Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tracking Down Jews

OBSESSED WITH JEWS introduces suburban Washington, DC accountant Neil Keller, who has amassed a remarkable collection of over 12,000 trading cards, photographs, matchbook covers, pins and autographs of prominent Jewish people. Starting with a single baseball card of Sandy Koufax, bought at a flea market in 1991, Neil started tracking down Jews in entertainment, politics, science, and most of all, Jews in sports. Neil shows us his collection, and tells how he methodically catalogs the accomplishments, and documents the genealogy of every famous Jew on Earth.
(read more...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Foreskin Song

It’s no secret that Shalom Auslander is a very screwed-up individual. It’s a fact to which he will gladly attest. Fortunately for readers, he can tell you exactly why. A terrific essayist, short story writer, and memoirist, Auslander examines his battles with God and his family often the two are inextricably bound in his wonderful new memoir, Foreskin’s Lament. In this clear-eyed look at his unhappy youth in a strict Jewish Orthodox family, he considers the seemingly endless fallout that still colors his life and relationships today. He brilliantly manages to make his grave subject hilarious without being glib, and serious without being grim. (read more on Bookslut)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Your Stinky Dreams

German researchers used specific volatile odorants with a negative or a positive smell ("rotten eggs" versus "roses") to simulate subjects during sleep. They then recorded the subjects' impressions when they were awakened. When using the unpleasant odorant, the emotional coloration of the dream was predominantly negative, while under stimulation with the pleasant stimulus, nearly all dreams had a positive coloration.
Researchers note that only recently information on olfactory function during sleep has become available, and that this is the first valid study that documents the impact of olfactory function on dreams. This study may also open a potential field of therapeutic intervention with nocturnal olfactory stimulation (read more...)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Book Is Dead

The demise of publishing has been predicted since the days of Gutenberg. But for most of the past century through wars and depressions the business of books has jogged along at a steady pace. It’s one of the main (some would say only) advantages of working in a “mature” industry: no unsustainable highs, no devastating lows. A stoic calm, peppered with a bit of gallows humor, prevailed in the industry.
Survey New York’s oldest culture industry this season, however, and you won’t find many stoics. What you will find are prophets of doom, Cassandras in blazers and black dresses arguing at elegant lunches over What Is to Be Done. Even best-selling publishers and agents fresh from seven-figure deals worry about what’s coming next. Two, five years from now—who knows? Life moves fast in the waning era of print; publishing doesn’t.
“Media doesn’t matter, reviews don’t matter, blurbs don’t matter,” says one powerful agent. Nobody knows where the readers are, or how to connect with them. Fifteen years ago, Philip Roth guessed there were at most 120,000 serious American readers those who read every night—and that the number was dropping by half every decade. Others vehemently disagree. But who really knows? Focused consumer research is almost nonexistent in publishing. What readers want and whether it’s better to cater to their desires or try harder to shape them remains a hotly contested issue. You don’t have to look further than the pages of The New YorkTimesBook Review or the shelves of Borders to see that the market for fiction is shrinking. Even formerly reliable schlock like TV-celebrity memoirs doesn’t do so well anymore. And “the next thing,” as Publishers Weekly editor Sara Nelson notes drily, “is not bloggers writing books.” (read more...)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Athlit:Her People are Great Villains (so are those of et Tireh)

The Bible repeatedly mentions Tantura by the name of Dor and hertowns, and Athlit may have been one of her " towns." But enough about Athlit, except that her people are great villains, and so are those of et Tireh, at the foot of Carmel, north-east of it. AinHaud, on the brow of the mountain, may possibly mark the site of En-haddah, given to Issachar. It is nearly three hours from Athlit to Tantura, and the two villages, Kefr Lam and Surafend, both apparently occupying ancient sites, are between them. Farther inland are Yebla and Ain Ghiizal. The name Yebla resembles Ibleam, which was assigned to Manasseh, though belonging to the lot of Issachar. This geographical survey of Syria's long seaboard, and description of Athlit, has brought us to Tantura.
It is a sad and sickly hamlet of wretched huts, on a bare sea-
beach, with a marshy flat between it and the eastern hills. The
sheikh's residence and the public menzul for travellers are the only respectable houses. Dor occupied a low tell on the shore about half a mile farther north, and there we shall find remains of the ancient city which are of considerable interest

From The land and the Book; or, Biblical illustrations drawn from the manners and customs, the scenes and scenery of the Holy Land (1880-1886)/ Thomson, William McClure, 1806-1894

Mel Silverman, 1931 - 1966 (Ein Hod)

Mel Silverman was my uncle. He was born and reared in Denver where he went to North High School. An outstanding baseball pitcher, he was offered a minor league contract with the Yankees organization. Instead, he decided to pursue art at the Chicago Art Institute. While in Chicago, he met his wife, Sydel Silverman, who is now a world reknown anthropologist. They lived in NYC, but they traveled extensively. Many of his works were inspired by his travels in Italy and in Israel.(conducting printmaking seminars at Ein Hod in Israel) He worked in many different media. I have seen collages, oils, woodsculptures, metal sculptures,charcoals, pencil drawings, cartoons, and book illustrations.
Mel died of cancer when he was 35. Mel is survived by two daughters, Eve and Julie, and his widow, who continues to live in the NYC area.
I am fortunate to have a number of his works, as do my parents and my brother and sister. Several of the works which I have were rescued from my grandmother's (his mother's) basement and several others were inherited from my grandmother. His widow gave my wife and me a wonderful print of a Manhattan scene as a wedding present.
He was a very nice uncle.
Bill Silverman

((read more...)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ida Kelarova in Ein Hod

The Roma (GYPSY) performers Ida KELAROVA , Desiderius Duzda & from the Czech Republic will give a 3 day " Gypsy Celebration" workshop in the Ein Hod artists village on the Carmel mountains (Israel).
Workshop dates: 4-5-6 DECEMBER 2008
Price: 850.- NIS (food & accomodations not incl)
contact: Yael Koginsky: 0545375975
"I give people the opportunity to express themselves from the very deepest most honest parts of themselves. I encourage people to feel the songs, to wake up some of the passions that they have buried deep down into themselves, sometimes realizing years of pain and sadness which they haven't allowed themselves to show in their lives."


Friday, September 5, 2008

Бродяга Ляля Черная

Posing as a standard-issue musical romance, Gypsies turns out to be subliminal propaganda for Soviet collectivism. A band of freedom-loving gypsies are lured onto a Russian farm co-op, whose owners covet the vagabonds' horses. At first resisting the notion of working together for a common cause, the gypsies are soon happily pitching in with the farmers. Once the work is done, however, they revert to type, singing, dancing, and smooching in the moonlight. A few isolated fistfights and stabbings aside, everyone gets along beautifully. The Artkino Studio's publicity packet for Gypsies described the film as "the lyrical saga of a people forever wandering towards of dream of happiness." Well, sort of.
Posledniy tabor (1936)

Through the Pelvis to the Spine

A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks.
Led by Stuart Brody of the University of the West of Scotland in collaboration with colleagues in Belgium, the study involved 16 female Belgian university students. Subjects completed a questionnaire on their sexual behavior and were then videotaped from a distance while walking in a public place. The videotapes were rated by two professors of sexology and two research assistants trained in the functional-sexological approach to sexology, who were not aware of the women's orgasmic history.
The results showed that the appropriately trained sexologists were able to correctly infer vaginal orgasm through watching the way the women walked over 80 percent of the time. Further analysis revealed that the sum of stride length and vertebral rotation was greater for the vaginally orgasmic women. "This could reflect the free, unblocked energetic flow from the legs through the pelvis to the spine," the authors note.(for more vaginal orgasms...)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Craig's " Naughty Librarian" Vibes

During 2007, Ferguson used The Late Late Show as a forum for getting an honorary citizenship from every state in America. He received honorary citizenship from Nebraska, Arkansas, Virginia, Montana, North Dakota, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Governors John Hoeven, Mark Sanford, Mike Rounds, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Jim Gibbons sent letters to him that made him an honorary citizen of their states.[
He received similar honors from various towns and cities, including Ozark, Arkansas, Hazard, Kentucky, Greensburg, Pennsylvania as well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Your Kar-Ma Killed my Dog-Ma

The Perfect Human (Danish: Det perfekte menneske) is a 1967 short film by Jørgen Leth. It depicts a man and a woman, both labelled 'the perfect human', in a detached manner, as though they were subjects in a zoo.
Von Trier(DOGMA95) admires the film greatly and claims to have seen more than 20 times. In the year 2000, Lars von Trier challenged Jørgen Leth to make five remakes of this film, but each time von Trier put forward obstructions, constraining Leth to re-think the story and the characters of the original film. Playing the naive anthropologist, Leth attempts to embrace the cunning challenges set forth by the devious and sneaky von Trier.(via Dirty)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Domestic Life in Palestine

Mary Eliza Rogers' Domestic Life in Palestine contributes significantly to a distinctive tradition of British women's travel writing about the Middle East, a tradition begun by Mary Wortley Montagu, Elizabeth Craven, and Hester Stanhope. Residence in Palestine during the Crimean War provided access for Rogers to a world of empowerment closed to her in England, where she was constrained by the conventions of what I refer to as "The British Harem." I am particularly interested in the ways in which Rogers constructs herself as imperial through representations of her honorary male status, and her "conquest"' of Arabs and "Oriental" territories in her interactions with Arab and Turkish men and women in the Middle East.
For Rogers, the Middle East provided a discursive site fraught with ironic possibilities, since the Orient was a space historically regarded by Eurocentric "Imperial eyes," via the trope of the Oriental harem, as a locus of women's enslavement. As a Victorian woman, Rogers experienced a tremendous sense of liberation through her travels. In contemplating women in Palestine, particularly Muslim women secluded in traditional harems, however, she consistently rejected identification with local women. Women's dress and manners, Eastern and Western, become the focus of significant portions of the description in her text, figuring Rogers, the British woman observer, as educated and civilized, active and superior. In other words, Rogers' status as a foreign British women empowered her to act in ways usually gendered male. At the same time, Rogers tended to assign the local Palestinian woman a relatively uneducated and childlike role similar to that of the Victorian angel on the hearth. Rogers herself preferred to be outside playing empire with the men. In order to reconcile her roles of domestic observer and honorary imperial male, Rogers constructed herself as a gentle and nurturing ruler, a figuration similar to the British imperial construction of Queen Victoria herself.
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Read this document on Scribd: Domestic Life in Palestine3

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Creeper in Israel

Blues Harmonica legend James Cotton plays Tel Aviv and Hertzeliya
Thursday Sept 4th and Friday 5th at Zappa Tel Aviv - two show per night
Saturday Sept 6th at Zappa Hertzeliya - two shows
James Cotton and his band Superharp are in Israel this weekend,
this is one of the last of the Blues Harmonica legends still alive,
James Cotton had some mighty big shoes to fill when he replaced Muddy Water's harmonica player, Little Walter, in 1954. Having learned how to wail from none other than Sonny Boy Williamson himself, Cotton was well prepared, and over the next 12 years, he played an integral role in Muddy Water's music as well as the Chicago blues scene in general. By 1966, he was prepared to make it on his own and formed the James Cotton Blues Band, (read more...)