Thursday, August 31, 2006

7 'Elul 5766 * 31 August 2006


Today’s news and commentary, some of which Barry is responsible for:Today’s weird thing, thanks to Barry, who wants to save me a lot of trouble, is The Dialectizer. Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

6 'Elul 5766 * 30 August 2006: The Ensorcelled 7 Sphere


I just checked the weather forecast, and it looks like Charleston (probably) won’t get hit by Ernesto, but we will get drenched.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is the Ensorcelled 7 Sphere. Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Worthy cause of the day: Israeli Kidnapped Soldiers - Petition


Today’s worthy cause is Israeli Kidnapped Soldiers - Petition. Please sign and send a message to the United Nations and your national government to get the kidnapped Israeli soldiers released. And pass the URL on. Thank you


5 'Elul 5766 * 29 August 2006: David's Birthday


I’d like to wish a happy birthday to my brother David.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is the Self Destruction Button USB. If anyone wants to buy me a graduation gift, this would be a good one. Enjoy.


Monday, August 28, 2006

4 'Elul 5766 * 28 August 2006: Dissertation Defense Day


Not very long ago, I defended my dissertation. My committee wants me to make two small clarifications in my dissertation and some things they want in two unpublished papers, but they did let me pass. I am now Dr. Aaron Solomon Adelman. Everybody cheer! A qiddush in my honor is already planned for this Shabbath in South Windermere. (Not to mention a siyyum for my finishing Massekheth Shabbath.) I’m hoping I can actually attend them since Charleston may be hit by a hurricane then. (Sometimes I suspect HashShem has a sense of humor when it comes to coincidence.)

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is the unusual legal case Coyote V. Acme. Enjoy.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

3 'Elul 5766 * 27 August 2006: International Kitchen Garden Day


Tomorrow is my dissertation defense. Prayers and swords would be much appreciated. Expect tomorrow’s weird thing to be late.

Today’s news and commentary (besides the stuff under “Recommended Reading”, some of which Barry is responsible for:Today’s weird thing is a rather bizarre computer mod, Gully's Aqua Tank. Enjoy.


Friday, August 25, 2006

1 'Elul 5766 * 25 August 2006: Ro'sh Hodhesh/Jewish New Year for Animal Tithes/Soy Bean Day

Greetings, and happy new year.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy. Find out just how much some people don’t know about astronomy. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

30 'Av 5766 * 24 August 2006: Ro'sh Hodhesh 'Elul

Greetings, and happy new month.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is weird music star Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Don’t Download This Song”. Enjoy, and go forth and download it. (I did.)

Special addition: I’m currently finding myself trying to find a decent title for my book-in-progress on religious fallacies and misinformation (see “Weird thing of the day: December 2005” and “Weird thing of the day: January 2006”). What I’m aiming for is something that will attract a lot of attention and give people the heebeejeebees. Unable to decide, I am including below the current list. Please, take a little time, read over the list, and E-mail me your favorite. (Comments on this post are also OK.) Thank you.

A Book Concerning the Dead
A Simpleton Will Believe Anything
A Study of the Dead
All Religions Are the Same and Other Religious Misinformation
Almost Everything You Think You Know About Religion Is Wrong
Apocalypse Yesterday
Azathoth and Other Horrors
Cults of Ghouls
Everyone is a Hindu and a Wiccan and Other Bad Religious Thinking
For They Bow Down to Vanity and Emptiness and Pray to a God Who Does Not Save
Gideon’s Threshing-Floor
In His House at R’lyeh Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming
Incinerate This Book
On the Sending Out of the Soul
Read This Book at Your Own Peril
Required Reading for Occultists
Satan Made Me Write This
Something Worse Than the Necronomicon
The Azhar Necronomicon
The Black Tome of Alsophocus
The Book of Azathoth
The Book of Dead Laws
The Book of Gods Who Do Not Save
The Book of Good Intentions
The Book of Night
The Book of Radiant Darkness
The Book of Rebels
The Book of the Deluded Skeletons
The Book of the Demonic Hippopotamus
The Book of the Evil Inclination
The Book of Those Who Ignored Moses’s Last Speech
The Book of Ultimate Blasphemy
The Book of Unwritten Rules
The Book of Vanity and Emptiness
The Celaeno Fragments
The Chronicles of Nath
The Demonic Hippopotamus Necronomicon
The Derby
The Dhol Chants
The Divine Misconception
The Ecumenical Necronomicon
The Eltdown Shards
The End is Near (Really!)
The Forbidden Book of Arcane Secrets
The Grids of Discord
The G’harne Fragments
The Ilarnek Papyri
The Image of the Law of the Dead
The Koranjiyana Zenchristian Necronomicon
The Meta-Necronomicon
The Necronomicon of All Religions
The Omnist Necronomicon
The Orange Catholic Heresy
The Orange Catholic Necronomicon
The Parchments of Pnom
The Pnakotic Manuscripts
The Ponape Scripture
The Real-Life Necronomicon
The Revelations of Glaaki
The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan
The Testament of Carnamagos
The Universal Necronomicon
The Worship of Fictional Gods and Other Bad Religious Thinking
The Zanthu Tablets
The Zenchristian Navakoranecronomicon
They Say...
Things in the Water

