Archives April 2009

“The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I would feel better about the Boston Globe’s journalistic integrity if the Massachusetts congressional delegation had told the Globe’s corporate masters “please, shut down that newspaper, it’s a blight on society”.

Beyond recycling

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

One of my pet peeves is hair-shirt environmentalism.

Since (at least) the 1960s, whenever policy-makers propose some change in environmental law (to reduce air pollution, to increase fuel efficiency, to retard global warming), a parade of grim corporate lobbyists descend on Washington to warn that if this law is passed, prices of essential goods will ...

Continue reading

Prithee heed this public service announcement

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

O ye celebrants of Talk Like Shakespeare Day, commit not murder most foul against the Queen’s English, and remember the following oft-neglected points:

  1. Contrary to that Web site’s counsel, “thou” is the pronoun for the singular second-person nominative case (“Thou art a fool”) and “thee” is the objective case (“She hath made a fool of ...

Continue reading

Can you serve humanity on your kosher china?

Last update on Dec. 17, 2014.

Every once in a while, I am in a conversation where an obscure issue of kashrut comes up. I refer to the delicacy that our earliest rabbis refer to (when they must) as basar me-holchei shtayim, “biped meat”. At first glance, this seems like a simple question to answer, because as we read last Shabbat ...

Continue reading

马 word!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

This NYT article was, alas, written as a human-interest story, rather than as a geek-interest story. The author explains that the new identity cards issued by China’s Public Security Bureau are rejecting many citizens’ names because of their “obscure” characters because “[t]he bureau’s computers… are programmed to read only 32,252 of ...

Continue reading

Don’t let the sun come up on me

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A classic paranormal romance ends with the following dialogue:

Dracula
There is one small disadvantage. We can only live by night.
Cindy
Oh, that's all right with me. I mean, I could never really get my shit together till 7:00, anyway.

Contrast this snippet of narration from a recent novel:

I don’t fry ...

Continue reading

Middle matzah mystery

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

It’s a good sign when your son asks you a question at the Seder that you need to go all the way to the Mishnah Berurah to answer.

The question: why do we break the middle matzah?

The answer (MB 473:57): “…because the blessing on the [mitzvah of the] eating of matzah principally applies ...

Continue reading

Facebook needs better tech writers

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Message box: 'Search is currently unavailable. Try again at a later time or right now.'

Mazel tov!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

As a resident of Massachusetts, I am proud to welcome the state of Iowa into the Equal Protection Under The Law Club. This is a rather exclusive club right now, but I have every reason to expect that over the next decade, it will become less so. Furthermore, since Iowa, unlike California, has a sober ...

Continue reading

Now we see the violence inherent in the system

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Anatole France was famous for remarking that “the law in its infinite majesty forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread”. Twenty-first-century capitalism does M. France one better: we break up the homeless encampments with truncheon-wielding police while letting the rich host ...

Continue reading

Daily archives

Previous month

March 2009

Next month

May 2009

Archives