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Showing posts from November, 2005

Wednesday Night Roundup

Here is what we placed up for your pleasure. Should Autopsy Photos Be Made Public One Large Bug Alzheimers May be Related To Diabetes Desperate for Attention And as a sidenote two posts from Tuesday that are still drawing a lot of interest and one that no one responded to. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Parents- List Your Child's Most Irritating Toy/Show The Politcs of Muhammad Ali

Should Autopsy Photos Be Made Public

Yahoo! has an interesting story about autopsy photos. I want to share a couple sections with you. "COLUMBUS, Ohio - Connie Ayres lost her 16-year-old daughter in a car crash in 1996. The next year she learned that a county morgue was using the autopsy photos in a slide show to help fight drunken driving. Ayres' outrage helped lead to restrictions last year on the display of autopsy photos in Michigan — one of at least 10 states to enact laws in recent years to prohibit coroners from releasing pictures or other death records to the public. The slides of Ayres' daughter were shown as part of court-ordered morgue tours for people convicted of drug- or alcohol-related offenses. "I felt like the government has no right to use my daughter as an administrative tool, as a tool for punishment," the Michigan woman said." This sounds like it could be a slamdunk, after all who would want to upset the survivors. Why would it be necessary to make the photos pub

One Large Bug

Be happy that you don't encounter anything this big outside of the movies. I wear a size 12 boot but this is a little bit too large to just squash. "LONDON - A scientist in Scotland has discovered tracks made by a huge water scorpion 330 million years ago, the first of the species ever discovered and the only evidence showing it could survive outside of the water, according to the journal Nature's edition to be published Thursday. Martin Whyte, a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, discovered the fossil of a hibbertopteroid — a type of scorpion — in Scotland's Midland Valley. "There has been in the past discussion centering around hibbertopteroid gills, feeding structures and limb strengths and whether or not these animals could come out of the water. Here at last is independent evidence that they could," he told The Associated Press. According to Whyte's analysis of the fossil, the creature was a six-legged wat

Alzheimers May be Related To Diabetes

I found this story to be very interesting. "WEDNESDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Could Alzheimer's be a form of diabetes? That's the tantalizing suggestion from a new study that finds insulin production in the brain declines as Alzheimer's disease advances. "Insulin disappears early and dramatically in Alzheimer's disease," senior researcher Suzanne M. de la Monte, a neuropathologist at Rhode Island Hospital and a professor of pathology at Brown University Medical School, said in a prepared statement. "And many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer's, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling. This demonstrates that the disease is most likely a neuroendocrine disorder, or another type of diabetes," she added. The discovery that the brain produces insulin at all is a recent one, and de la Monte's group also found that brain insulin produced by pati

Desperate for Attention

Well it seems that my self-appointed number one fan is desperate for my attention. In between the time that I last posted about our correspondence I received 18 different emails from him. I feel so loved and appreciated that I thought that I needed to share some of the best material with you. Oh Jack, you poor little boychik. Calling a well known writer and speaker who you do not even know a "lunatic," I guess that is "not" a personal attack. Why don't you listen to your own rhetoric and learn what the mitzvot are all about? Your blog is a total waist of time. I spent a few minutes looking at it My dear friend I am ever so grateful for your regular and consistent correspondence. You keep telling me what a waste of time (should I mention that you used the wrong waist) reading my blog is. Apparently you have a lot of time or you find it far more compelling than you care to admit. Frankly, from what I have briefly read, you should be arrested for child abuse and

Parents- List Your Child's Most Irritating Toy/Show

Ok parents I have a post that is just for you. There are two parts to it. Most of our children have received at least one toy that we cannot stand. It may not have always been that way, but sooner or later there is one toy that you just cannot stand. The second part is tied into television shows. Children can watch the same show 17,987 consecutive times and not get bored. Scientists have proven that many of these same people grew up to watch and participate in The Rocky Horror Picture Show each week. On a side note, I have to make a separate post about this. In my case I would have to say that the toy that I grew to despise was a talking barbecue. It was loud and obnoxious and in the middle of the night it would suddenly turn on and scare the crap out of me. It is two am and all of a suddent there is a freaking barbecue yelling at me about not burning the hot dogs. It is a good thing that this thing didn't exist when I was in college or I can guarantee that it wou

