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My Benjamin Netanyahu Story March 8, 2012

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion, wildlife, Zoos.
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My friends are now rolling their eyes and saying ‘Nooooo – not the Benjamin Netanyahu story AGAIN!’ But since he is back in the news as the Prime Minister of Israel some stories just need to resurface. So here goes –

Time: March 2001

Place: The Central Park Zoo

Background: As a long time volunteer Zoo Guide in the education department at the Central Park Zoo I was asked ‘if I minded’ giving a tour to the recently ousted Prime Minister of Israel and his young family. Did I mind? Did I mind? (We Jews like to repeat ourselves). Heck, no.  I was thrilled.

Story: So after the formal introductions, Bibi, his wife, their two young sons, two undercover Israeli agents, two under cover NYPD officers and the head of security at the Central Park Zoo and I took off for an informal tour of the Zoo. The boys were excited, the Netanyahu parents seemed relaxed and the under cover officers were tense. I was trying to look cool, calm and collected. The only Hebrew I could recall was ‘shalom’ and how often can you say that on a zoo tour?

Meat of the story: As we toured the upstairs close-up gallery in the tropical rain forest we stopped at the tarantula exhibit. I spoke for a very short while about tarantulas. The boys and Bibi were fascinated by the creepy crawly critters.

I say to Bibi – “Do you have tarantulas in Israel?”

Without skipping a beat, looking straight into my eyes, Bibi replied – ‘”Only in politics”.

Oh yes, he was good. Very good. I just wish he were not such a hawk. Oh well. That is my Benjamin Netanyahu story. The above photo was taken of us by Tom,  the head of Zoo Security. I told Tom at the time that if the photo did not come out – I would have to kill him.


Grandma and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Tragedy March 26, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Jewish Stuff, Photography, Politics, Religion.

Much has been written about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory tragedy that happened 100 years ago this week. 146 lives were lost. It was the beginning of a strong labor movement in NYC and many laws were changed to protect workers.

My grandmother, Anna Osipow Goldberg worked at that factory.  She did not go to work the day of the fire.  Why, you may ask?  I never got a straight answer to that question.  By the time I was old enough to understand the consequences of that tragic day, my grandma was consumed by what we called in those days, ‘senility.’  It was probably Alzheimer’s Disease, but that word was not in the lexicon in way back then.  My grandma was a tough, stern, unsmiling, woman.  She did not want to talk about her childhood in Czarist Russia, she did not want to talk about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory – in fact – she did not want to talk of much at all.  Whenever she wanted to speak, it seemed to me as a child, that she spoke in Yiddish.  I think I assumed she did not want us ‘kids’ to know what she was speaking about.

All these years later – I wish I had asked the right questions.  I sure would like to know why she never smiled.  Maybe she was thinking about all of those lives lost – I do not know.

Let’s give a shout out to Ted Turner February 2, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Religion.

Vive la Revolution! The people’s revolution(s) that are being watched around the world is amazing stuff.  Let’s give a shout out to Ted Turner who started it all when he launched CNN in 1980.  It was then the world’s first twenty-four-hour cable television news channel.

At the time most people around the world got their news from either a newspaper (many of which were run by despotic Governments) or from Government run TV stations.  The news, was most definitely not transparent or true.  The perpetuation of the big lies lingered until one day, people could turn on their TV’s and through CNN get to see for themselves that what they had been told for so many years – was just not true.  And the revolutions began.

Now the availability of facebook and twitter has given the young a way to communicate, gather, share thoughts, ideas and yes — revolt.

The list below gives you an idea of what a war weary world we live in.  And it is a long way from being over. Vive la Revolution!  Thank you, Ted Turner.

1980: Santo Rebellion in the Anglo-French condominium of New Hebrides. The primary nationalist leader, Father Walter Lini, favored Cold War nonalignment and opposed nuclear weapons in the Pacific. The French resident, Jean-Jacques Robert, who feared that an independent Vanuatu would provide inspiration to similar movements in New Caledonia and French Polynesia, collaborated with an uprising led by Jimmy Stevens’ Nagriamel movement in Espiritu Santo. With logistical help and training from supporters of the Phoenix Foundation of the United States, Stevens declared independence as the State of Vemerana. The Nagriamel society had decisively lost elections to the territorial assembly in 1975 and 1979, which revealed its lack of a mass base of support. The revolt was put down by the Vanuatu Mobile Force and Papua New Guinean troops soon after independence was granted on July 30, 1980.[11]
1980-2000: The Communist Party of Peru launched the internal conflict in Peru.
1983: Overthrow of the ruling Conseil de Salut du peuple (CSP) by Marxist forces led by Thomas Sankara in Upper Volta, renamed Burkina Faso in the following year.
1984-1985: Pro-independence FLNKS forces in New Caledonia revolt following an election boycott and occupy the town of Thio from November 1984 to January 1985. Thio is retaken by the French after the assassination of Éloi Machoro, the security minister in the FLNKS provisional government and the primary leader of the occupation.[12]
1985: Soviet and Afghanistan P.O.W. rose against their captors at Badaber base.
1986: The People Power Revolution peacefully overthrows Ferdinand Marcos after his two decade rule in the Philippines.
1987-1991: First Intifada, or the Palestinian uprising, a series of violent incidents between Palestinians and Israelis
1989: Singing Revolution, bloodless overthrow of communist rule in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
1989: the violent Caracazo riots in Venezuela. In the next few years, there are two attempted coups and President Carlos Andrés Pérez is impeached.
1989: Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 were a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals and labour activists in the People’s Republic of China between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989.
1989: the bloodless Velvet Revolution overthrows the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.
1989: the Romanian Revolution violently overthrows the communist state in Romania.
1990-1995: the Log Revolution in Croatia starts, triggering the Croatian War of Independence.
1990-1995: the First Tuareg Rebellion in Niger and Mali.
1991: the Kurdish uprising against Saddam Hussein in Iraqi Kurdistan.
1991: the Shiite Uprising in Karbala.
1992: Afghan Uprising against the Taliban by United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan or Northern Alliance.
1994: 1990s Uprising in Bahrain, Shiite-led rebellion for the restoration of democracy in Bahrain
1994: The bloodless electoral victory of the Republican party in many simultaneous elections in the United States. (Republican Revolution)
1994: Zapatista Rebellion: Uprising in the Mexican state of Chiapas demanding equal rights for indigenous peoples and in opposition to growing neoliberalism in North America
1994-1996: First Chechen Rebellion against Russia.
1996: Islamic movement in Afghanistan led by the Taliban
1997-1999: Kosovo Rebellion against Yugoslavia.
1998: the election in Venezuela of socialist leader Hugo Chávez is called the Bolivarian Revolution.
1998: Indonesian Revolution of 1998 resulted the resignation of Suharto after three decades of the New Order period.
1999-present: Second Chechen Rebellion against Russia.
2000: Second Intifada a continuation of the First Intifada. The wave of violence that began in September 2000 between Palestinian Arabs and Israelis.
2000: the bloodless Bulldozer Revolution, first of the four color revolutions, overthrows Slobodan Milošević’s régime in Yugoslavia.
2001: 2001 Macedonia conflict.
2001: Taliban insurgency following the 2001 war in Afghanistan.
2001: The 2001 EDSA Revolution peacefully ousts Philippine President Joseph Estrada after the collapse of his impeachment trial.
2001: Supporters of Philippines former president Joseph Estrada violently and unsuccessfully stage a rally, so-called the EDSA Tres, in an attempt of returning him to power.
2003: the Rose Revolution, second of the color revolutions, displaces the president of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, and calls new elections.
2003: Iraqi insurgency refers to the armed resistance by diverse groups within Iraq to the US occupation of Iraq and to the establishment of a liberal democracy therein.
2003: the Darfur rebellion led by the two major rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM/A) and the Justice and Equality Movement, recruited primarily from the land-tilling Fur, Zaghawa, and Massaleit ethnic groups.
2004: Shi’ite Uprising against the US-led occupation of Iraq.
2004: after Viktor Yanukovych was declared the winner of a presidential election in the Ukraine, the Orange Revolution arose and installed Viktor Yushchenko as president, believing the election to have been fraudulent. This was the third color revolution.
2004: failed attempt at popular color-style revolution in Azerbaijan, led by the groups Yox! and Azadlig
2004: Naxalite insurgency in India, led by the Communist Party of India (Maoist)
2005: the Cedar Revolution, triggered by the assassination of Rafik Hariri, asks for the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
2005: the Tulip Revolution (a.k.a. Pink/Yellow Revolution) overthrows the President of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, and set new elections. This is the fourth color revolution.
2006: 2006 democracy movement in Nepal
2006: the 2006 Oaxaca protests demanding the removal of Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, the governor of Oaxaca state in Mexico.
2007: The popular uprising against al-Qa’eda by residents of Anbar Province, Iraq.[13]
2007: Food riots in West Bengal.
2007: the Second Tuareg Rebellion in Niger.
2007: Burmese anti-government protests.
2008: Tibetan uprising against the Chinese government’s rule.
2008: Shiite uprising in Basra.
2007-2008 – Anti-government food riots in many countries across the world.

Oh dear, it’s a New Year January 1, 2011

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, maps, Movie Reviews, Photography, Politics, Religion, Science, Supreme Court, wildlife, Zoos.

Here we are once again.  A new year, a fresh start and all of that other sappy rot that people say on this day.  Yes, this old woman who yells at clouds never put much stock into making New Year resolutions.  I have found that they never quite work out, do they?  I am the type that stopped wishing for world peace as I blew out my birthday candles years ago.  I would describe myself as a realist – with a dash of optimism mixed in with a large helping of cynicism.

–  So what kind of year was it?  I honestly could not remember so I started to look at my blog postings for this past calendar year to see what peaked my interest enough to blog, post photos and generally fill up your in-boxes with my crap.  I laughed quite a bit as I reviewed my interests.  Before I share some favorite posts, let me wish you all a most Happy New Year and while I no longer waste precious time wishing for world peace I do wish you all good health, an energized president Obama, some decent new laws and a renewed, hopeful political scene (sigh).

In chronological order here are some of my favorite posts from 2010:

Goodbye to the Aughties.

–   ‘It’s not the end of the world it just feels that way. – The embarrassing, very sad loss of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat yesterday by the uber-incompetent Martha Coakley to Scott Brown is crushing’.

–  Joy on K Street – You cannot underestimate the staggering blow to democracy that was accomplished by the conservative side of the Un-Supreme Court yesterday.  Their 5 to 4 decision to grant corporations a new and uber-powerful status will change everything that you know and love/hate about our political process.  The Roberts Court has granted corporations the same status as ‘people’ and therefore has First Amendment privileges.

–  Lost and Found – I found an adorable dog named Gia and was able to return her to her very grateful owner.

–  I was asked by a reporter if I had an opinion –  (Let’s all laugh together at that line).

–  I posted my 1000th movie review : Free popcorn for all!

–  The Fat Lady Sang and health care became the law of the land.

Shower Curtain Geography caught my fancy

–  My blog title “Are you high” has gotten a lot of hits – (I am sure people are disappointed when they get to the post).

While strolling thru the park one day still makes me laugh –

–  The end of Law & Order was sad – Doink Doink.

Remiss, Bothered and Bewildered was featured on wordpress’ homepage for a day and got uber-hits.

–   Manhattanhenge still sparks my interest.

–  I celebrated five years with my dog Benny – here’s to  Cinco de Benny  (that’s Benny in front of the snowman above).

–  The very sad and tragic tale of the Girl Who Lost here E-mail.

–  I still have a dream (but it is getting murky).

–  Nine Years later

Old Woman Yells at Cloud

–  Yes, We Did

I thank you for reading my rantings.  I thank you for your comments.  I thank you for being there.  Oh yes, one more thing.  I really secretly do still wish for world peace when I blow out my birthday candles (don’t tell anyone – it will break my crusty ‘old woman yells at cloud’ exterior).

Hanukkah Shmanukkah Redux December 1, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos.

My top 10 thoughts about Hanukkah Vs Christmas

1. First off, they are not the same thing.  Hanukkah is NOT a Jewish Christmas.

2. Jewish people do not have to wear awful sweaters with menorahs or dreidels on them as a substitute for those wacky Christmas outfits that get pulled out of mothballs once a year.

3. Hanukkah is a moving holiday. It lands all over the place (that darned lunar calendar). For those that like to plan ahead – 2011: Dec. 20-Dec. 28,  2012: Dec. 8-Dec. 16.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. Sigh – like most things Jewish, you get lots of choices and opinions. Does it have a ‘C’, 2 ‘N’s, some K’s? What letter does it end with?  There are more than 20 different spellings of the Jewish Festival of Lights and, of course, no one has told us which is the definitive spelling. You know the old adage about the number of opinions amongst Jewish people all depends upon how many Jews are in the room. Here’s the current list of the way you can spell this Festival of Lights.  Channuka, Channukah, Chanuka, Chanukah, Chanuko, Hannuka, Hannukah, Hanuka, Hanika, Hanukah, Hanukka, Hanukkah, Kanukkah, Khannuka, Khannukah, Khanuka, Khanukah, Khanukkah and Khanike. Sometimes even Xanuka (but that spelling seems too much like Xanax to me).  The basic problem is that it’s translated into English from a five-letter Hebrew word meaning “consecration,” which lacks the gutteral, rolling-in-the-throat opening sound. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has “Hanukkah” as the main entry, with “Chanukah” as another option. The Associated Press Stylebook, considered the spelling bible by most newspapers, also goes with “Hanukkah.” The New York Times uses ‘Hanukkah’. The Daily News uses “Chanukah,” although other versions are used. The bottom line is you cannot misspell this word.

5. Hanukkah is not a major holiday. It falls into that group of Jewish holidays with that old familiar theme – they tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

6. Hannukah has a very small carbon footprint. We use candles and do not have a surging electric bill from decorating the house with a million light-bulbs.

7. Hannukah songs are not that great. Christmas songs are terrific.  The consoling news is that most of the popular Christmas songs have been written by Jews.

8.  Most Christians do not have a clue what any of the Jewish holidays mean.  They get them all mixed up.  “Is this the one where you eat Matzoh”?  “Is this the one where you don’t eat at all”? The fun part of being Jewish around Hannukah is that I can make anything up and my gentile friends will believe me.

9.  Jewish people do not have a Hannukah bush.  It is a menorah – not a candelabra (Liberace had a candelabra).

10. And finally, this just cracks me up.  Richard Lewis said “Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call”

11.  Okay, okay – so I have 11 Top 10 thoughts. We used to go to the movies and eat Chinese food on Christmas.  Now a lot of other non-Christians have caught onto the idea and the movies are very crowded on Christmas.  Maybe I will go to the zoo this year.

Eight Gifts of Hanukkah song:

Chipmunk Chanukah –

– So tonight is the big night. We bring out the Menorah and light the first candle at sundown. Factoid about my Menorah. Years ago, I saw a Martha Stewart show where she said if you put your Menorah in the freezer for awhile, the wax will chip right off of it. It was a good thing. Martha probably did not have in mind what I did after that. I now store my Menorah in the freezer all year long. It is a good thing and makes me smile every time I open my freezer. Now where did I put the dreidel?  Where is the Hanukkah gelt? Where should I display the menorah? Is anything going to catch fire after I light the candle? Does my box of Hanukkah candles contain the correct number so I am not short candles?  Do I have any matches? So many questions and only eight nights to figure it all out.  A very Happy Hanukkah to one and all!

Still one of my favorites – Marley The Hanukkah Dog Sings Oh Hanukkah

Nine Years Later September 11, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Stories, Dogs and cats, Photography, Politics, Religion.
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My dog Benny and I were out this morning as dawn was breaking and the sky had that September 11th feel.  You know , that crisp, cloudless blue sky that many of us remember all too well. I realize that September always brings those types of skies, but the memory of that particular Tuesday morning does not fade for me. Finally, work is being done at the World Trade Center Site (and I do not mean the shameful demonstrations at the proposed Islamic Cultural Center a few blocks away). I speak of the gaping pile of rubble, pipes, beams and sorrows that has been the World Trade Center for the past nine years.  I will be going to visit the site next week and will see for myself just how much progress has been made. In the meanwhile, last week’s Sunday New York Times had an interesting article about the rapid pace of construction as we near the 10th anniversary of that horrific day.  Do not forget to look at some recent photos of the progress.

–  Not a day goes by that I do not think about September 11, 2001 (unless I am traveling).  Perhaps the proximity of where one lives keeps the memory burning brighter. Every day when I walk my dog Benny, I see where the towers used to stand and it brings a knot in my stomach. We have come so far and in many ways have lost our path.  The crazies seem to be dominating the landscape and the voices of moderation are either too far from the microphone or are too busy quaking in their shoes to say anything.  Gail Collins wrote a fine piece about the ‘crazies’ in Thursday’s New York Times called The 5 Percent Doctrine.

–  Speaking of the New York Times — The publisher of the New York Times acknowledged Wednesday that the newspaper will go out of print — eventually.  Life as I know it – will change.  I am not happy.

–  So what is going on in my fair City since 9/11?  Mayor Mike is in his third term and although I am not a big fan – I do think that his words about the proposed Mosque near the World Trade Center site are pitch perfect and I thank him for his lack of waffling.

–  So why did the World Trade Center site take so long to develop? I blame then Governor George Pataki for the initial screw ups and then blame all of the other real estate hustlers and muckety mucks who would not get out of the way.  Shame on all of you.

–  I hate when out of town politicians and nut jobs claim some bull crap about the sanctity of the site.  Where were you when the bill for the healthcare for the first responders came to the floor and it was voted down?  Shame on all of you.

–  I hate when Rudy ‘9/11’ Giuliani pokes his head into something that has nothing to do with him and is still flying high off of that day in history.  His cohort Bernie Kerik is serving time. Shame on both of you.

–  I am not happy about much of anything political these days.  I am disappointed with President Obama’s lock step Bush view on torture, the law and our civil rights.

–  I am worried about the midterm elections.

–  My pal Carol, who still works a few blocks from the World Trade Center and one block from the proposed Mosque) site is doing well as is my favorite NYC Police Detective, Officer Matt.

Here is what I wrote about this day last year and the year before that.

–  Who knows what nuttiness, mayhem or event will steal the spotlight next year as the country remembers the 10th anniversary of the day everything seemed to change?

Keep the faith – regardless of how hard that seems to be right now.

–  That little kitten who walked into my lobby in October of 2001 is now nine years old and as ornery as ever (see her sitting in Benny’s crate in photo below).  And of course, no post about September 11th can end without sharing a photo of Benny the dog and Madison the cat.

Supremely Aggravating April 11, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Photography, Politics, Religion, Supreme Court, wildlife, Zoos.
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Here we go again. I am a Court watcher. I have palpitations thinking about this next fight for the vacancy on the Court. I hope that President Obama does not take the wimpy, low road with his next selection.  I want a Liberal (with a capital ‘L’) on that Court to battle the heavy-weighted Conservative side of the Court. We are already living with the consequences of what this Conservative Court is doing (and I am not speaking of Bush V Gore, which still makes my head explode).  The conservative Court is siding with big business and corporations against the little guy. If another seat is taken by a Supreme who does not empathize with ‘we’ the people, we are surely doomed. The Supreme Court has a website and there is a blog (not surprising, of course dedicated to the Supreme Court.  There is even a Supreme Court Historical Society.

A President’s Supreme Court choice changes the course of the country and its future.  It should not be taken lightly or easily. The Repugnants are already threatening to filibuster, delay, stall and otherwise deny the President his choice (even before he has selected someone).  The Repugnants have to choose their battles before the midterm elections.  Do they really want to send the summer doing battle over a nominee to the Court?  Will the Tea Party care?  Are placards already being printed up?  What idiocy will Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin dream up to spew venom over Obama’s choice.  Whatever it is – it will surely fit on a bumper sticker.

–  Justice John Paul Stevens was a selection by Republican President Gerald R. Ford. By the way, Justice Stevens is the only Protestant left on the Court. I hope Obama does not think he has to fill his seat with another Protestant.  Religion should not be a litmus test.  Although, if he does pick a Catholic, that would make six Catholics on the Court. Oy! During Gerald Ford’s era Republicans were mostly moderate (except for the flamers). Over the years Justice Stevens seemed to turn into a Liberal but he insists that the rest of the Court became more Conservative and he never changed.  Jonathan Turley writes about Justice Stevens.

–  There is a fine column in DemConWatch.com about the President’s upcoming decision.

–  From yesterday’s New York Times is an article called An Honor Justice Stevens Might Rather Forget. “In 1998, the court was asked to review the constitutionality of the drive to crack down on adult clubs and shops by the administration of the mayor at the time, Rudolph W. Giuliani. The industry’s lawyers asked the court to delay the enforcement efforts while the justices considered the case. Justice Stevens granted a legal stay.
The strip club Scores was so grateful that it renamed its Champagne Room the John Paul Stevens Room“.

–  If you missed Rachel Maddow’s show on Friday night here is her 11 minutes on Justice Stevens and previous fights for nominees. Good TV.

–  Jon Stewart does a number on John McCain’s denying he is a Maverick.  Funny stuff.

– We’re Not Only Merely Sad, We’re Really Most Sincerely Sad – a farewell to Meinhardt Raabe, the Munchkin Coroner from “The Wizard Of Oz,” who passed away at age 94.

St. Patrick’s Day Salute March 17, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Photography, Religion, Videos.
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A very happy St. Patrick’s Day from my house to yours.  My dog, Benny and cat, Madison are showing off their finest green garb.

Movie Review: Creation January 24, 2010

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews, Movie Trailer, Politics, Religion, Videos, wildlife.
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Movie Review: Creation

Alternate Title: Survival of the Fittest

Story: 2009 was the 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species‘ and the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin‘s birth and yet this new British film about Charles Darwin has failed to land a distribution deal in the States because his theories on human evolution are too controversial for religious American audiences, according to the film’s producer. Say what? Yes, it seems that his seminal publication about evolution is still a hot potato issue in these wacky, crazy United States. That alone is reason for you to go out to see this film – if you can find it in your area.

This biopic focus’ on the years immediately preceding publication of his ideas. Thoughtfully directed by Jon Amiel and written by John Collee it is based on the book “Annie’s Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter, and Human Evolution ” by Randal Keynes, a great, great grandson of Charles Darwin.

Darwin feared that the publication of his book would effectively kill God. As we all know, that did not happen, but the more Darwin came to believe his theories the more certain he was that it was of the utmost importance to share his ideas with the world. The agony of bringing his book to publication is the heart of this film. It purports to show his struggle with his faith, his marriage and the deep grief over his 10 year old daughter Annie’s death.

Truth be told, I would have preferred more scenes about his voyages on the HMS Beagle, but this film is not about those travels. Much of the film is shot between two time sequences. The so-called present and the time before his daughter dies. Much of the film shows Darwin’s inner struggle to write his tome.

However, there are some very cool scenes showing growth and decay in the natural world and Darwin’s belief that the natural world is cruel, harsh and constantly evolving to make way for the fittest. The film is a thoughtful homage to a great man and I recommend your seeing it -if you can somehow find it.

In celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday check out The Daily Show’s Best Evolution Moments.

For those that are Darwin loyalists, the Complete Works of Charles Darwin can now be found on line. One more site all about Darwin here.

Acting: Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin is believably anguished and tortured. Jennifer Connelly as wife, Emma Darwin is just right for this role. Jeremy Northam as Reverend Innes, does an admirable job. Young Martha West as little Annie Darwin is terrific.

Trivia: Paul Bettany has been married to Jennifer Connelly since 2003. They met on the set of ‘A Beautiful Mind.’ Jennifer Connelly grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, except for the four years her family spent in Woodstock, New York.

Predilection: Charles Darwin is one of my heroes.

Critters: Oh my. All manner of creature from the wee maggot to the magnificent orangutan.

Food: I do not recall anyone eating anything.

Sex Spectrum: None

Soundtrack: Dramatically appropriate.

Opening Titles: A lovely sequence with Darwin telling a story of his adventures to Tierra Del Fuego to his darling daughter Annie.

Visual Art: A fine depiction of 1859 England.

Theater Audience: About 20 of the fittest.

Weather: It is England. We get to see all kinds of weather.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: If you accept the notion that the natural world is cruel you will not squirm.

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: I cried over the cutest orangutan called Jenny.

Oscar Worthy: Probably not.

Soap Box: Don’t get me started on the Creationists.

Big Screen or Rental: Go for the big screen.

Length: Under two hours.


Latkes and Holly December 25, 2009

Posted by judylobo in Animal Videos, Dogs and cats, Jewish Stuff, Photography, Religion, Videos, wildlife, Zoos.
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Christmas falling on a Friday changes everything for this Jewish gal.  I normally avoid going to the movies on Christmas Day because the theater is filled with everyone else who has nothing to do including those who believe in Islam, Shinto, Taoism, Church of Scientology, The New Age Movement, Wiccans, Divine Light Mission, Hare Krishna Movement, Transcendental Meditation,  Festivus celebrators, The Unification Church,  Buddism, Falun Gong, Jainism, Hinduism, Parsis (Zoroastrianism), Sikhism and Sai Baba.

So what am I going to do today?  Fridays are my usual day to volunteer at the Central Park Zoo. The Zoo is open and assuming the weather holds, will be packed with people.  I have a scheduled booked tour for 10 people. My visitors won the donated Zoo tour in an auction for the Rainforest Alliance and since they are Jewish –  are delighted to visit the Zoo on Christmas Day.

–  So what else can you do today? You can take a walk, go to a zoo or aquarium, call your Jewish friends (most likely they’re home too), read a book, bake a cake, fill in those important dates in your new 2010 calendar, look ahead for when the High Holy Days fall this year (I have already done that), plan a trip (I am doing that now), clean up your messy desktop and burn some CD’s, clean out a closet, read those e-mails you have been saving and before you know it, the day is over and tomorrow we are back to normal.

–  Newyorkology has a fine list of things that are open in NYC today.  Guess what?  The Jewish Museum is open as is the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

–  The (Jewish) Christmas Song – What’s a Jew to do on Christmas Eve? Should I take a sleigh ride? They say yuletide carols being sung by the choir. Who is Carol? And what’s a yuletide?

– The following super popular Christmas time songs were all written by Jewish composers. Go figure?
1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) was written in 1945 by Mel Tormé and Robert “Bob” Wells
2. White Christmas by Irving Berlin
3. Let It Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! was written by the songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
4. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Holly Jolly Christmas by songwriter, Johnny Marks.
5. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Jewish composer, George Wyle.
6. l’ll Be Home For Christmas by Walter Kent, who wrote the music, and Buck Ram, who co-wrote the lyrics with Kim Gannon.
7. Silver Bells was written by Jay Livingston, who wrote the music, and Ray Evans, who wrote the lyrics.
8. Santa Baby was mostly written by Joan Ellen Javits (born 1928).

–  Another ‘what’s a Jew to do on Christmas Day’:

–  It’s Hard to be a Jew on Christmas:

–  This video still cracks me up:

–  Return to the great Jewish themes of outsider-ness & redemption with “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”— in Yiddish! The greatest klezmer Christmas song ever!

–  Finally – I just love this video: