How Do You Jew An educational, informational, conversational blog and (someday) podcast about Judaism, Jewish practices, customs, and rituals, Israel, and whatever else we decide to talk about.

December 20, 2007

It-could-be-worse news from Israel

Filed under: funny,Israel,random,technology,travel — howdoyoujew @ 16:28

But seriously, folks, why, in 2007, are there not native English-speakers looking at this stuff?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel’s national passport office could have done with a good spellchecker.

First it stamped “Ministry of the Intrerior” in English in new batches of passports. Then it advised Israelis of the misspelling in a jumbled newspaper advertisement Thursday that only compounded the mistake.

“Due to a technical error in some of the Ministry’s stampsthe document you received may have been stampedwith an flawed stamp,” the Interior Ministry said in a notice in the English-language Jerusalem Post.

The newspaper said its advertising department was responsible for mistakes in the ministry’s ad, which urged people with the faulty passports to apply for new documents.

Give away something you don’t need

Filed under: environment,Good News,Life Online,technology,tikkun olam,tzedakah — howdoyoujew @ 15:16

If you get a new cellphone this holiday season, why not donate your old one to Secure the Call Foundation? They’ll pay for shipping your old phone to them and turn it into a 911-only emergency phone for people in need. Simple and effective way to 1) help someone in need and 2) keep old but functional cellphones from ending up in a landfill.

Equal Time #12

Filed under: entertainment,fun,funny,Jewish holidays,music — howdoyoujew @ 12:48

A(wesome)-capella:

December 19, 2007

Coincidence? Perhaps…

Filed under: entertainment,fun,humor,Life Online,sci-fi,technology,television,video — howdoyoujew @ 22:59

1. At a party over the weekend, I met Mark Christopher Lawrence, a prolific actor who’s currently appearing in NBC’s prime-time hit Chuck. I don’t usually drop names, but then, I don’t usually run into successful actors, either.

I’d never watched Chuck, mostly because I haven’t been watching much TV at all, but I’d heard of it and liked the concept, and…

2. The next day, I got in on the private beta of Hulu.com, the video on demand site backed by NBC and Fox. Conveniently enough, Chuck is one of the shows available pretty much in its entirety on Hulu, so I checked out the pilot, and liked it enough that I’m now totally into the show. I’ve watched the first 4 episodes, and I’ll catch up on the rest before the writers’ strike ends.

I love it when a plan comes together.

By the way, did I mention that some of the other shows available on Hulu are The A-Team, Airwolf, Emergency!, and Battlestar Galactica (both incarnations, thank you!)? It’s like a little TV playground created just for me and all my raised-on-cheesy-80s-television brethren and sistern. Yay!

December 18, 2007

Baby steps

Filed under: Commentary,entertainment,fun,Life Online,Podcasting,technology — howdoyoujew @ 17:29

No, not Hadarya’s.. she’s way beyond that. In terms of podcasting, I’m still a fetus. But I think I’m approaching my delivery date. Consider this a swift kick: my inspiration for getting myself into this beautiful mess, Adam Curry, played my audio comment on his last show (DSC #701, posted Dec. 17 at curry.com). My comment begins at about 29:24 and it is decidedly NOT family friendly (specifically my comment about the TSA and Adam’s misadventures traveling into and out of his own country. Of course, I think his show is awesome to listen to the vast majority of the time, and you should give it a try. But it’s fun hearing people you know talk to celebrities on a massively popular show, isn’t it?

I find your lack of attribution disturbing

Filed under: Art,Commentary,entertainment,history,movies,sci-fi,technology — howdoyoujew @ 10:42

I was happy to catch this interview with Ridley Scott on NPR yesterday afternoon on the way home from work. Today is the release day for Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Scott’s latest (and allegedly last) reworking of his 1982 classic, so he talked to Michelle Norris about the movie and his inspirations for it. I was extremely disappointed that he never mentioned the source material, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, or its author, sci-fi master Philip K. Dick. I actually haven’t read that novel (I have a few PKD volumes at home, I have to check if it’s in any of them), so I don’t know how much of the visualization of 2019 LA is in it, but I would have expected Scott to at least give credit where it was due. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to revisiting the movie and seeing how it holds up.

