Thursday, March 31, 2005

Weird thing of the day 31 March 2005/20 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Bunsen Burner Day/Oranges and Lemons Day)


Religion update: Who says there can’t be cooperation between different religions? Incredibly, clergy of three orthodox religions have come together to condemn something. This something is an “international gay pride parade” which organizers want to hold in Jerusalem over the objections of the residents, who largely disapprove. The only religious group approving of this parade is the heretical and dishonestly-named “Conservative/Masorti Judaism”, which is not conservative, not traditional (masorti), and outside the historical boundaries of Judaism. The whole idea of said parade, even ignoring the religious (or anti-religious) aspects, strikes me as bizarre. Often one hears the (false) claim that sexual orientation is purely outside of one’s control. If true, it makes little sense to take any pride in being homosexual, since such people have done nothing to have such an orientation. Said orientation also does not make anyone a better person in any meaningful way and is thus nothing to take pride in. Making as much sense would be “straight pride”, which (unsurprisingly) I have heard nothing of.

Today’s weird thing (proper) is a gallery of “transparent desktops”. Enjoy.


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Weird thing of the day 30 March 2005/19 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (National Hot Dog Day)


You’re getting an unusual amount of updates today, because I’m trying to clean up my desktop.

Health update: Smokers mistakenly think smoking is not so bad for them. Little wonder then that we still see tobacco addicts in public, despite the fact that smokers have 10-20 times the risk of lung cancer of nonsmokers. Any politicians reading this, ban tobacco today and keep it out of the hands of self-deluded people!

Political updates:

Today’s weird thing (proper) is the article “Snake-like robot conquers obstacles”. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Weird thing of the day 29 March 2005/18 'Adhar Sheni 5765


Commentary (suggested by Barry): “If we had the 'full story,' could we grasp it?”, which talks about bias in the news.

Today’s weird thing is Stripe Snoop, a project to allow people to find out what information is stored on cards with magnetic strips (e.g., credit cards).



Monday, March 28, 2005

Weird thing of the day 28 March 2005/17 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Aaron's mother's birthday and parents' anniversary/Easter Monday/Something On A Stick Day)


I’d like to wish my mother a happy birthday and my parents a happy anniversary.

Today’s weird thing is, which is about someone who installed UNIX on a motorcycle. (Don’t ask me why.) Enjoy.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Weird thing of the day 25 March 2005/14 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Purim/Good Friday)


Sorry to be so late. I’ve been occupied with the obligations of Purim and getting light bulbs. (And no, I was not investigating that thing at I mentioned yesterday.)

Today’s weird thing is the article “Prankster Smuggles Art Into Top Museums”. Enjoy.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Weird thing of the day 24 March 2005/13 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Ta`anith 'Esther)


Today is Ta‘anith ’Esther (the Fast of Esther), which commemorates the three-day fast of Esther in a time of peril due to an evil decree against the Jews of the Persian Empire as recounted in the Book of Esther. Purim, which commemorates the annulment of that decree, is tomorrow.

Political update: The wall surrounding the British Consulate in Jerusalem angers its Arab neighbors. Keep in mind that Israel was criticized by the UK (among others) for daring to put a wall between itself and hostile Arabs.

Also: The MoveOn PAC wants you to tell Congress to stay out of the Terri Schiavo fight. They’re also requesting donations to fight Bush’s plan to destroy Social Security.

Weird thing: has a somewhat amusing 80-second film about light bulb-jokes.



Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Weird thing of the day 23 March 2005/12 'Adhar Sheni 5765


Political update: The good news is that Medicare is going to start covering quit-smoking programs. The bad news is that they’ll only pay for the elderly who already have smoking-related illnesses. Can’t the federal government stop procrastinating and put every smoker in the United States on a quit-smoking program by banning tobacco and spare everyone the unneeded disease and deaths?

Today’s weird thing is I think that one will speak for itself. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Weird thing of the day 22 March 2005/11 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (World Water Day)


Today you’re getting two weird things, mainly in because I’m trying to downsize my inbox.

1) My father directed me to the article “Ex-prosecutor says he kept Jews off juries”, which notes some of the strange biases people have.

