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Skilled Angels Hand

Ghazal Dear,

I guess that must be your handwriting, that I found on a plastic envelope containing EtBr stained agarose-gels. I asked a friend at the Avicenna Bookstore here in Munich, to translate it into Persian, and she proposed that "24 wells" is " 24 خوب ".

If the date is right, than they were lying in the cool-room since two and half years. I thought to give them a trial electrophoresis with some fresh DNA samples we had for sequencing. And what a miracle: they are still giving excellent DNA patters. It must be your angel fingers while casting the gels that made them last forever.

Take Care my Dear Michael

----------------------------------------------------------------- Hello Michael, Yes this is my handwriting! So the gels are still there? Your friends translation was a bit misleading. She obviously just used a dictonary. "well" is "khob - خوب" yes its correct. but in english well is good and also what we use it in gels (like a slot or a hole. so "khob" means "good", but not "hole". And "24" in persian would be ۲۴ Don't forget, Persia was once leading in Mathematics, with men such as Al-Khwarizmi or Omar Khayyam. If you want to practise more, you can go here. So far, Take Care. Ghazal


Ich bin ein Berliner (says Nofretete)

Hello, my name is Nofretete, and I was born in Luxor in Egypt. 1912 some archeologists recovered me from this dark grave in the earth and brought me back to light. I, who together with my beloved husband Echnaton were so much fascinated by the divine nature of the sun had to spend 3400 years in the dark. When I was recovered and brought to Berlin, this not only caused a real Egyptomania and Nofretete-cult amongst the ordinary people, but the sun itself started to shine brighter and stronger for happiness to have me back.
Nofretetes bust in the Berlin Neues Museum

The Egyptians were always afraid of my beauty. 3400 years ago they hated my preference of the sun against all the single, little minor gods they were worshipping. Thats why they banned my statue and burried me deep under ground. After the German archeologists under Ludwig Borchardt excavated me 100 years ago in the meter deep dust in Amarna, and brought me back to sunshine, the Egyption authorities several times attempted to get hold of me. They ordered reviews from French lawyers that should proof how the Germans had violated a contract with Egypt and insidiously betrayed them by highjacking me to Berlin. I have to admit, that my escape from Egypt to Berlin did not happened against my own will: Without exchanging words, both Borchardt and myself understood that the Berlin New Museum would provide a more adequate place for me than an Egyptian dust bin. We were afraid that in Egypt, they again would try to hide my beauty from the public views. Now, 2012, 100 years after my rebirth, they introduce in Egypt the Sharia, ordering every woman to hide her face and her beauty. In Egypt, wouldn't they put me under a hijab or a burka, before showing me to the public ? Or will the Salafists who occupied a couple of parlament seats and some governmental posts attack me altogether, destroy me as they did with other statues in Afghanistan and in Mali, because they fear that people will worship my beauty ? In Berlin in the New Museum, people from all over the world come only to see me, and yes, they worship my beauty. They like me, and I like them, and therefore I will stay in Berlin forever. I am nobodies property, I belong to the entire mankind. But in Berlin they toke always care of me, and they will do so forever. During the bombings of the 2. world war, when the city was turned into a ruin field, they found a saver shelter for me somewhere far away in a mountain village. They were so intrigued by Nofretete, that the emperor Wilhelm II and the East-Germans (who lost me to West-Berlin) both ordered identical copies of myself. I am nobodies property, not the Germans and not the Egyptians. But I am and will stay a Berliner. The local people call me a "Berliner Göre", and although this sounds turkish, it is their slang for "naughty little girl". Although this of course is a (typical Berlin) understatement of my beauty, I can life with it.

Will Keira Knightly leave the train trough the steam ?

Many times Tolstojs novel "Anna Karenina" was brought on the cinema screens, by not so famous film directors, but with actresses who after playing the leading character became movie stars (or were movie stars before already). Sophie Marceau, Jacqueline Bisset, Vivien Leigh and of course Greta Garbo. And now, we have the pleasure to enjoy a more modern Anna Karenina, using state-of-the-art 21st century cinematografic techniques. One of the most intriguing moments in the 1935 movie with Greta Garbo shows her arrival by train in Moscow, when she arises through a steam-cloud and leaves Wronski, who came to the train station only to meet his mother, breathless.
  Before I consider to see the new movie (staring Keira Knightly as Anna and Jude Law as Mr. Karenin and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Wronski), I first want to see how the train station scene has been set up. If this scene is weak, or a disappointment as compared to Greta Garbos one, I wont see the entire movie.


The Geffen Foundation: from Music money to Medical Research

I was looking for a colleagues work on cancer stem cells today in the internet. Found out that she now works at the David Geffen Medical School of UCLA. I got curious, since I red the name David Geffen already at a research institute in Tel Aviv. So this is what David Geffen, of whom I hardly knew anything untill today, did in his life (apart from founding some of the top centers of biomedical research).
He was born in 1943 as son of a poor tailors family, jewish emigrants from Europe who settled in Brooklyn. Young David attended a couple of colleges but always dropped out before graduation. When he seeked for a job in the then booming music- and entertainment industry, he falsified a letter that wrongly proofed that he graduated from UCLA (hic! This might be the reason for his later generosity in funding the UCLA David Geffen Medical School). This "degree" from UCLA now opened him the career at WMA, where big movie stars such as Chaplin, Clark Gable, Catherine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and music stars such as the Rolling stones, Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher were under contract. Later he began his own artists agency and the record label Asylum Records, where he was influential to the success of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne and promoted the career of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, The Eagles and others. His next record company, Geffen Records, produced Donna Summer, Neil Young, Aerosmith, Peter Gabriel, Nirvana, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and many others. In the 80s, Geffen founded his own movie production and distribution company Geffen Pictures. It produced little gems of cinematography such as "Little Shop of Horrors", "Risky Business", "Beetlejuice", "After Hours", "Men Don't Leave", "M.Butterfly", "Interview with the Vampire", "The Butcher Boy", and (my alltime favorite): "Beavis and Butthead do America". From the money he made here, he co-funded Broadway musicals such as Dreamgirls and Cats. To make clear that Geffen was not simply the lucky guy to discovered a gold-mine for himself (in particular when together with Spielberg and J.Katzenberg he founded DreamWorks Studios), consider where he spend much of his income. He donated large parts of his wealth to organize the UCLA theater Geffen Playhouse. Millioans of $ went to Bill Clintons and Barack Obamas election campaigns and to stop the homo-phobic Proposition 8 in the Californian constituition. His most eminent donations, I think, went to medical research. His 200 mill gift to UCLA to found the medical school was the largest ever privat donation to medical schools in the US.

So I wrote this not to show another typical cases of the american dream to rise from rags to riches. Geffen was not seeking for the quick success and low-risk investments. He was always following a vision. He had an idea that came to him before it became common sense. This might be a common character among the Jews, that its better to sit down and make up your mind and don't go the easy track, but follow your own intention. I think because Jews over the centuries were so often discriminated from starting the easy careers (in gouvernmental administration, academia, army, owning agricultural ground), they developed already very early the skills of converting "crazy" ideas into the business of the future.
But when I said in my early comments above that they not always acted like philantrops, at least there was one big-business where Jews were under-represented: arms production. The entertainment industry and careers in academia obviously absorbed so many of them, that no Jews were left to work in the weapon industry. No point to be ashamed of, I would say.
(A debate on the jewish philantrophy with Bahmani is here)