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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Nov. 20, 2007 / 10 Kislev 5768

My latest pet project

By Malcolm Fleschner


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The problem with becoming a pet owner these days is that, as with so many aspects of consumer life, there are just too many options. This was not always the case - in the past, your basic pet alternatives boiled down to either a cat, a dog, or possibly a bird, assuming you could prove special circumstances, such as that you were: a) a magician; b) a pirate; or c) Baretta.


Dogs and cats remain the most popular pets, of course - dogs are still prized in large part for their fierce loyalty. As an illustration of canines' remarkable devotion, every so often you hear the inspiring story of a dog who gets left behind when the family moves away but then miraculously turns up months later at the new home, often having traveled thousands of miles, and proceeds to savagely tear the family members to shreds for abandoning him.


And while cats are often criticized for being entirely selfish creatures, that is not entirely accurate. Why, just take the case of Mittens, a seven-year-old American shorthair who, when her owner's house caught fire, raced inside and, heedless of the flames that threatened to engulf her, valiantly dragged to safety the family's electric can opener.


But ownership of traditional pets usually requires a great deal of effort, including daily feedings, trips to the vet, scooping litter boxes, time-consuming walks, cleaning up whatever the animals have shed, coughed up, spilled, or killed and dropped into the middle of the living room carpet. For prospective pet owners who aren't ready for this level of commitment, a less time-consuming pet like a snake may be preferable.


Bear in mind, however, that while snakes require very little upkeep, the downside is that snake feeding is more - shall we say - visceral, than casually scooping kibble into a bowl. At first, you probably won't mind feeding crickets to the little guy, watching him (or maybe her - who can tell, with a snake) swallow the little critters whole. As the snake grows, however, it will need ever-larger prey, to the point where in a few years' time you face the prospect of wrestling a live, kicking goat into the snake's terrarium.


For a genuinely "low impact" pet, however, I highly recommend the latest addition to our household menagerie: fish. If I had to encapsulate, in one word, the greatest advantage fish offer over other pets, that word would be, "flushability."


Ha ha, just kidding. As far as anyone in my household knows, I have never flushed any of our pets down the toilet. But I'm serious about fish being terrific pets. Up until this point, my only personal experience with pet fish was a single episode during my childhood, when my sister won a goldfish at a local carnival. I think she'd played one of those games where, if you knock down all the bottles, you win a fish. If you only knock down one bottle, you get two fish. It turns out that fish are a pretty cheap prize.


Sadly, my sister's goldfish, Charlie, lasted just one day. Soon after arriving in our home, he developed a terminal case of "Mom Doesn't Want A Fish." Unlike me, Mom did, in fact, flush Charlie down the toilet, but promised us that he was enjoying a much better life frolicking in the nearby Charles River. The truly scary thing is that Mom actually believed this to be the case.


Beyond the simplicity, what's really surprised me about fish care is the mystery surrounding what goes on in the fish tank. Within a week of bringing home our little guppies, tetras and swordtails, almost before our five-year-old daughter had time to name them, individual fish started disappearing. I began to suspect that maybe I had underestimated our fish and, perhaps inspired by the long distance-traveling dogs, had made a break for it, hoping to return to their beloved fish store home. The simplest explanation is often the best, after all.


The guy at the fish store disagreed, and suggested that a more likely explanation was that our vanishing fish had been eaten - and here's the truly chilling part - he said the murderer was probably still swimming around in our tank!


After a bit of detective work involving much observation, quarantining of individual tank residents and the purchase of a guppy whose job was to put the "fish" in "sacrificial lamb," we determined that the likely culprit was our orange swordtail, Johnny. I know, it's always the one you least suspect.


But unlike my mother, who would no doubt have consigned the culprit to a porcelain grave, we showed leniency and returned Johnny to the fish store.


In time, we might even be willing to forgive him, and welcome him back into our home. To prove his dedication, however, he'll have to find his own way.

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.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

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