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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 9, 2013/ 29 Iyar, 5773

The danger of banning laptops or iPads during takeoff and landing

By Meghan Daum



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In the scheme of mythical hazards — that you should never swim immediately after eating, that touching a frog will give you warts, that you'll grow hair on your hands if you, well, you know — the idea that an iPod could bring down a plane has been singled out for particular scorn. For years, airline passengers have been stomping their feet like angry children: It's not true! The government is saying that to control us. It's a conspiracy on the part of SkyMall to tempt us into buying lawn statues.

Now comes news that the Federal Aviation Administration is likely to ease restrictions on personal electronic devices. We won't know all the details until September, but it's expected that using gadgets like MP3 players and electronic readers will no longer be prohibited during takeoffs and landings. Cellphone calls and Internet transmissions will almost certainly remain off-limits, but it's possible that laptop computers will be allowed below 10,000 feet.

For my part, if I'm working while flying, I'm often a bit relieved to be forced to shut down the computer on final descent. But I guess I'm a slacker. I recently heard a public radio station program on this subject wherein a listener called in and insisted that not being able to use a laptop or iPad during takeoff and landing "literally" cost him "hundreds of hours of work time each year."

Hundreds of hours of work time, or hundreds of hours of Angry Birds? OK, that particular frequent flier may be extra diligent and have a gargantuan workload (though, curiously, he had time to call in to a radio show), but I honestly can't remember the last time I walked down an airplane aisle and saw fewer than 90 percent of electronic device users doing anything other than playing games or watching movies.

Sure, there's always that guy with the Excel spreadsheet. But, generally speaking, our habits aren't that much different in the air than they are on the ground. We use our gadgets for distraction and entertainment. We use them to avoid work while giving the impression that we're actually working hard. Moreover, if left no choice but to work with an old-fashioned pen and paper, we throw up our hands, telling ourselves that we can't possibly be productive unless there's a glowing screen and blinking cursor in the mix.

Gripes about the social costs of being plugged in around the clock are well enough trodden by now that they're practically cliches. We hear all the time how smartphones have turned us into attention deficient zombies. We know the threats they pose on the roads and even the sidewalks, where walking while texting can result in any number of embarrassing if not physically injurious mishaps. We agree (well, some of us do) that a small piece of humanity is lost when, amid an argument with friends over whether "Deliverance" starred Jon Voight or Christopher Walken, someone whips out his phone and looks up the answer on IMDB.

But the discussion of whether we should be able to use these things on planes underscores yet another, less lamented but possibly more pernicious symptom of a culture that's nearly incapable of hitting the off button: the false sense of importance these devices give us. When you think about it, there's something pretty hubristic about carrying devices in our purses or pockets on which we can be reached anytime, anyplace by voice or text. Checking email every 45 seconds is not only compulsive, it's presumptuous. It suggests a belief that anyone who sends us a message needs us to read it immediately, even if the message is from SkyMall telling us our Bigfoot Garden Yeti statue has shipped.

Air travelers, of course, are famous for their hubris. They carry on too many bags and use the restroom when the seat-belt sign is on. Why wouldn't they feel entitled to gate-to-gate laptop privileges?

Barring any compelling evidence that these privileges pose real safety risks, it seems reasonable that the FAA should stop pretending that Microsoft Word can interfere with air traffic control and go ahead and grant them. But in turn, passengers might want to stop pretending that they're conquering the business world when in fact they're playing World of Warcraft.

They also might want to consider grabbing a certain little gizmo called a paperback book. The battery life is amazing.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Meghan Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.



Previously:


Real beauty, Dove, really?

I 'like' me, I really 'like' me

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