Archives July 2004

In defense of the picky single

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Shabbat following Tisha b’Av, “Shabbat Nachamu,” is a popular day for holding that peculiar Orthodox Jewish institution, the singles shabbaton. Leaders of the Orthodox community are very concerned that single Jews get married. One way they demonstrate this concern is by organizing these events for singles. Another way is by wringing their hands ...

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“I love it when a plan comes together”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Isn’t it convenient for the Pakistani government that they could announce the arrest of a man on the FBI’s most-wanted-terrorist list just in time for John Kerry’s acceptance speech, following the schedule that the Bush Administration has allegedly demanded?

And isn’t it convenient for Osama bin Laden that the man they arrested is a ...

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Shoot me now

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Excerpt from a page on BEA’s Web site introducing WSRP, the chic new standard being underwritten by BEA, IBM, Oracle, SAP, and Sun, all of whom have vested interests in making computer programming as complicated as humanly possible:

User-facing web services, or presentation oriented web services, provide both application logic and presentation logic. Standard web ...

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Fighting the last war

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

When the leaders of Reuven and Gad approached Moses with their audacious plan to not cross the Jordan River, Moses accused them: “This is what your parents did, when I sent them to Kadesh Barnea to scout the land: They went to the wadi of Eshkol, scouted the land, and demoralized the Israelites, until they ...

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System.out.println(“Open magic toolbox”);

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Suppose you’re writing a Java application that reads information from an XML file, using SAX to parse it, and you want to dispatch to different methods in your Java code based on the names of elements the parser is encountering. That is, you have one method that you want to execute when the parser reads ...

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The desirable ones

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Before the story of Tzelophchad’s daughters is even told, their names are listed, in Numbers 26:33. The list appears again, in 27:1, before they ask their question to Moses about their inheritance, and a third time, in 36:11, in conjunction with the law requiring them to marry within their tribe. The laws ...

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Do not tease or annoy the mundanes

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Science Museum is putting on an exhibition tied to The Lord of the Rings movies. The front page of the exhibit’s brochure-site warns: “…for the safety and comfort of all visitors, no weaponry associated with the films’ characters will be allowed in the exhibition.”

Does this mean that you can’t bring your Ring ...

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B is for Beauty

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

It’s not easy being beautiful. Even if you were blessed with the right parents (sparing you the expense of the right plastic surgeon), preserving one’s looks takes the constant effort of diet and exercise, and maximizing their effect requires careful investment in clothes, hair products, and cosmetics. And after all that, if you show your ...

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How to understand gay-marriage opposition

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Imagine if, back when desegregation was the controversy of the day, someone had proposed: “Let’s compromise. Let’s let the black kids into our schools, with all the duties and privileges of the white students, and give them diplomas that give them exactly the same legal recognition as the white graduates’ diplomas … but don’t call them ...

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A is for Anonymous

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

[A few years ago, on my old static Web site, I started a series of essays describing political systems of imaginary countries. I’m revising those old essays and posting them here, and God willing, I’ll continue the series in the weeks and months to come.]


In the United Nations Statistical Handbook, the entry for Vespucci ...

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