Two-tone Olympus C5050 Monday, June 21st, 2004.

It don’t mean a pittance if it ain’t got that resonance.


The Rocker

The Rocker iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Saturday, October 22nd, 2016.

Minion If You Lose

Minion If You Lose iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Saturday, October 22nd, 2016.

Movie Poster on Wry

Movie Poster on Wry iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Monday, October 10th, 2016.

I Love Lamp

I Love Lamp iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Monday, October 10th, 2016.

Brighton Station 2016

Brighton Station 2016 iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Monday, October 10th, 2016.


Trinity iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Monday, October 10th, 2016.

P is for Plenty

P is for Plenty iPhone 6S Brighton, East Sussex, England Thursday, October 6th, 2016.


Control iPhone 6S Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Water Tank with a Fan

Water Tank with a Fan iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.


Inspector iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

School & Pantheon

School & Pantheon iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Top Hat & Defence Ministry

Top Hat & Defence Ministry iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.


Missed iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.


Rarin’ iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Only for You

Only for You iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Lobby by Armani

Lobby by Armani iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Time for a Chat

Time for a Chat iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Binyamina, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Doing the Parthenon

Doing the Parthenon iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Green Tea

Green Tea iPhone 6S Herzlia, Israel Thursday, September 29th, 2016.


Flats iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Wednesday, September 28th, 2016.


Sophisticated iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Wednesday, September 28th, 2016.


Plane iPhone 6S Ra'anana, Israel Wednesday, September 28th, 2016.


White iPhone 6S Ra'anana, Israel Tuesday, September 27th, 2016.

More Ra’anana to Come

More Ra’anana to Come iPhone 6S Ra'anana, Israel Tuesday, September 27th, 2016.

At Home at Shipudei Binyamina



At Home at Shipudei Binyamina iPhone 6S Binyamina, Israel Monday, September 26th, 2016.



Monday, October 24th, 2016

The New Your Times sassily brings us up to speed on the revival at least in interest of Brutalist architecture.

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Fascinating research into the five types of UK school heads — philosophers, surgeons, soldiers, architects, accountants — and that the wrong type is being rewarded.

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

New British prime minister Theresa May’s first major decision was the nuclear plant at Hinckley Point and it seems she took the easy way out.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

I’m wrestling with taking too many pictures these days, and why don’t I just stop, but not as well as does the author in “What We See When We Look at Travel Photography”.

In Gaza, Israel Should Own its Terrible Tactic

Although such excoriating labels as “collective punishment” and “state terrorism” aren’t entirely wrong regarding Israel’s application of the Dahieh Doctrine in Gaza, history does suggest that the method is effective in fighting a fundamentally defensive war.

Go Deny Yourself

This little four-letter word undermines our modern values of tolerance and presumption of innocence.

Some Consumer Affairs

I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.

From Nokia N95 to iPhone 4S

Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.

2001: A Space Odyssey: Dry, Juicy, Linear, Luminous

The dancers in the ape-suits; how they move is an incredibly energetic output for us. Contrast their physical reaction when witnessing the monolith to that of the astronauts in the newly-minted 21st century.

The Mouse and the Cantilever

Steve Jobs we lost at the age of 56; when Frank Lloyd Wright reached that age it was still only 1923, the time of merely his second comeback with Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel.

Friendship is for Weenies

It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust US President Obama.

Before the Setup

It’s 1983: Go for the Apple IIe with 64k that could be opened up as a hobbyist machine? Or the smaller, sleeker and newer IIc with double the memory but a closed case?

A Spat About Anti-Semitism

On the Leon Wieseltier/Andrew Sullivan spat, Walter Russell Mead seems to want to have his strudel and eat it too.

At Modi’in Mall

There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown: Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.

The Israel I Love, the Bad So Far

If the signage were a bit more effective, the staff’s diction and demeanor more professional, then we might have avoided this testy altercation.

Shanghai Europe

So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.

Panning for MacBook Pro

Even if it did nothing, was just a prop in a futuristic movie, the MacBook Pro would be impressive; it’s like a sculpture of my previous computer, the MacBook, except it’s actually an improved computer!

Stop Yesterday

Is the goal of Israel’s current assault on Gaza to discourage Hamas from firing rockets or to render them incapable of doing so? These are two quite different projects.

Short-circuiting Place-based Longing

If there’s one tangible benefit to having lived in a variety of places it’s that it furnishes evidence of the futility of longing to be elsewhere.

