Iranian Policy- Understanding Their Thought Process

If you are even remotely informed about current events it is no secret that the Iranian government has their own ideas about how the Middle East should look and their own role in the world. Their position is diametrically opposed to many in the West and they show little to no signs of changing their path.

Not suprisingly this has created tension as the West tries to formulate a response to their posturing. Amir Taheri has an interesting commentary about the Iranian mindset that is well worth reading. Take a look at this excerpt:

"Hassan Abbasi has a dream -- a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the "fleeing Americans," forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by "the Army of Muhammad." Presented by his friends as "The Dr. Kissinger of Islam," Mr. Abbasi is "professor of strategy" at the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's new radical administration.

For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of "running away," leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.

To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of "the last helicopter." It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the bodies of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein's generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton's helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.

According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an "aberration," a leader out of sync with his nation's character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an "American Middle East." Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

Mr. Ahmadinejad's defiant rhetoric is based on a strategy known in Middle Eastern capitals as "waiting Bush out." "We are sure the U.S. will return to saner policies," says Manuchehr Motakki, Iran's new Foreign Minister.

Mr. Ahmadinejad believes that the world is heading for a clash of civilizations with the Middle East as the main battlefield. In that clash Iran will lead the Muslim world against the "Crusader-Zionist camp" led by America. Mr. Bush might have led the U.S. into "a brief moment of triumph." But the U.S. is a "sunset" (ofuli) power while Iran is a sunrise (tolu'ee) one and, once Mr. Bush is gone, a future president would admit defeat and order a retreat as all of Mr. Bush's predecessors have done since Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also notes that Iran has just "reached the Mediterranean" thanks to its strong presence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He used that message to convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a defiant position vis-à-vis the U.N. investigation of the murder of Rafiq Hariri, a former prime minister of Lebanon. His argument was that once Mr. Bush is gone, the U.N., too, will revert to its traditional lethargy. "They can pass resolutions until they are blue in the face," Mr. Ahmadinejad told a gathering of Hezbollah, Hamas and other radical Arab leaders in Tehran last month."

Whom ever follows Bush is going to be very important. They will help to prove or disprove this theory that they are floating. For all of our sakes I hope that we hold our ground.

Remembering Those Who Were Murdered

Israellycool has the scoop.

American Inventor

I am still watching American Inventor. It is kind of wacky and offbeat and I enjoy that. One of the judges is a guy named Doug Hall. He is a bit obnoxious and odd in his own way.

He reminds me of Wallace Shawn, the guy from The Princess Bride. I keep waiting for him to look at one of the inventors and shout

Of course that leads into this great exchange from the movie:

Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder's origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're just stalling now.
Vizzini: You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? You've beaten my giant, which means you're exceptionally strong, so you could've put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you've also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You're trying to trick me into giving away something. It won't work.
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose - What in the world can that be?
Vizzini: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don't see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.First, let's drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black, Vizzini: [they drink ]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha -
Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, and falls dead to the right]
Now that was one fine movie. Anyway, back to the show. It is just kind of fun to see the crazy and kooky things that people come up with. And who knows, maybe, just maybe I'll be inspired by someone and come up with my own invention.

I Am Arthur, King of The Britons

Take the quiz:
Which Holy Grail Character Are You?

Arthur, King of the Britons
Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!

Random Thoughts On this and That

It is a little before 4:30 am. It is a good thing that I love my daughter because not only am I sleep deprived she has chosen to share her food with me, after it was digested. Yes, she has the flu. Her doc says that if she is not ralphing every hour we shouldn't worrry about dehydration.

That doesn't totally prevent the worrying, but it makes it easier. What it doesn't make easier is the loss of sleep and the projectile vomiting. Her mother and I have a system for sharing the responsibilities, but the little girl's stomach has thrown the system out of wack as has her big brother.

In the wee hours of the morning my voice rumbles, I am not Barry White, nor am I quite Isaac Hayes. But it is deep enough to be the baritone in the Barbershop Quartet. More importantly I am tired enough to think that it actually sounds good.

One of my favorite Bruce Willis movies is the The Last Boyscout. I am too tired to recite the whole thing here, but I feel like I need to dance a jig. If you saw the movie you might understand what I am talking about, or maybe not.

The Guardian has given a terrorist a ton of space to publish propaganda, just lies and rubbish.

"Do policymakers in Washington and Europe ever feel ashamed of their scandalous double standards? Before and since the Palestinian elections in January, they have continually insisted that Hamas comply with certain demands. They want us to recognise Israel, call off our resistance, and commit ourselves to whatever deals Israel and the Palestinian leadership reached in the past."
Can you imagine the nerve of asking that Hamas recognize Israel, that they amend their murderous charter, that they act as a responsible gov't entity and abide by prior agreements that were signed off on by both parties.

You can color this anyway you want, but the tiger hasn't changed its stripes. Hamas wants blood and in my sleep deprived state I am inclined to offer it to them, only make it their own.

I still don't like the Sound of Music. The whole Von I am Trapped watching this stupid flick can go rot.

I love March Madness. Go Bruins. This is a load of crap. More later.

I Love Gadgets

I love gadgets. I love little doohickeys and thingamabobs that go beep and boop and burp. I love little whirlygigs that whir and chirp. In part I can attribute this love to my father as he is the person that introduced me to so many cool items.

I enjoy stores and catalogs like: The Sharper Image, Levenger, Brookstone and The Discovery Store. There are some quality issues with some of the items, but even so I can always find items that interest me and that is part of the attraction.