From the News

Record year for hurricanes part of a natural cycle Natural climate conditions, not global warming, created the record-breaking 2005 tropical storm season, the nation's top hurricane experts said Tuesday. A Deadly Kiss Christina Desforges, a Canadian teenager allergic to peanuts actually lost her life after she stole a kiss with her boyfriend who had just consumed a peanut-based snack. The allergy that affects just over a percent of the population caused the 15-year old to go into anaphylactic shock despite an immediately administered adrenalin shot. The girl eventually died four days after the lethal kiss of respiratory failure. Berenstain Bears co-creator dead Stan Berenstain was 82In more than 200 books, the Berenstain Bears, written and illustrated by Stan and Jan Berenstain, helped children for 40 years cope with trips to the

Hate Mail

If you buy into the argument that there is no such thing as bad PR I suppose that you could make the argument that hate mail is a good thing for a blogger to receive. During the two weeks that I have been blogging I have posted somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 posts. Those 3000 posts generated 19.21 comments and led to the creation of 1,768,987 pieces of hatemail. If you say that each piece of hatemail contained roughly 125 words you can see that I could easily use those words and create a book the size of War and Peace. I should add that one of my fans told me that " I was a horuble writer and incapeable of writing War and Piece." I am rather disappointed that they disappeared because they made me smile. I briefly played around with the idea of writing a screenplay titled War and Piece. It was going to be the tale of this lady and this fellow. The lady had three daughters and the man had three sons and they had this crazy housekeeper. It was going to cover their li

The Politcs of Muhammad Ali

Daniel Pipes has a very interesting column about Muhammad Ali . I was rather disturbed by what Pipes wrote about Ali. In part I was disturbed because I have considered myself to be a fan of his and some of the things in the essay made me shake my head. Some of what I read was new to me and while I think that Pipes is well educated and informed I wonder about the veracity of these claims. They may be accurate or maybe they are not. If anyone can provide confirmation I would be interested. Here is an excerpt: "As he aged, Ali did become more devout, but in unfortunate directions. He declared himself against "the entire power structure" in America, which he declared was run by Zionists who "are really against the Islam religion." I surfed around and found some other comments that were attributed to him that were far more disturbing and aggressive in their tone. Anyway, if anyone knows anything more I am interested. P.S. I am well aware of the circumstan

Reader Feedback- She Thinks that I am a Boy Part 2

In part one of this series I regaled you with the interesting and informative email I received from a reader who has an obsession with yours truly. Now I present to you the newest remark. Jack Only a sick little boy like you would post someone's private email to you, although I am not offended at all nor surprised. You are very troubled and need some serious therapy. After looking at your blog briefly, I can only say that I am not surprised that you are such a loser in life. Why don't you post your mother's phone number so that I can call her. Lynne "Susan Gold"berg Boca Raton, Florida My dear Lynne "Susan Gold"berg I am ever so happy that you decided to reply to my post, but I must admit that I am sorely disappointed that you didn't do so by posting here. It is gratifying to see that you are so attracted to me that you cannot stay away, especially in light of the text that Bill provided from one of your dear Irwin. Surely you understand th

Reader Feedback- She Thinks that I am a Boy

I received an email yesterday that made me chuckle. I laughed because of the amazing insight this reader showed. It was profound and really clever. She was upset because of what I had to say about one of her favorite writers, Irwin Graulich. Graulich you may recall provided the reason why some single Jewish women are single. Check out this nugget. " In fact, attention all single women who want to marry. Do you know why you wonderful ladies are still alone most nights? Because, in general today, the idea of dating a conservative, God forbid Republican male, is the equivalent of dating a chimpanzee! " And here is the amazing commentary from my new friend Susan. Dear Jack Dear Jack I happened to come across your blog and was especially interested in what you had to say about one of my favorite writers, Irwin Graulich, who wrote an article about Jews and Christmas. All I can say is that I would bet a fair amount of money that you are not married. Your foolishn

Will They Know Me- I Am Going To Die

Among thinking people there is a fundamental question that is asked about our place in the world. Who are we? What are we doing here? What does it all mean? How can I be a parent? Will my children ever really know me as my friends do or are they destined to see me as nothing but their parent. Ok, that is more than one question but it hits on a central theme of who am I and why am I here. I don't spend much time wondering why I am here. I am. I live and I breathe and while I walk the earth I might as well enjoy myself. For me one of the tougher questions is tied into my children. I sometimes wonder how they will see me. By the time that they are old enough to really start asking these questions on a deeper level I will most likely be in my fifties. What kind of man will they see? I won't look like I do now. In my mind's eye I see that 19 year-old boy who wore a flat top and had a rock hard body that was chiseled and solid courtesy of hours spent swimming and lifting we

