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A Test of Strength: N95 vs. M16

By Paula Stern
8/5/2009, 12:00 AM
So...have you ever wondered about how battles between inanimate objects would go? Elie's life is filled with lessons. There was the time that the ball met the glass vase - yes, with predictable results. Then there was the pillow versus the glass candlesticks. Now, this one might be a close call, so I'll have to explain that the pillow won.

There was the tape on the curtain versus the picture frames. That was a no-brainer, as Elie gently tried to remove the birthday decorations that someone had taped to the curtain, upon which someone had placed several pictures. Suddenly realizing his error, Elie simultaneously tried to catch the glass frames as he said, "Not good, not good." It was actually quite a successful attempt and only two frames were smashed, but if you could have seen the horror on his face and heard the tone of his voice, you would have laughed too.

So, it seems Elie has spent his life learning physics and how objects interact. It's actually quite appropriate that he was sent to artillery, if you think about it, as he has now learned the science behind the things that he has sent flying through the air. He's learned the concepts of friction, of weight, of air and wind and how to calculate so many things.

And today, he learned another thing. When you match an M16 rifle against a Nokia N95 cellular phone, yes, indeed, the rifle will win. The good news, as Elie points out, is that the army will have no complaints against the poor phone. Not even a scratch can be found. But alas, the N95 cannot claim the same. It seems that our cellular provider will be asked to replace the screen...well, at least the parts that are now blank.

One of the secondary reasons I keep this blog running beyond my own selfish need to write, is that I can sometimes offer advice to others. So, allow me to offer this note for mothers and fathers with sons and daughters about to enter the Israeli army (and perhaps other armies as well).

We want our children to have cellular phones - we need them to have it. How mothers survived even 10 or 15 years ago without their soldier having a phone is beyond anything that I can imagine and yes, I know I am quite spoiled in this. But beyond the fact that we want them to have a phone, the army actually needs them to have a phone, if at all possible. It isn't a requirement, but it is definitely an advantage. Elie communicates with the army and the army communicates with Elie via his personal phone.

It is a fact of life here in our army and likely in other armies around the world as well. The army knows these phones are not secure; the boys know what they can and cannot say, when and where. Anyway, back to my advice - if you send your child to the army...and you should...and if you send your child with a cellular phone...and you should...please, please - get insurance on the phone!

Oh, and tell your child, if they are in a combat unit and they are issued an M16 - it's a no-brainer, no matter how good the Nokia phone is, and it is a great phone...it is not going to survive a meeting with even the handle of an M16.