Archive for October 12th, 2002

Yes, but can anyone buy it?

October 12, 2002

Just kidding, just a cute name to attract people to the cool story about Robert Smithson’s ”Spiral Jetty”, the sculpture that dissapeared but now thanks to the drought has once again surfaced in the Great Salt Lake, Utah to everyone’s (those that can go see it) enjoyment. (I guess I love spirals anyway…..)


Carter Gets Nobel Peace Prize, plays fuzzy role in Venezuelan crisis

October 12, 2002

While I am sure President Carter has made contributions to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, I really don’t understand the role he has played in the Venezuelan crisis. Either he was naive and believed what our President told him or the Carter Center received a contribution from the Venezuelan Government that now stops them from speaking out. A few days ago I translated and posted a very good article with the promises made by Hugo Chavez to Jimmy Carter. venezuelans are still waiting to hear from the Carter Center on these issues.

The Carter Center published a denial about receiving a contribution from the Venezuelan Government that was too carefully worded for my taste. It says:

“Son erróneos los reportes recientes aparecidos en Venezuela que indican que el Centro Carter habría recibido una donación de parte del Gobierno venezolano en relación con la invitación para ayudar a facilitar la reconciliación nacional y el diálogo. El Centro Carter no ha aceptado y no aceptaría fondos de parte del Gobierno venezolano en relación con este esfuerzo”


“The reports that recently appeared in Venezuela which indicate that the Carter Center received a donation from the Venezuelan Government related to the invitation to help facilitate the dialogue and national reconciliation are erroneus. The Carter Center has not accepted and will not accept funds from the Venezuelan Government related to these efforts”

Note how carefully it is stated TWICE using the word “related”  when it says “related to the invitation” or “related to that effort”, clearly defining that there is no donation in relation to the visit.  My reading is that the Center did receive a donation unrelated to the visit to mediate between the Government and the opposition, likely into some other project of the Carter Center. So far, the Carter Center has not issued a denial that it NEVER received a donation from the Hugo Chavez Government. Once the Chavez Government leaves, which will happen soon, we will know the complete truth. The shame will now taint not only Jimmy Carter’s  reputation, but also that of the Nobel Peace Prize. (Well, maybe its too late for that anyway, didn’t they give it to Arafat too?)

Nobel Physics Prize Winner Koshiba: I graduated at the bottom of my class

October 12, 2002

One of this year’s Nobel Prize winner in Physics Masatoshi Koshiba descibed how he was at the bottom of his class and said  that academic records are not necessarily a determining factor in setting the course of one’s life. While such statements sound romantic, as one of his former classmates says later in the article, Dr. Koshiba was extremely bright, so that his poor performance might have had more to do with attitudes than with the true value of grades. In my opinion, Dr. Koshiba is probably the exception rather than the rule. Moreover, I bet he did quite well in Graduate School or he would have never received the resources required to do the high quality research that led to the prize. I always remember a friend of mine who worked for a very famous physicist who told me that the scary thing was not that his adviser was brilliant, but that he also worked 18 hour days.