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Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Happy Brithday Theodor Herzl (1860)

Theodor Herzl (1860)

Herzl was the founder of modern Zionism. A journalist, he was sent to Paris to report on the Dreyfus Affair and was appalled by the vicious anti-Semitism he observed. He decided that Jewish assimilation in Europe was impossible and that the only solution to the Jewish problem was the establishment of a Jewish national state. He expressed his ideas in his famous pamphlet, Der Judenstaat, and organized the first Zionist World Congress, serving as its first president. Where is he buried? More...
Today's Birthday provided by The Free Dictionary

[ An example of some of the daily content in Mr Bagel Daily ]

Mr Bagel

While you're checking out more about Theodor Herzl, may I bring you attention to the 'unknown' pages of Mr Bagel.

Most people would be rather surprised to realise that Mr Bagel is actually the combination of 19 blogs all interwoven into one large blog.

The links at the top menu go to a varied assortment of pages, most of them are now fully functional, a few are still being developed.

Mr Bagel originally had a top menu that went 'no where' as the extra sections hadn't been built now that they have, I invite you to check them all out.
A few of the sections are:
One of the reasons the blog has been broken up was that Mr Bagel couldn't face throwing out so many widgets, yet came to the realisation that over 100 widgets on a page, may be just be a few too many.

Mr Bagel has grown, he is continually being improved and any positive constructive ideas or criticism is welcome.

May I preface this with the following Observation: As Mr Bagel is my pet project, and not one of my clients, he is more likely to be a personal expression of my tastes, he may be a little 'rich' in multi media, he may be very unfriendly to dial up modems, but with 80% of the US Internet community on broadband now, Mr Bagel is focusing his attention on broadband users.

Browser incompatibility: I'm always interested in feedback from users of different browsers. Unfortunately the worlds best designed computer doesn't come with the world's best browser. If your using Safari and its crashing, this is such a prevalent problem, I suggest you contact Apple, and/or swap to the browser that I most prefer, and recommend you prefer too.


Welcome to the Jewish and Israeli Popularity awards.
aka JIB Awards

I acknowledge that each and every one of us are different.
I acknowledge that each of us have different ideas and concepts.

But I'm finding it hard to reconcile that a Blogger that has posted:

6 posts in April,
4 posts in March,
4 posts in February
5 posts in January

Yes you count correctly, that's 19 posts this year.

Is in the running for the award for Best Right Wing Political Blog, steamrolling Israeli Cool [Aussie Dave], and actually leading the charge for Best New blog. [131 votes]

I would think some one might be advised to spend more time on writing posts that running for popularity contests.

Being the famous radio star that you are,
heres your eleventh blog link to your not so famous blog.

Despite your JIB post managing to drive in the vicinity of 131 Votes,
I note not one of your faithful voters left you a comment on that post?

And in the famous words of Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind:
"Frankly My dear I don't give a damn."
Please leave vexatious comments with an asterisk in front, so as I can, in a timely manner give them the contempt they deserve.

This cartoon is derived from a cartoon by Hack, (Matt Buck)


Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Rantings of a Sandmonkey stops blogging due to oppresive monitoring by Egyptian State

Here no more, seen no more, censored forever more..?

Goodbye Sandmonkey

I've got to say, talk by those in the know, dont put this 'seemingly forced' departure of Sandmonkey in a very positive light. Rather than speculate, or try to adopt Sandmonkey as a cause celebre for Islamist activism as at least one of the commentors on the Arabist has done. Its probably best heard from the monkeys mouth,

Saturday 28 Apr 2007

Today is going to be the day that I've been dreading for quite sometime now. Today is the day I walk away from this blog. Done. Finished.

There are many reasons, each would take a post to list, and I just do not have the energy to list them. As anyone who has been reading this blog for the past month, I think it is apparent that things are not the same with me. There are reasons for that:

One of the chief reasons is the fact that there has been too much heat around me lately. I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day. I ignore that, the same way I ignored all the clicking noises that my phones started to exhibit all of a sudden, or the law suit filed by Judge Mourad on my friends, and instead grew bolder and more reckless at a time where everybody else started being more cautious. It took me a while to take note of the fear that has been gripping our little blogsphere and comprehend what it really means. The prospects for improvment, to put it slightly, look pretty grim. I was the model of caution, and believing in my invincipility by managing not to get arrested for the past 2 and a half years, I've grown reckless. Stupid Monkey. Stupid!

