Scribe, ut possis cum voles dicere: dices cum velle debebis (Pl. Ep. 6.29)

Friday, June 30, 2006

Fake-a-breakdown, part II

We kept arguing about places for the wedding and i was ready to give up when suddenly Hadar said that she agrees to go for place A, which is actually called Arca. But she made me promise that i won't say a word about make-up, DJ, food selection, dress, design, flowers etc.

So on the fourth of October i'm gonnnnnnnnnnnnnna get marrrrrrrrrrried.

A selection of other things, good and bad, that happened on the fourth of October, courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • 1537 - The first complete English-language Bible (the Matthew Bible) is printed, with translations by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale. Later they are pronounced heretics and burned at stake.
  • 1582 - Pope Gregory XIII implements the Gregorian Calendar. In Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain October 4 of this year is followed directly by October 15. Russia was the last to implement this reform - in 1918.
  • 1957 - Launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth. The Russians came first this time.
  • 1958 - Fifth Republic of France established. It is still antisemitic.
  • 1983 - Hooters restaurant first opened in Clearwater, Florida, United States. Scientology Spiritual Headquarters located in the area reports an unusual surge of positive life theta-energy of the second dynamic.
  • 1988 - U.S. televangelist Jim Bakker indicted for fraud. He got back to business a few years later.
  • 1992 - An El Al Boeing 747-200F crashes into two apartment buildings in Amsterdam, killing 43 including 38 on the ground. More people there kept dying for years from mysterious diseases. El Al was reluctant to disclose the kind of cargo that was on the plane. The black box records the pilot reciting Shma Yisrael moments before the crash.
  • 1993 - Doom press-release version is made available to journalists for review. The amount of time wasted on Doom since then amounts to millions of man-years.
  • 1993 - Russian constitutional crisis of 1993: Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders tanks to storm the Russian parliament building. He said that he was protecting the constitution, which he violated a day earlier.
  • 2001 - A Sibir Airlines Tupolev TU-154 crashes into the Black Sea after being struck by an errant Ukrainian S-200 missile. 78 people are killed, most of the Israelis. Ukrainian defence minister appears a little drunk on TV to explain what happened.
  • 2003 - Maxim restaurant suicide bombing in Haifa, Israel: 21 Israelis, Jews and Arabs, were killed, and 51 others were wounded.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


We're about to make the final decision about the wedding hall. There are two finalists now, let's call them A and O. The price is the same, and it's pretty high. A is better designed and maintained and offers a significantly larger selection of quality alcohol. O is closer to the seashore, but its level of design and maintenance resembles that of a fish restaurant in Eilat or Akko, which is not bad by itself, and fits the location, but it doesn't look like it provides the same bang for the buck as A does.

Obviously i prefer A. Hadar prefers O.

All the lovers have been tagged. I don't like it, but it really describes the situation quite well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

More Music Videos

First of all, "Sugarcube" is not really number two out of hundred. I suddenly got it - the videos are ordered alphabetically. Makes sense, with Yo La Tengo and ZZ-Top at the bottom.

I discovered another amazing video there at the the Pitchfork list - Pulp's "Bad Cover Version" on page 8. Try watching it alone and understanding it yourself and if - and only if - you get lost with all the faces there, take a peek here.

And two more, sent by friends:

  • Chacarron Macarron - Andy's Val Gourmet - thanks to Daniel.
  • "Finnish Folklore" - thanks to MeahevServi. It is actually a flash animation, but i laughed my pants out. The Russian at the bottom says: "That's it, this Finnish folklore got on my nerves" (but in Russian it's funnier). N.B.: Your workplace / firewall / proxy / censorship software may filter out this movie, because it's listed as an adult website, but there's no pornography there.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Made Me Cry - The part of being tough

Pitchfork Media published a list of "100 Awesome Music Videos", with links to actual videos. It is not exactly numbered from 100 to 1, but Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube" is the next to last on page 10, which makes it a virtual number two out of hundred, which is not bad. By the same count, number one is ZZ-Top's "Legs", which is rather good too.

The list has many masterpieces - The Jacksons' "Can You Feel It", Blur's "Coffee & TV", Toni Basil's "Mickey" etc. Interestingly, Björk is represented with a (good) video from her latter career and not with older favourites such as "Human Behaviour", "Army of Me" or "Venus as a Boy". But i really wanted to talk about "Sugarcube".

The song comes from Yo La Tengo's critical breakthrough I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One which came out in 1997. In 1997 i got online for the first time and immediately signed up to mailing lists about Sonic Youth, Tricky and dEUS, which were my favorites at the time. I kept seeing Yo La Tengo mentioned on all of them, but audio was very sparse on the web back in 1997 and i didn't have much money to buy their records, which weren't sold in Israel anyway. And then one day late at night i saw "Sugarcube" on MTV's Alternative Nation, which was still rather good at the time. I was rolling on the floor laughing at the video, and i enjoyed the song too, even though with all the action in the video it was barely audible. That's how my love story with Yo La Tengo got started. And today, when i watched it again, it made me cry yet again.

