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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high

By Jim Mullen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We've all heard of the butterfly effect, which says that the world is such a complex, interactive, dynamic system that a tiny butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can ultimately cause a hurricane thousands of miles away. My first thought on hearing this was "If you see that butterfly, stomp on it." But then I realized that if a butterfly flapping its wings could cause a hurricane in the Atlantic, then the slight breeze caused by the motion of your foot stepping on the butterfly might cause a tornado in Texas. So you'd have to very, very gently catch it, take it into your house and kill it there.


Or I guess you could let it go inside the house, where its flapping wings would do no more harm.


But then I thought, "If a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can do all that, what is my golf swing doing to the climate? What are my windshield wipers doing to the weather in Japan? If I play a game of tennis, will it cause a flood in the Philippines?" It made my head hurt, so I had to go lie down. As I sat on the bed, I heard the swoosh of air being forced out of the mattress. If two or three years from now a heat wave hits France, they'll blame me. No, wait. They have mattresses over there, too. Maybe we cancel each other out. Or maybe all together we're causing a flood in Bangladesh. Whoops! Excuse me, I just belched. According to computer projections, that one little blast will wipe out Norway in 15 years. Sorry. My bad.


But if a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane, what does the hurricane cause? A hurricane's got to be worth a dozen butterflies. If everyone on the planet all sneezed together at exactly the same moment in the same direction, we probably couldn't cause a hurricane. It's a puzzlement.


So I called my brother, who is some kind of Ph.D. in physics. He tells me I've got it all wrong and that the butterfly effect simply means that small variations can cause large and unpredictable changes over long periods of time and chaos theory and the Coriolis effect and the heat exchange between the dark and light half of the planet and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. He lost me after Coriolis effect. But he did say that I shouldn't lose any sleep over butterflies, burping and sitting on mattresses. "That's a comfort," I said.


"Yeah, forget that. If you really want to stay up at night, you should be worrying about giant killer asteroids that will smash the Earth into a bazillion little pieces. Trust me, that'll wreck your whole day. Or the sun could go supernova and vaporize the whole planet. Talk about your global warming. It might not happen for billions of years, it might happen tomorrow, you can never tell. Or those drug-resistant superbugs could wipe out all mankind in a matter of months.


You might be one of the few who survive, but there wouldn't be any television to watch and most sporting events would be postponed. If you lived, you would hate it. Then you've got your accidental nuclear contamination, rising sea levels and all kinds of other stuff that I'd worry about before the butterfly effect."


"Gee, thanks." So the good news is, I don't feel threatened by butterflies any more. But if you see my brother … step on him.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from ‘Little House’
A parable for the ‘ages’
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
Green dumb
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Collecting karma
Setting loose the creative ‘juice’
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



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