Wednesday, April 30, 2008
TODAY'S BOOK: "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life", by Walter Isaacson ((c) 2003)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.ebood.co.il I feel kind of obligated to mention this one, as it is administrated by one of the teachers in the school I work in. A truly innovative site, eBood (a pun on the Hebrew word meaning "lost") gives people a central place online to present and claim lost objects, filed into several distinct categories. Available in English as well.
Labels: free association
Sunday, April 27, 2008
On Friday, a bunch of vandals broke four panes of glass in the community center: an outside window, two library windows overlooking the toddlers' (board books) section, and the top pane of the front door.
Glass just everywhere.
I felt exactly kind of like this:
Fortunately, the vandals didn't manage to steal anything, as they were apparently scared off by the alarm. But the glass flew all over the place, concentrated in the area frequented by barefoot and/or crawling children.
We had to close the library to the public--disappointing all the other people who'd waited for a week to come back--and clean up the mess. I spent three and a half hours picking up glass with my bare hands. Yes, my bare hands. No, I did not get cut or anything. Yes, I'm a very careful sort of guy.
So now all the bigger pieces are gone--but there are still lots and lots of really tiny pieces everywhere, embedded in the carpet, resisting the vacuum cleaner. We'll be digging them out and picking them up for months. As it is, while I'm there I see tiny points of refracted light gorram everywhere. This is not good for my health, mental (such as it is) or otherwise.
TODAY'S BOOK: "The Case of the Muttering Mummy", by E.W. Hildick ((c) 1986)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.honestreporting.com Israel has proprtionately the most news reported about it of any country in the world; that's why it's important to have said reporting to be fair and unbiased. Since this is usually not the case, nonprofit NGO HonestReporting leads the charge to make it so. Plenty of muckraking articles on the media's two-facedness and well-made videos are available for viewing.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Pirates battling robotic tigers
TODAY'S BOOK: "The Science of God", by Gerald L. Schroeder ((c) 1997)
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
It shouldn't happen to Jew
My cousin (once removed) traditionally goes to the States to be with his extended family on Pesach every year. He is a divorcee with two kids he doesn't see anymore.
So much for the basic facts.
What does his ex-wife up and decide to do this year? Sue him for NIS 60,000 (roughly $17,000), claiming that his past alimony payments haven't been enough.
Think that's bad? It gets worse. Remember that first factoid I gave? Well, she's gotten the court to slap a restraining order on him: he can't leave the country.
Days before he's about to leave the country, and this midden hits the windmill.
So, not only can't he go to America to be with his family, not only is his whole routine disrupted, but all of a sudden he now has five days (including Friday) to get his apartment cleaned up for Pesach.
Naturally, we immediately invited him over for Shabbos and Pesach meals, but still...
What a biznitch!
TODAY'S BOOK: "Mr. Mysterious & Company", by Sid Fleischman ((c) 1962)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.girlgeniusonline.com The only webcomic I have seen that gives SNAFU Comics' Bleedman a run for his money, Girl Genius is a widely praised "gaslamp fantasy" with terrific visuals and engaging characters. For three consecutive days I spent almost all my time at my computer devouring the archived pages (dating back to 2002)! Don't miss out on this highly original story, created, written and drawn by the husband-and-wife team of Phil & Kaja Foglio.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
- This is a very bad sketch of Benjamin "Benny" Kaplan. He is 20 years old and is getting married in two months (mazal tov!). He is a computer proigrammer. He recently returned to Israel after spending a year in America, and resides (for now) in Har Nof. He likes playing baseball more than watching or following it--he's a shortstop--but when he does he roots for the Mets. He has a brother living in my neighborhood on Nachal Shimshon Street. And he thinks "Giant Boogers from Outer Space" is a funny name. How do I know all this? From a 20-minute conversation we had on the 416 bus today, coming home from work. He started it by complimenting me on my mustache--always a good opener in my book.
- It seems I've gotten my wish: taking Matt Wise's place in the Mets' bullpen while Wise goes on the 15-day DL is Carlos Muniz, the 24th bearer of uniform #32 in Mets history. Muniz, 2-for-3 in saves with no earned runs allowed in Spring Training, has responded by allowing only one hit and striking out one in two IP, in two games so far. Dark horses sometimes do pull through: Muniz had three IP in Spring Training, 25th on the roster (and less than 11 more guys yet to debut this year).
- Wakka. Wakka, wakka. Wakka? Wakka! Wak wak wak. Wakka wakka wakka. Wakka, wakka. Wak!? Wakka wak wakka wak wakka! Wakka!! Wakka wak wak wakka.
- And a great big howdy-doo to the blog's first Greek visitor (17 seconds, Apr. 9th).
TODAY'S BOOK: "City on Fire", by Sorah Shapiro ((c) 2002)
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Then I casually asked him why he asked for fiction books (because we don't have all that many on war). His answer stopped me dead in my tracks: he does not, nor has he ever, read any fiction books.
Well that was one heck of a flabbergaster, let me tell you, that really knocked me for a loop. (Darn it, my brain still hurts! I can't help it, and I'm not exaggerating, either.) Even after convincing him--partly via my gesticulating eyeballs--to at least try and read Harry Potter, my mind point-blank refuses to wrap itself around the concept.
So much for my day. How about yours?
TODAY'S BOOK: "Jelly Belly", by Robert Kimmel Smith ((c) 1981)
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Say hello to the latest cartoon published by ShiurTimes magazine. Condoleezza Rice tells Mahmoud Abbas, who has been driven out of Gaza, to stop the rocket fire from Gaza (controlled by Ismail Haniyeh). This is heavily ironic and showcases America's (and everybody else's) insistence on treating Abbas as the Palestinian leader while the amount of power he actually wields can be measured in teaspoons.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Baseball Fever", by Johanna Hurwitz ((c) 1981)
TODAY'S WEBSITE: www.realclearpolitics.com With one of the closest and most important elections in the history of the world's last superpower coming in November, you can't not afford to visit this site, which collects thought-provoking political articles from around the web to present at least once daily, including some by its own staff, and detailed breakdowns of polls both national and otherwise.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
The one-hundred-and-twelfth post
Ahem. Pondering once more whenct I have came to come before you, you see, it is very taxing. Taxing even for a specimen unbottled of unparallel smartitude of which as you see before all of you children. But barrel and carry it I must, this weight of a thousand yokes, as I ponderous bring unto you the happy tiding of, once more, a completely normal post. Random is out. I am in! And I bring much of the muchy muchness of glad things and whatnot and so forth! Getting back in line, I add that Steven Spielberg does not knowingly associate with this... stuff. I do not know why.
Adjusticating my special reading glasses, I am have coming to the conclusion that you sweet cheeked ninnies still contain no iotical comprehension of the geniosity of him which is that me. I! Cower and tremble mighty mortally. Send all fan mail to my humble advisable lackeys to deal with. I of course cannot be bothered to sort through such a hill-mountain myselves. Carry on with your wildnesses of inuderstandability. Back to the rotten routine shall be mercifully mercifal and slash or sweet. For tonight we dine in a smoking-free zone. The end is nigh.
TODAY'S BOOK: "Honor to the Hills", by Eileen Charbonneau ((c) 1996)
Labels: april fool