Wednesday, November 30, 2005

28 Marheshwan 5766/30 November 2005: Stay at Home Because You're Well Day


Cool thing of the day: The entire Aleppo Codex (כתר ארם־צובא) on-line. The Aleppo Codex is the best and most authoritative manuscript of the Hebrew Bible extant. (Well, most of it anyway; most of the Torah and part of Chronicles are missing.) These are page images, so there is no worrying about OCR or mistyping errors.

Political commentary: “Terrorists in suits and ties: Just because terrorists dress up as politicians and run for democratic office doesn't erase the fact they still are murderers”.

Reminder: Enter the The Weird Thing of the Day Dune Fantastic Religion Contest for a chance to win fame and glory, and to get to pick the weird thing of the day for a week.

Today’s weird thing is a list of handy hints from Emily’s collection. This is not humorous material, just thinking “outside the box”. Enjoy.


Go the Extra Yard
Jan's no knit-wit: "When knitting a sweater, after you put it together, run some extra yarn up along the inside of the seam lines. When washing, this will wash that yarn as well. Then if you need a repair in the future, the yarn you'll need will be there in the same exact color."

Stay Toned
If you're looking for a quick and easy reference note for tuning an instrument, just pick up the phone and use the dial tone. In the U.S., it's very close to the note "F" (if a little sharp). This is especially helpful for guitar players, who can use the tone to tune the "E" string at the first fret, then just tune the rest of the strings accordingly.

It's a Wrap
If you're in a pinch for gift wrap, head for the kitchen! Aluminum foil with an attractive ribbon or bow will have the receiver oohing and aahing over your gift-wrapping expertise. For more gift wrapping options, check out 2torial #0611, Giftwrap a Present.

Cutting-Edge Advice
Before cutting glass with a glass cutter, brush oil on your cut line. This way, you can score the glass without having to make your break right away. When you do make the break, put a wood pencil under the cut and push down gently on either side of the glass. Be sure to score the glass from edge to edge (don't start or stop in the middle), or you won't get a clean break.

A Sticker Situation
To create homemade stickers for kids, combine two parts white glue with one part white vinegar, apply it to the back of whatever you want and let it dry. When you're ready to use your new sticker, just moisten the back.

Picture Perfect
Small beanbags make great substitute tripods for all you amateur photographers. They mold themselves perfectly to uneven surfaces like rocks or tree branches—great when using the timer, as well as for low-light shots that require a steady hand.

Storing Paint
Putting a dot of the color on the lids of your paint bottles makes it easy to find the right one in a box of paints--or you could just store them upside down!

Sharpening Scissors
Scissors gone dull? Simply cut sandpaper with them to sharpen.

Penny Ruler
Need to make a small measurement, but don't have a ruler handy? A U.S. penny is exactly 3/4" wide.

Sawing Wood
Here's a clever one from LearnLetter member Maurine Franklin: "Need to saw a small piece of wood, but don't have someone to hold down the opposite end? Place it under the toilet seat, press down on the lid with a knee and saw away. Does the job quickly (and it's funny, too!)."

Magnetic Pictures
What to do with old school pictures, pictures too small to fit in frames, or pictures with lots of uninteresting background space? Glue them onto old magnets or new magnets attached to a small piece of cardboard to create a delightful new picture for your fridge.

Hammer And Fork
Don't want to hit your fingers with the hammer? Use a fork to hold the nail in position. Just place it between the tines.

Measure Your Thumbs
On a related note: many handypersons take the trouble to measure both their thumbs and their little fingers, so that they always have a measuring rule "at hand." Measure the space they occupy when pressed against a surface (not the width of your nails). Then you can estimate lengths by leapfrogging one digit over another.

Rejuvenating Masking Tape
"If you have a roll of masking tape that's dried up and won't unroll, simply put it in the microwave on a damp rag and zap it (no more than a minute or so). It'll be good as new!"

Sticky Price Tags
From Deb K.: "It was always frustrating for me when I'd buy a gift and, before wrapping, try to remove the stuck-on price tag. If the packaging is a smooth, shiny surface, you can get that junk off with lighter fluid. Just a little on a paper towel, combined with a little elbow grease will clean your package right up and make it presentable."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

27 Marheshwan 5766/29 November 2005: Square Dance Day


Barry and I have been batting around an idea for an exercise in group micro-fan-fiction recently, and we believe we have it to a stage where we can unleash it on the World. Therefore, allow me to present

The Weird Thing of the Day Dune Fantastic Religion Contest

In the universe of the Dune novels, there are a large number of fantastic (in the sense of fantasy) religions, many of which joined together in creating the mother of all syncretisms, the Orange Catholic Bible. From the information given in the Wikipedia article on the Orange Catholic Bible, one has to wonder what sort of religions did not make the cut. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to invent such religions.

  1. Every entry must consist of a fantastic religion that does not exist in the Dune universe but which ought to be in there. Fantastic religions may be 1) syncretisms of pre-existing religions, 2) derivatives of pre-existing religions which are taken in interesting directions, or 3) something more or less original.

    Examples of Dune syncretisms: The Buddislamic Christian Church of Sikun, The Hasidic Lutheran Dynasty, Tenri Kyo Science in the Galaxy.

    Examples of Dune derivative religions: The Calvinistic Genetical Determinant Elect Body, Incorporated; The Jesuitical Evolutionist Church of Chardin; Tenth-Day Adventist Church of Rapide.

    Examples of Dune original religions: Belt Hypostatical Program, The Ray Space Worshippers, The Universal Pantheist Religion.

