Saturday, September 30, 2006
Europe imports its oil from the Middle East through the Suez Canal. Transporting liquids by pipe is much cheaper than by bulk in ships. When the British controlled the Middle East and its oil business, Europe was supplied through the TAP Line, saving half of transport cost for Europeans or alternatively, doubling the profits of oil companies. The TAP Line lays there, unused and decaying now for half a century. It is a monument to the failure of Marxist theory, that capitalist profitseeking brought about colonial empires. The TAP line is an existing profit making machine that can operate only in a colonial political environment, but in sixty years no one did a thing to conquer and operate it.
The Trans-Arabian Pipeline Company (Tapline), was founded as a joint venture between the Standard Oil company of New Jersey (now Esso), Standard Oil of California (Chevron), The Texas Company (Texaco), and Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (Mobil), however, it eventually became a fully owned subsidiary of Aramco. The company built and operated the Trans Arabian Pipeline, a 1214 km 30" oil pipeline from Qaisuimah, Saudi Arabia to Haifa, Israel. In its heyday, it was an important factor in the global trade of petroleum. The cost of rehabilitation of the pipe is about 100 million US$ and that investment would pay itself in a few weeks of operation.
As said, the Tapline was a technical feat in its day, but nowadays there are many larger pipelines operating. What no one appreciated in its day was the fact that the whole enterprise rested on the political work done by the CIA, and when this organization was wrecked by Jimmy Carter, it fell apart in no time. CIA was the center that held the thing together. Where are those white shirted tall, slim Arabic-speaking WASP boys that used to make the world go round?
For the first half of 2006 Tower reported 60% revenue growth against the parallel six months of 2005 to $80.4 million. It cut its losses by 13.5% to a still-high $88.7 million or $1.18 per share. For the third quarter of 2005 Tower predicts revenues in the range of $49 million to $53 million.
From the start of September, shares in Tower have climbed by 12% to $1.47, representing a company valuation of $284 million at full dilution (including share capital added by conversion of the notes into shares). I am still losing money on my investment in Tower. I still have to finish the fire protection design of the Netania mall.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Our military leader Dan Halutz is fed up with his minister, Amir Peretz. He expresses what every employee secretly believes: If only the idiot of my boss would let me, there would no problems at all. He openly despises the bickering unprofessional politicians he has to deal with. He chose Gadi Eisenkott to lead the Lebanese-Syrian front, a very good choice, so he can concentrate in solving the Iran knot.
The US Armed Forces Journal published a very well written and provocative article by someone called Peters, and an open comment section that reached 600 comments before its closure. The article openly debates the taboo subject of changing international borders, and proposes to bring some measure of peace and tranquillity to the Middle East by almost total redrawing of borders and massive ethnic cleansing. His thesis is that the post WWI Anglo-French map has failed and a new start must be made, more according to ethnic reality as it is on the field.
I love America because even if it is not the only place where these ideas are being thought, surely it is the only one where they are debated in public. And in the Armed Forces Journal! Soldiers actually thinking! I read several languages and have a good idea of many cultures, but this open debate thing can be found only in Greece, of the Pericles era. The American Armed Forces are the best by far in the last 2500 years.
The comments section is closed but I'll not be silenced. Surprisingly (for me), the existence of Israel does not seem to be of interest to the commenters. The issue that really made their blood boil was Kurdistan. A sample:
Hey ASSHOLE!! DONT WORRY...SOON YOUR ANGELS WILL BE RAPED....AND YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WITH WHOM YOU ARE DEALING...WHY YOU START BARKING LIKE YOUR OTHER TRAITOR, AGENT FRIENDS WHEN YOU SEE A NORMAL KURDISH BROTHER??? YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD PROVOKE EVERY KURDISH IN TURKEY?? YOU SILLY IDIOT!! IF YOU TRUST YOUR ROUND ASS, COME AND FIGHT! YOU POOR SON OF A BITCH!!Others, less moderate, reacted to the proposal to remake Iran into an ethnic Persian state, with Herat but without the Arab Gulf area. As said, Israel left the commenters ice cold. Couldnt care less. Also the dismemberment of Saudi Arabia left them indifferent.
If I was allowed to comment, I would point out that not only international borders, but also ethnic reality is malleable. One of the strongest ethnia in the Middle East is us, so our aspirations too will have to be taken into account when redrawing maps and planning ethnic states. Having said that, America seems to have succeeded in forming ethnically homogeneous statelets in the Balkan. In Irak tried the opposite strategy and failed. What America thinks and does is important, especially for us in the Middle East. I hope they succeed.
Kfar Saba's climate is somewhat like that of Southern California: intense summer heat and sunshine, breezy nights, the coastal winds of winter. In addition, we have very hot and dry desert winds at the beginning and end of the summer. So faithfully, the HAMSIN has arrived. HAMSIN means fifty in Arabic, since the wind is believed to blow for 50 days. I start counting today.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Juan Cole is Professor of Middle East Studies in the University of Michigan and was about to get a prominent position in Yale, but was blackballed by Yale's Cryptic Central Committee. He said he was offered the job, which is an obvious lie, because invariably there is jockeying for these positions before so the formal process will proceed smoothly. Here, the foreplay was played out fully and to everybody's satisfaction, but something went wrong during the actual act of penetration. Juan, instead of being the glorious screwer, was himself screwed. Although I am not in the Middle Eastern academic business, but in actual Middle East living, I say, well done.
Juan Cole is more than a scholar, he is an active and effective propagandist against Bush's pro-Israeli stance. He is one of those leaders making difficult life for Jews in Israel, and for Jews in the academic world. If he imagines that it were the Jews who caused his "unhiring", well I am glad he thinks so (although I have not the slightest idea who or why he was done out). And very good that now on other antisemites will suspect so much. Reading his last post, he appears afraid even of losing his job in Michigan. He knows why. Lets hear what he writes:
I was extremely fortunate to have been hired at the University of Michigan right out of graduate school. I moved from UCLA to the pinnacle of my profession at a young age. I am doing what I enjoy doing, which is studying and teaching the Middle East and South Asia, and communicating about it to various publics. I have not, and short of foul play cannot be stopped from doing what I am doing, and what I enjoy.
Many thanks to all the kind messages and votes of confidence from readers. I've decided that this is a subject better closed, so am not taking comments.
I"ll translate for those hard of hearing: "Please, dont sack me! I didn"t want to leave! I didn"t look for another job! Let me stay, please pretty please!" A mensch, he is not.
That point came back to me as I read about Yale's decision to reject Juan Cole for a senior position — despite the recommendation of two departments to hire him. The combination of little to no comment from either Yale or Cole and the "star chamber" politics of hiring has led to speculation that Cole's prominent, left-wing, take-no-prisoners blog played a role in his nonhiring. That seemed to be the hope of Michael Rubin, of the American Enterprise crowd, when he wrote in the Yale Daily News that Cole has paid a price because he has "abandoned scholarship in favor of blog commentary." That was also the fear of Cole supporters like Philip Weiss, who noted in The Nation that "it is hard to separate Cole's scholarly reputation from his Internet fame." After I was denied tenure at Chicago last year, there was news-media conjecture that my blog was partly to blame, so Cole's story evokes an uncomfortable sense of déjà vu.
In the end, blogging
creates new pathways to public recognition beyond the control of traditional academic gatekeepers. Any usurpation of scholarly authority is bound to upset those who benefit the most from the status quo.Dan blames yellow envy eating those unable or afraid to blog having to suffer popular bloggers competing with their hardly earned authority. I know the phenomenon. I remember Ilewitzky, a Chilean sewage engineer, in Lima, Peru. I was very fast in my work and had plenty of free time, which I occupied circulating around the office talking up the best-looking secretaries and reading everything not locked on the computers or in the drawers. Ilevitzky was working on a design and I casually dropped by his desk and commented that Hazen Williams was the formula to apply. I did it innocently, out of boredom. Ilevitzky became white, yellow, green and indignantly asked how I dare to talk about H a z e n W i l l i a m s, pronouncing the names with holy respect due to the sacred name of God, which Jews never say. I understood that for him the Name should not be pronounced casually, one should purify oneself before taking in his unholy mouth the Name . There I was talking casually about the Holy of the Holies. Blasphemy! Dan suggests that it is unwise, in this world populated by evil imbeciles, to blog freely and carelessly like a child. His blog has adopted, since his sacking from the University of Chicago, a formal, over-thought, prudent, adult, dry tone. El diablo sabe mas por viejo que por diablo. Plato is my idea of wisdom, so I put up his marble bust. I dont know if it is relevant. You could always return to that white panted marvel three or four post below. That is something.
I knew that Makhteshim's market situation was difficult, because in Ecuador the old Yekke told me that Chinese and Indian products are displacing Makteshim products. The competition copies the products and sells them half price, and being generic chemicals, the Makhteshim prestige is not enough to justify the difference. Knowing that, yet I bought last week more of the same. Yesterday the company published a profit warning and the price fell immediately. Conclusion: I should believe more in myself and nothing in others.
The sprinkler illustration is to remind me that I have to finish the mall fire protection system. I have to remember to include branch drains.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I will leave this post as the tombstone for this ugly little blog that brought out the vilest in me and has now left me in deep shame for the rest of my life. Always remember this, kids: you may not really be as witty and edgy as you think you are; the Internet amplifies everything, especially your most ridiculous stupidity, so don't go writing callous things even during those days that you happen to feel depressed and like shit and you need that feeling of not caring; limits usually exist for a good reason; your imaginary enemies are not the same as the real breathing people; groups are not monolithic so that all their members equal the one you hate the most and who may or may not return the favour; and finally, remember that regardless of their labels, all people are individuals with feelings, fears and hopes that you really, really should always respect.He may not be aware of it, but his declaration reminds those of Chinese intellectuals during the Cultural Revolution. I can imagine him standing on the stool in front of the blogosphere, bowing his head. I hope he shares their depth of sincerity.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
One of the pleasures of blogging is the almost daily inflow of emails from Nigerian commenters. They send me nice letters written in the British colonial style, in a very respectful tone, signed by Esquires, Barristers and other old fashioned honorary titles of the British Empire. Today, for instance, I was respectfully approached by an unknown gentleman to help him invest the sizeable funds hidden in some secret bank account by an ex Liberian President. Of course, my confidencial services would be more than adequately rewarded. In another occasion the same gentleman with another nom-de-guerre proposed me to rescue funds secretely deposited by a Nigerian Central Bank governor, which being product of stealing State monies (the letter describes it much more politely, of course), currently cannot be reached by the public employee in question.
I wish to thank my appreciated Nigerian correspondents. I am afraid I cannot take up your kind offers. Just now I am working my ass off designing fire protection systems for a large mall and I have to deliver it before the whole thing burns down without insurance. You dont know (and I cant tell you) who my Client is - but one word will be enough: Gruzini. Thank you anyway.
Procrastination is the deferment or avoidance of an action or task which requires completion by focusing on some other action or task. For the person procrastinating this may result in stress, a sense of guilt, the loss of productivity, the creation of crisis, and the chagrin of others for not fulfilling one's responsibilities or commitments.
Severe procrastination can cross over into internet addiction. In this instance the individual has a compulsion to avoid reality. The Procrastinator feels overwhelmed with pressure, unrealistic about time, uncertain about goals and many other negative feelings. This person would therefore feel they are lacking some ability to do this work, and would try to escape this stress by relaxing. This temporary escape would then fall away, leading to an even more stress to this over-worked person. This would lead to this person feeling guilty, and therefore more apprehensive. It also has a debilitating effect on their personal life and relationships. Since they are uncertain about their goals they often feel awkward when with people who are confident and self-aware; in turn they often fall into depression. They tend to withdraw from social life and they often avoid contact, even with close friends.
Tower has not disclosed the value of the contract with International Rectifiers (IR) announced today, but company CEO Russell Ellwanger says IR has undertaken to order 1,000 silicon wafers per week, while for its part Tower has undertaken to supply at least 2,000 wafers per week. In other words, this is a take-or-pay contract, with obligations on both sides. IR will finance the extra equipment required to manufacture its product. Revenue under the agreement will be recognized in the second half of 2007.
