A Quick Summary of Melbourne

September 2010 give or take

After I put the city to sleep yesterday and watching over it until 5 o’clock in the morning, it let me doze off until 8:00 AM this morning. After the equivalent of an overpriced continental breakfast (Australia is as expensive as Europe, but the company is paying so who gives a damn), we headed out to see the city. We walked down Spencer Street (you’re welcome to follow on Google Earth or Maps) across the Yarra River – which is to Melbourne what the Thames is to London – an attempt to fill the city with running natural water which flows from West to East after a bend which everyone references as a landmark. We walked along the south bank past the Crown Palace hotel and Casino and went up to the 88th floor of the Eurika tower for a view of the city. Having identified the landmarks we fell back down, taking the elevator which is considered one of the fastest in the world and the building the tallest in the southern hemisphere. As far as tall goes – it is like saying the tallest in Australia and Antarctica – but the locals seem to take great pride in both. We tried the National Art Gallery which is national to Victoria State – Sydney must have one too. As it turns out Tuesday is the day that most exhibits are closed for some Australian reason. The only exhibition open was that of European Masters – but we were not sure if the name referred to masters of the arts or masters of the Aborigines so we moved on to the Royal Botanical Gardens which are like non-royal botanical gardens only the signs on the plants are so small that only royalty can walk the garden and know what is growing there ‘James, could you hop over to that tree yonder and tell me whether its a Eucalyptus or a water Lilly…’ There is an impressive assortment of palm trees growing in a grove set aside for palms which can survive the Melbourne climate which is anywhere between oceanic and freezing when the south ocean decides to get the best of things. A sign which we could read without James’ assistance (note that James is like Jesus was far as apostrophe s’es go) promised that additional palms which were more accustomed to warmer and more humid climates were to be found in the glass houses – but the glass houses were closed for whatever the reason.

We headed back towards the rives and downtown. Melbourne downtown is a mix of modern architecture of glass, steel and chrome and quite a few older cathedrals which let those scant few remaining christens and murderers of Christ such as ourselves amuse themselves while the Asians roam the streets. One of the most striking examples of this modern architecture is ‘Federation Square’ which every sight seeing clip of Melbourne starts with. We headed for the square after visiting the world wars’ memorial site which is located between the river and the botanical gardens. The square is paved like a brick wall with shades of desert sands deranging from light yellow and cream to darker shades of granite red. The combination and shifts in color are somewhat unsettling, but this exhibition of bad taste is dwarfed by the train station across the street which is a reduced replica of the Big Ben in bright orange and yellow. One cannot help thinking that the people of Melbourne were desperate to show the world that they have a little bit of everything.

Federation Square is surrounded on three sides by buildings whose architecture represents a trend where the scaffolding is left to stand and the building is removed. The scaffolding is then connected with sheets of glass, rock and plastics with escalators moving through open space, moving the sight seers in search of purpose and self. If you do get to the square you might want to visit the Australian Center for the Moving Image (movies) which has some very interesting displays of the history of film making and video games. They also have an exhibition of Tim Burton’s work – the meshigineh that created Scissor Hands, Batman, the latest version of Alice in Wonderland, Willie Wonka and more smiley-horror films.What I found fascinating were drafts of scripts and cartoons which Tim drew throughout his career, which bring to life the creative process. One memorable item is Willie Wonka’s headgear – braces which look more like snow chains – the amount of detail and creativity that went into making these movies and the creativity of the man is impressive, even if babies with nails in their eyes is not my cup of tea.

We crossed Flunders Street and walked into ST. Paul’s Cathedral. The organ was playing by itself – sounding the all too familiar tones of Christian religious plumbing – minimizing the believer and glorifying the institutions which tell the followers how to believe. We paid our dues by following the isle to the alter and back out along the side wall, lined with bronze plaques honoring great dead people of the faith. We existed back to the street and settled to catch our Mediterranean selves is a kebab and Shawarma stand in a nearby alley. Nourished we continued to roam the downtown – which finally qualified for the mundane repetitions of a western city with little history of its own to speak of. The cultural blanks are filled by patterns of 7Eleven’s next to MacDonald franchises, and Subways paired with Hungry Jacks. Department stores and tall office buildings – shopping bazaars with fake marble floors and mirrors on every back wall, between and beneath the buildings, traffic going the wrong way and a Starbucks where I refused the marshmallows and cream in my hot chocolate. I saw no reason to change my Starbucks name is the southern hemisphere – David is was and David it remains. I like to tell myself that David is almost a Palindrome in English and definitely a Palindrome in Hebrew – therefore I can use it all the same in upper and down-under countries. .

