Following up on my previous post title, I bring to you straight from my in-box and courtsey of my Aunt a pop Yiddish quiz. Phyl, I know you are going to love this one!
1) Which one of these people might best be described as “zoftig?”
A) Callista Flockhart
B) Lara Flynn Boyle
C) Kirstie Alley
D) Woody Allen
2) You’re driving around in eckveldt (the boondocks) and have no idea where you are. You are:
3) You found it! The Holy Grail! A $2000 designer dress for just $39.95!
You’ve found a:
4) Which one of these people has a “ferbisseneh punim?”
A) Michael Jackson
B) Leona Helmsley
C) Barbara Walters
D) Julia Roberts
5) He eats like a pig and wipes his face with the back of his hand. He farts and picks his nose at the dinner table. He curses like a drunken sailor.
He’s a real:
C) grubber yung
6) Which of these is NOT a body part?
7) Which of these is NOT an insult:
A) shana maydel
8) You’ve gone to a wild party where you’ve been downing vodka jello shots like candy. You can barely stand up anymore, and you’ve made a fool of yourself in front of everyone you know. You are totally, completely:
9) Which of these things would you never find at a kosher restaurant?
B) luckshen kugel
D) kasha varnishkes
10) Of these various uses of “kishka”, which one is incorrect?
A) “Yes, waiter. I’ll have the roast chicken with a side order of kishka.”
B) “That Yetta, she’s such a piece of kishka!”
C) “After twenty years of keeping secrets, he finally went to a shrink and spilled my kishkas.”
D) “If anyone ever tried to mug me, boy, I’d give him such a chamalyiah in the kishkas!”
Answers are after the jump
Answers to Quiz:
Question 1 =C~ Kirstie Alley
Question 2 = A~ farblunget
Question 3 = D~ metziah
Question 4 = B~ Leona Helmsley
Question 5 = C~ grubber yung
Question 6 = B~ potchki
Question 7 = A~ shana maydel
Question 8 = D~ fershikert
Question 9 = C~ treyf
Question 10 = B~ “That Yetta, she’s such a piece of kishka!”
Following up on my previous post title, I bring to you straight from my in-box and courtsey of my Aunt a pop Yiddish quiz. Phyl, I know you are going to love this one!
Emmitt Smith, who once ran roughshod over 300 lb linemen in the bruising NFL, won the “Dancing with the Stars” competition last night which wouldn’t be so horrible except that he looked like this:
Emmitt – how could you?
One thing about organized religion as a whole that always annoys me is the “my god is better than your god” debate, the certainty that each observant has in the fact that his or her religion is unique and special because it came “directly from God’s mouth” or something like that. Many times this line of reasoning does not hold up to evidence and one piece of evidence that always punches a huge hole in this train of thought is that there are over 175 different flood myths that exist in the world.
For Christian and Jews, we are talking about Noah’s Ark but every other religion has a starkling similar myth. The story goes that there was a time when the world was completely flooded (most often due to God’s wrath) and life was miraculously saved by either one or a few enterprising souls, possibly guided by the said deity that flooded the world in the first place.
The defining fact about these myths is that most of them grew up independently from each other. For instance, the Incas have a flood myth and so do the Jews. The myths are very similar to each other yet no Jew ever interacted with an Incan (or vice versa) when these myths were developed and recorded thousands of years ago. Long story short: it happened. A very real and cataclismic flood encompassed the world within the last 10,000 years and this disaster became the story of legend and myth, eventually entering in all the major religions and belief systems in the world.
In reading the NYT today, I found an article about how scientists are studying chevrons (in this case enormous wedge-shaped sediment deposits, not a badge or insignia consisting of stripes meeting at an angle, worn on the sleeve of a military or police uniform to indicate rank, merit, or length of service or a multinational energy company) to see if/when super tsunamis occurred in the past. It turns out that there may be evidence of one around 5000 BC, which happens to be the point where our history breaks down. We have knowledge of the Egyptians, Jews, Chinese up to around that year. Before that point, who knows what happend and maybe, just maybe, that date is significant because a cataclysmic flood wiped everything out. I love this stuff.