Tower's market cap is $115 million. What are you doing wrong, if the business is making progress but not the share? Ellwanger "The fundamentals at the company are right. We gave good forecasts for the third quarter in the past, and we haven't changed them, so we intend to meet them. We're on a good path, and we are executing on everything we promised. We had two quarters with record revenue, and the third quarter will continue the trend. For the fourth quarter, we promised positive cash flow from operations, and we hope to deliver. That will undoubtedly be a great thing for the investors. We also hope that that if we continue with good performance, the share will catch up with the trend. It simply must happen, because we're achieving all our goals. I think that perhaps we haven't explained the Tower story sufficiently well in the US. We had a small road show in New York at the Unterberg conference, for example, but it's our responsibility to get the message across better. In October, we hope to visit more institutional investors, and to give the matter emphasis."
Tower will have to persuade these investors that its balance sheet, with the huge debt to the banks, is not a millstone around its neck as far as performance is concerned, and does not represent a risk. On the revenue side, it will have to persuade them that all these contracts it has announced recently will be translated into a high growth rate. In that respect, there is one more thing that could provide the company with some upside in the near future, even if Ellwanger doesn't mention it explicitly: the acquisition of M-Systems by SanDisk. SanDisk is committed to Tower, and has proved this several times in the past. It seems only logical that the controllers M-Systems currently procures elsewhere will start to be produced, at least in part, at Tower, after the takeover by SanDisk is completed.
As I am dealing now with fire protection, an old class exercise I wrote up comes to my mind. After the collapse of the 110 floor Twin Towers, we dedicated an hour in class to analyze the engineering explanation for the surprising collapse of both structures. It should not have happened. It was designed by the best engineers to resist worse impacts. Yet 250 fire people found their death in the flaming inferno.
According to my analysis, Green activists had forbidden asbestos insulation of the main steel core, so they were not able to resist the temperatures caused by the kerosene fire. There is no substitute to asbestos, and only the lower floors had been protected. The inner core, according to my calculations, should have survived if protected by asbestos isolation.
The whole thing is now forgotten.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Post Scriptum: I finished the supermarket on the main floor. In Spanish: Papita pa' loro! Dont ask me about the rest. MANANA.
The positive momentum at Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Nasdaq: TSEM; TASE: TSEM) is continuing. Today, the company announced the signing of a long-term foundry contract with International Rectifier Corporation (NYSE:IRF) for the sale of silicon wafers produced at Tower’s Fab 2 in Migdal Ha’Emek. The new contract comes one week after the company announced a follow-on contract with Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:ATHR). International Rectifier has $1.2 billion in annual sales and a market cap of $2.6 billion. Tower did not disclose the size of the contract, but the company’s share rose 4.8% in morning trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE).
OK, now to calculate that stupid pipe network.
One of the strangest Jewish customs is the Tashlich. The my first year in Israel, I met my relatives standing around the fountain in the Haim Ozer Street in Petach Tikva, in front the Post Office, reading from the prayerbook. They were performing the Tashlich ceremony, coming in procession from the synagogue on the day after the New Year, imagining they were casting their imagined sins into the imagined water. The fountain was dry, as always is in this desertic country, except when the municipality operates it for special occassions. This time, it seems, they forgot. No problem, the ceremony was performed and was considered valid and effective, and we walked back to the synagogue lighter for our concience dry-cleaned.
The way tashlich works is as follows: You go down to a river, preferably one with fish, and you empty your pockets into the flowing water. You then read from the book of the Prophet Micha verses about teshuva, repentance. Then, in solemn procession you return to synagogue for the afternoon service.
For the people living in our most holy city, Jerusalem, tashlich just isnt the same. You see, Jerusalem isn't blessed with many rivers. In fact, has no rivers at all. There are several wadis that serve as the runoff for untreated sewage, but it's just not the same. So Jerusalemites have to be more creative. People stand at the bottom of water tanks, on the hills above swimming pools, beside their kitchen sinks or above sealed pits that legend says used to be wells.
I guess when there is an actual river there, it's a little easier to imagine you're throwing your sins into the water. But does that make any more sense? How can we just throw away our sins? Don't we have to repent? Don't we have to resolve to change, to become better people?
The Tashlich represents for me the Jewish effort to live a righteous way through childish, primitive, magic ceremonies. Of course these very intelligent people is aware that it is ridiculous to stand in front of a dry fountain in the town's plaza and recite formulae from a book, and pretend that we are casting away our sins or whatever. But they do it, we do it, year after year. In a way, that's the beauty of Judaism.
I found the illustration on a blog. The contraception is called Tashlich and its stated purpose is to improve the discharge of sins into running water. Maybe the idea is to make it all visual and allow the user to actually see on the monitor the sins being carried away by a virtual river. Performing the tashlich ritual by computer would be no less kosher than standing in front of an empty, dry fountain in front of the Post Office.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Irish academics have called on the European Union in an open letter to impose a moratorium financial support to Israeli academic institutions until Israel ends the occupation in the Palestinian territories. The call for the boycott, published last week in the Irish Times daily, came since according to its organizers "The Israeli government appears impervious to moral appeals from world leaders and to longstanding United Nations resolutions."The letter was signed by 61 Irish academics.
In recent months there have been several other attempts at boycotting Israeli organizations. In February, a group of British architects called
to boycott companies involved in the construction of the West Bank separation fence; in August, film director Ken Loach announced he would not attend cultural events in Israel; and in early September, a joint British-Palestinian group of architects sought to ban Israelis from participating at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
No good. It has been more than a year that Israel retired from the Gaza Strip, but the fact seems to have been missed by British and Irish academics. Western universities are dominated by leftist, anti-Israeli, anti-Western currents. The academy, once more, is becoming unfriendly territory for us.
AS last summer ended, booming southeast Queensland was the only urban sprawl on the mainland without water restrictions. But suddenly, it seems, Queenslanders are also running short of water. On the first day of business after Queensland election, Premier Peter Beattie awarded 180,000 pool owners the toughest and most expensive water-saving requirement in the country: compulsory covers for their swimming pools to reduce evaporation loss. Many can expect to be out of pocket by as much as $2000 as a result. Are such restrictions value for money in terms of the cost of water saved? In Australia - NEVER.
Federal secretary for water Malcolm Turnbull says the new Queensland "pool tax" is the latest example of short-term thinking and poor water planning in Australia, resulting from serial abuse of water utilities by state and local governments. "Water-saving measures are good, but you have to look at them with a hard head," Turnbull says. "Water is not the only scarce resource. So is money."
