Archives May 2004

The real test

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Maimonides’ discussion of the laws of the sotah, a married woman suspected of idolatry, starts as follows (MT Hilkhot Sotah 1:1): “The jealousy that the Torah speaks of, ‘and he became jealous of his wife,’ is when he says to her before witnesses ‘do not seclude yourself with so-and-so’…”

Oddly, the first Torah ...

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Duh!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

“So have you found something to blog about the parsha yet?”

“Well, I have a kashe, but no teretz.”

“What’s the kashe?

“The text reminds us of Nadav and Avihu getting toasted (Numbers 3:4), and right after that (3:11–4:20) it goes on about all the special duties of the ...

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The pink and blue highlighters in your brain

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Why would so many people sacrifice money, effort, and social respectability, even risking their lives, defying rules that society has laid down for members of their sex…so they can follow rules that society has laid down for members of the other sex? I mean, if you’re going to get yourself in trouble with the Gender ...

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The worst punishment

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In this week’s parsha, we have the tochachah, the list of punishments for persistently refusing to follow God. This list does not only include physical and spiritual pain, but also emotional pain:

For those of you who are left, I will put fear in your hearts, while you are in your enemies’ homelands, and you ...

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Priorities, priorities

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Excerpt from an article in today’s Boston Globe:

Interrogation rules issued last year in Iraq are “not humane,” a ranking defense official conceded yesterday, and a top general told senators that they may violate the Geneva Conventions on proper handling of military detainees.

[A memorandum by the senior American commander in Iraq] listed ...

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An analogy you don’t see every day

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Ryan Lizza on the most unpopular job in the Bush Administration:

…the White House counterterrorism job is the bureaucratic equivalent of the drummer in Spinal Tap. Bush has now gone through five [er, six] of them since 9/11. (Clinton had one.) Like Spinal Tap’s drummers, who often choked on their own vomit or spontaneously ...

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Eeeeeeeeeeewe!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A week and a half ago, we went to Gore Place to look at the animals, and we got to see a lamb being born. Fortunately, I brought my camera.

Warning: some readers, especially readers who have never seen a mammal give birth before, may find the following pictures disturbing.

Another newborn lamb was in ...

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URFUBAR, part II

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

To continue with yesterday’s saga of the dain-bramaged Java library API:

It turns out that someURI = new URI, null) does not, after all, convert URLs to URIs appropriately: when the path information gets converted to and then from a string, special characters get double-escaped. The proper incantation, it turns out, is someURI = URI ...

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URFUBAR

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

We interrupt your regular stream of snarky political commentary with some snarky programming commentary.

I’m trying to write Java code that can locate a directory somewhere on the run-time classpath, and then iterate through the files in that directory. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:

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Score one for Hillary

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A running theme through the testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday is the assurance, by Rumsfeld and his colleagues, that the military justice system is working on the torture issue. They use this assurance to give themselves political cover in two ways. First, they say that the wheels of justice have been ...

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