It’s A Metaphor, Stupid!

In the past few days, in television news programs and various blogs, people have been taking a swing at Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, IDF Chief of General Staff, for looking through binoculars with their cap on. For those snickering bloggers this was the smoking gun that proved Ashkenazi’s gross incompetence.

Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi with binoculars

Back in February, 2007, when Minister of Defense Amir Peretz was caught looking through closed-cap binoculars, it was a smart jab at his inability to admit his shortcomings, well due after the criticism in Israel for his part in the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war. As you can see in this video here, he tries to look through the binoculars again and again, and does not admit something is wrong and does not ask for assistance.

Lt. Gen Ashkenazi, who has spent the last 35 years looking through binoculars throughout his military service, was practicing a learnt instinct when he closed the binocular caps after using it, later to take another look, seeing that the cap was on, and taking it off. With the power cameras have for snapping a shot and freezing time, it looks as if he is showing the same incompetence as Peretz showed, but that is not the case. Anyone who ever served in the army, be it a chief of staff or a military clerk, knows that there are various orders you practice, even though they do not make sense some of the times. When I was in boot camp, back in 1995, I was taught to insert my fingers into the magazine well in my M-16 rifle, to make sure that the magazine was out. Now, obviously, I could have easily taken a quick glance at my rifle to see that I already taken the magazine out – but the repeated practice was in order to create muscle memory that will force me to do the same in combat conditions, when I might not think straight or the visibility might not be as good. Lt. Gen Ashkenazi who has been closing binocular caps most of his adult life was instinctively doing the same well-practiced movement.

If people want to prove he is incompetent they should work harder than just attaching an ill-captioned photo with an ‘ha-ha’ comment under it.

If you wanna be in an IDF boot camp and insert your fingers into an M-16 magazine – well… you don’t have to be an Israeli to do it. Read here all about the Friends of the IDF Boot Camp Mission to Israel.

Where Was Doctor Tanya When I Was Growing Up?

If you haven’t already seen Dr. Tanya Byron in action, you should not spare another day without witnessing this human phenomenon. She is a clinical psychologist who appeared on multiple BBC THREE’s television series giving parenting advice to those in dire needs of it. Had she not explained the logic behind her easy to implement tactics, you could have sworn she was a present-day Pied Piper of Hamelin. It will take just thirty minutes of your time to prove that there are no ‘bad kids’ – only ‘bad parenting’.

Doctor Tanya Byron

In Israel, you can currently watch Dr. Tanya on these TV channels:
Little Angels – on BBC Prime – four times a week
Teen Terrors to Teen Angels – on Channel 8 – daily, starting next week
The House of Tiny Tearaways – on Channel 8 – in a future weekend marathon

Ode to Female Armpit Hair

I read an interesting poem by Kirsten Anderberg, a Seattle-based activist, titled Ode to My Armpit Hair. To tease you to read the whole poem, here's the first stanza:

I've never owned a disposable razor
I haven't shaved since '78
Prepubescent armpits are not natural on grown women
I see shaved armpits as body hate.

The full poem can be found here.

I always thought women were tricked into all this self-maintenance work, including bra wearing, hair removing and nowadays plastic surgeries. The initial taunting was probably done by men, but after awhile women started shaming one another, progressively demanding more and more work to be done before attempting to show their faces in public. Female author Ariel Levy calls these women female chauvinist pigs.

Hat tip: Simply Jews.

Was the Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed?

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed? 

In the musical film Chicago we are introduced to 'the six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail' during the Cell Block Tango number, one of the strongest dance numbers in the movie, in my opinion. Each of the 'merry murderesses' describes why the victim 'had it coming' and why she is innocent, as 'it was a murder, but not a crime'.

In the dance routine, five of the women have red handkerchiefs and the Hunyak has a white one, which made me assume it is a symbol for her innocence. I have been searching online for discussions about the Hungarian's innocence, but the most I could find were pages where she is called innocent without any proof or self-doubt. So here are my two cents on this important subject:

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed? 

To prove the Hunyak's innocence we first need to prove that the red handkerchiefs are symbols for the murders and thus the white handkerchief symbolizes her innocence:

  • The red handkerchiefs are used in lieu of the actual weapons, and each of the women simulates the killing with the garment. After a short glimpse at the attached photo mosaic one can easily see who killed her male partner by:
    • firing a shotgun into his head
    • putting arsenic in his drink
    • stabbing him with a knife

    The other three modi operandi are not described.