  2. There is no limit on the number or type of religions or ideologies that may be packed together into a syncretism.

    Examples of extreme syncretism: The Mormon Sikh Rastafarian Masonic Temple, The Raëlian Urantislamic Order, Zenshinto Satanic Church of Subgenius.

    Examples of syncretism with non-religious ideologies: The First Church of Lenin, Philosopher; The Anabaptist Humanist Church; The Church of the Twelve Steps.

  3. The source religions may be as general or specific as one likes.

    Example for extreme generality for a potential source religion: Theism.

    Example for extreme specificity for a potential source religion: Scientific-Rationalist, Vilna Ga’on rite, Orthodox Pharisaic Judaism with inclinations towards transcendent monotheism, resumption of animal sacrifice sooner rather than later, and rejection of practices with possible origin in demon-worship.

  4. Any and all real religions and other ideologies, whether currently practiced, extinct, or parodies (e.g., The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), are not eligible, so please do not submit Sikhism on the basis that it is essentially Hindo-Islam. However, you may syncretize or create derivatives of canonical Dune religions if you wish (e.g., Reform Zensunnism, which permits worship of earthworms).

  5. Uncreative variations, such as The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of Alpha Centauri, and downright derogatory entries, such as The Society for the Worship of Aaron’s Moronic Blog, have no chance of winning. The point of this contest is creative fun, not mindless repetition or senseless cruelty.

  6. Optionally, you may include a brief summary of your fantastic religion.

    Example summary:
    Elvislamic Jihad
    Declaration of faith: “There is no god but Allah, and the King is His prophet.”
    Rites: Elvis impersonation.
    Liturgy: The music of Elvis Presley, especially his religious songs.
    Practices: Pilgrimage to Graceland, making holy war by use of music.
    Ultimate goal: To obliterate all “un-Elvislamic” forms of music and bring the entire music industry under the control of the Dar al-Elvislam and its leader, the Sheikh al-Elvislam.
    Scriptural quote: King of Kings 9:22-23: There may come unto you those who do not see the wisdom of the King. And thou shalt say verily unto them, “You ain’t nothing but a hound-dog”.

    Summaries are recommended when the source religions/ideologies are obscure and for totally original religions.

  7. Fantastic parody religions are permitted.

  8. All entries must be received via E-mail before the first day of Hanukkah (sundown, 25 December 2005). Entries received as comments on the blog will not be accepted. In the event of too many entries to handle, the judges may end acceptance of entries earlier.

  9. There will be no limit on the number of entries anyone may make, though it should be noted that a few good entries will be appreciated a lot more than zillions of bad ones.

  10. Aaron and anyone he decides and convinces to join his Judging Committee will announce a winner on the last day of Hanukkah (2 January 2006). Judges, of course, are not eligible to enter this contest.

  11. The winner shall get to choose (within reason) the weird thing of the day for a week.
Judging criteria:
  1. Humor: Humorous entries will be appreciated more than non-humorous ones. Extra points if one or more judges end up rolling on the floor laughing.

  2. Paradox: Paradoxical entries, especially deeply paradoxical ones, will be appreciated more than non-paradoxical ones.

  3. Insight: Entries which display insight into what the religions/ideologies being syncretized have in common will be appreciated more than non-insightful ones.

  4. Originality: Entries which are blatantly obvious based on Frank Herbert’s originals will not be appreciated (e.g., Baptismal Cosmotheists of Vulcan). Syncretisms with interesting combinations of traits will be greatly appreciated.

  5. If the judges like it, it’s good. If they don’t like it, it’s bad.
Tell your friends about the contest! Spread the news!

Disclaimer: This contest is not associated in any way, shape, or form with Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. We don’t have any money, so there is no point in suing us.

Moving right along, today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


Work VS. Prison!

IN PRISON you spend the majority of your time in an 8X10 cell.
AT WORK you spend most of your time in a 6X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON you get three meals a day (free).
AT WORK you only get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it yourself.

IN PRISON you get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK you get rewarded for good behavior with more WORK.

IN PRISON a guard locks and unlocks the doors for you.
AT WORK you must carry around a security card and unlock all the doors yourself.

IN PRISON you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK you get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON you get your own toilet.
AT WORK you have to share.

IN PRISON they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK you can not even speak to your family and friends.

IN PRISON all expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work at all.
AT WORK you get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for the prisoners.

IN PRISON you spend most of your life looking through the bars from the inside wanting to get out.
AT WORK you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

Monday, November 28, 2005

26 Marheshwan 5766/28 November 2005


Today’s weird thing is the Wikipedia article “Placeholder name”. Enjoy.


26 Marheshwan 5766 (evening)/27 November 2005: “Defend yourself against the coming robot rebellion”


I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today, so you can blame the delay on He Who Must Not Be Named. The credits contained the sentence “NO DRAGONS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS FILM.” (Go figure.)

Today’s weird thing is “Defend yourself against the coming robot rebellion”. Enjoy.


