30 April 2008

Ronaldo arrested for altercation with transvestites

As if he doesn't have enough troubles:

It was a spectacular own goal from the man once considered the best striker in the world. Ronaldo, the AC Milan forward, was questioned by police yesterday after an altercation with transvestites in a Rio de Janeiro motel. Carlos Augusto Nogueira, a police inspector, said that Ronaldo admitted he knew they were prostitutes when they met but did not realise they were transvestites until they reached the motel.
It looks like it is not only the knee that should be monitored - The Man needs to have his eyes examined as well...

Via H.

Scuba divers for beginners

"Divers" is not a typo, as you shall see presently.

29 April 2008

Getting your child married

Things you get in the mail these days...

28 April 2008

Israel Is Strong - Really

When you, an avid reader of Jerusalem Post, go through another editorial by Caroline Glick (to take one, but outstanding, example), the customary feeling of gloom and doom sinks its talons into your sensitive soul. It makes your morning pita taste just the same as that highly hygienic sliced white bread you get from a plastic bag. Syrians are already climbing the fence, Hezbollah is horribly bemissiled, Hamas is finishing a burrow to get to the Prime Minister's office and Mahmoud the Mad is priming the warhead on the doomsday machine.

If you read it here in Israel, your pita still retains a bit of its taste. After all, we all know that our Caroline is, how to say it gently, a bit too overexcited. Just because a certain knight in his slightly tattered armor has not yet unseated that weasel who somehow insinuated himself in the PM's chair and who doesn't show any signs of getting off. Anyhow, we understand her bitterness.

But if you are Jooish abroad, your pita's taste is definitely off. Your day is destroyed, your digestion is ruined and, short of running to the airport to take the first flight to Ben Gurion and start saving us the moment you step of the plane, a fat check to AJC or JNF is your only recourse to some semblance of healing.

And if you are a non-Jooish sympathizer, you just wonder what keeps IDF from tearing all these vicious enemies to bits in one mighty swoop. And your conclusion is that these commie peaceniks at the helm are too impotent to do anything useful and thus condemn the country to speedy demise.

Well, I think that there is something in the way of relief. It is not that Syrians don't have a look now and then at the fence or that Hezbollah is not horribly bemissiled. It is just that we need to step back from the hype from time to time to get some sense of proportion. Which is hard to do if you are an avid reader... but this is how I have started this post. In any case, the article Israel Is Strong - Really by professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center does exactly this.

Let's face it: after almost 2,000 years in exile and only 60 years of Israel as a sovereign nation, it still feels funny for Jews, especially those outside of Israel, to have a state.

That, along with other factors, makes it easy to underestimate Israel's success and security. However, though at first glance it might seem counter-intuitive to say so, Israel today is stronger, more secure and in a better strategic position than at just about any time in its history.
Read the whole article before you go for that pita. And Bon Appetit!

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

27 April 2008

The fifth sentence tag

For the last month or so I am being slowly devoured from inside by a Six Word Memoir tag that descended on me from A. Decker. Eventually I'll have to come up with something, but it's a devilishly difficult one - beats even a good haiku, so it will take time. Hopefully it doesn't become an obituary instead of a memoir...

Meanwhile, I was hit by a simpler one by Roland of But, I Am a Liberal. It goes like this:

  1. Pick up the nearest book.
  2. Open to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
So here you go:
Both are gregarious and agile fliers, breeding at high elevation and feeding largely in mountain pastures.
You can guess that this is not a sentence about bloggers. Not even about pilots of some unnamed air force. It comes from Birds of Israel and The Middle East by David M. Cottridge and Richard Porter. The quoted sentence is related to Alpine Chough:

And the next three sentences:
Their calls are characteristic: a loud, hollow, far-carrying chow. In Israel the Alpine Chough is a regular winter visitor to the north, but the Chough is extremely rare*. Look for this dark grey and black crow in coastal areas of Arabia, especially around ports.
That third sentence, as you have probably guessed, talks about another bird. But what could I do?

* And regarding the rarity of the Chough, mentioned above, that statement seems to be wrong:

Taken on April 3, 2008 in our garden, notice that red bill. So someone should eat a crow....

Now to tagging (he he): Irina, Matt, A.Decker (it will learn him!), Beaman, Michael.. And refrain from searching for me with blunt instruments, please.

