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Jonathan

[ website | Jonathan's Little Corner of the Web ]
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Gratuitous icon post [03 Mar 2005|08:13pm]
A new icon, based on an image from www.e-daf.com

for use on the dafyomi community
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Seven Degrees of Livejournal [10 Feb 2005|05:55pm]
gakked from mamadeb

Go to your info page and find the seventh name listed on your friends list. Go to their info page.
Find the seventh name on their friends list. Repeat until you are seven LJs from your own. (If you come across someone who doesn't have seven friends or the seventh friend is a journal you have already visited on this trip, randomly pick another name and continue).

Now, use the info page and recent entries of that 7th LJ to answer the following questions:
1)What is the title of this journal (NOT the user name)?
2)How many communities does this person belong to?
3)List any interests you share in common with this user.
4)List any friends you have in common with this user.
5)Where does this user live?
6)What is the seventh sentence in this user's most recent journal entry?
7)What is the first sentence in this user's seventh most recent journal entry?

Paste these instructions and your answers in your own journal.
memeCollapse )
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Tgiv Quiz - wye knott? [24 Nov 2004|12:10pm]
[ mood | content ]

Tnx to marykaykare



You Are Mashed Potatoes




Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

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qu'est-que c'est? un quiz. [04 Oct 2004|04:20pm]
[ mood | relaxed ]

Snarfed from kradical:

You're a Classic Cup 'O' Joe.
You're a Classic Cup 'O' Joe!


What Kind of Coffee are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

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Halacha in the Mainstream Press [17 Aug 2004|05:27pm]
Lately, several halachic issues that have roiled the Orthodox world have made their way into the New York Times and other news outlets, such as copepods in the NYC water supply, and Indian-hair wigs. Both of these are currently unresolved.

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article in the Marketplace section on Web-commerce and Shabbat. Apparently, R' Moshe Heinemann of Baltimore's Star-K kashrut certification agency had ruled that Websites should close their e-commerce sections on Shabbat, following a Minchas Yitzchak on Jewish-owned vending machines. This was published in the Winter 2004 Kashrus Kurrents. There ensued a flurry of letters from Web-based businesses requesting clarification, along with corrections of R' Heinemann's understanding of the mechanics of credit charges on weekends. R' Heinemann subsequently partially retracted his ruling, holding in the end that:

a) Shabbat e-commerce is OK, because banks won't process credit transactions over the weekend, they will hold until Monday;

b) Yom Tov that falls on a weekday, the website owner should queue the transactions for later processing. The credit-card processing companies say this is easily done - authorizing the card, but not processing the charge until a "back-end" person triggers it.

All's well that ends well, and we aren't made out to be nutty legalists or paranoid zealots, which is nice.
2 comments|post comment

[08 Aug 2004|06:56pm]
[ mood | content ]

I am a member of 3 cliques of size 6




Find the largest clique containing:

(Enter your livejournal username here).


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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 2 Ag 04 [03 Aug 2004|05:50pm]
I’ve been watching “The Daily” since it started, and I haven’t seen Jon rip into a conservative (guest Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-Texas) since he debunked Ann Coulter on the air.

They started out chummy enough. Bonilla, not being familiar with the show, took the time to look into it before appearing, and presented Jon with a pair of tiny cowboy boots for his new baby. Jon: “They’ll go so well with his tiny gun…really, things that a Jewish baby will not likely be into.”

They got into the meat of the interview, Jon grilling Bonilla on his participation in the Rapid Response Team during the Democratic National Convention. Bonilla claimed it was necessary so as to present the Truth. “We just want people to stand up and say who they are. If they’re Liberal, they should just say so”

Stewart: “the question is, how do you define who’s liberal. There was this recent rating that showed Edwards to be the most liberal, and Edwards the fourth most liberal senators. How did they decide that?”

Bonilla: there are different ratings …

Stewart: I’m a stupid man, explain it to me

Bonilla: Bills come before the senate, and are passed into laws…

Stewart: I’m not retarded.

