Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Joy of Delusion

What would have happened if, at the end of "Casablanca," Ingrid Bergman had stayed with Humphrey Bogart in Morocco, rather than boarding the plane to Lisbon with her Nazi-fighting husband? Would she have regretted it? Or did she end up lamenting the decision she did make? According to Daniel Gilbert, odds are that either decision would have made her equally happy in the long run.
If this sounds like an odd question for a professor of psychology at Harvard to ask in a serious book about cognitive science, there are dozens more where that came from. Is it really possible that Christopher Reeve believed himself in some ways better off after he became a quadriplegic, or that Lance Armstrong is glad to have had cancer, or that cancer patients in general tend to be more optimistic about the future than healthy people? (Answers: yes, yes and yes.)

Gilbert is an influential researcher in happiness studies, an interdisciplinary field that has attracted psychologists, economists and other empirically minded researchers, not to mention a lot of interested students. (As The Boston Globe recently reported, a course on "positive psychology" taught by one of Gilbert's colleagues is the most popular course at Harvard.) But from the acknowledgments page forward, it's clear Gilbert also fancies himself a comedian. Uh-oh, cringe alert: an academic who cracks wise. But Gilbert's elbow-in-the-ribs social-science humor is actually funny, at least some of the time. "When we have an experience . . . on successive occasions, we quickly begin to adapt to it, and the experience yields less pleasure each time," he writes. "Psychologists calls this habituation, economists call it declining marginal utility, and the rest of us call it marriage."
(for more...)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich (1927-2007)

steve suffet climbes the ladder

A Cajun dance workshop, fiddle classes and bluegrass gospel music from the Abrams Brothers, a teenage duo from Canada, will be featured at this year's Jacob's Ladder festival, slated to take place May 4 and 5 at Nof Ginasar along the Kinneret.
The weekend festival, popularly known as "the Anglo Mimouna," will include 35 acts on five stages, with performances from blues to bluegrass and Irish to country. More than 3,000 music lovers from around the country are expected to attend the festival, which has been running for 31 years.performances include the local Irish group Evergreeen, a reunion for the group The Taverners and U.S. folksinger and guitarist Steve Suffet. The Jerusalem-based group Elki-Palki, which plays Balkan and gypsy tunes, and Jill Rogoff, who will perform a variety of Jewish music, will also be on stage.The event, which kicks off on a Friday afternoon, will also include a folk-style kabbalat Shabbat service, dance workshops, an Irish pub, and children's activities, as well as yoga, Tai Chi and a number of holistic treatments.
The name of the festival is based on a combination of Kibbutz Machanayim's connection to the biblical story of Jacob, as well as the fact that the word "ladder" in Hebrew, sulam, also refers to a musical scale.
For details or to order tickets, see or call (04) 685 0403 (from haaretz thanks tessa)

Dziga Vertov, or Denis Arkadevich Kaufman

An excerpt from the 1929 film by Dziga Vertov "Man With A Movie Camera" recording life in a Russian town.This film is famous for the range of cinematic techniques Vertov invents, deploys or develops, such as double exposure, fast motion, slow motion, freeze frames, jump cuts, split screens, Dutch angles, extreme close-ups, tracking shots, footage played backwards, animations, and a self-reflexive style(at one point it features a split screen tracking shot; the sides have opposite Dutch angles). The audio track is by The Cinematic Orchestra.

popeye's lie

A pig, a bug, a bag of spinach: It sounds like the answer to a riddle, and in a way, it is. Sometime late last summer, a wandering band of wild pigs trampled a fence and trotted into a spinach field in California’s Salinas Valley. As they rooted around in the leafy greens, they most likely left behind feces infested with a virulent strain of the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli—picked up, it appears, from a nearby cattle pasture. The hardy breed of E. coli, dubbed O157:H7, normally lives harmlessly by the billions at the rear end of a cow’s gut. But in this case, the bacteria nestled craftily in the crevices of the spinach leaves, sticking to the vegetables as they were harvested, chopped, washed, bagged, and then transported across the country to states from Oregon to Maine. In September and October, nearly 200 people who dined on the infested spinach became ill with bloody diarrhea. Thirty-one developed severe kidney disease, and three people died.( more from discover)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

salt kiln firing...for pyromaniacs

It is believed that salt firing began in Germany in the 13th century. As many things go, it was most likely come upon by accident. Perhaps some salt soaked wood (from pickling barrels?) was tossed into the kiln for the wood fuel. The salt vaporized and glazed the pieces inside the kiln. It was a great time saving measure. No need to glaze the pieces before they went into the kiln. Old German jugs were salt glazed, along with tankards and sewer pipes. The pieces that we think of as early American traditional ceramics from the southwest corner of the US were also salt glazed. Can you picture a big whiskey jug with cobalt blue decoration on it? Those were salt fired.

giving head

If you spend your day staring at the froth in a beer glass, you're liable to get a bad reputation. Such are the occupational hazards for Robert MacPherson and David Srolovitz, who are using mathematics to describe how the frothy networks of gas-filled bubbles that constitute a beer head change over time.
The mathematics of how beer bubbles behave is similar to that behind how grains in metals grow. The granular structures in metals coarsen as their boundaries move, says MacPherson, of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Similarly, the bubbles in a beer head - separated by liquid walls moving under surface tension - merge and coarsen the foamy structure until the head is no( more ).

