Skip to main content

A NYC moment: Random act of Kindness

NYC is a place of wonders that continues to surprise me with how easily the trendy, elite and technologically advanced could buttress the mundane, downtrodden and unfortunate. Often as I walk the streets scanning faces set in stone, flowing in the endless waves of people that mark the city scape with their darting , halting and ever meandering life lines, I think of the stories that all these people have, the places they have been and the places they are going. Last night, after a great time spent with old and new friends at a Village bar near 14th st. as if often the case for me after imbibing a good amount of alcohol and having danced the night away, I had the munchies. Unfortunately, the night of revelry ensured that I had no cash to buy the pizza so the hunt for an ATM was on the way, in the city that usually means a walk of no more than a block and sure enough a block later I found a Chase ATM.

I entered and began my transaction , as I finished I noticed motion in the peripheral area of my right side and was startled to see a young woman sitting there on 3 satchel's reading a paper. It was obvious from her appearance that she was homeless, though she was not overly disheveled. As I made light of the fact that she was in an ATM hall where she would otherwise not be allowed to stay, I inquired about her circumstance and how it was that she ended up homeless, her name was Sarah. She told me of her move to New York from South Florida and in the process betrayed disappointment in her parents and her one older sister, both of whom from which she was estranged. As we continued to talk about various ranging topics it was obvious she was an intelligent person, familiar with disparate occurrences both locally and nationally and internationally. After some time I told her I was on my way to a pizza joint and asked if she'd like something to eat. She hesitated and then agreed, as we left the ATM hall she mentioned another pizza place a block further from where I was originally going. We headed there and I let her order what she wanted, she opted for two slices with chicken and broccoli and a bottle of coke. As we ate we continued to talk and on our way out I over heard a table of patrons speaking a language I couldn't identify, as Sarah came to the doorway I asked her if she could identify the language, she didn't proffer a guess but I guessed Icelandic, to which the patrons told me "a little bit south" and Sarah responded "Dutch", to which they agreed. She apparently had spent some time in Europe, as we wished the patrons a good visit to NYC we left the store and walked toward the subway.

I was happy that I was able to provide a slice of joy in what is doubtless a difficult life on the street, during our talks I got the possibility that she could have been mentally ill as she expressed certain unusual fears about the "pull" of the moon on our walk to the station but she is just another human being trying to make it in this city that never sleeps. I shook her hand and wished her much success on her goals of trying to get out of her current situation and she wished me success in my endeavors and down I went into the bowels of the city. I'll probably never see her again but it feels really great to have performed a self less random act of kindness during this holiday season (not that I would not have done it any other time) and in particular this economic turmoil, helping others when one has no reason to is an act that is its own payment.


Popular posts from this blog

On the idea of "world wide mush" resulting from "open" development models

A recent article posted in the Wall Street Journal posits that the collectivization of various types of goods or services created by the internet is long term a damaging trend for human societies.

I think that the author misses truths that have been in place that show that collectivization is not a process that started with the internet but has been with us since we started inventing things.

It seems that Mr. Lanier is not properly defining the contexts under which different problems can benefit or suffer from collectivization. He speaks in general terms of the loss of the potential for creators to extract profit from their work but misses that this is and was true of human civilization since we first picked up a rock to use as a crude hammer. New things make old things obsolete and people MUST adapt to what is displaced (be it a former human performance of that task or use of an older product) so as to main…

Highly targeted Cpg vaccine immunotherapy for a range of cancer


This will surely go down as a seminal advance in cancer therapy. It reads like magic:

So this new approach looks for the specific proteins that are associated with a given tumors resistance to attack by the body's T cells, it then adjusts those T cells to be hyper sensitive to the specific oncogenic proteins targeted. These cells become essentially The Terminator​ T cells in the specific tumor AND have the multiplied effect of traveling along the immune pathway of spreading that the cancer many have metastasized. This is huge squared because it means you can essentially use targeting one tumor to identify and eliminate distal tumors that you many not even realize exist.

This allows the therapy for treating cancer to, for the first time; end the "wack a mole" problem that has frustrated traditional shot gun methods of treatment involving radiation and chemotherapy ...which by their nature unfortunately damage parts of the body that are not cancer laden but …

First *extra Galactic* planetary scale bodies observed

This headline

So every so often I see a story that has me sitting at the keyboard for a few seconds...actually trying to make sure the story is not some kind of satire site because the headline reads immediately a nonsense.
This headline did just that.
So I proceeded to frantically click through and it appears it was a valid news item from a valid news source and my jaw hit the floor.
Many of you know that we've been finding new planets outside of our solar system for about 25 years now.
In fact the Kepler satellite and other ground observatories have been accelerating their rate of extra-solar planet discoveries in the last few years but those planets are all within our galaxy the Milky Way.
The three major methods used to detect the bulk of planets thus far are wobble detection, radial transit and this method micro lensing which relies on a gravitational effect that was predicted by Einstein in his general theory of relativity exactly 103 years ago.