A Crawl Across Crawley, Part 1

Irit, the Jam and I walk from Brighton to Gatwick Airport.

Clash of the Midgets

I was annoyed to have my sauna moments despoiled and dominated, reverberating with this old geezer’s most naff yap.

Israel’s Greatest Victory Since Osirak?

If Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza was part of a masterplan to staunch the damage done by the victory of the Six Day War in 1967, then today we see another step in its unfolding.

The Small Adventures, Part 2

There in the empty restaurant by the water at Dieppe I had toast with foie gras, a carafe of red wine, a huge plate of mussels and chips, and finally a crème brûlée. Somehow, though I’ve eaten in restaurants hundreds of times, I felt grown up.

The Small Adventures

Of course we were late for the train. We enquired frantically among the taxis for one who’d accept the two dogs—mine and Davide’s—and take us to Termini Station so I could catch the 11pm train to Milan that would be one third of our journey to Britain.

Tony Blair and the Four-State Vision

Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A Restoration and Return

There she was, sitting outside the apartment block! How did she do it? Dogs—or at least Jam—must have some sort of navigational sense we don’t understand.

Curs to Fate

Yesterday I lost Jam in Villa Borghese, the central park here in Rome, some five miles from Talenti, the neighborhood where we’re staying. She has not turned up since.

Jam and Bread, Jam and Bread!

My dog Jam has spent over a third of her time here in Italy as her fixtures have fallen away—first Maddie, then me. But now I’m back!

This Trip’s Last Day

I went to Astor Place Haircutters. I crossed Manhattan Bridge on foot. I walked west along Canal St, seeking a bamboo steamer.

I, Thou and Pastor Bob

At the Calvary Church here in Fort Lauderdale the Biblical locations feel so far away that they can be abstracted and spiritualized. There is religious energy here.

The Big and Easy

The American stage is grand, as are the achievements and ambitions, but daily life seems lamed by a compulsive denaturing.

A Drop in Time

The camera hit the ground lens first, bashing it in so that it would no longer wind in and out when switched off and on. It stopped working.

A Ride to Gatwick Airport

Airports. They’re so charged, so symbolic, and so empty once you’re at one; I dream of them often.

Only the Rustle in the Trees

Grief, loss — these are the great teachers surely. What one has will pass.

A Cabaret, Old Chum

It’s a last bastion of civility, being allowed to drink at Penn Station, Brian mused ruefully as we carried our beers to his train home to Great Neck.

Fatahland and Hamastan

Now Israel has a dog in a real Palestinian fight: the nationalists rather than the Islamists.

Stars, Stripes & Superlatives

Here in Los Angeles I am bombarded with superlatives. Daniel’s record collection. The Bikram Yoga College of India world headquarters. Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. All mixed in with the most ravaging mediocrity.

Shite on Brighton

“Like many provincial towns,” the Private Eye reviewer stabs, “Brighton, as depicted in this hacked-together tribute, defines itself more by what it isn’t than by what it is. It’s not London, for one thing.”

Daily Yin

For my first test of the day as day, I open the back door and step outside to the little patio to see the sky and feel the air. I realize not everybody does this, so if people tell me I’m a miserable bastard then perhaps this little habit will correct their impression.

Mind the Dream

Dreaming about our passed companions as if they are alive requires tricks to the dreaming mind to overcome what it believes and knows to be true.

The Dharma Tits

Buddhism is the philosophy and psychology closest to Cognitive Therapy and vice versa.

Still Got the Jam

Jam was one of Maddie’s nine puppies, the one who remained after the others were all taken. That was always my plan, to keep the runt.

Such a Tramp

Maddie, who died 18 months ago today, was a mangy mutt and stank, but she was also among the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen and for me the longest, richest, widest, deepest streak of feeling lucky.

So You Noticed

I have had something very flattering: a request. Juan Carlos has asked me for comments on Casino Royale.

Fly the Blag

Ryanair has brought wretchedness to the skies. Rather than existing on a privileged plane, you stew in a poisoned atmosphere.

Approaching Infinite Justice

Immediately after 9/11, the burgeoning war on terror was named “Operation Infinite Justice”. Within days it was renamed “Operation Enduring Freedom”, but is the new name a mere cloaking of the first?

On the Seventh Day

The Mrs is skeptical of David Allen’s Getting Things Done self-management system because it eschews the rigors of time management for what feels right. But GTD is about informed feeling.

Don’t Panic!

An academic romp through Jewish American comedy starts out as a veritable rollercoaster ride, but grinds to halt with its obsession with one Bob Dylan.

Photographing a Handsome Old Man

I want to get people in my pics, but it’s tougher when you’re no longer a wide-eyed teenager, because people generally don’t like to think they are a spectacle.

The Beauty of Rain

Rain makes the rocks shine. It puts in motion things that are otherwise static. It illustrates gravity most prettily.

Ode to Salame

It’s supposed to be the arsehole of Tel Aviv, Salame Street, running east-west at its southern tip, but it always does me darn good.

I Love Laundry

How pleasing it is to have my own washing machine. If all isn’t right with the world, not even in my world, at least the laundry cycle is functioning.

Lovely Scenery, But Walks Getting Boring

Unless I drive somewhere new, it’s not much fun to just step out the door and wander. But driving to go for a walk seems a tad ridiculous.

For Love of Economy

It disturbs me to be driving a car that gets fewer kilometers to the shekel than did my previous.

Shinui and the Seven-Year Itch

How refreshing to see Asian faces out shopping in Tel Aviv, or Africans riding the bus to Ra’anana. With them Israel is given fresh wellsprings of culture.

Allah Help the Jackals

While it’s obvious that overplaying your power can result in a downfall, it’s less obvious that underplaying it also leads to trouble. America did this in the 1970s under Carter. Israel seems to have done it almost perennially.

For Tel Aviv, Better a Skylift Than a Subway

Rather than copycatting a transportation system from the 19th century, Israel could inject into its civic planning the same audacity and resourcefulness that it has historically brought to agriculture and defence.

Canada Obscura

There’s not a patch of water to be seen—the most liquid thing is the word “Coffee” on one of the low-slung strip-mall buildings. It’s a scene more artful than art itself.

Tira Saunters

The one-lane road is empty; down below is the Sharon Plain, looking vast. Israel may be a small country but we’re still speaking here of land.

A Call to Thumbs

When you hitchhike it’s out of your hands, and that’s therapeutic. Paradoxically, you also see how much control you do have.


Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Now that I’ve joined eyeem.com, I was attracted to this article on Instagram and art history. “Today, we look at Instagram feeds with the same level of scrutiny as the Renaissance merchants who converted their Madonnas into ducats.” He argues persuasively and enjoyably that we are being just like Amsterdam burghers.

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Among the lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children is to encourage effort rather than praise ability.

Monday, September 5th, 2016

This article explains — and demonstrates — all the advanced basics we need to know regarding photography with the iPhone. The aperture is fixed but everything else — shutter speed, focus, ISO, white balance — can be set. Only three apps are required: Camera+ (for the manual stuff), AfterFocus (to compensate for the lack of aperture control), and Slow Shutter Cam (because Camera+ doesn’t go slower than 1/4s).

In this report on Ryanair’s service between Budapest and Eilat, anna.aero lists the low-cost airlines flying to Israel. All the others fly to Ben-Gurion. So that’s Eilat to Budapest in February roundtrip for 85€!!!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Speed of Dark
Elizabeth Moon


I was brought to this most non-sci-fi of sci-fi novels by the Brighton Science Fiction Discussion Group. Narrated in character by its autistic protagonist, Speed of Light initially reminded me of Mr Robot. Yes, I did like it, but wasn’t sure if the thinness of the other characters is due to our narrator’s limitations or those of the author; I don’t know her other work so can’t say. A mostly unsentimental decency permeates — actually it’s an exploration of decency — which gives it an appreciable pre-cyberpunk, almost square feel.

A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.

Petro Gustavo, Mayor of Bogota

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Ideas are the currency of life.

James Altucher

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Sports are the linchpin holding the entire post-war economic order together.

Ben Thompson, The Sports Linchpin

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

What sets you apart in high school at 17 makes you a cliché in Brooklyn at 27.

Christian Lorentzen , “Toward a Unified Theory of Joan Didion”

An inviting tour of the Hebrew writer’s oeuvre as Shai Agnon is translated into English. [via aldaily.com]

History’s in the eye of the guy.


Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman


The contents of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow, though perhaps some are contestable, are surprising and mostly new to this layman, and we should all know these things about ourselves, therefore it’s an important book. Presumably this is a retrospective and a compilation so that all this knowledge is available in various books and articles elsewhere, but this is a fine and good way to get it.

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Choose Yourself
James Altucher

If the author has anything to teach here it is self-promotion and then being engaging. How was he able to get then keep my sustained attention for this warmed-over pap? And even get me to pay for it (albeit not much)?

What we learn from the past is to maximize the qualities of our future memories, not necessarily of our future experience.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

I wake up, read, write, exercise, eat, attend meetings (phone or live), then reverse the process: eat, write, read, and sleep.

James Altucher, Choose Yourself

The Guardian interviews Brunhilde Pomsel, Goebbels’ secretary, now 105, who retired in 1971 as executive secretary to the director of programmes at Germany state broadcaster.

Slate’s Black Film Canon. I’m going to take this in. [via Subtraction.com]

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

So happiness is a question of framing?


Friday, August 12th, 2016

“Losses” evokes stronger negative feelings than “costs”.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

The illusion of loss is the place [where] we suffer.

Tony Robbins

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Nicholas Dames’s Publications page. The man is Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and a mine of gems.

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

It’s only worth watching if it’s worth watching again.


The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.

Daniel Kahneman

FYI: Prokofiev was the best. By Bruce Turlish.

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Slant Magazine attends the 2016 Jerusalem Film Festival, witnessing the audience versus Miri Regev, Minister of Culture & Sport.

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Sustaining doubt is harder work than sliding into certainty.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

Friday, July 29th, 2016

The great principle which stands at the beginning of all civilization: any custom is better than none.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak

New for me and rather swish and great: Arturo Márquez’s Danzóns. This is #2, as played by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and conducted by the charismatic Gustavo Dudamel.

It is much easier to strive for perfection when you are never bored.

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Frederik Pohl


Published in 1976, the themes nonetheless feel contemporary some 40 years later: environmental destruction, economic inequality, social alienation, childlessness. It’s all very naturalistic. We never encounter any aliens because they are long gone, and we don’t understand their amazing technological artifacts at all. And the people are in constant emotional turmoil.

On “the Weimar aspect of our current moment”: I haven’t read Andrew Sullivan for a long time, but he seems to be hitting it here, Democracies end when they are too democratic, in New York magazine.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

“To be a wife is not to engage in ‘wifing.’” Excerpted in The Wall Street Journal, Alison Gopnik reminds us that as parents we should have no end beyond the means.

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

“The real story of this election is that after several decades, American democracy is finally responding to the rise of inequality and the economic stagnation experienced by most of the population,” writes Francis Fukuyama in Foreign Affairs [requires free registration].

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

“The Kemalist era in Turkish history lasted for almost 100 years, but finally came to an end in the last 18 hours.” A great balance between up-to-the-minute reports and historical background, Walter Russell Mead live-blogs the failed Turkish Coup.

“Belief” has been at all times—for example in Luther—only a cloak, a cover, a curtain behind which the instincts played their game.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Monday, July 11th, 2016

These small things—nutrition, locality, climate, recreation, the entire casuistry of selfishness — are inconceivably more important than everything that has hitherto been considered important.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Ecce Homo

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

There can only be religion where there is a desert country.

Gertrude Stein, Everybody’s Autobiography

Friday, July 1st, 2016

For those of you about to Sabbath I salute you with Dead Best: 10 Top Performances of ‘Terrapin Station’ by Deadhead Peter Wendel.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

From the top: Chapter 1, Part 1 of The Internet History Podcast.

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Joel Spolsky announces the public beta of HyperDev, “a developer playground for building full-stack web-apps fast.”

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Friday, June 17th, 2016

As part of a series of articles on Israel in Foreign Affairs, Aluf Benn worries from the center-Left about crumbling social and political norms while Martin Kramer expresses satisfaction about ever-strengthening strategic might [requires registration, only 1 free article].

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

As announced at WWDC 2016, Macworld summarizes the new things in iOS 10. Among them are voicemail transcription, a new Home app for HomeKit-enabled devices, and a redesigned Control Center.

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Productivity is for robots.

Kevin Kelly

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Lately I’ve noticed an irritating profusion of paid-in-kind reviews on Amazon—see Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews? in The Consumerist. I think that allowing this is a huge mistake on Amazon’s part—the first I can remember seeing them make. It essentially makes their incredibly valuable review functionality—even other retailers include it in their web sites—valueless. Worse, it’s irritating and draining, because you have to scan to the end of a review to find out if it’s been subsidized by the vendor. See “How to Snag a Deal by Writing an Amazon Review” in USA Today. The current antidote? fakespot.com.