Here is an incomplete list of gifts that I intend to get myself at some point in the future:

, The Great American History Fact-Finder Book, an overstuffed chair, 1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die Book, The Little Guide To Your Well-Read Life, I already own and enjoy these two. I like this globe and well this list is far too long already and a bit ridiculous. Not to mention that it is missing many of the gadgets.

Poland Seeks Name Change for Auschwitz

"WARSAW, Poland - Poland wants to change the official name of the Auschwitz death camp on the U.N.'s world heritage directory to emphasize that it was run by German Nazis, not Poles, an official said Thursday.

The government requested that UNESCO, the U.N.'s educational and cultural body, change the name from "Auschwitz Concentration Camp" to "Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau," Culture Ministry spokesman Jan Kasprzyk said.

Polish officials have complained in the past that foreign media sometimes refer to Auschwitz — a death camp located in occupied Poland where Nazi Germans killed 1.5 million people during World War II — as a "Polish concentration camp."

That phrasing deeply offends sensitivities in Poland, which was subjected to a brutal occupation by Adolf Hitler's Nazi forces."
Sure, and the families of the 1.5 million slaughtered there are more than happy to cater to Polish sympathies. Now I am sure that there were many good Poles during the war. But I also know that there were many who were only too happy to take the land and property of their Jewish neighbors.

I am not so keen on changing the name.

Convoluted Thinking

Through the magic of Technorati I discovered another blogger who has decided to link to me. I spent a few minutes looking at their blog and wasn't pleased.

It chaps my hide a bit to have them link to me. This person, who most closely resembles an antisemite but claims to be some kind of progressive noble.

I am not going to provide a link to their site. They will not get any more publicity than this from me. But I did want to comment because the sad reality is that there are bad people out there who are dressing up their hate and spite in royal finery all in the attempt to try and lend it legitimacy that it does not deserve.

This topic deserves more time than I am able to lend to it now. I intend to revisit it and discuss the need for critical thinking and logical analysis. What you see in print is not always factual nor true.

Teach Your Boy to Pee Like a Man

Visionaire Products introduces the Peter Potty® the worlds only flushable toddler urinal. With the Peter Potty®, the potty training time is reduced by 6 months on average. Because the Peter Potty® is adjustable, and the right size for little boys, it is eliminates accidental messes during the potty training process.
It warms my heart to see such an outstanding tool. On a serious note, it kind of irks me to see boys sit down unnecessarily. Stand tall and be proud.

With a little practice they can help extinguish a campfire because believe me, until you have experienced that little gem you haven't really lived.

Big Decisions and a Big Relief

Made some big decisions about a variety of things that I have been agonizing over. There is a certain amount of relief that comes from determining what direction you choose to head in.

It is too early to determine whether they were right or wrong, but that is life. So now I can breathe a sigh of relief and try to plan for the future.

Word Verification

I removed word verification and then set it back in place. I didn't want to, but in less than one hour I received 7 spam messages.

And though it may be a pain-in-the tuchus to use it, I'd rather have it in place than be overwhelmed by the spam.

Darth Chef

It Felt good

this is an audio post - click to play

Why Men Don't Listen To Women

"When men and women speak, the human brain processes the sounds of those voices differently, Britain's Mirror and Agence France Presse report of a new study from the U.K.'s University of Sheffield. While most of us actually hear female voices more clearly, men's brains hear women's voices first as music. But it's not music. It's someone giving them a honey-do list. So the brain goes into overdrive trying to analyze what is being said.

Bottom line:
Men have to work harder deciphering what women are saying because they use the auditory part of the brain that processes music, not human voices. Men's brains are not designed to listen to women's voices. It's not the pitch of the woman's voice, but rather the vibration and number of sound waves that cause the problem, notes Discovery News.

But guys have no trouble at all hearing each other because men use a much simpler brain mechanism at the back of the brain to decipher another man's voice and recognize it as speech.

Click here to read the rest of the story.
I would have given different reasons for why we don't listen such as lack of logic, substance and accountability but I am tired of being hit in the head with pumps and red Shmata lipstick. ;)

They Wore Feathered Hair

This website just cracked me up. Check out this description:
"Surely you've thumbed through a high school yearbook from the late 70's and early 80's and you've found photo after photo of women wearing feathered hair modeled after the wild, tossled, flipped-back, golden tresses of Farrah Fawcett. Yes, it’s true that many women went into hair salons between 1976 and 1983 asking for the “Farrah” look, but is this what they actually came out with? The answer is yes for some, but for many the answer is no, no, no, no, no. You see, many actually came out with “The Bertinelli” . Haven't heard of that one, have you? Well then, what is The Bertinelli"? It's simple; you cross the Dorothy Hamill (short hair, but flat on top and center-parted) with "The Farrah"."
Old Jack had a Jewfro so you won't ever see pictures of me looking like any of these guys.

It is Not a True Story

Hi folks,

It seems that I managed to confuse a couple of people with this story. Some of you are asking for the rest of the story. I suppose that if I wanted I could create more details and extend this further. Maybe I will. I have to think about it.

Mark Steyn On Multiculturalism

"In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" - the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."

This makes sense to me. It ties in well with stories about converts who face death sentences, riots based on cartoons or murders of people because of their ethnicity/religion. The time is coming when we are going to have to make a decision whether to push or be pushed.

He Stole My Lunch

He stole my lunch. It might not have been gourmet, but it was mine. A simple paper bag containing some food items that were specially prepared for me. Not unlike many instances of theft the event happened quickly.

I had been walking when I realized that I needed to respond to Mother Nature's call. I entered the bathroom and placed my bag on the counter next to the sink and sashayed over to the urinal. It was a zip-n-zip moment, which was good because I was quite hungry.

