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May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
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Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
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April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
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Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
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April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
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BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
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US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
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April 8, 2013
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Jewish World Review
May 5, 2008
/ 30 Nissan 5768
The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight
People always ask me: "Is it hard to be a professional writer like you and Joyce Carol Oates?"
Yes. Very hard. Here is a true example of the kind of difficulties we face: The other day, I was sitting at my desk in my home office, doing what I do all day, which is frown at my computer screen and wrestle with professional writing issues, such as: "Do I have anything to say about this topic?" And: "What, exactly, IS this topic?"
This is tiring work, so roughly 35,000 times a day, I have to take a break to eat something or drink something or scratch something. At this particular moment, I reached to my left to pick up my can of Diet Coke, and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
That is the screaming sound my brain made when it realized that my hand was, at most, 2 inches from a LIVE SNAKE. Really. As a South Florida resident, I'm used to having ants on my desk, but they are friendly, harmless and easy to smush. Whereas this was a full-blown snake, coiled for attack, with its head reared up and its tongue flicking out toward me, which is how snakes communicate the message: "Hah! Perhaps you wish to die for your Diet Coke, Mister No-Topic Writer Man!"
Any wildlife expert will tell you that, when confronted with a potentially dangerous animal, you must remain calm and not make any sudden movements. So, propelled almost entirely by my bun muscles, I shot, missile-like, from my chair, landing on my feet, clutching my keyboard in a defensive pose. The snake had not moved. It was clearly thinking: "My species is millions of years old. I do not fear your keyboard."
So I ran into the kitchen and grabbed what I felt was the best anti-snake weapon I own: barbecue tongs. Brandishing them, I went back to the office and lunged at the snake. The good news was: I was able to grab it. The bad news was: I grabbed it at its midsection, and it was long enough (I am estimating 17 feet) that it could easily reach my hands with its mouth, and it was flailing around in a very irate manner. Fortunately, I was able to keep a cool head, as we see by the following verbatim transcript of my thought process:
I dimly remember bursting out the patio door, with my outstretched arm gripping the tongs as far back on the handle as possible while the snake thrashed wildly. The instant I was outside I dropped the tongs, and the snake, now free to go anywhere in North America, proved that it was in fact the Evil Demon Serpent from Hell by slithering directly into the swimming pool. Head high, it began to briskly swim laps in a counterclockwise direction.
So I had no choice but to pick up the tongs again and chase the snake around the edge of the pool, in that schizophrenic way that you chase a critter when you are actually terrified of it. Like, if you see a crab or a squirrel in your path, you keep moving toward it, not because you are brave, but because you believe it will run away from you. But if it's one of those renegade crabs or squirrels that run in your direction, you - admit it - turn and flee, whimpering, because even though you're 200 times the critter's size, you're afraid that it will bite (or pinch) you, whereas you know in your heart that you will not bite (or pinch) it.
We just have to hope that more critters do not figure this out. That was the situation I found myself in, chasing the Demon Serpent around the pool. I'd get close enough to grab it with the tongs, and suddenly it would reverse direction, and WHOA! I was fleeing from the snake. This went on for several minutes - chasing the snake, fleeing from the snake, chasing the snake - until finally the snake made the classic tactical error of going into the pool filter basket. Once again, I was able to get close enough to get the tongs on it and EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
This time, when I dropped the tongs, the snake went into the patio planter, where it disappeared. It's still out there somewhere, lurking, and now I'm a nervous wreck, wondering how it got into the house and where it will show up next.
I'm also exhausted. YOU try sleeping with barbecue tongs.
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