napoleone Ferrara MD shares his thoughts about the recent approval. I give this man major props for what he has done. He can know that he did something amazing with his life. How I hope that I too will one day be able to say that. What a fullfilling life he leads. I bet he sleeps very well at night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The world keeps on turning

Gotta keep this super brief seeing as I am giving a presentation on Artificial Pancreas research in an hour and a half (holy crap). I just wanted to say that I am aware of the recent violence in Israel, the trial that will be held regarding the legality of the security fence, and the new Mel Gibson movie The Passion . I guess there just isn't much for me to say that hasn't already been said on all three topics. You can take a guess as to how the first two affected me (the first with tears, the second with rage) and I haven't yet decided how I feel about the third. I'll think about it some more and get back to you. For now I must prepare my presentation because I really don't want to make an ass out of myself in front of my audience which consists of several of my friends and one guy who I find very attractive. :)

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