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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 Nov. 5, 2007 / 24 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Recently, I received a phone call from my son, Rob. It was a phone call that every parent dreads.


That's right: My son told me that the universe does not exist. Or at least it does not in any way resemble my concept of it. According to Rob, I understand the universe about as well as a barnacle understands a nuclear aircraft carrier. I blame college. That's where Rob is getting these ideas, which have to do with Einstein's Theory of Relativity and something called "quantum physics."


Rob and his roommate, Hal, stay up all night discussing Deep Questions and figuring out the universe, and when they have it nailed down-The Rob and Hal Theory of Everything-Rob calls me up, all excited, and starts talking about time travel, the Fifth Dimension, the Big Bang, etc. I try to follow him, but I am hampered by a brain that for decades has firmly believed that the Fifth Dimension is the musical group that sang "Up, Up and Away." So I quickly become confused and testy, and Rob gets frustrated and says, "Don't you understand? THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TIME!" And I'll say, "YES THERE IS, AND RIGHT NOW IT'S FIVE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!"


(At one point-I swear this is true-we got into a bitter argument about whether people in Minneapolis age at the same rate as people in Miami.)


When I was in college, during the '60s, there was no such thing as "quantum physics." Or, if there was, nobody told ME about it. Back then, when we stayed up all night, we were not trying to figure out the universe: We were trying to figure out how to operate the phone, so we could order pizza. (Note to young people: Phones were MUCH more complicated in the '60s.)


I was an English major, and when we English majors thought about physics, we were trying to solve problems like: "You are required to turn in a 15-page paper on 'The Brothers Karamazov.' You have written a grand total of 311 words on this topic. How big do you have to make your margins to make these words stretch over 15 pages? Do you think the professor will notice that your 'paper' is a little anorexic worm of type running between margins wide enough to land an airplane on? Do you think that anybody in history has ever actually read all the way to the end of 'The Brothers Karamazov'? Why?"


This is not to say that I know nothing about physics. I studied physics for an ENTIRE YEAR in Pleasantville High School under the legendary Mr. Heideman. We learned that there are five simple machines: the lever, the pulley, the doorbell, the hammer and the toaster. We learned that the most powerful force in the universe is static electricity, which Mr. Heideman demonstrated by getting a volunteer to place his or her hand on a generator, which caused the volunteer's hair to stand on end, unless the volunteer was a girl with the popular early-'60s "beehive" hairstyle held rigidly in place by the other most powerful force in the universe, hairspray. Presumably, if Mr. Heideman had cranked the power up enough, the static electricity buildup would have caused the volunteer's head to explode, and we would finally have found out if-as widely rumored-many "beehive" hairstyles contained nests of baby spiders.


Thanks to my high-school training, I believed I had a solid grasp of physics. So when Rob was growing up, I was able to answer his questions about the universe, such as "What is a star?" (Answer: a big ball of static electricity that has caught on fire because of friction with comets) or "What is gravity?" (Answer: a powerful type of static electricity that sucks you toward the ground, especially after you eat Italian food.)


These answers satisfied my son until he started reaching that snotty, know-it-all age when kids start losing all respect for authority (18 months). And now he's calling me from college and telling me that the universe is NOTHING like my concept of it. The stuff he talks about is pretty complex, but I will try to summarize the main points, as I understand them:


Point One: Whatever you think about anything is wrong.

Point Two: There is no such thing as Point One. You THINK there is a Point One, but that just shows what a physics moron you are.

Point Three: If there are two identical twins, and one of them gets on a spacecraft going at nearly the speed of light, then one of them will grow old much faster than the other one, and that one will retire to Miami.

Point Three: There is an infinite number of possible Point Threes, and they all are all equally true, and you will never understand ANY of them.


OK? Is that clear to everybody? Good! To prove you really understand, I want you all to write me a 15-page paper on how the universe works and send it backward through time to me in 1964, c/o Mr. Heideman's class. OK, I got it. Thanks.

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Previously:

Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
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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