Here’s where you’ll find my handouts from Limmud 2014 in Coventry, England. (I’m posting them live on the day of the session. All handouts should be up as of January 1, 2015.)
If you have any questions, or if you’re looking for something that should be here but isn’t, drop me an email.
Just text me, ok?
We’ve all heard that automated voice mail lady, telling us what to do after the beep. But fewer people than ever are leaving messages. And the millennials, they won’t even listen to them — they’d much rather receive a text or Facebook message.
So true. I really really hate voicemail.
Instagram’s new Hyperlapse app is amazing.
Basically, it stabilizes video as it shoots it (or soon thereafter) and allows you to play back at various speeds. It’s timelapse photography in super-smooth mode, or a replacement for a very expensive video stabilization rig.
The secret, according to a Wired profile, is that the app doesn’t try to stabilize with anything like the fancy (and very processor-intensive) software found in high-end video production software. Rather, it uses data from the iPhone’s built-in gyroscopes to simply adjust for movement.
My initial reaction to the app was (a) wonderment, and (b) hopefulness that the app would let me import media (like, um, from my GoPro?).
After reading the Wired article, it’s clear that the Hyperlapse app won’t work with imported material, since the whole point is that it records the gyroscopic data as it’s recording (and adjusts the video accordingly).
But what if…
For this to work, you need to be able to precisely (!) sync the gyroscope’s data with the video. For that reason, I’m wondering if the app might record audio, which the post-processing desktop app could use to sync the recorded data’s time with the footage. As you begin recording, it could even emit a beep or clapper sound or something similar that would be picked up by the video camera’s mic. (The desktop app could know to look for that precise sound.)
Or… we could sync even easier. Both my GoPro and my Canon 6D can be controlled by corresponding iPhone apps. What if the gyroscope data collection was simply built into those apps. Then, you could trigger recording on the camera direct from the phone and simultaneously begin recording the data needed for stabilization.
I have no idea what kind of patent that Instagram (err… Facebook) has on this tech. My point is that this one amazing innovation has the potential to be a big-time game changer, since all the other pieces already exist (or, in the case of the desktop app, should be doable by applying existing tech). With something like I described above, you could replace an expensive stabilization rig with an iPhone, a mounting bracket, and some simple (ish) software.
What an indictment of the Ivy League and its peers: that colleges four levels down on the academic totem pole, enrolling students whose SAT scores are hundreds of points lower than theirs, deliver a better education, in the highest sense of the word.
I can’t speak for the Ivy Leagues, but my fourth-tier liberal arts college did a pretty good job.
Max Steinberg grew up in the same part of Los Angeles where I did, and he graduated from my high school, though it was a decade after I was last there. So I never met him. But I’ve read a lot about him this week, after he died while serving in the IDF in Gaza and his story became the paradigmatic narrative about Americans who go to Israel to join the army.
The piece has come under fire because Benedikt seems to be claiming that Birthright killed Max Steinberg. Or at least that’s what the critics are saying.
I don’t think that’s what Benedikt was trying to say. As I read it, she’s answering a question that a lot of non-Jews (and non-engaged Jews) might be asking: What made this kid — who never seemed to be all that Jewy before — decide to pick up and join the Israeli army? That’s a legitimate question. How many American kids ship off to fight for the Dutch army or the Argentinian navy? (Not very many, I would think.)
Benedikt answers the question by explaining that (a) Steinberg’s parents credit Birthright, and (b) Birthright’s goal is to get American kids to care about Israel. Her assessment seems to be: Look! It worked.
And, “at some point during their all-expenses-paid ten-day trip to a land where, as they are constantly reminded, every mountain and valley is inscribed with 5,000 years of their people’s history,” there is “the moment”— the moment when participants realize just how important Israel is to them, to their fundamental identity, and how important they are to Israel.
According to Steinberg’s parents, that is exactly what happened to Max.
Birthright’s defenders should take her article as a compliment, not an attack.
Benedikt does make one important critical point:
People say Birthright is “just like camp,” and it sure sounds like a very condensed version of the Jewish camp I attended as a kid, whose purpose was, at the very least, to foster a connection to Israel in young Jews—and at best, to get us to move to the country and fight for it. My camp, filled with the children of liberal American Jews, did this by presenting a very simplistic picture of the political situation in Israel and the threat to Jews worldwide, all within the context of helping to fix the world while having the time of your life. Birthright does a form of the same.
Um… are people saying she’s off base here? It seems to me that it’s a fair criticism. Birthright is a ten-day trip, partly because the 6-week summer trips that existed before its inception weren’t attracting unengaged, disconnected Jews (like, um, Max Steinberg). Since it’s beginnings, I’ve heard lots of Jewish educators who are Birthright supporters (and I think I count myself in that group) admit that ten days is just a taste, and that it presents a “simplistic picture.” (And we usually say that if Birthright does its job, we’ll have lots of chances to add layers of complexity to that picture as the attendee engages post-trip.)
Is Benedikt’s attitude toward Birthright a little cynical? Sure. It should be. It’s a multi-million dollar PR campaign for Israel and Jewish identity. It deserves to be examined with some healthy cynicism.
Moral of the story: Chillax. Allison Benedikt said nothing wrong.
Lets say that for some reason you needed a SATA cable or two. Or six. You think to yourself, “I guess I should head down to the store,” or you mozy your online self over to Monoprice or Amazon or whatever.
Yeah. Don’t do that. I’m pretty sure I have twenty extras laying around. They’re angled and I needed straight, or I already bought some and hooked them up before opening up the mounting cage to find that it came with five, or they’re just attracted to me… I don’t know. Somehow I ended up with more SATA cables than any one person could use in a lifetime. And how did I end up with six or seven extra case fans in various sizes?
While I’m at it, I’m pretty sure I have dozens of HDMI, DVI, and DisplayPort cables. And USB (3.0 and 2.0) cables in the hundreds. And at least a couple extra Thunderbolt cables. Don’t even get me started on 4-pin Molex power cables.
Moral of the story: If you need any of this stuff, message/email/call/text. Most of it’s free to anyone who’ll give it a good home. (OK… I can’t give away the Thunderbolt cables for free. But the rest.) Think the cable/adapter/dongle you need is insanely obscure? I probably have six of them. Try me.
Found the above pic in Maurice Sendak’s strange counting book One Was Johnny.
What’s weird is that he looks an awful lot like Freddie (at right), the mascot for MailChimp.
This incarnation of Freddie has been around since 2008, but it seems he was born August 17, 2001. So the monkey in Sendak’s book has got to be a different mail-delivering primate. In case you’re unfamiliar, MailChimp does awesome email marketing (and email newsletters, and that kind of thing). It’s one of my favorite software-as-a-service companies. If you’re using ConstantContact, there are about a gazillion reasons to switch. (If that sounds scary, I can help.)
Anyway, I’ve decided that Sendak’s mail monkey must be Freddie’s dad, since it would make sense that he’d go into the family business.
Look at those two. They just gotta be related.
Today is Israel’s independence day, if you’re Gregorically inclined. That’s because Ben Gurion declared independence on May 14, 1948.
Of course, he declared on that day that the new country’s independence would be effective the following day, immediately following the termination of the British Mandate. So if you’re celebrating the declaration, today’s the day on the Gregorian calendar. If you’re celebrating independence itself, then I suppose you should hold off til tomorrow. Yom HaAtzma’ut, he official state holiday in Israel (and the corresponding holiday for Jews living elsewhere) is commemorated on the fifth day of Iyar, or on the sixth day of the month if it turns out that Yom HaAtzma’ut (or the day before it — Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day) would fall on Shabbat.
This year, Israel celebrated its own independence on Tuesday, May 6, which was the sixth day of the month of Iyar. Had they celebrated on the fifth, then Yom HaZikaron would have fallen on Shabbat. So they pushed em both up a day. How do I know all this? Well…
This just in from Google: You can now display Hebrew calendar dates (alongside the normal Gregorian headings) in Google Calendar on the web. To enable it:
Now, you should see Hebrew dates alongside the English ones in your calendar.