The door slowly creaked open and a man with dirty blond hair walked in. He was wearing torn jeans, a pair of Doc Martens and a stained white t-shirt. Slowly he turned and inch by inch he walked over to the sink to stare at his face.

There was something about the guy that bothered me. He made me feel itchy and a little uneasy. He was my height and had a wiry build. His face was a little worn and I could see that he was not unaccustomed to working with his hands.

It is hard to look intimidating when you are standing in front of a urinal with your pal in your hands, but I did my best. In a different time and place I might have growled at the jackal. Somehow I just knew that he was going to do something to make me mad.

He must have been watching and waiting for the right moment because he timed it perfectly. When he grabbed my lunch I was in the first stages of the initial shake. It wasn't like I could just start running after him, but at the same time nobody takes my food and gets away with it.

Cursing, I stuffed the little guy back into his home, zipped my pants and set off in pursuit of my lunch. He moved well for a guy wearing boots, but he didn't count on the power of hunger and the passion a man has to protect what is rightfully his.

We shot down a hallway, weaving in between startled shoppers. I vaulted over a stroller and spun around the cosmetics counter. Barry Sanders never juked and jived like I did. I made OJ's run through the airport look like he was mired in quicksand. I was getting closer. I just needed another moment and I would be close enough to grab him.

Just as I was about to tackle him the way was blocked by a group of nuns heading through the foodcourt. In exasperation I shouted "Jesus" and then continued on around them. By this point I was losing steam and beginning to huff and puff a little. I was almost ready to give up when he turned around and taunted me with "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

I roared in anger and gave it one last effort and caught up with him in front of the Cinnabon. He was trapped between me and the counter. He smiled at me and tossed the bag over the counter and dared me to do something. That was a mistake, a big mistake.

It took less than a second for me to close the gap between him and myself and not much more than that for me pick him up and body slam on the counter. As he slid over the side he managed to grab ahold of my shirt, ripping the sleeve. I was irritated when he stole my lunch. Now I was pissed off.

I jumped over the counter and grabbed ahold of the jackass. He was stronger than I anticipated with a grip that would have rivaled a pit Bull. But that wasn't enough. I pinned him against the wall with my left arm and held him there.

"I hope that you are hungry," I screamed. And with that I grabbed ahold of the Cinnabon dough and started forcing huge gobs of it into his mouth. "How does that taste? Do you like it? Is it good?"

He flailed around with his arms and tried to free himself. "Stop, stop, stop, please," he stuttered.

"You're right," I growled. "I forgot the sweet stuff."

Grabbing ahold of his collar I pulled him towards me and was the recipient of a lucky punch, a wicked right that stunned me. It was almost enough to make me let go, but not quite. Blinking away the tears I got him into a headlock and walked him over to the vat of frosting.

With a grunt I picked him up and dropped him into it headfirst and then staggered over to pick up my lunch. It took all of my effort to drag my body back over the counter and to a table. I collapsed into a chair and dumped the contents of the bag onto the table so that I could finally eat.

And that is when I realized that I had grabbed the wrong bag.

(and there you have a quick, first draft of a silly and sloppily constructed piece of fiction.)

The Card Game Blew Up

"Beijing - Four people died in northeast China after a dispute over a game of cards ended in bloodshed when one of the players returned with a hand grenade which later exploded, state media said Saturday.

The four were playing cards on Wednesday in Meihekou city in Jilin province when a quarrel broke out, said the Beijing Times. One of the group later returned with a hand grenade and it went off during a scuffle.

Three people died on the spot while the fourth died in hospital the next day, it said. Two passers-by were also slightly injured by the blast."
Who needs a gun when you have a couple of grenades lying around the house.

Guardians of the Gorillas

I thought this story was interesting. I'd like to take a similar trip.

The world of the mountain gorilla

At the zigzag passage through the wall we step over a scattering of porcupine quills — some wildlife still travels both directions — and we begin the steep climb up the volcano. We swat away branches, cling to creepers, slide through muck, and whack the biting safari ants as we reel up into the richest ecosystem in Africa. Actress Daryl Hannah, who lives in an off-the-grid home at 10,000 feet in Telluride, has fewer problems with the elevation than the rest of us, and she is quickly at the front of the pack, eager for first contact. Somewhere in the middle flanks of the volcano we hear a rustling, and within a few steps a black ball of fur scrambles to the top of a bamboo stalk. It is Daryl's first mountain gorilla sighting, and her eyes grow wide.

The gorilla knuckle-walks by us to within a couple feet, and we follow. Suddenly we are surrounded by gorillas, from babies to blackbacks and silverbacks, thrashing about in their own guiltless ways. We listen to a baby whimper as its mother refuses it back passage, an attempt at weaning. We watch as two young males wrestle, fur flying and leaves scattering as they tumble about the forest. "Monkeying around," Daryl laughs, and for a moment one of the gorillas looks at us and seems to display a toothy smile.

Another baby strolls to one of our video camera microphones, covered in synthetic fur as a wind screen, and reaches out to touch what seems a fellow creature. A mother with disproportionately huge eyes stares at Daryl as though she's seen her in some movie, but can't quite place her, and puffs of condensation steam from her mouth. Two other apes rise up and thump their chests with a sound like mallets on wood, and Daryl thumps her own chest back."

Woman reading from the Torah

I also posted this at The Jewish Connection.

A blog that calls itself Jewish Answers asks and answers the question:

Why don’t Orthodox women read from the Torah?

