I just had to share this brief but fascinating article about a study that demonstrated internet trolls are in fact sadists. Check it out here.
My 5 Favorite Things Currently on the Web
I spend most of my time on the internet doing work, but every once in a while, I stumble upon something I love and have to keep coming back for more. Here are links to my current favs so you can check them out and get obsessed, too.
1) Space Rabbi – I love the brothers Taub and have enjoyed their various projects on Chabad.org for years. Episode 1 gets off to a slow start, but it’s all wackiness from then on, from the retro “futuristic” design elements, to the HAL references, to the bizarre characterizations of all the electronic gadgets that come to life and interact with Rabbi Blastoffski.
Yes, the main character is actually called Rabbi Blastoffski. How cool is that?
2) Pop Chassid – Currently, my favorite Jewish blog on the internet. Elad Nehorai reflects on Judaism, Chassidus, the arts, and modern life. Not only are his posts insightful, but he has some wonderful followers who post great comments.
3) Hanan Harchol – I first got wind of this guy through a bit he had up on Aish.com. Most of the videos are animated dialogues between Hanan and (his impersonation of) his father and contain reflections about Jewish philosophy. Utterly charming and thought-provoking.
4) Verplanck – I’m not sure how long these guys are going to be around, because they need to raise funds for their project, but part 6 of their Orthodox online comedy is simply hilarious. (Although you probably need to be religious to get the jokes.) It’s awesome if you’re home sick and are too old for Agent Emes. You will laugh yourself healthy.
5) Shtar – Because they rock. Literally. (Okay, sometimes it’s more like hip-hop. Or maybe techno. Or maybe just cool.) “Wonderland” should be used in commercials by the Ministry of Tourism to encourage travel to Israel.
(My first runner-up is G-dcast, video interpretations of Jewish texts that aren’t always Orthodox, but always creative. Check out Avoiding the Mud for a Chassidishe meise, or The Rise of Yavneh for the story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa and destruction of the Temple.)
3 Ways to use your words charitably–How to help people in need from far away
Yesterday, it took me hours to get myself writing. Instead of typing at my keyboard, I was numb with fear for the residents of Israel (and, in fact, for the children of Gaza, whose safety is in jeopardy–regardless of who is jeopardizing it, which is a political question I refuse to address here). It’s only a couple weeks since Superstorm Sandy hit the eastern seaboard of the U.S. People lost homes, places of worship, jobs, every material good they possessed. And here I sit in California, comfortable and in no immediate threat of danger. There are no sirens warning of incoming rockets blasting in my neighborhood, and the rain outside is just a sprinkle.
On this blog, I write about words, and how to employ them. Today, I’m going take a break from discussing professional writing to give 3 ways you can use your words to help people in Israel and the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
1) You can blog to raise money for a (legitimate) charitably organization who will be helping the victims of Sandy (such as the Jewish charity Achiezer and the secular American Red Cross).
2) You can write a letter or email (or post on a Facebook page) to a friend in Israel or in New York (or other Sandy-affected area). If you don’t know what to say, just say, “I want you to know I’m thinking about you. I’m far away, but you are not forgotten.”
3) You can write something to bring goodness in the world–a letter apologizing to someone you hurt, intentionally or not; a letter to someone lonely; something kind and beautiful. Then mail it.
Interesting new alternative to Facebook
Many religious Jews (and others) find the use of Facebook problematic. For ladies, there is already MetroImma and Imamother which can be used for social networking, but now there’s a new alternative, available to both men and women: FaceGlat.