Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bell Tower

I'm still in Israel- but I thought I'd squeeze this post out anyway (from an adventure in Manhattan).

I was once walking along and I saw a huge skycraper- the tallest around, with not a single window across the entire building! This was a bit unreal to me- I'd never seen anything like it before so I asked the people smoking below the building what it was.
Its an AT&T building that they house switches in- so there arent' that many people so who needs the extra expense/hassle that is windows!

ense Interestingly enough, I also asked the people smoking below why there were no windows to which this guy responded "light attracts dust."
In fact he had an entire psuedoscientific thoery about this which included him confidently emphasising a few clever peices of evidence:
  • Sunlight pouring in through a window always has visible dust particles swimming around in it
  • When shining a flashlight at night you also always see dust "attracted" to the beam
He concluded from this that the light actually attracts the dust and somehow extended this to the light actually creating dust. Since dust is bad for electrical equipment like the lasers this guy works with- they built the building with no windows. I find it interesting how this guy thinks!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Three Dryers

We are now the proud owners of not one, not two, but three electric clothes dryers! Why, you may ask, do we need such a plethora of electric clothes drying devices? Well, that's fairly lengthy story, but I'll tell the abbreviated version:Stacy and I have bought a house. In Teaneck. Yes, we know it's lame and pretty cliché to move to Teaneck, however, it makes sense for a number of reasons which I will not enumerate here.
In any case, the house we purchased came with some vintage appliances. These include:
  • A working, circa-1950 washing machine, which, although large on the outside, can fit approximately 4.5 shirts inside, and (considering that EnergyStar wasn't even a glimmer in some bureaucrat's eye at the time) likely drains the municipal water supply on each cycle. [If you know of any vintage appliance collectors, have 'em contact me.]
  • A twenty year-old fridge which the sellers attempted to bargian with, but, after we called their bluff, decided to leave anyway.
  • Some ancient window and wall air conditioning units which actually ate their dust filters decades ago (the window ones were also attempted bargaining chips).
  • And, Dryer #1. Also circa-1950s, we think, also working. Electric dryers, even today's EnergyStar versions, are notorious for high costs of operation. I can't imagine what it costs to run this old, worn out dryer.
So, we figured we needed a new dryer. Rather than pay full-price, we made use of a community message board. We responded to an offer for a "Free Electric Dryer!," but, alas, someone beat us to it, and we promptly forgot about it. We later purchased, for real cheap, Dryer #2: a 6 year-old model, whose sellers kindly agreed to let us pick up after we closed on the house.
A few days later we got a response from the free dryer lady informing us that the person who had first dibs on her dryer flaked out, so it was ours for the taking - so there's Dryer #3: a 20 or 30 (or so?) year old model.
Aryeh drove up to Teaneck this past Sunday to help collect the new dryers.
We need to replace the washing machine, too, so if you have any suggestions (or donations...), we'd appreciate it. And you can contact me for our new address.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bauhaus, International Style in Tel Aviv

The Tel Aviv "White City" is known for its high concentration of Bauhous Architechture. Bauhous architechture is something that a lot of architects actually care a lot about, and the buildings look pretty cool so I took a tour and posted some pictures below.

But before I get there, here is a picture of Tel Aviv soon after the land was first bought from Bedouins in 1909.

Tel Aviv was special in that it had a huge influx of refugees when the Nazis came to power in Germany. The Nazis also closed the Bauhous school and many architects trained in that style made their way to tel aviv and built these happy buildings for the new residents.

Here is a nice example of a well kept (restored actually) Bauhaus building in the International Style. They loved those curvy balconies.

On Rothschild Boulivard, Both Big Beautiful Bauhaus Buildings.

I would really like to know the story behind this building.

I like this building a lot.

I have no idea what this is about- some sort of political thing I presume. If you know what it is, please comment- but since this blog post is so huge- remember to say your explaining the picture of Hertzel. The translation of the Hebrew is something like "We don't want, We don't need"

I thought this seems to be in the wrong country- but then someone suggested that it may have been a misspelling of genteel . . .

Not all areas of the city are so well kept up, but you can see here that this corner probably looked quite nice at one point.

