Friday, June 29, 2007

take five

Ivan Maximov was born on 19 November 1958 in Moscow. He studied photography at the Biophysical Institute in Moscow till 1976. From 1976 - 1982 Maximov studied at the Physical-Technical Institute in Moscow. He worked as an illustrator for various magazines and from 1982 to 1986 he was an engineer at the Russian Space Research Institute. Between 1986 and 1989 Maximov took advanced studies in Film Directing and Script writing.

Good Copy Bad Copy

The film, which you can legally watch online, offers an interesting look at the relationship between copyright and new forms of cultural representation (such as mash-ups). The film argues that the regulations from Hollywood and the recording industry get in the way of the new participatory culture that has spawned from Web 2.0 (see Youtube). Good Copy Bad Copy is definitely worth 58 minutes of your time.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


For centuries, secondhand bookstalls have dotted cities around the world. Yet although used booksellers can be seen plying their trade worldwide, it is only in Paris that they have become part and parcel of the landscape, with their metal treasure-troves bolted to the bridges and quays along the Seine, quaintly decorating the capital. As much an attraction as a point of reference, the bookstalls can tell you stories that span the city’s life history.
Paris’ secondhand booksellers set up their first official stalls in the early 17th century, having long flourished on the black market despite laws against the trade. Although seen as spivs, the booksellers have always played an important role. In the mid-sixteenth century, they took on the perilous task of bootlegging forbidden books throughout France’s devastating religious wars. And they were also responsible for the survival of treasures from the aristocracy’s libraries, plundered in the French revolution. Even today, they can still turn up rare publications believed long gone, such as a long-lost and priceless engraving by William Blake designed to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave.(more from ambafrance )

Electric Six - Radio Ga Ga

I'd sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage life
And ev'rything I need to know
I heard it on my radio
You gave them all those old time stars
Through wars of worlds - invaded by Mars
You made us laugh - you made us cry
You made us feel like we could fly
So don't become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don't know and just don't care
And just complain when you're not there
You have the time you have the power
You've yet to have your finest hour
Radio (Radio)
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Radio someone still loves you
We watch the stars - we watch the sun
On videos for thousand dollars
We hardly need to use our ears
How music changes through the years
Let's hope we'll never leave old friend
Like all good things on you we depend
So stick around cos we might miss you
When we grow tired of all this visual
You have the time you have the power
You've yet to have your finest hour
Radio (Radio)
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is Radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio what's new?
Someone still loves you
Radio ga ga
Radio ga ga
Radio ga ga
You had your time you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour

It's alright to use it as a food seasoning

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who opposes legalising marijuana, doesn't mind the drug being used in cooking, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.
"It's alright to use it as a food seasoning, but it should not be fully legalised," Kalla was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post daily.
Kalla was commenting on a recent study by two Indonesian agencies dealing with drug abuse that recommended the government review its policy to outlaw the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the Post said.
Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla is seen in Tokyo in this May 25, 2007 file photo. Kalla, who opposes legalising marijuana, doesn't mind the drug being used in cooking, a newspaper reported on Wednesday. (REUTERS/Junko Kimura/Pool)
Many of dishes in Aceh province, where hemp plants are grown, such as mutton and beef curry are said to be laced with marijuana seeds to give them a distinctive local flavour.
A drug expert from the National Narcotics Agency reportedly said Indonesia should follow the example of countries like the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal, because it is not as harmful as people thought.
Ratna Dwikora, the owner of an Acehnese food restaurant in Jakarta, told the Kompas newspaper "marijuana is available in any Acehnese kitchen just like coriander".
"Marijuana is a widely-accepted cooking spice there," she told the newspaper.
Indonesia imposes harsh penalties, including death, for narcotic offences as the country faces a growing drug menace.
Five Chinese nationals, a Dutchman and a Frenchman who appealed against the length of their convictions on drug charges were instead sentenced to death last month.
Six young Australians were sentenced to death last year for heroin smuggling on Bali, sparking anger in Australia where capital punishment has been abolished.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Play Klezmer!

Some years ago, Itzhak Perlman began to explore the range and power of klezmer music. He contacted several bands and began playing with them--a journey captured in a wonderful 1995 PBS documentary, "In the Fiddler's House."

Klezmer is a Yiddish-language equivalent of European gypsy music, an expression of folk idioms that stretch from the Baltic to the Black Sea, from the Middle Ages to contemporary Jewish life. Itzhak Perlman leaves his classical venues and journeys to the Lower East Side of New York City to the ghettos of Krakow, Poland to explore and participate in the ethos of klezmer, the chicken soup to the riffs and rhythmic formulas pervasive of the musical form. Much of the klezmer sound enjoys a distinctly Eastern Roumanian flavor. Replacing the folkish dulcimer with the violin, clarinet, bass, trombone, and bass drum and cymbals, the contemporary klezmer sound is distinctly festive, as evidenced by the opening shot of Jewish dancing and Perlmans' "auditioning" as a new klezmer band member. "If you think classical chamber has give-and-take, look at klezmer," quips Perlman.

a lousy writer and a second rate philosopher

Ayn Rand born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum (Russian: Алиса Зиновьевна Розенбаум)
"I can say - not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and aesthetic roots - that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world."

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

"Suppose you met a twisted, tormented young man and... discovered that he was brought up by a man-hating monster who worked systematically to paralyze his mind, destroy his self-confidence, obliterate his capacity for enjoyment and undercut his every attempt to escape... Western civilization is in that young man's position. The monster is Immanuel Kant."

The most famous review of Atlas Shrugged from a conservative author was written by Whittaker Chambers and appeared in National Review in 1957. It was unrelentingly scathing. Chambers called the book "sophomoric"; and "remarkably silly," and said it "can be called a novel only by devaluing the term." The tone of the book was described as "shrillness without reprieve". Chambers accused Rand, a refugee from totalitarianism, as supporting the same godless system as the Soviets, stating that "From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ' To the gas chambers-- go!'"( more from wiki )

June 27, 1954: World's First Nuclear Power Plant Opens

Obninsk APS-1 was the first nuclear power plant in the world. The world's first nuclear power plant becomes operational in Obninsk, outside of Moscow.The nuclear reactor, used to generate electricity, heralded Obninsk's new role as a major Soviet scientific city, a status it retains in the Russian Federation where it carries the sobriquet of First Russian Science City.Obninsk, population 108,000, currently houses no fewer than 12 scientific research institutions and a technical university. Research is focused on nuclear-power engineering, nuclear physics, radiation technology, the technology of non-metallic materials, medical radiology, meteorology and environmental protection.Since the plant opened in 1954, most of the industrialized west, along with countries like India and China, have embraced nuclear power. But the backlash against this energy source continues in the wake of accidents such as those that occurred at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. Italy, for example, has decommissioned its nuclear plants and two other European countries, Germany and Sweden, are considering doing the same thing.
Obninsk claims Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as a sister city -- another town that has more than a passing relationship with nuclear power.(from wired )

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

100,000 Years of Sex

Was It Good For You, Too?

New Exhibition Pays Tribute to 100,000 Years of Sex
Ancient phalluses, the world's oldest condom, a naked anatomically correct Neanderthal: visitors to the new exhibition "100,000 Years of Sex" will find plenty to stimulate their brains -- not to mention other organs.
Most people have enough trouble imagining their parents having sex. But your ancestors from 100,000 years ago? Yes, they had sex too, strange as it may sound. In fact, humans have been having sex since ... well, since humanity existed.
Now a new exhibition in Germany pays tribute to 100 glorious millennia of making out and doin' it. The show "100,000 Years of Sex" at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettman near Düsseldorf addresses -- in a strictly scientific manner, of course -- such burning questions as: When did we start feeling lust and thinking about sex? Did meat get exchanged for sex in the Stone Age? And just how did the ancient Greeks and Romans do it?
The exhibition features voluptuous clay figures, well-endowed statues and ancient containers featuring rather raunchy engravings. The visitor can expect a "journey through time as interesting as it is pleasurable," the museum said in a press release. Highlights include a 28,000-year-old phallus and the oldest condom in the world.
The show also addresses how sexual attitudes -- often seen as set in stone today -- have evolved over the millennia. Attitudes to marriage, homosexuality and pedophilia were very different in the past, and what went in ancient Rome was frowned upon in the God-fearing Middle Ages, not to mention our own puritanical age. Sexual mores from all periods are explained in the no-holds-barred exhibition.
The Neanderthal mannequin is the symbol of the museum, which is located in the German valley where Neanderthal remains were found and which gave the humanoid species its name. (The scientific jury is still out on the question of whether Neanderthals and humans actually had sex, however.)
Just to make sure humanity continues to propagate itself for the next 100,000 years, the museum offers "singles tours" around the exhibition as part of its program -- complete with complementary glass of red wine to help lower those inhibitions and let the erotica on offer take its course.(from Spiegel )

Monday, June 25, 2007

International art symposium in Ein Hod July 1-10

During July 1-10 an international gathering of artists will take place in Ein Hod ,Israel. The participating countries : England, Poland ,Spain , El Salvador, Italy, Rumania, Kosovo, USA, Israel. During the symposium the artists will visit significant historical sites and will be exposed to local art and meet with local artists.This will create opportunities for future collaboration and exchange of ideas between local and international artists. The sites to visit are :Carmel coast: Ceasaria, Zichron Yaacov, Daliat El Carmel, Haifa city and Akko. The symposium will end with an exhibition titled “Meeting Point” in “Castra “ center for business and the arts , Saturday 07/07/2007 at 19.00 hour. The event will be covered by local media and art critics in the various fields. It is the organizers’ intentions to make this event a continuous project for the coming years.
AP Art Symposium is a mutual initiative of Nechama Levendel and Nadav Bloch. Both artists have participated in similar art events all over the world. They decided to “copy” this model and bring it close to home - Ein Hod artists village.
The symposium was made possible with the help of Mr.Carmel Sela Chairman of the Carmel coast council, Mr.Acram Hasson mayor of Daliat El Carmel- Usafia , Mr. Dudu Harrari head of Old Akko Development and Mr. Moshe Zurich head of Haifa Tourist Association.The artists will be guests of Ein Hod . Levendel-Bloch have received funds and sponsorships for this event from private sources and enterprises in the area.( for more on

She is my dear friends daughter

and you stupid !!! do you know what she is speaking about?( for wiki)

Michael Cardew The Potter

Michael became interested in pottery while he was a child but it was while at Oxford that he announced to his surprised contemporaries his intention of becoming a country potter.
He was taught to throw by William Fishley Holland at Braunton in North Devon where he spent his holidays. Coming to the Leach Pottery in 1923 as its first student, he shared an interest in slipware with Bernard Leach and was greatly influenced by the pots of Hamada. After 3 years here he left to re-found the century-old but derelict pottery at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. He experimented in industrial design at Stoke and he founded and later enlarged the Wenford Bridge Pottery near Bodmin in Cornwall, producing earthenware and stoneware.
He worked in Ghana in West Africa from 1942 to 1948 as an instructor and from 1951 to 1965 he establish and ran a pottery and training centre at Abuja. He also traveled extensively, touring America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand making pots, demonstrating, writing and teaching. On his return to Wenford he wrote 'Pioneer Potter' about his world travels, published in 1969.( more on Michael Cardew )

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Duck Soup: The Marx Brothers go to war.

The government of Fredonia has been mismanaged to the point that it must borrow $20 million from Mrs. Chester Teasdale to stay afloat. She, with single-minded termination, refuses unless the president resigns and hands the government to Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) who proceeds to bring the nation to a grinding halt. Adding to the national woes, neighboring Sylvania has been plotting to have the Fredonian government overthrown so that they can overrun it and this mission has been headed by Ambassador Trentino (Louis Calhern), with Vera Marcal (Raquel Torres) handling Mrs. Teasdale and his two crack spies Chicolini and Pinky (guess who) shadowing Firefly. It is presidential assistant Bob Roland(Zeppo) who suggests Firefly insult Trentino who will strike Firefly and they can force the ambassador to leave the country. Sounds good on paper, but Firefly winds up being insulted by Trentino then slapping him, which leads to a declaration of war! And what a war it is: Groucho is able to be uniformed as a southern general, northern corporal, boy scout, fur trapper and drum major -- and that's during the first assault! By the time the short-wave radio cries "Help is on the way!" what follows will have you rolling on the floor!
Duck Soup is the dazzling, frenzied, unrelenting, full-steam-ahead, no-holds-barred trademark brand of nose-thumbing, up-yours comedy that the Marx Brothers created in vaudeville, honed to razor sharpness in bus and truck tours, and finally exploded onto 1920's Broadway, making them national treasures. Where W.C. Fields had his muttering, cynical way of tilting at windmills with a pool cue, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo stormed the windmills with surface-to-air missiles. No convention was too big, no icon too treasured, no societal norms too entrenched to be blistered by these madmen of surreal comedy. As with most classics, "Soup" bombed at the box-office and Paramount didn't re-sign the Brothers. But time and succeeding generations have elevated this film to one of the best movies in the annals of American film making.

A rare treasure will soon be extinct

Heritage Book Shop, a West Hollywood fixture prized by collectors of antiquarian volumes throughout the world, is closing.
Los Angeles, and the country at large, have been losing bookstores lately to forces that have become familiar in the trade: rising rents, competition from national retail chains and the discounts offered by online booksellers.
Yet the latest casualty has come not from financial failure but from a combination of success and a stroke of luck — for the owners of Heritage Book Shop, at least. The Melrose Avenue fixture has been considered one of the finest and most lucrative antiquarian bookstores in the country. And although business continues to boom, the bookstore has been made an offer it cannot refuse.
"It was sudden for me," said Ben Weinstein, one of the two Brooklyn-born brothers who moved the shop to West Hollywood two decades ago after they had run a thrift store in Compton and bookstores on Hollywood Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard. This spring, the building was sold to a local businessman, and the ink is still drying on a separate sale of the $10 million or so in inventory to an as-yet-undisclosed auction house.
To the extent that this world-famous shop was a presence in L.A., it was more directly connected to the luxury trade, and to Hollywood money, than to the city's literary life. An unofficial poll of scholars, writers and local book lovers shows almost no experiences with the place, and some of those who have been there associate the place with brusque treatment.
But when the TV show "Frasier" wrapped in 2004, the show's producers bought nearly 20 going-away presents for cast and crew, Weinstein said — all books priced from $5,000 to $10,000.
Although Heritage does not discuss its clientele, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp and Michael Ovitz are known to be rare book collectors or gifters. Winona Ryder once gave Martin Scorsese a 19th-century manuscript purchased at Heritage. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a regular at the shop and calls it "my church." Mitch Glazer and other top-tier screenwriters are also known to collect rare books, sometimes based on the novels or time periods they've adapted. ( more from LAtimes )

