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Some Personal History

Over the last several decades I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting projects.  In chronological order:
  • Crocker Nuclear Lab: a 76", sector-focussed, isochronous cyclotron (it was high tech in the 60s).  Made radioisotopes for cancer screening, as well as operating and maintaining the cyclotron.
  • Loma Linda Proton Therapy Facility: Designed shielding for facility and control system for accelerator.
  • Superconducting Super Collider: Worked on design committee and then the control system. RIP
  • Computer Programmer... various gigs.

On a more personal note, I am an Orthodox Jew.  A few things you may find interesting:
  • Our calendar is solar-lunar calendar.  That is, the months follow the cycle of the moon, but the years are adjusted to keep the holiday at the right time of year.  Passover, for example, must always be observed in the spring.
  • All Jewish holidays begin at sundown.  The sabbath (Shabbos), for example, can start as early as 4:00PM Friday afternoon during the winter.  For that reason, I generally work from home on Fridays and the day before our holidays.
  • We have an ancient custom that men and women do not touch each other.  The comes up sometimes when meeting new people, because it means I can't shake hands with the women.  In general, people are very accommodating.
  • I eat strictly kosher food.  That does not mean that a Rabbi blessed it; it does mean that the food must adhere to certain standards as explained to us at Mt. Sinai.  If you want to know more, you may want to check out the excellent introduction, "What Is Kosher?" at the Chicago Rabbincal Council web site.
  • Also, don't ever worry about offending me.  If there is something you want to know, feel free to ask.  In fact, it is harder to get me to stop than it is to get me started :)


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Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

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Let's take a completely hypothetical scenario: It is Friday afternoon and you've been at the hospital since Monday. The plan from the beginning was to be discharged on Friday. You are at a hospital that is 30 minutes from home (non-rush hour), so you haven't been home the entire week. You have been "bathing" in the rest room by the elevators (you are only the care giver, after all; not the patient, so you don't want to use the shower in the patient room) using the thinnest paper towels known to mankind. They've been telling you all day that the patient is ready to be discharged; all tests and procedures completed/successful/passed. Only waiting for the PA (physician assistant) to finish the paperwork, but he is stuck in surgery. Sundown is at 7:50 PM, you should have been out by 2:00 PM; it is now 3:00... 4:00... 5:00 PM. No worries; sure, it's now rush hour so the commute home is closer to 45 minutes or an hour, sure you haven't bathed properly n…

Thought for the Day: Is Free Will Entangled?

Catchy title, no? If you were a physicist, you'd be deeply amused by my wittiness. If you are not, you can at least be amused at how witty I think I am being.

Here is the core issue: We humans are the unique beings in Creation who have unencumbered free will. That is, in fact, what the Torah means when it says that man was created in the image of his Creator. (I am oversimplifying a bit; but really just a bit.) The question is whether we can each make our own decisions independently, or do they need to mesh together?
I should note at this point that free will is not anarchy; if I decide to jump up, I am going to follow a relatively ballistic trajectory until I land. I can't decide at the apex of my trajectory to change directions or just hover; my trajectory is a consequence of -- and therefore an integral part of -- my initial decision. The most dramatic way to phrase this question is: If Bob murders George, has Bob's free will choice of murder just interfered with George…