In this issue
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. 17, 2009/ 30 Mar-Cheshvan 5770

Shouldn't the Government Unleash Innovation? The Lesson of the Organ

By Tom Purcell

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We got it in the early '70s: a Kimball organ that sat in our living room for 20 years or more.

It had single buttons that played whole chords. Other buttons played cymbals, marimba and other rhythmic beats. I spent hours playing the thing. My father, too — his fingers are so big he had trouble playing just one key at a time — played it often. And at family gatherings, my mother and her siblings would stand around it for hours, singing holiday tunes and other well-known standards.

I had no idea then how technological innovation made our living-room organ possible.

Harvey Olsen, a retired electrical engineer, electronics instructor and organ expert, told me about the history of the home organ.

In 1933, Lawrence Hammond, an inventor and high-end clock maker, got into the organ business. His goal was to produce a mechanical instrument that replicated the sound of a pipe organ. Hammond's very first organs consisted of spinning wheels — tone generators — and lots of other electromechanical parts. The machines were extremely well built and many are still functioning today.

By the mid-1950s, however, organ makers began replicating the organ sound with lower-cost vacuum-tube technology — tubes that looked and acted like light bulbs. It was much less costly to create tones electronically than with lots of mechanical parts.

By the late '60s, vacuum tubes gave way to even-lower-cost transistor technology. The transistors were small, inexpensive and reliable. They enabled the development of compact integrated circuit boards — the electronic gizmos made it possible to produce more sophisticated sounds, such as a marimba beat.

They also allowed organs to be produced cheaply.

And so it was that the '60s and early '70s became the heyday of the home organ. Hammond, a high-end organ maker, soon found competition from low-cost producers, such as Lowrey, Thomas and Kimball.

Every mall had an organ store staffed with organ-playing sales representatives. They seduced thousands of suburban dads, such as mine, into digging into their wallets to bring organ music into their living rooms — something that had been unimaginable to my father as he grew up during the Depression years.

To be sure, our old Kimball organ brought us many hours of amusement. As sophisticated as we thought it was in the '70s, we would have been shocked had we known what organs would be able to do by 2009.

Digital technology has revolutionized the organ, as it has everything else. Today, for significantly less than my father paid for our Kimball in the '70s, a fellow can buy a digital organ that produces incredible sounds.

If you're traveling in Europe and come across a pipe organ in a medieval church, you can probably buy a "sampling" software program that allows you to reproduce its exact sound in your living room.

In any event, we've had so much technological innovation in America that we take it for granted, but we do so at our own peril.

The fact is, innovators and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy. We need their inventions, many of them not yet known, to resolve a multitude of challenges we face — to produce the wealth we need to cover our bills.

Government spending is tying up needed capital and a proposed increase in capital gains taxes will only punish success and inhibit investment in new ideas. Shouldn't the government do everything possible to unleash innovation — rather than quell it?

Where America's innovators and entrepreneurs are concerned, can't we strike a better chord?

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© 2009, Tom Purcell