Rav Tendler takes time to provide a response that I have trouble buying into. Allow me to take some selections from his response.
"The Talmud, in Megillah 23a states that “even a woman may read from the Torah,"
Ok, so the initial response is that a woman can read from the Torah, so the question is why wouldn't or shouldn't she. Rav Tendler goes on to explain that the purpose of reading Torah is for the person reading to teach it to the congregation. He then offers the following:

"The Talmud is stating that although there is technically nothing wrong with a woman teaching Torah to men, since men have a Mitzvah to study Torah and not women, by calling up a woman you are essentially making a statement that there are no men present capable of teaching the Torah- despite the fact that it is their Mitzvah, and here is a woman who does not have this Mitzvah and she is more proficient in reading and teaching the Torah. This reflects badly on the congregation who is present and their level of Mitzvah observance and Torah proficiency. Therefore, our Rabbis said that this is inappropriate."
I have a problem with this as IMO it takes a great leap to get to the position that they are at. To suggest that because a woman is reading Torah it might mean that all of the congregants, especially those who are male are not as well educated is just silly. To me this sounds more like a case of pride, of ego over practicality.

There are most definitely times in which a woman will know more than the men around her and in the interest of getting the best education possible the men should listen to her.

From a slightly different perspective I ask when do we recognize that there are minhagim that are not halacha and that there is legitimate reason to reconsider their role and need in our lives.

I do not believe in ignoring and or changing minhag strictly because it is minhag, but at the same time to refuse to change simply because it is minhag is somewhat provincial and quite limiting.

There are reasons to reconsider why we do what we do. This may be one of those occasions.

A New Music Meme

Jerusalem Cop tagged me with this and I figured what the hell.

The rules: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

1. How does the world see you? Drown In My Own Tears- Ray Charles

2. Will I have a happy life? - Gemini Dreams- The Moody Blues

3. What do my friends really think of me? - Mean Mr. Mustard- The Beatles

4. Do people secretly lust after me? - The Man's Too Strong- Dire Straits

5. How can I make myself happy? - Hallelujah, I Love Her So- Ray Charles

6. What should I do with my life?- Book Of Days- Enya

7. Will I ever have children? - The Good Life/I Wanna Be Around- Tony Bennett

8. What is some good advice for me? - This Is Radio Clash- The Clash

9. How will I be remembered? - The God That Failed- Metallica

10. What is my signature dancing song? -Free To Be You & Me- Free To Be You & Me

11. What do I think my current theme song is? - Leave A Tender Moment Alone- Billy Joel

12. What does everyone else think my current theme song is? -You're All The World To Me- Tony Bennett

13. What song will play at my funeral? - Am I Not Merciful?- Gladiator Soundtrack

14. What type of women do you like? - Over The Hills And Far Away- Led Zeppelin

15. What is my day going to be like? You Sexy Thing- Hot Chocolate
this is an audio post - click to play

I Can't Live Without This Invention

Or maybe I can. Thanks to Chaim I now have the opportunity to worry about whether I need to purchase my very own NosePouch.

I love the FAQs on this clever device and would like to share some of them with you.

Q. What is a NosePouch?

A. A NosePouch is the newest; well designed product for blowing your nose.

Call me a jerk, but how many poorly designed products are there for blowing your nose. I suppose that the balled up, previously used Kleenex might fall into that category.

Q. Why do I need a NosePouch?

A. You may not need a NosePouch today. However; when we have the need to blow our noses, due to colds, flu, allergies etc; we need a NosePouch. A NosePouch will help contain the messy discharge we all experience when our nasal passages fill up. Or, for any reason we may need to blow our noses

Back in the days in which I really enjoyed juvenile behavior my friends and I used to kid around about starting our very own business, The Phlegm Farm. This device would have been the perfect accessory to it. I just might have to revisit the idea and see if I can patent it still.

One of the things that I love about this site is that they offer a demo for how to use the fabulous nose pouch. Now call me crazy, but does Step 2 look like it is the before shot of the NosePouch pool.

Oy Vey, the very thought causes my stomach to rumble.

Wonder Woman- When They Weren't Playing Charlie's Angels

Back in the days in which my little sister and her friends would play Charlie's Angels they would sometimes pretend to play Wonder Woman.

Every now and then the girls would ask my friends and I to play with them. These sessions never lasted too long because we couldn't agree on how to play, or should I say that the girls would get angry because the boys would never let Wonder Woman win.

To us it was a simple thing, we were boys and no girl was ever going to be stronger than we were. It was also a great way to tease the girls. We would start out by going along with them.

Wonder Woman would come and capture us and put us in jail for being the bad guys. We'd let her walk us over to the jail and for about five minutes it would be calm and then the mass jailbreak would hit. In moments there would be shrieks of anger because when Wonder Woman would try to recapture us she would find that her magic lasso (jump rope) and super strength were suddenly useless.

Sadly, since she never was able to jump or run the way that the television version could she was often unable to keep up with us as part of the jailbreak involved climbing trees and jumping over fences.

If we were feeling particularly mischievous it sometimes included imprisioning Wonder Woman and her friends in the secret hideaway found in my sister's bedroom.

Needless to say after a while my sister and friends found other ways to occup themselves that didn't involve my friends and I.

The Sopranos

I am thoroughly enjoying this season.

What Is the Rav Thinking

Jerusalem - In a tough break for the children of Orthodox Jewish families, a former grand rabbi of Israel has urged parents to amputate their dolls to avoid the perils of idolatry.

Basing the move on a Biblical ban on the possession of idols, Mordechai Eliyahu, a Sephardic rabbi, broadcast his edict on a religious radio station calling for an arm or a leg to be dismembered.

In the case of a teddy bear or other stuffed animals, the children will see their beloved toys lose an ear or an eye instead.

"It is very important that these toys do not remain intact so as to remove the element of idolatry," said Eliyahu.

His son, Shmuel Eliyahu, himself a rabbi in the northern town of Safed, said that it was inappropriate to own statues or dolls, even to play with or for artistic purposes.

