Tuesday Newsday: The End of the World is Near…


The end of the world is near, and I’m not referring to the threats coming from North Korea and their “Rocketman”.

Okay, I am referring to this… somewhat.

I couldn’t help but notice today as I sat down to write about doctors declaring that sports drinks and energy drinks are bad for kids, or to vent about the weather, that the top 2 trending topics WORLDWIDE were these;

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Kylie Jenner

Seriously.

Trump I get…. He’s taunted North Korea, told the NFL owners that their players should be fired for bowing during the national anthem, and tells lots of stories daily, which may or may not be true.

But Kylie Jenner?

WTF!

All of this because she may, or may not be pregnant.

I mean, who cares.

Every time I turn on my computer and the news comes up there are pictures of this girl with a bump, without a bump… Have we not always been told that you cannot be half pregnant?!?

I just don’t see the fascination in these people and their lives.  What started with a sex tape and a naturally large / maybe surgically enhanced ass has become the daily obsession of millions of people.

Kylie might be pregnant.

Kim has 2 kids and bought them ice cream.

Bruce is no longer Bruce.

The other one… the tall one is married to a NBA player, then he flips out, then he almost dies, then they’re back together, then she loses weight, then he almost dies, then they’re back together.  Wait, she’s out clubbing again…

Doesn’t even get me started about the other sister who has 3 kids, but divorced her husband because he’s an adulterer – oops, sorry – addicted to sex.  Now he’s with a girl who could be his daughter…. UGH.

Breaking news!  Kim farted!!!

Maybe the Kardashians and Donald Trump were sent to us as a test.  A test of our patience, our morals and our compassion for others.

If we can survive them, we can do ANYTHING!

 

PS Saudi Arabia is going to allow woman to drive… in 2017.  How ass-backwards is that!

 

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Overheard at Tim Horton’s – The WORST THING EVER!!!


I overhear this conversation at Tim Horton’s recently between a couple of millennials, which caught my attention because it started with one turning to the other and declaring, “OMG! Do you know what is the WORST!”

So I had to listen.

Now you get the details of the “worst”… You might want to sit down for this!

“OMG you know what is the WORST!”

“What?”

“When you order a Coke and they bring you a Pepsi…”

“GASP

“…Without telling you.”

“I know, eh?”

“I mean, it’s so NOT okay for that to happen. They’re two completely different products and you should be warned.”

“Totally… Like when you order coffee with sugar but they forget to put in the sugar…”

“No… Not like that at all.”

“Oh.”

Silence.

Now, I had always imagined the “worst” being something far more catastrophic, like losing a child, or a spouse, or war, famine, natural disasters, but hey… Getting a Pepsi when you order a coke could be pretty bad… Like not being able to download that song for free right away, or not having WiFi available…

The World Series Starts Tonight! Which Jinx Ends?!?


So the World Series begins tonight in Chicago as the Chicago Cubs who last won the World Series in 1908, face the team from Cleveland (team name omitted on purpose) who last won the Fall Classic in 1948.

Contrary to the belief of my children, neither myself nor my pet dinosaur were alive when the Cubs were last named World Champions.

As a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan, I could vote for Cleveland because they eliminated Toronto, or I could vote for the Cubbies and their poor, suffering fans.  The Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association also eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the NBA playoffs so I have reason to hate Cleveland, but then again the poor City finally got one World Champion so another in the same year would be wonderful for them, right?!?

Of note in this series, is which team will have the jinx removed from their franchise.  The Cubs were jinxed because of some goat, while the Cleveland team was really jinxed by a Native American group who disapproved of their use of team name, logo and mascot.

The Cubs curse is known as “The Curse of the Billy Goat” and was put in the team in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Apparently he used to bring his goat to the games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the odor (not Roughned) of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans so he was asked to leave the park during game 4 of the 1945 World Series.

While leaving, the Tavern owner declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more”, and they didn’t, losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers and then never making it back until this season – 46 years after the death of the Tavern’s owner.

Now, the Cleveland curse is quite different.

Some may say the curse on the Cleveland came from trading star players after star player, however, the curse on the team stems from the teams name, “Indians”, which originated from a request by then club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace the current team name, the “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season.

“Indians” was chosen because writers used to call the Cleveland Spiders baseball club, the “Indians” in reference to a Native American player named Louis Sockalexis.

The team is also referred to as the “Tribe” and their “mascot” Chief Wahoo (who is actually a Brave because Chief’s have a many feathers).

The team itself, began playing organized ball in 1894 in Michigan, as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. The team moved to Cleveland in 1900, changing their name to the Lake Shores.

It has been said that until Cleveland change their team name and use of Chief Wahoo, the team will be forever jinxed.

Either way, one of these jinx’s will end at the conclusion of the World Series.

My 11-year-old son was wondering what it was like watching baseball back in 1908.  There was no TV, no way to broadcast the games, certainly no way for someone in another country to learn of the game or the results from so far away.

He was thinking about what it would have been like to have been a young boy in Poland, where his now 100-year-old grandfather grew up and eventually had to flee for his life from the Nazis before making his way to North America, then to Canada.