Life is a Journey

This evening my son and I sat down as is our custom and spent some time discussing his day. I like to hear what he has to say about the world he lives in. I want to know his thoughts, understand his concerns and take care of of his fears. His opening question was "did you win?" He asked because I had just returned from the gym where I had spent a couple of hours playing basketball. In some respects it wasn't much of a question as it was really more of a statement. He still thinks that I am bigger, badder, better and stronger than anyone. It is kind of an empowering feeling. It really makes me feel good. I want to enjoy this moment for as long as I can because one day he will realize that I am just a man. That is ok, but we can wait. I also am trying to impress upon him that exercise is always going to be important. Exercise your mind and your body or you could win this award . He pressed me about the gym so I told him that my team won. For that matter we won six

Brand Awareness

Adweek by way of Yahoo reports the following : "Hershey's is the most powerful brand among U.S. consumers ages 13-49, followed by M&M's, Reeses and Oreo. Is it any wonder, then, that Atkins was the least-liked among 1,079 brands surveyed, according to "BrandPower," a new study conducted by Genius Insight, New York. "Dieting does not have positive connotations—it's about sacrifice," said Paul Jenkins, partner, Genius Insights. "What's not to like about candy? At the end of the day, it's comforting." The "BrandPower" survey, now in its sixth year, contacted some 2,900 people online over the course of six months, ending Nov. 15, and asked them to rank brands based on likability and awareness, respectively. It then averaged those numbers, along with demographic factors, to come up with the final rankings. The survey also ranked brands by several demographic categories, including race, sex and three age groups: 13-

Pete Rose & The Hall of Fame

SI has a story worth mentioning. First the link and excerpts and then comments. "NEW YORK (AP) - Pete Rose's eligibility for the baseball writers' Hall of Fame ballot expired Monday when the 2006 candidates were announced, a group that includes Cy Young Award winners Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden. Albert Belle, Will Clark and Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen were among 14 first-time candidates on the 29-man ballot. Bruce Sutter is the holdover who came closest to election, falling 43 votes shy last year. Following an investigation of his gambling, Rose agreed in August 1989 to a lifetime ban. The Hall's board of directors voted unanimously in February 2001 that anyone on the permanently ineligible list couldn't appear on the BBWAA ballot. Rose, baseball's career hits leader, applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met with commissioner Bud Selig in November 2002. His efforts to end his suspension appeared to falter after he ad

Sportsmanship- Being a Good Sport

I was very disappointed when I read this article. I am a firm believer that athletics can teach you many life lessons but what is being taught below is not right. "ST. LOUIS (AP) - A study of youth sports found evidence of cheating, taunting, even intentionally trying to hurt an opponent. And the bad behavior wasn't limited to the kids. Some coaches admitted yelling at athletes - even verbally abusing them, and some players said they were struck. Among the findings: - Nearly one in 10 young athletes admitted cheating. - 13 percent said they have tried to hurt an opponent. - 31 percent had argued with an official. - 13 percent had made fun of a less-skilled teammate. - 27 percent had acted like "bad sports.'' "Even more disturbing is the number of coaches whose behavior fosters unhealthy climates,'' said Brenda Bredemeier, another author and associate professor of education at Missouri-St. Louis. Seven percent

Sunday Night Roundup At the Shack

Ok bloggers, I am listening to Brad Paisley sing Mud on the Tires and itching to Two-Step. Really, I am and it is one of those dances that I can do and feel cool and there are too few of those. Here is what I pumped out this evening: Two Kinds of Pain Searching for My Muse Professor in Your Pocket The Internet's Impact Upon Sex & Relationships Schnappi das kleine Krokodil And if you are wondering what is churning up the stats as most popular here is a sample: Interfaith Relationships- Jews and Christians Misunderstood Again Sex At the Synagogue- An Oral Report Happy Holidays is An Appropriate Greeting The Story of Two Souls Lailah Tov from LA

Two Kinds of Pain

As I mentioned the other day, I am trying to start working on Fragments of Fiction again. Here is an old section that I am looking at again. Life offers two types of pain, one physical and one mental. Man still hasn’t found a tougher prison than the one he encages his mind in. There is no greater pain than the mental anguish we inflict on ourselves and there is no tougher warden than the person we see in the mirror. For some there is no midnight reprieve, the governor doesn’t offer clemency. There is only one way out and no two people can share the path. We all live in our secret worlds, but some of us never have the strength to leave our shelter and walk under sunny skies. I used to. I used to live in a place I called paradise. I could look out on the world and from my window and gaze upon waters that called out to me. Deep blue seas that embraced me like a child in the womb. The seas were always calm and at night they would gently rock me to sleep. But it wasn’t real. I didn’t