Bonilla: different groups rate legislators according to different categories – the gun lobby, abortion advocates, etc.

Stewart: But who decided this first-most-liberal and fourth-most-liberal?

Back and forth a few times, Bonilla hemming about different ratings groups, Stewart asking specifically who decided this. By this time I’m shouting at the screen “National Journal! National Journal!” After the 4th go-round, Jon finally says “the National Journal came up with these ratings”. He then asks again what the Rapid Response Team is supposed to do.

Bonilla: Let people know the truth

Stewart: I don’t think so. Maybe your side.

Then some awkward drifting off to the end.
He showed Bonilla to be a blowhard who didn’t even understand what he was talking about – how could he represent the Truth to the American people?

* * *

I have to think this is his response to his interchange with Ched Choppel on Pightline during the Convention week. He basically accused Koppel and the other anchors of not doing enough to test their interviewees’ opinions. See this interview on Nightline.

He did the hard-hitting news interview that he feels those with “credibility and gravitas” should give us. He may not realize it, but he does have more and more of that credibility and gravitas, as he interviews more and more politicians and media figures, and pushes them to say what they really think.
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We are all midgets on his shoulders.... [18 Jul 2004|12:22am]
The man who sold the moon
You belong in The Man Who Sold The Moon. You are a
dreamer. People don't understand you your
calling, and often get in your way. Frontiers
call to you, and you will breathe your last
breath as you gaze back from a distant horizon.


Which Heinlein Book Should You Have Been A Character In?
brought to you by Quizilla
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Lecture on Time of Creation by G. Schroeder [07 May 2004|04:20pm]
Lecture by Prof. Gerald Schroeder, formerly of MIT, now in Israel, on

Creation: Six Days, 15 Billion Years, or Both?

Thursday, 5 May 2004, Young Israel of Midwood

Read more...Collapse )
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Memories... [26 Apr 2004|06:51pm]
Gacked from mamadeb:

Post a memory of me in the comments. It can be anything you want. Then, of course, post this to your journal and see what people remember of you.
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Page 23 [11 Apr 2004|08:43am]
Gacked from zsero who got it from ailsaek.

Grab the nearest book. Find the 5th sentence on page 23. Append it to the paragraph below. Append your name to the list below of people who have contributed to the paragraph. Post the result to your LJ.

They also talk of our being guilty of injustice, and their being the victims of an unjustifiable war. Brandy, and Tom got increasingly close-mouthed and sour. Although a certain sense of tripartite society survived down to Christian times, the three classes described in the Eddic poem "Rigdthula" bear little resemblance to Dumezil's three. It is often argued, and still oftener thought, that none but bad men would desire to weaken these salutary beliefs; and there can be nothing wrong,it is thought, in restraining bad men, and prohibiting what only such men would wish to practice. At its nearest point the wall was little more than one league from the City, and that was south-eastward. When he saw Jack Hare jump towards the fire, and the Practical Man brandishing the toasting-fork, Sir Isaac grabbed the strings of gravitational force that bound Jack to his destiny and PULLED --- That's a seventy-four gun privateer, besides. To honour a group of British nobles, treacherously slain at a conference by Hengist's guards, Aurelius decides to erect a great monument near Amesbury. That being so, he did not chortle when he went upstairs. Let stand. This ensures that when the garbage collector runs, it has complete access to the memory in the heap and can perform its tasks safely without the threat of being preempted by another thread. And then you may begin to laugh. The data are stored in Column 1 and renamed "Age." Pull your hand back. I don't remember that any secrets were revealed to me, nor do I remember any avid curiosity on my part to learn something I wasn't supposed to--perhaps I was too young to know what to listen for. You don't remember how awful it is being normal. Niether of these obstacles -- religion or aristocratic control impeded popular culture for very long in America. Only the gray folk, the creatures with no alliance to either court were permitted to pass back and forth through the barriers at will. Look at your neighbors' gardens and make a field trip to a local rose-display garden, taking note of those roses that seem to be doing the best under growing conditions similar to those of your own garden. The long, meticulously exact final sharing-out of the gains from the privateering side of the voyage had taken all morning, as grave as a high court, under the supervision of all commissioned officers, all warrant officers, and representatives of the four parts of the ship. The alleged son of the GRA testified that his father, had he only the strength to do so, would travel all over Europe exhorting Jews everywhere not to delay "entering beneath the wings of these wondrous [hasidim]."

1) Ranger Rick - 2) Rialian - 3) Elenbarathi - 4) Starsandfishes - 5) Echthros - 6) Doltaghey - 7) Ebonhost - 8) Tibicina - 9) Browngirl - 10) ceo - 11) roozle - 12) quietann - 13) Dale (achinhibitor) - 14) tigerbright - 15) autographedcat - 16) andpuff - 17) folkmew - 18) ailsaek - 19) zsero - 20) jonbaker
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What aren't we hearing about in the Sunday Talking Head Shows? [22 Jul 2003|03:56pm]
Disturbing doings in CongressCollapse )
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everyone else does quizzes... [04 Feb 2003|06:03pm]
Taken from gnomi (how do I get it to recognize that this is an LJ user?)


What Sort of Hat Are You? I am a Fedora.I am a Fedora.


The hat of the adventurous, I am spontaneous and active, perhaps sometimes a little foolishly. Regardless, I always come out alright. What Sort of Hat Are You?


Which is kinda odd - the fedora in my neck of the woods (Midwood, Brooklyn, NY) is a sign of conformity with the area's dominant religious model (yeshivish Orthodox), rather than any kind of free-spiritedness or adventurousness.

The Top-Hat, I'll take.
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Ghost Streets [15 Jan 2003|11:47am]
There are a number of ghost streets in Brooklyn, which was incorporated out of a lot
of small towns and villages a bit over 100 years ago.

"New Utrecht Avenue" runs through Borough Park and Bensonhurst, which seems to have been built to contain an elevated railroad (the W train today). More or less parallel to it, and several blocks east, there are traces of "Old New Utrecht Road". A few blocks of it exist, and there are other properties that clearly used to border it, because they have strange diagonal sides. There was a short row of 3 houses that were knocked down and replaced recently, at the intersection of 16th Ave and 43rd St., which had fronted on Old New Utrecht Road. They had been diagonal to the grid, and set back somewhat from the corner, such that there was a triangle of open space in front of them. One could see (although not any more) the diagonal backs of buildings on adjoining blocks that followed the same line as the vanished street.

See http://www.forgotten-ny.com/Alleys/utrecht/utrecht.html for a fuller treatment.

In my neighborhood, today called Midwood, there are 3 or 4 parallel streets at an angle to the current street grid: Elm Ave, Roder Ave, Ryder Ave, Locust Ave, Cedar Ave., and more or less at right angles to them, Bay Ave. There's about 1/2 block of Bay Ave. extant, and more of it is visible in the property lines of buildings where it used to be. Cedar Ave. is disappearing - part of it is a parking lot, one block of street still exists. According to old maps, these were the streets of South Greenfield.

Railway lines can be traced, but with difficulty. For many years, there were two parallel, competing railroad lines running between East 15th and East 16th Streets, from Avenue H (the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch) to the Coney Island beach. In 1924, the line owned by the LIRR was torn up, and the land sold off for housing. But at each street crossing (the lines were are on an embankment), there is still a pair of double-length abutments, showing where the old line used to be supported, even though houses now fill in the space where the old line had been.

