Solely In Black and White: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Watching the Baby and Using the Computer

This is what it looks like when I watch LMPH: 

And this is what she looks like when I put her on the floor: 

My baby the ketzela... :-)  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Judging a Book by its... Shoes

Although it's often thought that judging someone based on their choice of attire is wrong or inaccurate, a new study demonstrates that it might be possible to accurately "judge" a person just by the choice of his or her shoes. Just imagine the implications of that! Maybe people aren't so crazy when they're asking about shoes during shidduch research. (Yeah right...). Anyways, the implications of the study are partially applicable to first date as well as any meeting of first impression! Maybe a book can be judged it's cover after all, at least partially. 

According to a study by researchers at University of Kansas, people could judge a stranger almost exactly by looking at their shoes. A person's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important characters were among the personality traits that could be judged by just his/her shoes.

Omri Gillath, lead researcher of the study, said that the style, cost, color, and condition of the shoes were the determinants of the owner's nature. Participants were able to rightly tell about 90% of the owner's characteristics.

For the study, 63 students were given pictures of the most frequently worn shoes of 208 volunteers for the study. The volunteers had filled up a questionnaire consisting questions about their personal traits, choices, lifestyle, etc.

The 63 students then observed the pictures of the shoes of the volunteers and were asked to guess the age, gender, social status, emotional stability, openness, etc. Their answers were matched with the questionnaires filled by the volunteers.

The observers were found to guess the characteristics of the volunteers correctly in almost all categories, and hence the researchers concluded that a lot can be told about a person from the shoes they wear, even if they intend it or not.

Some of the general observation results were
  • Expensive shoes belonged to high earners,
  • Flashy and colorful footwear belonged to extroverts
  • Shoes that were not new but appeared to be spotless belonged to conscientious types
  • Practical and functional shoes generally belonged to agreeable people.
  • Ankle boots fitted with more aggressive personalities
  • Uncomfortable looking shoes were worn by calm personalities.

The report further stated that people who were most worried about their relationships, or people with "attachment anxiety" had well-kept shoes. This could be possibly because they are too concerned about what others think of them.

Also, liberal thinkers wore shabbier and less expensive shoes.
"Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers," the authors wrote. "Shoes serve a practical purpose, and also serve as nonverbal cues with symbolic messages. People tend to pay attention to the shoes they and others wear."

"Shoes have great variety of styles, brands, looks, and functions. Because of this variety, shoes can carry individual difference information, but do they? We suggest that the answer is yes," they concluded.
 The study was published online in the August 2012 edition of the Journal of Research in Personality.

Of course there will always be naysayers who will not accept these profound ideas. What better way to display one's contempt with said research then to sport a pair of shoes that tells the world you could care less? As such, I wonder what the researchers would say about these shoes by Mark McNairy ;-) : 

Mark McNairy "" Collection

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anonymity in Blogging?

I think the idea of true anonymity in blogging is at best an oxymoron and at worst a false sense of security. “It’s a small world after all” is not just a ride and song, but a reality in our small Jewish-geography playing world.  I surmise that many newbie bloggers are lulled into the false security of having an anonymous blog, a clever pen-name, and a mysterious email address supposing (or hoping) that they can blog with impunity. Unfortunately, either right or wrong, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

Guy Fawkes
I too used to think that blogging could be truly anonymous; especially for those capable of using technical solutions that evade rudimentary tracking, however, even those added steps don’t guarantee success. I know many a cautious blogger who were “outed” by the content of their blog alone. I also know bloggers who were “outed” for purely “technical” or “social” reasons. Rationally, it seems, in my humble opinion, that being identified has become a risk that one must be willing to accept in order to blog. Additionally, with the proliferation of tracking services and innovative methodologies, there is more information than ever before to “snoop” about unsuspecting bloggers and readers. (For a rudimentary example of the information available to most bloggers click here and scroll down.) One such example is cookie sniffing scripts, some of which can basically, and of course politely, asks one’s computer what other websites have been visited. And the list of innovative privacy-invading technologies goes on… 

But it’s not all miserable and dreary. I’d even venture to say that some people have arguably gained more than they have lost by being “outed.” I was even thinking that perhaps it can reasoned that a blog is a better indicator of personality type/interest/ and family nature than a typical shidduch resume. Personally, I’m sometime more inclined to set-up random bloggers than random resumes, but I presume I'm in the minority. 

