Tag Archives: Spain

The Daily Show wasted its imagination on Marco’s road to the White House

[Editor’s note: I wrote this post a week ago. I promptly forgot to publish it. Rubio’s departure from the primary this evening simultaneously reminded me of its existence and rendered it obsolete. C’est la vie.]

Last week [Editor’s note: two weeks ago], in the immediate wake of Super Tuesday, The Daily Show put together a segment contrasting the Rubio campaign’s persistent optimism with Marco’s underwhelming performance in the Republican primaries so far:

Continue reading The Daily Show wasted its imagination on Marco’s road to the White House


A master lesson in priming, courtesy of The Daily Show [Updated, 4/3]

Let’s talk about priming. It’s the linguistic/psychological phenomenon that explains why someone who has been exposed to a specific stimulus will sometimes respond to subsequent stimuli differently than someone who has not.

Continue reading A master lesson in priming, courtesy of The Daily Show [Updated, 4/3]

Who’s wiping Israel off the map now?: New York Times edition

In a recent post, I detailed how some people described the acquisition of Seamless in Kuwait (how clever) as the largest Middle Eastern exit since 2009. They forgot, of course, that Israeli startups routinely eclipse Talabat’s $170 million purchase price — or maybe excluding Israel from “the Middle East” was a conscious decision. Either way, they’re redrawing maps.

But those offenders are small potatoes (which you may presumably order on Talabat). This time, I’d like to call your attention to the pages of the New York Times. In yesterday’s column, Islam and the West at War, Roger Cohen described the current conflict between, well, Islam and the west:

Continue reading Who’s wiping Israel off the map now?: New York Times edition

How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

When Richard Sherman was named this past year’s Madden cover boy, I imagine a significant fraction of football fans felt schadenfreudic tinglings: Sherman — thug, villain, superstar — would surely fall victim to the vaunted Madden Curse. After all, he had only one direction to fall.

But this past week, Sherman was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after nearly becoming the San Francisco 49ers’ leading receiver (Colin Kaepernick threw him two passes; the actual leader caught three). That recognition makes him the only player in the NFL to receive the honor in each of the past three seasons (and those 22nd and 23rd interceptions stretched his lead since entering the league to 8).

RS25 has been frustratingly (to his haters) just fine.

But there is another, far more serious, curse the Seahawks have had to contend with in 2014: the Curse of the Bieber. As has been established on this very blog, Russell Wilson does not always make the wisest of wise decisions, and so in early May he failed to extricate himself (or those poor, doomed children) from an obviously dangerous situation:

Continue reading How Russell Wilson escaped the curse of Justin Bieber

Three kvetches about Sherlock Series 3 scheduling

Late last week, BBC revealed the various worldwide release dates for Sherlock Series 3. The return of Sherlock early next year has left me with a series of my own — this one of gripes and complaints.

In no particular order [to avoid spoilers, skip to #2]:

1. Whoever is in charge of headlines over at Huffington Post clearly did not actually watch the existing episodes of Sherlock. Here’s a screengrab from the site:

Continue reading Three kvetches about Sherlock Series 3 scheduling

The significance of Gangnam Style, maybe

Gangnam Style is nearing 440 million views on Youtube, PSY taught Britney how to dance on Ellen (“Dress classy and dance cheesy“), and I’m still surprised whenever I meet someone who hasn’t heard (of) it.

But none of that approaches what I consider the song’s greatest achievement: getting play on American radio.

Continue reading The significance of Gangnam Style, maybe

What should become of the Ecce Homo restoration?

It was late August, and I was literally on my way out the door, when a friend forwarded me a New York Times article, along with the following message:

You should write a post about this. This is honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

And so I was introduced to Cecilia Giménez’s restoration of a fresco depicting Jesus somewhere in small-town Spain. I opened the article, fell in love – how could I not? – and immediately shared it with everyone in my family. In case you somehow have yet to see it, I share it with you now:

At the time, I didn’t have much to add – how do you enhance something that’s basically perfect? – so while I gleefully shared the article with people I thought might appreciate it, I did not seriously consider writing anything about it. You may have noticed that I write a lot, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.

But now, about a month after I first locked eyes with the restored “Ecce Homo”, I’m finally fulfilling my friend’s request-in-jest to weigh in. The impetus for this post was the publication of an article that linked the above fresco to my future profession, Spanish woman who disfigured painting of Christ lawyers up, wants money:

A Spanish woman who made headlines worldwide for her botched attempt to restore a 20th-century painting of Jesus Christ says she has hired lawyers and wants royalties from the fees church owners are charging visitors, according to the daily Spanish-language newspaper El Correo.

Of course, at the heart of Cecilia’s decision is the realization that her ‘work’ could be monetized:

Continue reading What should become of the Ecce Homo restoration?

What would happen if the IOC actually held a moment of silence for the 1972 Munich massacre?

Danny Gordis and Elisheva Goldberg have gotten into a little bit of an internet feud over the past few weeks.

It started when Gordis wrote a column for the Jerusalem Post – A Dose of Nuance: Walking away from Alice Walker – regarding the author’s refusal to translate her signature work, The Color Purple, into Hebrew. Goldberg’s response on Open Zion – Alice Walker Is Not An Anti-Semite – took issue with the following excerpt from Gordis’ original piece:

Nazi Germany, we should recall, began with boycotts of Jewish businesses, with the boycotting of Jewish intellectuals and professionals.

To Goldberg, this meant Gordis had “accused Alice Walker of Nazi-grade anti-Semitism,” a charge he vigorously disputed in a response titled, At least a few shades of grey. There might have been more back-and-forth of which I am unaware, but this isn’t the kind of piece for which I intend to do a lot of research. That’s because I can’t wait to get to the part where I come in. This morning, Gordis posted the following on Facebook:

Continue reading What would happen if the IOC actually held a moment of silence for the 1972 Munich massacre?

A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk into a library…

Israel’s been in the headlines a lot recently – as usual, for all the wrong reasons – so here’s one story you may have overlooked. You were probably better off before:

Many MKs opened their mailboxes on Monday morning and were appalled to find a New Testament inside, sent to them by a messianic organization.

The Bible Society in Israel, a messianic Judaism institution for research, publication and dissemination of holy books, sent a “Book of Testaments,” which combines the Tanach and New Testament in one, leather-bound volume.

In my book, proselytizing is a dick move anywhere – does the world really need more Christians? – but all the more so in Israel: seriously, haven’t you done enough back in Europe?

Christians: sending Bibles to every Member of Knesset makes you look like dicks.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein should press incitement charges against MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) for tearing a New Testament and throwing it in the trash, the Knesset’s sole Christian MK, Hanna Sweid, said.

“This is hooliganism, bullying and an apocalyptic act of hatred that was baseless and unnecessary,” Sweid told The Jerusalem Post after Ben-Ari destroyed the book, which was mailed to all 120 MKs by a messianic Jewish organization.

Citing ‘apocalyptic’ hatred is not likely to make an impression on someone who just ripped up and threw out a New Testament. Indeed, Ben-Ari was unrepentant:

Continue reading A Muslim, a Christian, and a Jew walk into a library…

‘Polish death camps’ is not a term entirely devoid of meaning

With all eyes on the financial bailout of Southern Europe, one Eastern European country recently took the opportunity to launch a surprise attack on the President of the United States:

Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski said Wednesday he had written a personal letter to President Barack Obama urging him to do more to correct the record after Obama referred to “a Polish death camp” in a White House ceremony on Tuesday [May 29].

“We in Poland know well that the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ is not only painful and unfair but simply untrue,” Komorowski said.

Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney tried to set the record straight, telling reporters:

[Obama] was referring to Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland.

David Frum wasn’t impressed with the apology, writing that the ‘gaffe’ was:

the single most offensive thing he could possibly have said on this occasion.

Even Abe Foxman at the ADL got in on the Obama-bashing, writing:

The misnomer “Polish death camps” unjustly implies that the death camps in Poland were built in the name of the Polish people rather than by the Nazi regime.

Perhaps Obama [slash, his speechwriters] could have chosen better words to describe German-Polish death camps, but that doesn’t mean he owes anyone an apology.

Continue reading ‘Polish death camps’ is not a term entirely devoid of meaning