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R.I.P. Rabbi Alan Lew [14 Jan 2009|11:26am]
Rabbi Lew passed away on Monday. He married me & Liska two years ago. He was a remarkable man, really the essence of what you expect in a rabbi-- wise, kind, knowledgeable, funny. He had an affinity for Zen Buddhism, and a deep awareness of connections between Zen and Jewish practice.

At our wedding he gave a brief speech talking about me & Liska-- how we met at Burning Man, the things we shared, the things we believed, the direction we were going. I didn't want to write my own vows, because to me, the act itself (the public wedding ritual) was the statement. Rabbi Lew took care of putting things into words, and he did so beautifully. The speech he gave is still remembered by many who were there.

He will be missed.
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Year in Review, Pt 5: Web [14 Jan 2009|11:12pm]

Best of ye olde Internete

  1. facebook.comClive Thompson summed things up pretty well in his New York Times article on "ambient awareness"-- this weird E.S.P. you get from reading everybody's status updates. “It’s like I can distantly read everyone’s mind." To me this is what makes Facebook so addictive. Well that, and Scrabulous... the most perfect implementation of Scrabble ever, with a 'play by mail' aspect that let verbal obsessives such as myself spend as much time as desired thinking of the perfect word. Unsurprisingly, Hasbro attempted to sue them out of existence. The lawsuit forced them to change their name to "Wordscraper," and now you have to design your own board that can't resemble a traditional Scrabble layout. Luckily, some guy figured out how to get around the stupid restrictions. Hit me up if you wanna play!
  2. goodreads.comBookworm nirvana. This site lets you keep track of all the books you read, as well as what your friends are reading. I've written a lot of half-assed book reviews. My favorite was the one I wrote for Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark:
    RATING: One star

    REVIEW: This book isn't scary. You'd have to be a big baby to think it was scary. It's just a bunch of ancient campfire stories. Like the one about the disturbing phone calls, and then finally a friend makes one last call to warn-- "HE'S CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!" Or the one with the guy with the hook arm, who tries to attack teenagers making out...

    Scary Stories has five sections. To quote:

    1. "AAAAAAAAAAAH!"
    2. HE HEARD FOOTSTEPS COMING UP THE CELLAR STAIRS...
    3. THEY EAT YOUR EYES, THEY EAT YOUR NOSE
    4. OTHER DANGERS
    5. "AAAAAAAAAAAH!"

    To properly scare me the sections should have been:

    1. THE ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE UNDER THE BED
    2. "OW, MY BACK!"
    3. HIGH CHOLESTEROL IN THE ATTIC
    4. MYSTERIOUS HAIRS
    5. THE LAUNDRY MACHINE WHOSE 'DELICATE' SETTING WAS NOT

  3. cafe.comebackalive.comThe forum for Robert Young Pelton's World's Most Dangerous Places. Filled with a rabbly assortment of mercenaries, military types, living-in-mom's-basement-war-nerds, and of course Mr. Pelton himself. He's on the board quite a bit. This site should be part of your complete news breakfast.
  4. ask.metafilter.comOne of my resolutions for 09: make better use of ask.mefi. It's an amazing resource. You can ask anything, from what to eat for breakfast to how to dispose of a body
  5. . Among other things, I've used it to figure out what kind of used car to buy [99 Corolla] and the best way to transport liquid nitrogen [Dewar flask, NOT sealed tight].

  6. muxtape.comSadly defunct. Record companies continue to do everything possible to keep people from discovering or getting excited about new music. Sounds like a solid plan to me. Oh... wait...
  7. fantasticcontraption.comJust the original levels, then I lost interest. But those first ones were addictive as hell. You know there are "minimal solutions" for all of them? Some of these solutions are astounding. Some of them don't use any pieces! I firmly believe that playing around with fantasticcontraption.com makes you smarter (as does howstuffworks.com and like, fish oils and stuff)
  8. thingsididlastnight.comProbably the single best website on the internet.

Best of YouTube 2008

warning: this list is even less authorative than usual...Collapse )

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