Update: on that Chough situation: the one depicted in the shot above could be a Blackbird (Turdus Merula) after all, so let's hold the horses with that crow dinner. I may want to take it over...

25 April 2008

Syrian nuclear reactor and Israeli photography

There is no doubt now - when CIA serves as an art agent for an Israeli photographer, it means that this venerable art form got a worthy representative in Israel.

The success of the show is so overwhelming that the photographer shall have to avoid public appearances for now, just to escape the unwanted attention of rival art agents.

Now, I ask, cannot they (I mean CIA) do something similar for me? Look at this, for example:

Doesn't the picture show how boldly I break all the rules of composition? Doesn't the rough texture of the wood show the existential counterpoint against the blurred brownish - red background? Doesn't the ever crazed look of the Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos) express its epistemological conflict with the surrounding futility of materialistic humanity and its largely agnostic environment ?

So why couldn't the spooks do something for me as well?

24 April 2008

Congo: penis theft or shrinkage?

I am interrupting my holiday slumber to provide some relief to the panic-stricken fair citizens of Kinshasa.

Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Rumors of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.
On the face of it, the situation may look unbearable. You take a taxi, do some shopping, have a few beers and then, when a call of nature leads you to do what a man must do, you discover... what?

Dear men of Kinshasa - relax. The only people in the world able (and sometimes willing) to steal your highly valued members are the Elders, who use the fabled Penis-Melting Zionist Robot Combs. However, we have been not active in the field lately, having already accumulated a large stock that should see us through the good part of the current century.
Some Kinshasa residents accuse a separatist sect from nearby Bas-Congo province of being behind the witchcraft in revenge for a recent government crackdown on its members.
And to the separatist folks: that quote above doesn't mean that the government of Congo has somehow got wise to our member-snatching techniques. It is just a poor attempt at a pun and doesn't really mean what you may think it means. One has to be a member... oh what the heck... an employee of the Elders' outfit to be able to do it.

Now, what really stands behind the wild rumors you all are panicked by is the simple phenomenon of shrinkage.
George: See, look at this. Rachel, my T-shirt shrunk. It used to be much bigger, and now it shrunk. You see, that's what water does. It shrinks things.
As you can see, it's a simple and temporary effect of water, so just by avoiding it you can quickly get the situation back to normal, whatever it means in every individual case.

So cool down, sit yourself in the sun and just wait a bit. Everything will be fine.

In other shrinkage-related news - Carter: Hamas willing to accept Israel as neighbor.
Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday said Hamas is prepared to accept the right of Israel to "live as a neighbor next door in peace."
Really? Probably this kind of door will be acceptable to Hamas:

Anyway - back to slumber.

19 April 2008

Hag Pesah Sameach - Happy Passover!

Thanks to MC and MS.

Turning over a rock

Zoe Brain has found an extraordinary (hmm... I wonder) eruption of hate from a prominent Nazi Hal Turner and his faithful followers. Supported, in its somewhat diluted way, by WND. A worthy read.

18 April 2008

Close encounters of the fourth kind

These are, probably, encounters that nobody, aside of the initiating party, wants or needs and help no one but the initiating party. Here is one:

Carter told an audience at the American University in Cairo that the meeting lasted about three hours. Senior Hamas officials Mahmoud al-Zahar and Saeed Seyam traveled from Gaza to Cairo on Wednesday for the meeting. Carter said the two Hamas officials indicated that they would accept a peace agreement with Israel if the plan were approved through "a referendum of the Palestinian community."
Missing from the description above is the manner that these officials used to "indicate" their readiness for peace. Probably it was in some secret fraternity jests, because otherwise these two are known for their public utterances that don't have anything to do with peace. Here's Mr Seyam:
As well as vowing not to arrest militants for carrying out attacks against Israel, Seyam said Hamas would try to coordinate militants' operations. "Talks with the factions in the future will focus on the mechanisms, the shape and the timing (of any attacks)," he said. "But the right to defend our people and to confront the aggression is granted and is legitimate."
And here is his senior colleague, Mr al-Zahar:
Speaking to the Corriere Della Sera newspaper, al-Zahar said Hamas would "definitely not" be prepared for coexistence with Israel should the IDF retreat to its 1967 borders."It can be a temporary solution, for a maximum of 5 to 10 years. But in the end Palestine must return to become Muslim, and in the long term Israel will disappear from the face of the earth."
Oh, and speaking about Mr al-Zahar, let's not forget this:

But we better be quiet: the mega-brain of the Nobel Prize winner is churning out more ideas...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Update: a great (made up, to make sure you don't call CNN) quote by Peter Risdon here.
PIJ Secretary-General Dr. Ramadan Shallah said "We may be a bunch of psychopathic Islamist terrorists, but meeting Carter would be a step too far. The man has no shame. He seems willing to meet every mass murderer on the planet."
And least the Jihadis seem to have a bit of taste.

