discarded lies: saturday, may 27, 2017 1:45 am zst
rootless cosmopolitans
daily archive: 12/31/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
Happy New Year!
The Beeb has compiled a list of 100 things we didn't know last year.
3. While it's an offence to drop litter on the pavement, it's not an offence to throw it over someone's garden wall.

11. One in 10 Europeans is allegedly conceived in an Ikea bed.

45. C3PO and R2D2 do not speak to each other off-camera because the actors don't get on.

73. One in six children think that broccoli is a baby tree.

78. One in 18 people has a third nipple.

92. You are 176 times more likely to be murdered than to win the National Lottery.

99. The Japanese word "chokuegambo" describes the wish that there were more designer-brand shops on a given street.

100. Musical instrument shops must pay an annual royalty to cover shoppers who perform a recognisable riff before they buy, thereby making a "public performance".
I definitely didn't know all that. I did know this, however, even before this year:
14. It's possible for a human to blow up balloons via the ear. A 55-year-old factory worker from China reportedly discovered 20 years ago that air leaked from his ears, and he can now inflate balloons and blow out candles.

19. The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equations. He chose the two lines because "noe 2 thynges can be moare equalle".

41. Tactically, the best Monopoly properties to buy are the orange ones: Vine Street, Marlborough Street and Bow Street. ed: I've long been obsessed with Monopoly statistics

43. The spiciness of sauces is measured in Scoville Units. ed: the Beeb just now found out about this?

71. Jimi Hendrix pretended to be gay to be discharged from the US Army. ed: old friggin' news
Yikes! One in 18 of us has a third nipple? Of the couple thousand-odd people who have been looking at us lately, then, over 100 of you have a third nipple? OMFG.
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guest author: evariste in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: packen in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Meg in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: Meg in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Mildly Amusing
I like these end-year compilations of weird stories: Surfing mice and lovelorn pooches brighten up 2005. How else would we have learned about Harry, Chopsticks and Bunsen?
Shane Willmott trained his three mice -- Harry, Chopsticks and Bunsen -- to enjoy Australia's favorite sport with special mouse-size surf boards. He even dyed their fur so he could spot them among the crashing white waves.
Of course, no year is complete without incidents involving dead people:
And back in Australia, city officials faced the ultimate embarrassment -- they apologized to the family of an elderly man given a parking ticket while he lay dead in his car in a suburban shopping center.
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guest author: Ed Mahmoud abu New and Improved for 2006 in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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guest author: joem in Discarded Lies:
Chanukah VII - The beauty of Greece vs. the beauty of Yosef
The Parshat ha-Shavu'ah for Chanukah always falls on the weeks we read the story of Yosef (Joseph) and his brothers. Nothing is considered "coincidental" in Judaism. There is a definite connection between the story of Yosef and Chanukah.

For one thing, much of the struggle of the Chashmona'im was against the Jewish Hellenists who wanted to assimilate and enbrace Greek culture. Thus, internecine battles were fought between brothers, recalling the original battle of the brothers. But there is a much deeper connection.

Based on the verse, יפת ×?לי×? ליפת וישכן ב×?הלי ש×? - yaft Elokim l'Yefes v'yishkon b'ohalei Shem -- "Ascribe beauty to Yefes, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem" (Gen. 9:27).", the Talmud (Megilla 28b) says that a Torah scroll is only kosher if it is written in Hebrew or Greek (!). According to R' Yishma'el (Mishna, Shekalim 8a), the letters on the lishkat ha-Teruma (the collection boxes in the Temple) were written in Greek: Alpha, Beta, Gamma. The Kohen Gadol was anointed by smearing oil on his head "in the shape of the Greek letter, Xi (Ξ)" (Horayos 12a).

The beauty of the Greek language and writing were clearly appreciated by the Sages. As mentioned, though, the Greeks culture valued external beauty - the human body, art, architecture. Even their intellectual pursuits were limited to what could be seen and proven.

The Torah (Gen 39:6) describes Yosef as יפי ת×?ר ויפי מר×?ה - yefei to'ar v'yefei mar'eh - "handsome of form and handsome of appearance". In Ya'akov (Jacob)'s blessing he says בן פרת עלי עין, בנות צעדה עלי שור - ben porat alei ayin, banot tza'adah alei shur -- "[Yosef is] a charming one, a graceful son to the eyes; Daughters parade on the walls to gaze at him" (Gen. 49:22). The Medrash says that Princesses would toss their necklaces, rings, bracelets and earings just trying to get his attention. It was Yosef's charisma that brought him to effectively rule all of Egypt at the height of its power.

But Yosef ascribed all to Hashem. בלעדי, ×?לקי×? יענה ×?ת שלו×? פרעה - biladai; Elokim ya'aneh et sh'lom Par'oh -- "It is beyond me; it is God who will respond to Pharoh's welfare" (Gen. 41:16). Even Pharoh recognized this: הנמצ×? כזה ×?יש ×?שר רוח ×?לקי×? בו - ha-nimtza kazeh ish asher ru'ach Elokim bo? -- "Can we find another like him - in whom rest the spirit of God?" (ibid v37). Further, despite being alone amidst one of the most sexually depraved of cultures (Egypt), Yosef was able to remain true to his faith and the teachings of his fathers.

Chanukah celebrates rising above cultural pressures, and using beauty in the service of God.

Every Mitzva has an element of hidur, beauty. Only on Chanukah, however, do we try to achieve Mehadrin min ha-Mehadrin (Shabbos 21b) - performing the Mitzva in the most beautiful manner possible.

Wishing you all blessings for a beautiful Chanukah. :-)
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packen in Discarded Lies:
Introducing Fluffy, K9, MD, PhD
Stormi and I had a little chat yesterday about cancer-sniffing dogs, so I thought it would be a good idea to give the subject a special spot. We’ve been concentrating too much lately on their warrior side.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Peace on earth and a new laptop
Dave Ray tells us what he wants for the new year: 2006: A New Hope?

What are your hopes and wishes for 2006?
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guest author: unsigned in Discarded Lies - Hyperlinkopotamus:
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