Aaron, owner of a few (purchased, not downloaded) albums by Weird Al Yankovic

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

28 'Av 5766 * 22 August 2006: "How to Spiritually Cleanse Your Home of Psychic Disturbances"


Today’s news and commentary:I recently found out my version of the wikiHow article “How to Spiritually Cleanse Your Home of Psychic Disturbances” had been reverted back to its original, completely flakey form. Therefore, in order to preserve my own, much improved content, today’s weird thing is my own, much improved version, included below—because I can. Enjoy.


How to Spiritually Cleanse Your Home of Psychic Disturbances

Often there are situations within houses that make it difficult for us live in them peacefully. There are a variety of reasons for this. Some believe that sometimes houses can retain a sort of photo recording or image of other people that have lived in them in the past, which can sometimes cause upsetting disturbances to the present occupiers. These are not true ‘hauntings’, but simply a sort of photo image that is left on the very fabric of the building itself. Others are believed to be true hauntings where someone has passed over, either in the house, or are in some way associated with it, or the place where it is built, and are unable to find rest or to move on into the Light. Of course, it's probably all in one's head and nothing paranormal is actually happening. Or you could be mistaking something non-paranormal, e.g., creaking due to temperature changes, for haunting.

  1. Bring a skeptic into your house. This will scare the heebeejeebees out of any evil spirits that are allegedly there and make them go away. If that fails, continue with the following steps:
  2. Gather together the following ingredients: lima beans, peanut butter, canola oil, a cookie tin, and an exercise CD.
  3. Mix together the lima beans, peanut butter, and canola oil. Put the mixture in your hands and press against your face.
  4. Have a friend walk around you, beating on the cookie tin in imitation of a cheesy fake Voodoo ritual.
  5. Have your friend say, "The beans say that you must say three times 'The spirits must be exercised.'"
  6. Do what the beans say.
  7. Turn your stereo on at full blast, playing the exercise CD, for three hours straight in the middle of the night.
  8. Send E-mail to Bill Cosby and Alan Alda thanking them for inspiring parts of this ritual.

  • Use the biggest, loudest speakers you can find.
  • Make sure your neighbors are not home when exercising the spirits.
  • If you exercise the spirits while your neighbors are around, tell the police that the Devil made you play your stereo at full blast in the middle of the night.

  • Psychic disturbances have not been verified to actually exist, and they probably do not, so you may just want to forget the whole thing and read a good book instead.

External Links

Monday, August 21, 2006

27 'Av 5766 * 21 August 2006: "Flat Fatima - Revolution In News Photography"


Today’s news and commentary, besides lots of stuff under “Recommended Reading”:Today’s weird thing is “Flat Fatima - Revolution In News Photography”. Properly this falls under “commentary”, but it is so enjoyably weird that I made it weird thing of the day. Enjoy.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

26 'Av 5766 * 20 August 2006: National Radio Day


Note: Ro’sh Hodhesh ’Elul is Thursday and Friday.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something forwarded to me by Mom which she got from Vanessa and Storm, included below. Enjoy.


Last week I purchased a burger and fries at McDonalds for $3.58.

The counter girl took my $4.00 and I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and 3 pennies. While looking at the screen on her register, I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and

Why do I tell you this?

Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950s:

Teaching Math In 1950

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1960

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching Math In 1970

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching Math In 1980

A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20 Your
assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching Math In 1990

A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

Teaching Math In 2005

Un ranchero vende una carretera de madera para $100. El cuesto de la produccion era $80. Cuantos tortillas se puede comprar?

Friday, August 18, 2006

24 'Av 5766 * 18 August 2006: Star Trek Inspirational Posters


Today’s news and commentary (besides all the stuff under “Recommended Reading”:Today’s weird thing is Star Trek Inspirational Posters. Enjoy, be inspired, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Worthy cause of the day: The RNC should withdraw support for Sen. Allen


Today’s worthy cause is “ Political Action: The RNC should withdraw support for Sen. Allen”. Please sign the petition and tell the Republican Party that they ought to not to support people thoughtless enough to use racist language. Thank you.


23 'Av 5766 * 17 August 2006: Sandcastle Day/National Thriftshop Day


Today’s news and commentary (besides all that stuff under “Recommended Reading”:Today’s weird thing (and worthless cause of the day) is CAPSoff, a campaign to remove the caps lock from standard keyboards, or at least relocate it. Since I use my caps lock to switch between Latin (Dvorak) and Hebrew (Adelman) layouts, my comment on this included the immortal words “YOU CAN HAVE MY CAPS LOCK WHEN YOU PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD KEYBOARD!” Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I just realized what's wrong with my computer


I just realized what is the true cause of some computer problems I have been having lately: AppleCare on my PowerBook ran out in June! It’s out of warranty and has begun a preprogrammed death spiral! ARGH!


