iBuy says Bye Bye

Last week, one of Israel's leading auction websites, iBuy.co.il, has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 (actually 350 in Israel), and their website now looks like that:

iBuy says Bye Bye

I really hope that when my time will come to run a million dollar company to the ground, I would sound more eloquent in my parting words. This reads 'Due to difficulties the company encountered, the company's management is dealing with these difficulties. A status update will be posted later on'.

It's not just the linguistic faux pas in repeating the word 'difficulties'. When you read the statement you get a feeling that something is missing: the use of the phrase 'due to' heralds some consequences that will be mentioned later on. When you read it again you'll notice that there are none, and that's the metaphor I have to offer today for the scores of iBuy customers who want to receive the merchandize they paid for.

If you liked read that nitpicking, I read a great one this week.

The Last Days of Pompeii, by Louis Vuitton

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the USSR, is making a print ad for Louis Vuitton. This comes a decade after his infamous TV ad for Pizza Hut. Either I don’t understand this new world, or I am just in denial for not liking what I see. It seems that everything and everyone is for sale: our history is for sale along with world leaders selling baggage, our childhood is for sale along with songs we grew up with now turning into soft-cheese-selling anthems.

Mikhail Gorbachev Loves Louis Vuitton

Ehud Barak, Israel’s former prime minister, (Mazal Tov: he just got remarried this Friday), took a lot of grief for his decision to embark on a business career after his 2001 defeat in the general elections. But at least he made his millions of dollars lecturing abroad about world leadership and national security, subjects that are right up his alley. What kind of cachet does Gorby bring to Louis Vuitton? What does his participation in an advertisement campaign for bags for rich people do, other than say 'everything I ever stood for is crap'. It seems that even world renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, could not mask his what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here face, with his hand holding the door handle looking like he wants to bolt from that limo.

I Spy With My Little Eye

Everyday, on my five minutes walk to school, I am being photographed by three CCTV cameras. That is, three that I know of, and possibly additional ones that I am not aware of. These security cameras, while aimed at the entrance of each building, grab big chunks of the sidewalks as well.
I spy a security cam on Coresh street, Jerusalem
Should I be bothered by this?
I spy a security cam on Jaffa street, Jerusalem
Is there a cause for concern?
I spy a security cam on Safra Square, Jerusalem
Does this make the public space safer?
Does John Q. Shin Bet have the capability to access each of these security cams, and if so should anyone but the 'bad guys' be afraid?

Lots of questions and not enough knowledge.

Hey Nimrod! Where’s my AVG shirt?

I wanted to ask a question, in response to the obscene trend of changing to English every single Israeli brand and product, in a futile attempt to give it some vague American chic – which of these two Israeli fashion companies, bearing Hebrew biblical names, look more stupid after their rebranding:
Avigdor clothes company[Origin: 1-Chronicles 4:4 – Meaning: Father protection], who absurdly shortened its name to AVG – or Nimrod shoe company[Origin: Genesis 10:8 – Meaning: Rebellion, a Mesopotamian king], who stopped spelling its name in Hebrew, thus donning an undesirable second meaning.

Avigdor turns into AVGWho's the real Nimrod? You Decide!Nimrod dons an additional meaning

How To Get Rid of A Rented Apartment in Israel in Only 4 Hours

In getting ready to finish my schooling, I wanted to find another tenant to replace me in my rented apartment. Now, granted, it is a very nice apartment and it is very well located in the city center – but when I posted it online I never thought someone would offer to sign the lease without even seeing it first.
I heard about the flat shortage in Tel-Aviv, but I never thought it is just as bad in Jerusalem. Then again, I was 'out of the market' for three years and apparently did not have a clue.

But as I do not tend to share my everyday experiences, this post is actually intended to let you in on a little known secret: an amazing real estate search engine that goes through all the other big websites and summarizes the information for you – an Israeli apartment dogpile, if you will. It is called Baboo and I think it is an excellent tool for flat-hunters.

Good luck!

Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris

Just watched the author reading excerpts from his book on CNN's Global Office. It is amazing how corporate life in Chicago, Illinois is exactly like corporate life in Nes-Ziona, Israel. Sounds like a wickedly funny book. Here is an excerpt:

Then We Came to the End: A Novel by Joshua Ferris"We thanked each other. It was customary after every exchange. Our thanks were never disingenuous or ironic. We said thanks for getting this done so quickly, thanks for putting in so much effort. We had a meeting and when a meeting was over, we said thank you to the meeting makers for having made the meeting. Very rarely did we say anything negative or derogatory about meetings. We all knew there was a good deal of pointlessness to nearly all the meetings and in fact one meeting out of every three or four was nearly perfectly without gain or purpose but many meetings revealed the one thing that was necessary and so we attended them and afterward we thanked each other."

Of course, in this day and age, a book is not just printed and sold – it gets a website, a MySpace page and even a trailer on YouTube.