54.01/ Week fifty-four, July 24-30 2021, thread begins here.

Week 53 below:
54.02/ This is a fun Rebbe story, which could even be true (who knows), re: apologetics for the bracha of "Shelo Asani Isha."

Source (Pleasant Ridge Newsletter, Vaetchanan 5771): eflip2.com/prozdor/E_DEV7…

[I needed to edit the alt-text a bit to get to 1000 char.] The Ropshitzer Rebbetzin wa...
54.03/ I've tried to teach people & model the behavior that every person needs to be treated with respect. That we are to treat janitors with the same respect as we do rabbis. Sadly, they learned to treat rabbis with the same respect they treat janitors.
54.04a/ I subscribe to my limit on Twitter in order to actively avoid being in a news bubble. But what the various voices have in common is an intellectual curiosity and a recognition of basic human dignity. I can't take someone's analysis seriously if they lack either.
54.04b/ This also means many 'conservatives' are not in my news-space. That's not me avoiding their political views, just their moral ones.

NOTE: I still like and relax reading certain people who share my exact views. It's like dessert.
54.05/ My renewal notice for my local paper, the @starledger, says this: "[you] will be automatically charged $41.88 plus sales tax as applicable every 12 weeks."

Am I paranoid? That's a normal 3.49 a week so this could be just unfortunate math/coincidence. But 41.88?!
54.06/ I got a memo ordering me to comment on #SimoneBiles so here goes: #Literalists cannot understand that mental health is like physical health because they think if it's invisible to them, it doesn't exist. She's injured, guys! Think of it like a sprained ankle. Let it go.
54.08/ The polls were off in 2016 because SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013 which served to hamstring the Obama coalition. Polls are based on expected electorate & 2012 won't be repeated (OH & FL blue) until we restore voting rights (aka Democracy).
54.09/ I'm really not much of a Reddit guy but I'm pretty happy to have subscribed to this subreddit "Cool Guides." Here's a recent one right in the center of one of my personal/academic pursuits: proverbs.

54.10/ First of all, @owillis is right that there'd be people cheering the zombies etc. 2nd: it's clear in the Alien saga that powerful people want the Xenomorphs to win because of "profit????" 3rd: See my post from March 2020 below

54.11/ I haven't tried this yet but this looks like a good set of tools to help navigate Twitter better, especially in locking in your reading preferences (see thread):
54.12/ Yet another example of why I really enjoy twitter: being able to follow - and interact if I dared - with one of my heroes, Dr. Buzz Aldrin.
54.13/ This is an excellent retooling of this survey of popularity of American presidents, data from:
Redone here:

The top & bottom ten make sense in the retooled version.
54.14/ This is a punchline with a long lead time.
[context: it felt like every week of TFG's term was called "infrastructure week" yet since they were nihilistic criminals, they considered hype the same as action & did nothing. As opposed to Biden's admin]
54.15/ Incredible insight. And such a great way to describe it.
54.15/ Sadly, I knew this in my bones.
54.17/ This definitely hits the heart of the matter. Most of the most aggressively obstinate resistance has been from those whose mediocrity is in danger of being exposed. Their unjustly attained status - and wealth - is legit at risk.
54.17b/ A follow-up to the mediocrities defending their unjustly acquired status, we have LizBru*n*g glorifying the muck of A_my_Ch_ua.

It's wise to judge people by their actions not their words (or stated ideals) and LB seems legit evil at this point.
54.18/ Pro-tip: if you describe a part of your body as having an ideology ("a racist bone") then you're someone who assigns ideology to biology. Which is the root of all bigotry.

54.19/ Look, I hate wearing a mask. I also find wearing tefillin a burden, but I still do it. Because it's a mitzvah. So is wearing a mask.

I'm not afraid for myself: I had COVID19, I'm twice vaccinated, but #Delta transmits easily and I am trying to protect the lives of others.
54.20/ My son is the Sports Star of the week! Normally I don't publish pictures of my kids, but he's in an actual newspaper (The NJ Jewish Link), so here goes:

54.20b/ Follow-up; I want to highlight this part of the Q&A, which is so much him:

Q: What is your favorite sport?

A: My favorite sport is baseball, because it’s a very cerebral game that is played by teams but still depends on the individual.

54.21/ My 12yo had a fortune cookie that said "procrastination is the fear of success" which rightfully ticked her off. Vituperatively, I responded that "procrastination is reluctance to knowingly do something painful." This is often rational behavior, no?
54.22/ If my cousin, a die-hard/long-suffering #Mets fan thinks the trade was worth it, that's good enough for me. #LGM
54.23/ @ArtDecider has retired, so I will contribute. This is art:
54.24/ This is as good a response as I've seen to some wild-eyed goofus asking if you, a teacher, are planning to use the dreaded See-Are-Tea:
54.25/ #DafYomi thread, with a particular focus on whether or how one can use an elephant as a sukkah wall.