2) Barry wrote to me:
The behav-an listserve has recently had a discussion
about teachers and why they often do not use those
techniques with the best empirical support. (Do not
flame me. No one is accusing teachers of being stupid
or anything like that.) Among the factors that came
up in the discussion were school administrators, who
may actively oppose using effective techniques. One
person on the listserve posted these gems of
administrator behavior as examples of how screwed up
some of them are. Do note that not every school
administrator is as messed-up as those in the below
examples. Furthermore, the credit for the
ineffectiveness of public education in the United
States is shared among many parties. Mark Twain
himself once said, "In the first place, God made
idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school

This is True recently had a few items indicating
what teachers are up
against re: administrators.

THIS is TRUE for 27 February 2005

STRIKE 1, YOU'RE OUT: Raven Furbert, 12, has four
relatives in the
military stationed in Iraq, including her uncle.
To help her remember
them, she wore a patriotic red, white and blue
necklace, a Christmas
gift. But officials at Mont Pleasant Middle School
in Schenectady,
N.Y., told her the beaded necklace is contrary to
the school's dress
code, which bans "gang-related" clothing. They
said if she continued to
wear it in any visible place, she would be
suspended. When they
discovered she was wearing the beads hidden -- not
visible -- they told
her to remove them. Furbert's mother, Katie
Grzywna, says the girl was
previously a good student, but is now frequently
targeted for
detention, so she has filed a federal lawsuit
against the school. "I'll
be really glad when this is all over," Raven says.
"I just want to wear
them for my uncle" in Iraq. (Albany Times-Union)
...Who, if you asked
him, would say he's there to fight for our

STRIKE 2, YOU'RE OUT: A drug dog doing a routine
sniff of cars at R.E.
Lee High School in Staunton, Va., alerted near the
car parked by
student body president Sam Dungan, 17. Officials
demanded he let them
search the car but Dungan, the son of a defense
attorney, called his
dad instead. After all, it was his dad's car,
since his own was broken
down. His father, James Dungan, arrived at the
school and consented to
a search, since "I don't smoke marijuana, my wife
doesn't smoke
marijuana, and my son doesn't smoke marijuana," he
told them. Bad idea:
the search turned up a rusty Boy Scout knife and a
bottle of cream
liqueur, left in the car after a Christmas party.
Good enough: Sam was
suspended for 5 days for "possessing" a "weapon"
and alcohol on campus.
He also must attend alcohol counseling.
(Waynesboro News Virginian)
...On the other hand, he may have a good
malpractice case against his

STRIKE 37, YOU'RE OUT: Susan Bartlett, 34, a teacher
at Pine Grove
Elementary School in Brooksville, Fla., was "out
of control,"
colleagues say. She allegedly yelled at
colleagues, smoked pot at
school, "burped loudly" in staff meetings, and
called children "stupid"
in class. Yet the worst the school would do to her
is enter a reprimand
in her record -- and extend her contract for
another year. School
officials finally took action when, in a staff
meeting, Bartlett
"pulled her pants down and showed her entire
bottom to the whole group
of teachers in the room," an incident report says.
The penalty? She was
ordered to take a drug test. Bartlett refused that
demand, saying there
was a "lack of just cause," and only then was she
fired. (St.
Petersburg Times) ...The difference between the
kids and the teachers:
the kids don't have a union.
Enjoy (or be scared).


Monday, March 21, 2005

Weird thing of the day 21 March 2005/10 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Naw Rúz)


Cool software update: Today I heard about StepMenus, which takes a step towards bringing NeXT-style menus to Mac OS X.

Today’s weird thing is the article “Mind games”, which deals with the use of brain scanning in economic research. Barry may enjoy (or be scared by) this one.



Friday, March 18, 2005

Weird thing of the day 18 March 2005/7 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Spacewalk Day)


My own weird experience: Last night I dropped the stylus I use with my graphics tablet (as a fancy mouse substitute), and it rolled under the sofa where I couldn't reach it. This morning I took everything off the sofa and partially unfolded the part that turns into a bed in order to reach it. To my surprise, there was very little accumulation of anything under there, just a few dead pill bugs.