Tomorrow we have our meetings with our customer – which is the reason we are here in the first place. Based on what you’re read you can safely conclude that it is also the only reason to be here. If you’re planning to go to Australia you can safely bypass Melbourne.


McDonald’s After Forty Years

Forty years after this article was published McDonald’s is but a shadow of itself in the public eye, and the very mention of the name stirs hostilities in our otherwise closely knit family circle. I read it at the time, not knowing that I would find myself less than a year later in the United States, in the Catskill mountains in upstate New York, searching for a place to eat. Perhaps knowing the whole truth would lead to a better understanding of my urges and a constructive dialog going forward. I therefore submit my confession as I wrote it, while in full mental capacity, on July 14 1974, and begin arguing my defense. I will attempt to convince the readers that the article presented McDonald’s as a divine establishment second to none…

Violated by priests, not possible, but violated by McDonald’s

Shrine for dead meat
Anything can make it to the moon and back if sliced thin enough
Going around the equator – first thing bump into a tree, then what…

Follow the equator on Google Maps

The recent debate about the authenticity of their French Fries. Partially fried, frozen… the process

What Imma Would like Us to Write

Hi Metookim sheli,

We have a lot of talent in this Family, letโ€™s do something with it. One venue is a stand up act, that we can use Osmo โ€˜s connections to promote it.

I am listing a few themes that you can choose from, or add. Next phase, we will choose a theme, and we (you) will start brainstorming, and last phase, we (you) will write a cohesive act.

Possible themes: Roomates, ERs, Eating healthy, Babysitting, Teaching/studying piano, Tiger moms, Jewish (s)Mother, Brotherhood, Sisterhood, Family, Ima polanya, Boys vs. girls, Gym

Yalla- lavoda!!!!!!!!!

Each one of you- pick your top three

Is the IPv6 Address Space Sufficient

I was reading the following from Microsoft


where its stated that With IPv6, it is even harder to conceive that the IPv6 address space will be consumed. To help put this number in perspective, a 128-bit address space provides 655,570,793,348,866,943,898,599 (6.5 ร— 1023) addresses for every square meter of the Earth’s surface.

Which got me to thinking what would happen if there are other civilizations out there using IPv6, how many square meters would we have to associate with IPv6 addresses or whether 128 bits would be enoughโ€ฆ

What’s the formula for intelligent civilizations?ย http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation

Hitchhiker guide to the galaxy

How many civilizations are there?

How many stars are there?

How many more addresses do we need on this earth?

How is the address space divided?

How could they be so near sighted?

Let There Be Light

I think you have an awesome idea for a sci fi movie of the future where everything you do is in trade for self generated electricity (peddle motors, solar array clothing, wind turbine hats, peizo electric actuators in your shoes, etc). The more active you are outdoors the more electricity credits you earn. Obesity would be gone, pollution would be gone, wars over oil would be gone, over populated third world countries would be the richest, and so onโ€ฆ.

I think that if each good citizen using so many Gigabytes of storage in the cloud would have to generate so much electricity and push it back to the grid, weโ€™ll all be able to live in peace with the consumption.

From here you can think of all kinds of perks of storage & bandwidth provided in exchange for electricity.

Subject: 30 billion watts and rising: balancing the internet’s energy and infrastructure needs

This is why there is so much focus on reducing the power in servers/chips/switches/etcโ€ฆ
30 billion watts and rising: balancing the internet’s energy and infrastructure needs


Lunar Panels
White hockey pucks
Green Ping Pong balls
Grey hair color

Cup of Tips Todo




Multiple post pages

Swimming Dilemas

Confirming Sunday, August 25.

Let’s start with the easy part – brunch at our house at 11:30. 739 Durshire Way Sunnyvale 94087. None-swimming spouses are more than welcome. Which leads me to the hard part.