54.26/ Shabbas is nigh. The #DeltaVariant is running rampant so please be safe everyone! #ShabbatShalom

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More from @JoshuaCypess

15 Sep
1/ One more #NFL thing before the Day of Atonement. Last night's #MNF was very satisfying as a #Steelers fan. The ending of the game was nuts and I want to reproduce the nutty live-texts I sent to my sleeping son, not expecting it to become a saga of silliness.
2/ [11:31 PM] 55 yard FG to send it into overtime!

{Little did I know that this would be the least surprising thing of overtime. I should also add that many people expected BAL to go to the Superbowl and the Raiders to get a top 5 pick in the 2022 draft} Screencap from the ESPN app...
3/ [11:40 PM]: RAIDERS WIN
[11:41 PM]: wait hold up
[11:42 PM]: CORRECTION. will be at the half yard-line

{It was so exciting to think LV would get the ball and then just drive down the field and score. Of course, it couldn't be that simple. TD taken back.} ESPN screencap. 7:22 in OT,...
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
1/ MacDonald died? Oh man.

First of all, I wish there was a website to find out if I'm allowed to publicly like a dead guy. Like a list of crimes so I know how to calibrate the right mix of sad, or happy, that he's dead.

[Please do that in Norm's voice]
2/ Certain people who're called "an [artist]'s artist" usually are extremists in that craft, and often unrecognized by all but a niche audience. In comedy, one of my areas of expertise, that doesn't always yield someone I personally enjoy.
3/ E.g. I detest Andy Kaufman's comedy because, for me, the barely disguised intend was cruelty. Other comedians work for "their time" like Lenny Bruce who I wish I found funnier than I do.

MacDonald was in that category.

(and this comment is great)
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
1/ My son, new freshman at his high school, got the cover article in the weekly Torah journal, which was an awesome piece of nachas over #RoshHashanah

A few comments I feel I should make (and download available at this BE"H static link):
2/ I did not help him directly in any way. Despite my eager offer to discuss and/or proofread, he successfully shielded himself from my relentless, avid desire to help him with a D'var Torah.

I say this because (1) it's a really good piece & (2) all the language is his.
3/ However, as a gift to me, he did say that he learned "tautological" from our many conversations (yes!) and from my meta-perspective, I see he followed the advice I give to all my homiletics students based on my decades of speeches, articles, classes & other media.
Read 9 tweets
13 Sep
1/ A thread to catalog my stray comments about the NFL yesterday (as part of my academic 'obsessive archiving' heritage).

Overall, the #Steelers had an amazing road win over Buffalo mainly because of a stifling defense, which is fun in retrospect but during the game is stressful
2/ The comment below is actually from my sports-watching partner, my sportsman son, who is wise & savvy beyond his years.

Melvin "Boy Named Sue?" Ingram draws a holding penalty instead of getting a de jure sack but de facto it is one.
3/ BAL & NE are experts in bad-faith rulebook exploitation. Examples abound (see CBS link). 2 most common: the "Flacco Ball" (badly thrown deep pass designed purely to draw DPI) & having the OL hold on every play to DDOS the refs.
Read 11 tweets
12 Sep
61.01/ Week sixty-one, Sept. 11-17, 2021, thread begins here.

Week 60 below
61.02/ I am a fan of the professional sport of American Football and, as a child of Pittsburgh, a particular avid supporter of the #Steelers. I apologize ahead of time for some intemperate comments that may be made during the season which could be non-sequitur for non-NFLers.
61.03/ From last night at the #Mets-Yankees game, a scandal that Fox's cameras lingered on that hateful flag. Ironically it symbolizes the way 9-11 was perverted by corrupt bad-actors from day one.

Read 28 tweets
10 Sep
1/ One of these days I'll learn how to read alt-text in my standard browsing experience on Twitter. One reason why: when I alt an image on my feed I will try to describe the picture but add extra commentary (1000 char>280).

For example, on the gif below:
2/ This is part 1:
Absolutely no idea what the original source of this gif is. I was searching for variations of "smackdown" or "beatdown." This is of a toddler wearing a yellow jumpsuit - satirizing Uma Thurman's suit in "Kill Bill" I assume - fighting a stuffed animal monster.
3/ Part 2 (but all within the original tweet pic):

The toddler displays kung-fu moves and poses and ends the fight by ripping open the stuffing of the violent antagonist and ripping out what I assume is to represent its heart (a pile of fluff)
Read 5 tweets

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