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Archive for the ‘The Scrapbook’ Category

hospital in ashdod

A few months ago, I saw a billboard that read the following “Why is there no hospital in Ashdod? Because Olmert is the puppet of the Finance Ministry”, and it also had a sketch in that nature.

Put aside Ehud Olmert‘s virtues as a prime minister, put aside the fact that the billboard was paid for by contractors who were supposed to build the Hospital, put aside even the discussion about the necessity of a Hospital in Ashdod. Let me emphasize – I’m not conveying an opinion regarding any parameters of this specific case. I’m talking about the easiness of “asking more” from the government.

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If you know me, you probably know by now that I was born in Turkey and I speak Turkish (If you don’t, why are you here?). Of all the languages I speak (in any level), Turkish is probably the least appealing grammarwise. It has an immense number of irregularities, and it’s very hard for anyone non-native to pick up the language.

However, Turkish makes up for it five folds when it comes to vocabulary, and in particular – proverbs. Turkish proverbs are the best ones I know, and to me it’s amazing how it uses such vulgar words to describe daily things in a funny way.

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Selfish Parenthood

I spend most my IDF days in an office nearby my residence, doing computer related classified stuff. However, every officer in IDF, is sent about once a year to West Bank, to guard settlers for one week. This includes engineers who have studied 4-years, graduate students who have studied even more. Short calculation of 40 hour week x 8 days at $25/hour, which is very modest, shows that this is equivalent to throwing out $1,200 of its workforce.

Of course, commanders serve in one job no more than 2-4 years, so the decision of not training a new brigade for this duty makes absolute sense: why should I spend money in my reign for a long-term gain, when I can slowly leak the money where nobody can see?

This being said this post is not about that. During the past week I was in West Bank, which was not bad times at all, apart from missing my girl. I had plenty sleeping hours and decent food, so not complaining. This of course doesn’t change one bit the financial implications that I mentioned earlier.

During this week, I had a lot of time to read, particularly newspapers. In one of them, I saw an article, about single ladies in their late thirties who declare to be happy about being single, and make statements such as “i’m not in a rush, with today’s medicine, i can have a baby whenever i want”, or “i may go to the sperm bank, i don’t need a husband to have a baby”. This is obviously a new genre of feminism, triumphant with that 67-year old woman who gave birth to twins, and Hollywood actresses who sport a bloated belly no sooner than 40, because – God forbid – that may cause inconveniences in their career.
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A friend of mine (whose blog you can find here) pointed me a while ago to this site called “Convince Me,” which is basically a place where you can have debates and vote which side you find more convincing.

There on, I went to a debate titled “Gmail vs. Yahoo Mail / Live Mail,” for which I expected to see a landslide victory to Gmail. Indeed I did, but I was curious to see what kind of explanation the other side could bring. (more…)

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A new commercial in the Israeli radios (or perhaps TV’s too but I don’t watch TV), begins with this sentence [“Chortitza? Ma ze Chortitza?”], which translates to “Chortitza? What’s Chortitza?”. The commercial then proceeds to explaining that it’s a Vodka brand, and that in the world, it’s a symbol for quality and a respected brand.

This seemed odd to me, so I went to Google, and typed in “Chortitza”. As I guessed, nothing relating to vodka – Chortitza is a place in Ukraine. Not giving up, I searched “Chortitza vodka” (without the quotes) which returned 16 results, none of them relating the alleged brand, but just a random combination of the two words. Searches “Chortitza vodka” or “vodka Chortitza”, with the quotes yield 0 results each. Resourcefully, I searched it in Hebrew alphabet. As I expected, due to aggressive advertising, I find results, and now I’m halfway there. I find the official website, http://www.hortitsa.com.ua/, which spells it’s own name as “Khortytsa”. Now we’re somewhere, “Khortytsa vodka” returns 650 Google hits (“Hortitsa” returns only four). That’s the absolute cap on what the world thinks of this brand.

As a comparison I searched the following (with the word “vodka” appended): Svedka (60,200), Absolut (1,360,000), Stolichnaya (245,000), Finlandia (348,000), Skyy (331,000), Russian Standard (588,000), Smirnoff (814,000), Grey Goose (445,0000).

It would seem then, that this is an unknown, shitty-ass brand. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the type to judge value alcohol consumption, and at 30nis (~6 USD) it provides a nice value for your money. What annoys me is that spit out plain lies in advertisements. I wonder if false advertisements are penalized under law in Israel.

More that this annoys me though, it makes me grateful for the Internet, Google and Wikipedia. Think of it, fifteen years ago, they could happily spread that bullshit, and eventually, people in Israel would actually think Chortitza is a good vodka brand! They could even market it with a relatively high price, and since nobody actually tells the difference between Vodkas, and 90% of it is psychological the bastards would actually get away with it.

I don’t like giving my money to ass-clowns, so Chortitza? Lo toda.

PS: See this, regarding the same thing.

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