Water infrastructure - dams, desalination and recycling plants - is costly to build, but once in place the operating costs of the business are relatively low. State-owned water utilities are a valuable money pot for cash-strapped governments reluctant to give up some of the revenue stream to expand supply.
As part of new water restrictions beginning in Brisbane and other parts of southeast Queensland in November, gardens can only be watered legally by bucket or can. The taps have really been screwed down on backyard pools, effective as of summer 2007. As well as being required to fit a pool cover by the middle of next year, owners will need to complete two of three indoors retrofits: install a dual flush system in their toilet, fit a water-efficient shower head and buy a new, water-efficient washing machine. Such is Brisbane's water supply that every drop counts, seemingly no matter what the cost. The Queensland Water Commission is quick to point out that 12 million litres of water is lost every day through evaporation from swimming pools. What it doesn't mention is that the cost of this imposed saving will be more than four times the cost of the water.
At about $500 a pool cover, and assuming an ambitious but as yet unspecified regulatory regime to deliver savings of two-thirds of all evaporation, it will cost about $4 for each kilolitre of water saved. Presently Brisbane Water sells the same amount of water for 85c.
Pool covers as a demand management strategy come in at five to 10 times more expensive than most of the more broadly accepted demand management options, including water-efficient showers and washing-machine rebates. This cost does not include optional extras including cover rollers and the extra cost to pool owners of replumbing their bathrooms.
That it has come to this level of crisis management seems extraordinary in the fastest-growing corner of one of the most developed countries in the 21st century.
Being surprised by a water shortage is like having a tortoise sneak up on you. You need to be looking the other way for an awfully long time. And yet all state governments except the one in Tasmania have embraced the symbolism of water restrictions as a public response to shallower water levels, starting with Perth in the spring of 2001.
The Water Services Association of Australia represents the big water authorities providing water to three-quarters of Australians. It asserts population growth in Australia's cities - with the exception of Perth - has been catered for not by providing new water services, but by reducing per capita demand.
Chief executive of the Irrigation Association of Australia, Jolyon Burnett, says there is a bewildering array of water restrictions. "In southeast Queensland until this new state Water Commission took over, there were up to 14 different regulations.It is absolute madness, and the public have felt that this was a bit of a joke."
Saturday, September 23, 2006
It is New Year and the whole family had lunch at my Mother's house, and the girls helped her and they were not fighting and was nice. But this peaceful respite of freedom is ending, and I am feeling the pressure of evil stress waves blowing from the NorthWest. Who is thinking of me in Netanya? Ah, I see Mr Ayzick walking home from Netania's Gruzini synagogue, boiling as religion forbids him to phone me and ask how much I have advanced today. I have to stop blogging for today and continue calculating the hydraulic pressure equilibrium of his mall's sprinkler system.
No, I dont have a cat. I dont want a cat. It is Rosh Hashana and I was thinking on Schrodiger's Famous Cat Thought Experiment, where the cat in the box is neither dead nor alive till someone opens the box and looks at the cat, collapsing the quantum uncertainty. Now, in quantum world everything behave as an object and as a wave till observation forces them to define themselves this way or other.
For instance, suppose we had a dart-throwing machine that had a 5% chance of hitting the bulls-eye and a 95% chance of hitting the outer ring and no chance of hitting any other place on the dart board. Now, suppose we let the machine throw 100 darts, keeping all of them stuck in the board. We can see each individual dart (so we know they behave like a particle) but we can also see a pattern on the board of a large ring of darts surrounding a small cluster in the middle. This pattern is the accumulation of the individual darts over the probabilities of where each dart could have landed, and represents the 'wavelike' behavior of the darts. Get it?
Instead a machine, let consider a personthrowing the darts. The darts will continue behaving like a wave, but the wavelenght will be defined by the frequency of the dart-thrower. A positive wavelenght thrower will succeed and his darts will tend to concentrate on the central target, while a negatively vibrating darter will fail and his darts will disperse in the outer, valueless, rings.
Cats usually have positive wavelength (except evil looking black cats) so I have designed a Schrodinger machine that sucks in these waves and transfers them to the dart thrower, who immediatly improves its performance. The problem is that the cat, lets call it Jaim's Cat, lacking its former wavelength but unaware of it, dies shortly after: it jumps from a high wall as thousand times in the past, but now, instead of landing gracefully on its four elastic paws, falls like a block on its head; the cat crosses the street calculating the velocity of incoming vehicles, and finds itself wondering what it is doing under the wheels of that apparently stationary car.
Therefore, I cannot make public my machine till the implied ethical issues are solved. I dont want to be another Einstein whose discoveries led to the Bomb and now we, his people, have to worry about that crazy Iranian's reactors.
The elegantly designed transparent plastic case is a handsome sculptured conversation piece that's allows one to see the electronics inside the case. Suitable for display on a desk, shelf or bedroom dresser.
Once located the UFO, communication must be established. Mental G wavelength emmitters have proved be to provide the best resolution. I consider the communication kit (by the way, sold by Amazon) quite reliable, however, it is not a tabletable object suitable for social reunions, as ET chat obsessively about abducting and operating on the reproductive organs of fertile human females.
There is another accesory that is a must in abduction prone environments: the Anti-Abductor. It is a light metallic object weared 24 hs a day, guaranteed to repel any abduction attempt by aliens. It has been 100% effective in numerous occasions. It looks and operates like a medieval chastity belt, only that it has been designed and manufactured by ultramodern Swedish technology and materials: inox chrome-vanadium steel bands with ultra-silent rollerball articulations. Made in China imitations can be bought in the supermarket, but I do not recommend them as the warranty is worthless.
According to the theory that hunting in a difficult environment drives the evolution of intelligence, the most evolved people must be found in the worst place. The coldest place on Earth is in Northeast Mongolia, where winter storms produce - 55 degree celsius days and nights. Survival is very difficult in these conditions. In the vast swamps of North Eastern Asia, only the reindeer people lives, the Arctic peoples. They have the biggest brains in humanity and are superb hunters and fishermen. They carry on raids on each others encampments and take the women. United under ferocious leaders, like Gengis who started his carreer killing his half brother at age 12, they have expanded several times to the South, exterminating and replacing local farming peoples. Under different names in a continuously fluid ethnic identity, these peoples have periodically invaded Europe, causing the collapse of the Roman Empire. The latest wave was the Seljuk tribe leading a coalition taking over the Greek Roman Byzantine Empire that had stood for 1500 years. People forget that Turkey was Ionia - Ancient Greek Asia, and the original Greek population has disappeared and was replaced by Turks.