  • Velma Kelly who killed both her husband and her sister has two red handkerchiefs, one for each of the murders.
  • The Hunyak has a white handkerchief and does not simulate a killing on her male dance partner. She just subserviently reveals her white handkerchief, while white limelight floods her dancing area, creating a sharp contrast with all the other dancers who are lit in red.

While all of this is just circumstantial evidence, I believe the Hunyak, played by Ekaterina Chtchelkanova, was wrongfully accused, convicted and executed.

Was The Chicago Film Hunyak Wrongfully Convicted And Executed?

If per chance you do not own a copy of the Chicago movie, you are more than welcome to purchase it here.

My One Obligatory Harry Potter Reference

ShaBot 6000 is the continuing cartoon saga of a pious Jew who purchases a robot to work as Shabbos Goy for his household. The inquisitive robot, ShaBot, decides that he is Jewish, and is therefore unable to fulfill his duties as servant. ShaBot spends his days asking questions about Judaism, trying to find logic in a religion that sometimes does not compute. Here is the latest ShaBot 6000 comic strip titled Harry Shabotter. ShaBot 6000 latest comic strip about Harry Potter, titled Harry Shabotter

Greetings From An Indian Restaurant

On my 2001-2002 trip to India, I spent a night in the city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka. In the evening, I dined with fellow travelers at the Parklane Hotel garden restaurant, and was taken aback by the dining instructions quoted on the cover of the menu. Obviously, I just had to borrow a copy – only to return it on my very next trip to India, if and when one should come by. It only took five years to get around scanning and uploading the thing for everyone to benefit.

Front cover:
Parklane Hotel garden restaurant - front cover of menu

Back cover:
Parklane Hotel garden restaurant - back cover of menu

Full transcription provided for search engine optimization:

á la carte
Parklane Hotel
Drink, Dine, Dwell!
2720, SRI HARSHA ROAD, MYSORE – 570 001
PHONE: 437370, 434340
FAX: 0091 821 428424



1. A gentle reminder that dishes are prepared after receiving the order and normally take twenty to thirty minutes, and for special dishes over fortyfive minutes should be allowed.
2. Dishes are liquors are subject to availability of commodities.
3. We take pride in the quality and quantity of the dishes and drinks served. Please do not bring in food and drinks of any kind for consumption.
4. We reserve the right to alter the rates without prior notice.
5. Sales Tax or any additional Taxes will be charged extra for food and liquors.
6. Sales are strictly on cash basis or with major Credit Cards. Please do not embarrass us by requests for credit.
7. Disposable vomit Bags are available on request in case of need, as a consideration to fellow diners.
8. We do our best to satisfy you. Please do bear with our short comings and inform us of same. "To err is human but to forgive is devine"s.
9. It is not our intention to take advantage of your satisfaction over a "Full tummy" or " fuddle-headedness"! May re quest you to please check your bills and bring any error that might have indvertently occurred to our attention.
10. Type of music played will be the sole choice of the management.
11. No music  after 11pm.
12. Any unauthorized alterations in the bills may be brought to the attention of the management.
13. Candle lamps for the table will be provided on request.
14. Last order for both food and drinks should be placed when the bell is rung. Restaurant lights will be switched off half an hour after the bell is rung when the guests are requested to leave the premises.


Marlboro Light Photo-Nostalgia

King Hussein of Jordan lighting Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin's cigarette at the Royal residence in Akaba, Jordan, shortly after signing the Jordan-Israeli peace treaty, October 26th, 1994.I think it is the nostalgia for better times that made this photo pop into my head today. This photo is clearly in my top ten news-related photos, depicting King Hussein of Jordan lighting Israeli Premier Yitzhak Rabin’s cigarette at the Royal residence in Akaba, Jordan, shortly after signing the Jordan-Israeli peace treaty.

I would quote the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who referenced this specific photo in a 1999 speech, and said: “I should hasten to add that, in saying this, I am endorsing peace, not cigarette smoking.”

The photo was taken on October 26th, 1994 by the Israeli Government Press Office photographer Sa’ar Ya’acov. This photo and others can be viewed online and even purchased at Israel’s National Photo Collection.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Simpsonized!

The Simpsons people have put out an amazing marketing campaign for their movie, and unlike many other massive campaigns, this one doesn’t have that shove-it-down-your-throat aftertaste. This is my rendition of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Simpsonized. [Website now defunct] Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Simpsonized