I think its time to take a closer look at our distance-swimming options. 5600 yards is 3 miles, but then that’s always been the case. My point is that its a long way to swim, all the more so when one gets back to the starting point 112 times. For years we have been avoiding the reality of swimming upstream against our age, perhaps its time to change the way we determine the distance.

If you think about it 56 is almost 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10, which is very elegant but only adds up to 55, so what do we do about the 1 we’re missing? I could propose that we should be allowed to subtract that sum of the ages of our grandchildren, but the benefits would be negligible – at least for now. If my children procreate like their parents this could mean not having to swim at all by the time I’m 70, but that’s a bit far out.

Let’s take a closer look at the facts. I was born on 7/28/57 which doesn’t look like there’s anything significant about it, but if we subtract the leftover 1 from the sum above we get 7/28/56. Now we have a beautiful series which looks better in reverse:56, 28, 7 and the series of ratios looks even more promising 1, 2, 4 – 28 is half of 56 and 7 is a quarter of 28.Such mathematical beauty must exist for a reason and should be celebrated accordingly. I therefor use the power of the revelation vested in me to grant anyone of you who will volunteer to swim either 2800 yards or 700 yards – the right to do so. If we’ll have eight people swimming 700 yards we’ll be able to start the workout at 11:00 AM and still make it to brunch.

Since this is quite a lot disruption to take in on such short notice, I guess we’ll meet at 8:30 and discuss what we would like to swim. I’ll try to think of something that goes all the way up to 5600 yards, but it would be great to take suggestions from those of you who are much more creative with workouts than I am. If you prepare the workout in advance I could even print it… Yes Caroline or Sue or Sheryl or Brian or…, I’m talking to you ๐Ÿ™‚

See you Sunday,

Well, I told Brian last Sunday that I was going to spend the entire week building up my mental resolve to swim 5600, and you place dynamite under my mental wall of determination. Sounds good. Greg

We’re all Masters level swimmers, and “Masters swimming” is Latin for “I can do what I want”, which is pretty much what we have been doing for a while, although the numerical analysis justification for doing what you want does look impressive. That said, meals taste a little better, and afternoon naps feel a little sweeter, if you feel like you’ve really earned them. I’ve done some distance swimming recently, and will probably go for enhancing my after swim treats (food and nap) with a good long swim.

The dynamite hasn’t gone off yet, Greg.
Wow, what analyses!
Greg and Caroline: tick…tick…tick… reminds me of “The Hurt Locker”.
I like Izzy’s “Forever 39” concept. In fact, if we take it a step further, back to the nostalgic 60’s, where “you can’t trust anyone over 30” – then maybe it can be modified to “Forever 29”. In that case, the starting point would be your suggested 2800, and we add the afrementioned “missing 1” to get to 2900. With the second option being 700-100 or 600. Actually, “500” is a rounder number, and closely aligns with a typical warm-up set, so maybe the second option is to do a 500 w-u and get out before sustaining an injury from a Zen Mile or some similarly hazardous set.

Darn it, it looks like I’m going to have to skip your brunch. Saw it coming a couple days ago. I’ll make it to the swim portion, however. Thanks for the invite. But your brunch is always the culinary highlight of my year, so it’s a major disappointment!
Enough of this foolishness. I insist that the group uphold it’s integrity
and do the full yards, if only for this once.

By the way, I won’t be making it to the swim, as my hand is in a bandage.

I knew you guys would understand,

Pretty inspiring words from John! …hey, wait a minute…

Ok, got another idea…swim for 56 minutes. No more trying to link years of age to yards, meters, Zen Miles, etc. Just #years=minutes in the water. And the intervals should be easier to figure-out! We might even be able to hold this paradigm until we’re 80, unless it becomes too hard to remember what time we got in.