Ancient Crash, Epic Wave
by Sandra Blakeslee
At the southern end of Madagascar lie four enormous wedge-shaped sediment deposits, called chevrons, that are composed of material from the ocean floor. Each covers twice the area of Manhattan with sediment as deep as the Chrysler Building is high.
On close inspection, the chevron deposits contain deep ocean microfossils that are fused with a medley of metals typically formed by cosmic impacts. And all of them point in the same direction — toward the middle of the Indian Ocean where a newly discovered crater, 18 miles in diameter, lies 12,500 feet below the surface.
The explanation is obvious to some scientists. A large asteroid or comet, the kind that could kill a quarter of the world’s population, smashed into the Indian Ocean 4,800 years ago, producing a tsunami at least 600 feet high, about 13 times as big as the one that inundated Indonesia nearly two years ago. The wave carried the huge deposits of sediment to land.
Most astronomers doubt that any large comets or asteroids have crashed into the Earth in the last 10,000 years. But the self-described “band of misfits” that make up the two-year-old Holocene Impact Working Group say that astronomers simply have not known how or where to look for evidence of such impacts along the world’s shorelines and in the deep ocean.
Scientists in the working group say the evidence for such impacts during the last 10,000 years, known as the Holocene epoch, is strong enough to overturn current estimates of how often the Earth suffers a violent impact on the order of a 10-megaton explosion. Instead of once in 500,000 to one million years, as astronomers now calculate, catastrophic impacts could happen every few thousand years.
The researchers, who formed the working group after finding one another through an international conference, are based in the United States, Australia, Russia, France and Ireland. They are established experts in geology, geophysics, geomorphology, tsunamis, tree rings, soil science and archaeology, including the structural analysis of myth. Their efforts are just getting under way, but they will present some of their work at the American Geophysical Union meeting in December in San Francisco.
This year the group started using Google Earth, a free source of satellite images, to search around the globe for chevrons, which they interpret as evidence of past giant tsunamis. Scores of such sites have turned up in Australia, Africa, Europe and the United States, including the Hudson River Valley and Long Island.
When the chevrons all point in the same direction to open water, Dallas Abbott, an adjunct research scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., uses a different satellite technology to look for oceanic craters. With increasing frequency, she finds them, including an especially large one dating back 4,800 years.
So far, astronomers are skeptical but are willing to look at the evidence, said David Morrison, a leading authority on asteroids and comets at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. Surveys show that as many as 185 large asteroids or comets hit the Earth in the far distant past, although most of the craters are on land. No one has spent much time looking for craters in the deep ocean, Dr. Morrison said, assuming young ones don’t exist and that old ones would be filled with sediment.
Astronomers monitor every small space object with an orbit close to the Earth. “We know what’s out there, when they return, how close they come,” Dr. Morrison said. Given their observations, “there is no reason to think we have had major hits in the last 10,000 years,” he continued, adding, “But if Dallas is right and they find 10 such events, we’ll have a real contradiction on our hands.”
Peter Bobrowski, a senior research scientist in natural hazards at the Geological Survey of Canada, said “chevrons are fantastic features” but do not prove that megatsunamis are real. There are other interpretations for how chevrons are formed, including erosion and glaciation. Dr. Bobrowski said. It is up to the working group to prove its claims, he said.
William Ryan, a marine geologist at the Lamont Observatory, compared Dr. Abbott’s work to that of other pioneering scientists who had to change the way their colleagues thought about a subject.
“Many of us think Dallas is really onto something,” Dr. Ryan said. “She is building a story just like Walter Alvarez did.” Dr. Alvarez, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, spent a decade convincing skeptics that a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Ted Bryant, a geomorphologist at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, was the first person to recognize the palm prints of mega-tsunamis. Large tsunamis of 30 feet or more are caused by volcanoes, earthquakes and submarine landslides, he said, and their deposits have different features.
Deposits from mega-tsunamis contain unusual rocks with marine oyster shells, which cannot be explained by wind erosion, storm waves, volcanoes or other natural processes, Dr. Bryant said.
“We’re not talking about any tsunami you’re ever seen,” Dr. Bryant said. “Aceh was a dimple. No tsunami in the modern world could have made these features. End-of-the-world movies do not capture the size of these waves. Submarine landslides can cause major tsunamis, but they are localized. These are deposited along whole coastlines.”