Smarter people are no better off

Contrary to common expectation, intelligence does not always predict financial wellbeing. Even though smart people earn more, on average, it does not protect them from financial difficulty.New research has found that people who score higher on intelligence tests end up with the same net worth as others when lifestyle factors are taken into account. And the study confirms that you don't have to be smart to be wealthy.The work reveals that while exceptionally smart individuals typically earn more, they are also more likely to spend to their credit card limit, compared with people of average intelligence.(more ...)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Julian Chagrin is a comedian, mime, writer , director and blogger husband of Rulanda

This is julian, supported, as usual, by his wife Rolanda.(his new blog)
Ye Blogge (as it was called in Old English) is intended to carry my Writing.Piece 1 "PSEUDONYMS" Prologue : 'Fuck!' is a word with which one should never begin a sentence, let alone a short story or a novel, reference book, or, God forbid, a religious tract. How can you follow it? But still 'Fuck!' is how I am intent on beginning this sentence, short story, novel, reference book, or religious tract, because, as you will see in a few seconds, it is the only possible word to use in the context.But first the names. At all costs we must protect the names, otherwise there could well be incriminations of a serious nature and the someone who could be seriously incriminated would doubtless be me. So let’s find some really good believable pseudonyms. I’m normally not too good at this but here goes:(for more...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

British, mad cow disease and buxom innkeeper’s daughter

There is a theory popular among liberals, Buddhists, and various other types of hippies that human beings are all essentially the same. Even though, yes, some of us do spend our afternoons in the rain forest gyrating around a bonfire with a gourd strapped to our genitals while others of us are on the Internet researching new ways of preparing crème brûlée, these differences runs the theory are but superficial. Strip away the trappings of circumstance the culture, the history, the knowledge and the begourded fire dancers are no less intelligent than the crème brûleurs.
Back in the states, serving me tea in his Manhattan apartment, Robert Klitzman, a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University, explained to me that this concept was vividly demonstrated if not in fact proved one day back in 1990, a mere three years into the mad cow nightmare. Klitzman was in England for a wedding and during a break in the festivities had gone romping across the Yorkshire dales with a band of friends. The laws of thermodynamics being what they are, the group eventually became hungry and stopped at a quaint and picturesque “inne” to have lunch. Menus were distributed by the buxom innkeeper’s daughter, if traditions were being followed—which was when an event occurred that was to shock Klitzman. Shock him, at the risk of overdramatizing the thing, literally to his very core: His companions ordered the beef.“But aren’t you afraid of mad cow disease?” spluttered Klitzman.(more from discover)

Hyperbolic space & Latvian mathematician who's handy with needle and yarn

On a Thursday night in Ithaca, New York, Daina Taimina, an ebullient blond mathematician at Cornell University, sits at her kitchen table with her husband, David Henderson, a Cornell professor of geometry. In front of her sits a big Chinese bowl filled with crinkled forms made of gray, blue, red, and purple yarn. Reaching into the bowl, Taimina pulls out a woozy multicolored surface, the likes of which would have delighted Dr. Seuss. (more...)

the answer to halfon from - the beautiful eretz

still no answer from halfon's hill

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ne Me Quitte Pas

This is an early performance of Brel's best known song , from the year it was written. Known as "If You Go Away" the actual lyrics Brel wrote are literally translated here. Performed in English by Dusty Springfield, Frank Sinatra and many others

Though often cited as the most beautiful love song in the French language, Brel tells us it's not a love song at all, rather a portrait of a man who degrades himself and loses his dignity for a woman who doesn't love him.The eerie electronic instrument is Les Ondes Martinot, Martinot Waves, a theremin with a keyboard sometimes used in French classical music.

YOU BET YOUR LIFE - Groucho Marx (1955)

Codex Gigas - the Devil's Bible

More than 350 years after it was looted from Prague by the Swedish Army during the Thirty Years' War, a famous medieval text will return to its native land, though only temporarily.
The Codex Gigas often referred to by its sexier name, the Devil's Bible should be on display to the public in the National Library by early 2007, according to library director Vlastimil Jezek. The text is aptly, if uncreatively, named Codex Gigas (Giant Book) for its sheer immensity in size. "The manuscript is enormous the biggest medieval book known," says Miroslava Hejnová, director of the department of historical and music resources at the National Library. "It is called the eighth wonder of the world."
While eighth wonder may be a bit of an overstatement, the text was not conveniently designed for the modern reader on the go. The Codex Gigas is roughly 90 by 50 by 22 centimeters in size (a whopping 36 by 20 by 9 inches). Moreover, it was written on donkey hides 160, to be exact so it weighs in at 75 kilograms (about 165 pounds). The text is said to take two men to lift not what you would call a light read. ( more... )

Happy days in Negba (i met naomi there in 1973)

The quarters are tiny, "a real hole in the wall," as one new resident puts it. And equality is unlike that in the past because of a legal agreement that ensures partial economic independence. But Kibbutz Negba in the northern Negev boasts a winning number: 82 new members have been taken in during the past three years, most of them returning residents. So after fifteen years without a single new member, the kibbutz's membership has nearly doubled.

Negba's success is the fruit of a plan drawn up three years ago. At the time some of the younger generation at the kibbutz lived there as "apartment renters", but most of them had already built their lives elsewhere. Kibbutz Secretary Naomi Vilan describes herself as "one of those who mourn the cooperative kibbutz of the past." But even she understood that "change is inevitable. There are processes that are larger than us, in Israel and overseas. We understood that we had to lead the change, not be dragged." (more from Haaretz)

Last British Troops leave Palestine


M/S Sir Alan Cunningham, the High Commissioner of Palestine laying a wreath in the British soldiers cemetery at Mount Scopus. M/S of the memorial. Various shots of Jewish and Arab representatives laying wreaths. Various shots of people watching the ceremony. Shots of the wreaths. Several shots of the damage to Raselein railway station which was blown up by terrorists while the Remembrance ceremonies were in progress. M/S British soldiers drive up in a lorry and look over the scene

