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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 Jan. 11, 2007 / 21 Teves, 5767

High times

By Dan Neil

Dan Neil
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Somewhere in The Hague there is a pale and fleshy man whom I have seen practically naked. This was not my idea. Or his either, I reckon. His error was to climb out onto his apartment roof one summer afternoon for an altogether man-tan while a high-resolution imaging satellite flew over his building.


Then it was only a matter of time — and a few billion dollars in aerospace infrastructure — before his magnificently beer-trained body found its way onto Google Earth, the G-d's-eye software that allows users to peer down onto any spot on the globe with mesmerizing clarity. From a virtual altitude of some 40,000 miles, the program allows you to zoom in close enough to, say, count the pigeons on the steps of Disney Concert Hall, or the number of Secret Service SUVs in front of Hillary Clinton's house in Chappaqua, N.Y.


Tinfoil-hat conspiracists, rejoice: There really is someone watching you. I found the naked Dutchman courtesy of brothers Alex and James Turnbull, the founders of www.googlesightseeing.com and authors of the new, charming little book "Off the Map: The Most Amazing Sights on Earth as Seen by Satellite." The Turnbulls' Web site is a clearinghouse for Google Earthers, hobbyists with the energy (and unsupervised time at work, apparently) to comb through Google Earth's endless terabits of digitized cartography in an effort to turn up, say, an undiscovered geographic formation that looks like a phallus.


When it debuted less than two years ago, Google Earth seemed to be merely rubbernecking for armchair astronauts; it has since evolved as an astonishingly powerful tool to sift datasets so mountainous that they defy understanding. Thanks to Google Earth and Google Maps "mashups" — syntheses of map and imaging data with other databases — you can, for instance, instantly pinpoint everything from nearby Sunday garage sales to the dwellings of convicted child predators. You can locate Pinochet's torture centers or calculate the amount of carbon produced by one of Lindsay Lohan's private-jet/limo overnights to the Wynn Casino.


Google Earth has also emerged as a sensationally cinematic way to consider, idly, human existence. One the one hand, it reminds us how unsparingly insignificant we are, as invisible as bed lice. On the other, it reminds us of our crazy urge to foul the terrestrial nest. The Turnbulls' site, for example, offers an image of the Caribbean paradise of St. Croix, where the tarry effluent from the Cruzan rum factory is being pumped into the turquoise waters.


Sometimes the satellite view is a revelation. China's radical Three Gorges Dam, for instance, suggests a huge and dangerous arterial blockage in the heart of the country. From 1,000 feet, Neverland Ranch looks like some sort of amusement park purgatory, an awful, inescapable tangle, a leg trap for innocence.


The Turnbulls have gathered some amazing images: a cornfield maze in the form of Oprah Winfrey; a home near Portland, Ore., made from a recycled 727; a pink stuffed bunny 197 feet long splayed across the hills in Italy as if it had been thrown from a giant's highchair. Not surprisingly, marketers have latched onto Google Earth as a way to reach out to the notoriously cynical cybergeist: In November, KFC unveiled an 87,500-square-foot image of Colonel Sanders in the Nevada desert; in April, Maxim magazine constructed an 8,250-square-foot reproduction of its 100th anniversary cover in the desert south of Las Vegas, raising the possibility that aliens may one day ask to be taken to our Eva Longoria.


For the age of the velvet-rope, Google Earth's most compelling feature is its power to vault over privacy hedges, locked gates and roadblocks to take you to some of the world's most forbidden places. The super-secret Scientology library in the New Mexico desert? Harrison Ford's ranch? Right this way. Nations can be reclusive too. The Turnbulls' book will direct you to North Korea's gigantic and unfinished Ryugyong Hotel in downtown Pyongyang, a city that looks every bit as scary and despondent as you might think.


Our own secrets aren't kept much better. Enterprising terrorists can call up detailed maps of nuclear power plants and government buildings as easily as ordering flowers from FTD.com.


Yet, for me — and from what I can gather in online forums, for most people — the first order of business is auto-location. I duly typed in my address, and soon the camera's eye was plunging through the clouds, peregrine-like, to finally focus on the flat, geometric roof of my house in Eagle Rock, Calif. And then I proceeded to trace back my entire life through satellite imagery. There's the house where I lost my virginity; there's Mr. Wetherington's field, where I primed tobacco as a kid; there's the old high school; there's my first house, with the rolled asphalt roofing I put on 16 years ago. Still looks good.


There's something deeply reassuring about a Google Earth autobiography. It's easy to imagine existence as a long tunnel through which we pass carrying a torch, lighting only the phenomena around us, and what we leave behind darkens into nonexistence. With Google Earth, we can instantly revisit the past, to assure ourselves that it was indeed real, it still exists and, like Kilroy, we were there.

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

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Previously:

10/11/06: Huckleberry TV
07/11/06: Scribbling rivalry
05/06/06: Fashion victim
03/01/06: TALK ABOUT A JOB!
02/21/06: Cowboy down
02/07/06: Superman, we need you now more than ever
01/11/06: All that sass
01/06/05: Is debonair even possible in 2006?
12/26/05: Be careful what you ask for
12/20/05: Monster's Ball: Reconsidering ‘Beowulf’



© 2006, Tribune Media Services, INC. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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