Netanyahu's "Arab voters are voting!" Facebook video

Netanyahu’s “Arab voters are voting!” Facebook video.

Despite polling predictions that Israeli voters were abandoning him, Binyamin Netanyahu won by far the biggest share of seats in the Knesset last Wednesday. There has since been much despair in my social feeds and the international press that Israel is right-wing and only sliding further in that direction.

In my opinion, for all this talk of Netanyahu as a political magician, he has walked over a cliff this time. You can’t insult the President of the United States by coming to his country behind his back, and then explicitly repudiate US foreign policy in the Middle East, and just expect to get away with it. For all the jubilant talk of Netanyahu sticking it to that lame-ass lame-duck softy-on-security Barack Obama, he’s the President of the United States. One of the only things holding Mahmoud Abbas from filing cases against Israel in the International Criminal Court is a law the US Congress passed automatically cutting off $400m in aid in the event that they did.* One commitment from Barack Obama to fund that $400m from appropriations under the control of the Executive would clear that obstacle in the time it took to hold a press conference. He can withhold the US veto from the UN the next time an Israel-bashing resolution comes up. He could endorse settlement-produce labeling. He could do anything, and because he’s a lame-duck, there’s pretty much no personal consequences to him doing so. It would tear the Jewish diaspora apart, as Israel’s current trajectory is already facilitating.

But anyway. This post is not a caravan of despair. I was reading a piece by Jonathan Freedman, who commented that buried in the numbers of the election, there was left-wing hope. And I’m tired of people talking about number of seats, so I went and looked at actual numbers of votes: [click to continue…]

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I was interviewed some weeks ago by the Evening Standard for my views on polyphasic sleeping. It was something of a blast from the past for me but as one of the few people on the internet to have done it and written about it, I get surprisingly regular, if infrequent, press inquiries on the topic. The journo who interviewed me said they would let me know when it would be published and forgot, so I only just remembered to look it up. It’s short but sweet:

 

Getting a good night’s rest once meant spending eight hours in a comfy bed, but now a growing number of people are applying a blend of science, technology and psychology to optimise their time asleep, and so make the most of their waking hours. From the hackers gadgetising their bedtime routine to the ‘lucid dreamers’ taking control of their nightmares, Londoners are transforming the land of zzzzzz.

Polyphasic sleeping

Can you survive on two hours’ kip? Polyphasic sleepers believe so. They sleep in short bursts every few hours to cut down the overall time needed. A normal night’s sleep is divided into four or five cycles of three main phases: light sleep, deep sleep (the most restful) and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The reasoning behind polyphasic sleeping is that you’re so tired you fall straight into the final two cycles. The most challenging regime is the ‘Uberman’ — six 20-minute naps at four-hour intervals. Sarah McCulloch, a student at London South Bank University, used Uberman while preparing for exams, for periods of up to four months at a time. Instead of her usual eight-and-a-half hours, she’d sleep at 4pm, 8pm, midnight, 4am, 8am and midday. ‘You have a few days of feeling terrible, but you adjust and it becomes like regular sleeping.’ The hardest thing, she says, is fitting it around a social life — she once had to nap at a restaurant. ‘It’s not that practical, but if you have a deadline to meet, you’ll meet it.’ Dr Guy Leschziner, consultant neurologist and lead clinician at the sleep disorders centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, cautions that it’s not for everyone: ‘Whether you sleep half an hour every two hours or a full night in one go, our sleep requirements are genetically conditioned. Some people need more, some people need less.’

 

You can read the rest of the article (on general sleep-hacking) here.

 

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And so, on the 26th July, I was ordained an interfaith minister: It was a ceremony that was powerful, meaningful, and occasionally naff, but I’m never going to forget a second. I remember when I was 5, thinking that I’d quite like to be a minister – 20 years later, I’ve got Reverend in front of […]

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“Polarised is important because… of Homophobia.”

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Originally published on EQView on behalf of the Polarised Project, a documentary on LGBT mental health. While the general acceptance of LGBT people has happened faster than I can hardly believe when I think about it, we still live in a society where homophobia happens and every queer has to dwell, even for a second, […]

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Seriously, stop comparing Jews to the Nazis. Please.

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Imagine that your parents and the majority of everyone they knew had all been systematically been massacred by a particular sect when you were a kid. Imagine you grew up in a family that was utterly traumatised by this massacre and was determined to avoid anything similar ever happening again. Imagine that growing up with […]

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I’m Being Ordained and You Are Invited.

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After two years of training and 25 years of preparation, I am being ordained as a minister on the 26th July and you are invited to attend. :)   Ordination FAQ Related Posts:Becoming an Interfaith Minister

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Peter Reynolds and His Lawsuits – Another Short Statement

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As many of you know, I had a court hearing to deal with an application filed by Peter Reynolds on the 11th April. The issue was whether Peter Reynolds had contacted the court on August 2013 when the case was originally struck out to get it reinstated. I turned up and within about five minutes […]

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Peter Reynolds loses another lawsuit: an interview with Chris Bovey

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Chris Bovey is a businessman and co-founder of NORML UK, and was sued, along with myself, Alun Buffry, and Greg de Hoedt by Peter Reynolds last year. To date, Alun Buffry has chosen to settle out of court, Greg has not yet been served with the court papers, and I won judgement and costs in […]

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How to get a treadmill off a car.

January 19, 2014

I decided recently that if I ever want to achieve my dream of looking as great in an open-necked-shirt-with-sweatervest-combo as Blaine Anderson, I needed to get slightly more systematic exercise than walking to and from the train station. So, I’ve bought a treadmill. A really big, commercial-grade treadmill that’s really, really heavy. I bought it […]

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2013 in Review [infographic]

January 2, 2014

2013 was a year filled with stuff. I did an internship with Yachad, started my MSc, and spent a whole bunch of time in between those things sitting around in my room trying to work as a writer. Oh, and I got sued. This blog also saw some changes. When I built it back in […]

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