One good anecdote from the interview: Norris asked about the point that Deckard (Harrison Ford’s character) was originally supposed to wear a hat, probably a fedora, in Blade Runner, and why he ended up without it. Scott said that when he first met Ford for the Blade Runner project, Ford came directly from a late shooting day on Raiders of the Lost Ark, still wearing the full Indiana Jones regalia. Knowing Ford would be sporting the wide-brimmed hat in that movie, Scott dispensed with it in his film. Good choice. The gumshoe effect in Blade Runner is still pronounced, without being overdone.

December 17, 2007

The law of averages

It’s just a fact. When you make something like 800 over 1,000 movies a year, they’re not all going to be classics. And when you make music videos from the songs in some of those movies, some of them are going to be so laughably bad that they’ll provide untold oodles of entertainment (“untold oodles”? Is that even a quantifiable amount?). Thanks to Matthew Rebecca from sporky.net, whose husband, Matthew, provided me with the delightfully random NaBloPoMo badge you see at top of the sidebar now, I just grooved to Ganpat. As Matthew Rebecca put it,

It’s nice to know we’re not the only country embracing stupidity.

Amen.

Matthew Rebecca himherself was turned on this work of art by NPR).

edited to fix the entry based on new information (see Rebecca’s comment below).

Can you tell it’s a slow work day?

Filed under: Commentary,fun,funny,Good News,News,Politics,productivity — howdoyoujew @ 12:37

Best news about Ann Coulter so far today (hey, the day is young, she could still get run over by a truck, which would eclipse this story):

direct lift from the Subversive Cross Stitch blog:

Seems that some truly subversive and possibly off-balance soul hand-delivered a card to Ms. Coulter’s mailbox in Florida and, according to police reports obtained by The Smoking Gun, the card they chose to express themselves with was our very own “Go Fuck Yourself” card from the set by Chronicle!

I love the NY Magazine piece’s title: But Ann Coulter Always Seemed So Nice! Bwahahahahaha!

edited to add: I looked at the police report at TSG, and was delighted to see the evidence photo showing the “two words unclear” on the inside of the card mentioned by the cop. “They” are easily (to me) discernible as the single word “solipsistic” (adj., one who holds that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extremely egocentric). It gives me hope and cheer to know that someone with the kind of vocabulary it takes to use “solipsistic” correctly in a sentence took the time to compose this card to Ms. Coulter and hand-deliver it. Thank you, my friend, and Merry Christmas to you!

Equal time, again: Christmas in Fallujah (x2)

My first concert was Billy Joel on (I think) The Bridge tour, so I’ve been a fan for a long time. I went to that concert with my mom, who’s also a big fan. She was kind enough to point me to Billy’s latest social commentary tune (following up on, just off the top of my head, Goodnight Saigon, Allentown, We Didn’t Start the Fire, The Downeaster Alexa, and others; videos of all these and more available here), Christmas in Fallujah (buy from iTunes). Here’s Billy introducing the song and the singer (Cass Dillon does the vocals), and here’s the performance itself.

The first comment on the Youtube page for the introduction references another song by the same name, released over two years ago by a different, independent artist named Jefferson Pepper. THAT youtube now comments on the Billy Joel track, and, while it’s easy to understand why it didn’t attract mainstream attention, it’s worth listening to/viewing. You can also download the song here (a couple more of his songs may be heard here).

Post-Chanukah good news reporting

Filed under: Family,Good News,Jewish holidays,News,religion — howdoyoujew @ 11:14

Thanks to Joel for passing this along:

Arkansas Menorah in the Baghdad Palace

Celebrating Chanukah 2007 in Saddam Hussein’s Republican Palace, who would think? Yet tonight inside a marble encrusted hall in Baghdad, we lit the eighth light of a hand-made, 6-foot tall menorah. We prayed in Hebrew, joyfully sang a medley of Chanukah songs, ate latkes, and best of all, we were Jews together in the land of our earliest forefathers.

Read the rest…

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