Today’s joint weird thing and political update is an article which tells of an amazing development in military technology: “'Wrist Video' Gives Israeli Army an Edge”. Note that official “Palestinian” spreader of misinformation Hanan Ashrawi proclaims against the technology, which has the potential to reduce unwanted casualties when targeting individual terrorists, “Nobody doubts Israelis can develop these weapons. But is this the kind of sophistication they need against defenseless people? It seems like a case of overkill.” Amazingly, she is actually promoting unnecessary killings of innocent civilians, specifically of her own people. Also, if her claim that the “Palestinians” are “defenseless people” is correct, then their obviously starting an armed conflict against a country with an excellent standing army was a downright stupid idea. As such, she is clearly a self-hating “Palestinian”, thinking that her own people are a bunch of morons who deserve to die.

Enjoy (or be scared by “Palestinian” self-hatred), and Shabbath shalom.


Silly excuse to party

Good evening.

In tonight’s bonus update, we have “date %s Turning 1111111111”. And I thought no one paid any attention to how many seconds it is since the start of the UNIX era (January 1, 1970)...


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Weird thing of the day 17 March 2005/6 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Submarine Day)


Semi-political update: “Auditors Find IRS Workers Prone to Hackers”.

Today’s weird thing is the article “Holograms Poised to Feed Bio Data”.



Worthless lawsuit of the day

Good evening.

No, I cannot make up such a worthless lawsuit: “Corrie family sues Caterpillar”. Briefly: A pro-“Palestinian” idiot was stupid enough to place herself in the path of a moving bulldozer in order to stop the demolition of a terrorist’s home and get herself killed because the driver did not manage to stop in time. Now her family is stupid enough to sue to company which made the bulldozer. Insert your own comment about personal responsibility here.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Weird thing of the day 16 March 2005/5 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (National Artichoke Hearts Day)


Today’s weird thing is the article “Alaska Community Researches Nuclear Power”.




Good evening.

1) The second half of what happened last week with the wedding:

Tuesday: We had breakfast with the parents of the bride and a number of other wedding guests staying at the hotel. The weather forecast the night before had been that there would probably be snow in the afternoon, so Mom and I decided to leave soon after breakfast in the hopes of beating the snow.

It was too late. Snow was falling as we walked out the front door.

Things went downhill from there. Driving back to the airport was made a bit difficult due to snow falling horizontally and a bewildering traffic maze getting into the airport. Not long after we got to our terminal at the airport, they started delaying flights. After a while, they started canceling flights, including ours. We were trapped in Newark. We did get (different) rescheduled flights for the next day, but we also had to get a hotel room. This involved us getting a hotel room, since Mom was not willing to sleep in the terminal. Unfortunately, we had serious transportation problems even while we were still at the airport. Though Mom managed to call a hotel to make reservations, it took a while to get where the courtesy vans stop because the monorail system connecting the wide-flung parts of the airport for some reason were not functioning well. I cracked a joke about penguins having to push the trains down the track. Eventually the train did come, but it was absurdly crowded. Then, due to a miscommunication, after we got in a courtesy van, it took us to the wrong hotel, necessitating us to go back to the airport and take a different hotel. By the time we had checked in, we were exhausted. Considering that the traffic situation was bad, we did not consider going anywhere else for any reason.

Wednesday: I went to the airport at 6 AM since I had the earlier flight. Mom followed half an hour later. The worst thing that happened to me on my flight was at the changeover in Washington, DC, the second plane was late. Of course, I had to drive back to the airport two hours later to pick up Mom.

2) For your enjoyment, the page of some people and a parrot Mom and I met at the airport on the way up north: Parrotworks, Inc.

3) Pale Male and Lola update: “New York High-Rise Hawks Have Egg in Nest”.

4) Political update: “WFP helping more people in Darfur despite continuing violence”, i.e., the UN’s diplomacy has failed miserably.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Weird thing of the day 15 March 2005/4 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Ides of March/Brutus Day)


Today’s relevant play is “Julius Caesar”.

