42.01/ Week Forty-two, May 1-7 2021, thread begins here.

Week 41, April 24-30 2021, below.
42.02/ I'm an NFL fan, so I don't lament these numbers, but it's a fascinating datum nonetheless. And 'watching the draft' doesn't encompass the interest people have (e.g. I couldn't watch over Shabbat, but I woulda if I coulda)
42.03/ #ReshetKeshet. I just uploaded a dvar Torah I wrote 16 years ago about this week's parsha (with connections to Avot, Ruth, and the Simpsons)

42.04/ Happy #StarWarsDay

I can actually pinpoint when I found out this was a thing: 2013

And, to get all of y'all in the mood, here's a clip from the movie I still call "Star Wars"
42.05/ I don't know what the #Mets are doing by firing their coaches but it's clear that our offense is ridiculously bad. Sluggers, HR kings, All-Stars are stuck on the Interstate (as we say) and something definitely needs to change.

42.06/ This is a great way to describe the situation. Numbers can lie, but not these numbers and not about something so life-and-death serious

42.07/ According to Jim Wexell, Buddy Johnson, the Steelers' 4th round pick, was named after "Buddy Lee" the commercial character. Mad respect.

Bio: (steelersdepot.com/2021/05/lb-bud…


42.08/ One last #StarWars Day tidbit: I got to live the nerd dream because when I was dating my wife she hadn't yet seen the movies! So I had the thrill of introducing them to her. First I had to see the Colin Firth "Pride and Prejudice" though. Fair is fair.
42.09/ Holy macaroni!

OK, yeah, I must see this & buy the album. I mean, the best parts of Woodstock are Ritchie Havens and Sly & the Family Stone. The *idea* that these unbelievable greats, at the height of their talent, has hitherto been unavailable?!
42.10a/ I have no idea if the #NYR front-office implosion is done out of ideology, strategy, or panic. But I long appreciated how steady they were over the past decade or so. No longer. Sigh.
42.10b/ The #NYR game last night, though, shows what happens when a society (here, the NHL) doesn't enforce rules of safety or fairness. It's ugly.
42.11/ This so-called JewishHarpersLetter is important only in that it's a dragnet for utterly unserious people.

The signatories are the usual Mad Magazine staff (ha-meivin yavin) but I'm sorry to see Rabbi Dratch & Dr. Ira Sheskin on it. #ETTD in a way

42.12/ Just found out that Chabad put up Rabbi Shmuel Gorr's book on Hebrew name meanings. He has some idiosyncratic definitions (e.g. he says Beila comes from Bilhah), but for the most part it's a good sourcebook

42.13/ This is a good point (and thread) about how to make someone share your affection for a topic (or food). Yes, sometimes it's a matter of a difference of taste, but in my experience, enthusiasm & proper presentation are the best ambassadors.

42.14/ It's #WillieMays' 90th birthday today. Somehow people are questioning whether the #Mets should retire his number. Um, YES! C'mon, man. Vote below:

42.14b/ Mays is the oldest living MLB Hall of Famer, and possibly the best player in history. How is this a shyla? C'mon #LGM

42.15/ The thread below brings receipts for how silly the criticism of the #Steelers draft has been. Oafs like PFF are predictably simplistic, forcing data to fit their ideological groupthink that parrots against taking an RB in round one.
42.16/ It's glorious when evil people self-hoist their own petards

42.17b/ And this article was referenced in the above thread:
42.18/ I agree with this: toxic masculinity culture encourages/enforces just the absolute worst decision making

42.19/ One of these days I need to stare into the sociological Abyss that is the High School award of "Most Likely to Succeed"
42.20/ To quote Homer Simpson "And remember not to act afraid. Animals can smell fear and they don't like it!"

