Here’s the second half of the third update.

Haim Shafir – “The Paradox of Creativity”
There are three types of creative action – changing a thing’s form or shape, adding, or subtracting. We know what creativity is and how it works, yet, its difficult for most of us. That, according to Haim Shafir, is because our minds dislike it, because it is illogical, requiring us to break thought patterns. For example, try defining these: 7DW, H5, 4WD, 6DS, 24HD, 12ZS, 95, 7WW, 80DAW. Hard? What if you were given the definition of the first one. 7DW = Seven Days a Week. Now try. Well, obviously you’ll go for 24HD = 24 hours a day. Yet, it may be even harder to guess the rest now, because you’ve been directed to focus on a single category, that of time. We tend to get stuck in a single point of view. Creativity requires that we break out of that point of view, and think in multiple categories at the same time. So, what’s the best and easiest way to see other perspectives and get out of our own mentality? Work in groups. Together its easy to solve problems and be creative. [For the record, H5 = High Five, 4WD = Four Wheel Drive, 6DS = Six Degrees of Separation, 12ZS = Twelve Zodiac Signs, 95 = Nine to Five, 7WW = Seven Wonders of the World, and 80DAW = 80 Days Around the World (which I assume was meant to mean “Around the World in 80 Days,” and should, therefore, have been AW80D).]

Lorraine Tuflas – Sharing a Personal Story
(On a side note, if I misspell her name, my apologies. It wasn’t written in the program, and I couldn’t find it on Google)
On March 12, 2008, Lorraine Tuflas’s daughter, a 34 year-old with four children, had a brain hemorrhage which resulted in bleeding into the brain stem. The doctors said that she would die. Ms. Tuflas put her daughter’s CT scans and MRIs on the web and sent them to leading experts. Someone sent her a link to TED with a video of a girl who had survived a brain hemorrhage. Eventually they found a surgeon who had the expertise in Phoenix, where they flew to meet him. The surgery was successful, but the surgeon was sure that full rehabilitation would take 8 years. Ms. Tuflas shared that that within months, her daughter could walk, and in only two years, she was fully recovered.

Oded Vardi – “High-Tech Cultural Challenges”
In his comic segment, Oded Vardi sketched out introductions to Israeli and American Culture.
Intro to Israel: “Shame on the Time” (חבל על הזמן) Translations: According to Avshalom Kor, everything in Hebrew has a meaning. So, when an Israeli says “Move,” what that means is “Would you move a little bit, please.” You see, Israelis aren’t cold, they’re just of few words. The Israeli mentality is that 1) they don’t want to be “friars” (“suckers”), 2) lines and lanes are just general rules, and 3)Israelis use their hands when they speak to compensate for lack of words in Hebrew. Last, most Israelis learned English from TV, so sometimes, an inappropriate word comes out.
Intro to America: “Let’s Do Lunch.” Translations: When an American says “call me next time you’re in town and we’ll do lunch” they really mean, “I’m not interested.” “Good meeting you” means “We’ve met.” “Very interesting” means “not interesting at all.” “Yes” means “Maybe” and “Maybe” means “No.” Also, the US is all about being PC (politically correct). We no longer use terms like “black,” “indian,” of “fat.” Rather, these individuals are “African American,” “Native American,” or “overweight.” What do you call a male head of a board? a Chairman. But, what do you call a female head of a board? A chairperson.

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  • Session 3 was a big win. Shafir was best lecture of the day, I thought. The animation that started the segment was way better than anything I’ve ever seen before. Berzin’s piece was very thought provoking. And while Shocken’s piece wasn’t particularly groundbreaking, it was definitely nice to hear. Tuflas’ story was heartwarming as well.

    To me, Vardi was the weak spot. Entertaining, perhaps. But largely a waste of time. THAT is the speech of his life?