But even that point aside, I think that the fear of being “outed” keeps one somewhat honest and tempered. For example, if one believes with any modicum of certainty that someone who they know might read a rather scathing or embarrassing post, they would presumably alter their post to reflect that possibility. Second, most of those who have been “outed” don’t have to deal with any significant real-world implications. At least in my situation, It’s not like people are walking over to me on the street and saying “hey nice post yesterday.” That might be a tad much and from what I understand, rather rare. Lastly, as a married blogger I can tell you: at some point, you’re going to have to tell your significant other about your blog. So next time you’re tempted to write something “questionable” consider the fact that someone very near and dear to you might actually read it one day... 

(Note: if you tell your soon to be significant other about your blog while you’re engaged, don't be surprised if they spend the night reading the whole thing! And that my friend is why you need those tracking services! :-) ) 

Oh, on the topic of blogging, just a reminder: deleted posts, aren’t really deleted.  


I was reading Life Lover’s post today on her experience with Internet Stalking and I was thinking about how the internet has been evolving in terms of stalking and online “bullying.” (Post to follow shortly). Fortuitously, I received an email with this related graphic illustration on the state of cyberbullying. Now isn't that convenient?  

Cyberbullying Infographic
Source: Peter Kim

Monday, July 2, 2012

Now that's "Hot" Attire... Summer Dressings of the “Hasidic Jews”

The NYTimes recently ran an interesting story on how “Hasidic Jews” dress during the summer months. Or more aptly, the article titled “Dressing with Faith, Not Heat, and In Mind” described how they don’t really dress differently during the sweltering summer months. Just thinking about the topic makes me feel a tad toasty, so stay cool out there! Lastly, I'm "surprised" the article didn't mention anything deodorant... ;-)  
Tzaddik Web Ready
Oy Vey! via Flickr
Key excerpts provided bellow:

Some New Yorkers who are not Hasidic surely ask themselves: How on earth do they stay cool?
The answer is a mix of the spiritual and, yes, the creatively physical. The Hasidim will tell you they have learned to live comfortably in all seasons with their daily attire.
“I think I’m not as hot as other people because the sun is not on me,” said Chany Friedman, who was shopping recently in Borough Park, Brooklyn, with two of her five children in tow, wearing a sweater and dense stockings in addition to other concealing clothing. “If I’m covered, the sun is not on me. I’m happy that I’m not exposed to the world.” “That’s what Ha-Shem wants from us.”
 “Does anybody ask a congressman why he walks into Congress with a suit or a Wall Street executive why he goes to work in a suit?” asked Isaac Abraham, a leader in the Satmar Hasidic community.
Still, Hasidim have found subtle ways to beat the heat.
In Borough Park, women snatch up neckline-hugging shells that allow them to wear thin, long-sleeved and open-necked blouses from, say, Macy’s. Hasidic men seek a frock coat made of lighter-weight, drip-dry polyester, without a shape-holding canvas lining, and lightweight weaves in the fringed, four-cornered, woolen poncho known as tzitzit, a daily version of the prayer shawl that is worn over a white shirt. Also, men will go jacketless when working or driving, though any substantial stroll along a public sidewalk requires a suit jacket or frock coat, known in Yiddish as a rekel or in its longer and fancier Sabbath version as a bekishe.
Even the shtreimel, the tall, cylindrical, Russian sable hat that Hasidic men wear on the Sabbath to dignify the day, has been modified in recent years, with holes in the crown to provide a kind of ersatz air-conditioning. Those innovations may not seem to offer that much relief, but in Hasidic philosophy, it is more important to please God.
 “The equation of burden doesn’t come into play, when that’s the tradition you’re brought up in,” said Amram Weinstock, 65, a Satmar Hasid who was shopping at G&B Clothing in Borough Park, a store with racks of suits, in numbers to rival Brooks Brothers, although these suits come only in shades of black, navy blue and gray. “We are happy to live that tradition and feel uplifted by living that sort of life,” Mr. Weinstock said. “This is how our parents went; this is how our grandparents went.”
 “You shvitz!” the man said, using the Yiddish word for sweat. But his “what’s the big deal?” expression seemed to shrug off the problem as a piddling price to pay for a virtuous lifestyle.