For example, Dr. Bryant identified two chevrons found over four miles inland near Carpentaria in north central Australia. Both point north. When Dr. Abbott visited a year ago, he asked her to find the craters.
To locate craters, Dr. Abbott uses sea surface altimetry data. Satellites scan the ocean surface and log the exact height of it. Underwater mountain ranges, trenches and holes in the ground disturb the Earth’s gravitational field, causing sea surface heights to vary by fractions of an inch. Within 24 hours of searching the shallow water north of the two chevrons, Dr. Abbott found two craters.
Not all depressions in the ocean are impact craters, Dr. Abbott said. They can be sink holes, faults or remnant volcanoes. A check is needed. So she obtained samples from deep sea sediment cores taken in the area by the Australian Geological Survey.
The cores contain melted rocks and magnetic spheres with fractures and textures characteristic of a cosmic impact. “The rock was pulverized, like it was hit with a hammer,” Dr. Abbott said. “We found diatoms fused to tektites,” a glassy substance formed by meteors. The molten glass and shattered rocks could not be produced by anything other than an impact, she said.
“We think these two craters are 1,200 years old,” Dr. Abbott said. The chevrons are well preserved and date to about the same time.
Dr. Abbott and her colleagues have located chevrons in the Caribbean, Scotland, Vietnam and North Korea, and several in the North Sea.
Heather Hill State Park on Long Island has a chevron whose front edge points to a crater in Long Island Sound, Dr. Abbott said. There is another, very faint chevron in Connecticut, and it points in a different direction.
Marie-Agnès Courty, a soil scientist at the European Center for Prehistoric Research in Tautavel, France, is studying the worldwide distribution of cosmogenic particles from what she suspects was a major impact 4,800 years ago.
But Madagascar provides the smoking gun for geologically recent impacts. In August, Dr. Abbott, Dr. Bryant and Slava Gusiakov, from the Novosibirsk Tsunami Laboratory in Russia, visited the four huge chevrons to scoop up samples.
Last month, Dee Breger, director of microscopy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, looked at the samples under a scanning electron microscope and found benthic foraminifera, tiny fossils from the ocean floor, sprinkled throughout. Her close-ups revealed splashes of iron, nickel and chrome fused to the fossils.
When a chondritic meteor, the most common kind, vaporizes upon impact in the ocean, those three metals are formed in the same relative proportions as seen in the microfossils, Dr. Abbott said.
Ms. Breger said the microfossils appear to have melded with the condensing metals as both were lofted up out of the sea and carried long distances.
About 900 miles southeast from the Madagascar chevrons, in deep ocean, is Burckle crater, which Dr. Abbott discovered last year. Although its sediments have not been directly sampled, cores from the area contain high levels of nickel and magnetic components associated with impact ejecta.
Burckle crater has not been dated, but Dr. Abbott estimates that it is 4,500 to 5,000 years old.
It would be a great help to the cause if the National Science Foundation sent a ship equipped with modern acoustic equipment to take a closer look at Burckle, Dr. Ryan said. “If it had clear impact features, the nonbelievers would believe,” he said.
But they might have more trouble believing one of the scientists, Bruce Masse, an environmental archaeologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. He thinks he can say precisely when the comet fell: on the morning of May 10, 2807 B.C.
Dr. Masse analyzed 175 flood myths from around the world, and tried to relate them to known and accurately dated natural events like solar eclipses and volcanic eruptions. Among other evidence, he said, 14 flood myths specifically mention a full solar eclipse, which could have been the one that occurred in May 2807 B.C.
Half the myths talk of a torrential downpour, Dr. Masse said. A third talk of a tsunami. Worldwide they describe hurricane force winds and darkness during the storm. All of these could come from a mega-tsunami.
Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, Dr. Masse said, “and we’re not there yet.”
I logged into my school email this morning and saw a note with “Work-life balance workshop – Canceled” as the subject line so I just had to open it. It read:
Unfortunately, I am going to cancel the work-life balance workshop for next weekend. Given the end of semester work load, it was too difficult for enough people to make a Saturday session. Thanks again to everyone who expressed interest!