And speaking of the state of the egyptian blogsphere, it has been pretty depressing in its own right. One has to wonder at some point the futulity of being a keyboard warrior in a country where nothing seems to matter to its people anymore. At the same time, there has been those amongst us who have loved the fame and the attention, and are now becoming the egyptian blogsphere's equivelant of Paris Hilton: They are famous for being famous, peddling the same stories and not really presenting anything of value to the debate. And then there is the fact that we are entering the "Iconogrphy" phase : We are becoming Icons. Too much Media attention, too many american organizations claiming to champion our causes while they are cashing out in donation from people gullible enough to believe them, too much hype generated by us and others, so many of us tooting our own horns and even crying wolf at times has made Icons of us. We now have young bloggers who come up to many of us "Old Guard" and tell us how they are such great fans of ours, and how we are their role models and heroes and how they are starting to blog because of our "courageous example". And there are those of us who are buying into it, taking in undertsudies to placate our big heads, hooking up with groupies to feed our egos, acting as if we are the warriors for change we are made up to be and forgetting why we started blogging to begin with. It seems that we are entering a state of transformation, and we should either 1) evolve, take the next step whatever it is, 2) stay the way we are and risk becoming carricatures of ourselves or 3) quit. Not knowing what the next step is, and needing time and space to figure it out, I chose the only other option that made sense: I quit!

So here comes my apology to those of you who read me: I am sorry. I really can't continue to do this. You guys have been the best readers anyone could hope for, altough there are some of you who made me come close to shutting down the comments section many many times. I love you all for everything you have done for me, for all of the egyptian blogsphere. When I asked for your help, you gave us more than a helping hand. You cared. You gave a damn about a bunch of egyptians who had a dream to be free and stood by us in our houres of need. For that you are my heroes, and I can not possibly thank you enough.

May the day comes when I rant once again….

Love you all,

The Sandmonkey

As bloggers come, Sandmonkey was definitiely one of the more significant bloggers from Egypt.

With the recent oppresive actions towards Egyptians Bloggers and critics of Government officials, it doesn't look too promising in Egypt.
The Government seems to be cracking down on any kind of free speech.

Goodbye Post by Sandmonkey,
leave a comment on Sandmonkey's blog [comment count so far 390]

Artwork Credit:
3 monkeys with Fez : Mr Bagel
Rantings of a Sandmonkey: Same

Hattip: ArabistDOTnet


Pulitzer Prize winning Author writes a novel based on an Alaskan sanctuary for Jews fleeing the Nazi's

Author Mchael Chabon, writer of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay", has written a book, with one of it's themes being based on a wartime proposal to turn Alaska into a sanctuary for Jews fleeing the terror of the Nazis.

Chabon creates alternate reality in 'Yiddish Policeman's Union'

From AP:

Author Michael Chabon poses at home in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - A wartime proposal to turn Alaska into a sanctuary for Jews fleeing the rising Nazi menace failed.

But suppose it hadn't.

That's the premise of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon's new book, "The Yiddish Policemen's Union," a multilayered novel that is a detective yarn, alternate history, love story and terrorist thriller all wrapped up in one genre-bending package.

"I get excited by the idea of blurring the boundaries between different kinds of fiction," said Chabon, interviewed recently in his sunny backyard in a quiet corner of Berkeley. The result seems to be a kind of literary fusion cuisine, taking forms and genres "usually kept pretty rigidly separate and letting them bleed together and see what happens."

What happens in "Policemen's Union," Chabon's first full-length adult novel since winning the Pulitzer in 2001 for "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay," stems from an essay he wrote some years ago about a book called "Say It in Yiddish."

What, Chabon wondered in his piece, could be the utility of such a guide?

"The essay prompted a small but vigorous protest from people who thought - mistakenly, Chabon says - that the author was making light of Yiddish, the language once-prevalent among Jews in Eastern Europe and elsewhere."

One upshot was that he was inspired to get a better handle on Yiddish, a language he'd heard spoken as a child. The other was that he found himself increasingly drawn to something he'd mentioned briefly in the essay - the proposal to allow Jewish refugees into Alaska and what might have been the result.

"I just couldn't stop thinking about that imaginary Yiddish country that I'd alluded to and I wanted to go back there. So, I just tried to think of a way I could do that in fictional form," he said.

"Policemen's Union," due out Tuesday from HarperCollins, follows "Summerland," a bestselling children's book published in 2002, and a short novel, "The Final Solution."

"After 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,' I thought it would be hard to ever top that," said Jennifer Barth, an executive editor and vice president of HarperCollins. "But this book stands on its own as an equally imaginative and exciting and also moving story."

The police officer in "Policemen's Union," is Meyer Landsman, a detective who gets an unexpected case when one of the residents of the rundown hotel where he lives is found shot to death.

Landsman, in the best tradition of hard-boiled, hard-luck heroes, is a mess. Chabon telegraphs a lot with a little when he has Landsman pick up "the shot glass that he is currently dating," as the book opens.

Landsman must find out whodunit (and, for that matter, who was done) as well as why - a question that leads to some seriously weird characters and the surreal world of messianic politics.

The dogged quest to uncover the true identity of the dead man, a former chess prodigy, unfolds in classic noir tradition, a familiar form that helps lead the reader into Chabon's imagined land of the Federal District of Sitka.

