Today On Fox News: Ehud Barak Upskirt

A couple of hours ago, Ehud Barak, Israeli Minister of Defense and former Prime Minister, was interviewed live on Fox News. As always, Barak looked very respectable – on Fox’s Live Desk camera 1:
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…but camera 2 showed Barak’s sitting position with his legs uncrossed and very, very far from each other:

Ehud Barak on Fox News - 2008-07-30

Now, I am not sure how average Fox viewers perceive this image and whether they assume this is the customary way Sultans sit in the desert – but as an Israeli viewer it made me smile as it is the all-Israeli male sitting position, legs uncrossed, crotch-area enhanced, a posture indicative of a long military service in the Israeli Defense Forces.

News Wires Cover Obama’s Israel Visit …And My Hebrew Poster

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.

        – – Ecclesiastes 11:1

While I knew that the Hebrew Obama poster I designed has been viewed thousands of times, I could not tell if the high resolution files I made available were ever printed and used in a rally. Until yesterday:

All the major news wires covering Barack Obama’s Israeli visit, including The New York Times and The Associated Press – all mentioned a group of Israeli supporters holding a ‘Change We Can Believe In’ Hebrew banner. This sounded really nice, but when I started seeing photos taken by the various wires, I got really excited. A couple of hours later, I got an email from a group called Israelis for Obama, updating me on their usage of my graphics. They downloaded the design off my website and printed out loads of flyers and one big banner. Then they followed Obama’s visit route, showing support all over Jerusalem.

Here are a few photos I found:

  A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
REUTERS/Jim Young
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew ‘change in which we can believe’ as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem. Obama started his visit to Israel and the West Bank during which he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
  Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Road Blog: Israel, the Day in Pictures – July 23, 2008
Obama for America Campaign Headquarters
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN

When I created my first Hebrew Obama poster, I never imagined it would become one of the most popular posts on my blog, lead to a couple of interviews in the media, and that I will get asked to create additional graphics in Hebrew for the campaign. And so, as the Illinois Senator arrives in Israel this evening, I thought it would be appropriate to publish my latest creation.

Following are my new Hebrew posters, one in blue and one in white:

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To download a ZIP file containing a print-size JPG and PSD, click for
the BLUE version, or here for the WHITE version.

Disclaimer:
– Use the graphics in any way you see fit, as long as it is not for financial gain, and as long as it gets Obama elected.
– You can use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services to print merchandize for you and your friends, as long as you do not set up a public shop.
– If you have used the graphics online or printed it and held it in an Obama rally, it would be nice if you could send some photos and share the joy.
– Feel free to link directly to the original post on my blog, but do not link directly to the files.

Make sure you check out my other design:
Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

I will elaborate a bit on my artistic decisions:
While the literal translation of ‘yes we can’ to Hebrew (‘KEN ANU YECHOLIM’, כן אנו יכולים) was what I aimed for when I started this project, it quickly proved to be unacceptable from a graphic point of view: unlike the English words, each one spelled using three letters or less, the third Hebrew word (YECHOLIM) is spelled using six letters, thus breaking the balance of the original design.
Since the original slogan became so prominent in the official campaign, I had to exercise some ingenuity if I wanted to incorporate Hebrew into it, and so YES WE CAN soon became YES OUI KEN, affirming the candidate in English, French and Hebrew, correspondingly. Yes, it’s a trick, but I was forced to use it.

Now let’s talk fontology:
Just like with the previous poster, I used WhatTheFont?!, which helped me discover Arial MT Black is a pretty close match to the original.
For the Hebrew word KEN, I first tried Hebrew fonts but none did the job, and so I decided to use the English letters O and I, the former was changed to look like a the Hebrew letter KAF and the latter was extended to look like a NUN SOFIT and not like a VAV.

The original English PDFs were downloaded from here (now defunct).

What’s Wrong With the Israeli Internet Today? – Brought To You Courtesy of the Israeli Ministry of Transport

I have already posted an elaborate list of the top annoyances plaguing the Israeli Internet*, but wherever my mouse takes me I encounter more and more prototypical examples:

Let’s say you want to check out the official website of the Israeli Ministry of Transportation. You skip Google, as you can distinctly recall the easy to remember URL from a radio spot, and so you type in: mot.gov.il – only to receive this disappointing page:
[singlepic id=90 w=500 h=441 float=center]

No, 404 is not the serial number of a new form you need to fill out, but the error message you get as someone was not clever enough to define the DNS settings properly.

Now, I should point out that the world can be divided into two groups:

  • One group is made up of those who believe that, similar to Dorothy clicking her heels three times, their typing the letter W three times magically charges the Internet, thus allowing it to flow smoothly and deliver data to their computer. Individuals within that group tend to utter phrases like ‘I clicked on the Internet’ or ‘the Internet is broken’.
  • The second group is made up of those who actually know what FTP, gopher or telnet mean, thus knowing WWW was an arbitrarily chosen name for the server that delivers HTML pages. Individuals in this group tend to skip the unnecessary typing of www in domain names, but will always say ‘double-you double-you double-you’ when dictating web addresses to acquaintances they do not consider particularly sharp.

