Nov

18

SEAS is HOT…and so is Zvi Galil’s mass e-mail…

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Dean of SEAS Zvi Galil, spam robot extraordinaire, strikes once more with an idiosyncratic personal e-mail before he leaves to take over the presidency of Tel Aviv University. Just another example of what we’ll be missing…

Hi All,

SEAS is hot. (Don’t hold it without gloves, you may get burnt.) We now have final numbers of Early Decision. Last year we had a record. This year’s new record is 51% higher.  This is beyond anyone’s expectations. As for regular applications, we are “only” 40% higher than the number of last year at the same time. It is too early to predict the final number, as most applications arrive early January.

Every Thanksgiving I read the piece below, which is now 17 years old, and laugh again. Every few years I send it to the students. So if you have received it from me, it perhaps means that you have been here too long… Anyway, you can delete it as any other spam.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Dean Galil

Read more of his e-mail after the jump.

Reflections on Thanks and the Disappearing Snood

Dave Barry

The Fresno Bee —  November 19, 1989

THANKSGIVING  is the special time of year when we traditionally

bow our heads  and,  in a moment of quiet reflection,  ask ourselves whether it 

was medically necessary to eat those last four cubic yards of stuffing. It’s  also when we pause to give thanks for our many blessings  in the tradition of the Pilgrims, who were very thankful after that first winter in rock-strewn New England,  a winter filled with cold and dirt and disease and starvation and death and hostile rock-strewing Indians.

Yes,  they  had much to be grateful for,  those Pilgrims,  and on that first Thanksgiving the ones who were not totally dead yet, gathered together

to  compare  parasites and give thanks.   “At least we don’t  have portable

cellular telephones,” they said.

     This  is  more than we can say about the modern era.   Just

recently  I went  to a movie,  and right in the middle of a crucial scene I  heard 

this irritating  electronic noise,  and this woman sitting in front of me reached into  her  purse,  pulled  out a telephone and,  right there  in  the movie theater, started having one of those vital conversations that people tend to have on portable phones (“Guess where I am!  The movies!”)

     Of course,  I’m used to people talking in movie theaters.   As far as I can tell, a large segment of the population goes to the movies solely for the purpose  of having loud personal conversations while chomping on  Baby  Ruth bars the size of naval cannons.

     But this was something new, a major electronic-rudeness

breakthrough.

     This  woman  should  be very thankful that the  Legislature,  over the objections of the National Rifle Association,  recently enacted a mandatory 15-minute “cooling-off”  period on the purchase of machine guns in theater lobbies.

     Of course,  there are some technology items that we should be thankful for, a good example being Robo-Badger.

     I am not making Robo-Badger up.   I found out about him thanks to

alert reader  J.  Rhein,  who  sent  me an Associated Press article by 

Robert  M. Andrews  concerning a fascinating project at the Smithsonian Institution‘s

National Zoo designed to save the rare, endangered black-footed ferret.

     The zoo has been breeding these ferrets and plans to let them  go, 

but

biologists are afraid that when the ferrets get out in the wild,  they

won’t

know how to protect themselves.

     So  the  biologists got hold of a Wyoming road-kill badger and 

had  it

frozen  and flown to Washington,  where a taxidermist gave it a fierce 

pose

and mounted it on the chassis of a radio-controlled toy truck.

     The  idea  is  that Robo-Badger will lunge around  after  the 

ferrets,

causing  them to develop a healthy fear of the many stuffed

radio-controlled

predators they will surely encounter in the wild.

     The  article  also states that the biologists have  been  teaching 

the

ferrets to dive into their holes by pelting them with rubber bands.

     I  am  still  not making this up.   So we’re talking about  people 

who

probably  look perfectly normal;  who have normal children and  wear 

normal

clothes  and  drive normal cars to a normal-looking building where 

they  go

inside and shoot rubber bands at ferrets.

     I bet they also argue over who gets to drive Robo-Badger.

     Well I don’t know about you, but when I read a heart-warming story

like

this,  it  makes me want to express my thanks by eating an enormous 

Thanks-

giving dinner that continues to expand inside my stomach for the better

part

of a month.

     So  let’s  transform  ourselves into total goobers by  putting  on 

our French-style chef’s hats, and then let’s head for the kitchen to make

this:

EASY TURKEY RECIPE

     Step No.  1 in the preparation of any kind of large deceased

animal for

eating is to learn about its various body parts.

     There is no better source for this kind of information than an

outdated

edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

     According to mine,  turkeys belong to the same biological family

(tech-

nically,  “The  Johnsons”)  as chickens,  and both male and  female 

turkeys

have–this is a direct quotation–“a fleshy head appendage, the snood.”

     Of course,  the turkeys at the supermarket no longer have snoods,

which

forces  us  to  ask ourselves what the turkey industry is doing  with 

them.

Putting them in large trucks and shipping them across state lines, 

would be

my guess.

     This time of year,  you could be driving on an interstate highway, 

and

inside  the  truck right in front of you could be  hundreds,  possibly 

even

thousands of pounds of snood (Six Die In Snood Spill).

     And driving right behind you could be a ferret biologist.

     It’s best not to think about it.   It’s best to simply take your

turkey

and stuff it,  then cook it in an absurdly hot oven for about two days

while

basting incessantly,  and then, just before serving, mount it on the

chassis

of a radio-controlled toy truck.

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