"They need to be amputated or at least altered," he said."

Oy. And this doesn't even address his comments about Kadima and politics in general.

Sounds like An Ugly Woman to Me

In the world of weird news I bring you this:

"RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A woman accused of abducting her two young children from their father, then radically changing her appearance and assuming his identity, was in custody on suspicion of kidnapping, authorities said.

Shellie White, 30, was taken into custody in Roanoke Rapids on Friday, more than two years after she was charged with custodial interference in the children’s disappearance, the U.S. Marshals Service said. Her ex-husband, Ernest Karnes, was living in Globe, Ariz., and had custody at the time.

“Ms. White radically changed her appearance to that of a man and assumed many aliases,” including her ex-husband’s, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.

“She even went so far as to tell her children, aged 3 and 5 at the time, that she was their father,” the Marshals Service said. “When she was arrested, the children, now aged 6 and 8, asked why they were arresting their Daddy.”

The Emotionally Detached Male- Random Thoughts

It has been an exceptionally busy weekend. For that matter the last chunk of time has been really busy. It is not something that I really like, being busy like this. Some people prefer to run all day long from place to place. I don't.

There are times where I am a blur of motion. There are moments in which you might be surprised by the amount of energy and focus that I can dedicate to a project and then it is over. It kind of reminds me of the tide. The tide rolls in and for a time it encompasses all that you can see and then it rolls back out and there is this big empty space where it used to be.

I met with the contractor today. Wow, that is all I have to say. It was a three hour meeting and I really liked what I heard, but the price is a solid 30% above where I want my budget to be. I am meeting with two more contractors this week and will compare notes. So many decisions to make.

During the meeting he mentioned that I was expressionless and wanted to know what I was thinking. I think in very graphic terms, maybe you should call me Walter Mitty as I live my secret lives. Sometimes I am a pirate and sometimes I am the hero in some battle.

Most of the time I am wandering Jerusalem or hiking through various mountain ranges. It is what I do when I start to feel the walls closing in. I go to a Brer Rabbit's happy place to decompress and consider my options.

After the meeting with the contractor I went to Home Depot, Sears and a couple of appliance stores. I wanted to spend some time checking out prices and looking at potential ideas for the house. As I wandered through Home Depot I saw a woman I dated briefly during my junior year of college. Her name was Lisa.

She was much more interested in dating than I was. She found me at the wrong time. I was heartbroken and torn up. It was a bad time to date me, but I thought that having someone would help me forget the person before her. She tried very hard to keep my attention, but it just wasn't there for me.

I remember just before we ended things she sat me down to talk to me about my lack of communication. She wanted to know why I didn't share my feelings. She was angry that she seemed to be the only one who ever had anything to say. I sat there rather stonefaced and listened. I wanted to respond, but the words just weren't there.

She began to cry and I realized that the best thing to do was to say that I was sorry and to just end things. So I told her that I didn't think that the time was right and that it just wasn't working. She cried some more and asked me if I was sure. I said that I was and got ready to leave and then she blasted me. I got a mouthful about being emotionally unavailable.

The odd thing about seeing her today was that the moment I spotted her Faith Hill was being played on the store sound system. These are the lyrics I heard:

"Would you cry a little
Lie just a little
Pretend that you're feeling a little more pain
I gave, now I'm wanting something in return
So cry just a little for me


Cry just a little for me
Whoa whoa
Could you cry a little for me
hmmm yeah yeah "

If I was superstitious I would wonder about this, or maybe I should wonder about the thing that happened next. I ended up on the same aisle as a band of clevelanders. I was staring at front doors and absentmindedly listening to them talk about some place they used to live. The Shmata Queen would have been really excited. I muttered something about pepper pike and got a snotty look, guess that they must have lived on coventry or someplace like that.

This evening my son told me that he knew what he wanted to do with the house. He took me into his room and explained how we could build the most awesome bedroom. It would be just for boys and it would have 250,000 toys. Yes, he said 250,000.

I asked him how much he thought that it would cost and he said "a million dollars." So I asked him if he thought that I had enough money to pay for it and he told me to stick out my hand. When I stuck my hand out he slapped it and said that he was giving me "250 zillion dollars." I thanked him and asked him how to cash the check. He smiled and said "you'll figure it out."

Nothing like having my own words parroted back to me. He is right, I will figure it out. I feel very positive about things, but I have to admit that part of that is because one my theme songs is playing on my iPod. In case you are wondering, it is My Way- Frank Sinatra.

"And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway,
But more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall;
And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!"

Music for Sunday March 26, 2006

Here is a snippet of what I listened to this past evening:

Waiting For The Sun- The Doors
L.A. Woman- The Doors
Seven Drunken Nights- The Dubliners
It dont' Mean a Thing [If it ain't got that swing]- Duke Ellington
Son of a Preacher Man- Dusty Springfield
A-Tisket A-Tasket- Ella Fitzgerald
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting- Elton John
May This Be Love-Emmylou Harris
Mirror In The Bathroom- The English Beat
Cry- Faith Hill
It's The Same Old Song- The Four Tops
It Was A Very Good Year- Sinatra
Friends In Low Places- Garth Brooks
Atomic Dog- George Clinton

Boys Of Summer- Don Henley/Visions of Paradise- Mick Jagger

These lyrics keep playing in my head. They repeat over and over and then are replaced by others.
"I never will forget those nights
I wonder if it was a dream
Remember how you made me crazy?
Remember how I made you scream
Now I don't understand what happened to our love
But babe, I'm gonna get you back
I'm gonna show you what I'm made of

I can see you-
Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
I see you walkin' real slow and you're smilin' at everyone
I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone "
"Visions Of Paradise"

Don't tell me when
Something is beautiful
And don't tell me how to
Talk to my friends
Just tell me the names of
The stars in the sky
What's your favourite song
Tell me the names of the
Lovers you had
Before I came along

Don't put your arms around me
And don't hold me tight
'Cause I could get used to
Your vision of paradise

And don't ask me where
All of the pain goes
'Cause you make me feel
That I don't know myself
You say that you want me forever
And I say that love is no crime
So tell me the names of the children
We'll have at the end of the line"

The Adventure Begins

Tomorrow morning I am meeting with a general contractor. The time has come to make some changes to my home that are beyond my abilities.