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Prozac in a pita-Abu Yaakov the best hummus in the Universe

Could the humble chickpea have changed the course of history? As one of the founder crops cultivated in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, the chickpea's nutritional benefits have been cited as one of the reasons for the rise of civilisation there.
Now Zohar Kerem from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, thinks he has evidence to support that view. Kerem and colleagues collected wild chickpeas (Cicer reticulatum) and compared their nutritional value with that of cultivated varieties. Wild chickpeas are rare and difficult to cultivate, so there must have been a good reason why our ancestors persevered with growing them around 11,000 years ago.
That reason, says Kerem, is the amino acid tryptophan - a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Increased amounts in the diet may improve performance when under stress. Tryptophan also promotes ovulation, an advantage during a time of human expansion. Cultivated chickpeas had over 3 times as much tryptophan as their wild cousins (Journal of Archaeological Science, in press).
Kerem speculates that prehistoric people knew chickpeas were nutritious. "It probably made them feel good," he says. Not everyone is convinced that chickpeas kick-started human empires. "There is no clear indication of when selection for increased brain effects occurred - was it 10,000 years ago or 5000?" says Bruce Smith of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

Being jewish Yair Nitzani (thanks to tessa)

The segment is called “We Explain Things to Foreign Workers,” and it’s pretty much a shot at how Israelis see their own society. He does the thing in English with Hebrew subtitles and if you follow the subtitles you can see pretty clearly that he’s making fun of the way most Israelis speak English. For example, he calls them “strange workers” instead of “foreign.” The word in Hebrew zarim means both and the joke is how Israelis commonly go with a literal translation instead of actually knowing the word in English, as if they’re just reading out of a Hebrew-English dictionary.
And of course his “Three Kinds of Jews”—simple Jews, medium Jews, and Really Really Jewish—is mocking the sharp division in Israel between the religious and the secular. If you’re religious, you’re Really Really Religious, and if you’re secular, you’re intensely secular. Very little is in-between(more from Rabbi Mark Ankcorn)

Sniffing books

Sniffing books to save them
Scientists are to sniff the aromas wafting from ageing books in one of Britain's most famous libraries in an attempt to find better ways to conserve them.
Chemists will analyse the complex mix of gases released by books at Cambridge University's library, helping them to gauge which titles are most at risk of decaying. The research is designed to help conservators at libraries to spot which books are most in need of preservation.
When books start to decompose, the decaying pages release chemicals, including volatile acids, which make the books decay even faster. "The same emissions cause the musty smell beloved of habitual 'book sniffers'," a university spokeswoman said.
The scientists will analyse air samples from different parts of the library to work out how different storage conditions affect the speed at which books decay. The project will help identify the best environments for regularly used books and how best to store rarer reference tomes.
Pamela Welsh and Ian Sample
Saturday April 14, 2007
The Guardian


borat bunnies

A funny guy from Angry Alien has created a 30 second animation of the Borat Film staring a couple of bunnies as Azamat and Borat
The clip is pretty funny and definitely worth 30 seconds of your time - so click here to see the animation now!

i always knew they are evil...

Plastic clogs disrupt machinery in Swedish hospital
Associated Press
Thursday April 19, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
A Swedish hospital wants to ban its staff from wearing Crocs plastic clogs, saying they generate static electricity that can knock out medical equipment.
Blekinge hospital in southern Sweden suspects the slip-on shoes, made by US firm Crocs Inc, are to blame for at least three incidents in which respirators and other machines malfunctioned. The mishaps caused no injuries.
Hospital spokesman Bjorn Lofqvist said staff wearing the clogs could turn into "a cloud of lighting" because of the static electricity.
He said there were similar problems with other shoes not designed for hospital use, but the popularity of the Crocs had raised the issue to a new level.
"It's been a problem for many years, but now there are so many people that have them," he said, adding that officials were discussing whether the shoes should be banned throughout the hospital or just in certain sections.
A spokeswoman for Pforce AB, the Forsberg-controlled company that imports Crocs to Sweden, said the company was performing tests on the shoes.
"We take this very seriously," she said, adding that the shoes were very useful for hospital staff. "They are good to work in and have a shock absorption that really helps people who do strenuous work."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Nice Deck

The Disappearing Gentlemens Lavatories of Old London for julian chagrin

A Hymn to The Disappearing Gentlemens' Lavatories of Old London: Dedicated to the late Joe Orton

Thursday, April 19, 2007

First Rothko Retrospective Exhibition in Israel on view at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art through June 30, 2007

Mark Rothko born Marcus Rothkowitz (September 25, 1903 – February 25, 1970) was a Latvian-born American painter and printmaker who is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he rejected not only the label but even being an abstract painter.

This exhibition culminates in a grouping of paintings from Rothko’s renowned classic period, and the dark paintings of his late years. While the, large scale of the monumental proportions of Rothko’s classic paintings were conceived by the artist as a means to allow the viewer to connect to the canvas as if it were a living entity. Rothko also believed that his paintings could express emotions associated with major themes such as tragedy, ecstasy, and the sublime without symbolic imagery. (more...)

Bill Maher - " I'm Swiss " Part 1

Maher takes on a wide range of topics that include presidential politics, gay marriage, morality and "values," legalized marijuana, and rap lyrics.

