Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
When you get bored, get one of these hydro crafts.......and 10 new plagues for modern life with Passover coming up on Monday
It's been over 3,000 years since we've had a good plague, so we've updated the list with ten new ones.by Marc Eli Schnitzel
It has been a long time since we have experienced a good plague – 3,000 years at least. But then, as Passover approaches, Jewlarious Senior Head Chief Correspondent, Marc Eli Schnitzel is seeing plagues everywhere. So, he thought that he would update the famed ten plagues with his own modern ten:
Imagine if Moses had given Pharaoh's financial team a massive and completely undeserved bonus pool.
1) Greed: Imagine if Moses had marched up the palace steps to see Pharaoh and said, "I have warned you, but you have not listened. Now, I will call for a massive and completely undeserved bonus pool, which shall befall your entire financial team, who hath wrought so much devastation already. These bonuses will throw the economic system out of whack forever and no one will ever do anything about it." Pharaoh certainly would have scoffed at Moses, accepted those bonuses and purchased a Ferrari or two in which to gallivant around Alexandria. And then his day of reckoning would have come when the bonuses would have led to the collapse of the economy, massive government debt and declining pyramid prices. He would have begged Moses to take those bonuses back and Moses probably would have in exchange for freedom. But it seems that no one – not even the President of the United States – can do anything about them these days.
2) Avatar: Why is the plagues above so general and this one so specific? "Bad movies" cannot really be considered a plague – often times their failures are funny and enjoyable. But, at 162 minutes with a plot pilfered from Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves and then rewritten by a five year old, Avatar was an experience that was far worse than a mere bad film. Avatar was like suffering through boils, locusts and hail combined and the public reverence for it was reminiscent of another plague, darkness. Yes, we know that it was visually stunning and that lots of people liked it, but that can also be said of Color Me Badd's 1991world tour and, as a society, we regret that now, don't we? Are you outraged by this plague? Just read Sigourney Weaver or Giovanni Ribisi's dialogue again and see if you survive to levy your complaint.
3) Health-care: Who would have thought that health-care itself could be considered a plague? How's that for irony? Yes, health-care, with its desire to serve the American public during its time of need seems to be the worst thing that could ever happen to Americans without health-care. "Do we look like those socialists in Canada, whose health-care system costs less and whose government has no ownership stake in their banking system at all, unlike ours which owns huge chunks of Citigroup and AIG?" Wait, isn't the accusation of socialism itself increasingly ironic? Maybe the actual plague is not health-care but an inability to understand irony?
No, I didn't see what you posted on Facebook because I am living my life instead of posting it online.
4) Technology: "Did you see what so and so posted on Facebook?" No, I didn't because I am living my life instead of posting it online. Didn't we learn our lesson from how awful reality TV is? Do we really need to peer into the lives of hundreds of our friends to validate that their lives are far duller than our own. Remember a simpler time when you went out for dinner to talk to friends and did not go out to take pictures that tell others about the wild time that it only seems you had in photos? Facebook is in itself a plague and we expect that many will tweet this article in agreement.
5) Laughter: Never seen Jersey Shore? Well, you have probably not seen a river turn to blood, but can still call a plague when you see one. The fact that those who are wise enough to stay away still know the names Snooki and J-Woww, reveals just how insidious this plague is. It seems that the premise of this show is: let's take a bunch of people who are already parodies of themselves and encourage them to drink and engage in acts of violence and degradation, so that we can laugh at them for it. And, while we are at it, let's also allow them to spell their names in ways that are an affront to common sense. Like many high-schoolers, you probably read Flowers for Algernon which had a similar plot device: Charlie's coworkers get him drunk and laugh at him. But, the goal was to teach us that laughing at the mentally deficient is a bad thing. Maybe the joke is on us for watching? Of course it is.
6) Congestion: Sadly, a visit to Jerusalem reveals a modern day plague – rakevet kalah -- the new light rail system which is scheduled to open in 2011, three years behind schedule and 150% over-budget… and who knows? Maybe those numbers will be revised again. A 13km swath has been cut through the city to make way for a train that never comes and has stopped traffic dead in its tracks for five years, leaving Israelis to do what they do best – honk their horns at things that cannot move. If you face the plague that is construction of light rail, we wish upon you an antidote of sorts – a bounty of donkeys for your public, because if you need to go somewhere, old fashioned transportation will get you there a lot quicker.