Friday, November 25, 2005

23 Marheshwan 5766/25 November 2005: This post courtesy of the Purple Oyster of Doom


Today’s weird thing (because my random weird thing chooser isn’t giving me good choices, and because I feel like it) is the Invisible Pink Unicorn, one of the two major parodies of theism I am aware of, the other being Flying Spaghetti Monsterism (AKA Pastafarianism), which was mentioned yesterday. Unlike Pastafarianism, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorn has the logical difficulty that the Invisible Pink Unicorn is both invisible and pink. This highlights the bizarre idea that some people have that God can violate logic and mathematics. The Invisible Pink Unicorn as a parody suffers from a major weakness of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, namely that she is made of matter. If any atheists are reading this, please rethink your parodies of theism and come up with something that properly makes fun of transcendent theism (i.e., the notion that God is not part of our universe), panentheism (the notion that God permeates our universe, perhaps akin to a deified version of the defunct concept of the universal ether), or pantheism (the notion that God is everything that exists or at least the “soul of the world”). Parody of the notion that the self is identical to God (a perplexing notion that some people hold by) would also be welcome, e.g., “Have you gotten in touch with your own Invisible Pink Unicornness?” In the meantime, enjoy the silliness about pizza and the Purple Oyster of Doom, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving supplement


I just found out about some educational material at the Urban Legends Reference Pages: “Beliefs About Thanksgiving” and “The Big Sleep”. Less educational material is “Let's Talk Turkey” and “Black Friday”.

Also, for some reason, I am taking to call chickens “Cornish game turkeys”. Go figure.


22 Marheshwan 5766/24 November 2005: Thanksgiving/Use Even If Seal Is Broken Day


Useful site of the day: “IVR Cheat Sheet to Find a Human”.

Political blundering: “Bush Rewrites History To Criticize His Antiwar Critics”.

Today’s weird thing is an open letter from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is one of the more interesting parody religions out there, the point of which is to make a point about creationism. There is a rather annoying faction of (mostly) Christians who interpret the first 11 chapters of Genesis in an absurdly literal manner (that contradicts what is known about biology, geology, astronomy, cosmology, etc.) and wish to impose this belief on everyone else, specifically by having it taught in the public schools under the name “intelligent design”, falsely claiming this belief is legitimate science. Flying Spaghetti Monsterists (AKA Pastafarians) parody creationism by claiming that the universe was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster by waving his noodly appendage. Pastafarians claim that since Flying Spaghetti Monsterism is backed by just as much evidence as creationism/“intelligent design”, it deserves just as much classroom time. (That the writer of the open letter does not seem to understand transcendent theism is another matter.) Enjoy, and happy Turkey Day.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

20 Marheshwan 5766/22 November 2005: Start Your Own Country Day


In honor of Start Your Own Country Day, I hereby declare this blog to be a sovereign and independent state.

Today’s weird thing is “Outsourcing to the Heartland”, a welcome twist on the bane of many Americans. Enjoy.

Aaron, Emperor of Weird thing of the day

Sunday, November 20, 2005

18 Marheshwan 5766/20 November 2005


Today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


* It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.

* Just remember...if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

* We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

* The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

* It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

* Laughing stock - cattle with a sense of humor.

* You can't have everything, where would you put it?

* Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world's population.

* If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

* Eat right. Stay fit. Die anyway.

* The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first.

* Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat drinking beer all day.

* Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

* Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark.

* As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in public schools.

* When you're swimming in the creek, and an eel bites your cheek, that's a moray!

* A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

* It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

* The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

* Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

* I wished the buck stopped here, as I could use a few.

* I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

* When you go into court you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.

* Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

15 Marheshwan 5765/17 November 2005: Yerov`am ben Nevat Day


Today is a holiday instituted by Yerov‘am ben Nevat, the first king of the 10 northern tribes after the split of Israel away from Judah. His story is told in 1 Kings 11:26-14:20, with today’s holiday mentioned in 1 Kings 12:25-33, where he set up two golden calves for people to worship, thereby syncretizing Judaism with Canaanite paganism. In (dis)honor of this irrational (and prophetically condemned) combination, today’s weird thing is the Wikipedia article on the likewise irrational Orange Catholic Bible, the mother of all fictional syncretisms. This has been mentioned previously as something I unintentionally “contributed” to. Now I have contributed more material which Barry and I created a while back, and we have added more identifications of source material. As a bonus, I am including below commentary I have written which has not been incorporated into the Wikipedia article. Enjoy or be scared or something.


Commentary on the Orange Catholic Bible:

The Orange Catholic Bible (OCB) of Frank Herbert’s Dune universe presents one major problem: What was the Commission of Ecumenical Translators (CET) thinking? Combining several different religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, the Bahá’í religion, Jainism, Voodoo, Tenrikyo, Deism, Taoism, Shintoism, Unitarianism, and quite likely a few others) into one coherent belief system with a single set of scriptures with commentaries and a single liturgical manual is not trivial. The easy part is imagining how they condensed the original scriptures, just by removing repeated material. There is a lot of overlap among Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy; among Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles; and among the Gospels. Stories in the Qur’an which also appear in the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament could also be eliminated. Furthermore, all the material used could be edited to fit a single coherent belief system. The hard part is how they decided on that single belief system.

One thing that is clear is that in the Dune universe syncretism, belief in more than one belief system simultaneously, is common. Just a quick look at the list makes this obvious, considering the presence of Buddho-Islam, Christo-Islam, Hindo-Islam, Buddho-Christianity, Hindo-Christianity, Buddho-Islamo-Christianity, Buddho-Islamo-Jainism, Judeo-Christianity, Judeo-Islam, Jaino-Buddhism, Buddho-Shinto-Christianity, combinations of various branches of Christianity, and possibly a few others. Some of these combinations are not problematic. For example, Ortho-Catholicism is credible, as there are today Christians who perform Eastern Orthodox rites but are allied with Rome, and the ultimate result of efforts started by Pope John Paul II to make peace between the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches might credibly be a united Ortho-Catholic Church. There is also the possibility of borrowing some features of a religion but not others, such as in the case of non-Muslim Sufis and non-Buddhist practitioners of Zen. But some of these combinations are blatantly illogical, and the major question is how they were arrived at. They are probably not cases of simple borrowing, as Judaism and Islam prohibit borrowing from other religions, much less outright religious syncretism. More likely not only is syncretism in the Dune universe rampant, but also unorthodox and ignorant religious thinking.

