Personal

Upgrade from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7

Any repeating visitor will notice that I have changed the site. In fact, besides changing the appearance, the backbone engine running the site was upgraded from drupal 5 to drupal 7. Here is a very short summary how the site was upgraded.

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Earth Day Blackout in Israel vs. Al Gore

A week ago was Earth day, and just like the trend elsewhere, Israel joined with an hour long blackout. In principle, I am very much in favor of environmental awareness, and if it brings some, so be it. But if you ask me, overall, this event is a rather pointless gimmick. Why?

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Delinquent me.

If you check the dates, you'll notice that I am utterly delinquent with respect to posting at this site. Unfortunately, it is because I have an administrative post - I am chairman of the faculty union at the Hebrew University. And it really takes up precious time, which otherwise, would have allowed me to write.

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The long faculty strike

A few words about the longest strike ever in the Israeli Universities, a strike which ended last week. No science in this post. Sorry.

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Bush in a quantum entangled state

On my personal views of President Bush's visit to my humble town of Jerusalem. A few thoughts about quantum mechanics and the speed of sound.

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On global warming (in Hebrew)

התחממות גלובלית, מי יודע מדוע וכמה? A short "open letter" in hebrew about global warming. To all my english readers, sorry. This is a one time quirk.

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The Occultation of Venus

A few astro photographs, including one of Saturn under horrible seeing!

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Low activity because...

For the few who were wondering about the low activity and slow response to comments... I am busy this semester with teaching two courses, one of which is new (on fluid mechanics), so between preparing clear class notes and trying to continue research, my sciencebits.com response time has slowed down. Rest assure, it is only temporary.

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The Hebrew University and Nobel prizes

As is the case in recent years, the Nobel prize announcements last week made me proud of my home institute yet again. This year, Chemistry recipient is Prof. Roger Kornberg, who has been a regular visiting professor at the Hebrew University for already 20 years.

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On Ramadan, the lack of arctic muslims, and why autumn is ideal for the Yom Kippur

While buying diapers on the weekend from my muslim neighbors, I learned that the holy month of Ramadan has just recently started. The hot weather made me realize that Ramadan fast cyclicly varies from an easy obligation to one which is very hard. Fasting in summer implies abstaining from drinking while it's hot, and fasting for more hours a day. In fact, a muslim living north of the arctic circle would not survive a summer Ramadan, implying that no muslim can permanently live in arctic (or antarctic) regions. It also made me think about the Yom Kippur fast which turns out to be ideally placed in the autumn.

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Crackpotness Orthogonality

I just recently read Motl's post on a particularly prolific crackpot, who solved all of the known problems in physics, and then some more. That reminded me of an old story, a true one, which teaches us that you can be a crackpot in many orthogonal ways (that is, in mutually independent ways).

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How bad are the Hezbollah Katyusha rockets?

Over the past two weeks, Kaytushas have been falling over Northern Israel causing casualties and damages. Here are some thoughts about the situation and how bad it is.

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3 is dead

Everyone in Israel has heard of the Galsgow scale. Why? Because our former prime minister Ariel Sharon was and still is in a coma. The Glasgow scale, of course, measures the level of consciousness (or lack of). Ariel Sharon, for example, scored 6 out of 15. 8 or less is defined as a coma. 6 doesn't sounds that bad, doesn't it? So why am I writing about it? What's so curious?

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On Google's PageRank

Anyone who runs a website knows that a successful site has to have a high Google PageRank. Unfortunately, though, Google updates their publicly available PRs only every a few months. Moreover, the PR is only given in discrete increments, so it is hard to know whether a site improved if the actual increase is less than a PR point on average. Given that I am curious about the PR of my site, I thought I should do something. And I did, the bottom line of which is a calculator to estimate the PageRank of any site you wish.

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