All the best,
Ellen (name has been changed)
Everyone is too busy for the work-life balance workshop. I wish I was making this up…
Via Zicklin School of Business Webmail
It is a new day in America. The United States House of Representatives and the Senate are now controlled by moderate Democrats, my favorite kind of politicians, and America is finally on the road back from “the George W. Bush era, which will ultimately be seen as a fear-induced anomaly in American history” which is how NYT columnist Bob Herbert put it today. W’s got 2 years left. I wish he’d leave today.
While I am a liberal at heart, this country has shown by the incredibly close nature of all the races nationwide that there is a strong split in how people think and feel in this country. Our nation is not red and blue, its purple, and we should start behaving and passing laws that way. Having a strong moderate, centrist government is the way to go and I think that the Dems will behave that way. I hope. I pray.
I was watching Larry King Live of all programs last night waiting to see if Webb really won and Bill Mahr was on. He was making a lot of sense, as usual. To paraphrase what he said, “First, let the conservatives have their guns. Don’t even think about taking them. Yes, gun control is a problem but a lot of Americans love their guns and losing control over the country because of this one issue isn’t worth it. Second, let them have marriage. Most of them do not hate gays, we have to give them more credit than that, but they want to own that word. They don’t want Bob and Tim to get “married” and you know what, I’ll give them that too, as long as gays have equal rights. Its just a word and its not worth losing the country over either.”
You know what? I totally agree with him. If you are a true liberal, you won’t take no for an answer, you will stick to your guns and you’ll see the whole country go down the toilet. Ralph Nader refused to resign in 2000 because of ideology and Bush won – no Nader and Gore wins. Sometimes, you have to know when to fold them for the sake of the country. That is why I’m a centrist, a moderate and of course a reasonist.
In summation: America is back. Let everyone in the US and abroad cheer loud and clear. G-d damn, I’m actually optimistic again – who the hell did that happen?!
I was just informed that Tom DeLay’s seat in Texas went for the Democrats. That gives another seat to the good guys and I am proud to say that after a decade, reality is returning to Washington. The Dems now have the House and hopefully the Senate too because while the last 3 are super close, the Dems are ahead in all. As Borat says, “Very niiiice.” I’m going to bed and am going to dream happy, happy, happy thoughts.
Today is the day – VOTE! If you vote, I suggest you vote the entire Working Families Party line. New York and Connecticut are the only states in the nation where “Open Ballot Voting” is both common and legal. That means that other parties can cross-endorse major party candidates and voters can vote on another ballot line if they feel that it represents their values. Votes on a minor party line play a major role in the outcome of elections and in determining subsequent legislation. In this election, the WFP is actually running the same exact candidates as the Democrats however if you and enough other people vote for them, they will get federal matching dollars to carry their platform further.
Most people talk about the Republicans and Democrats as if they are the only two parties in the country. There are others though, and the WFP is one of them. It is a grassroots, community and labor based political party with chapters throughout New York State. This country needs more choice, more voices at the table, and supporting a third party, especially if they are running a candidate that is someone you will vote for anyway on another party line (say Dem or Rep) is the best and flat out easiest way to make a difference.
The goal of the Working Families Party is to more forcefully inject the issues of working-class, middle-class, and poor people—like jobs, health care, education, and housing—into the public debate, and hold candidates and elected officials accountable on those issues. Our organizing strategy is to start local, think long-term, combine campaign work with organizing and education, and not waste supporters’ votes on candidates with no chance of winning.
How can you go wrong with that?
We live in the (arguably) greatest democracy in the world. Part of what we receive by being a citizen of this democracy is the right to vote. While you need a license to drive or fish, you only need to be 18 years old and not a felon to vote. That’s it. You don’t have to do anything else except be alive and show up to pull a lever.
However, it seems that people just do not show up. In the 2004 elections, only 122,293,720 voted for President, which means that only about 60% of eligible citizens actually voted. As we have invaded soveign nations to give them this lovely right to vote, we Americans should take advantage of it ourselves every chance we get and no, texting IDOL7 to 58845 does not count! Plus, if you vote, you get carte blanche to complain about whichever local/state/federal law(s) you see fit.
