Changing the World

Leonard Adleman invented biocomputing, yet the scope of his interests is varied and inspirational. 

Imagine if there were never any rules. This means no parents nagging you to clean your room and nobody pressuring you to stop watching television late at night. This also means one can do anything they wish such as stealing and committing violent crimes without any fear. If there were no constraints placed on behavior, the structure of society would diminish to such a low extent that people would have trouble just getting through one day.

‘Nigel looked at her with sparkling eyes. The soul which shone through her dark face had transformed it for the moment into a beauty, more lofty and more rare than that of her shallow sister,” wrote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in “Sir Nigel.” The passage continues with Nigel kissing her as he declares his love for her. But what if we warped it, distorted the classics a bit? Nigel looked at her with sparkling purple eyes or Nigel looked at her with sparkling red eyes.

In every generation teenagers create new terms to express themselves. It went from “swell” to “groovy” to “mind-blowing” from the 1950s through the 1970s. From the ‘80s to now “funky,” “what’s up?” and “cool!” have been used. Unfortunately, a teen’s language is also riddled with words that are extremely inappropriate: curse words.

With Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot behind us, I think we can all appreciate the sanctity and singularity of our Jewish holidays. Spent gathering to pray in synagogue, sharing warm round challot and conversations with family, and visiting the Sukkot of friends and neighbors, Jewish holidays are all about connecting. Connecting to God, one’s family, friends, community and oneself.

For Halloween I’m probably going to dress up as Lt. Aldo Raine from the recent Quentin Tarantino blockbuster “Inglourious Basterds.” Don’t pinch yourself or blink twice — it’s true. It was between him and Michael Jackson. Now, I know those aren’t the words you expect to hear from a former student of the Yeshivah of Flatbush, but I’m serious.