If you’re the type of per­son that’s inter­ested in grap­pling with some of the… um… stick­ier parts of the Hanukkah story, the past few years have seen a bumper crop of impres­sive writ­ing on the topic.

I’ll write more later about my own take on all this. But for now, check out all this good stuff.
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  • September 12, 2013

After spend­ing way too much time sit­ting in traf­fic over the past cou­ple months, today I beta-tested () a new way to con­quer the 36-mile (ish) com­mute between my home in San Mateo and my place of work in San Jose. To pass the time, I doc­u­mented the jour­ney on my iPhone (whose bat­tery is now depleted to 24% — my 5S can’t get here soon enough).

IMG_5784

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  • July 19, 2013

Twenty years’ worth of sus­tained Internet use has left me with a head full of ran­dom trivia and a pro­found inabil­ity to con­cen­trate. Every time I sit down in front of my com­puter to write a post, I end up brows­ing the IMDb page for the movie Cool Runnings or the career stats for under­rated out­fielder Ryan Spilborghs. I’m just as dis­tractible when my com­puter isn’t con­nected to the Internet: I’ve wasted weeks of my life play­ing this stu­pid base­ball sim­u­la­tion game that I down­loaded years ago and can’t bring myself to delete.

- Justin Peters, “I Write All My Blog Posts Out Longhand, and You Should Too”

Ok, maybe Justin’s prob­lem is “[t]wenty years’ worth of sus­tained Internet use,” but that kind of inter­net dis­trac­tion sounds awful symp­to­matic of adult ADHD.

I’m not a doc­tor. I’m just say­ing…

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  • May 23, 2013

googlemapsnewLast night I got my invite to play with the new Google Maps (desk­top edi­tion).

Initial Reactions:

  • It’s kinda slow.
    (For the record: I’m using Safari on a dual-core i7 MacMini with dual SATAIII SSDs in a striped array and 16GB of mem­ory, and my inter­net band­width is above-average.)
  • The inter­face has a clean/simple yet beau­ti­ful design. The map itself dom­i­nates the entire screen, which I sup­pose is how it should be.
  • By min­i­miz­ing the pres­ence of the user inter­face, there are less but­tons and entry fields, which means it’s harder to use if you’re unfa­mil­iar. It makes me won­der if the Maps team hasn’t over-minimalized to the point where it isn’t obvi­ous to users how they should inter­act with the ser­vice.
  • Thankfully, the “tour” that intro­duces you to the new prod­uct does a decent job of induct­ing users into the new inter­face par­a­digm. (I’m not sure that’s a good thing. To add a twist to a Jobs-ism: If it needs a user inter­face “tour” then it’s not intu­itive enough. Not sure if that’s the case here, but it could be.)

All-in-all, it’s a step in the right direc­tion.

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  • May 15, 2013

ATT Free Msg: Your data usage has reached 3GB this month. Using more than 3GB in future billing cycles will result in reduced speeds. You can use Wi-Fi to help avoid reduced speeds. Visit www​.att​.com/​d​a​t​ainfo or call 866–344-7584 for more info.

(received by text mes­sage from my wire­less car­rier)

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  • May 15, 2013
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  • May 15, 2013

Flan

Jews eat dairy on Shavuot because the ensu­ing dis­com­fort makes us appre­ci­ate the gifts we do have — like Torah — while we pay for those we don’t — like the enzyme that digests lac­tose.

Maybe that’s why Jenny’s Cuban-style flan was such an amaz­ing addi­tion to this evening’s wrestling match with text. Or maybe it’s because it was shiny and deli­cious. (But seri­ously… who cares why?)

Check out the recipe at The Cuban Reuben.

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  • April 12, 2013

 

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  • March 22, 2013

Nice use of video by a non-profit. I’m sure it wasn’t cheap to pro­duce, but prob­a­bly didn’t cost as much as you’d think.

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  • February 27, 2013

Hilarious.

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  • February 26, 2013

What if Mordechai, Haman, and the Wizard of Oz held a rap bat­tle? That’s the ques­tion or stu­dents asked.

The video is a project of one of our Emtza “pods.” Emtza is our seventh/eighth grade project-based pro­gram at Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, where I work. (You can read more about the pro­gram in my pre­vi­ous post on the topic.)

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  • February 26, 2013

As part of my job at Temple Isaiah, I devel­oped Emtza, a project-based pro­gram for our mid­dle school stu­dents. When I say “I devel­oped,” what I mean is that I had a basic con­cept, an idea sapling. I handed that idea to an edu­ca­tor hired to run the pro­gram, Jessie Downey, who devel­oped the idea fur­ther, bring­ing it into the realm of real­ity and giv­ing it some real “umph.” Then she handed it to her amaz­ing staff of teach­ers.

This video — one of two — is a piece of evi­dence that we were on to some­thing. It’s a prod­uct of our stu­dents, who cre­ated it from scratch. They had a lot of sup­port from their teach­ers, but it really is theirs. I hope you get a kick out of it… I sure did. (Click “More” for an expla­na­tion of how the Emtza pro­gram works.)

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  • February 18, 2013

This is the only orga­ni­za­tion I’ve ever played in or been in. I came here with Jackie [Robinson] and Gil [Hodges] and Duke [Snider] … and played with great peo­ple like Don [Newcombe or Drysdale?] and Tommy [Davis], Willie [Davis] and Maury [Wills].

Sandy Koufax (via BLS)

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  • November 7, 2012

Videoconference between Confirmation class and class­mate in London. Technology helps stu­dents cross oceans with­out even try­ing.

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  • November 5, 2012