Al Ha VeDa על הא ודא

Whatever I feel like

Monday, December 13, 2004

Out of here

OK, the move is complete. This blog will continue at You should be redirected there in 15 seconds.

RSS Changes III

Holy crap, it is just as I feared. The RSS feed has changed its name yet again to So anyone reading me by RSS will never know when the blog moves (which will be extremely soon — I'm fed up with this). Goodbye, dear readers, it was nice knowing you.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Kubanga okusaasira kwe kwa luberera

That's כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ, the refrain of Psalm 136 in Luganda, as sung by the Abayudaya community of Uganda. (Thanks to Danya (Jerusalem Syndrome) posting at JewSchool, via Rachel (Velveteen Rabbi)). I have to get this disc!

Almost done

I finished the first draft of the book proposal I'm translating today. I'm glad it's being translated, because it's something I'd love to read, and I would never fight my way all through it in Hebrew.

This blog will be moving soon, since Dreamhost has started offering WordPress as part of the service.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Some news stories

July 15th, 2003:

America Online on Tuesday said it has laid off 50 employees involved in Web browser development at its Netscape Communications subsidiary amid a reorganization of its Mozilla open-source browser team …

The layoffs come as the loose group, which had overseen the open-source development efforts of the Mozilla browser, transforms itself into a nonprofit foundation.

November 9th, 2004:

The Mozilla Foundation has released version 1.0 of its Firefox browser, an open-source product that has generated lofty expectations that it will offer real competition to Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer.

A preview release of the Firefox browser available since last month has been downloaded over eight million times, the Mozilla Foundation says in a press release this week.

Firefox 1.0 is available in 12 languages for Microsoft's Windows, Apple Computer's Mac OS X, and Linux. The product can be obtained through Mozilla's Web site as a free download or in CD format with a user's manual for $14.95.

The result of an open-source project, Firefox became a reality "thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of community volunteers and developers around the world," the Mozilla Foundation says.

November 9th, 2004:

AOL revealed on Monday that it has begun a widespread restructuring into four distinct operating units, each with its own budget. In the wake of this reorganization, the company also has announced the departure of three high-level executives.

Psalm 7, 16

בּוֹר כָּרָה וַיַּחְפְּרֵהוּ וַיִּפֹּל בְּשַׁחַת יִפְעָל ׃

יָשׁוּב עֲמָלוֹ בְרֹאשׁוֹ וְעַל קָדְקֳדוֹ חֲמָסוֹ יֵרֵד ׃

אוֹדֶה יְהוָה כְּצִדְקוֹ וַאֲזַמְּרָה שֵׁם־יְהוָה עֶלְיוֹן ׃

Monday, November 08, 2004

Water from the wells of salvation

I wasn't going to blog about the US election, but this was just too interesting to pass by.

First of all, correlating county-by-county election returns with geographical data from the Tiger database is just so superbly geeky. Secondly, it struck me that there's a very strong correlation between voting Democrat and living near large bodies of water. Look how the blue clusters along the Pacific coast and round the Great Lakes. Even in the Midwest, which is solidly red in a state-by-state map, the nearer a county is to the Mississippi the bluer it gets.

The Gulf of Mexico looks like an exception to the rule — if you look at Texas, the Rio Grande side has far more Democrats than the Gulf side, and the Atlantic coast of Florida is bluish where the Gulf coast is reddish (Note to self: you already used the "You don't look bluish" line in a blog title. Don't repeat yourself, especially since you stole it from Yellow Submarine in the first place). New Mexico is an exception in the other direction, and so are parts of South Dakota (or is that the line of the Missouri?)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Making myself useful

It's good that the remnants of a classical education that I carry around with me sometimes come in useful for me and other people.

My ever loving wife is winding up her M.A. thesis on Eve and Mary in Irenæus of Lyons, and it's my privilege to help her as computer and language dogsbody, looking up references on the internet, translating parts of the Latin text (the only complete version extant) of Adversus Hæreses and of the surviving fragments of the Greek original and the French commentary by Rousseau (or is it Massuet or Migne? I get a bit vague about the bibliographical details). I draw the line at Armenian, but I did have a stab at a Syriac fragment a little while ago. Syrian isn't hard once you decipher the alphabet: you just pretend it's Aramaic and take it from there. Hey, it worked for Mel Gibson.

My Latin is a whole lot more fluent than my Greek, either because I started learning it two years earlier or because it's an easier language and with more cognates to English, or just because the Latin translation of AH is very elementary Latin. In Greek I am always running to Liddell and Scott, but in Latin I hardly need a dictionary, which is lucky, because I don't own one.

Yesterday I even had the chutzpah to express an opinion about the content, and the greater chutzpah to think I knew better than Migne (or, as it might be, Massuet). In AH IV. 33, 4, Irenæus says "… how shall he (man) escape from the generation subject to death, if not by means of a new generation, given in a wonderful and unexpected manner (but as a sign of salvation) by God — [I mean] that regeneration which flows from the virgin through faith?".

Now, Massuet (or, such as it may be, Migne) says that the "virgin" here must be the Church because only the Church, and not Mary, can be described as giving birth to all believers, but I beg to disagree. The whole thrust of Irenæus' doctrine of Eve and Mary in the passages I've been reading seems to be that Mary replaces Eve as אם כל חי: Eve is only our mother in the flesh, and made us inherit death by her disobedience, but Mary by accepting God's will in faith becomes the mother of all the human race on a spiritual level and restores us to life — "regeneration which flows from the virgin through faith".

OK, I've got that out of my system, we will now return to the usual blend of Judaism and software internationalisation.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Stopgap Post

I haven't been getting to the blog lately. I'm gainfully employed again (contracting for the Hebrew Competence Group at IBM until the end of the year, with hopes for renewal of the contract for a longer period) and when I get home and finish checking email, reading other people's blogs, and hacking here and there on Mozilla, I don't seem to have time and energy left to write, not to mention work on the chapter of a book I'm supposed to be translating by the middle of October.

This means I have quite a backlog of things I wanted to blog about and haven't. Watch this space for "Naming of Parts", "Whumping Willows", and "Zgodno u standardima".

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I can't believe I did this

Well, it should at least increase my geek credibility

Mozilla shows 'Text language: Klingon' on a Klingon page