Searching for My Muse

I have been working on Fragments of Fiction or should I say tinkering with it. I haven't really jumped back into it...yet. I want to, I really think that I need to get back there and start pounding it out again but I just haven't been able to get myself into that place that I need to be to present the material I need. Fragments of Fiction is just that. It is bits and pieces of fiction wrapped around pieces of my life and people I know. I don't think that this is any different from any other writer. You tend to write about what you know about and go from there. The thing about Frags is that at this point in time it is not what I would characterize as a happy story. It may end up being a happy tale and it may very well have a happy ending. I am not sure yet because I haven't mapped it out. I really should do that. I really should plot it out so that I have a roadmap to follow but that wouldn't be in character and part of me is really fighing that. The

Professor in Your Pocket

Also from a recent edition of Newsweek comes Professor in Your Pocket. This is another article that deals with the impact of technology on society. I found it to be interesting. Professor in Your Pocket "Nov. 28, 2005 issue - When Duke University junior Eddy Leal took a research trip to Puerto Rico recently and missed his macroeconomics lecture, he didn't sweat it. The lecture is usually attended by about 75 students, so his professor was unlikely to notice his absence. He didn't worry about falling behind, either. When he returned from his trip, Leal went to a Web site specially designated for Duke students and downloaded the lecture (which the professor had recorded and uploaded using an iPod) onto his personal computer. In the relative tranquillity of his dorm, Leal learned about models of government surplus. "It isn't the same as being there," says Leal. But for the chance to go to Puerto Rico, it was close enough." I think that there are a mult

The Internet's Impact Upon Sex & Relationships

I am always interested in learning how the net impacts our lives. Here is a Newsweek story that deals with this. Here are a couple of selections for your review. A sex columnist explains how the Internet has revolutionized our love lives—and why cyber breakups hurt just as much as real-world splits . "Nov. 23, 2005 - Is the Internet transforming our sex lives as much as the birth control pill did? Yes, says Regina Lynn,'s 'Sex Drive' columnist and the author of a new book about modern sexuality. Thanks to e-mail, blogging, instant messaging, Web cams and the myriad ways we now have to stay in touch electronically, Lynn says we are in the middle of a new relationship revolution. "Forget what they told you about defense departments and universities. The Internet has done more to help us upgrade our sex lives than any other technology in history," says Lynn in "The Sexual Revolution 2.0" (Ulysses Press). And she's not just talking about

Schnappi das kleine Krokodil

Ok, so a short time ago I was out traversing Costco when I heard someone singing a familiar tune. It took a moment to place it and then I realized that it was Schnappi das kleine Krokodil. Now I never would have recognized Schnappi das kleine Krokodil were it not for my favorite Red Sox fan . Now if only I could get that song out of my head.

The Second Level of Hell

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Second Level of Hell! Here is how you matched up against all the levels: Level Score Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Low Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Low Level 2 (Lustful) Very High Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Low Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Moderate Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics) Very Low Level 7 (Violent) Low Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Very High Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous) Low Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Is There A Real War on Christmas

Salon has an interesting article called How the secular humanist grinch didn't steal Christmas. I'd like to share some selections from the article and a few thoughts. "In 1959, the recently formed John Birch Society issued an urgent alert: Christmas was under attack. In a JBS pamphlet titled "There Goes Christmas?!" a writer named Hubert Kregeloh warned, "One of the techniques now being applied by the Reds to weaken the pillar of religion in our country is the drive to take Christ out of Christmas -- to denude the event of its religious meaning." The central front in this perfidious assault was American department stores, where the "Godless UN" was scheming to replace religious decorations with internationalist celebrations of universal brotherhood. "The UN fanatics launched their assault on Christmas in 1958, but too late to get very far before the holy day was at hand," the pamphlet explained. "They are already busy, howe