21 'Av 5766 * 15 August 2006: Assumption Day


There is way too much going on in the Middle East. See under “Recommended Reading” for more material than you may have the time or patience to read. And if you’re in Israel, go push the people you elected to fire Olmert and his cabinet.

On a personal note, I have filed the proper paperwork and am now officially scheduled to defend my dissertation on August 28. (Barukh HashShem!) Everybody cheer.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is some cool technology that would be right at home in Star Trek, demoed in “Multi-Touch Interaction Research” and “Jeff Han on TED Talks”. Enjoy.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

19 'Av 5766 * 13 August 2006: "The Procrastinator's Creed"


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is something amusing from Emily’s collection, included below. Enjoy.



I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitesimally small, is not exactly zero.

If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.

I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.

I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.

I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organized.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

15 'Av 5766 * 9 August 2006: Israeli Valentine’s Day/National Polka Festival


For your information, 15 ’Av is a traditional Jewish matchmaking day, which in today’s world has translated into it becoming a day for singles events and the Israeli equivalent of Valentine’s Day.

(Preemptive comment: I know: “Go write your girlfriend, Aaron, or you’re dead meat.”)

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is “The Lord of the Pings”. Enjoy.


Tuesday, August 8, 2006

14 'Av 5766 * 8 August 2006: Retief!


Today’s news and commentary:As everyone knows by now, diplomats are hard at work trying to bring the Israel-Lebanon war to a halt—and blatantly trying to ignore the reality of the situation in the process. It just so happens that I remembered that there is a science-fiction novel on the Internet about the monstrous clouds of self-delusion in which diplomats operate, oblivious to reality, and so in dishonor of any and all diplomats who have no clue what jihad is all about, today’s weird thing is Retief! by Keith Laumer.

Bonus weird thing: Alice’s Adventures Under Ground by Lewis Carroll, the precursor to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You want the HTML zipped version; trust me.


Monday, August 7, 2006

Sunday, August 6, 2006

12 'Av 5766 * 6 August 2006: Book-A-Minute


Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is Book-A-Minute, the site that lets you read ultra-condensed versions of books, because I feel like it.

Special bonus: I am including an ultra-condensed poem I wrote (or rather rewrote) below. Enjoy.


The Hunting of the Snark
An abbreviated agony in eight stanzas
by Aaron Solomon (ben Saul Joseph) Adelman
based on the original poem by Lewis Carroll

“Just the place for a Snark!” the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

All the danger was past—they had landed at last,
And the Bellman made opening remarks.
But his talk was disturbed, and the silence reverbed
As the Baker did speak about Snarks.

“My uncle said, ‘Nephew, please do what I say!
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
But if it be a Boojum, you’ll vanish away
And no more be met with, you dope!’”

The Bellman looked uffish, and wrinkled his brow.
“If only you’d spoken before!
I’ll speak again later. The hunting starts now
With the Snark, so to speak, at the door!”

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap.

Then the Butcher contrived a new means to their ends,
And the Beaver devised the same scheme.
They returned from their sally the closest of friends,
While the Barrister had an odd dream.

As the Banker was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And drove him so mad that he shrieked in despair,
For he thought he was going to die.

In the very last word that the Baker did say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He softly and suddenly vanished away—
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

Friday, August 4, 2006

10 'Av 5766 * 4 August 2006: Cost Guard Day


I hope everyone had an easy fast yesterday.

I think “Cost Guard Day” is a typo in one of the calendars I’m using, but if it’s not, perhaps we ought to be on guard against cost all day.

Today’s news and commentary:Today’s weird thing is Sternest Meanings the anagram bot. It rearranged my name into “Demon as an amoral loon”, whatever that means. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.


Thursday, August 3, 2006

9 'Av 5766 * 3 August 2006: The Fast of 'Av

I am posting today, the saddest of all fast days on the Jewish calendar, because R. Ari Sytner, rabbi of our local shul, sent out E-mail about an initiative called “Pray for One” which gives people in the US names of endangered people in Israel to pray for. This struck me as a good idea, if for no other reason than people's morale can be raised by the knowledge that someone is praying for them. You can find out about this initiative (and other worthwhile things to do) at Israel Under Siege - What You Can Do. Thank you.


Tuesday, August 1, 2006

7 'Av 5766 / 1 August 2006: The Nine Days/Air Force Day/Lammas/First Harvest


I’m here waiting on other people for things, doing job-hunting-related stuff, and not having fun. Lots of people in Israel are not having fun either due to the war, so if you can spare a few dollars, you may want to contribute to a number of worthy causes. You may also want to see the cartoon “UN Peace Keepers in Lebanon (1982)” or the following one sent to me by Harold:

Due to this being a period of mourning, there is no weird thing today, though I did fiddle with the “Recommended Reading” and “Worthy Causes” sections of the sidebar.