April 16, 1943: the problem child is born

1943: Dr. Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the psychedelic properties of LSD.
Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, was researching the synthesis of a lysergic acid compound, LSD-25, when he inadvertently absorbed a bit through his fingertips. Intrigued by the stimulating effects on his perception, Hofmann decided further exploration was warranted. Three days later he ingested 250 milligrams of LSD, embarking on the first full-fledged acid trip.In his autobiography, LSD, My Problem Child, Hofmann remembered his discovery this way:"I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away." The experience led Hofmann to begin experimenting with other hallucinogens and he became an advocate of their use, in both the arenas of psychoanalysis and personal growth. He was critical of LSD’s casual use by the counterculture during the '60s, accusing rank amateurs of hijacking the drug he still refers to as "medicine for the soul" without understanding either its positive or negative effects. Hofmann was equally critical of what he considered -- and still considers -- society’s knee-jerk rejection of a drug that he believes is mostly beneficial and deserving of continued research. "I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD," he said at a symposium in 2006, marking the centennial of his birth. "It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be." (via Wired)

The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat

Fritz the Cat is a 1974 animated film directed by Robert Taylor. It is an adult animation featuring a series of drug-induced vignettes both related and unrelated to life in the 1970s.

Fritz, now married and with a son, is desperate to escape from the domestic hell he now finds himself in. Lighting up a joint, he begins to dream about his eight other lives, hoping to find one that will provide a pleasant distraction. The drug-induced journeys he takes include spells as an astronaut, Hitler's psychiatrist, a courier travelling in hostile territory during a race war, and as a pupil of an Indian guru living in the sewers of New York

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

'Lucy' is a cousin, not mother

She was classified as one of the most significant scientific discoveries of the 20th century: a small woman, slightly more than one meter tall, who lived in east Africa and died at 30, more than 3 million years ago. For more than three decades, Lucy and her kind were considered the ancient forbears of the human race, among the first to walk upright. But Tel Aviv University researchers revealed in a journal article published yesterday that Australopithecus afarensis, which walked nearly upright but had a brain resembling that of a chimpanzee, was nothing but a cousin of those forbears and belongs to a different branch of the human family - one that became extinct millions of years ago. The findings mean that researchers now recognize an evolutionary gap of more than 1 million years during which no fossils have been found that could be considered the ancient ancestors of humankind.(By Ofri Ilani from haaretz)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"secret lemonade drinker" from ein hod

Julian chagrin is a comedian, mime, writer and director often working with his comedian wife Rolanda. Despite his French name, he was actually born in Manchester. He appeared in the celebrated game of tennis with no ball in Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (1966)
1973 saw the launch of the brand’s most famous advertising campaign, ‘The Secret Lemonade Drinker’, which remained on screen until 1984.

The ad featured jullian chagrin in striped pyjamas, with his hairstyle seemingly unaltered since the 60's creeping downstairs to raid the fridge at night for "R Whites Lemonade" while declaiming "I'm a secret lemonade drinker..." . Ross McManus, the father of singer Elvis Costello) sang the original song, with his teenage son, providing backing vocals. The ad won a silver award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival.


Why do we do science? Beyond altruistic and self-aggrandizing motivations, many of our best scientists work long hours seeking the electric thrill that comes only from learning something that nobody knew before. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, a collection of previously unpublished or difficult-to-find short works by maverick physicist Richard Feynman, takes its title from his own answer

Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), scientist, teacher, raconteur, and musician. He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb, expanded the understanding of quantum electrodynamics, translated Mayan hieroglyphics, and cut to the heart of the Challenger disaster. But beyond all of that, Richard Feynman was a unique and multi-faceted individual.

there is still

IN SECRET locations and using secret methods, human beings are scanning lots and lots of books for Google, the world's largest web-search company. That humans are involved is beyond doubt (fingers are visible in the corners of many pages on although this is uncharacteristic of Google, which has a fetish for purist technology.
Google's is not the only project of its kind. The Internet Archive, for instance, is a non-profit organisation founded in 1996 by Brewster Kahle, a San Francisco idealist who wants to re-create a modern Library of Alexandria containing all public-domain texts and videos. Amazon has been scanning books, as have Microsoft and Yahoo!, Google's biggest rivals in web-search, and individual libraries around the world. Eager not to be left out, publishers are also doing the same. But Google's effort, in scale and ambition, is off the charts. ( more from the economist)

Lenin a founding member of DADA in Zurich in 1916-DADALENIN

Lenin in Zurich - he was a founding member of DADA but in disguise.Most dadaists weren't aware of it. Lenin even wrote poems for Tzara.facts: Hugo Ball describes the first evening of DADA, Cabaret Voltaire, February 5, 1916 in Zürich:"... towards 6 pm ... an orientaly looking group of four small men carrying folders and images with them entered; ... They introduced themselves: Marcel Janco, thepainter, Tristan Tzara, George Janco and a fourth man, whose name I can't remember " (meaning = this was Lenin in disguise)Most dadaists didn simply recognize Lenin (before he became famous) but didn't make the connection afterwards. Tzara did. Lenin's was a small but funny and oriental looking man (and there simply weren't too many during WWI in Switzerland) and this describtion of this "fourth man" is exact. Lenin was forced to hide in many occasiions since he already had some notorioty in the world. Lenin's apartment in Zurich was above a butchery and therefore they "couldn't open the window until late" (Krupskaya, Lenin's wife) which also indicated that he might have hang out in the next door Cabaret Voltaire. Lenin and his wife moved from Bern to Zurich becaue of Zurich's more intense social life. This happened exactly around the time, Cabaret Votlaire opened.
BY Rainer Ganahl.
Rainer Ganahl was born in Austria and has been living in New York since 1990. His artistic work often deals with the forms and content of education and politics at the intersection of linguistic and class issues.