The borders though between the well kept, and the rundown are not always so clear.

But in the right light the bad areas can actually look okay.

This was kind of funny, like some guy was tarring up the outside of his window with some kind of instrument that was not really all that long.

This was pretty random, they were advertising some romantic French restaurant and were kind enough to pose for a picture.

New and the "old"

You should open the full version of this picture because the metalwork on the balcony is quite intricate.

These flowers were designed with the principles of form follows function.

Thermometer Building
Not all of the old buildings are in good repair. This one on the right is called the Thermometer Building and they have been trying to restore it for a while but I was told that they ran out of money.

During the 1967 war it was thought that Egypt might invade Tel Aviv- the area you see here used to be open air (the building above was supporeted by columns) but was it bricked in for protection.

The way in which old buildings are now protected in Tel Aviv requires their facades to remain the way they were- but the inside can change. You can see that a few extra stories were built on to the origional building- but behind the facade so that it can't be seen from when you stand right in front of the building.

Juxtopasition of old and new- but the old actually is not even 100 years old.

This building (same as the one in the reflection) is nearing completion. There are a large number of rather tall buildings that all seem to be right about to open.

Right- so I don't actually have an ending to this blog, but I will mention that there are 29 pictures in this one post which is I think is a record for the

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cool shades

I am using lasers in the lab I'm working in at Unilever this summer. To protect my eyes, I need to wear these stylin' glasses:
This is how things look in blue:
Any guess what color laser I'm working with?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Etrog Flower

Some of you know I am growing Etrog trees, I currently have around 17 (I’m not sure exactly because I have multiple in the same pots). To my delight right before Shavuot one of them flowered. Here is my first ever etrog flower.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The search for "No Hot Ashes"

Many of you may remember my hobby that is to find garbage cans which say "No Hot Ashes" in different languages all over the world.
While this particular garbage can in Israel does not quite merit inclusion into my geotagged No Hot Ashes flikr pool, it does get an honorable mention. The words on the right side of the front face of this bin says something like "Don't Start Fires Inside" which is slightly different than "No Hot Ashes" which was explicitely stated in French German and Spanish.

Here is a picture from the Newark Airport

And some more pictures below from the flight to Israel:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It depends on the question

I've noticed a lot of bumper stickers recently which state "War is not the answer." The thing is, it depends on the question. For example:
  • Fill in the blank: Leo Tolstoys ____ and Peace
  • What word do you get when you remove the 't' from the end of wart?
  • What is raw spelled backwards?
  • World ___ I and World ___ II were large international military conflicts
Any other questions where war is the answer?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Funny New York City Pictures

These are some not so old funny pictures from New York. I will be posting pictures from Israel in due time.

Any comments?? (besides wanting a post from Israel)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Teeny tiny state capitol

I'm blogging from my cell phone while on vacation (unlike my brothers who look for any excuse possible to not blog). So you'll need to be satisfied with this CrapCam photo of the smallest state capitol building I have ever seen. I'll update this post when I get back, so you can really see how tiny it was.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Yet Another Shooting Trip

Well yet again I have gone shooting, so for those of you totally not interested I will start with baby chickens. My friend Jimmy's family bought a farm recently, and on this farm they decided to raise egg chickens, so they bought chickens. Now you don't by big chickens you buy baby chickens, and where do you put the baby chickens until they go to the hen house, thats right your bathtub.

27 baby chickens!!!

Now to the shooting.
Shooting the Desert Eagle .44

Shooting the Galil, which is an Israeli made modification of the AK-47

STG-58 .308 caliber to give you and idea of the size the next picture compares an AK-47 7.62 39 round with what I was shooting out of this(the AK round is on the left)
Me in the middle of working the lever on this lever action rifle, this was such a fun gun to shoot.Shooting the Smith and Weston .38 special revolver.
This is the target I shot the handguns at, notice I circled two shots these where from the revolver if you didn't pull back on the hammer before you shoot you shoot low. These two shots where aimed at the head, right where the other four rounds i shot from this gun went these ended up in the gut. Also, one shot is just off the neck and one shot is just clipping the top of the head, these two where shot from the Walther PPK this is the Bond gun, its small but it kicks and theses two misses are the result.