Drunkard? Me?


That's not true. The scale they use just doesn't have any refined, real life categories, such as "gentleman who holds his drink" or "discerning consumer of spirits", etc.

There is no need to shout, folks. And that HTML sucks too.

Via Miriam.

17 April 2008

On some peculiarities of middle-aged balding white-haired married men

I know this is an awful title for such a short post. And that "balding" is a politically incorrect term. But the alternative would have been "follicularly- challenged" or something like that, which would have... anyway, you shall see what I mean in a moment:

People who know me will confirm that I regard this category of men with greatest possible respect. Still, the question is inevitable:

Are we all going barking mad or only some of us?

Some military news

Big mouth wars:

In a new round in the war of words between Jerusalem and Tehran, the Iranian army's deputy chief threatened Tuesday to respond to any military attack from Israel by 'eliminating' it.

The Iranian officer's comments came after Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben-Eliezer last week warned Iran that "an Iranian attack on Israel will lead to a harsh response by Israel that will cause the destruction of the Iranian nation."
Why don't the two meet somewhere on neutral ground and mutually self-destruct (I know, I know, don't jump on my throat please)?

Against all odds:
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India are in advanced talks regarding interests in New Delhi to purchase three new Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) from Israel, in what could turn into the biggest defense contract in the country's history.
Sounds good. If Grumman and Boeing don't train a few Patriot missiles on that deal...

Mock-up victory:
The Arrow anti-ballistic missile system successfully simulated an interception of a rocket designed to mimic the Iranian Shihab missile on Tuesday.
I had a dream lately about meeting Meg Ryan. This virtual encounter was an absolute success too.

50 years old what?

Attila got an interesting guest recently. And the outclick is really something. Go figure them Maryland bloggers...

16 April 2008

Travel writer tells newspaper he plagiarized, dealt drugs

A Lonely Planet author says he plagiarized or made up portions of the popular travel guidebooks and dealt drugs to supplement poor pay, an Australian newspaper reported Sunday. Thomas Kohnstamm, who has written a book on his misadventures, also said he didn't travel to Colombia to write the guidebook on the country because "they didn't pay me enough," The Daily Telegraph reported. "I wrote the book in San Francisco [California]," he is quoted as saying in the Telegraph. "I got the information from a chick I was dating -- an intern in the Colombian Consulate." The 32-year-old Seattle, Washington, native also claims he accepted free travel, which is a violation of the company's policy.
Surely the late Douglas Adams will be happy to hear that the reality sometimes copies his ideas. Oh, if you wish, the ideas of his heroes.

Ford Prefect will say that this frood surely knows where his towel is.

And don't climb on your moral high horse around me, please. After all - has anybody been complaining about the Lonely Planet guide to Colombia? Nah - they were too busy to notice... Besides:
The book's publisher, Piers Pickard, told the paper that an "urgent" review of Kohnstamm's books did not reveal any inaccuracies.
So there.

Texas School Suspends Student

for Answering Call in Class From Dad in Iraq.

(That was an impossibly long, but quite clear headline, I have to say).

I think... no, I feel that the principal was far out in this case. I know that the dad shares my feelings, with some serious percentage, and I think that the principal has a clock cleaning coming his way.

That's, of course, if the dad in question is not one of them weenies from the Ai... nothing doing.

15 April 2008

Hot, cold, hot, cold

A layman can easily get drown in the recent deluge of hold and cold flashes keeping the media busy. Take for instance this series under the ambitious name:

The Great Global Warming Swindle

I am not equipped to sit in the chair of judgment on this subject, and I suspect that a good percentage of people who have a crystal-clear and unshakable opinion could support that opinion by even less argument than I do. One thing is sure - there are lots of angry people on both sides.

