Outraged by the Outrage

o-ROLLING-STONE-TSARNAEV-570I’m sure I’m in the minority feeling this way, but peoples’ outrage over the Tsarnaev Rolling Stone cover seems to be entirely based on context.  I don’t have a problem with it at all.  Journalism is journalism, no matter how you slice it.

The photo chosen for the cover is not “glammed-up”, in fact it is the same photo seen countless times in the media already.  When you do a prominent story, whomever you are, you put a picture of the central figure on the cover of your publication and this is nothing new.  I have to wonder how many people have taken the time to actually read the article, which carries an important message.  Rather, people are content to blabber on about the disrespect they see on the surface.  Too bad so few people look beneath the surface.  We are truly a nation dominated by childish ignorance.  I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who survived and responded to the Boston attack, but as a thinking man I have to say this latest “outrage” just goes too far. Continue reading

Memory (Like the Corners of My Mind)

My work-provided iPhone 4 is getting on in iPhone model years.  It has 512 MB of RAM, which is twice as much as it’s predecessor the 3GS and four times as much as the original iPhone, but only half as much as the iPhone 5.  For a three year old smartphone model, 512 MB is okay, though that’s not much at all by modern personal computer standards.  Still, I find it interesting that 512 MB of RAM in my iPhone is 128 times as much as was in my family’s first Windows PC in 1990, and 256 times as much as was in that little IBM PS/2* that Neil Patrick Harris used to tap out a journal entry at the end of every episode of Doogie Howser M.D.

* IBM PS/2 as in the computer, not to be confused with later incarnations of gadgetry to be nicknamed “PS2.”

On Equality and Bacon

l_rainbow_ceramic_piggy_bank_money_boxAs the debate over same-sex marriage in Rhode Island ramps up yet again, I find that by-and-large, the strongest opposition is faith-based, rather than fact-based.  I want to be clear that I make no attempt here to address the topic of religion, but rather the religion-independent issue of basic human rights.

An individual’s pride in their faith and the desire to spread it is one thing, but imposing it on others of dissimilar faith or view is another matter entirely.  Isn’t freedom from that sort of thing really the reason this country exists?  There is plenty of precedence in our history of laws that straddle the line between church and state – or that flat out leap over it.  Yet for many years it has been possible to do your shopping on Sunday, and it has even become increasingly possible to purchase liquor on Sunday. Continue reading

Your Moment of Zen, on Sunday Morning

Originally published on Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 9:54am

Zen on Sunday Morning

CBS News Sunday Morning has been around for as many years as I’ve been alive.  Originally hosted by Charles Kuralt, and since 1994 by the similarly venerable Charles Osgood, it is a show best described as Sunday New York Times Arts & Leisure section meets 60 Minutes.

While I was growing up, my mother loved this show.  She made a point of watching it every Sunday, as I’m sure she still does today (it’s been a while since we’ve talked about it).  Invariably, it would be recorded on VHS for rewind and playback, or later viewing, as there were no DVRs in those days.  Occasionally, she’d call my attention to some segment, pulling me away from whatever I was doing, or urging me until I watched the recording a little later.  I hated this show, and didn’t particularly have a taste for any kind of “news,” so this was no different.  I even vaguely recall Mr. Kuralt reading on-air, a viewer letter from the mother of a little girl “forced” to watch the show, referring to it as “the broccoli of the airwaves.” Continue reading

Banking Answers

Originally published on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 12:55am

While working for a bank, I received numerous questions through numerous channels, related to how banking really works.  Still, I continue to be asked such questions.  I figured that now was as good a time as any to share what I know.  Though most of my experience comes from one bank in particular, the one I worked for, what you’ll find here are more or less generalizations of the US banking climate as a whole.  If you have questions about how banking works, please read this post in it’s entirety.  I promise you will find it informative, all be it long. Continue reading

Mary Gershkoff, 1923 ~ 2011

Originally published on Friday, July 8, 2011 at 10:04pm

Mary Gershkoff

Thank you to all of our friends and family who were able to drop by Thursday evening or attend Friday’s services in Cranston and Exeter.

Mary enjoyed a long life rich with experience, family and love, and in the end that is all one could ever ask for.  She lived to see many grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.  Many of us were fortunate enough to attend a large family gathering at my home in Warwick only a few weeks ago, where Mary met her newest great-grandson Andrew Martin Hanson for the first time, born in February to my sister Sara and her husband Pete in Coral Springs, FL.

Following the mass in Cranston, a small ceremony was held in the cemetery chapel in Exeter, during which Sara read aloud, with some difficulty, the moving remembrance that appears below. Continue reading

Martin John Berman, 1920 ~ 2010

Originally published on Friday, December 31, 2010 at 2:09pm


A shiva candle burns at my house in Warwick, the same house Martin called home for nearly forty years.

Thank you to everyone who attended the memorial service this morning. It was great to see you all!  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the RI Community Food Bank. 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907.

Though she was unable to travel from FL for the funeral due to pregnancy, my sister Sara wrote the beautiful eulogy below, which was read at the memorial service. Continue reading