Saturday News Chum Stew: From Shit to Teeth, with Jeb Bush Inbetween

Observation StewIf you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to do things in threes. So this is my third news chum post of the day; this one collecting all those articles from the week that didn’t theme into groups of three or more:

  • A Shitty Product. There is truth in advertising after all. On Black Friday, the folks behind Cards Against Humanity advertised bullshit for sale, and over 30,000 people bought it thinking it might be additional cards. Nope, 30,000 people really bought a box of shit. What’s even funnier is that it is selling for inflated prices on eBay. If that’s not a commentary on society, I’m not sure what is.
  • And Speaking of Shit, Here’s Annie. By now, hopefully you’re read the reviews and are staying away from that controversial movie that has killed a major character. I’m not talking about “The Interview“, but rather the remake of “Annie”. Almost every review I’ve read demonstrates why this remake and update is bad. Here’s one approach I liked: this article compares the soundtrack of the movie with the original cast album. Reminds me of that Fame remake of a few years ago, which also had a universally hated soundtrack. Some movies do not need to be remade.
  • Securing Your Home Router. During ACSAC, I posted an article related to security that gave good advice on what to do if you lost your 2nd-factor authentication device. Here’s another useful article: Seven Steps to Securing Your Home Router.
  • Things to Look At. Sometimes my links are interesting articles. Other times, they are reminders of things I want to look at. Here are two in that camp. The first is an interesting Chinese knockoff of the Parker 51 fountain pen. Like the ’51, this does not take cartridges. At just over $5, it is cheap enough to be worth trying, especially with all the bottle ink I have. The second article relates to UC Berkeley — they are changing the SHIP requirements yet again, and this time they should be easier to fit with most private insurance policies. This is a good thing — last year’s SHIP waiver was a royal pain. The new requirements are supposedly streamlined, less restrictive, and will be consistent across the UC system.
  • The Changing Face of Judaism. Here’s an interesting opinion piece about how Chabad is changing the face of American Judaism. I remember Chabad in the 1970s, where they were presenting a very positive face of Orthodoxy. Far from the original “cult of Schneerson”, the article notes how Chabad is changing the equation: One – the work Chabad does on campuses has an impact on the way Jewish youngsters think about the movement for the rest of their Jewish lives. Two – the younger generation of post denominational tendencies doesn’t have the instinctive organizational objection to Chabad (ultra-Orthodox, black hat, etc.), and hence is much more willing to participate in Chabad activities without thinking too much about ideological differences. An interesting thought piece.
  • Passings of Note. A few passings of note. The first is Rabbi Harold Schulweiss of Valley Beth Shalom, one of those seminal rabbis of Southern California who left a world-wide impact. The second is the Lanterman Center in Pomona, a place that did remarkable work with the developmentally disabled, providing with a home and stability. The article indicates it has outsurvived its purpose. I hope that is true.
  • Not Again. I snarfed this article intending to write a soapbox piece, but it never quite came together: Jeb Bush to explore a presidential run. One of the reasons I voted for Obama was that I wanted to break the “Clinton/Bush” cycle. We had gone from Bush to Clinton to Bush, and I felt that Clinton would prove to continue the cycle of divisiveness. Alas, President Obama didn’t solve the problem — much of the country wasn’t mature enough to accept a black president. Thus, this news about Jeb Bush disturbs me greatly — the country does not need another Bush/Clinton battle. We need a candidate that can calm things down and perhaps get the parties working together — and I don’t see such a candidate on either side. (and yes, alas, that does mean that we probably need at least 4 years under a white male — much of this country hasn’t reached the maturity to accept a woman in charge, much as we progressives may believe it)
  • That Bites. Here’s a question you likely haven’t thought about: Why is dental insurance so shitty when compared to medical insurance? Why do we treat our teeth different than other parts of our body? Why isn’t dentistry just another medical specialty? This article explores the question, and explains why dentistry is a 2nd class citizen.