Today’s weird thing is “Robots and Emotion: Tetchy the Turtle Meets Sonny and HAL”.



Pi Day and wedding update


Little did I know this morning that there are people who celebrate Pi Day. Some of them frequent, where they also sell silly mathematical merchandise. I apologize for missing the Pi Drop, which was on 3/14 at 1:59 PM. (I know: That’s groan-worthy. Then again, it's no sillier than October 10 being International Metric Day.)

I’ve finally written up something on the wedding last Monday. Here goes:

Monday: Mom and I fly up to Newark. From the airport we take a rental car to Monsey/Spring Valley/Nanuet (they all blend into each other) without getting seriously lost. Having arrived significantly before the 3 PM hotel check-in time, we went to Tuvia’s, a Jewish bookstore. They have enough stuff there that Mom and I were both dazzled. I went looking for plastic covers for the set of tefillin I have been using since this summer (formerly my late grandfather’s), but didn’t find appropriate ones. I ended up buying a small siddur (prayer book) and a copy of ’Ayil Meshullash, a geometry book written by my probable ancestor R. ’Eliyyahu ben Shelomoh (the Vilna Ga’on). Mom seemed more interested in the ritual objects. We both could have probably spent days in there looking over what they had. Afterwards we went to a local pizza shop for lunch; it was the first time I had had pizza since Hanukkah. We checked in at the hotel. We rested a little and got ready for the wedding.

Unfortunately, the trip to the wedding was highly stressful. The road signs in New Jersey leave much to be desired in visibility, and so we ended up getting significantly lost. After stopping to ask for directions twice, we got to the wedding seven minutes before it was supposed to to start (and missing most of the reception beforehand) by ignoring the directions and instead using a map and brute-force logic.

The wedding itself was very much along Orthodox Jewish lines, with the emphasis on making sure everything was done correctly rather than what my intuition insists on calling “embroidery”. (Not to say there wasn’t “embroidery”; it just wasn’t the focus. I thought the parents of the bride and groom carrying candles as they accompanied their children to the huppah (wedding canopy) was a nice touch.) The major problem they had is that the groom is a yeshivah student, and apparently they divied up the honors in the ceremony as much as possible so none of the rabbis at the yeshiva would be snubbed; consequently it got very crowded by the huppah.

The wedding feast afterwards was unusual in the degree of separation between the sexes. I had heard of weddings where there were little barriers separating men and women sitting at the same table. In this one there was a barrier running down the center of the room. (Not surprising; just never heard of it previously.) This put a major damper on plans to use the wedding to meet single Orthodox Jewish women. (We have a serious lack of them in Charleston, which contributes significantly to me still being single.) Nevertheless the festivities were still very enjoyable. There was an amazing amount of dancing going on, and even I, the introvert whom no one has ever seen engage in strenuous exercise, got into the act along with the more Hasidhic types and had to take off my vest and jacket at times to avoid overheating. I had no idea what I was doing, mind you, but it was still rather thrilling. A few people wore unusual costumes for the dancing or did tricks of some sort. E.g., there was a guy on a unicycle and someone else who did minor fire-eating. At one point we were even doing the limbo. (Not sure how that happened.)

Mom and I left around midnight. We have no idea when the festivities actually ended.

Stay tuned for what happened last Tuesday and Wednesday...


Monday, March 14, 2005

Weird thing of the day 14 March 2005/3 'Adhar Sheni 5765 (Pi Day/National Potato Chip Day)


Today’s weird thing is the article “Genetic engineering for better suburbia”. I think I’ll let this one speak for itself. Enjoy.


Political update and worthy cause


Today’s political update is “The vanishing Jews of the Arab world / Baghdad native tells the story of being a Middle East refugee”, which deals with Jewish (genuine) refugees from Arab countries, who, weirdly enough, are rarely mentioned in the context of the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict because that would conflict with most of the conventional rhetoric and pretenses.

And for today’s worthy cause, this afternoon I stumbled across Ride Gemach (gemah is an abbreviation for gemiluth hasadhim = “acts of loving-kindness”). The site describes itself thusly: “This site is a meeting place for drivers who want to offer a ride to someone who needs it and those seeking such a ride.” Though it currently only has rides in the New York City/Monsey/Lakewood area, this strikes me as a cool idea for helping people and reducing automobile emissions.