 

Okay, back to the Ministry of Transportation:
Upon receiving the 404 error, you enter the same address with the WWW prefix, and lo and behold, you get the government website:
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Now take a close look at the web address in the right-hand corner:

That’s right! No www!

Now, as I pointed out in a previous post, aside from the obvious disaster of not showing your reader the requested website, there are two additional mistakes the MOT webmasters made:

  • They failed to define a human-readable 404 error page, with some helpful links
  • They failed to define a reporting mechanism that would raise a flag at the webmasters side

 

Related browser trick:
Clicking Ctrl-Enter instead of Enter in your address bar, results in the auto completion of the URL with a ‘www’ prefix and a ‘.com’ suffix.

 

* For a lack of a better term, ‘Israeli Internet’ is what I call the ad-hoc collection of websites run by Israelis.
** As with my previous posts, all the information was checked, double checked, and was correct at the time of its publishing.

Do Israeli Newsmen Wear Boxers or Briefs?

Since TV news reporters are usually shot from the waist up, viewers toy with the idea that except for the expensive jacket, their favorite anchorman could be wearing his underwear and a pair of slippers. I felt this subject cannot be ignored any longer and investigated the subject. Here is what I have found:

Test case #1

Israel Channel 1 - Amir Bar-Shalom - July 15, 2008 - On The Air
Amir Bar-Shalom, chief military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 1 news, delivered his report live from the field this evening. Channel 1’s devoted viewers saw a respectable attire: a long sleeve shirt, sleeves tszujed a bit due to the hot weather – all in all, a respectable journalist.

Israel Channel 10 - Amir Bar-Shalom - July 15, 2008 - Off The Air
As Bar-Shalom went off the air, Channel 10’s camera caught him (above, right) on his way to the air-conditioned broadcasting van. Channel 10’s devoted viewers saw a slacker: three quarter pants with a shirt untucked, and a pair of flip-flops – all in all, a guy on vacation.

Test case #2

Israel Channel 10 - Baruch Kra - June 23, 2008 - On The Air
Baruch Kra, legal affairs correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 news on the other hand, likes to play dress up. Back in June 23, this is what he looked like on the air at 8:02pm: a jacket and tie – this guy knows what he is talking about.

Israel Channel 10 - Baruch Kra - June 23, 2008 - Off The Air
…and courtesy of Channel 10’s ‘newsroom behind the anchor desk’ design, we can see what Kra was wearing (above, center) just 21 minutes later, off the air at 8:23pm: jeans and a T-shirt – this guy must be an intern.

Israeli Film Director Eran Kolirin Advocates Piracy

Israeli film The Band’s Visit (Bikur HaTizmoret) received prestigious awards and was shown worldwide – except for the Arab world. The film, which depicts a fictional visit of a ceremonial Egyptian police orchestra to a remote Israeli town, was boycotted in Egypt and in other Arab countries ‘to avoid cultural normalization with Israel’.

Last week, the Israeli Embassy in Egypt invited distinguished local intellectuals for a private screening of the movie at the Four Seasons Hotel. Film director Eran Kolirin was also invited and answered questions raised by the audience after the screening. Since local Egyptian cinemas do not show the movie, Kolirin encouraged local folks to “take it off the Internet, anyone who wants, get pirate copies off the Internet and watch it“.

Here is the video evidence from this evening’s Israeli Channel 10 news:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj-oqlJZ5x8

Media Mention: Shahar Golan Interviews with Haaretz Newspaper

I was interviewed for an article that was published today in the English edition of Haaretz newspaper, in regards to the 2008 US presidential election. Here are the relevant last two paragraphs:

As the U.S. presidential race reaches Israel, Hebrew-language campaigners try to choose words wisely

By Raphael Ahren

[…]

Some political items are created by people who can’t even vote in the United States. Obama supporter Shahar Golan, of Rehovot, crafted a poster with the Hebrew translation of the slogan “Change we can believe in.” After a smear campaign tried denouncing the Illinois senator as a Muslim, Golan felt he had to publicly declare his support for “Baruch Obama,” as he calls him. “As a born and bred Israeli, my interest in the U.S. elections is mainly because American presidents tend to influence the entire world,” the 31-year-old photographer and graphic designer said.” And since I cannot vote myself I create graphics that hopefully might call attention to a candidate worth voting for.” Currently, Golan is working on a new poster featuring a Hebrew version of Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.

Golan knows that translations can be tricky. On his blog, he elaborated on his choice of words. “Translating ‘Change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge,” he muses, “as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (nuchal) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (nochel).” Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, he added that “even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad.”

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Click image for higher resolution