Broadway, in Manhattan, probably would have been such a street, and Thomas Randel, the designer of the Manhattan street grid, wanted to get rid of it, but as it developed, Broadway remains, twisting across the city.
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Mendelssohn and the Biur [28 Dec 2002|11:30pm]
I recently attended a lecture on Moses Mendelssohn and his translation/commentary on the Torah. I summarized it for another list, and thought I'd post a pointer to the summary here. The basic idea is that Mendelssohn composed his translation for a variety of reasons, for which he was rightly and wrongly criticized.

http://www.panix.com/~jjbaker/biur.html
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Thoughts on Princeton 1987's Fifteenth Reunion [02 Jun 2002|11:21pm]
Why do we do this every five years? Is it just to recapture lost youth, or does it serve its own purpose? If all we wanted was to recapture our youth, we'd come down when school is in session, sit in on a few classes, hang at the club, get to know some undergrads -- in short, pretend to be what we used to be. Education is wasted on the young, they say, so now that we appreciate what we had, we could go back and do it again.

That's all very well if we want the educational experience - and many do go back for a second bachelor's, a career change. Even as a social experience, though, the reunion does capture some of the sense of end-of-term lassitude, wandering the campus aimlessly, chatting with friends who we're not going to see again for a very long time, trying to hold onto some of what we have shared the past four years. But there is always the jarring note, that we are only guests here, that our time has come and gone, that the layout of the campus continues to change, jarring our perceptions out of the desired illusion.

So why do we come back? The reasons change, but they develop and grow with time.

The fifth works for the "lost-youth" model - because school is in memory yet green, we've been coming back for the intervening years, we still have our friends, often we've been coming down for major social events during the school year, so we get to know some of the later undergrads.

The tenth, well, we're really getting established in life, many of us are married, starting to have kids, finding our place in work and community and faith. I went around having a hundred superficial "where are you, what do you do, are you married?" catch-up talks, hoping for, and finding, the three or four really serious talks with old friends, friends with whom we may not have stayed in direct contact, talking about where we are and where we're going. The eating club has changed personality, the old social link that you thought would tie you to campus social life forever is severed. The professors are still there, and the buildings. You wonder if reuning is worth it, just for those few talks.

The fifteenth, well, it continues to happen, but more so. Many things are becoming clearer. The reunion works on its own terms. The college tie is lessening - it has become nostalgia, rather than focal point of desire. We are more and more settled in life, with more and more experience of life in the real world - kids, job, church/synagogue. Fifteen years is a long time, longer than any previous experience - even if we stayed in the same school from elementary through high school, that's still 12-14 years.

But the conversations become more intense, as we realize that these people really care about us, and we care about them, even if we don't see each other but once in five years. We resolve to stay in closer touch. And we'll see what happens. The point of the reunion has really become the conversation, the ongoing development of life, based in our common college experience. The college itself is more an accessory to the reunion experience, a locus of interaction. The band becomes less relevant, as we drift off to sleep earlier and earlier. And we discover we aren't alone any more.

Right after school, everyone is ambitious, going to law school, med school, business school, getting ready to make the big mark on the world. And sure enough, some do make the big mark, founding Ebay (Meg Whitman '77), Amazon (Jeff Bezos '86), continuing a life in acting (Brooke Shields '87). But the famous ones don't come back for reunions.

Who comes back? We do. People who are increasingly either content in life, or who realize that contentment need not correspond to tremendous success. "Who is wealthy? He who is content with his lot." (Chapters of First Principles). We are the lawyers, the doctors, the businessmen, the programmers and web designers and editors. But first and foremost we are people, with families and communities. We are social animals. Not in the Darwinian sense, but in the sense of needing to be with people. "Life is with people." I am not the only one who finds his success coming outside the work world - in the family, in the synagogue, in the church, in community advocacy and support work. Realizing that others are in the same place is tremendously validating, especially when one doesn't always value oneself, perhaps because of unreal or outdated expectations.

And we need to support each other in this realization. As we grow out of the old mold of work success as the only road to success, we need to see each other grow in the larger world, to know that we are becoming whole, that there are many roads to Oz.

It's not the music - that we can get on the radio or the CD player.
It's not the youth culture - that we can never get back.
It's not just seeing old faces, feeling nostalgic - it's more than that.

It's growing together, realizing that as a community of sharers of a formative experience, we can help each other grow into the best we can possibly be - whole people with whole, happy lives.

Jonathan Baker '87

jjbaker@panix.com
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