It might be good for my credibility. A few times I got ” what did you do last weekend” from the 20 somethings at work… and I tell them… and I’m sure they think I’m lying or can’t count or I’m at the age that older people go a little batty or something. Actually, I suppose I could always have said “we swam 700 yards” and they would believe me then, but I didn’t think- but now I’m better. ๐Ÿ™‚
I feel like I swam 5600 yards just reading all the emails about this; made me laugh; I have to say I am inclined towards Caroline’s response ๐Ÿ™‚ food and nap go better with doing the whole work out and Galia’s food is so good- we have to exercise a lot to balance the amount of it we want to eat ๐Ÿ™‚



Professor Porat,

I am very sorry that I missed class today. I found a very sick poisoned pigeon on the way to class, and had to rush it to the wildlife rehab center in Palo Alto, where I work, immediately. It sadly died in transit and I transported the body back to the Stanford medical center, where I did a necropsy with my advisor and determined that it had in fact been poisoned. I’m not sure whether I’m allowed to miss one class, but I am happy to make it up in any way that I can if possible. My advisor is also happy to email you to confirm where I was and why today.


Rachel Berkowitz

When finding a poisoned pigeon the policy is to ask another pigeon which has not been poisoned to fly to the class with a note explaining what has just transpired so that the professor can begin adapting intellectually and emotionally. Having forgone due process I am afraid that this freak unlikely series of events – as morally justified at it might be – cannot be rectified. If only the pigeon had lived you could have at least eaten it for Thanksgiving. Now you are left with nothing but fond memories of your kindness. Hopefully these will help you cope with the loss of my lesson.


Gallia Porat
Dear Rachel,

It has long since been established that pigeons that survive poisoning never fully recover mentally and lead a low quality life which is not worth living. Thankfully the bird passed on. As suggest that we do the same.


Gallia Porat
Here’s another on a more personal note:

Dearest Rachel,

Your story brings back sad memories. When I was your age I came across a horribly mutilated cat lying in the street. I carried the bleeding animal, its intestines spilled, in a carton box to the vet who mercifully put it to sleep. Did I expect the poor creature to survive? Most likely not, but I felt compelled to give it a chance, fleeting as it might have been. To my dismay my professor was a dog person and showed little understanding. Fortunately I am much more emphatic to your case. To make up for the class please learn Bialik’s ‘Ken LaTzipor’ and write a half page argument how the pigeon’s life might have turned out had it stayed closer to the nest. For extra credit you may also attempt to argue between fate and destiny in elementary Hebrew.

Good luck
Please write in Hebrew so I am sure I understand…
I have never seen a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A bird will have fallen frozen dead from a bow never having felt sorry for itself.

DH Lawrence

Comedy Todo List

Relationship – moral compass pointing south…, he wants to watch the game and she wants to watch Downton Abbey which doesn’t even have cricket…
Solving CA’s water problem in lake Michigan
Does “I don’t disagree” mean exactly the same as “I agree”? Or does the former imply some degree of indecision whereas the latter is decided? I always use “You’re not wrong” instead of “you’re right”. It takes the weight off of committing to the 100% affirmative ๐Ÿ™‚ same thing as “I don’t disagree” as opposed to “I agree”. I like the double negative because it keeps the audience from letting my agreeing with them go to their heads. How about “I don’t disagree that you’re not [fat, ugly, smart…]”? Chaval al hazman shel mi she doesn’t disagree with me.
Great point. I do this shit all the time and didn’t even realize the effect.

The heart is half way between the head and the genitalia

The 1000th percentile of queue tips (costco visits put you there), shopping for recliners, we ended up at the 1000th…

Nacho pitzuch – eating habits, name for a party, …

I have lost 40 pounds with Photoshopย http://www.maxworkouts.com/workouts_for_menย How photoshop works to make you skinnier – go through the manual…



When is it beverage and when is it drink? Two sides of the cart? Or…

Cogito Ergo Sum [Klum] – first birthday rule

Can vegan procreate? If nursing is allowed then why not…

Why doesn’t anyone complain about the fact that sprouts do not role?

Why march madness in April

Subway – foot long 930 half foot 470

Why third party insurance? What’s the party?

Oshek murshe

Decrying her success

Mevakah Et mar hatzlahoteha

Upon successful exit – declared by the kids to financially independent to work where I wanted

Car as a personal archive – social security / mobile vault, what else did we find in Osmo’s car? Why did we have to clean it? The concept of leasing.