In an orthodox religion, one strives to follow the traditions handed down and stay within the bounds of tradition. But in an unorthodox religion, tradition is respected or discarded according to whim. Likewise, people ignorant of their own religion can easily fall into error because they do not know it well enough to respect its boundaries properly. In such a mental environment, which shows little respect for rules of evidence and objective truth, the most bizarre syncretisms can arise. For example, these have allowed throughout Jewish history such travesties of Judeo-Protestantism (“Reform Judaism”), Judeo-Neo-Paganism, Judeo-Buddhism (“Zen Judaism”), Buddho-Sufi Judaism (“Jewish Renewal”), Judeo-Atheism (“Reconstructionist Judaism”), Judeo-Secular Humanism (“Secular Humanist Judaism”), and even the abominable Judeo-Canaanite paganism. Early on Christianity broke with Judaism by oddly rejecting the notion that one has to keep the Law and allowing for adoption of non-Jewish practices and ideas. Islam started as an ignorant mystic’s personal syncretism of Judaism and Christianity with ideas borrowed from Zoroastrianism and Arabian paganism. And so on to the point where this essay could get much longer than it is.

It is probably in such an environment that many of the religions that sent delegates to the CET were formed. It is clear that the religion that receives the most attention in the Dune series, the blatantly syncretic Zensunni religion of the Fremen, has strayed far from its Islamic roots. It is not a mere fusion of Zen Buddhism and Sunni Islam; somewhere in its history, maybe even before there was a Zensunni religion and the Fremen were still part of the Third Islamic Movement, it unburdened itself of Sunni theology and practice. Gone is the worship of an immaterial god, the pilgrimage to Mecca, the paranoia about women, the oppression of unbelievers, and the need to wage a constant war against all who will not submit to their rule. Indeed, they do not refer back to the Qur’an at all. Zensunnis feel no guilt at worshipping the sandworm, and they eagerly adopt the false religions founded by Alia and Leto II. Considering that the Bene Gesserit as a standard tactic create false religions to serve their purposes, there is clearly in the Dune universe a sufficient supply of people not willing to think sensibly about what they believe to make this worthwhile. Objective truth has no place in such a religious landscape.

This leads straight back to the CET. The CET was formed in the wake of the Butlerian Jihad, a religious war against computers and robots which lasted two generations and took more human lives than any previous war in history. The original purpose of the CET was ecumenical discussion in order to avert further jihads. What they did instead was attempt to remove the cause of religious war by claiming that no religion was the one true religion, but instead that there had been a continuing revelation throughout human history. Thus they compiled the Orange Catholic Bible from previous religious texts, condensing them and editing them to fit a single mould. In short, they committed an act of pious fraud. Telling is that the CET’s betrayal of truth set off anti-ecumenical riots which killed tens of millions of people. Indeed, all but 14 of the delegates to the CET either recanted or were lynched by their own congregants. Whatever one believes, anyone with any sense knows that one cannot make something up and then expect it to be true. Unfortunately, there were many who instead accepted the Orange Catholic Bible, and so this heresy lived on to influence the events depicted in Frank Herbert’s Dune novels.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

13 Marheshwan 5766/15 November 2005: National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day


Scary book of the day: Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye’or. I finished this book over Shabbath, and it explains a lot about the way the European Union collectively behaves. The premise is basically that in exchange for oil and cheap labor from the Arab world as well as create an alliance that rivals the USA for power, Europe’s politicians have agreed to turn a blind eye to anything evil the Islamic countries do, submit their countries to Islamization, and oppose the USA and Israel. Essentially, Europe has become a dhimmi superstate. I would also like to note that according to the book Christianity among some people in Europe is being effectively syncretized with Islam via glorification of the the jihad against Israel and promotion of anti-Semitism/anti-Zionism. Jesus would definitely be appalled.

Today’s weird thing is something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


The 14 Laws of Cat Physics

1. Law of Cat Inertia: A cat will remain at rest unless acted upon by some outside force, such as the opening of a can of cat food.
2. Law of Cat Thermodynamics: Heat flows from a warmer body to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which all heat flows to the cat.
3. Law of Cat Stretching: A cat will stretch to a distance and time directly proportional to the length of the nap just taken.
4. Law of Cat Sleeping: All cats must sleep in people beds and in a position that is as uncomfortable for humans as possible.
5. Law of Resistance: A cat's resistance varies in direct proportion to a human's desire for it to do something.
6. Law of Energy Conservation: Cats know that energy can be neither created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.
7. Law of Pill Rejection: Any pill given to a cat will be rejected at the speed of a bullet.
8. Law of Refrigerator Observation: By watching the refrigerator door long enough, the cat can will a human to come along, open the door, and take out something worthy of eating.
9. Law of the Scratching Post: A cat will reject formal cat scratching posts in favor of the most expensive piece of furniture in the house.
10. Law of Cat Magnetism: Clothing attracts cat hair in direct proportion in how dark it is.
11. Law of Doors: Cats don't allow closed doors in any room, Once you've opened a door, it's not necessary for them to use it. Instead, they like to stand halfway in and out and think about several things while the wind, rain, cold air, or bugs come into the house.
12. Law of Hair-Balls: If you have to throw up a hair-ball, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is not an Oriental rug, shag carpet will do.
13. Law of Attraction: Those humans that are allergic to cats, do not like cats, or are afraid of cats have the most interest to a cat and are the first laps to be sat in.
14. Law of Humans: Humans have 3 primary functions: feed us, play with us and give us attention, and clean the litter box. It is important to maintain one's arrogance so that the humans know who is master of the house. Humans need to know the basic rules. Start by teaching them early, be consistent, and you'll have a smooth running household.

