Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The president's speech

I admit I did not listen to the state of the union address last night.  I did, however, see a quote that struck me for its lack of mechanical correctness:
"Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love."

There are two striking errors here. One is the inconsistency of number -- "no American" is singular and so should not be represented by the pronoun "they." The second is the misuse the word "who" where "whom" is clearly called for.   I know that Twitter says "who to follow" rather than "whom to follow," but Twitter is not the defining authority on usage.

With a minimum of change, the corrected sentence should read: "Starting this year, no Americans will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of whom they love." 

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Monday, January 24, 2011

Here the soup is not in the kitchen exhibit

Fans of Cheaper by the Dozen and the sequel Belles on Their Toes should look for the Gilbreth name in the Kitchen Culture, In Motion exhibit.  You may recall that Dr. Gilbreth came up with a plan for a highly efficient kitchen setup, though the family resident cook and housekeeper refused to work in it.  Though the Warhol's soup can do not appear in that section of the museum, you can look for other representations of his work alongside the kitchen models and artifacts.

Other significant question that you may ponder include which animal is featured opposite the large male figure in Marc Chagall's I and the Village While the representative of the museum museum maintains it is a cow, other online sources describe it as a goat.  Personally, I think it looks more like a goat than a cow.  But you can draw your own conclusion.  This painting is meant to represent a Jewish village, yet features a prominent cross at the top central point of the picture.  There is also a cross that appears to be attached to a  necklace around the prominent male figure's neck.  I wonder what one is supposed to make of that if that figure represents the artist himself, who is a Jew. I do have some theories. 

Continue reading at

From soup to stars at MoMA - New York Jewish Bridal |

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tu B’Shvat: holiday for the trees - New York Jewish Bridal |

Tu B’Shvat: holiday for the trees - New York Jewish Bridal |  See the slideshow there and additional photos at  The photos I took at the same place last year are at

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Self-service: the possibilities and drawbacks of technology

I'd like to thank those who commented on Those question were on my mind because I was working on a blog post for  Feel free to have a look and comment there.

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beauty and Brains

Here's the gist of a rather short article:

The study indicated attractive men have IQs that are 13.6 points above the average, while beautiful women are 11.4 points higher than average.
Since intelligent men are more inclined to achieve more success, they are "more likely to marry beautiful women," Kanazawa said. "Given that both intelligence and physical attractiveness are highly heritable, there should be a positive correlation between intelligence and physical attractiveness in the children's generation. 

Good looking people have higher IQs

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Politics and words

I don't have any political agenda. Just wondering if others think that the "Jewish leaders" who spoke out against Palin's misuse of the word "blood-libel" really represent the general Jewish view.  What's your view on it?

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do you prefer self-service or human service?

 If the bank is open, would you head first for human teller or for a ATM? Why? 
Also please note if you observe different preferences in your parents or children. 
Other questions: In general do you prefer to pump your own gas (I know it doesn't apply in NJ) or to have someone do it for you?  Do you pay at the pump?  
 Do you seek out self-checkout lines at supermarkets and Home Depots, or do you avoid them? 
 Do you prefer to get your information by calling someone or by looking it up online?
Do you prefer to shop in stores in which someone offers to help you, or do you prefer to be left alone while you look?

Monday, January 10, 2011

a one date stand

I posted about the process of getting to know people through social media .  It's a process of listening that takes time.  The same process is required in dating.  But people are quick to take a stand against the person after only one date.  One miss of a checkbox gets the person rejected. As Orthonomics writes in her latest blog post,  "I get the feeling that far too many daters spend too much time (over) analyzing the packaging of the date itself and all the odd behaviors displayed by the date that they don't actually get to the heart of the courting process, i.e. actually getting to know something more substantive about their date." Read more at Orthonomics: Over Analyzing and Dating

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Getting to know you

That's the song for social media.  See the example of Kohl's and the controversy of boycott lists discussed in the comment section at

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Teaching children to think in the box

This evening, my youngest was frustrated with her math homework on time. Her frustration was not due to the math involved but with the expectations of the writers of the workbook.
Here is what the problem stated:

9:58 AM is __ minutes before ___AM

  I had to tell her the answer here because, clearly, the writers are thinking so in the box that they considered it obvious that the reference point would be the hour, so that you would fill in the blanks with 2 and 10:00, respectively.  As my daughter rightly observed, though, there are many possible answers.  All you have to do is make the minutes match the time.  You could put in 1 and 9:59 or 3 and 10:01, and so on.


Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Easy chicken that's not the same old, same old

Ginger marinade for chicken - New York Jewish Bridal |

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Forever Younger

I was thinking of entitling this "The Secret of Eternal Youth."  It is actually is about keeping a secret, but I refrained from doing so because the overuse of "secret" in titles is one of the things I object to.  Another titled I considered was "Living a Lie."  Can you guess where this is going yet?  First, a disclaimer:  This was told to me by my eight grade daughter, who was relaying what her teacher said, who was relaying an anecdote she heard of.  As in the game of Telephone, it is quite likely that some of the details and even facts got distorted along the way.  I certainly hope so.

This is what my daughter recounted last night.  Supposedly, someone asked a rabbi if they can lie about their age for the sake of a shidduch. His reply was that they can do so, so long as they will adhere to that age forever after.  In other words, say, a girl of 27 passes herself of as 22, she would have to forever after act as if she was, indeed, 22 that year.  I suppose the rationale behind this is that 1)sticking to something makes it true to you even if it began as a lie (though I don't really see the virtue in that)  2) that what your husband doesn't know won't hurt you, and so long as you are consistent, he won't ever realize he was hoodwinked to begin with.

Aside from the moral problem of basing a relationship (and one that should allow for mutual confidence) on a lie, this simply doesn't work legally.  While you can legally change your name, you cannot change your age.   There were Jews born in pre-War Europe who did not have documentation of their birth.  One of my son's rebbeim was not sure exactly when his birthday was.  But for those born in the USA in more recent times, that is not the case.

Your date of birth is linked forever with your identity in your birth certificate, passport, driver's license, etc. Your age can be seen on some online white pages, though those are sometimes inaccurate. If you are to legally marry, you need a marriage license. See And you cannot get one without brining documentation to prove you are who you are.  How can someone keep up the pretense of being years younger than her birth certificate says she is when she has to bring it in to get married?  Is her initial lie supposed lead her to forging the documents to keep up the pretense?  Really, there is no way to make this plan work legally or morally.

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

What do your goals say about you?

I decided to post this in response to seeing a Tweet that said "What are your fashion goals for 2011?"  I'm sure you're all dying to hear what I'm planning to wear.  Seriously, then you are far more interested in my choice of fashion than I am. Other than dressing to code, so to speak, and not falling for trends that are inconsistent with my lifestyle, I don't really think much about clothes.  Yes, I would be happy to buy some more skirts if they become available in long enough -- but not trailing to the floor - -- lengths. But that is not much more of a goal than an intent to buy cherries when they are in season and affordable.  (They are BTW $2.99 a lb. this week at Stop & Shop, which is pretty good for winter time,but not a price I find impossible to resist).


Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Monday, January 03, 2011

Introvert power!

Introvert tend to get a bad rap in the world of business.  They are stereotyped as anti-social and so expected to not be good team players and to be too shy to effectively lead.  But this stereotype, like many others, is not altogether true, according to a Harvard Business School researcher.  Here's an excerpt from
Harvard Business School researcher Francesca Gino has found that introverts can play a crucial role in leading teams.
Many of the strengths that people associate with leaders, for instance being dominant or being good at giving directives, are often the same traits that characterize someone who is an extrovert, Gino told CNN.
But in a forthcoming paper, she argues that when it comes to day-to-day teamwork in the workplace, less obvious leadership qualities can become more important.
She and her collaborators asked bosses to rate how extroverted they considered themselves and then studied how their teams worked.
They found that extroverts were more dominant, drove conversations and were less receptive to new ideas. Introverts, on the other hand, listened to ideas, internalized them and were able to improve team performance.
Gino said that introverts demonstrate superior performance when they are leading a team of proactive workers.

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

The Myth of Mars and Venus

The idea that men and women differ fundamentally in the way they use language to communicate is a myth in the everyday sense: a widespread but false belief. But it is also a myth in the sense of being a story people tell in order to explain who they are, where they have come from, and why they live as they do. Whether or not they are "true" in any historical or scientific sense, such stories have consequences in the real world. They shape our beliefs, and so influence our actions. The myth of Mars and Venus is no exception to that rule.
......Do women really talk more than men?
...... The reviewers are inclined to believe that this is a case of gender and amount of talk being linked indirectly rather than directly: the more direct link is with status, in combination with the formality of the setting (status tends to be more relevant in formal situations). The basic trend, especially in formal and public contexts, is for higher-status speakers to talk more than lower-status ones. The gender pattern is explained by the observation that in most contexts where status is relevant, men are more likely than women to occupy high-status positions; if all other things are equal, gender itself is a hierarchical system in which men are regarded as having higher status.
"Regarded" is an important word here, because conversational dominance is not just about the way dominant speakers behave; it is also about the willingness of others to defer to them. Some experimental studies have found that you can reverse the "men talk more" pattern, or at least reduce the gap, by instructing subjects to discuss a topic that both sexes consider a distinctively female area of expertise. Status, then, is not a completely fixed attribute, but can vary relative to the setting, subject and purpose of conversation. 
see more by clicking the link above.
Related posts

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Proponents of polygamy

I was searching for something completely different when I happened upon the site that declares itself "THE ORTHODOX JEWISH PRO POLYGAMY PAGE."
To set the record straight: the Torah did allow multiple wives.  However, the Torah also shows that multiple wives can be far from the bliss some men may imagine it to be.  Just about any time we get an insider look at a household with more than one wife in TaNaCh, the stresses and tensions that arise show that a man may get far more than he bargained for when taking on another wife -- even when there are particular reasons for it, like an infertile first wife.  We also notice that in situations where there was a Divine direction behind the shidduch, as in the case of Tamar and Yehudah or Ruth and Boaz, the first wife of the men involved was dead and buried beforehand.  So even in these unusual cases, the matches were monogamous.

 Avraham only took on Hagar at his wife's urging, and he sent her away for the same reason.  Yitzchak  married only once. Yaakov's circumstances in marrying 4 were highly  uncommon, and even though it was necessary, the situation created bad feelings between the two sisters he married.  Almost every other man we hear of in TaNach takes on only one wife.  And we see that Elkana's situation with Penina on top of Chana was far from ideal. In fact, I've heard that Rabbenu Gershom's motivation in instituting the ban against polygamy may have been inspired by his own unhappiness as the husband of more than one wife.  But I have not verified that.

Following up a bit on the search results, I found some different views here:  The ones who think it's a great idea seem to believe it is a way to openly have a wife/mistress setup.  That reminds me of another lesson in Torah about marriage.  Chazal tell us that in the generations before the Flood, the custom was to take 2 wives, one for childbearing and one for pleasure -- in the role of mistress. Of course, even then, the plan sometimes backfired and the one designated as mistress also had children. The people who were saved, Noach and his three sons, had only one wife a piece.  Even the animals taken on board were limited to a single mate.

Feel free to comment, but moderation is on, and I assure you that all inappropriate comments will be zapped before they can be seen by readers.

Visit my site -- not just for kallahs. You can also see posts at