Monday, August 29, 2011

Steve Jobs quote:

"It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing."

This quote from Steve Jobs as he introduced the iPad 2 in March captures the essence of Apple’s cross-disciplinary approach to innovation, the same sentiment that made Jobs’s 2005 Stanford graduation address a tour de force of inspiration for the cross-pollination of art and technology (via curiositycounts)

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Davar Torah Shabbat Ra'eh



This morning I delivered a Davar Torah on Parashat Ra'eh, the weekly Torah portion, at Park Slope Jewish Center in Brooklyn. My talk's sources include Deuteronomy 11:26 -12:28, Max Vogelstein's book "Fertile Soil: A Political History of Israel Under the Divided Kingdom," and "A Homily on Political Messianism," a blog post by my American-Israeli cousin Sam Shube. Here is a link to the text of my Davar Torah:

David Cooper, Davar Torah, Shabbat Ra'eh, PSJC 27 Aug 2011 

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Aug 2011 Vermont vacation

Highlights from our VT vacation:

Sat 8/6 we drove up to Shoshana's parents and celebrated her mom's birthday that evening (going by the Jewish custom that days begin at sunset).

Sun 8/7 we drove up to Vermont. We stopped in Brattleboro for lunch at the food co-op (where two days later a disgruntled co-op member murdered a manager) and then continued to Burlington. Because we booked our room through Priceline we paid considerably less than the other guests at the South Burlington Holiday Inn but had to accept a room with two double beds one of which served as an extra dresser/closet and left little floor space. We much prefer one king or queen sized bed with more room for floor exercises and will think twice before booking through Priceline again. Monday night we walked a mile and a half into town, dined at A Single Pebble, a high end Chinese restaurant whose menu includes many vegan items, and walked off dinner on the way back to our hotel.

Mon 8/8 we drove to Montpelier, VT's capitol, where just behind the capitol building there is a lovely hiking trail that leads to a stone tower observatory with splendid views of the Green Mountains. After our hiked we browsed and shopped at Montpelier's many quaint little shops and dined at The Skinny Pancake, a crepe restaurant.

Tues 8/9 we drove to Underhill State Park and hiked up the west slope of Mt. Mansfield as far as Cantilever Rock. The trail, parts of which are pure stone, is quite steep and challenging. Shoshana forgot that her hiking boots are a tad too big and require an extra pair of socks, so though I enjoyed the hike a lot, it was painful for her. That evening we dined at Stone Soup, an informal Burlington cafeteria style restaurant with crunchy/healthy/vegetarian offerings.

Weds 8/10 rain was forecast for the afternoon, so we walked the northern part of the Burlington Bike Path in the morning, ate lunch at Ali Baba's, a middle eastern fast food joint, and drove back to the hotel to hang out and sleep through the rain storm. For dinner we dined at Bueno Y Sano, a casual Mexican restaurant with vegetarian (but not vegan) choices--which describes vegetarian restaurant offerings in general in Vermont.

Thurs 8/11 we drove down scenic route seven to Middlebury where we ate lunch at the Storm Cafe beside Otter Creek. In Burlington we had seen posters and brochures for the Middlebury College Art Museum, but when we got there it was closed for floor sanding. We drove back to Burlington, walked the southern end of the Burlington Bike Path, and dined at an Asian restaurant in Williston, a suburb east of Burlington.

Fri 8/12 we checked out of our hotel and started our return drive. We stopped at the Ben and Jerry's factory, did not want to wait for the next tour, did not want to eat ice cream at 10:00 in the morning, but visited the flavor cemetery. We stopped for lunch at Kismet in Montpelier and then got back on the highway. At around 2:00 PM we were driving south on I91 about a mile north of Bellows Falls when a wild turkey flew into our windshield. I pulled the car over onto the shoulder and called Geico whose customer service rep insisted the car be taken on a flat-bed truck to a body shop in White River Junction 40 miles north (the wrong direction from our destination) where the claims adjuster was waiting for us, apologized for his co-worker's mistake, and arranged for Enterprise car-rental to bring us a loaner car. We drove to Greenfield, MA as planned, and visited my high school friend, Richard Witty, with whom we had an early dinner at a homestyle Thai restaurant, recited Shabbat blessings, went for a terrific hike in the woods near his house, and stayed the night.

Sat 8/13 we drove home, stopping in Westchester to walk in Ward Acres and then have lunch with my parents at a diner near their home. We got back to Brooklyn in the late afternoon and had dinner in the neighborhood with our cat sitter returning home just in time for her ride to the airport. Sasson was much calmer than other times we've been away having had a cat-loving human to keep him company.

Sun 8/14 we arranged for a neighbor to look in on Sasson and drove back to my in-laws so that we would be only three hours drive south of White River Junction. We walked around the Mall in Meriden (it was too rainy to walk outdoors) and had Thai food for the second time in as many nights, but it was delicious.

Mon 8/15 we confirmed that the windshield would be fixed by the time we arrived and drove up in a pouring rain. We got our repaired car, returned the rental, and drove as far as Hadley, MA where we stopped for the night at a hotel with a fitness room (again too rainy to walk outdoors) and dined at Whole Foods.

Tues 8/16 we stopped at a local farm stand so we would have what to cook for dinner when we got home.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sex in the park is allowed. But show some consideration. Many...


Full text of the sign in a Copenhagen, Denmark park: "Sex in the park is allowed. But show some consideration. Many children institutions use the park. Therefore please avoid: sex in the playground and visible places between 9 am and 4 pm. Loud sex in hiding between 9 am and 4 pm. Remember to: remove semen from the benches after the act. Leave condoms and used napkins in the bin. The city hall of Copenhagen calls for safe sex. Enjoy!(Denmark)"

Audacia Ray points out: "As compared to NYC, where we have just increased prostitution penalties for transactional sex in a school zone. Enjoy!"


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