Sunday, August 31, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #67

  1. Cows point North

  2. And a 2D Flash version of Portal. Interesting online game, and video walkthroughs of the solution to each level on YouTube.

  3. Women locked inside Breslov shul -- that women should leave before Aleinu, or else be locked in the shul for 15 minutes. The street it narrow, and they did not want mingling. But they should have asked the women if they were amenable, and at least have told them of it before springing this upon them.

  4. Aussie Echo has a post where he comments on an article about moshiach.

  5. Over at DovBear, a guest commentator notes the famous story of lashon hara and collecting the feathers scattered from a pillowcase to the wind is told about the 16th century Philip Neri, and illustrates the Catholic concept of Detraction. Interesting, especially as this was one of the books Madonna authored for the Kabbalah Center, Mr. Peabody's Apples.

  6. At Emes veEmunah, a question at why people were outraged over the Monsey chicken scandal but indifferent over Agriprocessors, and come up with excuses. For various reasons, I think the reaction to the Monsey chicken scandal was overblown. But regardless, there are a few factors I can come up with off the top of my head for the difference in reactions. First, it may be a difference of bein adam lachavero vs. bein adam laMakom, as these often attract different reactions. Further, in the Monsey case, Jewish people found out about it, how Jewish customers were hoodwinked. Here, with PETA being against slaughter in general; and among those attacking it being FailedMessiah, who is against Orthodox Judaism in general; and secular Jewish papers making a scandal out of it; and threats of bringing in the government; and the Conservative movement trying to make inroads into their own competing brand of hashgacha -- well, that fosters an us vs. them reaction.

  7. The Washington Post reports on the Japanese shidduch crisis, and blames it on the men who are childish, and that Japanese women do not want to look after children of either type.

  8. LifeInIsrael notes how Beitar Illit is fighting against Internet access, or else "protecting" children from other children who grow up in a home with Internet.

  9. An old post of mine, defending the Lubavitcher Rebbe by saying that he is not a navi sheker, because he is not a prophet, is drawing some ire.

  10. An interesting article about a new discovery -- of how half-lives can depend upon distance to the Sun, and thus varies depending upon time of year. (See here and here.) This should presumably not affect carbon dating because its half-life is a bit more than 5 millennia, and across any year, the average distance to the Sun will be the same. But on the other hand, I wonder if it would affect calibration of half-life of carbon part the 5740 or whatever it is, such that it could have an impact. And of course, this opens up possibilities for Creationists to say that the extreme age comes from being closer to the Sun, or being exposed to more intense rays, or even bringing in Velekovsky, or some such idea -- perhaps citing a midrash about the greater light during the time of maaseh Bereishit, before Hashem hid it away for tzaddikim.

  11. ADDeRabbi has two posts on the content of "shul rags."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But on the other hand, I wonder if it would affect calibration of half-life of carbon part the 5740 or whatever it is, such that it could have an impact."

You are SO strange.

joshwaxman said...

it is you again? ;)

joshwaxman said...

just to clarify, wondering something does not mean that I am in any way confident in it, or have researched it in any way, or am suggesting it with any real force. (in fact, calibration based on tree rings and so on has nothing to do with this.) but I am open to the possibilities as they unfold, and we will have to see what subsequent research reveals.

As an aside, while I see no theological problem with an ancient earth, and with evolution, and so on and so forth, anything is theoretically possible. And I've always considered the half-life of 5730±40 years as somewhat interesting.

bion said...

"Women locked inside Breslov shul -- that women should leave before Aleinu, or else be locked in the shul for 15 minutes. The street it narrow, and they did not want mingling. But they should have asked the women if they were amenable, and at least have told them of it before springing this upon them."

this sounds dangerous. god forbid there is a fire. or someone has a heart attack. How does this work?

Locking women in also sounds downright hostile.

Do you really think it's normal or OK to lock people up "if they are amenable"? lock them up?

I hope there is something i am missing here.

joshwaxman said...

true. I don't agree with the way they went about it. and based on my own values, I in all likelihood would not do it (make separate leaving times for shul) myself.

but other people have different values than I do, and there are precedents for such measures, such as e.g. the balcony in the beis hamikdash.

so if they would be amenable, and these are indeed their values -- based on the women's comments, it does not seem like it is -- then locking the ezras nashim would not be necessary. they would leave before Aleinu of their own accord, or wait the 15 minutes patiently. and if they decided that locking the door was a necessary reminder, so that you stop for a moment, they could do so with a key hanging permanently from a chain inside the ezras nashim, so that they could get out in emergencies. or one appointed woman by the door could have the key, or there could be something in the doorknob to turn to lock or unlock it.

not that I would do it myself, of course...

Kol Tuv,
Josh

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