Friday, October 24, 2014

Could it be ebola?

(a) You have Fever (subjective or 38 C)
(b) You have a headache and/or muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache, unexplained hemorrhage.
(c) Where have you been in the last 21 days? Are cases of ebola in those places? ("Dr" J: New York included).
(d) Have you been in touch with a person suspected of ebola in the last 21 days?

If yes+yes+yes+dont know, cancel all the meetings for the coming week. There is a 50% chance that you will not attend.

Have a good weekend.

Chinese Interior Design


Look at this picture only from the aesthetic point of view. Clean lines, impressive symmetry. Excellent composition. Reflects power, unity, leadership. The CCC votes for Communist legality and courts.

All those who raised their hands higher than the man in the middle will be re-educated.  Recalcitrants will undergo arm-shortening surgery.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Academics in Distress

A long article in HaAretz, the antiZionist (but slowly healing) paper, signed by a number of known academics. They are very hurt by the silent boycott of Western universities. They are accused of the "genocide" in Gaza. They allowed collecting food for Zahal in the campus, and in general, they train the intellectual and technical elite of Zahal, etc. Apparently, their foreign critics expect Israeli universities NOT to prepare the country's elite.

Our savants propose/demand to counter these baseless accusations by intensifying the fight for "human rights", hoping so to avoid being blamed of academic war-crimes. I dont know what more they could do. Already they are uniformly anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian, anti-Jewish and the idea source of international antisemitic literature. They celebrate the Naqba (pic. Univ. Tel Aviv) and mourn on Israel's Independence Day, they persecute and sack who dares to suggest that Israel is not a colonialist, racist, apartheid society obsessed with killing Palestinian babies. They embrace antisemite scholars  - Alfred Rosenberg has a good CV and would be hired (unfortunately he is not available, the Allies hanged him after the war). The scholars believe that by rejecting Israel and Judaism, and spectacularly embracing extreme "human rights", they will regain their good name and re-admitted into the lofty academic world of the goyim.

This is only a week after the Israeli champion of Palestinian rights, Amira Hess, was thrown out of BirZeit University campus. I dont know how anyone can prove his hate toward Jews more earnestly than Amira. May be by volunteering to ISIS or the Hamas. Does ISIS accept self-hating Jewish volunteers? Or the standard procedure is to behead them on video?

In a sense, the academics's distress proves that the Altneuland failed. They are the same galuth Jews of always, they were not remade into proud sabre Hebrews.

Potassium (III)


Good News for Potash. Thanks to improvement in the market, an old mine was reopened in Penobsquis. African Potash is developing a large mine in Lac Dinga, Congo. This venture is promising as it has Mr Marlow and Mr Conrad at its helm. A good omen. Investors are sinking good money in potash projects, believing that over supply is myth to frighten off the tremolous.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Dream on the Mediterranean

Ashkelon on the Mediterranean is being built into a beautiful vacation village (left), nicer than the Cote d'Azur. Its street art is the best in Israel (below). It resembles Yamit, the lost white city of my dreams, presented on a silver platter to the Egyptians forty years ago. It left an emptiness in my heart, and knowing that it is now a pestiferous desert slum, hurts.


I am designing a supermarket 200 m from the beach with a gym attached. It's autumn in the Eastern Mediterranean, and today was sunny with a balmy wind blowing from the sea.

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The World: Stabilizing

Last month it seemed that the world was heading toward disruption, but the destabilizing forces are disappearing: (1) Ebola: It was contained in West Africa, there are no cases in Europe or America, vaccines soon available;  (2) Russia vs Ukraine: It has quieted down, German tanks are not advancing toward the Russian frontier and Russia did not bomb Berlin; ISIS: the Sunni State is being contained by the Kurds and by the Iraqi army; mass rape and beheadings are unsustainable as governance and ISIS will settle into the typical Third World shithole it is fated to be.