Death announced of one of Gugging’s most famous artists

Oswald Tschirtner fought in the German army during the Second World War, and was institutionalised in 1946. A member of the Haus der Künstler in Gugging, Austria, he was encouraged to begin drawing by the hospital’s psychiatrist, Dr Leo Navratil. Tschirtner worked only after suggestion or encouragement, but from the outset his works have always been different from those of other residents. Using pen and ink, Tschirtner relied on a stark, highly controlled linear style to create repeated motifs.
His representations were almost entirely based on human figures, always elongated and mostly possessing little more than a distinctively shaped head and simple face to register them as being human the ‘Headfooters’. The mathematical equality in Tschirtner’s images, his sublime sense of space, and his use of line produce an infallible sense of calm and simplicity. The pictures were occasionally based on newspaper and magazine images or other works of art, but still worked in his elongated style. Tschirtner signed his pictures ‘O.T.’ and choose titles as simple and poetic as the pictures themselves: ‘Health’, ‘Line’, ‘Snow’, ‘People’ and ‘The Genius of Skyscrapers’. ( via rawvision)

The Semitic and Other Afroasiatic Languages

Some of the oldest attested languages in the world, from the oldest civilizations, are in the family of the Afroasiatic languages. The oldest in the group is Ancient Egyptian, which is known from one of the earliest writing systems, hieroglyphics. All the other other languages here that are attested from ancient times are in the Semitic sub-family. The oldest of these is Akkadian, which evolved into the closely related Babylonian and Assyrian languages. The writing system of Akkadian, however, cuneiform, was not created by the speakers of that language, but by the speakers of the unrelated Sumerian. Akkadian came to prominence and, indeed, dominance with the kingdom of Sargon of Akkad. Sumerian appears to have all but died out as a spoken language by the end of the III Dynasty of Ur, c.2000 BC. Egyptian itself died out as a spoken language as recently as the 17th century AD, under the influence of Arabic and Islâm. Nevertheless, the latest form of Egyptian, Coptic, survives as the liturgical language of the Coptic Church. On the other hand, all the forms of Akkadian had died out by Late Antiquity. Egyptian is not closely related to the Semitic languages, but its other affinities are unclear. The other groups of Afroasiatic languages, Cushitic, etc., which used to be grouped together with Egyptian as the Hamitic languages, are only recently attested. Their ancient antecedents and the nature of their relationship to the rest of the language family are unknown. They now appear to be as distant from each other as from the Semitic languages, and the Hamitic category is no longer regarded as phylogenetically useful. An interesting comparison is between the verb systems of Egyptian and Semitic languages. Most Semitic languages, like Hebrew and Arabic, have two verb tenses, with prefixes for an imperfect and suffixes for a perfect. These express temporal aspect more than tense, i.e. incomplete action, in present or future, for the imperfect, and complete action, whether in present or past, for the perfect. Egyptian retains these forms, but they are little used, mostly replaced by participles with pronominal suffixes. On the other hand, the Eastern or Akkadian branch of the Semitic languages has three verbal tenses. The suffixed form is a stative, expressing states, while the "preterite" and "present" (perfect and imperfect) are both prefixed inflections. This by itself might be a clue that Egyptian is more closely related to the Western Semitic languages than to the Eastern; but it is only one indication among many, and otherwise there are many differences between Egyptian and all Semitic languages.( more from Friesian )

Friday, June 22, 2007

Top 9 Reasons Why Danny's Ein Hod Beer Is Better Than God

The Words OF Wisdom day before Ein Hod HomeBrewer's Beer Festival
9. No one will kill you for not drinking Danny's Ein Hod Beer .

8. Danny's Ein Hod Beer doesn't tell you how to have sex.

7. Danny's Ein Hod Beer has never caused a major war.

6. They don't force Danny's Ein Hod Beer on minors who can't think for themselves.

5. When you have Danny's Ein Hod Beer , you don't knock on people's doors trying to make them drink it.

4. No one's ever been burned at the stake, hanged, or tortured over their brand of Danny's Ein Hod Beer .

3. There are laws stating that Danny's Ein Hod Beer labels can't lie to you.

2. If you've devoted your life to Danny's Ein Hod Beer , there are groups to help you stop.

1. You can prove you have a Danny's Ein Hod Beer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fall of Autumn Filmstrip: Letterpress Printing

Ever wonder how letterpress printing works?
This is the second filmstrip in a series Alan hopes to complete on the various printing techniques in use today. Blending education with ideology, the filmstrip presents a run down of the different parts and processes of setting your type and printing via the letterpress with Philip Cheaney. Filmed at the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, OR.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dr. Quantum explains the importance of double slit experiment in physics.

If we randomly shoot small objects, say marbles, at the screen through a slit we see a pattern on the wall where they went through the slit and hit.
Now, if we add another slit to the right of the first one, we would expect to see a second band duplicated to the right.Now, lets look at waves. The waves hit the slit and radiate out, striking the back wall with the most intensity directly in line with slit.When we add a second slit something different happens than with marbles. If the bottom of one wave meets the top of another, they cancel each other out - now there is interference pattern on the back of the wall: places where the two tops meet are the highest intensity and where they cancel - there is nothing!Now, let's go quantum!An electron is a tiny, tiny bit of matter, like a tiny marble. It behaves just like marbles. If we shoot it through a single slit, we see a single band on the screen. Now if we add another slit we should get, like marbles, two bands. But we got interference pattern!We fired electrons - tiny bits of matter through - but we get a pattern like waves, not like little marbles. How? It doesn't make sense!

The physicists are clever and thought that these little marbles, electrons, bounce off each other and create this pattern so they decided to shoot one electron at a time. After hours and hours of waiting they noticed the same interference pattern!
The conclusion is inescapable - the single electron leaves as a particle, becomes a wave at the slits and interferes with itself to hit the wall like a particle!
But mathematically it is even stranger - it goes through both slits and it goes through neither, and it goes through just one and it goes through just the other. All of these possibilities are in superposition with each other. But physicists were completely baffled by this! So, they decided to peek and see which slit the electron actually goes through! They put a measuring device by one slit to see which one it went through.But the quantum world far more mysterious than they could have imagined - when they observed the electron went back to behaving like a little marble - it produced a pattern two bands NOT an interference pattern!The very act of measuring or observing which slit it went through meant it only went through only one, not both.The electron decided to act differently. As if it was aware it was being watched!And it was here that physicists stepped forever into strange, never world of quantum events.What is matter? Marbles or waves? And waves of what? And what does an observer does have to do with any of this?
The observer collapsed the wave function by simply observing!
(via freescience)

Another list-Please read these before you die...

Who Needs Books?

