Friday, February 23, 2007

52 money hacks - one for each week!

Moneychamp has a wonderful article, full of 52 advices on saving a little, while not living like a dog. Some are a bit exclusively "American", but those who live elsewhere can get the drift and apply the advice, amended, to their lives.

The link? here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fundamentalism to the word

Fundamentalists are those who tend to follow the Bible to (what they consider) the word.

Well, what if we did follow the Bible? Unixgirl has several questions:

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing
odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They
claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus
21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is
in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is,
how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations.
A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not
Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2
clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill
him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I
don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a
defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my
vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden
by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me
unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).
He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that
we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone
them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private
family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws?
(Lev. 20:14)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Moscow in Berlin

They are shooting the third Bourne movie, "Bourne Ultimatum" in Berlin, making it look a little like Moscow. About a week ago, they were shooting in our area (now I understand that they are shooting near Bahnhof Lichtenberg), and Berlin is supposed to be Moscow. There was even a shooting scene on the roof of the building across the road and we were all very excited, even though we haven't seen Matt Damon.

All of this actually makes sense: before the fall of communist East Germany, the name of our place was Leninplatz (Lenin Place), and you've seen Good Bye! Lenin, you must remember the scene where they take the large Lenin Bust by helicopter, that was "our" Lenin.

Our neighbourhood supermarket as a Russian one...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Scam the Scums - Nigerian Doing the Dead Parrot

If you're interested in those working against the scammers, check out:

Has the NIGERIAN LETTER SCAM finally run its course,or still making milliions?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Tzomet Volkan / Volcano Junction

I happened to watch Tzomet Volkan lately. The plot of this Israeli film takes place in the days before the 1973 "Yom Kippur" War and attempts to portray a group of 5-6 young people in a small workers' town in this period. Four of them are members of a band, which tries to break through and leave the small town. The fifth, a female journalist wannabe, wants to leave to pursue a journalist career in the big city. A sixth main figure is a professional football (soccer) player, who might be bought by FC Ajax Amsterdam.

In this, this film is no different from many "small town youth" films around the world, especially Hollywood ones depicting a small Bruce-Springsteen like town, where the main characters dream of a better future.

However, this film is also disappointing, because it wouldn't even pass as such a manipulative Hollywood film - on the one hand, it is supposed to be a drama. The viewer knows something that most characters are oblivient of: a horrible war is about to break. One that has changed the Israeli society and torn it from within. I say that "most characters" know nothing, because the journalist-wannabe girl is so prophetic it could make you chill, if you'd met someone like that in real life. Unfortunately, there weren't people like that. Not many, in any case.

The rest are living in the bliss of ignorance. They deal with their plans to get the world with their band, football or whatever. And naturally, they fall, being so close to the sun. And here is the second point that distiguishes it from a good film, but also from a manipulative popular Hollywoodian film: it is neither a comedy, nor a drama; and the ending, despite the obvious destruction, has a very tepid feeling to it.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Signs that your empire is crumbling

Prof. David Michael Green published recently a list of 36 signs that your empire (he means the US, not my empire...) is crumbling. You may not agree with some, but it is entertaining read, and a sure forwarded email for future to come, probably without crediting poor Green...

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