Baseball, eh?

Hard to think about baseball when Nazi’s chase you from your home, kill everyone in your family, then give your home and your belongings to others.

Life goes on.

A curse will end.

Interesting perspective from an 11-year-old.

 

 

 

 

It’s Hanukkah Time! Hanukkah 101.


Hanukkah is one of the best known Jewish holidays because of its proximity to Christmas and as a result, many confuse it as being the Jewish Christmas because the Jewish people adopt gift-giving and decorating with the holiday.   Hanukkah, however, is a festival, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion.

During Hanukkah, a miracle is celebrated!  Upon Judah Maccabee’s defeat of the Syrians, the Second Temple in Judea was rebuilt and during the dedication, a menorah was to be lit, its candles burning every night but there was only oil enough in the temple to keep the candles lit for just one night, yet they stayed lit for 8-nights and these 8-nights are celebrated by Jewish people every years as the miracle of Hanukkah.

Now Christmas, which we know is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, (who Christians believe is the son of God), is a miracle as well, the two holidays share nothing in common except for the time of year they fall.

The Story Hanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great, the King of Macedonia, a state in northern ancient Greece.  Alexander, who was tutored by Aristotle who, was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history’s most successful commanders.  Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy.  Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated much of Hellenistic culture, adopting the language, the customs and the dress of the Greeks.

But then something changed…

More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region and he began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, massacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar.

Two groups opposed Antiochus: a basically nationalistic group led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee, and a religious traditionalist group known as the Chasidim, the forerunners of the Pharisees (no direct connection to the modern movement known as Chasidism). They joined forces in a revolt against both the assimilation of the Hellenistic Jews and oppression by the Seleucid Greek government. The revolution succeeded and the Temple was rededicated.

According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle.

The holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: The Jewish people do not glorify war.

Chanukkah is not a very important religious holiday. The holiday’s religious significance is far less than that of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavu’ot. It is roughly equivalent to Purim in significance, and you won’t find many non-Jews who have even heard of Purim (which has been referred to as the Jewish equivalent of Halloween because of the use of costumes).

Chanukkah is not even mentioned in Jewish scripture; the story is related in the book of Maccabees, which most Jewish people do not even accept as scripture.

The only religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles. The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a menorah (or sometimes called a chanukkiah) that holds nine candles: one for each night, plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. On the first night, one candle is placed at the far right. The shammus candle is lit and three blessings are recited: l’hadlik neir (a general prayer over candles), she-asah nisim (a prayer thanking G-d for performing miracles for our ancestors at this time), and she-hekhianu (a general prayer thanking G-d for allowing us to reach this time of year).menorah

After reciting the blessings, the first candle is then lit using the shammus candle, and the shammus candle is placed in its holder. Candles can be lit any time after dark but before midnight. The candles are normally allowed to burn out on their own after a minimum of 1/2 hour, but if necessary they can be blown out at any time after that 1/2 hour. On Shabbat, Chanukkah candles are normally lit before the Shabbat candles, but may be lit any time before candlelighting time (18 minutes before sunset). Candles cannot be blown out on Shabbat (it’s a violation of the sabbath rule against igniting or extinguishing a flame).

Each night, another candle is added from right to left (like the Hebrew language). Candles are lit from left to right (because you pay honor to the newer thing first).

On the eighth night, all nine candles (the 8 Chanukkah candles and the shammus) are lit.

On nights after the first, only the first two blessings are recited; the third blessing, she-hekhianu is only recited on the first night of holidays.

So why is there a shammus candle which lights all the other candles, you ask?  The Chanukkah candles are for pleasure only; we are not allowed to use them for any productive purpose. We keep an extra one around (the shammus), so that if we need to do something useful with a candle, we don’t accidentally use the Chanukkah candles.  The shammus candle is at a different height so that it is easily identified as the shammus. It is traditional to eat fried foods on Chanukkah because of the significance of oil to the holiday.

Food:  Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes – potato pancakes made up of shredded potato, onion, egg to hold it together and some spices, all fried in oil – (pronounced “lot-kuhs” or “lot-keys”).latkes

Gift-giving is not a traditional part of the holiday, but has been added in places where there are a lot of Jewish children who have contact with Christians, as a way of dealing with our children’s jealousy of their Christian friends. It is extremely unusual for Jews to give Chanukkah gifts to anyone other than their own young children.  The only traditional gift of the holiday is “gelt,” small amounts of money (chocolate money wrapped in foil if you are lucky).

Another tradition of the holiday is playing dreidel, a gambling game played with a square top. Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins (gelt). The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus’ oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight. A dreidel is marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase “Nes Gadol Hayah Sham”, a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil. The letters also stand for the Yiddish words nit (nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put), which are the rules of the game! There are some variations in the way people play the game, but the way I learned it, everyone puts in one coin. A person spins the dreidel. If it lands on Nun, nothing happens; on Gimel, you get the whole pot; on Hei, you get half of the pot; and on Shin, you put one in. When the pot is empty, everybody puts one in. Keep playing until one person has everything. Then redivide it, because nobody likes a poor winner.dreydle

Festival of lights… Maybe festival of candles or festival of oil…

Hanukkah.  Chanukah.  Chanuka.  Hanuka.

Spell it as you wish.

Happy Hanukkah!

Tuesday Newsday


Tuesday Newsday, an Urbandaddy exclusive!

1)  I get it that a football player dying at a very young age is a tragedy but I also understand that when you are chasing / attacking your fiance by jumping on a moving vehicle and having been in trouble with the law before (and turfed off your team numerous times) you may suffer injuries or even die, like Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengal’s did.  At his funeral she said while she may have helped steer him out of trouble, he changed her life. Henry, 26, was killed after he fell out of a pickup bed being driven by his fiance Loleini Tonga during what police described as a domestic dispute.

Police are investigating, but no charges have been filed.

But the comments from his fiance at the funeral re-iterate my comments about what happens when we pay athletes millions and millions of dollars and shove this in the faces of the youth of today.  They think that they don’t need to get a good education and learn about things like… English.

I am not English major by any stretch of the imagination but I know this is just fucked up. 

“Can’t nobody feel what I’m feeling right now. … We loved each other very much. People say I helped change his life. No. He changed mine.  We were supposed to get married in three months, but I’m going to wait until I see him again.”

“Can’t nobody feel”???

Oy.

2)  This is why the world will be a better place once the Taliban are no longer in power…

Taliban blow up Pakistan girls school.  The Taliban blew up a girls’ school in Pakistan’s Khyber district, where troops are fighting against militants in the tribal region bordering Afghanistan, an official said Wednesday.

 3)  I don’t want to call this next story for what it is, but for some reason it slipped under the radar.  If you remove the country “Egypt” and change it to “Israel” you would have seen yet another UN resolution asking for sanctions against Israel, and CUPE here in Canada would have gone ape-shit asking for banning of Israeli professors, or worse, banning the letter “I”.

To think that Egypt is let off the hook for creating a giant steel wall between themselves and the Palestinians in order to keep Palestinians out and shut down the some 150 tunnels, under the guise of national security is ok, but Israel doing the same is apartheid and terrorism.

Makes you wonder if mainstream media is anti-Israel or anti-Semitic?!?

Egypt confirmed on Tuesday it is engaged in construction along its border with Gaza but said it is not building what some reports have said is a steel wall to block cross-border smuggling.  (But it is)

Hamas and other militant groups have called on Egypt to stop building such a wall along the Gaza border and Egyptian security officials have confirmed a steel barrier is being built.

Tunnel builders say around 150 tunnels along the border between Egypt and Gaza provide a vital supply link for the enclave whose imports are blocked by Israel.  The “wall” will go below ground and shut off these tunnels.

“The procedures that Egypt is undertaking inside its lands, whether building or construction work along the border with the Gaza Strip, is an Egyptian concern that is related to Egypt and Egyptian national security.”

4)  In a sad story relating to how unsafe and dangerous the drug trade is in Mexico, a drug cartel shot dead the family of a policeman in retaliation for the killing of their leader and arresting of others.  If drugs were not such a money making venture none of this would happen.  Killing will continue until something gives.

Considering the government will never be able to out fire-power the cartels and there are way too many corrupt officials, Mexico will need to either make it legal and tax the crap out of the cartels or crack down on their exports of drugs and import of weapons.  If drugs are no longer leaving the country, users will look elsewhere…

MEXICO CITY — It had been an elaborate farewell to one of Mexico’s fallen heroes.  The mother of a slain Mexican sailor and his aunt attended his funeral on Monday. Hours later, gunmen killed the women.

Ensign Melquisedet Angulo Córdova, a special forces sailor killed last week during the government’s most successful raid on a top drug lord in years, received a stirring public tribute in which the secretary of the navy presented his mother with the flag that covered her son’s coffin.

Then, only hours after the grieving family had finished burying him in his hometown the next day, gunmen burst into the family’s house and sprayed the rooms with gunfire, killing his mother and three other relatives, officials said Tuesday.

It was a chilling epilogue to the navy lead operation that killed the drug lord, Arturo Beltrán Leyva, and six of his gunmen. And it appeared to be intended as a clear warning to the military forces on the front line of Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s war against Mexico’s drug cartels: not only you, but your family is a target as well.

Prosecutors, police chiefs and thousands of others have been killed in the violence gripping Mexico, with whole families sometimes coming under attack during a cartel’s assassination attempt. But going after the family of a sailor who had already been killed is an exceedingly rare form of intimidation, analysts say, and illustrates how little progress the government has made toward one of its most important goals: reclaiming a sense of peace and order for Mexicans caught in the cross-fire.

The military and police forces who have been fighting the drug war typically cover their faces with ski masks to protect their identities. But the government generally releases the names of police officers and soldiers who have been killed in the drug war.

Responding to the killings on Tuesday, Mr. Calderón said, “These contemptible events are proof of how unscrupulously organized crime operates, attacking innocent lives, and they can only strengthen us in our determination to banish this singular cancer.”