Back when I spent several months in Nepal with a bunch of Israelis, I wrote a post poking fun at said Israelis for not knowing the difference between Halloween and Christmas. I now understand that this was wrong. It is unreasonable to expect people to accurately tell holidays apart when they are celebrated primarily on the other side of the world. I know this because, well, check out the latest example of poor translation, courtesy of Facebook (but really Bing; click to embiggen):
On this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver was quite pleased to report that at least one Halloween costume vendor is responsible for “Sexy John Oliver” (see above). But though Oliver may be all the rage after the successful launch of his weekly program at HBO, anyone just beginning to ape his wardrobe is already quite late to the party.
You see, I noticed back in February of last year — when he appeared in a segment titled Halal in the Family — that John Oliver and I own nearly-identical (to my flawed vision) glasses. In fact, I’ve had a folder pointlessly (until now) saved on my computer ever since titled ‘John Oliver has my glasses’, containing only a screenshot* I grabbed from that episode of the Daily Show as evidence:
A much-appreciated anonymous tip this afternoon (through the Paper Treiger Feedback Form) alerted me to the existence of an article that appeared today in the Washington Free Beacon, J Street Loses Pumpkin Carving Contest. Here’s the gist:
Two years ago, at the conclusion of the NBA lockout and the commencement of the 2011-12 season, I wrote a post titled The NBA season just started and already things are starting to get awkward. Feel free to check it out — the whole thing is 58 words-and-a-picture long — but the main thrust was that the NBA was insensitive for choosing to sponsor a Tweet of any sort in the Seattle area.
Nearly two years later, and under similar circumstances, you might have thought the marketers of the world learned their lesson — but apparently, they don’t all read my blog. Which is how we ended up with this:
On Thursday, I wrote about eggs in honor of Pesach’s mensiversary, so it felt only appropriate to take the opportunity today to celebrate Easter Sheni with an article (perhaps more appropriately) on the same subject.
Which comes as well-deserved and overdue recognition, if you ask some. Those people were outraged when the Google doodle on Easter Sunday featured not the Jesus, but the namesake of Cesar Chavez Day (a birthday celebrated in California, Colorado, and Texas). Here’s one such response:
It’s a small thing, of course, but this kind of thing, accumulated, signals an intention to de-Christianization of our culture, and the creation of an intentional hostility to Christianity that will eventually cease to be latent, or minor.
And this outrage was backed up not only with words, but with drastic action:
Today I switch to Bing since #google thinks Christ is less important that (sic) Cesar Chavez, socialist labor leader on EAST DAY! – Lisa Schreckenstein
I am ow a BING follower….and so after a few phone calls and posts I made today..so are many of my Friends and Family. – Diane Daly
Yeah, that threat seems credible. I can just picture these ladies using Google to find the name of Microsoft’s alternative.
But much like its namesake — the War on Christmas — those who fight the Good Fight in the War on Easter have it all exactly backwards: just as the onset of Christmas continuously encroaches on the rest of the calendar into Thanksgiving and Halloween, so too Easter season now extends across a bloated holiday season.
And if you think Google isn’t a part of that celebration, you probably already use Bing. Granted, searching the history of Google doodles doesn’t turn up a design expressly commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (slash some colored eggs) since 2000 — and perhaps adding insult to injury, hilariously turns up the Chavez doodle as well
Typically, cats only make it online when they’re adorable and can’t spell.
The subject of this post is not particularly adorable, but he probably could spell — and that’s been enough to earn him a pile of headlines in recent days (see Yahoo, Huffington Post, and ABC News, among others). And so I feel obligated to warn the internet — indeed, all humanity — of his danger. Take it away, Tri-City Herald:
Twice a day, every weekday, a large black cat named Sable trots from the garage where he lives to a nearby street corner in West Richland.
He plops down in a patch of grass and watches as children cross the street to and from Enterprise Middle School, earning him the nickname “the crossing guard cat.”
Now, when I say Sable could probably spell, I mean this cat is a Frick-en genius. My cat is indignant every single time he gets locked up for the night, and then spends a while meowing and scratching at the door as if that has ever gotten him out. Listen, Oban, maybe if you were smart enough to eat at the next-door neighbor’s, and didn’t reliably fall for the “come downstairs for dinner” trap every. single. night. then maybe you’d manage to occasionally avoid the dungeon. But of course, you never learn. Sable, on the other hand:
Sable typically arrives at the corner about five minutes before the children — and he stays in on the weekend when children won’t be in school.
The article doesn’t address what Sable does on holidays or over the summer, but at this point I wouldn’t be surprised to learn he’s got the calendar down too (even if he doesn’t appear in any 785 cat calendars available on Amazon; for the record, that’s 250 more than there are dog calendars, probably because 99% of dogs don’t speak English). At the very least, I imagine he figured out when it’s Halloween.
But what makes Sable so intelligent? Is it that he goes to school every day? Or is it something more ominous?
I know you’re dying to see him — and, don’t worry; I know you can’t mention cats on the internet without providing a picture — so here’s what he looks like:
After spotting Jeffrey Goldberg’s post with the attention-grabbing title Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews all over Facebook, Twitter, and my inbox – if you clicked on this link, you’ve probably seen it – I feel it requires some sort of response. So here we go.
We’ll start at the beginning:
The Netanyahu government’s Ministry of Immigrant Absorption is sponsoring advertisements in at least five American communities that warn Israeli expatriates that they will lose their identities if they don’t return home.
So far so good… and that’s where he should have thought about wrapping up the post. Instead, Goldberg goes on to dissect two of those advertisements in detail. Here’s the first:
And here’s Goldberg’s summary: