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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 June 25, 2007 / 9 Tamuz, 5767

One giant leap for frogkind

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Get ready to dance naked in the streets, because scientists have finally done something that humanity has long dreamed about, but most of us thought would never happen within our lifetimes.


That's right: They have levitated a frog. I swear I am not making this up. According to an Associated Press article sent in by a number of alert readers, British and Dutch scientists "have succeeded in floating a frog in air." They did this by using magnetism, which, as you recall from physics class, is a powerful force that causes certain items to be attracted to refrigerators. Magnetism is one of the Six Fundamental Forces of the Universe, with the other five being Gravity, Duct Tape, Whining, Remote Control and The Force That Pulls Dogs Toward The Groins Of Strangers.


The AP article states that the scientists levitated the frog by subjecting it to "a magnetic field a million times stronger than that of the Earth." According to scientists, the frog "showed no signs of distress after floating in the air inside a magnetic cylinder."


I am not a trained scientist, but my reaction to that last statement is, and I quote — "Duh." I mean, of course the frog "showed no signs of distress": It's a frog. Frogs are not known for their ability to show emotions; they are limited to essentially one facial expression, very much like Jean-Claude Van Damme. What did these scientists expect the frog to do? Cry? Hop around on their computer keyboard and spell out the words, "I am experiencing distress"?


No, we don't really know what the frog was feeling; this is why we should be skeptical about the scientists' claim, as reported in the AP story, that "there is no reason" why this same magnetic technique could not be used on "larger creatures, even humans." Before we start exposing human beings to extremely powerful magnetic fields, we should conduct extensive laboratory tests on Richard Simmons. But if magnetic levitation really turns out to be safe, I think it could have some important "real world" applications:


1. Getting children out of bed on school mornings. Scientists calculate that the attraction between a child and his or her bed on a school morning can be up to 75 times as strong as mere gravity. Most parents try to overcome this attraction by pounding on the door and shouting ineffective threats, the most popular one being:


"You're going to be late for school!" The problem with this threat is that it's based on the idiotic premise that the child wants to be in school and be forced to sit on a hard chair and figure out how many times 7 goes into 56; naturally, the child prefers the bed.


Think, parents, how much easier it would be if, at 6:30 a.m. on school mornings, you could simply press a button, thereby activating gigantic magnets under your child's bed that would cause the child to float upward, along with any frogs that happened to be in bed with the child. Then, instead of wasting your time yelling, "You're going to be late for school!" you could waste your time yelling, "Stop drawing with that marking pen on the ceiling!" So perhaps this is not such a good use for magnetic levitation after all. Perhaps a better one would be:


2. Coping with people who "save" seats. I don't know about you, but it makes me nuts when I enter a self-service restaurant, airport gate area, movie theater, etc., and there are people "saving" seats — sometimes lots of seats — for people who are not there, and who sometimes do not ever actually show up, which does not stop the savers from vigilantly guarding their seats, often by placing items such as shopping bags on them. My feeling is, if an actual person was physically there and had to go to the bathroom or something, fine, you can "save" that person's seat until he or she returns; but if you're "saving" a seat for a hypothetical person who is not there, then the seat should go to real people who are there. The concept of "saving" seats should be restricted to junior high school, where "frontsy-backsy" is still considered a legal technique for butting into line.


So my idea is that public seating areas would be monitored via cameras; if a "seat-saver" was observed denying seats to real people, the appropriate magnets would be activated, and the seat-saver, along with the shopping bags, would vacate the "saved" seats, very much the way a Poseidon missile vacates a submarine. Granted, the magnetic field would also prevent everybody else from using the seats, but I think the overall effect would be worth it.


3. Improving the quality of medical care. I recently had my annual physical examination, which I get once every seven years, and when the nurse weighed me, I was shocked to discover how much stronger the Earth's gravitational pull has become since 1990. There should be magnets — very powerful magnets — under doctors' scales to compensate for the gravitational increase, much the way economists adjust dollar amounts for inflation.


I'm sure I could come up with other practical uses for magnetic human levitation, but I have to go. It's been an hour since lunch, and, as a resident of the Earth's magnetic field, I find myself powerfully attracted to the refrigerator.

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Previously:

My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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