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28 February, 2007

Poppy pockets

Filed under: Art,Food,Hebrew,Judaism,Language by Joel @ 10:05 am, 28 February 2007.

Hamentaschen Part of proper Purim partying is the preparation and packaging (as presents) of triangular pocket pastries of poppy seeds or other pleasant puréed produce (jams; marmalades; honey and walnuts). You take a circle of cookie dough, drop a dollop of something sweet in the centre and fold in three sides to make this popular Purim delicacy. There are plenty of recipes available if you need more detail (but mum’s are the best).

As the Yiddish name “Hamentaschen” (hamentashen, hamantaschen, hamantashen, homentaschen, homentashen, hamentash, hamantasch, etc…) suggests, these are an exclusive tradition of European Ashkenazi Jewry, and yet they have been borrowed into Israeli (and thus international Jewish) culture as “אוזני המן” (Oznei Haman, “Haman’s ears”). It might seem predictable enough for something named after the infamous Book of Esther character Haman to become part of the Purim tradition, but it’s not quite so simple… (more…)

21 February, 2007

Carnaval in the cold

Filed under: Canada by Joel @ 6:31 pm, 21 February 2007.

Quebec I had long been hoping to find my way to the province’s capital, Québec City, whose old city (Vieux-Québec) is known for its quaintness. And besides, it would mean I get to hear a good dose of real Quebecois French and finally tell the difference from the Parisians (and Jewish Moroccans) I hang around with more often. (more…)

20 February, 2007

“I’ll Facebook friend you…”

Filed under: Online communities,Society and culture by Joel @ 7:59 pm, 20 February 2007.

As the Facebook craze sweeps the universities and high schools of Australia, I have begun to find myself with a problem: I don’t know who my friends are anymore. And by that, it’s not a matter of trust, but that all sorts of people I’ve known but otherwise wouldn’t call “friends” have decided to “Facebook friend” me. Do I accept? (more…)

16 February, 2007

Don’t forget your passport

Filed under: Montreal,Travels by Joel @ 12:27 am, 16 February 2007.

I was beginning to pack for a Hillel trip to Boston which would be leaving this Friday morning at 5:30am when I realised that I needed my passport. So I took out my passport folder and added it to the packing pile, before opening it to realise that there wasn’t actually a passport inside it! (more…)

14 February, 2007

Online annoyances

Filed under: Opera by Joel @ 4:29 pm, 14 February 2007.

Isn’t OnlySimchas so much prettier without those annoying flashing ads everywhere? Once you’ve seen it without, you’ll never want to go back. (Facebook too…)

OnlySimchas without picture ads...

It’s as simple as right-click -> Block Content, click, click, click. Ahhhh….

And it’s only one small reason to use the Opera Web Browser.

PS: Yes, this is a shameless promotion for my part in the current generation of Browser Wars. It’s the only software I promote regularly, and I have had good reason to snce 2000. It runs my life and with IE or Firefox or Safari or Konqueror, I am crippled. And it’s worth it.

PPS: No, Opera isn’t the only software out there that blocks banner ads. But it makes it easy, and there are enough other reasons to want to use Opera.

7 February, 2007

Activist campus

Filed under: Montreal,Student life by Joel @ 5:00 pm, 7 February 2007.

Today was a National Day of Action for students across Canada to demonstrate their longing for “high-quality, accessible post-secondary education.” Students were meant to meet at 1:30pm at the Roddick Gates and march out to the Premier’s office, before a gay afternoon of “food, drinks (of all kinds), and festivities” alongside a screening of the movie “My Student Loan”.

Wow. It’s a little different here from what I’m used to back home. (more…)

5 February, 2007

Misdelivery

Filed under: Montreal by Joel @ 11:42 pm, 5 February 2007.

I came up to our residence level of the Hillel house this evening to find my roommate Emmanuel incredulously looking over two boxes of groceries on the kitchen table that had obviously been delivered sometime in the evening. There was something wrong here: we had already received our groceries earlier that day from the people Hillel charges with the task (the restaurant-owners); they had never been delivered like that before; and on inspection, not everything was kosher. But some of the contents needed refrigerating so we knew we had to do something quickly. And one of the boxes was leaving a dark liquid on our kitchen table. (more…)

4 February, 2007

Triple entendre

Filed under: Montreal by Joel @ 6:46 pm, 4 February 2007.

This afternoon, while at Tali’s tea party in her Chabad-House apartment—delicately lit with the red radiance of the ner tamid—Anthony invited me and Naomi to see a movie tonight. Although neither of us was available to go with him, Naomi asked which movie. He replied “Smoking Asses” which left both of us confused. Eventually we discovered that the three of us were thinking different things:

  1. Naomi, being American, had human bottoms on her mind;
  2. I, Australian, was thinking donkeys with cigarettes;
  3. He, French, had mispronounced the word and actually meant gambling: “Smokin’ Aces“.

2 February, 2007

“Fire on the Mountain”

Filed under: Canada by Joel @ 2:06 pm, 2 February 2007.

La Télécabine Since the winter had finally decided to commence, I had been wondering when I’d be able to make it out to the slopes and try on some ski-boots for size. Naomi’s idea to spend a weekend at her friend Carla’s holiday house near Mt Tremblant didn’t work out in the end. But on about the 10th of January, the Ghetto Shul broadcast a Facebook message to declare a trip to the same area for the weekend of the 20th. While it was strange that they should advertise by Facebook before they did by email when there were only 20 spots available (apart from organisers), and despite the cost of $85 excluding any ski gear rental and lift ticket at the notoriously expensive mountain, I jumped at the opportunity. (more…)

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