"One of the reasons that I chose to work in the form of the detective novel is so that it would afford me the opportunity to explore and explain the world that we were moving in, to investigate it, literally, so that a reader that didn't know anything about it would be able to find out along with the main character," he said.

Chabon sprinkles his prose with Yiddish, which may strike unfamiliar at first. But it also helps establish an alternate reality so solid it starts to seem perfectly reasonable that Alaska is home to a 60-year-old federal Jewish territory on the brink of reverting to state control.

"It felt so real, I thought there must be some basis for it," said Luisa Smith, a buyer for Book Passage, an independent book store with branches in San Francisco and nearby Corte Madera (Chabon will be holding a reading at the latter location May 14). "I kept stopping and looking at the back and thinking, 'Did I miss something?"'

Although the subject is different, the style will be familiar to Chabon readers, said Smith - "great dialogue, great characters, beautiful writing."

And hot wheels. Things may not be going so well for Landsman but he's got the keys to some serious metal muscle in the form of a 1971 Super Sport Chevelle.

In real life, a minivan and hybrid are parked outside the house Chabon shares with his wife, writer Ayelet Waldman, and their four children. "Not exactly a muscle car," said Chabon, who with his wildly curling brown hair and intense grey eyes doesn't exactly fit the image of suburban dad.

Chabon does his writing in a cottage in his backyard, as does Waldman, author of "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," and the "Mommy-Track" mystery series. Waldman, who briefly emerged from the cottage mid-interview to do some stretching exercises, crisply assessed her husband's latest as "amazing; the best thing he's ever written."

At HarperCollins, which has ordered 250,000 for the first printing, Barth senses "a lot of anticipation for this book."

From another writer, the premise of "Policemen's Union," might seem outlandish, but with Chabon, "people know that his genius is in taking something wildly inventive and different and out of the box and making it really human and accessible and universal," she said. "He might challenge you to expand your horizons a bit, or your preconceived notions, but he's not asking you to sign on to a world that doesn't have recognizable characters or traits or emotions. He loves his characters and that comes through."


AP: VIA News1130
Chabon creates alternate reality in 'Yiddish Policeman's Union'

RefeMore info:



Sunday, 29 April 2007

JIB Awards Voting , Mr Bagel UPDATE

I have to be honest with my visitors.
After the first 30 hours I was leading every category I was in front by at least 50% in most cases, I was feeling pretty good.

Well actually I was blown away that so many people had bothered to vote for me.

Feeling confident and not wanting to 'hock' myself,
I was fairly low key.

It seems that whilst my voters voted early and seemed to stop voting, a few other bloggers have recieved rather large bursts of voting, and run some pretty extensive 'ad campaigns'.

Mr Bagel is in four categories.
  • Best New Blog

  • Best Design Blog

  • Best of the Rest

  • and Best Overall

I don't consider my blog to be worthy of the Best overall, but I must admit I will be a little dissapointed if Mr Bagel is not to be in the running for
Best Designed category and the Best New Blog.

I've put a list of all blogs that still have a chance in the categories I am competing in

I dont ask you to vote exclusively for me,
I'd rather ask you vote once you have seen all the blogs.

( Top 2 go to the finals)

This is Best new Blog Group D, I encourage you to check the blog's in the running and vote for who you feel is most worthy.

[Reasonable chance of qualifying at this stage included]


(Top 3 go to the finals)

This is Best Designed Blog Group A, I encourage you to check the blog's in the running and vote for who you feel is most suitable.
[Reasonable chance of qualifying at this stage included]


(Top 3 go to the finals)

This is Best Of the Rest Blog Group B, I encourage you to check the blog's in the running and vote for who you feel is the best.

[Reasonable chance of qualifying at this stage included]


. (Top 2 go to the finals)

This is Best Overall Blog Group D, I encourage you to check the blog's in the running and vote for who you feel is the best.

UOJ Unorthodox Jew
Aidel Maidel
Job Mob Israel

[Reasonable chance of qualifying at this stage included]

thanks to all regards Mr Bagel


Mr Bagel's Funnies #1

First in a series of Jokes featured at mrbagelfunny which you can vist through the top menu.

A young man was walking the streets of Paris. Suddenly he saw a rottweiler attacking a young girl. He jumped on the dog, struggled with him and strangled it. Both he and the girl escaped with minor scratches.

Immediately excited journalists surrounded him and said:
What is your name? All Paris will hear of you, and the headlines
will be: "A Parisian hero saved a little girl from a savage dog".

Said the man: I am not Parisian.

The journalists: O.K, so all France will hear of you and the
headlines will be :"A French hero saved a little girl from a savage dog".

The man: But I am not French.

Journalists: OK, so all Europe will hear of you and the headlines
will read: "A European hero saved a little girl from a savage dog".

The man: But I am not from Europe.
Journalists: So where are you from?

The man: I am from Israel.

Journalists: OK, so all the world will hear of you and the headline
in all of tomorrow's papers will read: "Israeli killed a little girl's dog."