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Friday, November 10, 2006

A Victory For Lunatic Fringe

Lunatic Fringe recently won a landmark battle in "The Great Genetic Disease and Gene Nomenclature War".

Lunatic Fringe, and other inappropriately named genes gained some recognition when an article [Original Link] showcasing the issue of gene nomenclature was published in Nature magazine this past week. The article discusses the problems inappropriately named genes cause, and the changes that the "Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Gene Nomenclature Committee" plan to make to these controversially named genes. The committee plans to change the names of many genes; The shortlist contains Lunatic Fringe, Radical Fringe, and "The Hedgehog Genes" which include both the "Indian" , and "Sonic The" varieties.

The article gave my father (Dr. Mark Ludman) 15 minutes of fame when it quoted him several times. It also credits him and several coleagues as the ones who "appealed to the HUGO committee to launch the consultation that led to the drawing up of the short-list".

Congrats on the victory LF, and way to go Dad!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Dean Has Left The Building...And The School

Well, it's official: Dean Zvi Galil, the current dean of Columbia University's school of engineering and applied science (SEAS) is leaving at the end of the year. Prof. Galil is leaving my future alma mater to become the President of Tel Aviv University here in Israel.

I first met Prof. Galil this summer. I was invited to a cocktail party in Tel Aviv over the summer to hear Columbia President Lee Bolinger speak and to hopefully meet both President Bolinger and Dean Galil. Unfortunately, Dean Galil couldn't make it and I only met President Bolinger. I ended up meeting Dean Galil a few weeks later, at a cafe in Tel Aviv. I got the call to come meet him when I was already on the beach, in a tank top and bathing suit, which made for an interesting first meeting. He was only in town for 48 hours (in hindsight, probably interviewing for a job at TAU) so we took advantage of the only chance we would get.

I will be meeting Dean Galil again in a few weeks as I am invited to a reception in his honor in Tel Aviv.

Since the announcement that the Dean will be moving to TAU a number of sites have pooped up on the net. Among them is, a site where people can tell Dean Galil they want him to stay.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

First Rains

Alas, winter is here, and with it comes the cold, crummy weather that forces me to wake up on the wrong side of the bed. With that said, I was in a surprisingly good mood all day today. I like the rain but hate having to travel in it.

Unfortunately, I seem to have fallen back into the rut of posting once every three weeks, which needless to say is not good.

I saw three movies last week: World Trade Center, Silent Hill and The Breakup.

WTC was interesting. I quite liked it. It wasn't action packed but I would hardly call it boring like so many reviews did.

Silent Hill was about what you would expect from a movie based on a video game, (Resident Evil not included- that movie rocked!). Having seen the trailer at WTC my friends and I decided it would make a good "bad horror movie" to watch and make fun of. The plot wasn't the most coherent and there were so many things in it that seemed completely random. I guess you have to be a fan of the game. I did like the creepy-deformed-melting-baby-things (I think they are called Grey Children) though- they were kinda cute in a sick I-have-been-eating-nuclear-fallout way.

The Breakup is a chick flick, but Vince Vaughn makes it bearable cause let's face it, he's pretty damn funny.

I was guarding over the weekend so that makes two weekends in a row that I didn't go out- last week I was sick. I think I am suffering from alcohol withdrawal.

And now, a little something new. I call it "Things I like and things I don't". I am open to name suggestions though.

I like getting under heavy covers and falling asleep to the sound of the rain on my skylight.
I don't like having to run to the bus in the pouring rain without an umbrella or a jacket.
I like working in my office when it's the perfect temperature out.
I don't like guarding for 4 hours straight in the freezing cold rain.
I like movies that make me go "Whoa! What the hell just happened!?"-in a good way.
I don't like movies that make me go "Whoa! What the hell just happened and who do I see about getting two hours of my life back?"
I like chocolate milk.
I don't like rotten milk.
Milk straight from the cow is bearable.

If this amused you please send my one dollar. If you would like two minutes of your life back, send me two dollars and I'll see what I can do.