Wednesday, March 09, 2011

EZ Reads 3/9/11

Happy engagiversary to Serach and me! I've updated the tabs at the top (which I will try to make more noticeable in the near future) to include and be up to date on the various series that are ongoing on this blog. If you would like to read through any major series, those are the best places to start. Some fun links today:
  • Following up on their previous analysis, The New York Times determines that American Jews lead the happiest lives of all Americans. Brilliant first comment on the article (just saw it was removed!): Sure, most of them are happy, but those other 30%, boy can they complain!
  • Mishpacha has a very good article this week explaining charter schools and how they can (and usually have not) impacted Orthodox schools and yeshivos. Excerpt:
    Unlike the situation in Brooklyn and East Brunswick, Florida’s Ben Gamla charter school network has attracted a solid Jewish majority in its student body, and the system is growing by leaps and bounds. Following the Hollywood branch’s popularity, Ben Gamla schools were opened in nearby Plantation (in 2009) and Miami Beach (in 2010). There is an independent after-school religious studies program available to students throughout the Ben Gamla network.

    However, even these schools’ success comes at a limited cost to local frum institutions. Sources familiar with the makeup of the school’s student body estimate that only about 5 percent of Ben Gamla students are from frum homes. Currently, the four-year-old network’s Jewish students are primarily either non-Orthodox, who would otherwise have attended public school or Conservative or non-denominational Jewish day schools; or special-needs students who require costly services not subsidized in private schools.
    The article is in this week's Mishpacha, which you can subscribe to here.
  • Did you hear? The Maccabeats came out with a new video for Purim! (Yes, I heard about 100 times.) Admittedly, Uri Westrich put together another good one - great job sticking with themed jokes, like the sombrero and the dripping jelly.
  • Chana realizes there is a difference between compassion and understanding, and publicity and support, when it comes to homosexuality in the Orthodox community.
  • Finally! xkcd pokes fun at ads which say things like "Sales of up to 15% - or more!" So... you mean you have sales going on at various percentages below and above 15%? Why not just pick any number below the max percentage discount so it sounds bigger? Do people really suck this bad at math? This always frustrated me.
  • Michael Medved has a great piece in today's Wall Street Journal decrying the propensity of Republicans to label Obama as a radical/extremist. This trait is especially true in the Orthodox Jewish community, and it doesn't do anybody any favors. Medved notes that realizing that Obama's views are rather mainstream Democrat is important if the GOP wishes to win the next election.
  • Finally, an old neighbor from Cleveland who is absolutely hilarious has a number of videos doing various impressions of all types of people. Her latest is up on YouTube and has already picked up 11,000+ views, so I feel like it's okay to put it on the blog this time:

    I wish some of her other stuff would go up, too - she's just really, really funny.