Like in the cases of a lot of blog entries I post, I am not entirely sure that I should post this one, but what the hey. Jeremy Bernstein is one of my favorite authors. I get so much enjoyment from his books. He is a theoretical physicist and also an adventurer (hiker/mountain climber and the like). He writes very honestly. He is not in the top tier of theoretical physicists. However, his strength is explaining the works of top tier theoretical physicists to ordinary mortals like me. I am rereading his autobiography. He is Jewish. Jews felt quite a bit discrimination in the US in the 1930s. They also clung together -- this probably was more than due to the discrimination. Jeremy's father himself seems like a very impressive man. The father was a rabbi. Jeremy grew up in Rochester, NY, a city of interminable winters. During most of the year, kids would walk around carrying a sled, allowing them sled down hills whenever they felt like it. [For a couple of years during my childhood, I would walk around carrying a metal ring about one foot in diameter and a handle which helped my push the ring as I walked . This was great fun and took the boredom out of the walking.] Jeremy's father could get sleds at wholesale prices from a member of his congregation and these were the sleds that Jeremy got. Jeremy's non-Jewish friends had a brand of sled called Flexible Flyers and not having it made him feel like an outsider. As he writes, "Flexible Flyers came, in my mind, to represent that other world, to which I did not belong." [Growing up barely lower-middle class in Chennai but going to a rather elite school, I felt like this regarding not being able to afford private cricket coaching by A.G.Ram Singh. This for me represented "that other world, to which I did not belong", and to which I very much wanted to belong.] Nothing controversial in anything I have written so far. Why was I hesitant then? This comes in the next part, which I quote from straight from Bernstein. [Stating the obvious, Americans go out with different people of the opposite sex, to find their mates.] "Later, when I started to go out with girls, long-legged, Scandinavian-looking blondes became Flexible Flyers."