Crash Course in Judaism

Transcript

I’m Zeldman, I work on Team 51.

_APPLAUSE_

Yes! We make wonderful WordPress websites for interesting, deserving people and organizations, and *this* is my Crash Course in Judaism. Enjoy.

My mother and father are ethnically Jewish, my father was an atheist, and my mother was Canadian, so we celebrated Christmas.

_LAUGHTER_

We celebrated Christmas ’til I was six, and right before my sixth Christmas, my Nana came to visit. And she looked at the tree, and she looked at all the stuff, and she said, “These boys won’t know they’re Jewish.” So my parents were shamed and changed to Hanukah.

_LAUGHTER_

Now, Hanukah’s cool. Christmas is cool. We won’t get into saying which one’s cooler. We know.

_LAUGHTER_

But either one’s fine for a kid if you just keep going with it. Dropping Christmas at age six, I think that was the start of my Goth years, right there.

_LAUGHTER_

I felt so disappointed, so alienated. And, you know, before I turned six, like, I would go into Kindergarten and my friend would say, “Santa Claus brought me a rocket launcher and a grenade launcher and a Tommy gun and a machine gun and a Japanese Prisoner-of-War camp, what did Santa bring you?”

And I would say “Santa Claus brought me socks and a book.”

Because we weren’t materialists.

And then after age six, they would say, “Santa brought me a neutron bomb and an atomic bomb, and the Great Garloo, a monster that you can control by remote control, and a flame-shooting monster and a set of daggers, what did Santa bring you?”

And I would say, “We’re Jewish.”

_LAUGHTER_

The “fuck you” was implied.

_LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE_

And so … I didn’t get beat up as a Jew until I moved to Pittsburgh, but that was later, and I’m not going to get to that part of the story. But when I was living in New York areas and Connecticut, there were enough Jews that people were sort of laid-back about their hatred of Jews, and they would just be okay with it. They would even be okay with my saying “We’re Jewish,” and there was no retribution from that.

Anyway, I asked my Dad, “What’s God?” and he said:

“Okay, so before science, people thought there were a lot of gods, because they needed a supernatural explanation for everything.

“So if there was a fire, the fire god was angry.

“And if there was a flood, the water god was angry.

“If there was a snowstorm, the snow god was angry.

“And the Jews improved that by saying there’s only ONE God, and he’s *VERY* angry

_LAUGHTER_

“But there isn’t one.”

And then I said, “If there’s no God and we don’t go to Temple, why are we Jews?”

And my Dad said, “Hitler would’ve killed us.”

And that was my satisfaction with that.

Anyway, when I was twelve-and-a-half, my parents came to me, after no Jewish stuff for a long time, and they said, “Jeffrey, would you like to be Bar Mitzvahed?”

And I said, “What’s that?”

And they said, “You make a speech and then you get money.”

_LAUGHTER_

So I said “yes,” and, really, I’ve been doing it ever since. Thank you, Judaism!

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Kevin M. Hoffman

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In this 60-minute video captured live at An Event Apart Orlando: Special Edition, Kevin M. Hoffman explains how service design thinking, lean approaches to user experience, and co-design processes offer an alternative to the usual (expensive) design project frustrations, and deliver experiences to delight your users.

Source: An Event Apart News: Co-Design, Not Redesign, by Kevin M. Hoffman – An Event Apart Video

The Long Web – An Event Apart Video

Jeremy Keith at An Event Apart

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The pace of change in our industry is relentless. New frameworks, processes, and technologies are popping up daily. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you are not alone. Let’s take a step back and look at the over-arching trajectory of web design. Instead of focusing all our attention on the real-time web, let’s see which design principles and development approaches have stood the test of the time. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, but those who can learn from the past will create a future-friendly web.

Enjoy The Long Web by Jeremy Keith – An Event Apart Video.


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Stampylongnose? makes wonderful videos about Minecraft? (among other things) and is the first independent content creator in my young daughter’s world. She follows him like you followed your first favorite blogger.

In “1 Million Subscribers Special – From Then To Now,” he shares how he became an independent video producer on the web—how he lost everything when Google arbitrarily pulled the plug—and how the community that loved him, and one great Google admin, fought to restore his work.


“The independent content producer refuses to die.”

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Live onstage at An Event Apart New Orleans, Jeff Veen explains the magnitude of data we process every hour, and the responsibility of designers to help us make sense of it.

The next An Event Apart conference takes place next Monday and Tuesday in Boston.

[tags]jeffveen, data, google, aneventapart[/tags]

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[tags]cameronmoll, video, aneventapart, webdesign, conference[/tags]