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things that just are

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Always Double Check Those Google Map Directions

Interested in going from Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Kings College, Cambridge, England?

Step 12 may be a little difficult:
Swim across the Atlantic Ocean

From Google Blogoscoped

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Can't use this green leaf for karpas

No pot on Passover

In bad news for its religious Jewish supporters, an Israeli pro-marijuana party announced Tuesday that pot is forbidden on Passover.

Cannabis is among the substances Jews are forbidden to consume during the week-long festival, which begins on Monday, said Michelle Levine, a spokeswoman for the Green Leaf party.

Biblical laws prohibit eating leavened foods during Passover, replacing bread with flat crackers called matza.

Later injunctions by European rabbis extended those rules to forbid other foods like beans and corn, and more recent rulings have further expanded the ban to include hemp seeds, which today are found in some health oils - and in marijuana.

Green Leaf is a small political party that supports the legalisation of marijuana. Although it is by no means a Jewish religious authority, the group decided to warn its observant supporters away from the drug on Passover.

"You shouldn't smoke marijuana on the holiday, and if you have it in your house you should get rid of it," Levine said. The edict was first reported in The Jerusalem Post.

But not everyone needs to give up their habit for the duration of the festival. The rabbinic injunctions banning hemp were never adopted by Sephardic Jews, who come from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. That means there is no reason they can't keep smoking marijuana, Levine said, except that it remains illegal, despite her party's best efforts.

Green Leaf contested the last three national elections but never won a seat, despite gaining popularity as a protest vote. According to Levine, the party has a large number of religious supporters.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Intereting article from the UK on students plagiarizing their medical school application essays:

The study found that nearly 800 medical applications had personal statements containing phrases directly taken from three online example statements. Ucas said 370 applications contained a statement starting with "a fascination for how the human body works"

234 included a statement relating a dramatic incident involving 'burning a hole in pyjamas at age eight', and 175 candidates wrote about 'an elderly or infirm grandfather'.

From Freakonomics Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mr. Wicked

Interesting NY Times Magazine article on Wicked.

Elphaba is a play on the name of the author of the "Wizard of Oz." How about that.