Monday, November 14, 2005

12 Marheshwan 5766/14 November 2005: Helpful hints


Today’s weird thing is a list of helpful hints from Emily’s collection, included below. This is not humorous material, just things which are not intuitive. (Not to mention that Safari is acting strangely uncooperative with some sites lately, so you get a random selection of stuff stored directly on my computer.) I have not verified if any of this works, so be forewarned. Enjoy.


1) Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

2) Sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm...)

3) Use empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.

4) For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!)

5) Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).

6) Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.

7) Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. And now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get sharpened this way!

8) Opening brand new jars can be a feat in itself. Well, I have found a way to make it the easiest thing to do. Instead of banging a jar of jam, pickles, etc., with a knife until it loosens up, I simply reach into the drawer and pull out the handy nutcracker. It adjusts to the size of the jar and I simply give it a good twist and off pops the lid!

9) Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time! Now, where to put the body?

10) Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

11) Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on. Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen

12) Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.

13) To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!

14) To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.

15) Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.

16) When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

17) Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

18) When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

19) Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

20) Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

21). To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

22) Ants, ants, ants everywhere... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.

23) Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

24) When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

25) Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.

26) Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

27) Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

28) Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

29) Do your friends a favor. Pass this timely (and some not-so-timely) information on to a friend! I just did.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

11 Marheshwan 5766/13 October 2005


Note: My “About Aaron” page has been updated since yesterday was my birthday.

Cool archaeological discoveries: “A Is for Ancient, Describing an Alphabet Found Near Jerusalem” and “Goliath's name found in Israeli archaeological dig”.

Commendable behavior: “The Kalamazoo Promise: Helping students go to college for free”.

Condemnable behavior: “Asian communist states hit in US religion report”.

Today’s weird thing is a story from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


Timmy was a little five year old boy that his Mom loved very much and, being
a worrier, she was concerned about him walking to school when he started
Kindergarten. She walked him to school the couple of days but when he came
home one day, he told his mother that he did not want her walking him to
school everyday. He wanted to be like the "big boys." He protested loudly,
so she had an idea of how to handle it. She asked a neighbor, Mrs.
Goodnest, if she would surreptitiously follow her son to school, at a
distance behind him that he would not likely notice, but close enough to
keep a watch on him.

Mrs. Goodnest said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it
would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well so she agreed.

The next school day, Mrs. Goodnest and her little girl, Marcy, set out
following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor boy he
knew. She did this for the whole week.

As the boys walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, the little friend
of Timmy noticed that this same lady was following them as she seemed to do
every day all week. Finally, he said to Timmy, "Have you noticed that lady
following us all week? Do you know her?"

Timmy nonchalantly replied, "Yea, I know who she is."

The little friend said, "Well who is she?"

"That's just Shirley Goodnest" Timmy said.

"Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us?"

"Well," Timmy explained, "every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm
with my prayers cuz she worries about me so much. And in it, the prayer
psalm says, "Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow me all the days of my
life." so I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

About Aaron

Who is this guy?

Aaron is a scientific-rationalist Orthodox Jew, a descendant of הגאון רב אליהו, and a fan of אבן עזרא. He is single, 33 years old, and currently a graduate student in the epidemiology program at the Medical University of South Carolina. He self-identifies as Litvak. He is a creative, unconventional, and inspired thinker, and he holds the title of Official Introvert of the Internet, though he is happy to talk to people (including about his religious views). He enjoys a good argument, acts as backup תורה reader for the local shtibl, and gives דברי תורה unlike anything you’ve heard before. He makes critically acclaimed cholent. He hopes to get his PhD soon, and then get a postdoctoral position in Israel; he certainly expects to leave Charleston for some place with a bigger Jewish community where there are more epidemiology jobs (such as Atlanta). He intends to do Israel-related epidemiology professionally due to an interest in the land and its people, and to have an excuse to visit (and get paid for it) or even make עליה. He is a fan of the Dvorak keyboard and inventor of a Hebrew equivalent. His motto is “Compute dangerously.” He can solve various cubic puzzles. He hopes to help make it possible for משיח to come sooner by raising kids so as to increase their chances of being able to be members of the סנהדרין. His professional goal with regard to epidemiology is to study cool, interesting stuff (plenty of such topics are available) and help prevent some preventable suffering. He wears ציציות with תכלת. He is strict on monotheism, so he cannot recite anything suggestive of worship of any entity other than ה׳. He has major doubts about the קבלה. He is an evolutionist, viewing the creation of humanity having being accomplished by Divine selective breeding. He believes the term “Modern Orthodox” is a misnomer used to obscure the fact that the great rationalist Judaic thinkers of the past (including and especially the אמוראים) were all “Modern Orthodox”. He believes that blind faith is a liability and not a virtue. His liturgical pronunciation of Hebrew is quasi-Yemenite. Life around him is never dull. He’s a nonconformist, an avid reader, a writer of strange stories in English, a translator of Carrollian material into Hebrew, and enjoys punching holes in logical absurdities. He hopes to eventually do theological experiments. One day he may yet make a living looking at other people’s statistical computations and telling them that everything they’ve done is dead wrong. He would also someday like to publish some of his unusual writings. He frequently finds the antics of children amusing and prays that this amusement continues when he is a parent.

