Small-minded Mozilla?

Being the Mozilla fan I am, I was really surprised to see this article on The Register’s site titled "Small-minded Mozilla mocked by wider world".

An exuberant Mozilla Foundation has been brought back down to earth with a bang by the world’s internet organisations.

Flushed with the success of its Firefox browser, the Foundation has

clearly come to believe it is an important voice in the internet

community. But following a hasty decision regarding the resolving of

Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), it has been publicly criticised

by the groups representing domain registries in both Europe and Asia,

as well as the US-based internet overseeing organisation ICANN.

I hope this is not the beginning of a slightly arrogant streak!

Apple mini’s fly off the shelves

ITWeb has reported that Apple mini’s have been flying off the shelves since their launch in the last few days.

Mac minis enjoyed a sell-out launch at
three Apple centres in SA on Saturday, when the entire shipment of
about 80 units was sold in three hours.

The new Mac minis are Apple’s entry-level products, sold without a
keyboard, mouse or monitor. All three of the Apple centres say their
entire consignments were either sold outright or are largely spoken for.

The centres have received back orders for a number of machines, although they are not sure when the next shipments will arrive.

Indextop20050111I took myself off to the Apple shop up the road and saw that they had a mini hooked up to an enormous monitor.  I wasn’t expecting much in the way of performance and boy was it zippy.  I was very tempted to whip out my credit card then and there except for the fact that I have a computer already and I also have a wedding to save up for.

Razzie to Catwoman and respect to Halle Berry

With all the emphasis on the Oscars, did anyone remember the Razzies?  These are the awards given to the worst performances and productions.  These awards are the antithesis of the Oscars.  This year "Catwoman" won several awards at the Razzies and the surprise of the evening was that Halle Berry was there to receive her award!

Halle Berry staged an
Oscar-worthy parody of her Academy Awards meltdown at last night’s 25th
annual Razzie awards in Los Angeles. Breaking with tradition, the
Catwoman star showed up in person to collect her award as the worst
actress of 2004.

Explaining her decision to attend the event, Berry said: "My mother told me that if you couldn’t be a good loser then there’s no way you could be a good

Continue reading “Razzie to Catwoman and respect to Halle Berry”

How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog

ProBlogger is running a series of articles or posts on how to keep first time readers coming back to your blog.  The latest installment is titled "How to Keep First Time Readers to your Blog – Part III".  I didn’t realise that simple things like enabling an ’email to a friend’ feature and linking to other posts on the same subject made such a difference.  Parts 1 and 2 are here and here (respectively).

Part IV has been posted here for your continued enlightenment.

77th Academy Awards: Oscar winners

Poster77_1Well, the awards ceremony was held last night (South African time).  As many people predicted, "Million Dollar Baby" and "The Aviator" did well, scooping up numerous awards.  For a full list of the winners (thanks to Internet Movie Database), read on …

If you want to see the nominees and the winners in context, CNN has a nicely laid out summary.

Pictures of red carpet arrivals are here.

Continue reading “77th Academy Awards: Oscar winners”

Oscar nominees

For the heck of it, here is a list of the nominees for tonight’s Oscars.  Have a look here and here for links to blogs commenting in the Oscars.
Continue reading “Oscar nominees”

Wise words from a “savage”

I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

This extract is valuable because of the emphasis on our shared heritage and connection to each other and all beings on this planet.  These words are attributed to Chief Seattle
who reportedly included them in a speech he gave in 1854.  There is
some debate as to precisely what he said.  Two perspectives are here and here.  The Wikipedia article also contains some useful information and a few other links.

Trembling before G-d

The normally hidden world of gay

Hasidic and Orthodox Jews has been uncovered in Trembling Before God –

a controversial documentary that has just opened at the US box office.

Many of the film’s subjects appear in

silhouette, with their voices disguised, because they feared

repercussions if their identities were revealed.

Trembling before G-d

This is how an article on on a movie called "Trembling before G-d" begins.  This movie, recently released in South Africa, examines homosexuality in the orthodox Jewish communities.  It has evoked considerable debate and, in many cases, outrage.  The Sunday Times has reported that local leaders of the South African Jewish Community have banned the movie in South Africa and have taken active steps to prevent it being screened.

A SHOCK decision by Jewish leaders to

ban a gay Orthodox rabbi from speaking at several venues this week has

torn the local community apart.

The Jewish Board of Education and the Beth

Din, the Jewish ecclesiastical court, this week banned talks by gay US

Orthodox Rabbi Steven Greenberg along with screenings of the

controversial documentary Trembling Before G-d.

The film, by US director Sandi Simcha

DuBowski, looks at the struggle gay Jews have finding a place for

themselves in Orthodox Judaism. It features Greenberg, who is also here

to promote his book Wrestling With G-d and Men.

This decision has outraged the community although parents seem to be more outraged at the fact that they were not consulted at all about these decisions and about the Board of Education’s apparent narrow views.

Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein said in a

written statement to Metro: “This film is intellectually shallow and

its one-sided caricature of Orthodox Judaism does not stimulate

meaningful intellectual debate.??

I was particularly impressed to see the headmaster of the my old high school, amoung others, become an advocate for the screening of this movie.

The headmaster of King David Victory

Park has defied the ban. And parents are threatening to start a

petition against the SA Board of Jewish Education.

Greenberg was billed to talk at the school on Monday as part of its Week of Tolerance.

However, the Jewish Board of Education cancelled the event.

In response, headmaster Joseph Gerassi went

ahead and organised that the film be screened at the Beaconsfield Club,

opposite the school, which is run by the Beth Din.

This was also cancelled. Eventually  the event was hosted at Wits University.

Another screening at the Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre in Oaklands was also cancelled by the Beth Din.

In a letter to parents, Gerassi said: “As headmaster I feel that this was the wrong decision.

“If we are educating our students about

tolerance, I feel we should have allowed Rabbi Greenberg the

opportunity to discuss his life and the difficulties he has encountered

reconciling his homosexuality with Orthodox Judaism.

“Whether we approve or disapprove of his sexual orientation, our students should have the right to hear his point of view.??

Another source of great pride for me (no pun intended there) is that my friend David Bilchitz was heavily involved, if not instrumental, in bringing this movie to South Africa.  Well done Dave!

Quite a bit has been said in the blogosphere about this movie.  A couple blogs I came across which have posts about this movie are here, here and here.

In all the reaction here in South Africa has been less than a model of tolerance.  The orthodox Jewish community in South Africa (and I am sure in other parts of the world as well) has hardly been the bastion of transparency and tolerance.  I have a few friends who are gay and who have experienced great pain and hardship in their struggles for acceptance of their orientation by their families.  It is ironic that people who claim to be such devout followers of what is really a beautiful religion would ostracise their children so readily.