It is known that the original Hungarian tribe is still living in Central Asia. They are also called Magyar and speak old Hungarian. They remained in their valleys while the rest of the tribe went west, the Hungarians who remained number some 5,000 while the Hungarian nation is about 12-15 million. The original Bolgarian tribe is still living in Asia, and are a miserable lot of hunters of small animals. Most amazing are the Tungus who conquered and ruled China till 1910. They are a dirt poor population of 5 or 6 thousands reindeer pastoralists. How these extremely small tribe could conquer China, which then had about 300 million people? Surely it was no luck, as this is a recurring phenomenon, before them, the Mongols did it. The Mongol pastoralists were not more than a few thousands, and only one of their 8 banners was Mongol, others were nanets, chukchi, tungus, inuit and other Arctic peoples with different names but collectively known as the reindeer people.
History books talk all time about the struggle between settled agriculturalists and nomadic pastoralists. They are wrong, however dialectically correct (you know, if you studied Marxism as I had to do in school, that they represent different stages of economic developement. Nonsense.). It is non-stop warfare of Arctic peoples among themselves and on the rest of humanity. And being good hunters, they have the instruments and the abilities to wage effective warfare on other human groups.
The last Arctic expansion was in 1500 when Turkey invaded Europe and was stopped before the gates of Vienna. Since then they are decaying. The colonization of America, which was in some ways another confrontation between Arctic peoples and others, ended in a total collapse of the Arctics. Also Russia and China have been pushing them out of their hunting and grazing grounds during the last four centuries. Apparently, their hunting intelligence has lost its value. Maybe we are not speaking of the same peoples, evolution is proceeding fastly and possibly agricultural peoples have domesticated and improved themselves. But they are still there at the margins, ignored and miserable, and they may one day come back. I dont know.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Some facts: (1) Sixteen Volts, Prof. Ilkka Kokkarinen, a Finn-Canadian teacher's blog, was closed down and deleted. Kokkarinen was given the choice of being fired or stop blogging. Dennis Mangan thinks he is in danger of being retired his Canadian residence and deported. (2) A worse case was Daniel Drezner, an Ass. Professor in the University of Chicago, who was denied tenure (meaning, sacked) in a secret process, possibly for his extracurricular blogging activities and certainly for being a Zionist agent (aka a Jew).
(3) Even Prof. KZ Myers, whose marvelous Pharyngula (a mix of serious biology and vitriolic campaign against Fundamentalist Creationism), has mellowed down. It was fun when PZ menaced to piss on the Bible but now he is much more responsible. (4) Another blogger, whose name I did register, closed down his blog on demand of his new employer, who suspected that he may be blogging on company time. Blogging is a heavy handicap on blogger's lives.But lets them speak for themselves.
Sixteen volts - Thursday, September 21, 2006 - The end
After the events of the recent days, I have decided to take down my blog, and would like to apologize to all people who have been hurt or offended by my old posts. I understand that even the good and funny ideas that I have had don't sound so good if they are accompanied with badly executed South Park -style crude attempts for laughs and mockery, trying to be witty in the expense of other people, in the end merely flouting my ignorance about pretty much everything.
In the online world and the blogosphere, it is just too easy to forget the real world and the people in it, especially for an introvert such as me. The whole thing just seemed to gradually escalate until I got this sudden wakeup call. Even for the times when I was right and did present many good ideas and observations, what good did there ever come out of it? When I add everything up, my online writing really did not make the world a better place, as a whole.
Once again, I would like to say that I am sorry about having been such an asshole for such a long time. I would like to keep doing the teaching job that I love, since I'd like to think that I have always been a good and a fair teacher. My teacher persona really is quite different from my online persona, who will exist no longer. I know that in my teaching and grading I have always treated everybody the same way, but of course I can't really now prove it to you. So I will keep doing what I love, and will take whatever comes to me and happens without complaint.
I am deeply humiliated and ashamed by this experience, and at least I understand my place in the whole world much better. This will therefore be enough of the virtual world for me. I will now sign off permanently, thanking everybody for bearing with me, and once more apologizing for everyone who I have hurt or insulted in my thoughtlessness. When I go out next time, I will be looking at the whole world in a very different way.
A moment before pressing the button for the last time, I am now free. Good bye.
posted by Ilkka Kokkarinen at 11:29 AM 57 comments
Daniel W Drezner - Saturday, October 8, 2005 - So Friday was a pretty bad day....
This Friday was a less-than-great day for two reasons.
First, the Red Sox got swept in the playoffs. I’m sad about it, but not that sad.
Well, that leads to the second and more important reason why Friday was a pretty bad day.
The political science department voted to deny me tenure. Next year at this time, I will no longer be residing in Hyde Park or teaching at the University of Chicago.
[Wait a minute, you can’t leave it at that. What happened? What the hell happened? Why didn’t you get tenure? Was it your failure to anchor yourself within a clearly established theoretical paradigm? A lack of respect from peers in your IPE subfield? Too much output? A declining respect of your subfield by your tenured colleagues? The departmental turn away from mainstream political science scholarship? Your political orientation? Jealousy of your public intellectual status? WAS IT THE FRIGGIN’ BLOG??!!--ed.] My answers in order: I dunno, perhaps, probably not, maybe, I guess so, a little, could be, I seriously doubt it, and who the hell knows? Any decent social scientist must allow for multiple causes, so it’s not necessarily an either/or question. At the moment, I simply lack the data to confirm or deny any explanation. I may garner more information in the days and weeks that follow, but the fact that I was genuinely surprised at the outcome suggests that my ex ante intelligence gathering was piss-poor.
[Speaking of regrets, let’s go back to the blog.... er… any regrets?--ed.] The very first words I wrote on this blog were: "I shouldn't be doing this. I'll be going up for tenure soon." This is a theme that I’ve touched on several times since then. The point is, I can’t say I didn’t go into this with my eyes open.