For a long time I have been saying that actually reading books is overrated. Now I have an unlikely ally: librarians. The librarians of Fairfax County, Virginia, have reinvented the idea of the library for the 21st century. "A book is not forever," says Sam Clay, the director of the system. "If you have 40 feet of shelf space taken up by books on tulips and you find that only one is checked out, that's a cost." So Clay has set out to purge from Fairfax County libraries all 40 feet of tulip books, which were apparently purchased during the great Tulip Mania of the 17th century. But it's not just books on tulips he's tossing into the dustbin of history. Aided by a computer program that earmarks books that haven't been checked out in two years, he has ruthlessly weeded out outdated works by such long-dead, irrelevant authors as Virgil, Aristotle, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and many others, all to make room for ten more copies of the latest bestseller by John Grisham.. Who wants to carry around all the bulky books in Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past when you can just read them online. Even better, you can just read an online summary. Ann Althouse prefers to just read "snippets" of books she can find online, which gives her more time to blog, which benefits all of us. In fact, if Proust were alive today, he would probably be blogging ("For a long time I went to bed early. Now I can't sleep at all, which is why I'm up so late blogging. The town where I live, Combray, is so booooorrrring. Click on my Proust FAQ if you want to learn more about me: my idea of earthly happiness, my favorite virtues, what I value in my friends, etc. Send me your screenname and maybe we can chat. Does anyone know if Amazon sells cork?").If book huggers think reading is so important, they should watch the movie Fahrenheit 451. In that film (which I'm sure is better than the book, which I have not actually read) people live in a future Utopian society where the government keeps the people safe from terrorism and everyone can afford big-screen televisions. The hero of the film is a librarian who has his hands full freeing up shelf space. By the end of the film they arrive at a solution that makes everyone happy. Bookworms memorize the books they like and recite them to someone who cares. I think if people did that today, it would free up even more shelf space for things like video games, which actually promote the skills kids will need to fight the wars of the 21st century.(from Jon Swift blog- on book burning see the old post)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My secret plan for ein hod beer Fest

Diners snap off the heads, slip the shells from the fresh pink shrimp and pop them in their mouths. Like eating popcorn, it's hard to stop.
Some people like cocktail sauce for dipping the shrimp, but I feel that the sauce obscures the flavor of the shrimp so usually we just eat them plain with a little lemon juice squeezed over them. Beer is the traditional beverage pairing, but white wine works well too.

Maine Shrimp Boil
Serves 2 - 4, depending on appetites!
2 lb fresh Maine shrimp, heads on, unpeeled (see note)
3 quarts water
3 T salt
2 bay leaves
2 lemons
2 T black peppercorns
2 T coriander seed
1 T yellow mustard seed
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp dill seed
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
Bring the water to a boil and add the salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seed, mustard seed, dill seed, cloves, pepper flakes and wine. Halve one of the lemons, squeeze the juice into the water and then drop the lemon halves in. Simmer the water ten minutes to develop the flavor, then raise to a boil and dump in the shrimp and cook, stirring, two minutes -- no more -- and immediately drain in a colander. Rinse briefly with cold water, drain, and serve with lemon wedges, a big bowl for the shells, and plenty of napkins.
The heads and shells both add flavor to the dish but in the end they are discarded, so you can do this dish with headless or even peeled shrimp if that's what you find at the market. Remember that with less waste you'll need less weight for the same number of servings. If you are cooking them peeled reduce the cooking time to one minute only. (from Stephencooks )

the beer belt will decide

In a foyer of the European Parliament, Poland is putting its argument for a tight definition of vodka in the most persuasive way it knows.
The argument is heating up over what may be defined as vodka
In front of a table laden with regiments of shot glasses, a queue of MEPs, parliament staffers and hangers-on forms and snakes around the room.
Glasses are filled and emptied in quick succession. The volume of conversation rises. Polish sausage and brown bread are on offer to soak up the alcohol.
The vodka being dispensed is made exclusively from potatoes or grain. The Poles would like that definition to apply to everything sold as vodka across the EU. They are open to persuasion on sugar beet, but nothing else. And they are not alone. The Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - along with Finland, Denmark and Sweden are also backing efforts to tighten the legal definition in the EU's spirits regulation, being voted on in the European Parliament on Tuesday.
With Hungary and Slovenia prepared to back them, there are few predictions of how the vote will go. "[The vodka belt countries] produce 70% of the EU's vodka," says Finnish MEP Alexander Stubb, "and we consume 70%, so we know what we are talking about."
Ranged against them are countries like Britain, France, Italy and Spain. They may not have a centuries-old tradition of producing vodka, but they have moved adroitly to get into a growing market. Vodka has a distinguished pedigree in the EU - and beyond They make vodka using less traditional materials, including sugar beet, citrus fruit and grapes.Even Finnish MEP and vodka traditionalist Alexander Stubb admits it can be difficult to guess which vodka is made from what raw materials in a blind tasting. But he argues it is about quality.
"Call it something else," he suggests. "I don't want vodka to be a product which can be made of all agricultural products, which basically means you can use it to wash your windows."
This may not be the most urgent issue on the EU's agenda, but it is one which has exposed a cultural split: a regional division based on different tippling traditions.
"This is a battle of the vodka belt against the wine belt," says Finnish MEP Lasse Lehtinen. "In between lies the beer belt, which will get to decide."
(from BBC)
( more on russian drinking) Thanks to Zuck

ein hod-the best beer in the world

Home Made Beer
Festival in Ein Hod
Saturday 23.June.2007
Village center
(about Danny Shlyfestone and yo mama's ale )

פסטיבל בירה בעין הוד בשבת
בשבת יתקיים פסטיבל בירה ביתית בכפר האמנים עין הוד. בפסטיבל יוקמו דוכנים של מבשלות ביתיות ויוצגו פיתוחים חדשים כמו בירת תות ובירת קרמל. בין היצרנים שישתתפו בפסטיבל: דני שלייפסטון, בעל מבשלה ביתית בעין הוד. הפסטיבל יתקיים בשעות 10:00-20:00
(MORE בבקבוק)

Monday, June 18, 2007

To hit the bottle

Throughout the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries beer was commonly bottled in stoneware bottles like that shown to the left. Stoneware bottles did provide the ultimate in protection from the detrimental effects of light though had other problems that eventually lessened their popularity, e.g., weight and closure limitations. The stoneware bottle pictured to the left was made in Great Britain during the 1870s or 1880s. Most stoneware bottles used in the U.S. were made in Great Britain and are commonly found on 19th century historic sites (Switzer 1974; Wilson 1981). The pictured bottle had a fragmental label noting that it contained either ale or stout (i.e., "Ale/Stout"). Stoneware or ceramic bottles for beer were generally discontinued in the U. S. after about 1895 .
The two main Victorian manufacturers of stoneware bottles were Doulton & Co and Joseph Bourne. The strength and durability of stoneware bottles made them ideal for both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks and also for other liquids such as vinegar. Stoneware bottles had simple designs and were usually beige in colour but sometimes tan-coloured tops or brighter colours would be used and these are consequently of greater interest to a collector. Earlier bottles had the manufacturer's name and the contents etched onto them, but by the mid 1800's transfer printing or decorative underglazing was usually used for these identifications.
(Graci 1995). (from bottle site)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Līgo Jāņa bērni

Definitely the most Latvian of holidays is Ligo. The celebration of the shortest night of the year is preceded by drinking beer and eating cheese. When not consuming, it is mandatory to sing traditional Ligo songs. During the evening there is more drinking and singing, and at midnight each village has its own bonfire. The honorable women and men named Liga or Janis celebrate their namedays 23 and 24 June, exactly around midsummer night. The Ligas can be recognized by their crowns of flowers, while the Janis' have oaktree crown, symbolizing their power. Single women at a marriagable age should throw their flower crown in an oak tree; if it stays there, their year of marriage has come. Several other supernatural events are connected with the Ligo festivities. For example, you have to stay up the entire night, otherwise you'll be sleepy the entire summer. During this night is the only time the ferns in Latvia are supposedly blossoming. The single men and women are invited to search Latvias forests together for this miraculous event. This traditional activity has kept improving Latvias demographic situation for centuries already (more on midsummer)

god sucks?

What began with publisher W.W. Norton taking a chance on a gutsy, hyperbolic and idiosyncratic attack on religion by a graduate student in neuroscience has grown into a remarkable intellectual wave. No fewer than five books by the New Atheists have appeared on bestseller lists in the past two years -- Sam Harris's The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell, Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion and now Christopher Hitchens's God Is Not Great. The scandalized media have both attacked and inflated the phenomenon. After the New York Times Book Review, for example, ran a thoughtful review of Harris and then a negative front-page review of Dawkins, the daily paper published two weak op-ed attacks on the writers and a vapid article on how atheists celebrate Christmas, followed by tongue-in-cheek admiration in the Book Review for Hitchens's ability to promote his career by saying the unexpected. (more from the nation via alternet)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This penis was soft and tender like a fresh noodle

We ate all kinds of other good local dishes, and drank the local beer, which of course, was much much better than anything brewed in Shanghai. Before we left, I took another look at the offerings, and found "black bone chicken soup with bull penis (wu ji niu bian tang)." Had to try that one! The black meat silky chicken is a popular health tonic around China, which I've had many times. And in the bowl was a small cut of a bull's penis. It was a soft rubbery little thing that looked like calamari, with little half slices cut into it to make it more pliable and soak up flavor. I believe this was a small, circular cut of the bull's penis.
This penis was soft and tender like a fresh noodle, and captured the flavor of the soup nicely. Speaking of male cows, one of the waiters came up and told me I looked like ... the coach for the Chicago Bulls NBA team. OK. That's a new one ( fron Weird Meat)

Risking death

Russian men are risking death by drinking aftershave and cleaning agents, a study has suggested. UK researchers estimated that half of all deaths in working age men in the country are due to hazardous drinking. The products, which also include herbal tinctures sold in pharmacies, are widely available, cheap and contain up to 97% alcohol, the Lancet study says. It was found that they contain very few toxins but are deadly simply because of the extreme alcohol levels.
Russian men have an "exceptionally low" life expectancy of 59 years, compared with 72 years for women. Men of working age are three-and-a-half times more likely to die than men in Britain. Past studies have shown levels of alcohol consumption among the Russian population, where spirits such as vodka are popular, are high.
But the team at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine wanted to take into account non-beverage alcohol.Lead researcher Professor David Leon said: "We're talking about things like eau de cologne and aftershave which are widely available at kiosks and cheaper because they are not subject to excise duty. "The important work we have done is the toxicology and with many of these products all that's in them is water and ethanol and something to make them smell a bit - people are dying because of the concentration of alcohol in a cheap, readily available form. "They should be more strictly regulated." He said the toll might be even higher as his work only concentrated on men who lived with their families.( from BBC NEWS ) (thanks to Juck )

Ein hod artist "... shattered mental barriers to find freedom of expression..."

Alex Arbell produced fine scientific glassware for 25 years -- "for half of my life" -- as he puts it. "Only in my mid-40s did I make a shift toward the arts.
Now 74, the Israeli artist and resident of the fabled Ein Hod Artists' Village, about 12 miles from Haifa, has an international reputation as a glassblower and an educator.He's in town to conduct a class at the Pittsburgh Glass Center in Friendship,
Arbell will be a featured demonstrator at the international Glass Arts Society conference to be held in Pittsburgh next week. Society president, glass artist Shane Fero, writes of Arbell: "Besides being an interesting artist with unusual techniques (at least in this country), he is an awesome person (a philosophical type) who people love to hang with and garner wisdom."
Making scientific glass and making art glass require the same equipment, material and technique, Arbell points out. "It's a shift that you have to make in your head." A large part of that, he explains, is "demolishing established mental disciplines [to] create a new freedom" of expressionHe was born in 1933 in Krakow, Poland, and left with his family in 1940 when the Germans invaded. He describes their experience as a typical story, shared by so many, traveling through Europe as refugees before finally settling in what was then Palestine.
Now he lives with his wife, son, 12, and daughter, 13, (he has two children, now in their 40s from a previous marriage), in a village populated by artists that has become a cultural tourism destination. It was founded in 1953 by Dada artist Marcel Janco and others, and about 150 artists and their families now live there.
The village on the slopes of Mount Carmel, about a 10-minute drive from the Mediterranean, has a small grocery store, a couple of restaurants and an amphitheater where concerts are held. But children have to travel elsewhere to attend school.The residents represent a mix of many cultures, so common in Israel, Arbell says, where people come from around the globe. While there are other artists who work with glass, Arbell is the only glassblower in Ein Hod.
"It's very picturesque," he says, "one of the most beautiful places in Israel."
(By Mary Thomas, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

23 Nights in Paris

Three weeks in a California prison? That’s hot! But what’s Paris supposed to do with all that time out of the spotlight? Perhaps her cellmate can help. Waco as Paris, Roger Black as Officer Blackwell, April McDowell as Officer Connie, Propecia as herself.

John Coltrane Naima Live 1965

... Prepare thyself for a near miracle.

Norah Jones - Sinkin' Soon

"Sinkin' Soon" is a song written by Norah Jones and Lee Alexander, and is the second single from Jones's third solo album, Not Too Late (2007). It was released in the United States on March 26, 2007 (see 2007 in music).
Alexander wrote most of the song, with Jones composing the bridge. According to Jones, they couldn't play the whole song before they recorded it, so they went out for dinner and drank beer. "I guess we needed a little bit of that drunken sailor vibe because we came back and recorded this on the first take", Jones said. Jones's old friend J. Walter Hawkes contributed a trombone solo, and M. Ward performed backing vocals. Pot-and-pan percussion similar to the work of Tom Waits is featured on the song; Jones's teapot broke during the recording session

why Judas did what he did ?

Yeah, yeah, Jesus Christ gets all the press. He's noble, good hearted, infallible, blah, blah, blah. BORING! Sure, he founded the biggest religion in the world, but where's the drama? Where's the passion? Where's the suspense?
Everybody loves a tragedy, which is probably why the figure of Judas Iscariot is such an object of fascination in the literary world.
After all, we pretty much get Jesus' motivation. At least within the context of the story, it's hard to miss. He's the son of God. He's here to rescue us all, die on the cross, rise again, etc., etc. But the motivations of Judas, a key player in all this, are much murkier and touch on some universal philosophical questions.
Judas first pops up in the Bible as a name on the list of Jesus' 12 apostles. He's the guy who carried the money. Prior to the Last Supper, he distinguished himself primarily by expressing concern for the poor, for which he is roundly lambasted by Jesus: (more from Rotten )

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Stairway to Heaven live (Rodrigo y Gabriela)

Rodrigo (Sanchez) and Gabriela (Quintero) are two fast-fingered, Dublin-based, Mexicans with a unique sound created on acoustic guitars. Their music is difficult to define, straddling both world and rock, and often imbued with timeless Hispano–classical influences. The fire in it comes from their life-long passion for metal music. This spring, Rodrigo y Gabriela beat both the Arctic Monkeys AND Johnny Cash to number one in the Irish charts.
Rodrigo is a deft finger-picker who can move from raging speed to sensual soul in the space of a fret, while Gabriela employs fast, rhythmic techniques. Her percussionist’s thrashing of strings and drumming of the instrument’s body inevitably raises comparisons with flamenco – which they acknowledge as an influence but swerve as a pigeonhole. The duo’s repertoire flies beyond familiar Latin folk guitarists’ styles because of the metal connection: their re-workings of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Metallica’s “Orion” are musts, and the presence, on “Ixtapa,” of the fiery Hungarian gypsy violinist, Roby Lakatos, is inspirational.

Bonde Do Role - Solta O Frango

The band have only just celebrated their second anniversary, and they made their first trip to Europe with Diplo when they'd only played five gigs in Brazil. D'eyrot admits that their rise has been incredibly fast. Did they never worry that singing in their native Portuguese might be a handicap to success? “It was never an issue, because we never meant to be a band. It was a joke that became an album, that got signed to Diplo's label. We never stop to think about what we're going to do, we just do it. Bonde do Role is very random. For us it's all about the fun, and if it's not fun it's not worth doing. People can think whatever they like about us, but I'd like them to listen to Bonde Do Role in 10-15 years' time and laugh their asses off. Like they do with Bon Jovi.”


The late Paul Pena

This is a video concert extra from the rare film,"Genghis Blues" starring the late Paul Pena.He performs using the unique Tuva throat singing method in which two vocal cords are used at the same time producing a frog-like sound heard only in certain parts of the world..Paul Pena also wrote the song,"Jet Airliner" made famous by rocker,Steve Miller in the mid 70's.This is a very rare performance
( more on Eli Marcus blog)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The tonic of first morning urine

Right up there with choking down roasted human flesh, pee drinking makes the top ten list of things most people would only do if forced by extreme circumstances. To such persons, sipping the salty nectar is merely the last wretched resort of the desperately dehydrated -- i.e. shipwrecked sailors adrift at sea and desert travelers lost amidst the burning sands. Although inaccurate, the popularity of this image is understandable. After all we rarely hear of urine drinking outside the context of survival tales -- prisoners of war, villagers beset by drought, residents of besieged cities. Equally compelling are the stories of those too squeamish to drink the "waters of their own cistern". Too principled (or foolish)to sip their own nectar, they found their end swiftly, usually in two or three days. If a person was unusually strong and in excellent health (and hydration), they might live as long as a week. For children, the survival time was even shorter. Not surprisingly, in such circumstances our notions about what is and is not appropriate behavior can change abruptly. In the face of pain and suffering, or the death of our loved ones, we find ourselves ready to do whatever is necessary. And regardless of whether the necessary deed is drinking urine or eating bugs (or our own dead friends and relatives), this sudden shift of priorities has the power to transform our deepest held beliefs -- sometimes permanently. That is, once we've crossed the threshold of our inhibitions, we may find there is little reason to return to our previous standards of behavior.
Which may go to explain why, in some cultures, urine drinking is considered perfectly acceptable. At some point in these cultures' development need led to acceptance, and acceptance opened the door to popularization and, ultimately, to ritualization. Thus it was that the indigenous Siberians used their own urine for washing and bathing (see Practical Uses of Pee), native Alaskans used urine as an antiseptic for wounds, and in India and East Africa, tradition-minded people washed (and still do wash) themselves in cow urine (which can be more sterile than some water supplies). In India, pee drinking has a long and noble lineage. It dates back at least 5,000 years to an ancient spiritual text known as the Damar Tantra. Part of the teachings of Yoga and ayurvedic medicine, the practice of drinking ones own urine (a.k.a. Amaroli or Shivambu) is believed to accelerate one's progress toward samadhi, or spiritual enlightenment. Naturally, the spiritual aspirant must do more than drink his own piddle every day
(for more on pee on Rotten )

Uma's dad

Tenzin Bob Thurman became a Tibetan monk at age 24. He's a professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, and co-founder of Tibet House US, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Tibetan civilization.
Thurman's focus is on the balance between inner insight and cultural harmony. In interpreting the teachings of Buddha, he argues that happiness can be reliable and satisfying in an enduring way without depriving others.
He has translated many Buddhist Sutras, or teachings, and written many books, recently taking on the topic of Anger for the recent Oxford series on the seven deadly sins. He maintains a podcast on Buddhist topics. And yes, he is Uma's dad.
"Thurman considers Buddhism to be primarily a system of education, a science that guides individuals to live life to its fullest."
Kansas City Star

Monday, June 11, 2007

dewey's death?

When the new Gilbert library opens next month, it will be the first public library in the nation whose entire collection will be categorized without the Dewey Decimal Classification System, Maricopa County librarians say.
Instead, tens of thousands of books in the Perry Branch library will be shelved by topic, similar to the way bookstores arrange books. The demise of the century-old Dewey Decimal system is overdue, county librarians say: It's just too confusing for people to hunt down books using those long strings of numbers and letters. Dewey essentially arranges books by topic and assigns call numbers for each book.
"A lot of times, patrons feel like they're going to a library and admitting defeat because they don't understand Dewey Decimal and can't find the book they're looking for," said Marshall Shore, adult service coordinator for the Maricopa County Library District and driving force behind the idea. "People think of books by subject. Very few people say, 'Oh, I know Dewey by heart.' "
Libraries are trying to adapt to changing times, experts said, and their success lies in a generation of young people who are more comfy at Borders than libraries. Across the U.S., some libraries are trying to lure readers by adding lounge chairs and coffee shops.
Some are incorporating the "bookstore" shelving system into sections of libraries but still use Dewey, or other classification systems, to arrange the bulk of collections, said Leslie Burger, president of the American Library Association.
The books in Gilbert's new library will be organized in about 50 sections, then subsections, from sports to cooking, gardening to mysteries. For example, a book on the Civil War would be in the history neighborhood and in the U.S. section.
"Nowadays, people are used to going to a bookstore to browse, so we're just trying to create that same atmosphere," Shore said.
"I know Dewey fans are out there. But we haven't changed a lot in so long, and I think we're in a fight for our own survival." (from azcental)

Stolen keys

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's 1,200 troops assigned to NATO forces in Afghanistan will not achieve full combat readiness for up to several weeks due to stolen vehicle keys, the defense ministry said Thursday.
"We had been told a 10 percent theft rate was likely in convoys brought in from Pakistan, but we had not expected the spare car keys to go missing," defense ministry spokesman Jaroslaw Rybak told news channel TVN24.
"We shall have to send away for spares, so it may take from several days to several weeks for our contingent to become combat ready."
According to media reports, Polish troops taking part in NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan have been assigned to patrol the mountainous border area with Pakistan to search for Taliban guerrilla activity.
The military vehicles used by Polish forces include Poland's Land Rover-like Honkers and U.S.-built Humvees.

3D Medical Animation of Normal Vaginal Birth (Childbirth)

A Wash In Beer

Ah, beer. Who hasn't heard of this bubbly brew or watched the Superbowl specifically to be entertained by the brewery industry's commercials. While appealing to a broad spectrum of people, beer is a versatile beverage with a broad range of uses. It makes a tasty marinade, a moist and light bread and, fantastic soap! Yes, soap. Once the alcohol and its drying effects are removed, beer makes a near perfect skin care addition to soap. Since beer is primarily hops, many of this herb's properties and benefits become a skin cleansing asset when added to soap. The diverse array of beers from micro breweries and distinct contributions from craft breweries add a new dimension to soap crafting options with beer. Belgian lambic ales bring the richness and nutritional value of fruit to the beer market and when used in soap, these ales transfer these attributes to skin care. Oats, barley and wheat are mineral-rich grains that contribute an array of health promoting benefits to everything they touch, including soap. By adding lambic ales and whole grain beers to soaps, we bypass an otherwise risky bacterial potential and avoid the need for preservatives. Because of the fermentation process used in making beer coupled with the preservative and antibacterial benefits of hops, beer grants our skin the opportunity to directly benefit from these botanical ingredients when it would otherwise be problematic to the soap making process or require preservatives. If an ingredient requires a synthetic preservative to maintain purity, the reason for using "natural soap" is defeated.( for more...)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Monkey Business

A scene from a 1931 Paramount publicity film called The House That Shadows Built and the Four Marx Brothers appear to promote Monkey Business. It's actually a reworking of a scene from their Broadway revue "I"ll Say She Is!" where they all do their Maurice Chevalier impressions (again) while trying to impress a talent scout.
This clip is from the fantastic Marx Brothers documentary "The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell."

Shoji Hamada

Shoji Hamada was born in Tokyo in 1894. At the age of nineteen he started to study ceramics at Tokyo Technical College, and two years later spent some time touring Japan's traditional pottery sites. In 1918 he met Bernard Leach, and within a year the two men were working together at Abiko.
In 1920 they both came to England and Hamada helped Leach build the climbing kiln for the St Ives Pottery. He gave two exhibitions at Paterson's Gallery in London in 1923, and then toured Europe and returned to Japan. He exhibited again at Paterson's in 1929 and 1931, and in 1932 went to the United States with Leach. During the next three decades he made many more trips to the USA.
He is regarded as one of the most influential masters of studio pottery, and has probably inspired more potters than any other figure. The simplicity of his designs gives them urgency and power. This man, who was once declared a 'national living treasure', is certainly the jewel in studio pottery's crown. He died in 1978.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Holy Grail of Wireless Power

Scientists have sounded the death knell for the plug and power lead.
In a breakthrough that sounds like something out of Star Trek, they have discovered a way of 'beaming' power across a room into a light bulb, mobile phone or laptop computer without wires or cables.
In the first successful trial of its kind, the team was able to illuminate a 60-watt light bulb 7ft away.The team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who call their invention 'WiTricity', believe it could change the way we use electricity and do away with the tangle of cables, plugs and chargers that clutter modern homes.
It could also allow the use of laptops and mobile phones without batteries.
The inspiration came when the lead researcher, Dr Marin Soljacic, was standing in his kitchen at night staring at his mobile phone.
"It was probably the sixth time that month that I was awakened by my cell phone beeping to let me know that I had forgotten to charge it. It occurred to me that it would be so great if the thing took care of its own charging," he said.
To turn this dream into reality, Dr Soljacic needed a way of transmitting power wirelessly. (more from Daily Mail )

Danny Shlyfestone and yo mama's ale

dani and his beer in ein hod
המנצח בתחרות הוא מר דני שלייפסטון, שלדעתי הוא לא אחר מ"דוקטור הפבייקד", הממציא המשוגע מהסדרה ללימוד אנגלית "סקוטרמן" - (צפו בוידיאו ושיפטו בעצמכם). שלייפסטון עבד ולמד במבשלות באנגליה ובארצות הבית ובין השאר במפעל שמכין לתת שעורה, באנגליה. הזוג שלייפסטון פתח בר בשם "ארט בר" בכפר האומנים עין-הוד. בפאב אפשר לראות יצירות אומנות של אנליה, אישתו של שלייפסטון, ויצירות של אומנים נוספים. "for more"

( more on שום, פלפל ושמן זית)

Friday, June 8, 2007

thank you ! Have you ever fixed a wobbly restaurant table?

Have you ever fixed a wobbly restaurant table by inserting a sugar packet under a leg? Neither have I.
But if you do that sort of thing, this is for you: High 'n Low Silicone Shim.
Toronto and Brooklyn-based design studio NYTO has recently developed High 'n Low, a silicone shim substitute for wobbly tables and chairs. Real-deal sugar packets aren't the most reliable and certainly aren't reusable after they bust open. This rubber replica can be used over and over, easily carried in the pocket or purse, readily accessible when your seat or surface is less than stable.( via j-walk )

US now accepts ‘Postal Porn’

Even the censored version was deemed inappropriate…
Finally some sense from the country where guns are OK and tits illegal: US mail accepts Josephine Baker’s bare breasts
Jean-Claude Baker, one of 1920s Paris pin-up queen Josephine Baker’s adopted children, has won his battle against the US Postal Services. For his New York restaurant Chez Josephine, JC decided to mail out 15,000 postcards, featuring Josephine topless in her feather costume from the Folies-Bergeres music hall in Paris.
The card was refused by a teller of the Postal Services, who said “This is not at all acceptable. This is pornographic advertising!” Jean-Claude then decided to print the card with a superimposed banner stamped with the word “censored” over the offending breasts, but again the post office refused to accept the cards. “The banner still allowed a bit of the breast to be seen,” was the official reason.
Now, talks between New York Civil Liberties Union and the US postal service have established that the tellers were wrong and the mail carrier eventually agreed to accept the cards. The cards will be resent in their full, uncensored, original splendor.
Josephine Baker took French citizenship in 1937, fought in the resistance during World War II and formally adopted 12 children of various races, who she described as her “Rainbow Tribe.” She died in 1975.( from frogsmoke )

the Female Butcher

Stephanie Gerbier goes to work dressed for combat: She wears body armor under her white apron, steel-reinforced shoes and a metal glove on her left arm. Her weapon of choice is a flat, razor-sharp knife.
She can truss up a garnet-red round of beef to look as exquisite as a gift-wrapped jewelry box, carve $17-a-pound veal scallops so thin that the pink slices are nearly translucent and extract precision cuts from a 660-pound side of beef.
For those skills, the 23-year-old Gerbier this year became one of the first two women to win France's annual competition for best apprentice butcher.
Gerbier is breaking cultural barriers in a trade that mirrors the transformations in the European workplace of the 21st century: The attraction of prestigious white-collar and high-tech professions has steered young people away from Old World artisanal crafts, many of which traditionally have been open only to men for centuries. As a result, women are more able to enter trades that were largely closed to them.
Facing a shortage of as many as 5,000 butchers, France's historically macho meat industry has begun welcoming women. This summer, the national Federation of Butcher Shops is targeting women in a major recruiting drive -- and promoting Gerbier as one of its new female success stories in a field that now has about 100 female certified butchers, according to federation spokeswoman Cecile Mousset.
"The only drawback to being a woman butcher is that you can't carry heavy pieces of meat like a 90-kilo [200-pound] leg on your own," said Gerbier, who just earned her two-year professional aptitude certificate. "I always need to ask for help, but that's a minor inconvenience."
The butcher shortage comes as the French butcher shop -- considered by many French consumers to be the heart of the national culinary obsession -- is struggling to survive in the face of growing competition from supermarkets and an expanding fast-food culture. In the past three decades, France has lost nearly half of its butcher shops: 21,000 are open today, down from more than 40,000.
"People think that being a butcher is gross," said Gerbier, who wears her fawn hair in a ponytail and whose delicate fingers belie her ability to manhandle hefty chunks of pork, beef and lamb. "But it's not the case. We work in a very clean environment. The meat we get is washed before we work on it; it's not all bloody. People have misconceptions because of movies, but it's far from reality."( more from washington post )

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Why the Six-Day War is still being fought.