What does he look like?

Aaron is 167 cm tall and weights about 60 kg. He has multicolored hair (color varies significantly over his head, and some strands are even blond at the root and dark at the tip). He’s worn glasses since the third grade and a beard since he graduated from high school. He bears a striking resemblance to Trey Anastasio, lead guitarist of Phish.

What are his hobbies and interests?

Learning (תנ״ך, משנה, גמרא, הלכה, historical background material, and lately גר״א- and קבלה-related material; heavily on שבת but also trying to fit it into “cracks” between other stuff during the week), reading (wide variety of subjects), writing strange stories, epidemiology, religious/theological epistemology, experimental theology, computers (Mac OS X and Unicode fanatic, enjoys R), cheering for monsters when reading or watching bad (or even good) science fiction, playing classical guitar (from time to time), and growing miniature roses.

Where was he born?

Washington, DC.

What sort of preferences does he have? (Borrowed from surveys people put on the Net and sent him.)
  • Adidas, Nike, or Reebok: None of the above.
  • Are you a lefty, righty or ambidextrous?: I write with my right hand, but I use my left hand for a lot more than just scratching my right elbow.
  • Best feeling in the world: “Woohoo! I just slew Bill Gates!”
  • Chocolate or vanilla?: Both.
  • Croutons or bacon bits: He keeps כשר; take a wild guess.
  • Do you eat the stems of broccoli?: No. Broccoli is the work of the יצר הרע!
  • Do you like to drive?: People crazy? Yes.
  • Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?: No. I’m only interested in flesh-and-blood human females.
  • Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?: I use both sides of the keyboard. This is especially critical for me, since I use the Dvorak keyboard; if I used only the right keys, I wouldn’t be able to type any vowels.
  • Dream car: Electric/solar and not requiring much maintenance.
  • Favorite alcoholic drink: Any he is not drinking. (Aaron does not like the taste of alcohol.)
  • Favorite board game?: I don’t play board games. They’re all too boaring.
  • Favorite food: Unstable preference.
  • Favorite foods: Anything home-made with love.
  • Favorite ice cream: Strawberry.
  • Favorite magazines: Any science magazine with cool stuff in it.
  • Favorite movie of all time: Undecided.
  • Favorite movie seen recently: There are too many bad movies that are fun to make fun of to answer this question.
  • Favorite movies?: Anything with a plot or at least New York being trashed by a giant monster, but especially the (original trio of) Star Wars movies.
  • Favorite perfume or cologne: Deodorant.
  • Favorite salad dressing: Russian.
  • Favorite smells: Any delicious food cooking, cinnamon.
  • Favorite soft drink: Papaya juice.
  • Favorite soundtracks: People listen to soundtracks?
  • Favorite sports to watch: No sport is fun to watch, though the fans of some of the more violent sports (hockey, football) can be fun to watch.
  • Favorite subject in school: Epidemiology.
  • Favorite town to chill in: Anywhere but Charleston.
  • Favorite type of music: Severely classical.
  • Favorite Web site: Undecided. Too many to choose from.
  • Have you ever been in love?: No. I haven’t been in Love. The only country besides the USA I have been to so far is Canada.
  • How many rings before you answer the phone?: Depends on whether I can get someone else to answer it.
  • If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?: Fluorescent.
  • If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?: Professional goof-off.
  • If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?: Moses, preferably alive. Dead people do not make good company.
  • Is the glass half empty or half full?: Both. The terms mean the same thing.
  • Least favorite subject: Anything involving differential equations.
  • One pillow or two: One.
  • Present (future) daughter’s name: שושנה, דבורה, הדסה. (Strong preference for Biblical Hebrew names. Hates the idea of giving kids different Hebrew and English names; no sense in creating needless confusion. Also adverse to using names that have been used so much as to have been reduced to meaninglessness.)
  • Present (future) son’s name: גדעון, אליהו, עזרא, מטטרון. (Same comments as previous. Also: how many people named מטטרון have you ever heard of? The kid would be unique!)
  • Roller coaster-scary or exciting?: Neither.
  • Say one nice thing about the person who sent this to you: She’s a wonderful person who’s full of love!
  • Shampoo or conditioner: Shampoo.
  • Storms-cool or scary?: Cool, unless I happen to be outside in a thunderstorm.
  • Toothpaste: Blue gel.
  • What do you think about ouija boards?: They’re very useful for scamming stupid people.
  • What is on the walls of your favorite room?: Blue paint.
  • What is on your mouse pad?: Not applicable. I use graphics tablet.
  • What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning?: <ZOMBIE>"Must kill alarm clock."</ZOMBIE>
  • What is under your bed?: Ancient computer equipment, plywood, and scary monsters.
  • What is your favorite number?: 17.
  • What is your zodiac sign?: Anything from Virgo to Scorpio. Thinking of changing it to Telescopium.
  • What type was your first car?: Matchbox.
  • Worst feeling in the world: “Now where did I put that antimatter bomb? Uh-oh...”
  • Your favorite TV shows?: Nothing on the air these days.

What does Aaron want?