Friday, March 11, 2005

Sanhedhrin update and worthy cause of the day


I’m trying to get caught up from earlier this week.

Sanhedhrin update: On Monday the Temple Institute E-mailed me some news on the proto-Sanhedhrin, which I reproduce for you between the two horizontal lines. Suffice it to say that Sharon is doing a great job of angering the Israeli electorate. (Note: This is not the last thing in this post.)

The Sanhedrin's Declaration Concerning the Disengagement
26 Adar 1 5765

Since its meeting on 28th Shvat 5765, the Sanhedrin has deliberated the initiative of the Prime Minister of Israel, the decisions of the government, and legislation enacted by the Knesset regarding the plan known as "The Disengagement," henceforth referred to in this document as "the uprooting."

This plan involves the uprooting of Jewish communities in the Gaza strip and northern Samaria, the forced expulsion of Jews from their homes, and the willful transfer of these lands to a foreign power.

Following an intensive study which took place regarding the halachic (authentic Jewish law) questions that arise from the government's decision, the Sanhedrin hereby brings its conclusions and decisions to the public's attention.

1). The Prime Minister's program of uprooting stands in direct contradiction to the Torah of Israel.

2). The decision to implement the uprooting will cause large numbers of Jews to transgress many of the Torah's commandments. This applies to many varied commandments, including both those that are practiced between man and G-d, as well as those between man and his fellow man; those that apply to the nation as a whole, and those that apply to every individual.

3). The Government of Israel and the Knesset, in their present form and power structure, do not constitute institutions that have any authority according to halacha to render decisions that contradict the Torah of Israel.

4). Government ministers who have deemed this plan of uprooting to be wrongful have been removed from their positions, and likewise senior officials of the security establishment who have expressed independent opinions about the matter have been ousted.

5). THEREFORE, the decision of this government - which has also violated its promises to its own electorate - is null and void.

6). THUS: No Jew is permitted to cooperate with the program of uprooting, in any way whatsoever.

7). Any Jew - including a soldier or policeman - who supports the uprooting, whether directly or indirectly, whether by voting in its favor, or by giving council, or by supplying vehicles or materials, and obviously, anyone who actively participates in the uprooting... by so doing, transgresses a large number of Torah commandments.

8). The uprooting of the residents of the Gaza Strip and Samaria is a crime, and an injustice to the residents, and places many other communities - in fact, all citizens of the State of IsraelÊ- in mortal danger.

9). Any Jew who participates in, or cooperates with this plan, whether actively, or even by merely remaining silent, transgresses the commandment "You shall not stand idly by your neighbor's blood (Lev. 19:17)," and in the future will be judged by G-d for this sin.

10). The leaders and their agents - including soldiers and policemen who support the uprooting and participate in it - may be brought to bear personal responsibility for all damages caused to those who are hurt, and to their property.

11). By this declaration, the Sanhedrin, as the link of continuity of the Torah received by Moses at Sinai, hereby expresses the stance of Israel's Torah. For if, Heaven forbid, the present government carries out this, or some other, program of uprooting - this action has no validity. The Land of Israel is holy land, and all of its regions belong exclusively to the nation of Israel, forever.

12). The Sanhedrin, as the representative of the Jewish people throughout history, hereby affirms that the Jewish people - regardless of this or that government - does not relinquish, and is not entitled to relinquish, so much as the span of a solitary man's foot of the Land of Israel according to its Biblical boundaries... for it is G-d's land.

13). The commandment to "inherit and dwell" (Deut. 12:29) in the Land of Israel is obligatory upon every Israeli government. In this regard Israel is commanded by G-d to conquer the entire expanse of the Land of Israel within its Biblical boundaries, including the Gaza strip.

14). THEREFORE: Even if (Heaven forbid) the residents are forcibly removed from their homes - when the government changes, and a government in Israel arises that conducts itself according to the Torah, the armies of Israel will return and re-conquer this strip of land, to reinstate the people of Israel to their rightful place. This applies not only to this area, but to all the expanses of the Land of Israel that were stolen and are presently in foreign hands.

