Seder-Masochism at the NY Jewish Film Festival!

Seder-Masochism at the NY Jewish Film Festival Sunday January 13 at 9pm & Monday January 14 at 3:45pm. I will be at both screenings! Buy tickets here.

Death of Firstborn

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Can anyone identify this unusual bike?

It’s a folding crank-forward, with one hinge in the middle and one on the steering column. It’s branded Specialized and stickered Belize Bikes Canada (I’ve checked their web site, they no longer sell anything remotely like this). It looks sort of like a prototype of the Tartaruga, but it probably isn’t. I just bought it from a guy from Chicago, whose only information about its provenance was he got it from a neighbor. It’s old, but how old? The serial number on the steering tube is JP05048017.

The backrest is useless – my back doesn’t come close to reaching it while my butt is on the somewhat slippery seat – but it is a remarkably comfortable ride. Maybe it’s that great big shock absorber, or maybe it’s the  squishy tires, which specify “inflate to 35 pounds”. It’s slow, even at its top gear, which is 6.

I’ve searched various combinations of the following terms: specialized, crank forward, semi recumbent, folding bike. I have yet to find a picture of this bike anywhere.

What is it?

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Evolution of a pin design

First I wanted it to be 1.25″ tall, and a cut-out shape:

Goddess_pin3 - wht BG

But this would snag on clothes, and bend. So I came up with this:

Goddess_pin4_whiteBG

But it looks like a bottle opener. Plus the Chinese pin-making company emailed me back that a cut-out like this would have to be at least 2″ long. So instead of cut-out details I designed for 1.5″ hard enamel:

Goddess_pin5 goldblack

Goddess_pin5 goldbrown

But then I thought to make the details shiny metal, and the main area color, with a thicker outline that would make the pin more stable:

Goddess_pin5 blackgoldGoddess_pin5 browngoldGoddess_pin5 redgold

But then I thought, why not make the details another color, with gold outlines:

Goddess_pin5 blackbrownGoddess_pin5 brownblack

But then I thought, hey why not put a sun in there, since the Great Mother gives birth to the Sun:

MotherSun2

Then I made a bunch of different Sun designs, finally settling on this one:

Sun symmetric

Et voila:

MotherSun_Pin

Except the sun shape needed just a little bit of softening, so I exported it as a PNG, re-imported it to Moho (where I’ve been doing all this designing), and auto-traced it. Et voila:

MotherSun_Pin3 - Frame 0

And that’s what I hope to have made in China, until I change my mind again.

ONE DAY LATER: I changed my mind again. Now She’s a little stouter and has crescent instead of full moons. I made so many slight modifications to the shape I started to go crazy trying to decide, because each had its strengths and weaknesses. Eventually I had to just commit to one, so here’s what I just ordered 200 pins of:

MotherSun_Pin5_1

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Fecebook/Venmo reading private messages to divert financial transactions

UPDATE: 1. Paypal owns Venmo. 2. E was on his phone, I was at my desktop. I removed fecebook and messenger (ant twitter!) from my phone over a year ago, for increasingly obvious reasons.

It’s difficult to copy-and-paste a fecebook messenger conversation into a blog post, but I tried, because I want people to know about fecebook reading a private conversation about sending money through PayPal, and instantly creating an unauthorized transaction request without either party’s knowledge or permission. Below, text from a conversation between me and E in Fecebook messenger, December 16 2018:

E: Hey where is the pay pal link? I’m not finding it. Or do you have Venmo, that’s even easier

N: Just go to PayPal and send it to ____@_________.com.

Then I see this:Screenshot 2018-12-16 09.40.16

N: Wait, what? This isn’t PayPal, this is some weird fecebook thing. I really don’t want to give fecebook my bank info. Can you please just PayPal it to  ____@_________.com?

E: Oh fuck I got a request from you via FB and so I sent it. I thought that’s what you were asking. I don’t know if I can retrieve it. If you didn’t request that is fucked up.

There was a little green button so I clicked it.

N: I sure as fuck didn’t send you a fecebook money request.

Can you take a screen cap of the green button/apparent fecebook request? I can publicize and shame them for doing this, it is way unethical.

E: The green button is gone. It is replaced by this:

E’s screencap:

E_screenshot2

N: At least it says it expires.

E: Yes. If you refuse payment I will get it back in a week or so.

At the very least it seems like msft should be pissed.  You were about to send money via  PayPal and FB swooped in.

Here are my screenshots of Fecebook trying to get my card info so I can receive money I didn’t request on a payment platform I don’t use:

Screenshot 2018-12-16 09.40.16 Screenshot 2018-12-16 09.40.24 Screenshot 2018-12-16 09.40.30

N: OK, it was demanding I enter a card first, but after I went through a few pages of “add your card” bullshit there was a little “decline” link. So I just declined it and didn’t give them my card. The whole thing is definitely set up to get the recipient to give them their card info though.

E: Let’s try to replicate that though to see if we can make the green button show up.

N: Hey E, you still owe me $20! Just send it to me via PayPal, to ____@_________.com .

E: Was there and now it is gone!

E’s screenshot:E_screenshot4

N: WHOA
EVIL

E: Here try this.

Hey Nina. Can you please send me $100 by PayPal to ____@_____.com?

N: Hmm, I’m not getting anything

E: I saw one.

N: Maybe because fecebook doesn’t have my card info!

E: I’ll send it to you.

E_fecebook_screenshot

N: Wow. That’s not as bad as the “send” thing, but it’s still bad!

……

E: Yeah the two parts that fuck me up are: 1. you ask specifically to send via PayPal and they give me a green button seemingly to execute your request, and that directs this business to a competitor. 2. Much much more problematic is that AI agents scan all our communications and then act on it in ways that are not in our interests but are in corporate interests. In they old days you needed a wire tap to listen into a phone conversation and it was a federal offense to open someone’s mail. Now you can assume that all your communications are scanned for info.  There is enough computing power now or soon to scan and analyze every bit of human communication plus location shopping reading and website visits, like your entire life is owned.

…..

N: Oh dude – I just went to venmo.com. Look:

Venmo 2018-12-16 10.06.55

N: “Sign up with fecebook.”
Venmo is fecebook.

Below are screenshots of the conversation in fecebook messenger. The text above is supposed to make all this easier to read, but maybe the images below are a better record:

Screenshot 2018-12-16 10.03.29 Screenshot 2018-12-16 10.03.46 Screenshot 2018-12-16 10.04.03 Screenshot 2018-12-16 10.04.44

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The Seder-Masochism Book

Graven-on-demand copies available here! Transparency: I get about $6 per $35 order. Hopefully by next year some publisher will have them offset-printed in hardcover with sewn bindings, but until then, graven-on-demand is it.

It’s a Haggadah! It’s an Anti-Haggadah! It’s coming soon! It’s almost 200 pages, in full color! Here are some pictures of the proof I just got.

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