How Do You Jew An educational, informational, conversational blog and (someday) podcast about Judaism, Jewish practices, customs, and rituals, Israel, and whatever else we decide to talk about.

January 12, 2013

Faith in government (and thus, humanity)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — howdoyoujew @ 22:18

My faith in government (and thus, in humanity) is routinely and repeatedly crushed and restored, but rarely does that cycle run its full course within an hour, let alone a few moments. Tonight, I was pointed to this post by Lawrence Lessig, alerting me to the existence, now snuffed out, of Aaron Swartz. As the friend who linked to the post commented, “Morally complicated and sad.”

Within the hour (and just a bit further down my Facebook wall) I was pointed to this official White House response to one of the many online petitions they host, many of which are patently absurd and nonsensical, but, if they reach the required threshold of 25K signatures, get a response.

It just occurred to me that not only are these prime examples of the things government and the people who make it up are capable of, for worse and better, but that they’re both STEM-related. Whatever that implies.

January 8, 2013

No Sacred Cows

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — howdoyoujew @ 16:43

Israelis will make light or fun of pretty much anything, and not just behind closed doors. There’s a radio ad campaign on Israeli Broadcasting Authority stations right now promoting the election coverage on the news station. In the first ad I heard, which was amusing, Michelle Obama is heard trying to get Barack Obama’s attention, but he’s listening to Israeli election coverage on Reshet Bet. Here’s the banner ad version:

Obama Israeli Election ad

Funny, right? Aside from the borderline offensive “black dude with a boombox” imagery (it’s a known issue – a feature, not a bug, if you will – that Israelis are 1) politically incorrect and 2) totally stuck in the 80s when it comes to their vision of the USA).

Later, though, they ran an ad with a guy with a heavy Arab accent. It turned out to be Hassan Nasrallah‘s aide trying to get his boss’s attention, while the head of Hezbollah is listening to Israeli radio to get the latest update on the elections.

I realize this is not nearly as funny in translation, let alone in a bland description, but it is hilarious.

UPDATE: I just heard another one, this time with a guy talking to Ahmadinejad. Told you: NOTHING. SACRED. I’ll try to capture the audio of at least one of these and update if I can.

UPDATE 2 (1/9): Here’s the Ahmadinejad spot. Farsi-speaking friends, is the quick exchange something like “Come on, Reshet Bet again?!” “Quiet! I’m listening to election blah blah!”?

(This is the first time I’m inserting media into a post using the embedded WordPress option, hope it works)

December 20, 2012

Figuring out humor/comedy/what’s funny with my kids

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — howdoyoujew @ 17:36

This morning we all enjoyed this bit from Sesame Street, one of the greatest examples of entertainment ever put to media – educational, and with humor that appeals to everyone from preschoolers to centegenerians:
Ricky Gervais sings Elmo a lullaby

Recently, too, on the heels of a sarcastic comment from her mother at the dinner table (“I see you didn’t like that dish at all” after the child inhaled a plateful of food) I explained sarcasm, very basically, to my 6yo. Within seconds, she referenced a bit from another show she’d seen recently (the very amusing Super Hero Squad Show, available on Netflix), showing her perfect grasp of the concept.

I’m a proud and silly papa, I am.

September 15, 2010

Remember the Sunday Brunch and Keep It Holy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — howdoyoujew @ 21:54

In a wonderful confluence of happy coincidences, today I discovered that I was born in the Year of the Chopped Liver. What, you didn’t know there’s a Jewish Zodiac? Well, let me tell you: there is. And it’s awesome.

Let’s set the Wayback Machine all the way back to this morning, when I glanced at Metafilter and saw this post pointing to this excellent blog post by Michael Doret. Now, I grew up in LA and have been to Canter’s a few times, but it occupies a place in my consciousness (and, I suspect, that of many other Angelenos from the last 50+ years) that is far beyond the frequency with which I’ve visited. So when I saw the lede of the MeFi post, I was basically bound by my history to click through and read the story. I was not disappointed, and neither will you be; it’s a great story.

I wrote Michael a note (pointing out a couple of minor typos and telling him how much I enjoyed the tale), and he and I exchanged a few emails throughout the day, including one in which he very astutely surmised that I might enjoy this other thing that he designed, The Jewish Zodiac. As his page clearly states, the Zodiac concept was created and written by Seth Front, and after I told Michael how much I liked THAT project, he forwarded my comments on to Seth, with whom I exchanged a few more emails. (Honestly, I really did get a lot of work done today, too. Really.)

Year of Chopped Liver graphicIt was on my second, more attentive viewing of the JewZo that I noticed that there were years attached to each sign just like in the Chinese Zodiac restaurant placemats Michael mentioned in his intro. And then I quickly found that I was born in the Year of the Chopped Liver, which explains a lot about me (not the least being why I love liver so much and, not coincidentally, why I have to watch my cholesterol).

Want to know what your Jewish Zodiac sign is? Of course you do! Go to, choose your birth year right there at the top under “What’s my sign?” and buy a placemat (their most popular item, of course, and worth it for the border taglines alone) or a t-shirt or mug or something. Maybe you have a little knish baking or fresh out of the oven? JewZo’s got you covered. And mazal tov!

August 17, 2009

Because I grew up in the 80s

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — howdoyoujew @ 22:33

…and because I”m a geek, I completely agree with the description of this item. Feast your eyes on the Best. Flowchart. Ever.

I am planning on finding time to upgrade my WordPress installation shortly, and to thereafter utilize that brand spankin’ shiny new install to actually blog. Like, really write stuff. On a regular basis. Seriously.

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