John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mitch Mitchell - Yer Blues

John Lennon wrote this in India while The Beatles were on a retreat learning meditation with the Maharishi.John used "yer" instead of "your" in the title so as not to be taken too seriously. The song is a good-natured jab at the British blues scene. A 9 minute version with Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell was performed on the Rolling Stones' Rock 'n' Roll Circus. Taped as a British TV special in 1968, it never aired but was released on video in 1995. This was Lennon's first performance without The Beatles. The only Beatles song Lennon performed at the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival concert in 1969. Eric Clapton joined him for this on guitar. After playing with him at the Toronto show, Lennon asked Clapton to join his Plastic Ono Band. Clapton considered it, but had other obligations. The line "Feel so suicidal, just like Dylan's Mr. Jones" is a reference to Bob Dylan's song "Ballad Of A Thin Man." Ringo's count-in was edited from another take.

Victor Borge and his friend Zhahan Azruni

The difference between a violin and a viola is that a viola burns longer.
Victor Borge

Monday, April 16, 2007

Elegy about Michael Tal

...Tal's over-the-board improvisations, the irrationality of his sacrifices coupled with all his outward appearance, his deep-set (demonic, or if you want, Paganini-like) eyes made his opponents falter. Some people were even sure that Tal possessed hypnotic powers.Well, the language of literature or cinema is easier to understand that the language of chess, but I would risk to say that in the silent movements of Tal's pawns and pieces there was some rebellious spirit, a strong wish to take in or even swallow some spiritual oxygen which was characteristic of the early 60s. It is highly symptomatic that as soon as the oxygen valves had been shut off, other chess players came in Tal's place, and chess was, to a large extent, robotized. (more...)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

pop-up and movable books (for r. from r.)

A Brief History of Early Movable Books
At present, books considered "pop-up" or movable are popular sources of delight for children and adults alike. However, the types of books today's audiences associate with such a genre are the result of a somewhat long development and, consequently, form an intriguing niche in the "history of the book."The first movable books actually predate the print culture. The earliest known examples of such interactive mechanisms are by Ramon Llull (1232 - 1316) who was a pleasure seeking Spanish knight who liked to love the ladies, take part in tournaments, and do battle. Apparently he was accomplished in all three, earning high renown among his peers. One evening, Ramon awoke to a vision of Christ that changed his life. He took up Orders, became a monk, and dedicated the rest of his life to writing and trying to convert "heathens". He wrote on love, war, alchemy, religion. Legend has it that his long life was ended by stoning; he had been attempting to bring Christianity to a Moslem village. He invented a mechanical way of combining words, thus ideas. A set of concentric wheels or disks are inscribed with words. He thought that by rotating these wheels and reading off the combinations of words he could reach every possible knowable truth.
Pop-up and Movable Books, a tour through their history from the nineteenth century to the present.
(via presurfer)

Everything is different now...

Primo Levi, born in Turin, Italy, in 1919, and trained as a chemist, was arrested during the Second World War as a member of the anti-Fascist resistance and deported to Auschwitz in 1944. His experience in the death camp and his subsequent travels through Eastern Europe were the subject of powerful memoirs, fiction and poetry. Levi died in Turin in April 1987.
Some of Levi's words are more powerful then anything ever expressed about the man-made Nazi atrocities. His memoirs of and refelections on those are light years above careerist, pornographic exploitations by many renowned, award-winning speakers or politicians (more on site, designed by the composer and librettist Ari Frankel)

Blood pressure 'is in the brain'

The cause of high blood pressure may lie within the brain, rather than with problems relating to the heart, kidneys or blood vessels, research suggests.
Scientists at Bristol University say the findings could lead to new ways of treating the condition, which affects about one in five Britons.The scientists isolated a protein, JAM-1, which appeared to trap white blood cells, obstructing blood flow.
This can cause inflammation and result in poor oxygen supply to the brain. (more...)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

“The Scoop on Poop” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“The Scoop on Poop” tells the story of what poop is and how animals and humans use it. The exhibition goes to great lengths to treat the subject of feces with a tactful blend of science and fun. Visitors generally wind up gasping and giggling their way to the conclusion that poop has value in real life and in science.
“The Scoop on Poop” also explains the many practical uses of feces in modern and ancient civilizations — as waterproofing in the plaster of Maasai tribesmen; as fertilizer for crops; and as fuel for cooking, heating, and power plants, among other things.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut dies at age 84

In August 2006, the national, weekly public radio program The Infinite Mind made broadcast history as it aired a four-part special taped inside the three-dimensional virtual on-line community Second Life. Among those interviewed in front of a live virtual audience were author Kurt Vonnegut. This is a machinema video of Vonnegut's interview taped inside Second Life, on the 16-acre virtual broadcast center built by Lichtenstein Creative Media, which produces the program. The host is John Hockenberry

president putin , potter's weel and ein hod

mr.putin tried to become ein hod member but was rejected by jury .He left ein hod and is where he is.(via englishrussia)

nice...The Kaye Effect

Scientists of the University of Twente in The Netherlands won a prestigious place in the 'Hall of Fame' of videos about fluid-in-motion. They have made a video of leaping shampoo, in which they explain the so-called Kaye effect. Scientifically interesting but also of great aesthetic beauty!( via j-walk blog)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

raffie's golden calf in ein hod

Amoracia rusticana -Common Name: HORSERADISH

The word horseradish is derived from the German word for “sea radish”, since it grows in coastal areas in Europe. Although horseradish (Amorica rusticana) does not fulfill the criteria of being an aromatic or exotic herb for use in cooking, it can be classified along with mustard, garlic and onion as a pungent condiment. However, despite its popularity for garnishing meat dishes, and some forms of prepared fish, it is rarely incorporated as a basic flavor component in any cooked dish. In distinction to mustard, it has not been regarded as having an affinity for being combined with wine, although it was formerly used as a “pick-me-up” in beer. The origin of horseradish may have been Russia, but it has spread widely; in the U.S.A. it was formerly grown mainly in the Midwest, but now about 40% of the country’s supply comes from around Tule Lake in northern California.The related wasabi, which has a fiery taste comparable to horseradish mixed with mustard, originated in Japan; much is now grown in New Zealand and in Oregon. The spice continues to be used mainly as an accompanying condiment for sashimi and sushi, or as a snack flavor. It is common experience that oral intake of wasabi or horseradish constitutes the best therapy for sinusitis and nasal congestion.The common radish is still regarded as a pungent salad vegetable rather than a spice. It is of interest that radish seedlings contain S-carboxymethyl-cysteine, which is marketed as a synthetic mucolytic in Europe. Allyl isothiocyanate (“allyl mustard oil”) is the major chemical produced by horseradish and mustard; several other related sulfur compounds contribute to the pungent taste and initiating odor. These chemicals are very toxic when used in large amounts.(more...)

Silver Print Gallery: Vivienne Silver -Brody

Documentors of the Dream: Pioneer Jewish Photographers in the Land of Israel 1890-1933 (Magnes Press and Jewish Publication Society), is the first comprehensive book to chart the origins and development of local photography seen through the eyes of Jewish photographers. The book is part of the series Israel Studies in Historical Georgraphy, edited by Yehoshua Ben-Arieh and Ruth Kark. The material in Documentors of the Dream is based on primary research mostly from Israeli archives, and interviews with descendants of the early photographers. Documentors of the Dream is the work of photographer and photo historian Vivienne Silver-Brody, of the Silver Print Gallery in the Israeli artists' village of Ein Hod on the Carmel (audio webcast interview with Ms. Silver-Brody below).
The photographs, largely unknown and unpublished, testify to a moment when a nascent society set in motion utopian ideas that were to lead towards institutions of contemporary Israeli society. They depict old Yishuv and new Zionist lifestyles, village society, the beginnings of the kibbutz, labor battalions, the guarding of settlements, development of agriculture and land reclamation, construction of roads, the growth of new cities, immigration and community welfare (for pilgrim' corner)

ein hod in 50's

the first years of artist's village .
(from National photo collection)

Big Joe Turner - Shake, Rattle & Roll

Master 'shout blues' artist Big Joe Turner marks another high point of his career here with "Shake, Rattle & Roll." Although Bill Haley's later sanitized version became a top rock-n-roller hit, it's said many folks sought out Turner's version instead. A pivotal figure in popularizing blues, jazz, classic R&B, and rock and roll, Turner's career lasted from the 1920's busking on the streets of Kansas City through the 1980's at the most lauded jazz festivals in America and Europe.

Bill Haley Orchestra - Shake Rattle & Roll

ELVIS Shake Rattle And Roll - Extended

Edited version from 1956 TV appearance
"Shake, Rattle and Roll" is a prototypical twelve bar blues-form rock and roll song written by Jesse Stone (under his working name Charles E. Calhoun). The song was first recorded in 1954 by Big Joe Turner, a blues shouter whose career began in Kansas City before World War II, and this version, at least, features simple verse-chorus form. Bill Haley and the Comets' cover version, released later in the year, had partly sanitised lyrics in an attempt to be more palatable to white audiences as well as a less bluesy, more "pop" arrangement.

This cleanup of lyrics meant removal of references considered sexual in nature, such as lines about "the devil in nylon hose", "you make me roll my eyes, baby make me grit my teeth", and "you wear those dresses, the sun comes shining through". The most provocative sexual simile in Turner's version of the song, "I'm like a one-eyed cat, peeping in the sea food store", was left untouched in the Haley version, but the following line, "I can look at you 'n' tell you ain't no child no more" was changed. Haley was blind in one eye, which may account for retaining the line. Elvis Presley's 1956 version, which had only limited success, combined Haley's arrangement with Turner's lyrics, though Elvis used Haley's lyrics when performing the song on his first national television appearance.(more...)

The Beatles Shake Rattle and Roll

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In praise of idleness By Bertrand Russell (for yoram)

Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying: 'Satan finds some mischief for idle hands to do.' Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told, and acquired a conscience which has kept me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Everyone knows the story of the traveler in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth. this traveler was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it. I hope that, after reading the following pages, the leaders of the YMCA will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain..(more... audio...)

Python - The Bruces' Philosophers' Song

Live at the Hollywood Bowl - 1982 The University of Woolloomooloo's Philosophy Department throws cans of Foster's Lager at the audience and performs "The Philosophers' Song", detailing the drinking habits of history's great thinkers

Monday, April 9, 2007

pamplona is not ein hod...

so... we had it again. the golden calf 2007

...another calf was burned(for proof...)

Bireli Lagrene & friends

Who better to interpret DJANGO REINHARDT's music afresh than another great Rom guitarist? BIRELI LAGRENE is a Sinti gypsy from Alsace. He was playing guitar at four, jazz at seven & recording professionally at thirteen. Bireli is his own man, who beautifuly expresses his lifelong passion for Django on his new CD "GYPSY PROJECT".
Bireli Lagrene & friends - including the great Romanian violinist FLORIN NICULESCU - mostly play Django tunes from the late forties. Bireli adds his own touch & accordionist RICHARD GALLIANO has a wondeful cameo role. The core band includes bassist DIEGO IMBERT & rhythm guitarist HOLZMANO LAGRENE. Whether hot & fast or very tender "Gipsy Project" is always deeply passionate.

golden calf in ein hod (again?)