Breaking the sound barrier on highway 5 – should we wait for the penalty

When barbecuing bills do not turn on the gas

Fake id’s for young and old, fake idea for young and old

Half Hazard (bad english…)

Bedtime stories lashahid hakat: kipat barzel aduma, gamad veshivim hashilgiot, utzvetitpotzetzli, …



Eating healthy, down the food chain, much has been said, less so for juices eating our way from fruits to roots. The machines we get create new possibilities to process what a crow cannot digest. Detoxification is what they call it. Barrel enema once a week could provide similar benefits if not better. You can use the same water bottle, don’t mix people and orifices…

Babysitting – two weeks with Naama, Building a relationship around building railroads.

Teaching/studying piano

Tiger moms




Ima polanya

Boys vs. girls


A Lesson in Prepositions

Imma Acquires a Taste ofย ๆ‹‰ๆณ•

2014-10-11 16.03.17

Now imma has the ๆ‹‰ๆณ•

2014-10-11 16.03.05

And now she is gesturing with her left arm towards where Humi and me are trying to hide at the far end of the two foot square table. Imagine if you will that the two of us are as invisible to Imma’s Chinese host as he is to us.

2014-10-11 16.03.12

Acquired a taste of the ๆ‹‰ๆณ• for which he had not acquired a taste

To use a more universal term, … to force … Imma broke bread with…

Site Todo List

Add an admin page to manage video uploads, specifically YouTube. Can add others later. Support CURD for videos. Allow updates of captions and ‘comments’ for each video. Selection of images to represent video, and control over access. It should be possible to set timezone corrections/display of time stamps. Instead of monthly posts there could be a widget for viewing videos which allows the user to set the time range, tags, whatever, to determine which videos are displayed.

Extend image management. Adjust sizes before [re]loading to photo storage. Tabular image/file layout which allows the appropriate attributes to be set and applied.

Load scripts by queuing them. Extract scripts from functions.php. Use jquery to build HTML into the document.

Fix the magnifying glass so that it works properly – using the centers of the images as the origin.

http://www.poratfamily.com/wordpress/2014/01/therapy-for-newborns-sibling/Using Adobe PDF viewer rather than Google’s which causes the images to look terrible.Now if only this could be created automatically from the chat log… Shouldn’t be that complicated – you choose your avatars, map the avatar to the phone number – the whole point is to hide the phone numbers – pick the lines in the log which you want to include in the strip, select background colors and that should do it. Now if such pictures were only tagged with #Quotes. Could also have a ‘quotes’ list
Bootstrap photo gallery
Investigate S3 and RDS

OpenPhotoย (the software behind TroveBox) yourself on your own server if you want to. Just get it from GitHub.See more here: http://livingos.com/goodbye-flickr-hello-trovebox-openphoto/ย Look also at the discussion here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1010415/transfering-100-000-images-to-s3-whats-the-quickest-wayThe S3Fox Organizer http://www.s3fox.net/

Sappho – An S3-powered web photo album http://www.findbestopensource.com/product/sappho

OpenPhoto http://theopenphotoproject.org/ (I think that itโ€™s no longet open source cause it redirects me to https://trovebox.com/ โ€ฆ need to find an old source. You can see more here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jmathai/openphoto-a-photo-service-for-your-s3-or-dropbox-a

An open-source cloud storage and filesharing application. https://www.syncany.orgย  This looks promising: http://galleryproject.org/node/99470

Add ‘less’ for simpler color control

Show titles when browsing images (and when showing gallery), Improved gallery navigation (next/prev at both levels). Means to tag/locate single photos. Support slide shows (as light-boxes) for the current page, the entire gallery or a subset based on a query

Link directly to Picasa albums

Category Archives page, show category in ‘next’, ‘prev’ links. Create multiple way to navigate the archives – chronologically, by author and chronology, by categories which matter (e,g, location should be treated as an attribute/filter)

Create a home page with a strong post or set of exerts. replace the name of ‘Blog’ with the name of the archive being viewed. Perhaps its a hierarchical menu

Multiple Authors

Smart pagination for searches

Don’t forget the recopies – perhaps these are special/custom posts?

Facebook page/links

YouTube ‘Data’ mode – what’s in there for us?

Section for CVs (protected) with associated documents (convert PPT to PDF)

Post via e-mail

Posts with special needs
Happy Birthday Imma 2006, 2011

Maui channel map

Forgetabillia: 3Com

Shyke 50

WordPress follow up