That said, if one assumes that the opportunity cost of blogging (e.g., better or more scholarship) was the difference between tenure and no tenure – an unclear assertion at best – then it’s a tough call. From a strict cost-benefit analysis, one could argue that the doors that blogging opened could have been deferred for a few years in return for the annuity of a tenured position at Chicago. That said, if I did things only for the money, I never would have entered the academy in the first place. And I’ve enjoyed the psychic rewards of blogging way too much to regret my choice.
Blogging may be slower than usual for the next couple of days.
posted by Dan at 10:20 PM | Comments (264) | Trackbacks (0)
Prof Drezner seems to be affected by the Stockholm Syndrome, when kidnapped victims started cooperating with the criminals. Drezner seems unable to even suggest that he was fired because of being a Jew, which is quite obvious in view the fact that he is a pro-Israeli practicing Jew and his boss was John Mearsheimer, the Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at Chicago, and the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. Mearsheimer, after the Drezner episode, came out of the non-antisemitic closed by means of an antisemitic paper against the influence of AIPAC, the American Israel lobby, on American foreign policy, and later, on the Jews's plan to dominate and silence academic debate in America. It seems to me obvious that Mearsheimer hated the a Jew in his Department, but Drezner denies this possibility and talks about Mearsheimer with admiration. Maybe American academic life is so antisemitic that you cannot keep your mental integrity except by closing your mind to it and acting as it is raining.
(In packed tribunes of Argentine stadiums it was impossible to reach the pissoirs, so people had to pass water from the high tribunes. When passing under under the tribunes, people used to open umbrellas - saying it was raining).
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Fritzi is better known for his sketch "I want back my tuition", where a famelic writer (those were the hungry twenties in Hungary) demands from his school the tuition, argueing that they did not teach him anything. An exam is organized and effectively, his answers show he has learned nothing - no history, no geography, no mathematics. In the end, the schoolmaster gives up and he has only one final question: how much they owe him. The writer, in a brilliant feat of mental calculation, gives the correct answer, passing the exam.
Karinthy also developed a complete language called halandzsa, which is still spoken in Budapest's Jewish Quarter. It goes like this: two persons are discussing a subject when an uninvited kibbitzer tries to engage and contribute his unsolicited opinion. The original two immediately pass to talk halandzsa, cutting out the astonished intruder. Halandzsa sounds exactly like Hungarian, uses words that seem to be legitimate Hungarian, but are undesciferable and ununderstandable. The kibbitzer cannot comprehend what is happening, he catches a few words but cannot make sense of the conversation. Earnestness and seriousness are the key to the effective application of halandzsa.
A refinement of the above is the following: two persons are discussing a subject, each sustaining contrary positions. Comes the kibbitzer and tries to argue in support of one of the positions. In a split second, the original pair (or group) adopts the opposite position and attack concertedly the intruder applying the reductio ad absurdum method, to the point of putting in doubt the sanity of the astonished victim.
You never knew when he was talking seriously and when he was making fun of you. In fact, he always was making fun of everybody including himself, and this secretly superior, satirical, intelligent way of talking is typically inner Pester, the style of inner Budapest. As a child, he was my hero. My blogging style is Fritzi reincarnated. Please dont feel insulted if you dont know if I am serious or not, it is a culture thing. Fritzi Karinthy was like that. He makes me do it. Possibly, he is doing it.
Footnote:Backward Evolving Quantum States (Tel-Aviv University). In quant-ph 0606208, Vaidman outlines the theoretical limitations on possible manipulations of a backward-evolving quantum state. "The basic concept of the two-state vector formalism, which is the time symmetric approach to quantum mechanics, is the backward evolving quantum state. However, due to the asymmetry of the memory's arrow of time, the possible ways to manipulate a backward evolving quantum state differ from those for a standard, forward evolving quantum state. The similarities and the differences between forward and backward evolving quantum states regarding the no-cloning theorem, nonlocal measurements, and teleportation are discussed. The results are relevant not only in the framework of the two-state vector formalism, but also in the framework of retrodictive quantum theory."Retrocausation: Experiment and Theory AAAS Causality – the notion that earlier events can affect later events but not vice-versa – undergirds our experience of reality and physical law. Causality is predicated on the forward unidirectionality of time. However, most physical laws are time symmetric; that is, they formally and equally admit both time-forward and time-reverse solutions. Time-reverse solutions are distressing because they would allow the future to influence the past, i.e., reverse causation. Why time-forward solutions are preferentially observed in nature remains an unresolved problem in physics. While the most convincing explanations invoke the second law of thermodynamics, wavefunction collapse or the expansion of the universe, in the end, purely forward causation is an ad-hoc physical assumption."In this framework, amplitudes for alternative histories for the universe are calculated with final boundary conditions only. This leads to a top-down approach to cosmology, in which the histories of the universe depend on the precise question asked.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The stress of having to do some urgent and pressing work causes my spirit to levitate seeking escape in unreachable celestial spheres, where it cannot be found. Explosive detection demands my urgentisima attention, as well as the powers of my clarividence and inventivity. It is so urgent that Mr Ayzick and his patologically anxious subcontractors simply must wait. Waiting for the drawings will relax their strained nerves and improve their aural colors.
Trace Explosives Detection devices (TEDDs) represent a significant portion of the current deployment of explosives-detection equipment. TEDDs are being used for the resolution of alarms of checked baggage and for checking suspicious carry-on hand baggage. Basically, take my word for it, when needed, they never work.
The detection of trace amounts of explosive does not necessarily reveal the presence of a bomb. An alarm from a TEDD signifies the presence of vapors from or particles of explosive material that can only be connected inferentially to the presence of an explosive. Trace-detection techniques are vulnerable to countermeasures, and the absence of trace amounts of an explosive does not guarantee that no explosive is concealed in the bag.
Most Effective Techniques for Sampling Explosives for TEDDs
EGDN Vapor detection
OMNT Vapor detection
PMNT Vapor detection
DMNB Vapor detection
NG None known
First the suspect article is wiped with a sampler, which is either a patch of material or a vacuuming device that draws air through the material for concentration of the sample. For example, an operator might wipe the handle of a suitcase, the outside of a case, a computer switch, or a suspected area with a sampler. The sampler is then manually put into the TEDD where the collected material is thermally desorbed from the wiping substrate. The vapor is then transferred to a detection system in the device for chemical and quantitative characterization. If you feel they are vacuuming you, or there is a suspicious breeze, know that your body odors are being analyzed. They are sniffing you.
The detection system separates chemical species and creates a signature characteristic of the molecules present. The signature is then compared to the signature of actual explosive materials, and if the combination meets the trace alarm threat criteria, the operator is notified of an alarm.
Several types of physical and chemical techniques are used in the TEDD to identify explosive materials. The rationale for using TEDDs is only valid if it is assumed that the bomb maker will contaminate his or her hands with explosives and subsequently contaminate the bomb container (e.g., a radio) during fabrication of the explosive device.
Research conducted on the fabrication of explosive devices under controlled conditions has shown that it is very difficult, but not impossible, to avoid contaminating the surface of the primary container housing the explosive device. Fingerprints with sufficient material to be detected by commercial TEDDs are usually left. Plastic explosive materials tend to be "sticky" and are transferred to anything that is touched. Tests using C4 explosives as a model material suggest that, even with only 10 percent yield (i.e., the sampler only collects 10 percent of the material available for sampling), enough material is left from tenth-generation fingerprints to be detected by current TEDDs It should be noted, however, that the sampling yield is a function of the surface sampled (e.g., telephone, radio, computer), the sampling technique, and the sampler material. The ease of removing particles from a surface depends on several factors, but a good washing with soap and detergent will clean most of the revealing material.
Operating Principles of Chemical-Analysis Techniques Applied to Trace Explosives Detection
Ion-mobility spectrometry. Separation of electronegative molecules where lower-mass molecules move faster than heavier ones. Discrimination is based primarily on molecular weight. Detection is accomplished by negative-ion current collection.
Gas chromatography. Partitioning of molecules by solubility between a liquid phase and a gas phase in a long tube to separate them in time. Total time indicates molecular characteristics. Detection is accomplished by a wide variety of methods, including chemiluminescence and negative-ion current collection.
Chemiluminescence. Nitrogen-containing compounds are detected by measuring the light emitted from excited states.
Atmospheric pressure electron ionization. Explosive molecules are charged selectively for molecular analysis by ion-mobility spectrometry.
Dogs have excellent volatile chemicals resolution but they are easy to distract and are subject to psychological warfare. In principle, they are wired to respond to naturally opearative odors such as prey and rivals, and most of all, as we all are, to anything related to sex. They may be trained to search unrelated molecules, but they are not passionate about it, to say the least. Dogs are into doggie odors and their effectivity rests on their stressing impact on nervious suspects.
Humans have different body odors and different personal hygiene conventions. The Israeli joke of "How a Gr. (ethnic person that for PC reasons I shall avoid defining) kills himself?" has something of a truth or had it in the past. The ethnic person in question seeking suicide, raises his arm and takes a deep breath of his armpit. It is then obvious that different ethnics have different body odor signatures and those of Middle Eastern origin may cause the disfunction of the detector. A Middle East person completing the digestion of a foul-rich meal (Egyptian beans) or a hummus and pitta, will confuse the sniffer and actionate the alarm system. Moreover, washing with water and soap is, in some religions, tabu, and washing is done with sand.
This issue is currently untreatable and is causing considerable disconfort in the TEPP community.
A few days ago Grinberg, the ferocious investigative economic journalist bulldog, promised to detect what is stinking in Tower. The factory is prospering and the sales growing, while the stock price is sinking like a defective silicon wafer. He said and he did, and the results of his investigations can be summed up in one word: NADA. Or three words, NADA DE NADA. The price is sinking because there are more people selling than buying. His conclusion: When and if the selling is finished, prices will rise.
החלטנו לחפור מעט בטאואר
ולראות מה קורה שם. נפתח בכך שאין שום בעיה עם החברה; היא תעמוד בתחזיות, תמשיך להפיק סיפורים מרשימים, ואחד מהם די בקרוב. כפי שכבר ציינו מספר פעמים בעבר, המצב הנוכחי של החברה מעניין למי שרוצים מניה בתחום המוליכים עם עתיד כלכלי נאה ובמחיר שהיום הוא כלכלי. מה לעשות שהדריכה במקום (או הנסיגה במחירי המניה) לוקחת יותר זמן ממה שחשבנו? על המניה לוחץ גוף שמוכר מניות בארצות-הברית, וזה יכול להיות אחת משניים. או שיש מוסדיים אמריקנים, שיושבים במניות הללו זמן רב, והחליטו מסיבותיהם לצאת, או שמישהו מתאם מכירות בניו-יורק על-מנת לאסוף מניות בארץ יותר בזול.
ראינו למשל שקבוצת אליאנס שפכה לשוק במחצית הראשונה של 2006 כ-2.15 מיליון מניות של טאואר. אליאנס סמיקונדקטורס הייתה מהמשקיעים הוותיקים של טאואר ויש מן הסתם ותיקים נוספים שהחליטו לצאת, כשהשיפור במצב החברה אינו מעניין אותם - למוסדיים יש מנהגים מוזרים לעיתים. בטאואר יש תופעה מאוד מעניינת וייחודית: המחזורים הגדולים מתנהלים דווקא בתל-אביב. כלומר, הישראלים אוספים והאמריקנים מוכרים. זה מעורר חשד שמישהו מנסה לאסוף בתל-אביב בעקבות ירידת המחיר בניו-יורק והצירוף אינו נראה לנו מקרי. אם תשאלו אותנו, המכירות ייסתמו בקרוב. אבל קרוב, בבורסה, זה דבר יחסי.
I had a good night's sleep but I hate the pressure so I am thinking about the coming Oktoberfest. It is the most un-intellectual, moronic, Germanic celebration, and I like it. I love the beer, I love the wurst, I love the madchen. That is how the German's wish to be known nowadays, and the photo is directly from Deutsche Welle, the German State propaganda machine. It is inevitable the comparison with Dr Goebbel's ministry of propaganda, he too loved to picture fresh blond "Germanic" girls in his propaganda, and he also loved them personally. I like Deutsche Welle, I like German girls, I even had a German girlfriend Dorly Kohler and loved her very much. Deutsche Welle publishes only good news and it is always positive. I feel I am entitled to love innocently, guiltlessly at least 50% of the Germans, that is, the German girls. They are sweet. And they are true. The only public protest against the deportation of Jews by the Nazis was of about 2,000 Christian wives of Jewish men, and it was successful, their husbands were not deported. They are admirable.
I read in Herzl's biography that in the late 19th Century Jewish students started to be accepted in the German Duelling Fraternities and they caused a schock introducing a "Jewish" innovation never ever heard there before: the small glass of beer.
The cost of desalination is going down. H2ID consortium won the Hadera desalination tender with an offer of US$ 0.60 per cubic meter of fresh water.
H2ID, a consortium of IDE Technologies Ltd. and Housing and Construction Holding Co. Ltd. (Shikun u'Binui) (TASE: HUCN), has won the tender to build an operate the Hadera desalination facility. H2ID offered a price of 0.60 per cubic meter of water. A price of 0.53 per cubic meter was offered in the Ashkelon desalination facility tender, in which IDE is a member of the consortium. Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) and Ofer Brothers jointly own IDE.
H2ID beat a consortium comprising Granite Hacarmel Investments Ltd. (TASE: GRNT), Ocif Investments and Development Ltd. (TASE: OCIF), Tahal Group, and two Spanish companies Inima Servicios Europeos de Medio Ambiente SA and Aqualia GestiónIntegral del Agua SA. A third consortium comprising Africa-Israel Investments Ltd. (TASE:AFIL; Pink Sheets:AFIVY), Baran Group (TASE: BRAN; OTCBB:BRANF) and Ionics Agar Environmental earlier withdrew from the tender.
Only the Ashkelon desalination facility is currently operating in Israel. It produces 100 million cubic meters of water a year. The facility is owned by VID Desalination Company Ltd., a consortium of IDE (50%), Elran Investments Ltd. (TASE: ELIN), 25%, and Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE; Euronext: VIE) (25%).
A 30 million cubic meter desalination facility is under construction at Palmachim, and Mekorot National Water Company plans to build a 40 million cubic meter facility, as well as a number of smaller facilities.
Why is that blonde's pic here? Why not?
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Enter Holdings of Amir Berger bought 50% of the Tiv Taam Supermarket chain with the idea of taking it to the Stock Exchange. He paid a low price for the chain, because it was practically bankrupt: Kolbotek, a popular TV show, filmed them selling putrid chicken. The public already hated Tiv Taam because it is not kosher and is open on the holy Saturday.
Tiv Taam is surviving, and yesterday Amit started to sell the new Tiv Taam bonds and collected 80 million shekel. But the panorama is less rosy than it seems: 40% was bought by Anter itself through a subsidiary and 19% was bought by the underwriters. The bonds give 7.25% interest, but the buyers priced it at 10.2%. The operation was almost a disaster.
The stock of Anter is losing 4% today, completing a 40% loss from the moment I bought it. TASE hates the guts of Amit Berger. An economic journalist qualifies his methods as - repugnant. He writes that Amit soon may be forced to sell the only valuable thing he has, his 10% of Prizma, a large fund. He is asking Markstone (the owner of the 90%) 26 - 30 million shekel, but knowing he needs the money, Markstone is offering much less. There is a possiblity that I am going to lose all my investment. Better I sell now.
I decided to picture Silvia Berger, a girl from Austria, instead of Amit Berger.
The Oracle of Omaha, who never leaves his town, is in Israel. Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are both visiting their new property in Tefen, on the very hot Lebanese border. Buffet says that on the long term, Israel is the same risk as the United States. Interesting. Nice to hear. I like him.
He said on TV that he is expecting to receive more offers for investment in Israel. He said, however, that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A; BRK-B), of which is the controlling shareholder, chairman and CEO, wanted to acquire a very large company. He added that Iscar Ltd. was an exceptional company, compared with its global peers, and he doubted that there was another company like it in Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio. Berkshire Hathaway acquired 80% of Iscar for $4 billion three months ago.
“I and my partner Charlie Munger, had an opportunity this morning to visit two miracles: Iscar and the Tefen industrial park,” said Buffet at the end of his visit at the company. He expressed awe at Iscar and expressed his complete confidence that the company’s present management led by chairman Eitan Wertheimer and president Jacob Harpaz would continue leading the company to more achievements.
Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger arrived in Israel yesterday only a few weeks after the second Lebanon war, which affected Iscar. They nevertheless expressed their strong confidence in the worthwhileness of investment in Israel. He said, “Things can change in our companies, but we’re here forever. Obviously, if you buy a company based in Israel, you take a risk, and see headlines from time to time. But Iscar will be here forever. Berkshire will be here forever, and Israel and the US will be here forever. There is no doubt at all about that.”
Now that he paid me a nice advance, Mr Ayzick the owner of the commercial center project is calling me every five minutes to see how I am advancing. The actual building is advancing fine, the weather is wonderful and the place is already in the stage that requires working designs of the pipe system. He is paying the contractors by day and they are not working as they should because they say, need drawings. Moronic animals, even if I gave them drawings at 1:10 they would use it a toilet paper for their fat asses. So Ayzick is pestering me. I suspect he is working for the Netanya Gruzini Maffia. If I fail, he may liquidate me. If phone calls could kill, I already would be dead.
Now the chief architect is changing the position of everything and I have to redesign all once more. There is a deadline, which is (we are in Israel) yesterday. Why did I take this job? Because of greed? Yes, money is my perdition.
Monday, September 18, 2006
About 8 thought screens were made in early 1999 using a metalized plastic which is used in static shielding bags. Six users reported success but two users were overcome by telepathic commands from the aliens, removed the helmets and were taken.
From 1999 to 2004 about 50 people abducted by aliens have reported using thought screen helmets and hats made with Velostat. Since 1999 only two abductees were taken when they wore thought screen helmets with Velostat. Most of the other abductees using thought screen helmets reported success. Some abductees could not be reached after they tried their thought screen helmets.
The development of new prototypes is still being conducted all over the world. Thought vibrations were photographied and produced in different patterns (see a smoke ring type of thought).
Most of my work as design engineer is against fixed timetables, and my clients are desperate to have their designs before the Hagim, the two week period of religious holidays (Yom Kippur and Rosh HaShana) when all the public bureaus are closed and Israel stops working. Under such a stress, my mind is desperate for distraction and a reason to avoid work. In short, I have to design an effective thought deflector helmet NOW. It is a mission that cannot be delayed or postponed. Mr Ayzik is phoning every five minutes asking anxiously if and how I am advancing with his project, but I have no choice. I must focus in this urgent and most important problem NOW.