Monthly Archives: August 2006

Conervative (Judaism) at a crossroads?

This article in Slate (One Mad Rabbi) reflecing on the current struggling and perplexing state of Conservative Judiasm (link to the USCJ)

As if the movement wasn’t already faced with enough identity issues (see the above article), this was the headline on the top of the Jewish Week in my mailbox today:
Conservative Movement Seen Ending Ban On Gays

As expected, this is a thorny issue within the movement. Combined with the movement’s convoluted decision making processes (another issue for another time) this could create some (more) friction within the movement.

Read the two articles and then put them together….what do you think?

Why wait for congress?

So some senator out there, has some sort of special “secret hold” on a bill that would establish a internet based database of legislative earmarks.

Whomever the guilty senator is–deserves at the least, a swift kick in the behind.

Now here’s something that I’m wondeirng about.

With the bipartisan support from the grassroots on this proposed database, why wait for Congress to act? Why not build it on our own?

There’s surely the talent and know how out there to put together a backend for such a site. Then considering the number of Thinktanks/interest groups that there are out there, not to mention politicaly active individuals–couldn’t data be accumulated and entered in such a way?

It would probably be even more efficient than what the Government does!

Why not let the masses tackle the project?

Save your money

Here’s a little secret:

This little gizmo called the “snore stopper” is a bona fide rip off.

It is true that some individuals tend to snore more when sleeping in certain positions (mostly when they’re sleeping on their backs–b/c of the gravitational effects on the airway). But what good will this device do if you snore no matter what?

The “gentle electrical pulse” it also claims to issue–that may as well wake you up and interrupt your sleep–also not good.

If you happen to be a person who snores when sleeping on their back–here’s a much simpler and less expensive solution. Take a pair of pajama pants or a pocket t-shirt, and put a tennis ball in the pockets on the back side. That way it’s uncomfy to sleep on your back, so you don’t!

However, if you still have snoring issues, or snore really loudly, you’d be best off talking to your doctor or visiting a sleep clinic, Snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea.

Depressing jobs

You know what has to be a depressing job….

Working for the GAO (Gov’t Accountability Office) and discovering how much of your (and everyone elses) tax money is being wasted on a daily basis.

That just has to suck.

Seen firsthand

Had to go to the “old” office yesterday, to pick up some stuff to take to the “new” office.
(We’ve still got one department at the “old” office, but that’s just for a few more months).

The old office is literally right next to Columbia, so yesterday, despite the downpour there were students moving in and I saw it first hand.

Nothing like Opening Sunday at Brandeis mind you. (Things run much more smoothly in Waltham).

As for advice to the new Columbia students…um….there’s a good chance you’ll run into The Sister (she’s the social one in the family)–but if you’re a guy, don’t even think about it…..I’m still the older brother.

IT: The most trustworthy?

Fun little piece over at Slashdot:

Heroic IT Dept Less Likely to Steal… Lunches?

Well considering the power that an IT department has to reak havoc over/within a company, one would think that they’d not have their lunches preyed upon. The corollary would also hold that they’re trustworthy people.

But I liked this comment the most:

It’s just that IT departments tend to have the highest percentage of employees who remember being beaten up and having their lunch money taken from them!

Quick Review: Suicide Killers

Just saw Pierre Rehov’s latest film Suicide Killers.

As promised, it’s chilling and disturbing, giving glimpses into the mindset of those who believe that through murder they’ll achieve a better life.

To see the mindsets of these want to be murders is both disturbing and yet facinating. It’s a window into a mind that we often don’t encounter.

Definitely worth seeing

The Placebo effect

One detail stuck out in this press release that I saw today:

Nightcap Before Bed May Affect Quality Of Sleep

Researchers found few, but noteworthy differences between sleep and sleep EEG with alcohol versus placebo. When alcohol had been consumed, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep decreased, while stage 4 sleep (the deep sleep early in the night) was slightly increased. In addition, spectral analysis of the EEG showed signs of increased sleep intensity during non-REM (NREM) sleep after alcohol compared with placebo.[em mine]

Now it’s easy to make a placebo in pill form (sugar pills). But how do you make a placebo for alcohol?

There’s a taste to it…isn’t there?