This is the imposing figure of Moses, bearded and enraged, righteously indignant, brandishing the two tablets of the Law like weapons, although in this case the tablets are made of styrofoam. The large crowd in the village amphitheater parts, and Moses makes his way down the steep steps in the direction of the calf(more...) Ein Hod is celebrating! It is spring and we are happy at the end of the holiday. For nearly a decade Ein Hod has enjoyed this festival – irreverent, good natured, a good way to celebrate the end of winter, the conclusion of Passover.(by bob nechin)

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Steve Suffet at the Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival

Steve Suffet will be appearing at the Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival in Nof Ginosar, Israel, May 4-5, 2007.
Born Stephen Lawrence Suffet in 1947, Steve Suffet is best described as an old-fashioned folksinger. His repertoire is a mixture of railroad songs, trucker songs, miner songs, cowboy songs, union songs, old time ballads, blues, ragtime, Gospel, bluegrass, topical-political songs, and whatever else tickles his fancy. He takes songs from whatever sources he wishes and then he sings them his own way, maybe rewriting the lyrics on the spot, flatting a 7th, or changing a major key to a mountain modal.(more...)

Jammin' the Blues by Gjon Mili

Trained as an engineer and self-taught in photography, Gjon Mili was the first to use electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs that had more than scientific interest. Since the late 1930s, his pictures of dance, athletics, and musical and theatrical performances have astonished and delighted millions of viewers, revealing the beautiful intricacy and graceful flow of movement too rapid or too complex for the eye to discern.

bob nechin- an honors grduate and barge pusher

Bob Nechin was born in New Yorkand raised in West Virginia. An honors graduate of the US Military Academyat West Point, he was sent by thearmy to study Russian literature at Stanford University where he became an activist against the war in Vietnam. After being discharged as a conscientious objector, he lived on communes, worked on ships pushing oil barges on the Ohio River and eventually took up stained glass while working in a bar in Washington D.C. Within a year he was making his own designs and executing his own commissions. (more...)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Holy Fire is an annual ceremony sacred to Orthodox Christians

The "Miracle" of the Holy Light of Jerusalem, is a recurring 'miracle' happening each year with clock work precision, in the Holy Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, to the delight of a large congregation of Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Many pilgrims travel to Jerusalem repeatedly for the occasion However, there have been voices in the past that raised serious doubts about these religious ceremonies. The famous Greek intellectual of the Age of Enlightment. Adamantios Korais (1748-1833)denounced the 'Holy Light' as a fraud and urged the Eastern Orthodox Church to discontinue the practice, arguing that "no true religion is in need of such false miracles".

In his treatise "On the Holy Light of Jerusalem", Korais was adamant against religious fraud and theurgy. He referred to the recurring 'miracle' as 'machinations of fraudulent priests' and to the unholy light of Jerusalem as... "a profiteers' miracle". With deep sorrow, the Greek sage contemplated in his writings, that "while Greeks are content to have the 'Holy Light', people in Europe of his time are living among people of objective knowledge, surrounded by Academies, and Lyceums, and schools of every kind of art and science. Europeans have open, splendid public libraries, and their print presses buzz with activity daily and without pause".
Taking heart from the courageous stance of the great intellectual, patriot and writer Korais, and enraged from the willful suppression of his treatise on the 'Holy Light' that remains an obscure work for most Greek readers to this day, we decided to look carefully into this miracle and the way with which it could be 'achieved'. How could the spontaneous appearance of fire be explained as a totally human act, when there appears to be no obvious human intervention? (more...)

they only made from clay...

Marvin Gaye sings American National Anthem

Friday, April 6, 2007

Friedrich Nietzsche

Online Videos by

Kosher Dope

Kosher Dope
A recent ruling by rabbis ahead of this year's Passover holiday could put the 'high' back in the 'high holidays' as Julian Rake reports from Jerusalem

alejandro jodorowsky about the holy mountain and el topo

Thanks to the end of a bitter 30-year feud, the deranged, gruesome movies of Alejandro Jodorowsky are finally hitting the big screen. Xan Brooks meets the director of El Topo

Schools drop Holocaust lessons

Jeevan VasagarMonday April 2, 2007 The Guardian
Schools have avoided teaching the Holocaust and the Crusades in history lessons because they are concerned about causing offence to Muslim pupils or challenging "charged" versions of history which children have been taught at home, government research has found.
A report for the Department for Education and Skills found that a history department in a northern city had avoided selecting the Holocaust as a GCSE topic for fear of confronting "anti-semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial" among some Muslim pupils.
Another school decided to teach the Holocaust despite anti-semitic sentiment among students, but avoided the Crusades as "their balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques".
The report, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, also revealed that one school was challenged by Christian parents for teachers' treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
A DfES spokesman said: "It's up to schools to make a judgment on non-compulsory parts of the national curriculum. It is a broad framework and there is scope for schools to make their own decisions."
Teaching of the Holocaust is expected to become compulsory under the new national curriculum from next year.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Forget about heaven on earth

Israel's Broadcast University,
which puts out "popular science"-books based on its
lecture series on Army Radio, has produced another excellent volume. Like those that preceded it, "Zen Buddhism: Philosophy and Aesthetics" combines high-level scholarship with a clear style. Its author, Prof. Jacob Raz, has been writing about Japanese literature and Zen for many years. Two of his previous Hebrew-language books, "Crazy Dialogues: Zen Stories" and "Guo-An: A Man in Search of a Bull," deal specifically with Zen. Others, like "Tokyo - Round Trip," "My Brother the Yakuza" and Raz' translation of the poetry of Basho, "The Narrow Road to Oku," are also suffused with Zen philosophy(more...)