I am nervous, but excited. Within the next month or so I hope to determine which contractor is going to get the job and specific details as to what we are actually going to do to the house.

Part of me feels quite old. This is something that my parents should be doing. When did I get to be in a place where I could discuss remodeling. It is surreal, but it should be interesting.

I am sure that I'll keep the blogosphere posted about the highs and lows of it.

Immigration March- Unclear on The Concept

There was a big march here in LA. It was about some potential immigration reforms.

"LOS ANGELES Mar 26, 2006 (AP)— Immigration rights advocates more than 500,000 strong marched in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border.

The massive demonstration, by far the biggest of several around the nation in recent days, came as President Bush prodded Republican congressional leaders to give some illegal immigrants a chance to work legally in the U.S. under certain conditions.

Wearing white shirts to symbolize peace, marchers chanted "Mexico!" "USA!" and "Si se puede," an old Mexican-American civil rights shout that means "Yes, we can." They waved the flags of the U.S., Mexico and other countries, and some wore them as capes."

I am a little confused about the purpose of the Mexican flags. Why would you wave them at a demonstration about immigration rights in the US. Something is a little off kilter there.

UCLA Basketball

How about those Bruins! Final Four and more looming in the near future.

Tivo- Captured By The Demon

I am one of 1,987,098,098 Tivo addicts. It is sad but true. I got it so that I wouldn't have to worry about missing The Sopranos and some other shows that I thought were inappropriate for my son to watch.

Since that time the simple convenience of recording has made a real impact on my life. I love the 20 second rewind button. You know, the one you touch when you missed a scene/comment/play what have you.

But I find myself searching for that constantly. Listening to the radio is irritating because I don't have my rewind. Telephone calls are similarly disturbing as I look for a way to hit pause.

And now the #%#%^DTDY^#^#^$% thing has decided to stop working and I can't figure out why.

Cathedral Technology - Use The Force

This is pretty cool.

"What do Yoda and Gothic cathedrals have in common? More than being several hundred years old, as it turns out.

Computer animation software used in newer "Star Wars" films to bring the pint-sized Jedi to life has now been modified to investigate the mysteries of cathedral architecture.

Along with having many practical uses for architects today, the technology could unlock some of the trade secrets guarded by stonemason guilds for centuries.

Pressure points

Engineers and architects working together at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the software, known as particle-spring systems. It works by turning the lines and points of pressure within the building blocks of any structure into a three-dimensional graphic. Architects can input information to the software and create a virtual "mesh" of their project within minutes, showing how each block will react in relation to the other.

In the same way, the software can instantly explain just how builders in the 12th and 13th centuries were able to accomplish the seamless stonework displayed in Europe's greatest cathedrals.

The key lay in finding those pressure points, said project leader John Ochsendorf, an assistant professor of architecture at MIT.

"To understand the function of cathedrals, we are looking for lines of internal compression force which transfer the weight of the stones down to the ground," Ochsendorf told LiveScience. "If we cannot find internal lines of force within the thickness of the vaults and the walls of the cathedral, then it is not capable of standing."

MIT's particle-spring software makes identifying the lines of force easier, according to Ochsendorf. This may be particularly useful in the case of old buildings showing signs of wear, where cracks can be identified as either harmless or potentially fatal to the structural integrity of the building.

God, man, and architecture

The technology, if it works as planned, could also add valuable information to the historical record. Cathedrals were used as status symbols for the stoneworkers and those who commissioned the building, in addition to being places of worship, social scientists say.

"Although it is made of stone and glass, to understand and see it for what it is, we need to understand the relations among God, man, and architecture that governed its creation," writes Stanford University sociologist Robert Scott, in his book "The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral" (University of California Press, 2003).

How cathedrals were constructed, then, can say a lot about the circumstances of why and by whom they were built. Ochsendorf and the team at MIT believe the precise details of how will be illuminated with their particle-spring approach."

You Are Such a Man!

"You Are Such a Man!"

Not quite sure how I am supposed to take this. A woman made this remark about me. She was muttering under her breath when she said it, but I still heard it.

It followed a response I made to a question she asked me.

It made me think of an old joke.
"A passenger plane on a cross-country trip runs into a terrible storm.
The plane gets pounded by rain, hail, wind and lightning.

The passengers are screaming. They are sure the plane is going to crash and that they are all going to die.

At the height of the storm, a young woman jumps up and exclaims, "I can't take this anymore! I can't just sit here and die like an animal, strapped into a chair. If I am going to die, let me at least die feeling like a woman. Is there anyone here man enough to make me feel like woman?"

She sees a hand raise in the back, and a muscular man starts to walk up to her seat. As he aproaches her, he takes off his shirt.
She can see the man's muscles even in the poor lighting of the plane. He stands in front of her, shirt in hand and says to her, "I can make you feel like a woman before you die. Are you interested?"

Eagerly, she shakes her head, Yes!

As the man hands her his shirt, he says, "Here. Iron this."