NASDAQ rised 2.4% yesterday, the price of oil is falling, a new cycle of prosperity is ahead. I think the next phase of technological advance will be in transportation, that is, self-driving cars. This means that there will be an opening for startups selling all kind of pichiskes and apps for the new market. May be road sensors, on the road automatic service stations, and so.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Varenya Factory

I'm involved in a jam factory project. We have been checking a large site (pic) in an old industrial compound. The former occupant built a wastewater treatment plant and when moved, took with him all the pumps, sensors and pipes. Currently there is no connection to the municipal sewage network, which is about 300 meters afar. I proposed a pumping station, but the entrepreneur (red polo) did not like the idea, because at downtime the factory may be flooded. He produces Russian varenya = home made jam.

K corrected me:  Varenya is not jam but syrup. See pic. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thought viruses determine potash's price

Robert Shiller says that the stock market is driven by mass hysteria and not by the play of demography, industrial production, agricultural yields, availability of raw materials, demand, etc. as in classical economic texts.
"Fundamentally, stock markets are driven by popular narratives, which don’t need basis in solid fact. True or not, such stories may be described as “thought viruses.” When they are pernicious, they are analogous to the Ebola virus: They spread by contagion."

So potash fertilizer price has nothing to do with supply, demand, transport costs, etc. It has to do with the strange occult doings at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft which are spawning a collective consciousness. May be the phase of the Moon too affects the market (pic).  Shiller is a Nobel Prize economist.

N.B.: Do I smell the Frankfurt School in Shiller's  argument? But he is apparently of Lithuanian descent.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Next Six Months

My third daughter is marrying in six months and they are trying to organize the ceremony, buy an apartment and settle in a steady job.  A standard middle class ceremony - nothing excessive - costs 30,000 US$ and it is normally covered by the cheques the people bring. The flower arrangement alone costs 1000 US$. Recently prices have risen and the price per person is 80 to 100 US$ and we are not certain that my daughters friends (all just starting to work) can afford such a present.

Regarding a place to live, apartments in Israel are very expensive, about 30 years of average salary. There are mortgages available but a life is not enought to pay them off. They have signed up on a program for young couples that may be more affordable. The parents will have to contribute, how much each is a delicate issue. Both are middle class Ashkenazi families with younger children to marry off.

About steady jobs, my daughter with the degree from the Technion, is discovering that job security is an illusion in Israel 2014. She has completed her first project (a Nike shop for an European client) and is on stand-by for the next one. She is clever and ambitious... and worried. After six years in the Technion - the hard times are just starting.

Comparing my own experience 32 yars ago, it is notable how much more difficult is life for this generation. Our ceremony was held on the campus of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and cost nothing. I had a small apartment and we bought a new large one after a year. We both had permanent, steady jobs (with "kviut", meaning permanent staff that cannot be sacked  - the figure known in China as the "iron rice bowl". Israel was socialist in those times.) This generation has serious problems to get established, in Italy the 30% of young adults live with their parents. The young of today have lots of fancy phones and apps, but they are unable to settle down and have children.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Poyke Culture

Saturday and nice autumn day. We drove North on Road 4. The agricultural villages in the Sharon area have discovered the weekend people driving around purposelessly and have recycled chicken coops into antique furniture shops and Indian schmattes sales. One dairy farm moonlights on weekends as children's playground, with electric cars to drive and apples to feed the ruminating monsters. Many camp in the field and make small fires to cook in poykes (pic). The poyke, according the Soviet Encyclopedia is an old  Russian invention. Others say it is South African. I say whatever, today is Israeli and no Zionist family can be without one. It will be my next big purchase. I'm already studying how to cook in a poyke (one Israeli camping site here says that the pot is ready when the carrot is ready, but that goes against my culinary experience that rice and meat cook faster). BTW, we brought back from the expedition a different kind of pot (for 2 y.o. Techillah). That is how close one gets to a poyke.