John Inman also known as Mr. Humphries

few joys of life

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino On Opie & Anthony - !

my favorite fish

Giant cuttlefish off the coast of Australia, long known as masters of camouflage, can use their color-changing abilities in a remarkable act of sexual deception: smallish males, unfit for winning wrestling matches with stronger rivals, disguise themselves as females in order to elude their adversaries and discretely mate with the genuine article (see image at left, which shows a female mimic sneaking below a large male). It's astounding, but not entirely unusual. The animal kingdom is rife with such "sneaker" males as well as an array of courtship and mating tactics more devious than any found in a Harlequin romance.

UM Commencement with Dave Barry, part 1


R4 Discussion about Karl Popper

"... philosophy [according to Popper] is a necessary activity because we, all of us, take a great number of things for granted, and many of these assumptions are of a philosophical character; we act on them in private life, in politics, in our work, and in every other sphere of our lives - but while some of these assumptions are no doubt true, it is likely, that more are false and some are harmful. So the critical examination of our presuppositions - which is a philosophical activity - is morally as well as intellectually important."

MOON RIVER: Piven world

MOON RIVER: Piven world

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Musicians Who Find Winning Isn't All

One lesson to be drawn from ''The Winners,'' a searching, melancholy Dutch documentary about the lives of four classical musicians who won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, is that victory is not a guaranteed ticket into the classical music pantheon. Politics, personal health, changing musical fashions and the mysterious vagaries of personality, not to mention sheer luck, can be as strong determining factors as raw talent in the trajectory of a career.

The movie's most compelling and saddest case history is the downward spiral of Philipp Hirschhorn, a gifted Russian musician who upon winning the 1967 violin competition was hailed by many as a new Paganini. Vintage film clips show the dashingly handsome Hirschhorn (who died in 1996, shortly after his interviews were filmed) in his youthful glory, when he embodied the classical virtuoso as a fiery Byronic hero.

Interviewed nearly three decades later and shown old film clips of himself, Hirschhorn is bitterly scornful of his youthful naivete, yet retains a spark of his old fervor as he recalls the ''euphoria'' of performing and compares that feeling to driving a racing car at high speed and taking LSD. After he emigrated to the West in 1973, his career never took off, and it was undermined by an unspecified illness. The film, directed by Paul Cohen, contrasts Hirschhorn's burnout with the more gradual ascent of Gidon Kremer, who came in third in 1967 but eventually became an international star.

Misha Maisky talks about Philippe Hirshhorn

they are all from riga

Dirt exposure 'boosts happiness' -Story from BBC NEWS

Story from BBC NEWS

Exposure to dirt may be a way to lift mood as well as boost the immune system, UK scientists say.
Lung cancer patients treated with "friendly" bacteria normally found in the soil have anecdotally reported improvements in their quality of life.
Mice exposed to the same bacteria made more of the brain's "happy" chemical serotonin, the Bristol University authors told the journal Neuroscience.
Common antidepressants work by boosting this brain chemical.
Dirty play
A lack of serotonin is linked with depression in people.
The scientists say more work is now needed to determine if the bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae has antidepressant properties through activation of serotonin neurons.
Lead researcher Dr Chris Lowry said: "These studies help us understand how the body communicates with the brain and why a healthy immune system is important for maintaining mental health.
"They also leave us wondering if we shouldn't all spend more time playing in the dirt."
The work could also help experts' understanding of why an imbalance in the immune system leaves some individuals vulnerable to mood disorders like depression, he added.
Mood and immunity
Canadian researchers have also been exploring the links between serotonin, mood and immunity.
A team at Georgetown University Medical Center recently discovered serotonin is passed between key cells in the immune system, and that the chemical can activate an immune response.
This suggests that serotonin may restore a healthy immune function in people who are depressed and prone to infections.
On the flip side, it is also possible that serotonin, and serotonin-boosting antidepressants, end up bolstering immunity to the point that they trigger autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself.
Gerard Ahern, lead researcher on the study, explained: "At this point we just don't know how these drugs might affect immunity, so we really need to clarify the normal role of serotonin in immune cell functioning."

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Chocolate Jesus Penis Stolen, Display Canceled

NEW YORK Someone stole the penis from

the nude, anatomically correct chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ that had been scheduled to go on display in New York tomorrow night. The theft was discovered early this morning by a custodian at the Lab Gallery in the Roger Smith Hotel, where the exhibition was to have taken place.A gallery official who announced the cancellation of the exhibit explained that there wasn't enough time to re-sculpt the missing part before tomorrow night."Jesus was big for his age," said Geoff Bolton, creative director at the gallery. "You didn't find many six-feet-tall men with a size thirteen sandal in his time, and getting the details right in a correspondingly large penis takes some doing. Besides, part of the Lord's left testicle was damaged in the theft, so his entire kit would have had to have been re-hung."

and what has tom waits to

say about it...

Dont go to church on sunday
Dont get on my knees to pray
Dont memorize the books of the bible
I got my own special way
Bit I know jesus loves me
Maybe just a little bit more

I fall on my knees every sunday
At zerelda lees candy store

Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Keep me satisfied

Well I dont want no anna zabba
Dont want no almond joy
There aint nothing better
Suitable for this boy
Well its the only thing
That can pick me up
Better than a cup of gold
See only a chocolate jesus
Can satisfy my soul

When the weather gets rough
And its whiskey in the shade
Its best to wrap your savior
Up in cellophane
He flows like the big muddy
But thats ok
Pour him over ice cream
For a nice parfait

Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Good enough for me
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Good enough for me

Well its got to be a chocolate jesus
Make me feel good inside
Got to be a chocolate jesus
Keep me satisfied

Golden Calf Festival at Ein Hod! soon...