From The Mailbag

Dear Jack,

What is your problem with cleveland. All you ever do is bash it. cleveland is a real city with real people which is a far cry from your city of plastic surgery and insecurity.

Eat us raw!

A proud clevelander.
Dear clevelander,

If you were really that secure you wouldn't feel the need to write me, would you.



Hello Jack,

A short while ago you asked us what we think about your blog. I didn't want to respond there so am sending you this note. I hate your political posts and your crass humor. Please stop blogging immediately.

Dear E,

I am curious about which posts might possibly bother you. It could be this or this or this or this or this or maybe this. Which one is it.

All my love,


Dear Jack,

I think that most of your writing is fake and so are you.

Dear Lynn,

Something tells me that you know a lot about faking things.

Hugs and kisses,


Thursday Night Roundup- Call Me Prolific

When your Favorite Blog Suddenly Goes Bad

Abdul Rahman- What Is Freedom Worth

South Park- Trapped In The Closet

Spiderman To Save cleveland

"Dude, What About That South Park Feud!"

Break the law and live by a beach

250 Year Old Tortoise Dies

Hostages Freed

Dance At The Office

When your Favorite Blog Suddenly Goes Bad

If you blog for any length of time you witness the rise and fall of many blogs. Some of them are good, some are fair, some are horrible and some are just amazing.

Many bloggers have written about blog crushes. They have spent time elucidating and illustrating what it is that makes them smile. They may have even gone into intricate detail about the blogs they love, it is part of a blog crush. Sometimes you cannot put your finger on why you enjoy it, you just know that you do.

Here is what you don't see much of, the discussion of what happens when your blog crush fades into the twilight. There are a number of reasons why this could happen. Sometimes it is just because they stop blogging. It doesn't matter why they stopped, the writing just ends and there you go.

Sometimes your blog crush fades because you come to grow tired of the gimmick and or style of their writing.

But in my book the saddest end of the blog crush is when they write something that is so shocking and offensive that you cannot continue to read them anymore. I guess that you could see it in similar terms to a breakup or divorce. And so your crush comes to a bittersweet end.

This post is not about a particular blog. I wasn't thinking about a specific blog or blogger, it is really just my own comment on blogging.

Abdul Rahman- What Is Freedom Worth

Some of you may not have yet heard about Abdul Rahman. He is Afghani convert to Christianity who has been sentenced to death for the offense of converting from Islam to Christianity.

The US and a number of our allies have been pressing Karzai and company to free him and rightly so, not because we overturned the Taliban but because there are some core values in life that are worth trying to impose on others.

Yes, I said impose and I said it deliberately. Freedom of worship is a core value and of exceptional importance. At a later date I might expand upon this concept of "imposition of values" but for now let's keep it simple. There are times in which war is the moral act. There are times in which it would be immoral not to use force to help others.

It is a troubling situation. If you read the rhetoric and comments about this case there are a number of things that merit attention.

First, there was news that the Afghan government was going to try and have Rahman released by having him declared mentally incompetent as this gave them a way to spare him from execution. But it is not a smart precedent to establish and not something that alleviates the problem as seen in this AP quote.
"Diplomats have said the Afghan government is searching for a way to drop the case. On Wednesday, authorities said Rahman is suspected of being mentally ill and would undergo psychological examinations to see whether he is fit to stand trial.

But three Sunni preachers and a Shiite one interviewed by The Associated Press in four of Kabul's most popular mosques said they do not believe Rahman is insane.

"He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque.

"The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, agreed. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

"Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left."

He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile.

But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

"If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged."

That last sentence is particularly chilling and an example of the ideology that we are fighting. Look at this next quote:

"The clerics said they were angry with the United States and other countries for pushing for Rahman's freedom.

"We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue," Nasri said. "We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us."

Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death."

If we lived in a world in which we had no concern about the impact of other thoughts and beliefs that might give us an opportunity to ignore something like this ideological disconnect. But the reality is that we live in a global community and that prevents us from ignoring ideologies that are so dramatically opposed to our own.

I am not sure that we can afford to raise the flag of tolerance and multicultural acceptance on this one.

South Park- Trapped In The Closet

Spiderman To Save cleveland

"cLEVELAND - Watch out for Spider-Man on the city's trademark Terminal Tower skyscraper. "Spider-Man 3," starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, will shoot exterior scenes next month, the Greater Cleveland Film Commission announced Wednesday.Cleveland won out over New York City, where it's more expensive to shut down streets.

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission landed the Spider-Man filming in part by offering free soundstage space at the city's convention center."
I always knew that a superhero was required to help that place.

"Dude, What About That South Park Feud!"

Earlier in the week I wrote about Isaac Hayes and his departure from South Park. Last night the world got to see the typical South Park response to criticism. I missed the episode so I am relying on 'E's report.
"Trey Parker and Matt Stone have buried the hatchet with--sorry, into--Isaac Hayes.

On Wednesday's South Park 10th season premiere, Hayes' Chef character was struck by lightning, impaled, shot, mauled by a mountain lion, eaten by a grizzly bear, and, oh, yes, accused of being a child molester."
Just wait it gets better
"In the completely made-up story, Chef is "brainwashed" by an organization of child molesters called the "Super Adventure Club." In order to cure Chef, Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny take their friend to a psychiatrist, a frowned-upon profession among Scientologists.

In the end, Chef dies a million Kenny deaths, only to live on, sort of, as a Darth Vader version of himself.

At his funeral, Kyle urges South Park residents to remember Chef as he was, before the brainwashing. If there is to be anger, he says, don't direct it at the beloved cafeteria worker.

Rather, says Kyle, "we should be mad at the fruity little club for scrambling his brain."

Break the law and live by a beach

"BASTOY PRISON, Norway (Reuters) - The Web site reads like an advertisement for a holiday home.