42.21/ This is pretty far from my expected religious culture but I do have "Yom Kippur Drasha Would Be Awesome In This Thing" envy
42.23a/ The #CarterBiden picture below is making the rounds & is a good lesson in wide-angle-lens-forced-perspective weirdness, and it reminds me of the great SNL routine from 1977 "The Pepsi Syndrome" or "The Amazing Colossal President" where Carter becomes 100' tall. Picture of President Biden ...
42.23b/ I got the video from here
& the transcript from here
and I've attached a clip with a truly great satire about PR denials (i.e. when they say "no comment")
42.24/ This sounds right "Boomers use ellipses '...' at the end of messages the same way we put 'lol'"
42.25/ I was subjected to square dancing in HS (upstate NY, 80s). Turns out it was racist AND antisemitic, thanks to Henry "Protocols" Ford.

See: jstor.org/stable/4021535…
& where I first learned that (#3):
42.27/ I'm proud to say that when I last crafted a college course my exams were all open-notes for these reasons

42.28/ The time is high and time to move on. We're preparing for my daughter's Bat Mitzvah - her birthday is #YomYerushalayim! - so happy trails everyone. Stay safe and #ShabbatShalom

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More from @JoshuaCypess

27 Apr
1/ This book, @TimothyDSnyder's "Bloodlands," is the centerpiece of one of my favorite academia stories.

For my doctoral work at Brandeis, I was a TA for Prof. Antony Polonsky's class on the Shoah during the time when "Bloodlands" was published.

2/ Prof. Polonsky was a skilled lecturer & the first person I'd seen who gave his students a transcript of the class ahead of time. I loved it because it made taking notes incredibly easy: I would just write my comments in the margins when needed.
3/ The transcripts did lead to slacking off by some students - and some former TAs! - who felt they could skip class given that they would use the transcript as a safety net.*

*[See the end of this thread for the bigger lesson I learned from this]
Read 15 tweets
25 Apr
41.01/ Week Forty-one, April 24-30, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 40, April 17-23 2021, linked below:
41.02/ From last night, re: #JoshFight2021. I claim victory by dint of the battle being on Shabbas. Then again, on Shabbas I could be Hanokh.

41.03/ A thread about an important episode I experienced that demonstrates what higher education is about, to me.

Read 27 tweets
19 Apr
40.01/ Week 40, April 17-23, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 39 is here:
40.02/ From yesterday.

Note: my teams won all 3 games in nail-biting fashion. Coincidence? Sure. Of course.

Read 18 tweets
15 Apr
1/ A short thread of a funny interchange. It starts with this NYT dive into the ridiculously unlikeable Hizzoner Gov. Cuomo

2/ Maggie H sent it out with this line that I'm bleeping:
“[he was] especially irritated about an event celebrating Sukkot, the Jewish harvest holiday when the faithful gather outdoors beneath temporary shelters of branches & greenery. ‘These people and their f-ing tree houses.’”
3/ That led to this great response by Dr. @PhD_femme (with a 'tree column' added to the famous Jewish holiday chart)

Read 10 tweets
14 Apr
1/ First of all, this is both correct morally & correct legally. I want to explore for moment why anyone would believe otherwise.

My theory is that it's connected to movies/TV. And that's why it's plausible to say that violent stories lead to violent behavior.
2/ Most of the debate over this question rests on shallow #Literalist-thinking where causes need to be 100% demonstrable, and monocausal, of an effect before causality is established.

It's the wrong question to ask if seeing an action movie makes a person go out and kill.
3/ The question is whether movies (I'm including TV in that term) teach a society that certain behaviors are normal, expected, and/or valid.

If the only exposure people have to an issue is through warped, implausible, fiction, then they'll be incapable of evaluating reality.
Read 14 tweets
14 Apr
1/ Last week I alluded to the paradox of tolerance and included the internet-famous Karl Popper cartoon. I put alt-text on the image and it took a certain amount of effort, so I want to recreate it openly for use in the future.
2/ [What follows is the alt-text. It didn't include the "2/" numbers]

Famous 3 panel comic entitled "The Paradox of Tolerance by Philosopher Karl Popper (Source: "The Open Society and its Enemies." Karl R. Popper)" by Pictoline.com
3/ 1st panel has 2 people on the left with an anti-Nazi speech balloon & a skinhead says "You want more tolerance? Respect my ideas!"
Read 7 tweets

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