Countless channels and nothing worth watching

Despite the sheer amount of content available on services like YouTube, there are times when it feels like there’s absolutely nothing worth watching.

It must be some sort of algorithmic dead zone that occurs now and then. Like tonight.

It’s a good thing I have so much to read …

My son stumbled into emacs … to play Tetris

My son is a Tetris fan lately. He’s competing with my friend in South Africa (they’re both playing the same game, and sending boasting screenshots by WhatsApp). He came to me with his laptop (actually mine, I’ve loaned it to him) over the weekend, excited to show me how he’s playing Tetris on the MacBook Air, in emacs

Tetris in emacs

He doesn’t really appreciate quite what emacs is (or Vim, for that matter), but he definitely loved this version.

Make your Web

I enjoyed Tantek Çelik‘s recent talk at beyond tellerrand // DÜSSELDORF 2019. If you’re interested in the IndieWeb, or just curious why having a personal site is still so important, make yourself a beverage and enjoy:

Featured image: IndieWebCamp Berlin 2018 | Day 1 by tollwerk GmbH, licensed CC BY NC SA 2.0

Accumulating memories in large photo libraries

Jamie Rubin wrote a thought-provoking post on his blog about his accumulated library of photographs, and his thoughts about what to do with it.

The problem is that I am not organized about my photos the way I am in other parts of my life. I’ve made reluctant attempts at organization now and then, but my heart was never in it. I’ve had all kinds of great ideas for photo taxonomies that would allow me to put my finger on a photo within seconds. These ideas never pan out. I just don’t have the interest. And yet the photos accrue.

Jamie Rubin

I commented on the post, and then thought I’d share my thoughts here too.


I have around 100k images in my Flickr library (this is probably my most complete, and organised library outside my various backups). I sometimes wonder if accumulating such a huge library will be problematic for my family when I eventually shuffle off into the Great Darkroom in the Sky.

On balance, though, I’d much rather preserve these memories, than start stripping them away because they seem too voluminous. I’m pretty determined to document our lives, and our memories for future generations. I wrote a bit about this in this post, so I won’t elaborate much here.

When I look at what I have from my childhood, and from previous generations, I see moments now and then, certainly not complete pictures of what those times were like. I rely on photos to remember my past because my memory can be pretty spotty.

When it comes to my growing library of photos, I’m working on the assumption that image recognition technology will only improve over time, and our kids will be able to use it to find the stuff that matters to them. If I look at how good Google Photos is now when it comes to recognising subject matter in photos, and even filtering photos, I’m less and less concerned about the size of my library.

I think Jamie make a great point about being mindful of the moment we’re in, and not immediately distracting ourselves from it by taking a photograph of the scene. We can’t spend all our lives looking through a viewfinder.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Julie Johnson

My introduction to Narkis and Claire Guerreso

I’ve been listening to two artists I hadn’t come across until recently. The first artist who’s new to me is an Israeli artist/band called Narkis. I head their song ״ממה אתה בורח״ (“What are you running from?”) in a Spotify playlist titled ״בדרך״ yesterday, and I’m obsessed:

I went looking for a music video for this song, and this video is the closest I’ve come to seeing this song performed live – what a presence!


Another artist I started listening to, and enjoy, is Claire Guerreso, whose track “Ashes” was featured in a powerful scene on the TV show, Lucifer, that my wife and I have been binging for the last month or so:

This track is wonderful, and a powerful theme for that particular scene in the show. Another terrific track is “Skipping Stones”:

unsplash-logoFeatured image by BRUNO CERVERA

Fireworks for Israel 71st Independence Day Celebrations

We celebrated 71 years of Israel’s independence earlier this month. We joined thousands of Modiin’s residents to watch a fireworks display in the park.

It was a spectacular display, as usual, and we enjoyed all three parts of the show. I took my tripod with me to attempt some longer exposure photography of the fireworks. I switched to my 18-55mm kit lens, and I think the photos came out fairly nicely.

Yom HaAtzmaut starts at the end of Yom HaZikaron, a memorial day for soldiers and Israelis who died in terror attacks. This year, I decided to learn our national anthem, HaTikva, so I could participate when the anthem was sung at memorial events.

I learned it a few years ago, and then forgot most of the words since then. Having a better understanding of the words in this short anthem made a real difference (as you’d expect). It’s a beautiful anthem, and represents us as Israelis in so many ways.

One version of HaTikva that appeals to me, is this version that the IDF published recently. It speaks to so much of what makes us who we are:

Update: I came across this other video from the IDF that I thought I’d share here too:

Seeing the sights in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

I recently wrote about my day trip to Jerusalem with my friend during a short vacation. On the next day we took a day trip to see the sights in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. We started off in Jaffa, with a late breakfast at Doctor Shakshuka, generally a great place to enjoy, well, shakshuka.

From there, we made our way towards the Old City of Jaffa. In many respects, this Old City is similar to the Old City of Jerusalem, and well worth visiting.

The walk to the Old City of Jaffa isn’t particularly long, and includes a stroll along the beachfront.

Old City of Jaffa

The view from this walkway is pretty spectacular. On the one side, you see Tel Aviv, and on the other, you see part of the Old City peeking out from behind some trees.

We took a casual walk through the Old City, had ice-cream, and took in the view of Tel Aviv from a hill in the middle of the Old City.

From there, we caught a bus to the Tel Aviv Port, one of my favourite places in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv Port

There are a couple really nice beaches along the waterfront here, along with a number of restaurants and coffee shops.

The tide was pretty high, so there weren’t many bathers in the water. We were also treated to foam splashing over the railings along the boardwalk.

We had some coffee at one of the coffee shops, and then made our way to Ben Gurion House. Now a museum, Ben Gurion House was formerly Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s house.

What impressed me most about the house is its simplicity. It’s the sort of house your grandparents may have lived in, with perfectly ordinary furnishings, and decorations. The one exception is Ben Gurion’s really impressive library that takes up most of the upstairs section of the house.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how seemingly routine photographs of daily life decades ago have taken on an almost magical quality when we look at them now. This has prompted me to look around at scenes of daily life around me, and take a more active interest in photographing it.

If anything, perhaps these photographs will show younger generations more of what life was like in the early 21st century in the not too distant future.

We spent a little time in Sarona Market with its fish ponds before making our way down to the Tel Aviv HaShalom train station, and heading home to Modiin. It was a really nice day out.

A trip down memory lane to Stonehenge

My daughter and I watched this Vox video about Stonehenge over lunch today, and it reminded me of my visit to the UK and Ireland in April 2004:

I found my photos from way back then (in full 640 x 480 resolution⭐️), and was able to impress my daughter by showing her my photos of some of the places we saw in the video. I thought I’d dig out my photos, and reminisce a little …

Collage from my UK and Ireland trip in 2004
Collage from my UK and Ireland trip in 2004

⭐️ Albums like this remind me that it pays to store archived images in the highest resolution you can manage at the time.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Henry Gressmann
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