Archive for January, 2008
“For the past 20 years or so Mr Cai (pronounced ‘tsigh’)…”
First of all, why on earth does a person with a name that is natively written in a non-Latin language choose Latin letters to spell it with that have nothing to do with his name’s pronounciation? (If the name were spelled with those letters in the native language, the unexpected pronounciation wouldn’t bother me.)
And second of all, how exactly does “tsigh” help me to read this name?
What the heck is going on here?
[Note: my daughter says it’s obvious that “tsigh” should be pronounced as in the English word “sigh”, but with a “ts” to start with. I’m glad that’s cleared up, then.]
[image: Jerusalem Post]
Posted today on Janglo, a Jerusalem information-trading board:
Rabbi David Samson, dean of Lech Lecha, is making available his fleet of Land Rover jeeps and students to rescue cars and people from the expected Jerusalem area snow.
The students will arrive equipped with chains and ropes to pull cars, and shovels to clear paths and driveways. In urgent cases, they will transport persons to destinations in the capital. […]
The Lech Lecha High School is for youth at risk who have difficulty coping with the conventional classroom environment and go on jeep expeditions twice per week to study Tanach [Bible], history, and nature, alongside regular studies.
I was not previously familiar with Lech Lecha, but you can be sure I’ll be finding out more. I’m impressed by the name, the concept, the help offered, and the opportunity provided for the boys to be of service to others. [My applause here.]
Seen in the Economist:
“…Morocco also wants to settle its dispute with the Western Saharans by granting them some autonomy inside a kind of federal system, but the Sahraouis want independence.”
Today’s word: Sahraouis.
How beautiful! Small recompense, I suppose, for living in the Sahara, but lovely nonetheless.
For sale at ThinkGeek:
The SnuzNLuz gets your [derriere] out of bed with the simple trade-off of sleep for hatred. With every push of the snooze button, the SnuzNLuz will deduct ten dollars (or more) from your bank account and donate to an organization that you detest. That could be the Republican Party, PETA, ACLU, NRA, anything opposite to your politics. [via History of the Button]
“The SnūzNLūz uses the very complex psychological phenomenon known as ‘HATRED’. Basically it’s human nature to wish harm upon your enemies. Similarly, it’s human nature not to give your enemies gobs of cash so that they can grow big and dominate the world with their totally wrong, stupid and invalid point of view. ThinkGeek realized that. That’s why every time you hit the snooze button, the SnūzNLūz will donate a specified amount of your real money to a non-profit you hate. The problem of sleeping in is solved.”
I’m not sure that I totally buy in to their explanation of the psychology behind the (supposed) effectiveness of the product, but I love the overall method: harness your own internal motivations (negative or positive) to drive desired behavior patterns. Many similar ideas are found in the teachings of the Mussar movement of Lithuanian Torah Judaism.
Thin is the name of the game here; the W61P comes in at 12.9mm thick while still managing to pack a 2.9 inch WQVGA display and one-seg mobile TV tuner — not bad at all. It comes in a grand total of five color choices, too: Lusso Blue, Grazia White, Fino Black, Gentile Gold (yes, Gentile, not Gentle), and Supremo Red.
[via Engadget Mobile]
I guess I’m not meant to have a gold phone, after all. Bummer.
Seen in Jerusalem:
Great café; nice decor. The whole facade is plate glass, including the sliding front door (maximizes usable interior space). Someone neglected to put any cushion or spring on that door. It shuts glass against glass. Ouch. I cringe every time it shuts (including when I’m the one shutting it). It already has some chips and dings.
Light is wonderful. Glass lets in the light, and connects the spaces. I’m delighted (sorry) to be seeing more and more glass used in architecture and interior design. Too bad it isn’t yet perfect.
Some of you will have noticed that the arrow in the top sign is pointing the wrong way (it’s pointing to the open direction, not the shut).
Today’s word: bathos
“A ludicrous descent from the elevated to the commonplace.”
The word itself is bathetic.
Writing down passwords is typically the weak link in computer security. (Well, that and choosing really obvious passwords.)
My rental car had a code to enable the ignition to activate. The company representative kindly wrote the code for me on my rental agreement. He needn’t have bothered. Two previous renters had written it on the obverse of the sun visor: