Liar, liar, pants on fire!

As the Elder of Ziyon points out here, Harriet Sherwood of The Guardian (on August 19) repeated the crux of an article from the previous day’s Haaretz, because it suited her and her newspaper’s world view. Unfortunately, for her, her source was wrong. Misleading and wrong. Malicious, misleading and wrong. Continue reading


Devoted family man

Who’s a devoted family man? Sheik Ahmad Bahr, that’s who.

Never heard of him? Well, maybe you’re not up to speed on the the Palestinian Legislative Council, but I can tell you he’s the Deputy Speaker of that fine body of men.

What should you know about him? That he’s a devoted family man!

How do you know that? Oh, it’s obvious. Anyone who gives a sermon about jihad, saying it’s “in order to annihilate those Jews” is obviously a devoted family man.

I bet he’s a pacifist too? Are you having a laugh? Admittedly he probably needs to tone down the hate sermonizing a wee bit. Stuff like “Oh, Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters,” and “the Americans and their supporters,” and “Oh, Allah, count them one by one, and kill them all, without leaving a single one,” is not the most marketable message.

True. But  if he left out Allah, I am sure we could get him published at the Guardian…

[Thanks to The Times of Israel and the Elder of Ziyon for turning over the stone and seeing what nasty beasts are scurrying about underneath.]


Nooks and crannies

From The Register:

20 August 2012

US-based literature retailer Barnes & Noble today announced plans to bring its popular Nook range of eReaders to the UK market.

The company has revealed intent to crack Blighty this October with the Nook Simple Touch and the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

On top of the hardware, Barnes & Noble will launch the Nook store, bringing roughly 2.5m digital titles across the pond too.

Nook eBook readers have been a huge success in the US and are a major challenger for Amazon’s Kindle dominance.

Whether such impressive figures will be repeated here remains to be seen, but with prices said to be extremely competitive, the future for Nooky in Britannia shows much promise.

As a Kindle fan, this is unlikely to tempt me. However, it’s good to see some serious competition for Amazon, if only to keep them on their toes. It’s also interesting that, despite the iPad’s dominance in the tablet market, there appears to be a separate and distinct market for electronic book devices. Is that because the iPad is too large? Will this force Apple into launching a smaller iPad? Or does the reader friendly display of devices like the Kindle – which are not suitable for browsing the web, games and other iPad friendly areas – trump the fruity company’s trendy looking technology? Truly, we live in interesting times.


The green, green cars of home

A significant day in the history of ‘green’ technology, reported on by Brian of London at Israellycool:

I’m still in London but yesterday I saw something happen on Twitter that is pretty impressive. Shai Agassi, founder of the electric car service provider Better Place, drove an entire lap of Israel.

He drove 1,150 km or 715 miles in a single day. He left his home on the coast near Tel Aviv. He drove to the border with Lebanon, up to Mount Hermon then all the way south to Eilat and back to his home in the centre of the country.

I particularly liked this:

At the border with Lebanon…one day we will be able to drive to the other side and shake hands…

Brian puts the achievement in context:

So he travelled 1,150 km or 715 miles in roughly 15 hours. That’s a moving average of 76 kph or 46 mph. All in an electric car just like mine.

No other electric car in the world with any other fast charging technology could do that. Not one. Not even the most expensive in the world.

For 120 years gasoline & liquid fuels have crushed all other forms of transport energy. Yesterday Shai Agassi drove around the whole of Israel in an Electric Car. He had to build the entire infrastructure to do that himself and that is an amazing achievement in four years.

And when I say “by himself” it means he put together an amazing team to help him. Every interaction I’ve had with every employee of Better Place to date has been an example of how to deliver customer service. From every BSS attendant to the people who answer the phones, all have been infused with an enthusiasm and willingness to make the customer happy that is out of the ordinary.

Maybe our next car will have to be electric…


Australian Gold

[This is especially for my Australian family.]

From The Economist (behind a paywall):

AFTER a disappointing performance in the London Olympics, Australia should be cheered by a set of triumphs in a more testing environment: the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest liveability ranking. For the second year in a row, Melbourne has been adjudged the world’s most liveable city, ahead of Vienna and Vancouver, whose slip from the top of the list last year, after almost a decade, riled many western Canadians. Three other Australian cities make it into the top ten, with Adelaide rising from ninth to equal fifth in 12 months.

The ranking scores 140 cities from 0-100 on 30 factors spread across five areas: stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. These numbers are then weighted and combined to produce an overall figure. The cities at the top of the table are separated by tiny differences, with just 0.3 percentage points between first and fourth.

As has been clear for several years now, the cities that do best in this ranking are mid-sized conurbations in countries with low population densities. Such conditions are likely to result in low crime levels, functioning infrastructure and easily available recreational activities. Murder rates in Melbourne, Vienna and Vancouver, for example, were respectively 2.7, 1.1 and 2.5 per 100,000 people in 2010-11, compared with the American average of 4.8. Indeed American cities tend not to do as well as their Australian and Canadian counterparts because poor scores for crime and congestion negate their decent marks for culture. Honolulu, which is 26th on the list, is the best placed, though it should be noted that all American entries come in the top tier of 63 cities, for which HR managers are advised not to bother paying a hardship allowance.

Cities that have suffered unrest in the last year have seen their scores drop. Damascus moves from 117th place to 130th; and London and Manchester, the sites of riots last summer, fall nine and two places respectively to 51st and 55th. Dhaka remains in last place because of particularly poor scores for health care and infrastructure, though it would probably come above the likes of Baghdad and Kabul, which were not considered business centres.

Most liveable cities: 1. Melbourne 97.5 2. Vienna 97.4 3. Vancouver 97.3 4. Toronto 97.2 5=. Calgary 96.6 5=. Adelaide 96.6 7. Sydney 96.1 8. Helsinki 96.0 9. Perth 95.9 10. Auckland 95.7 … 138. Lagos 39.0 139. Port Moresby 38.9 140. Dhaka 38.7

No comment!


Round and round

Who lost their heads then?

Life continues to be out of control hectic for Susan and I. There’s been a ton of work needed to do with our new home, and Susan has fought the good fight. Meetings, telephone calls, meetings that don’t happen, telephone calls that don’t happen, and the usual balagan of building projects in Israel (Though some are worse than others.)  Susan made a couple of great advances recently, though it was tinged with bitterness by a clueless clod of a workman who decapitated a favorite work of art. (See the victims, above.) Continue reading


Better late than never?

Judging by this Ynet article, Danny Ayalon’s Jews from Arab countries initiative (see here and here) is making some ripples in the Arab world. Good. It’s nice to see some positive activity for a change. Is it too late?  Ironically, Arafat’s and Abbas’ delay in progressing peace talks about the real issues – on both sides – mean that the real issues are still to be decided. In other words, Ayalon’s initiative is now part of the real issues and cannot be ignored. The political equivalent of a late goal in soccer; now let’s score another.


State of fear

The latest Crypto-gram from Bruce Schneier has a piece about the massacre in Aurora which should be mandatory reading; young, old, employed, unemployed, lawyers, legislators, politicians, policemen, soldiers, sailors, teachers, technicians, programmers, plumbers, civil rights activists, sportsmen, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers to name a few. Everyone should read it! Continue reading


About that plan to attack Iran…

What plan?

The one that anti-Israel blogger Richard Silverstein* pumped out to the media this week.

The one that the BBC and Ynet – among others – covered without even a half-hearted attempt at critical thought, or asking themselves whether the “plan” deserved their attention.

The plan that, to use a technical word, is bollocks. Utter bollocks. Total bollocks. (I’ll stop before I step outside the bounds of the dictionary and good taste.) If there were any meaningful journalistic standards out there, Silverstein’s nonsense would have sunk without trace.

See the Elder of Ziyon, IsraellyCool, and The Commentator for the right way to use one’s critical faculties, and then appreciate how badly the mainstream media are coping with today’s information flow. Unfortunately, this will not be the last time it happens.

[*I have deliberately not linked to Silverstein’s site so as not to give him the benefit of added traffic. Don’t go there. You’ll only get upset.]