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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 April 25, 2006 / 27 Nissan, 5766

I just want a phone that's a phone

By Lloyd Garver


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I just survived one of the most grueling ordeals of these times we live in: I bought a new cell phone. I'd resisted getting a new one because mine worked fine, and I had no interest in all the fancy features that the new phones offer.


However, at my CPR course, I learned that a new cell phone would have some kind of GPS technology so that if I ever had to call 911, somehow they would know exactly where I was calling from. Also, the display on my cell phone had been fading for months, and the numbers and letters were getting harder and harder to read. So, I took a deep breath and looked into getting a new phone.


Commercials tell us today that a cell phone is not just a phone. It's a camera, it's a note pad, it's a calendar, it's a calculator, it's a Web browser, it's a text message sender, it's a voice recorder, it's a music player, and it's an alarm clock. I'm sure there are phones that can start your car and unlock the doors to your house. But I wasn't interested in all these features. I just wanted a phone I could use to call people.


I was planning on getting the simplest phone made, and I knew that with my calling plan that phone would be free. (By the way, I believe my calling plan only commits me to the company for the next 30 years.) However, a friend mentioned that I should consider getting a camera phone. He said if I'm ever in an accident, it's a good idea to take pictures of the cars involved. And since this feature was free for me, why not get it?


So, the two main reasons I was getting the new phone — 911 GPS capability and being able to take pictures in case of an accident — were both part of "worst case scenarios." To make them worthwhile, I was going to have to have some kind of emergency or get into a car accident. So, I'm looking forward to using neither of the features that attracted me to buying the phone I bought. Does that sound crazy to you, too?


Before making the purchase, I did the appropriate amount of research. I even learned that Bluetooth technology was not named for a scientist with poor dental hygiene. It was named after a 10th century Danish king, Harald Bluetooth. Learning this didn't make me feel any more confident in terms of being able to make an intelligent purchase choice. However, if I'm ever on "Jeopardy," I could win a few bucks if the category is Danish Kings Whose Names Are Used In Technology.


Ultimately, I put all the research aside, asked my daughter if she liked her phone, she said, "yes," and that was the one I got. If it was good enough for an almost-21-year-old who actually understands all the features and options, it would be good enough for me. Also I assumed that there would be some things about the phone that I wouldn't understand, and now I can just call her up and she'll semi-tolerantly explain them to me. That's a lot better than using the cell phone to call up customer support, being put on hold while the battery's running down, and finally getting someone who will tell me to read the manual.


Ah, the manual. Keeping in mind that I bought one of the simpler phones, it came with an 84-page manual (plus 84 pages in Spanish), a CD, and a 31-page "Quick Reference Guide." I can still remember when phones were black, weighed more than a German Shepherd, and the only thing they came with was a person who was always in the background yelling, "Get off the phone already. It's long distance."


All of this angst was for a device that doesn't get good reception in parts of my own neighborhood and invariably goes dead right after the other person has said something like, "This is really important. I ..."


I know the new phone will work fine, but I fear that I'll still have the two minor problems I had with the old one. It didn't work if I forgot to turn it on, or if I left it at home. I doubt that the latest technology has addressed these problems.

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.

JWR contributor Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover. Comment by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.

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