15). We are permeated with faith in the G-d of the Legions of Israel, that the oath which He swore to our forefather Abraham at the "Covenant Between the Halves" will be fulfilled precisely as it is stated, and with G-d's help, speedily - as it is written (Gen. 15:18):

"On that day the L-rd made a covenant with Avram, saying, to your seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates river... "

Worthy cause (submitted by Jessica): Care2's Race To Save Baby Seals.

Shabbath shalom, and happy new month.


Weird thing of the day 11 March 2005/30 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765 (Ro'sh Hodhesh Adhar Sheni/Johnny Appleseed Day/Nametag Day)

Hi! My name is Aaron, and welcome to my blog.

Political update: There’s so much stuff out there it’s hard to choose, and I’m not just talking about Bush’s attempts to bankrupt Social Security. To cite a problem that receives little attention in America because Africa isn’t “important” enough to us, I pick “On the way to freedom, Niger's slaves stuck in limbo” and note on the side that this is not the only place on Earth with a slavery problem.

Today’s weird thing is the article “Real World Doesn't Use a Joystick”, which reports on an interesting side effect of using a computer way too much. I suspect Barry may have something to say about this.

And I still have to go write up something about my trip...

Until then, enjoy, Shabbath shalom, and happy new month.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Weird thing of the day 10 March 2005/29 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765 (Raven Legend Day)


Feeling sleepier than usual. Not expecting to make great progress today. I have no idea what Raven Legend Day is about.

Today’s weird thing is the article “Big-hearted pythons pull off post-prandial trick”.



Weird thing of the day 9 March 2005/29 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765 (Unique Names Day)


I have returned from my trip up north to a friend’s wedding, and I’m very tired. The wedding was lots of fun (e.g., even I got caught up in the spirit and did a lot of dancing), but travel was difficult, especially on the way home, where Mom and I were delayed a whole day in Newark due to a snowstorm. I hope to give more details tomorrow when I have more energy (God willing).

Bobby Awesome was not authorized to post to my blog, and he was only able to do so with the help of the evil hacker Junior Crabtree. I have sent my pet miniature hippopotamuses to deal with Bobby and Junior. Rupert Hippo and the gang are calling in some favors from full-sized hippos.

Political update: Yahoo! News - U.N.: Far More Than 70,000 Dead in Darfur

Today’s weird thing: ChevronTexaco Opens California Hydrogen Fuel Station - from

Enjoy, and nighty-night.


Tuesday, March 8, 2005

march‭ ‬8‭ ‬2005‭ ‬giant killer shrew day

hey again im still doing this weird thing of the day thing again coz i want everyone to enjoy getting this n u know im a wonderful person unlike that dog kicker cat smasher butt painter aaron so here are more good links on useful things i like food i hope u do coz w/o food u die but i get my stuff out of plastic bags n mickydees n stuff but aaron wont eat out coz hes stupid n he cooks i dont cook but if u like‭ ‬2‭ ‬cook then here r some good recipes‭ ‬4‭ ‬u bone appeteet


n the weird thing of the day s aarons weird thing of the day coz its not really weird enough to be called weird which is weird in itself go figure

Monday, March 7, 2005

march‭ ‬7‭ ‬2005‭ ‬kiss my shiny butt day

hey u like cool people out there while aaron is out he like asked me to do weird thing of the day coz he wanted someone who could do all these cool things n show u like awesome stuff n charge yeah thats how i got to post n this thing so here i m cool huh

ive been told that every1‭ ‬needs an education why i dont know i never needed‭ ‬1‭ ‬n i turned out real good but aaron likes all that smarypants stuff the elephant tickler he is so heres some sites u can learn useful things n score good n ur sats or acts


o yeah n the weird thing of the day s aarons hair coz it looks funny u dont believe me go look at this


Late-breaking weird news: Aaron thinks a Republican wants to do the right thing


In my last post before my two-day absence (or one-and-a-half-day absence; I could post Tuesday evening), I would like to announce that a Republican may actually want to do something genuinely good, namely that Arnold Schwarzenegger supports banning junk food sales at California schools. As an epidemiologist, I know high levels junk food consumption are very, very bad for people (they make people obese and give them diabetes), and I welcome politicians actually doing something about the junk food problem rather than making excuses for allowing our children to fall victim to predatory advertising. Now let’s hope he follows through with what he says he wants...