Here is a great piece by the NY Times on who to vote for if you need help deciding (hint: its not a Republican):
The Difference Two Years Made
On Tuesday, when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible.
That is why things are different this year.
To begin with, the Republican majority that has run the House — and for the most part, the Senate — during President Bush’s tenure has done a terrible job on the basics. Its tax-cutting-above-all-else has wrecked the budget, hobbled the middle class and endangered the long-term economy. It has refused to face up to global warming and done pathetically little about the country’s dependence on foreign oil.
Republican leaders, particularly in the House, have developed toxic symptoms of an overconfident majority that has been too long in power. They methodically shut the opposition — and even the more moderate members of their own party — out of any role in the legislative process. Their only mission seems to be self-perpetuation.
The current Republican majority managed to achieve that burned-out, brain-dead status in record time, and with a shocking disregard for the most minimal ethical standards. It was bad enough that a party that used to believe in fiscal austerity blew billions on pork-barrel projects. It is worse that many of the most expensive boondoggles were not even directed at their constituents, but at lobbyists who financed their campaigns and high-end lifestyles.
That was already the situation in 2004, and even then this page endorsed Republicans who had shown a high commitment to ethics reform and a willingness to buck their party on important issues like the environment, civil liberties and women’s rights.
For us, the breaking point came over the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the fundamental checks and balances that have safeguarded American democracy since its inception. The fact that the White House, House and Senate are all controlled by one party is not a threat to the balance of powers, as long as everyone understands the roles assigned to each by the Constitution. But over the past two years, the White House has made it clear that it claims sweeping powers that go well beyond any acceptable limits. Rather than doing their duty to curb these excesses, the Congressional Republicans have dedicated themselves to removing restraints on the president’s ability to do whatever he wants. To paraphrase Tom DeLay, the Republicans feel you don’t need to have oversight hearings if your party is in control of everything.
An administration convinced of its own perpetual rightness and a partisan Congress determined to deflect all criticism of the chief executive has been the recipe for what we live with today.
Congress, in particular the House, has failed to ask probing questions about the war in Iraq or hold the president accountable for his catastrophic bungling of the occupation. It also has allowed Mr. Bush to avoid answering any questions about whether his administration cooked the intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. Then, it quietly agreed to close down the one agency that has been riding herd on crooked and inept American contractors who have botched everything from construction work to the security of weapons.
After the revelations about the abuse, torture and illegal detentions in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, Congress shielded the Pentagon from any responsibility for the atrocities its policies allowed to happen. On the eve of the election, and without even a pretense at debate in the House, Congress granted the White House permission to hold hundreds of noncitizens in jail forever, without due process, even though many of them were clearly sent there in error.
In the Senate, the path for this bill was cleared by a handful of Republicans who used their personal prestige and reputation for moderation to paper over the fact that the bill violates the Constitution in fundamental ways. Having acquiesced in the president’s campaign to dilute their own authority, lawmakers used this bill to further Mr. Bush’s goal of stripping the powers of the only remaining independent branch, the judiciary.
This election is indeed about George W. Bush — and the Congressional majority’s insistence on protecting him from the consequences of his mistakes and misdeeds. Mr. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and proceeded to govern as if he had an enormous mandate. After he actually beat his opponent in 2004, he announced he now had real political capital and intended to spend it. We have seen the results. It is frightening to contemplate the new excesses he could concoct if he woke up next Wednesday and found that his party had maintained its hold on the House and Senate.
I saw “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” last night and urge everyone to see it, that is if you have a great sense of humor and are intelligent enough to understand the heapings of irony and wrongness that you are served. I honestly haven’t laughed that hard at a movie in a really long time. I also just saw that his Kazak web site is back live as well which is interesting considering I thought that the Kazak government had banned it. Lastly, I wonder how Borat will feel about this Jew praising his film. Maybe he’ll throw money at me to try and make me leave…
Thanks go to John Kerry for inspiring the photo below:
Any former soldier knows loose lips sink ships and to never give ammo to his/her adversary. Kerry is a just a complete moron. I am just completely baffled by his idiocy this close to election day….I can say no more….