Aaron is looking for a single rationalist Orthodox Jewish woman. She must be intelligent and knowledgeable Judaically. A knowledge of science and a working knowledge of Hebrew are extremely desirable. He also considers a sense of humor, an appreciation of the bizarre, a deep weird streak, a bit of cynicism, and glasses attractive, though not strictly necessary. For him an ideal date would be being with the right person and exchanging חידושים; the exact setting is mere טפל.

What’s that parenthesized text in the middle of his English name?

That’s his patronymic (i.e., it tells what his father’s name is, i.e., Saul Joseph Adelman). He has unofficially added a patronymic to his English name out of pride in his Jewish heritage, and for religious purposes Jews use patronymics and matronymics instead of surnames.

What other names is Aaron known by?
  • Nails (usually used by his brother Barry)
  • Mountain-Man (obsolete)
  • Hiergargo (used mainly by Aaron; those who understand the reference will probably be puzzled, and those who don’t will be definitely be puzzled)
  • ☺ (meant for use in ideographic writing systems)

What does he eat?

Cholent, tuna, salmon, cherry tomatoes, olives, and steamed vegetables.

What isn’t Aaron that he’s been mistaken for?
  • An Englishman, based on his accent
  • An Australian
  • A Russian (based on that he has sometimes worn a Bukhari yarmalke)
  • An observant Muslim, possibly more than once
  • An Irishman, probably based on his (partially) red hair
  • A neo-Nazi, based on a severe misunderstanding of his nickname “Hiergargo”
  • A חסיד, once for a Lubavitcher twice in the space of half an hour
  • An Amish man
Oddly enough, Aaron has not yet been mistaken for Trey Anastasio.

What sort of rare and unusual stuff is he looking for (seriously, in no particular order)?
  • Information on postdoctoral epidemiology positions, especially those in Israel.
  • Works of the גאון רב אליהו, ר׳ חיים וולאזין, and אבן עזרא, in print or in electronic format.
  • A Rubik’s Revenge, Megaminx, Pyraminx Magic Tetrahedron, Pyraminx Magic Octahedron, ImpossiBall, and other similar puzzles.
  • Identification of the reference: “We are the Metatron.” Aaron has a dim memory of this being spoken by some sort of cylindrical robot in a cartoon, but he is very uncertain on any details. (Yes, Aaron does know who the original Metatron is.)
  • Anything by Lewis Carroll translated into Hebrew.
  • Hebrew and Aramaic texts, especially pointed ones, in computer format.
  • MIDI files of classical music altered so that the instruments are those of modern rock music.
  • Non-Famous-Forty Oz books for his collection, especially anything by March Laumer.
  • The right woman (see above).
  • To know what the terms “best boy” and “grip” refer to in credits.
  • Very big scanned photographs (1,280 by 1,024 pixels or bigger) of places in Israel for use as desktop pictures on his PowerBook.
  • NEXTSTEP and OPENSTEP icons.
  • A viola da gamba, electric and cheap.

What sort of rare and unusual stuff is he looking for (not seriously)?
  • 10 kg of antihydrogen.
  • A lightning bolt caught in a jar.
  • A snark.
  • A snorg beast, which is a sort of large-tongued creature which in served in fine Italian restaurants with bread sticks.
  • A steamroller, so he can participate in the Sixth Annual National Championship Steamroller Race.
  • Photographs of Udovorum magnum and Udovorum parvum, or in everyday language, the greater and lesser sock-eating monsters. These are suspected of consuming his laundry.

What is Aaron’s policy with regard to people sending him spam?

Anyone who sends Aaron any message trying to sell him anything or trying to get him to take part in any illicit or foolhardy scheme implicitly agrees to pay him US$10,000.00. Likewise, anyone who signs Aaron up to any mailing list without his prior explicit consent, who tries to solicit him to commit any improper behavior, or who gives any information about him to any marketing company without his prior explicit consent implicitly agrees to fork over $1,000. All payments are payable in cash. Complaining about not having read this notice costs another $10,000.

Note: Aaron does not discourage people from sending E-mail to him. Only people trying to make a buck off of him have anything to fear.

Friday, November 11, 2005

9 Marheshwan 5766/11 October 2005: Veterans Day/Sadie Hawkins Day


Relevant to today’s holidays: The History of Veteran's Day and Sadie Hawkins.

Also of note:Today’s weird thing is “Technologic Systems TS-7200 SBC uses NetBSD OS to control Toaster”. I am expecting someone to computerize a kitchen sink next.

Oh, yes, latest messing with Google AdSense: Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah. Menorah.

(I’m planning on buying a windproof menorah this year, and I’m curious as to whether any are available besides the one I’ve found already on-line. Maybe this repetition will help.)

Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, November 10, 2005

8 Marheshwan 5766/10 November 2005: Marine Corps Day


Religio-political sermonizing: If you haven’t heard by now the Kansas Board of Education has approved new standards approving the teaching of “intelligent design” in the classroom. Very disturbingly, this blatant violation of the US Constitution is being promoted as improving science standards. What those fools (and I do not use that term lightly) do not understand is that creationism (whatever it may be called) lost out scientifically because it is not consistent with the evidence we have of the Earth's past. Rather than try to come to terms with current knowledge, as past greats did in their own time, creationists have tried to subvert science in public relations and in the courts. "Intelligent design" is just a pseudosecular manifestation of this which does not explicitly state the designer of all life is God. Considering that all physical reality is a manifestation of God’s will, assuming that a simplistic interpretation of the open sections of Genesis is infallible is tantamount to claiming that God is wrong or has deliberately created traces of a past that never happened. It is about time that people reconciled themselves to living in the world that God actually put us in, started treating the first 11 chapters of Genesis as the esoteric material they are, and started worrying about real problems, such as how to make this world a better place. God gave us enough wisdom to realize that long-held philosophical notions such as Ptolemaic cosmology and the doctrine of the four elements are wrong; it is time we used this knowledge to do away with creationism as well and recognize that what makes humanity special is not the untenable notion that we are completely different from the rest of the natural world but rather the miracle that we can be holy, worthy beings even though we are animals. By the way, if anyone thinks it’s unchristian to believe in evolution, he/she can tell it to the Vatican.