Still, I have these questions that will, most probably, remain eternal:
  • Why is that most of the proponents of global warming theory are on the left side of the political spectrum and the opponents...?
  • How can the whole issue be taken out of the grubby hands of politicians back to the labs?
  • Why don't both sides agree that no matter who is right or wrong about the impact CO2 is having on global climate, there are still goals that no one should argue with: reduction of industrial pollution, use of clean energy sources, including nuclear energy (this is where Greens just must replace their histrionics by a smidgen of common sense), search for other replacements for oil, which is really going to run out (later than it is profitable for oil moguls to claim, but still), more attention to accumulation of rain water and protection of existing freshwater sources, and many more urgent and critical tasks?
For everything else - there is the Climate Debate Daily - if you still want to hear both sides...

Via Dick Stanley.


As I have suspected all along...

Johana Nakano: Miss Chiclayo Peru (Video Found!)

It is that easy to get super-famous these days: just spread a rumor about a dirty video clip and you are in business, what with all the surfers...

Now ask this here fellow:

Does he give a flying donut? You should reflect on it, instead of googling for nekkid pictures. And learn from him to relax.

14 April 2008

Pakistani lawyers clashing - natural selection at work

I cannot say that I was totally surprised by these developments in Karachi.

At least seven people have been killed and 12 others injured after rival groups of lawyers clashed in the Pakistani city of Karachi, police say. They say the clashes soon became full scale riots with offices and cars set alight in parts of the southern city.
In fact, it was practically expected. With the unchecked growth of lawyers' population all over the world, the only unknowns were the place where the lawyers will start to fight their turf wars in earnest and the choice of weapons.
Police say that five people were killed when rioters set fire to lawyers' chambers in a building adjacent to the city court in downtown Karachi.
That was expected, what with lawyers dealing with and surrounded by lots of paper. But the following was a surprise:
Two people died of gunshot wounds, including a paramedic whose ambulance came under fire while crew members were trying to help the injured.
Lawyers taking to firearms was a rude awakening. At least, if it were USA, where the access to the firearms is easier, it would have been understandable. (In US, probably, a lawyer would get a preferential treatment in a gun shop, enabling him to get away with a whole armory).

This doesn't bode well, I am afraid. Roaming lawyer gangs shooting it out with their rivals in the streets and in the courtrooms may become a common sight soon. And names like John The Barrister of Doom, Ahmed the Corporate Slayer or Chaim The Sudden Subpoena may overshadow the olden names of the pirates, gangsters and warriors.

It could be a good time to consider returning to frontier justice, before it's too late...

In related news: New York City Teacher Arrested After Biting Student.

13 April 2008

Richard Falk - not all is lost, I say

This article in The New York Sun has made on me an impression which, in the end, appeared to be the opposite of what the author was trying to achieve.

So, we have a prominent (and Jooish to boot, if JP is to be believed) professor of law who is saying that we are Nazis reincarnated.

So our professor is a 911 Truther. Seeking the neocons behind the scenes (we all know who these insidious "neocons" are, don't we?).

So the learned professor thinks that the sun shines from the posterior of the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

So we have the UN Human Rights Council (which is in fact another sitting committee of OIC and should be by rights named IWC - Israeli Wrongs Council) that decided, quite logically, that professor Falk will be a worthy and admirable heir of South African professor John Dugard.

So some Israeli mandarins got their knickers seriously twisted by the mere idea that professor Falk will be an impartial observer of Israeli-Gazan relations and threatened to turn the learned observer back at the border.

All that was understandable and fine with me, but The New York Sun made one mistake - they published the professor's photograph and even asked me to click on it to enlarge (embiggen) it. And this is where their ploy self-destructed.

I invite you to click on the above too. Have you ever seen a finer portrait of a natural born boozer? My heart has immediately warmed up to him, I swear.

Let the man in, I say, and I shall be his host. We'll have a mighty fine time, I am more than sure of it, and I hope that we prefer the same tipple. But if not, I shall be an accommodating host anyway. I promise. We'll spend many an evening discussing the truth behind 911, the alien reptilians and their Illuminati buddies, the Elders never-ending quest, the Lennon's assassination by Stephen King, the kings, the walrus and the cabbage...

And we shall get to the bottom of it all, that is certain! Or, at least, to the bottom of each available bottle...

In related news: professor Falk got a competitor for the role of impartial UN rapporteur: Ahmadinejad denies al Qaeda’s 9/11 attack on America.

Sunday links

Haveil Havalim #162 in its Pesach edition is up, mostly kosher and it's really a doozy!

This is a good opportunity to update the host - 10 agorot is closer to 3 cents now!

12 April 2008

Melanie Phillips single handedly attacks British Shia Mosques - thousands dead!

He he.

You better hark

When Terry Glavin talks. You better...

The murders at Nahal Oz

While mulling the tragic events at the Nahal Oz fuel terminal and thinking about a post on the subject, I have found a much better alternative to a home-baked post: an article by Professor Barry Rubin of GLORIA Center: Frog Bites Scorpion.

What makes this attack especially significant—and horrible—is that the only reason the terminal was open and the workers were present was to supply the needs of the Gaza Strip’s population. In previous months, the international media and many governments criticized Israel for not doing enough to help Gaza, despite the fact that the area is ruled by an openly anti-Semitic regime which makes clear its goal of destroying Israel, and also daily fires mortars and rockets into Israel. Indeed, as part of this attack, several mortar shells were fired at the terminal.
Read it in its entirety. The unhappy conclusion is all the more true.

And a side remark regarding the headline in The Guardian - Reprisals follow two Israeli deaths at fuel depot: as Meryl says in her post (re AP):
But note how it’s being played: “Reprisals”—as if there’s something wrong with an army responding to an attack on her land and her people. But then, that’s the narrative. Any attack on Israel causes a counter-attack, a reprisal, or a retaliation—not an act of defense by a sovereign nation, defending itself from armed terrorists.

11 April 2008

Hamas: Israel digging tunnels to kidnaps Hamas leaders

That was an interesting turn of speach. Or turn of spin, whatever you make of it.

"Israel has dug tunnels under the Gaza Strip in order to kidnap senior Hamas leaders," Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat. In an interview published Thursday, Siam claimed that the Shin Bet has been acting through local agents across the Strip to purchase apartments that could be used as bases of operations for such kidnappings.
Yes, it could be so: now we know at least why many people in Israel call Olmert dirty - it's from all that digging.

I can offer another sinister detail: Shin Bet uses the tunnels to provoke Israeli army. Like these 6 Shin Bet provocateurs that came from Gaza recently to the fuel terminal, killed two Israeli civilians and run back for the tunnels. Only to be killed by the Air Force who, most probably, just were not in on the joke...

The Shin Bet provocateurs are also digging tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, smuggle more and more weapons and distribute the weapons to the other Shin Bet provocateurs, who use the weapons to shoot and bombard Israel over the border to create more provocations.

The Shin Bet provocateurs also dress up like this:

This to create an impression that not all citizens of Gaza are peaceful.

The Shin Bet provocateurs...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Yep, that does it for me


Like in nature to a train-riding hobo

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Cool - I guess ya'll envy me now... so here.

10 April 2008

History (n.), historians (n.)

It should be accepted by now as a given that people schooled in precise sciences tend to laugh at their colleagues that have chosen art, literature, philosophy, history... as their lifelong occupation. Most of the jokes - and responses to these jokes - are good natured and, at the worst, end with salt replacing sugar in someone's tea or some such thing.

It's a bit different when a specific science is being made a butt of a cruel joke by a non-scientist. Like the incomparable Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary:

A broad-gauge gossip.

An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.

Of Roman history, great Niebuhr's shown
'Tis nine-tenths lying. Faith, I wish 'twere known,
Ere we accept great Niebuhr as a guide,
Wherein he blundered and how much he lied.
Not a kindly view of that science and its scientists. But, being a joke, the definition above carries only a smidgen of truth. Being concerned with rulers and soldiers, this science (notice how manfully I have avoided the use of quotation marks) breeds scandals naturally. Just like fish breathes water. Specifically in Israel, the rise and fall of the so called "new historians" who enjoyed their moment of fame is a good illustration of unscrupulous use of the profession as a springboard to recognition - of sorts. Of this revisionist breed, the outstanding examples would be Ilan Pappe who by now doesn't even conceal the fact that he is rewriting history to suit what he calls "the Palestinian narrative" and Benny Morris who eventually repented and now does his best to be a good Zionist.

The fame (or, rather, notoriety) of these two had a serious impact on the minds of some of their colleagues who, apparently, wish to get their own place at the trough. And here comes one Shlomo Zand, an Israeli professor of French history and cinema (emphasis mine, of course) and decides to have some of that too. This dude has found the shortcut to fame and will not be deterred - but here I pass the microphone to Ami Isseroff:
For 2,000 years, philosophers and historians have tried to understand the Jewish problem, others have tried to solve it by eliminating the Jews. No Jews, no problem! Sometimes it requires a non-expert to find a solution. Shlomo Zand, an Israeli professor of French history and cinema, is the latest contender to offer a final solution to the Jewish problem. His solution has French elegance: Prove that there are no Jews, get everyone to believe it, and then there will be no more Jewish problem. His book, "Matai ve'eych humtza ha'am hayehudi?" ("When and How was the Jewish People Invented?") was just published in Israel and is a best seller. By September, it will be published in French. By that time, Zand should be well on his way to solving the Jewish problem.
See how simple the way to the top really is? Ami does an excellent job debunking Zand in his article Are the Jews a people? The Zand controversy. Effectively, this would be enough to consider the whole shindig finished. However it is clear that it wouldn't be finished - too many "activists" want more of the same and too many political forces want to use this "scientific" discovery for their own nefarious purposes.

And this is where I would like to ask a question: what is this all about? Aside of the fact that these and similar examples of bad science and sloppy, politically motivated logic will be eventually swept aside by the clear unequivocal conclusions of genetic research and we all will eventually know quite clearly what specific monkey contributed most to our character, looks and other traits - why should we, the Jooz, care about incessant attempts by the anti-Israeli crowd to prove that we are not who are we saying we are?

And more important: should we be saying anything on the subject, and what does the whole subject has to do with where we reside and what are our relationships with our neighbors - to take one of the aspects of this thorny issue?

My dear reader: I say that the whole issue of real origins of our tribe should be considered (and this is precisely how I consider it) as important as the proverbial number of angels that could gather on the tip of a needle.

First of all - recognition of a Jew. I remember vaguely two or three cases when somebody told me "you know, you don't look Jewish". I am not going into details, but experience is the best proof of this simple concept. Neither our friends, nor (especially) our enemies have ever had trouble recognizing a Jew. Never had and never will. There is no need of historic research (especially not as pointless and stupid as the one mentioned here) nor of test tubes, microscopes and whatnot to help an anti-Semite to detect a Jew in a crowd, using his/her finely tuned antennae.

Second, and much more important aspect of the issue is why? Why bother? Even assuming that Jews as a people do not stem from King David, but were formed as a tribe later - is there a difference between 4000 years or so and 1.5 thousand years (which is still more than many modern nations can claim)? Should it really matter to me whether there is a cubic cc of King Solomon's blood in my 5 or so liters or that, maybe, this cubic cc belongs in reality to Chenghiz Khan? Why, in short, should I care whether I descend from Khazars or Aztecs or survivors of Atlantis, when I look, walk and quack like a Jew and everybody recognizes me as such?

Ladies and gentlemen: I don't give a flying donut about some half-baked "scientific" scoop proving that I am a descendant of Khazars or of a passer-by alien from a neighborhood galaxy. Nor about the genetic research mentioned above. I am a Jew, I live here in Israel and will do so until I decide otherwise or die. And anyone who is not happy about this fact is welcome to make peace with this fact and with us - or to make war. And we all should better focus our minds on trying to get the former - if we don't want to get the latter.

And let's leave the pointless drivel of the expert in French history and cinema to his publisher and to French TV. I assure you we'll be all much healthier and better of as a result.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

Between Burke and Paine in the twenty-first century

This great post by Bob from Brockley is a mandatory read.

09 April 2008

England in a nutshell

I heartily recommend this essay by No Good Boyo. You may get hit by assorted blunt instruments for quoting it in London, and the essay will definitely piss off some of my dear friends, but it's as funny as anything. And somewhat... no, I didn't say it.

Our tenants

It's quite the time to let you know about some of our tenants. Quarrelsome and noisy bunch that they are, unlike this one:

The first one and its relatives I would like to get rid of, what with the roof gutters being constantly filled with assorted detritus and endless cooing at all hours.

The next one is less troublesome and comparatively quiet:

This one, on the other hand, is a living scandal. The level of grating noise produced by its kind must be heard to be believed.

That one is relatively nice, spending most of the time in the pine where you can see it:

And the next one is ready for a quick snack, as you can see:

And now to my personal holy grail, as far as bird photography is concerned. This miniature and quick flying character is the most difficult one to find and to keep in your sight for time enough for a shot. For a long time the best I could do was something like this:

(Can you see him?) Today, after a long vigil, I have succeeded to get a bit closer, and here he is:

And a bit closer to a face shot:

Well - quarrelsome and noisy bunch they are, and late forever with monthly payments, but we rather like them.

Now, when I get a better lens...

08 April 2008

Sex and the university

I have to express my sincere gratitude to CNN for bringing this to my attention. It's quite a time since I had me such a refreshing ROTFLMAO...

When young men were shown erotic pictures, they were more likely to make a larger financial gamble than if they were shown a picture of something scary, such as a snake, or something neutral, such as a stapler, university researchers reported.
Of course, in my advanced age I cannot be a volunteer for such a research, but from the impartial heights of experience the conclusion above looks as full of holes as the proverbial cheese.

To start with: young men in general are likely to perform any shenanigan when shown a nekkid picture, be the shenanigan of financial or any other nature. Now, if you choose for your test group "15 heterosexual young men at Stanford University" (which means in short words "15 sex-starved animals of male persuasion"), your ability to manipulate them into any stupid decision raises infinitely.

Then - who said that snakes and, to put it mildly, staplers, are totally unrelated to sex? Maybe in refined laboratory conditions... oh well...
"You have a need in an evolutionary sense for both money and women. They trigger the same brain area," said Camelia Kuhnen, a Northwestern University finance professor who conducted the study with a Stanford University psychologist.
I suspect that in an evolutionary sense it will be much better to siphon off some of the bloated university budgets to something more worthwhile, instead of adding another research paper to the evergrowing pile of the Research Annals of the Obvious.

And since I am sure that at least one of the readers will demand an example of such worthwhile research, here is one: channeling the excessive sexual energy of some students into increasing their zeal for the studies.

What do ya'll think?

07 April 2008

Hedgehog as a weapon

This novel use for the cute animal was invented recently in New Zealand.

A man in New Zealand has been charged with using a hedgehog as a weapon, the New Zealand Herald has reported. Police said William Singalargh, 27, had hurled the hedgehog about 5m (16ft) at a 15-year-old boy.
The injuries were not that grievous, and the brat most probably deserved the punishment anyway.

But the incident got me thinking in another direction: what if this method of resolving disputes will be accepted all over the world? What if hedgehogs become the only weapon available to humanity for settling the differences of opinion on any given subject?

Of course, a set of rules should be established, such as moratorium on application of that weapon to some sensitive parts of human body, regulation of throwing distances and the state of the hedgehog prior to use. But all these are mere technicalities and could be easily overcome.

The world peace is coming. I feel it in my waters.

If you will...

After some prolonged calculations, based on hints thinly spread here and there, I've concluded that I have signed a will at the same (more or less) age Akaky Akakievich did.

Now - did I write something about it? No.

But could I write something even remotely close to this?

Not in a thousand...

When you are sixty four

Or 78 or 83, whatever.

Source unknown, but many thanks to her/him anyway.

06 April 2008

Sunday links

Haveil Havalim #161 is up and there are quite a few goodies.

Progressives uber ales?

Andrew Ian Dodge tells an absolutely amazing story

Big "progressive" (aka new name for socialism) shindig in London today. Some of the highlights are a logo with a swastika hidden inside it and their laughing at the sub-prime loan crisis. These people claim to be carrying & sharing but seem to enjoy the suffering of anyone who owns a home. Oh yes and they are staying a posh hotel natch.
This is only half amazing, read more here.

This is what the modern left is coming to?

Falling out between swine

This short article caused me a bizarre feeling - like finding yourself in a parallel world, where most of the familiar details are faithfully copied from the world you know, but people talk and behave differently. To start with the headline:

Hamas: Rocket attacks not aimed at Israeli women, children

Strange enough, and doesn't require comments. But the contents of the piece are real mindboggling:
"Hamas doesn't mean to kill children with its rockets," spokesman Ismail Radwan told reporters in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to a statement made by al-Qaida's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who said Hamas' random rockets kill women and children in violation of Islamic law.
Still no comments. Just my poor head that cannot get rid of the colorful image of Hamas and al-Qaida chiefs in Santa Claus outfits distributing sweets, toys and smiles to the children of Sderot, New York, Madrid, Baghdad...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

05 April 2008

Photohunt: Glass

The theme for this week is "Glass".