"Is Bastoy the place for you?" it asks next to photographs of a sunset sparkling off the tranquil waters of the Oslo fjord and horses pulling sleighs over packed snow.

This wooded island could be -- if you are a rapist, a murderer, a drug trafficker or have accepted a large bribe.

"We try to take a cross-section of the country's prison population, not just the nice criminals," said Oyvind Alnaes, governor of the minimum security prison on Bastoy Island about 46 miles south of the Norwegian capital.

Inmates have included Norway's most notorious serial killer, Arnfinn Nesset, convicted of murdering 22 elderly people when he was manager of a nursing home in the 1970s. He was freed for good behavior after serving two-thirds of a 21-year sentence.

"A lot of people in Norway say that we treat them (the prisoners) too well because they should be punished. But this is the biggest mistake we have been making since the 1600s. Taking this line makes people bad," Alnaes said.

"You have to believe people are born good."

The one square mile island offers its 115 "residents" cross-country skiing, tennis and horse-riding, but before the inmates can slope off to practice their serve or head to the beach for a swim, there is work to do on the farm.

"We want to become the first ecological prison in the world," Alnaes said. "It's about giving the inmates responsibility (and) trust, and teaching them respect."

Alnaes, who wears jeans and t-shirts to work and is known to the inmates as Oyvind, says this model of open prison is the future. In 1997, he gave Bastoy Prison a new slogan: "An arena of the development of responsibility."

Sounds pleasant to me, not sure that I buy into the philosophy of the place but...

250 Year Old Tortoise Dies

KOLKATA, India - A giant aldabra tortoise thought to be around 250 years old has died in the Kolkata zoo of liver failure, Indian authorities said on Thursday.

The tortoise had been the pet of Robert Clive, the famous British military officer in colonial India around the middle of the 18th century, a local minister in West Bengal state said.

Local authorities say the tortoise, named “Addwaitya” meaning the “The One and Only” in Bengali, was the oldest tortoise in the world but they have not presented scientific proof to back up their claim."

That is ok, read the next graph and you can see that the tortoise was still exceptionally old.

“Historical records show he was a pet of British general Robert Clive of the East India Company and had spent several years in his sprawling estate before he was brought to the zoo about 130 years ago,” West Bengal Forest Minister Jogesh Barman said.

“We have documents to prove that he was more than 150 years old, but we have pieced together other evidence like statements from authentic sources and it seems that he is more than 250 years old,” he said.

Hostages Freed

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. and British forces have freed three Christian aid workers held hostage in Iraq, ending a four-month ordeal in which an American captive was found dead on a Baghdad street.

No shots were fired and no captors were present when the hostages -- Briton Norman Kember, 74 and Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32 -- were freed early Thursday, officials said.

"I am delighted that now we have a happy ending in this terrible ordeal," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in announcing the rescue."
This is good news. However, I am disappointed by this.

"Christian Peacemaker Teams posted a statement on its Web siteexternal link expressing joy in the hostages' release but also criticizing the U.S.-led operation in Iraq.
"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity which led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq," the statement said. "The occupation must end."
It is irresponsible to place the blame for the kidnapping upon the coalition forces. The men who went to Iraq were adults and aware that they were intentionally placing themselves in harms way.

Dance At The Office

Bathroom Tales

Want to learn more about a larger and more comfortable toilet. Click here.

Do You Remember Gemco?

I do and so do these people.

Waiting for The Contractor

If you are a prospective vendor who is interested in earning my business you need to know that I am not real keen on being kept waiting.

But if you have to keep me waiting, if you must keep me hanging on then you should have the sense to call me on the phone to let me know that you are running late.

Such a lack of manners indicate that you must be from cleveland.

The Shmata Queen is a Monkey

My dear Shmata Queen is upset because I haven't blogged about her lately. So here you go, my monkey mistress. Your very own post.

Are you happy now, or are you going to keep calling me.

What Makes a Lefty: Myths and Mysteries Persist

"Can openers, scissors and spiral-bound notebooks discriminate against lefties. Despite such challenges, 10 to 12 percent of the human population has historically preferred the left hand.

Why doesn't the number ever waiver? Nobody knows for sure, but new research supports a body of evidence that suggests genetics have a hand in it all.

In the meantime, the myth remains that lefties are more artistic. And the idea that left-handed fighters have an advantage persists on scant evidence, supported by Scottish lore and Rocky Balboa's heroics in the ring.

Look, Mom: Both hands!

Like many traits, handedness is probably determined by a complex interaction between genes and the environment, experts figure.

Left-handers are more likely to have a left-handed relative. But researchers have yet to find the gene or set of genes that pick one hand over the other.

Most scientists agree that handedness exists on a continuum. The idea helps explain why some people bowl with their left but hold a spoon in their right. Truly ambidextrous people, who have indifferent preference for either hand, are extremely rare.

In a new study, researchers measured the width of elbows in living people and in skeletons from a medieval British farming community.

The researchers assumed the 9-to-1 ratio of handedness would match the ratio of bigger right to left elbows. The prediction held true in the modern-day group, but not for the medieval bones.

Most of the ancient farmers' left and right elbows were the same size.

"It's obvious that they were using both hands equally," said anthropologist Amanda Blackburn from the University of Manitoba. "It's not fair to say they were ambidextrous in the true sense of the word, but they may have had a tendency to use both hands equally. It's a behavior they may have learned rather than just being born like that."

The findings will be published in the April issue of the journal Current Anthropology."

Read the whole story here.

Pallywood Posts

 I think a bunch of the posts about Pallywood that have been written and or linked here have to be updated. Probably a bunch of bad links, k...