Today’s weird thing is “the Future is Wild™”, which is a rather strange notion of the direction future evolution will take. Enjoy, and beware of terrestrial squid.


Wednesday, November 9, 2005

7 Marheshwan 5766/9 November 2005


Stuff I’m trying to get off my desktop:
  • “Church: Anti-war sermon imperils tax status” (Shame on the IRS!)
  • “No Nasa millions for irate Russian astrologer” (I cannot make something like this up!)
  • “Israel welcomes proposed Red Cross symbol” (What they don’t tell you is that the Muslim countries cannot stand the notion of putting the Maghen Dawidh ’Adhom (Red Star of David) on the same level as the Red Crescent, as that would imply that Islam is not superior to Judaism. This bigoted nonsense has kept the Maghen Dawidh ’Adhom out of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society for years, and the proposed “compromise” is to replace the Red Star of David with a red “crystal”. I will believe it is an actual compromise when the Red Cross and Red Crescent are also replaced with the Red Crystal.)
  • “French riots continue despite curfew threat” (Glossed over is that this is a classic Islamic riot over a perceived offense against Muslims. Still waiting for a real crackdown on such indecent behavior.)
Today’s weird thing is a useful form for dealing with tech support from Emily’s collection, included below. You may find it eerily familiar. Enjoy.



In order to streamline the handling of problems within the system, please fill out the following questionnaire before sending it in for help. With your cooperation we should be able to provide faster and more efficient fault resolution.

1. Describe your problem:


2. Now, describe the problem accurately:


3. Speculate wildly about the cause of the problem:




4. Problem Severity:
A. Minor__
B. Minor__
C. Minor__
D. Trivial__

5. Nature of the problem:
A. Locked Up__
B. Frozen__
C. Hung__
D. Shot__

6. Is your computer plugged in? Yes__ No__

7. Is it turned on? Yes__ No__

8. Have you tried to fix it yourself? Yes__ No__

9. Have you made it worse? Yes__

10. Have you read the manual? Yes__ No__

11. Are you sure you've read the manual? Yes__ No__

12. Are you absolutely certain you've read the manual? No__

13. Do you think you understood it? Yes__ No__

14. If 'Yes' then why can't you fix the problem yourself?


15. How tall are you? Are you above this line?


16. What were you doing with your computer at the time the problem occurred?


17. If 'nothing' explain why you were logged in.


18. Are you sure you aren't imagining the problem? Yes__ No__

19. How does this problem make you feel?


20. Tell me about your childhood.


21. Do you have any independent witnesses of the problem? Yes__ No__

22. Can't you do something else, instead of bothering me? Yes__

Monday, November 7, 2005

5 Marheshwan 5766/7 October 2005: Notary Public Day


I would have this blog notarized in honor of Notary Public Day, but I have no idea how to do that.

Today’s weird thing is a little something from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.


English is Easy?

So a 2 letter word has a hundred completely different meanings. So what is this stuff about English being easy?

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meaning than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP'.

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we waken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing:

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable of the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In a desk size dictionary, the word 'up' takes UP almost 1/4th the page and definitions add UP to about thirty.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so...

I'll shut UP.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

4 Marheshwan 5766/6 November 2005: Saxophone Day


I am happy to tell you that on Friday, which was Waiting for the Barbarians Day, the Barbarians did show up. Martin and Gertrude Barbarian, who live down the block, showed up, and we had coffee. Very pleasant people.

OK, now that joke’s over, today’s weird thing is the Antarctica Journal of Mathematics. (Go figure, considering the very low population of the continent.) Enjoy.


Friday, November 4, 2005

2 Marheshwan 5766/4 November 2005: Waiting for the Barbarians Day


In honor of Waiting for the Barbarians Day, today I will be continually alert for the imminent arrival of barbarians. Should any arrive, you will be informed.

In the meantime, today’s weird thing is “Meet the mind readers”. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, November 3, 2005

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

30 Tishri 5766/2 October 2005: Ro'sh Hodhesh Marheshwan


Notable news of the day: “UN designates 27 January Holocaust Memorial Day”. I will be happy about this when the UN actually learns anything from the Holocaust and acts upon it. A more fitting memorial would be to fight all anti-Semitism (whether explicit or disguised as anti-Zionism) and to act against racism and genocide (such as the atrocity in Sudan).

Today’s weird thing is “Together in electric dreams”, which is about an unusual use of statistics. Enjoy.


Tuesday, November 1, 2005

29 Tishri 5766/1 November 2005: Plan Your Epitaph Day/National Author's Day/All Saints' Day


Worthy cause of the day: Political Action: Stop Alito

Notable news of the day: “Unblock Google Cache in China” and “Two More Moons Discovered Orbiting Pluto”. Somehow I envision it being suggested that the two new moons be named Mickey and Donald.

Another silly attempt at distorting Google AdSense: Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant. Eggplant.

Today’s weird thing is “Web surfing costing businesses nearly $200 billion?”, which dips into the the world of questionable statistics. Enjoy.