Using your iPhone or Android-powered smartphone to operate your television, Blue-Ray player, DVD, stereo, or well, anything else electronic in your house should really be a no-brainer at the end of 2011. After all, I remember using several PDA’s from the Sony Clie to the Palm/Handspring models to operate my TV as far back as a decade ago. However, there has been a dearth of apps available for download that allow you to control your entertainment system (although this is a standard feature of the Sony Tablet S).
I still remember the time in 1st grade when my father brought our Apple II Plus into the classroom in an effort to show my classmates the wonders of Turtle Graphics. It was 1982 and each little 1st grader waited in line to get a chance to touch the odd looking keyboard and try to make the little turtle move. My father beamed with pride as he watched each child get their three-minute opportunity to try to program the blinking green turtle cursor to move across the black screen.
It was announced this week that Philip Levine, 83, will be the new U.S. poet laureate. If it isn't obvious from his name, he's Jewish. But that's no surprise with regard to poet laureates--Louise Gluck was the last Jewish honoree, in 2003, and Robert Pinksy held the distinction (i.e. laureate and Jewish) three years before that. Plus, there's Joseph Brodsky, Karl Shapiro, and many others I'm skipping.
Many Jewish day schools are taking good advantage of technology these days. I was very impressed when I heard about how one Jewish day school in Detroit -- Hillel Day School -- made it possible for a family to celebrate a bar mitzvah together even though one cousin was in Mongolia.