7) Darkness: Whoah, retro plague! Let's not be na?ve. Darkness is still a plague, especially leading up to December 21st each year, otherwise known as the winter solstice. For example, like you, I split my time between Anchorage, Alaska and Tallinn, Estonia and each year on December 21st, we face a mere five and a half hours of sunlight. Each eighteen and a half hour night, we all wonder if that stubborn pharaoh has returned and enslaved our people again. Then we wake up relieved, send our children to school, go to work and return five and half hours later, with plenty of time to lament why we have chosen to live in a place that is light for five and a half hours each day.
8) Permissiveness: Webster's Dictionary defines a plague as "a disastrous evil or affliction; a destructive numerous influx" How is it that Jonathan Pollard sits in jail but Ron Artest, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Kidd, Tyreke Evans and, well, the entire NBA, are free to exert a "destructive numerous influx" on our society? Criminal trespassing, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, drug possession, assault, conspiracy – and those are just the charges that Allen Iverson has faced – are a part of a broader plague upon our society. The best part of this plague is that we pay top dollar for it. I wonder how many frogs you can purchase for the NBA maximum salary of $20,195,000 per year? Unleash the frogs!
9) Stimuli: Oh sweet, sweet caffeine, such a cruel mistress. Diet Coke for breakfast and three coffee breaks during the day -- by 5:00 pm, half of us are ready to collapse and the other half are ready to sprint home. But, of course, we can't get home because our coffee breaks cost more than our earnings. Why shouldn't we have three $5.50, 500 calorie frapuccinos each day? And why shouldn't we put them on our unpaid credit cards? When the bank starts calling they can't repossess already consumed lattes, can they? Now we're thinking!
10) Slavery: What do Bashar Al-Assad, Hosni Mubarak, Kim Jong Il, Raul Castro, Robert Mugabe, Omar Al Bashir, King Abdullah and Muammar Qadafi all have in common? We would ask them, but it is tough to get an interview with a dictator when you work for Jewlarious, especially in countries where freedom of the press and freedom of speech are punch-lines themselves. What kind of world are we living in when people cannot freely read Jewlarious? How can it be that in 2010 there are still slaves in Egypt? Looks like we need another Moses
Something to remember when shopping or investing (there is no difference), "If you don't feel comfortable owning something for 10 years," he once told a reporter, "then don't own it for 10 minutes." - Warren Buffet
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Find Triggers for your Joy
Find triggers for your joy. Today, every time you hear a telephone ringing, hear a joyous inner cheer, "I am alive."
Dear Friends and Family,
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Everyone has a boss. Even if you "work for yourself," you're still an employee to your client.
A big part of maintaining the boss-employee relationship is to never allow a boss to think you dislike your work, are incapable of doing it, or--worse--consider it beneath you.
These sound like no-brainers, but many statements heard commonly around the workplace violate these basic rules. Looking for an example? Here are seven heard in workplaces all the time. They may seem ordinary, even harmless. But try reading these from your boss's point of view. You'll see right away why it's smart to never allow these seven sentences to pass your lips:
"That's not my job." You know what? A lot of bosses are simple souls who think your job is to do what's asked of you. So even if you're assigned a task that is, indeed, not your job, refrain from saying so. Instead, try to find out why your boss is assigning you this task--there may be a valid reason. If you believe that doing the task is a bad idea (as in, bad for the company) you can try explaining why and suggesting how it could be better done by someone else. This may work, depending on the boss. In any case, remember that doing what's asked of you, even tasks outside your job description, is good karma.
"It's not my problem." When people say something is not their problem it makes them look like they don't care. This does not endear them to anybody, especially the boss. If a problem is brewing and you have nothing constructive to say, it's better to say nothing at all. Even better is to pitch in and try to help. Because, ultimately, a problem in the workplace is everyone's problem. We're all in it together.
"It's not my fault." Yet another four words to be avoided. Human nature is weird. Claiming that something is not our fault often has the result of making people suspect it is. Besides, what's the real issue here? It's that something went wrong and needs to be fixed. That's what people should be thinking about--not who is to blame.
"I can only do one thing at a time." News flash: Complaining you are overworked will not make your boss feel sorry for you or go easier on you. Instead, a boss will think: (1) you resent your job, and/or (2) you aren't up to your job. Everybody, especially nowadays, feels pressured and overworked. If you're trying to be funny, please note that some sarcasm is funny and lightens the mood. Some just ticks people off.
"I am way overqualified for this job." Hey, maybe you are. But the fact is, this is the job you have. You agreed to take it on and, while you may now regret that decision, it's still your job. Complaining that it's beneath you only makes you look bad. Plus, coworkers doing similar jobs may resent and dislike you. And guess what? Bosses will not think, "Oh, this is a superior person whom I need to promote." Nope, they'll think, "What a jerk."
"This job is easy! Anyone could do it!" Maybe what you're trying to convey here is that you're so brilliant your work is easy. Unfortunately, it comes off sounding more like, "This work is stupid." Bosses don't like hearing that any work is stupid. Nor do they really like hearing that a job is easy peasy. It belittles the whole enterprise. If a task is simple, be glad and do it as quickly as you can. Even "stupid" work needs to get done.
"It can't be done." Saying something can't be done is like waving a red flag in a boss's eyes. Even if the thing being suggested truly is impossible, saying it is can make you look ineffectual or incapable. Better to play detective. Why is the boss asking you to do whatever it is? What's the problem that needs to be solved? What's the goal? Search for doable ways of solving that problem or reaching that goal. That's what bosses really want. Most of them do not expect the impossible.
Last words: When in doubt, remember that silence really is golden.Karen Burns is the author of the illustrated career advice book
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
No person can know what is really good for him in the long run.
We lack peace of mind because we feel anxious and worried about what has happened to us in the past,
or what might happen to us in the future.
But the reality is we can never know whether the ultimate consequences of events.
Being fired from your job, or being forced to find a new home could likely lead to events that will be beneficial for you.
Today, try to recall a time when a "bad" event turned out for the "good."
Monday, March 22, 2010
Every person alive today derives great benefit from comforts and pleasures that were not available in the past.
All of the latest technological advances serve us to a remarkable degree. Think about how this computer you are reading has changed your life.
For all this we should be full of appreciation and gratitude.
Today, take a few minutes and make a list of things available for your use today
that did not exist a few hundred years ago (or even 20 years ago!).
Notice how these things help you and make life easier and more comfortable.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning G-d,
have patience and indulgence toward the people...
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Some people are so used to their career or business, that they feel tremendous anxiety over the possibility of losing their job, or of their product becoming obsolete.
This worry is analogous to a certain blacksmith's statement, "How fortunate I am that I chose to become a blacksmith. If I would have become a jeweler, I would have starved to death. In the 30 years that I have been a blacksmith, not one person approached me about jewelry."
The Almighty can always supply a person with different ways of earning a living. If until now you chose one way, you can still be successful in many other ways.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could have all your wishes fulfilled? We assume that if a person's big wishes come true, then happiness will be a cinch. Not necessarily so. Even if a wish is fulfilled, it could be disappointing. I remember hearing a story about an entire city where everyone was blessed that one wish of theirs would be fulfilled. Most of the people wished to win the large city's lottery. And they all chose the winning number. Since the grand prize was going to be divided among all those who made the correct choice, they had to divide the large amount of money between a large amount of people. The actual amount won was therefore only a few dollars each.
A great Chasidic master once gave this formula for having your wishes met. "If things don't go the way you wish, wish them to go the way they are," advised Rabbi Mordechai of Lechivitz.
Spiritually, what is best for you is what is. Therefore if you were able to see all of reality, you would really wish for exactly what is best for you, which is your actual experiences.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
When you want to influence someone to do something beneficial - but which involves difficulty and pain - use the following strategy: At first, focus him on all the benefits to be gained by doing as you suggest. Only then should you mention the specific course of action you have in mind. Since a person's attitude is a key factor in the difficulty and pain he will experience, when you use this approach, his desire to attain those benefits will decrease the pain of the necessary effort.
In general, this is a useful principle to bear in mind for anyone who wishes to take a positive action which involves some unpleasantness. Focus on the benefits and not on the pain.
Today, think of something that you know you should do but have been pushing off. Write a list of all the benefits you will gain by doing it.
Love Yehuda speaking of pain--pictures of bumper cars!!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
An elderly retired teacher in a nursing home. He had retired fifteen years before and rarely had visitors. He was lonely and often felt that the many years he had devoted to his students was long-forgotten. He still read a lot and his mind was active. But the thought that nobody remembered him made him sad. His wife had died seven years before and his three children lived far away and rarely visited. They did call him regularly, but day in, day out, the thought that what he had done for so long was not appreciated, weighed on his mind.
Then one day he received a call from a former student. He asked if it would be all right if he and some of his friends from school came to visit. The retired teacher was thrilled. "Of course, it's more than all right. I look forward to your visit."
Over twenty now grown-up students surprised him with a gala party in his honor. Each former student got up to speak and expressed appreciation for what the teacher had done for him. They related that much of their success in life was because of his positive influence on them. They taped the speeches and took many pictures. For the rest of his life those pictures gave him a glow. He was remembered. The work he had done lived on. He had asked them to call him every once in a while. They did and told their friends that their calls would be appreciated. Each call was a symbol of gratitude that added much light to his life.