Sunday, March 6, 2005

Weird thing of the day 6 March 2005/25 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765 (National Frozen Food Day/International Book Day/Anniversary of the Fall of the Alamo/Lent)


Reminder: I will not be posting Weird things of the day tomorrow or the day afterwards because I will be out of town at a friend’s wedding.

Political update: War is raging in places the media largely ignores, e.g., the Congo. Meanwhile in Israel, reports of there being a truce are highly exaggerated.

Today’s weird thing: The age of solar power is now upon us! A company called Brunton is selling solar power equipment, including rollable, portable solar cells. I find myself wondering about getting some of this stuff at some point. After all, Sunlight is free (thank you, God) and nonpolluting, plus using it as an energy source weakens the grip on our planet of terror-supporting countries which happen to also export oil (such as Saudi Arabia). Not to mention it might avoid a potential problem in Shabbath observance. I hear that many observant Jews in Israel (where I hope and pray to be this fall) will not use electricity on Shabbath because said electricity is probably being produced by Jews who are violating Shabbath; using such electricity therefore encourages Shabbath violation, which is itself prohibited. Having a battery and solar panels powering such things as lights and a crock pot would circumvent this problem. Arguably there would be no problem of mar’ith ‘ayin (giving the appearance of doing something wrong) because solar panels need to be exposed to light, where people would be able to see them and thus make it obvious where the electricity is coming from, in order to work.



Friday, March 4, 2005

Social Security Pledge


Almost forgot about about this pledge I received E-mail about yesterday: Social Security Pledge.

The text of the pledge, which is to be sent to You-Know-Who reads:

I oppose the Republican privatization plan because:
  • It would cut Social Security’s funding and weaken the program.
  • It would cut benefits by one-third or more, even for those who choose not to risk their money in a privatized account.
  • It would require even deeper benefit cuts for those who do choose a privatized account.
  • It would require borrowing nearly $5 trillion, much of which from foreign countries like China and Japan.
Therefore, I pledge to fight the Republican privatization plan and work for real solutions that strengthen Social Security for the long term.

Please let people in government know you are concerned. (Or if you really don’t care about Social Security or are for the Republican privatization plan, just ignore this message.) Thank you.


PS: You-Know-Who is not Voldemort!

Weird thing of the day 4 March 2005/23 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765


Note: Monday and Tuesday (7 and 8 March) I will not post Weird things of the day, because I will be out of town attending a friend’s wedding.

Today’s weird thing is an article on a new way to fight cancer: Yahoo! News - South Korean scientists find key to producing cancer-killing cells.

Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, March 3, 2005

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Weird thing of the day 2 March 2005/21 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765


Political update: Yesterday Backspin noted an article on the Orwellian misuse of language in the Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict,
“The Peculiar Institution: Understanding Why Palestinian Terror Is Different”.

Today’s weird thing: Are you afraid of the dark, but you don’t want to waste electricity on a night-light? Then you need a “hamster-powered night light”!



Worthy cause of the day


Yes, this evening I have for you another MoveOn PAC petition. Please mosey on over there and fill it out in order to urge your Senators to do the right thing. Thank you.


Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Weird thing of the day 1 March 2005/20 'Adhar Ri'shon 5765 (National Surf and Turf Day/National Pig Day/Ayyám-i-Há)


I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday (thank God).

Political update: I’m officially giving Bush the week off from bashing and turning my focus towards other deserving people. reports today that media claims of a sudden change in “Palestinian” popular opinion about terrorism (or any euphemism for it) are committing a serious error of omission.

Today’s weird thing: Could Voldemort be behind a disturbance at Amazon? Find out by reading Yahoo! News - Amazon blames muggles for Harry Potter mixup.