It's another tough subject. My archives didn't serve me well this time. So I have decided to make a special effort and to find a few favorite glass objects of mine. Here they are:

And I placed them in the right sequence (left to right): you open the first, transfer the contents to the second, wait for a prescribed time (don't chew your nails please) and then pour some limited volume into the third and... GO!

Repeat as your doctor recommends.


Now, if you want a less gloomy depiction of the same glass objects, here it is:

You tell me which one you like best.

If you liked what you have seen (or read) in this post, add your link in the comments:
I promise to visit your place as soon as possible!

To look for other photo hunters, go there.


04 April 2008


(Please remember the Elders' pledge of non-involvement, though)

By no other but Mad!

Some things to read

The economic and cultural boycott of the State of Israel actually predates the creation of the State itself.
The mere mention of the word "boycott" quickens the pulse of some people. Ben Cohen of Z Word blog takes a look at the various manifestation of that righteous urge by some righteous people.
I realize that we will have to make peace one day- the sooner the better. I realize that transfer is a pipe dream of the far right. It will simply never take place. I realize that there are good and bad Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims just like there are good and bad Jews.
Eitan of Continuing in Chicago on his "passing political puberty". I am a bit skeptical (not on account of Eitan, it is just that mental puberty for men is considered to be feasible around age of 70 or so), but it's a good read.
In a curious reversal of normal scientific practice, the failed experiment of the 1990s peace process is now being performed again. Its architects tell us, contrary to all available evidence, that this time the results will be different. They won't be. Instead, de facto cooperation between the region's moderate states will serve to contain the local pro-Iranian forces.
Jonathan Spyer of GLORIA Center offers increased involvement of Egypt and Jordan in Gaza and West bank respectively as a possible replacement to a peace process that is going to fail. But are Egyptians and Jordanians eager to participate in this experiment? Dunno...

03 April 2008

No. 2 live on CNN!

Er... that headline may look ambiguous. So - it is not that no.2 you mean, it is this one:

Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri pledged Wednesday night that the group would attack Jews in Israel and throughout the world.
And CNN is also not the one you mean, it is the elusive Cave News Network.

And that "live" should rather be "alive", but let's not nitpick, OK?

Anyhow, the gist of the speech carries nothing essentially new, aside of a sign that even such a benign and largely impotent body as UN has succeeded to get on the bad side of the chief cave dwellers.
Zawahri also slammed the UN for "assisting the establishment of Israel," calling the organization an "enemy of Islam."
I expect that Adam and Eve will be blacklisted next - for letting their loins to get away with passion and to produce these darn apes and pigs (by the way, if you haven't yet joined the Apes and Pigs Alliance, you are welcome to the badge and the link on the left side of this here blog).

And then who? Oh - oh, let's not get there for now...

Now a few words about the style:
The audio message, which was accompanied by a 46-page English transcript, was the first installment of answers to a raft of online questions...
46-page English transcript definitely points to one of the two possibilities: either our forehead-damaged friend is bored to death in his cave or he is aspiring to become a TV show star to beat Oprah. Or both.

In any case, here is an offer from the Elders to al-Whatishisname: we have a few vacant caves here, so you are welcome. We'll provide food, clothing, a TV crew and a few goats.


Cross-posted on Yourish.com.

George Clooney sees career shift ahead

"Ten years from now, I imagine people will be fairly sick of seeing a lot of us who are on camera now," Clooney told Reuters.
Oh boy... what a situation... how do I put it gently? Anyhow - I have some news for you, George!

02 April 2008

BBC insults the Elders again

This bunch of snooty media pundits and their running lackey dogs has done it again:

Israel is viewed as the country with the second most negative influence on the world, according to a poll released recently by the BBC World Service.

Iran was considered to have the most negative influence, ranked lowest in world opinion at 54 percent - the same ranking it was given in a poll taken last year.
Second baddest? Why, this gang of trade-unionized bastards has become insufferable!

We'll show them second baddest, you just wait...

Video porno de Ana Karina Soto

No, no, don't even beg for it. The way you are surfing for it like demented lemmings is really pathetic. Get this instead:

Rest your eyes and chill your brains. There, there...