Sex At the Synagogue- An Oral Report

Ok, I have to admit that I played around with multiple headlines for this story. It was hard not to get more creative but I think that there is enough real material here to warrant a mention without the juvenile humor. Rabbi Marc Gellman is a columnist for Newsweek who writes upon various affairs. In his real life he is the senior rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, New York. In a recent column he wrote about his thoughts about what is supposed to be a recent increase in the amount of oral sex between teens as well as about sex in general. I applaud him for speaking about this topic because I think that it is a worthwhile discussion, but I have to say that I am very skeptical about the assertion that there is some kind of tremendous increase in the amount of sexual activity in our youth. I do not have any hard data to offer you, just my own thoughts and experiences and that which has been shared with me by my friends but I have a very hard time believing that there is some k

Selective Memories

One of the best parts of the blogosphere is the voyeurism. I readily admit that part of the attraction is the chance to pull up a chair and read about your lives. I enjoy the stories because some are things I relate to, some are tales about experiences I'll never have so I am forced to live vicariously through your words. And might I add that while I really do enjoy some of these stories, there are some experiences that I never want to have. One day I may blog about that, but today is not that day. What catches my fancy now are the posts about dating. During the last couple of weeks I have made a point of checking out posts abou dating because I find them to be interesting. Part of what I find so interesting about them is the one sided nature of these posts. That is not a knock or slam against anyone, it is a natural thing. When you only hear one side of the tale it is natural that the perspective regarding what happened may be a little different from that of the other people w

The Ancient Comes to Life

Gail gets credit for tipping me off to this. 2,000-Year-Old Seed Sprouts, Sapling Is Thriving Ancient Seed "Several ancient date seeds were taken from an excavation at Masada, a historic mountainside fortress, in 1973. In A.D. 73 Jewish Zealots took their own lives at the fortress rather than surrender to the Romans at the end of a two-year siege. Carbon dating indicates the seeds are about 2,000 years old. Hebrew University archaeologist Ehud Netzer found the seeds and gave them to botanical archaeologist Mordechai Kislev at Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv. The seeds sat untouched in a drawer in Kislev's office until last November, when Sallon asked if she could have a few to pass on to desert agriculture expert Elaine Solowey. "I said, Thank you. What do you want me to do?" Solowey recalls. Told to germinate them, she said, "You want me to do what?"

Caught My Attention

Firm wants to rid Net of suffixes "AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch technology company has breathed life into a project to rid the Internet of suffixes such as .com, and instead offer single names which can be countries, company names or fantasy words. Such a system, which enables countries, individuals and firms to have a Web address which consists of a single name, offers flexibility and is language and character independent. "The plan is to offer names in any character set," said Erik Seeboldt, managing director of Amsterdam-based UnifiedRoot. UnifiedRoot offers practically unlimited numbers of suffixes, unlike the short list of suffixes currently in use. Its offer is different from other "alternative root" providers such as which offers to register names in front of a small range of new suffixes, such as .club and .law. "We've already had thousands of registrations in a single day," said Seeboldt after the official openi

Goodbye Mr. Miyagi

" LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Actor Pat Morita, whose portrayal of the wise and dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 73." Of course there were numerous other roles that he played, including his time on Happy Days. "For years, Morita played small and sometimes demeaning roles in such films as "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and TV series such as "The Odd Couple" and "Green Acres." His first breakthrough came with "Happy Days," and he followed with his own brief series, "Mr. T and Tina." "The Karate Kid," led to three sequels, the last of which, 1994's "The Next Karate Kid," paired him with a young Hilary Swank. Morita was prolific outside of the "Karate Kid" series as well, appearing in "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Spy Hard," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and "The Center of the World.&qu

Family Can be Stressful

It is close to midnight and I have survived another family dinner. I don't want to give any false impressions. I love my family and I enjoy spending time with them but right now there seems to be a higher level of stress than normal. I know the reasons why and some of them are things that I cannot help and perhaps that is why it is hard for me. I am exceptionally lucky to have three grandparents. Each one of them is in their 90s. Within a few months two of them G-d willing will turn 92 followed by my other grandfather several months later. From a mental standpoint all three of them are in good shape, although you can see the impact of age upon them. Their memories are not quite as crisp and there are little things that make it clear that they are not as young as they once were. I am close with all of them. Each one of them has given me so much and asked very little in return so I am happy to spend as much time with them as I can because the end of the race approaches. But I

A Short Roundup of Posts that Caught My Eye

Dave covers the value of a Yeshiva education in a real life setting . Miriam discusses a different sort of Thanksgiving and BeFrank writes about real life experiences of a different sort. Gail offers a Thanksgiving picture and Seraphic Secret continues their love story . More to come around the blogosphere or my world later.