On June 5th, at 7:10 A.M., Israeli fighter jets launched an early-morning air assault on Egypt’s airfields, effectively destroying Nasser’s Air Force on the ground and, in just a few hours, deciding the course of the war. On the sixth and the seventh, Israel, exploiting its dominance of the skies, shattered Egypt’s ground forces. The six days of fighting between Israel and the combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria is the most straightforward aspect of the drama. In just a hundred and thirty-two hours, Israel captured the Sinai and Gaza from Egypt, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the holy sites and the Old City, from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria––twenty-six thousand square miles of additional territory. At first, Radio Cairo assured listeners that the Egyptians were winning great battles against the Israelis. Nasser’s deputy and eventual successor, Anwar Sadat, who knew the truth, took a nighttime walk in his Cairo neighborhood, “dazed and brokenhearted,” as he wrote in his memoirs, and saw people dancing in the streets to celebrate their “victory.” Nasser’s dream of a pan-Arab nation, of eliminating Israel, was finished. “If I had known the Army wasn’t ready,” Nasser said, “I wouldn’t have gone to war. I’m a chess player.” (Nasser and Eshkol both died within the next few years.) Egypt lost more than fifteen thousand men in the war, Israel about eight hundred. Rabin wrote in his memoirs that the Israelis easily could have taken Cairo, Amman, and Damascus.
So profound was the Israeli national delirium in the days and weeks after the war that it was impossible for most Israelis to think straight about the long-term consequences of retaining conquered territory. After being told that the state was in mortal danger, Israel was now in possession of Biblical Israel—the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, all of Jerusalem, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, and many other such sites scattered throughout the West Bank. Once the Old City was secured, on the third day of the war, Dayan, the most theatrical of all Israeli commanders, flew by helicopter to Jerusalem and staged his arrival in the manner of General Allenby, the British general who took Jerusalem from the Turks in 1917. “We have returned to the most holy of our places,” Dayan declared. “We have returned, never to part from them again.” ( more from New Yorker )

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sykes-Picot: and the Middle-East

In November 1915, diplomats François Georges-Picot (for France) and Mark Sykes (for Britain) negotiated an ‘understanding’ about how to divide the Middle East into spheres of influence for their respective countries. At the time, the area was still under control of the Ottoman Empire, linked to the Central Powers (Germany and Austro-Hungary) and therefore an opponent of the British, French and other Allies in World War I.

The Sykes-Picot Plan was secretly agreed to by the British and French governments on May 16, 1916. The outlines of the combined zones of influence have partially determined the borders of Syria, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia as they still stand today. Internally, the zones do not correspond to the present border situation.
According to Sykes-Picot, there were to be:
An ‘A’-zone of French influence, somewhat corresponding with present-day Syria but without coastal access, and extending far into present-day Iraq, to include the city of Mosul.
A ‘B’-zone of British influence, roughly correspondent to present-day Jordan and Iraq and including the Israeli port city of Haifa. Also included were the southern part of present-day Israel (i.e. the Negev desert), and a band of territory extending deep into the Arabian peninsula.
A ‘Blue’ zone of direct French control, in central Anatolia with extensions towards the south (the Syrian coast) the west (the southern Turkish coast) and far inland.
A ‘Red’ zone of direct British control, in southern Iraq and extending southwards over Kuwait to include the Persian Gulf coast of Arabia.
An international zone in the Holy Land, pending consultation with other world powers.
France and Britain would be left free to decide on state boundaries within the areas of their control. The main criticism of the Sykes-Picot Agreement was that it failed to take into account the wishes of the Arab populations in the area – who had been promised self-determination by some Western interlocutors, such as Lawrence of Arabia, who promised the Arabs a homeland in exchange for siding with the British against the Turks.
Sykes-Picot was reaffirmed at the Sanremo Conference (1920), although the borders of the resultant states (the French mandate area of Syria-Lebanon, the British mandate areas of Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq) did not correspond exactly to the zones of influence in the original agreement.( via strangemaps )

A man or an ape?

His paintings were first shown in London in 1957 as abstract lyrical or abstract expressionist works. Picasso and Miro were said to have bought his canvases, and an American collector of contemporary art bought three paintings at an auction in 2005 for $26,352. The artist's name was Congo - a chimpanzee.
This is not merely an anecdote; art does not belong exclusively to human beings, but to other animals as well. This is the main thesis of a new book by Ben Ami Sharfstein, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University and recipient of the 2005 Israel Prize for Philosophy.
Sharfstein says that while the ape is interested in the process rather than the end product, man is interested in both the process and its result. Second, both man and ape arrange their paintings in similar fashions. The ape's art reveals balance, rhythm and thematic patterns. There is no way of distinguishing between a picture painted by a man or an ape. Sharfstein knows that these responses could also be used to bash contemporary art, "but I prefer to see them as indications of the interesting closeness between art and its pre-human sources," he says. . ( more from HAARETZ via Cliff)

Man kann gar nicht genug vögeln

Fritz Perls, from In and Out the Garbage Pail:
Quoting a "distinguished, patriarchal" Austrian psychoanalyst, Paul Federn, in the 1920s: "You just can't fuck enough" ("Man kann gar nicht genug vögeln").
Another analyst, asked by Perls what he thought of the various Freudian schools, replied: "They all make money."
Friend, don't be a perfectionist. Perfectionism is a curse and a strain. For you tremble lest you miss the bull's-eye. You are perfect if you let be.
Friend, don't be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes are not sins. Mistakes are ways of doing something different, perhaps creatively new.
Friend, don't be sorry for your mistakes. Be proud of them. You had the courage to give something of yourself.
It takes years to be centered; it takes more years to understand and be now. Until then, beware of both extremes, perfectionism as well as instant cure, instant joy, instant sensory awareness.
I am holding on to my credo: "I am responsible only for myself. You are responsible for yourself. I resent your demands on me, as I resent any intrusion into my way of being."
I think the pursuit of happiness is a fallacy. You cannot achieve happiness. Happiness happens and is a transitory stage. . . . It is impossible by the very nature of awareness to be continuously happy.(for perls in ein hod)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lebanon War-25 years...

"Habayta" (= Back Home).
The song "habayta" was written by the late Ehud Manor on 1982 during the the first Lebanon war. The song called to bring the israeli soldiers back home from "foreign fields".
On 2003 Manor was asked by Yardena to add a new verse to the song.
Last summer, during the second Lebanon war, Yardena had recorded the new version of the song and dedicated it to the kidnapped and missing israeli soldiers

Six-Day War

Now in the public domain, this newsreel footage from 1967 covers the cease fire, UN debates, and the reunification of Jerusalem.

A few months after the 1967 war, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, a professor at Hebrew University and a leading Israeli intellectual--who was also an observant Jew--stated that Israel must immediately withdraw from the occupied territories. He argued that the occupation was unjust and would inevitably lead to the oppression and subjugation of the Palestinians, and to the corruption if not destruction of Israeli society.