So, please enjoy the video. May you be successfull in learning where the hobbits dwell. And as a fun exercise - try to count the cultural references there. I may publish my count one day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Opera 9.0 is out and i decided to give it another chance, after i dismissed it earlier. In this new version Ctrl-T opens a new tab, which is nice. It also has hot drug-using chicks on the installer splashscreen.

It is still unlikely that i'll adopt it as my primary browser, as there is a good option which is free.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

People Speaking - Blood

— "There's a problem with this cooking show. They are breaking eggs straight into the casserole without checking them for blood. Is this program shot in the Land of Israel or in exile?"

— "In Israel."

— "How do you know?"

— "I know that girl on the right."

— "Send her an email. Tell her she needs to check the eggs for blood."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

People Speaking - Quote

— "They quote Rabbi Akiva? Do they know what Rabbi Akiva thinks about them?"


Religious advertising:

  1. A children's book: "A Tabernacle of Peace - the commandment of pilgrimage in Sukkot (Tabernacles). A family makes a pilgrimage in the time of the Third Temple (in a train that was scanned in advance for impurities), brings its offerings and participates in the feasts of Beit-Hashoeva."
  2. Health insurance: "Saying all of Book of Psalms all the day in your right. 'Forever shall a man put a prayer before a calamity' (Sanhedrin 44b)"

N.B.: Not all religious children read such books; Psalms are usually not the only thing that practicing Jews use as medicine.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

People Speaking - Grass

— "Tablehopping - like a grasshopper from table to table."

(Thanks to N.)

No Clipping

I'm trying to bring my nail-clipping routine to some kind of order. Once a week should be fine.

Now that i wrote that, there's only one thing that this blog is really missing.


I am a Wikipedia contributor. I do it very little compared to some others. Many contributors are doing in one day the amount of work that i've done in a year. I don't know what else they are doing in their life, but i respect their work. I may be naïve, but i really think that this project is doing something good for humanity. As for myself - i need a break from it. It can handle without me for some time while i catch up on my own matters - such as homework, wedding, cooking proper food again, studying Arabic and Yiddish (more on that later) and finally learning to play bass and harmonica. My life should not suck too.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My cheeks are turning yellow

A friend of mine, a student of criminology and psychology, emailed me a couple of questionnaires for a paper she's writing to my GMail address.

The email and the questionnaires were in Hebrew. GMail's advertising engine analyzed them and presented me with four commercial messages: Two about job seeking services, one about abstracts writing service, and one about immigration to Australia. The last one was in English.

Does it mean that many Israeli graduate students are interested in immigration to Australia?

There must be someone to blame.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

People Speaking - Plum

Restaurant smalltalk:

— "Children learn English better."

— "Yes, especially from other children. A cousin from Canada visited me and brought her family along, and after a few days my daughter was speaking fluent English."

— "Children always understand each other, no matter what language they speak."

— "All people can understand each other! At the institution in which I work there's one guy that speaks as if there's a plum in his throat and you can't really discern any words, but you understand him."

— "Did you check it? Maybe he really does have a plum in his throat."

See also this.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Intellectual Property - Rock N' Roll

Rock N' Roll is everyday
Panties on Tuesdays only. Jess Fink

I once found this lovely drawing somewhere on the web. Can anyone please remind me where?

A Club That I Can Join!

International Paruresis Association Home Page

Thanks to Scott Adams for raising the awareness on the issue!

People Speaking - Bread

— "Say, the kosher supervisor at the dining room downstairs ... is he there all the time?"

— "He's not there all the time, but he's there when it's necessary. Why, did you see something ... ?"

— "No. I just can't keep eating nothing but bread all the time."

— "Yes. It is not healthy."

— "That's right. I'll add some vegetables."

There you go: Concern over religious dietary laws indeed makes some people quasivegetarian.

There's also another serious side. The interesting thing is that the person in question is concerned not with the kashruth of the food proper but with the big picture: According to him, the kashruth supervision itself is mostly fine as far as the food goes, but the community of eaters is sinful. And he's not talking about sinners like me, but about the strict orthodox Jews who will go a long way to only eat chicken that was slaughtered under the supervision of their favorite rabbi, but wouldn't care if - just for example! - the employees of the kitchen would me mistreated by the employer. This makes the whole kitchen non-kosher. If you ask me - this is orthodoxy at its very best (inter-believer feuds notwithstanding).

N.B.: I'm not claiming that any employee is mistreated in this company, this was just a hypothetical example.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

On Normalcy

A sign that Israel is becoming normal: After a few years of drought, there are a lot of foreign gigs lately. Devendra Banhart and Blonde Redhead are coming soon - not to mention Depeche Mode and Roger Waters.