Unfogged Mobile

Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 03.24.23

Clearly Pickleball is the Pokemon Go of 2023. Or maybe even 2022. All I know is that Heebie U is offering a little team-building workshop for its employees in pickleball, so it's permeated even the most dank corners of small scale boredom.

I have played pickleball once - there was a little set you could put together at a rental house we stayed at last month, and so Pokey and I played. It was super fun! It feels just like ping pong in all ways: the pace of the game, the coordination and effort needed, and the general experience. I've always liked ping pong.

Unsurprisingly, the tennis industrial complex hates it because it cannibalizes their courts:

Brooklyn-based group Club Leftist Tennis recently launched an anti-pickleball lobbying campaign, tweeting: "Reminder: pickleball is an astroturfed, venture capital-backed parasite on public space," in September.


The whole article is funny:

We start with the dink, which, according to Tubo, is the most important D.
It involves tenderly knocking the ball over the net so that it lands gently on the opponent's side. Ideally, the dink will result in the ball bounding low, limiting an opponent's ability to return. If the ball comes to them high up, they can just whack it back over the net. Not so with the dink.
"No one is able to attack the dink," Zorano says.
"The idea is to take the power out of the game."
This was illustrated when I mis-dink, the ball soaring over the net and reaching Zorano at head height. He immediately bats the ball back towards me, hitting me in the chest.
"I intentionally smacked it to you," Zorano says. There's no apology, but he adds that this unexpected attack will help me remember "the ready position", which is essentially not standing there with your paddle right down by your side. Luckily, there isn't much weight to the ball and my right pectoral survives unscathed.
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Guest Post: The Walls Are Closing In.
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 03.23.23

Mossy Character writes:

Cyclone Freddy holds the record for the longest-lasting tropical cyclone worldwide in recorded history.[2][90] Freddy also holds the record for the all-time highest accumulated cyclone energy of a tropical cyclone worldwide, with an ACE of 87.01, breaking the former record of 85.26, set by Hurricane Ioke in 2006.[1] Additionally, Freddy was the first tropical cyclone to undergo seven separate rounds of rapid intensification. [...] (WMO) estimates that Freddy has produced roughly as much ACE as an average whole Atlantic hurricane season.

And killed by the time you read this somewhere above 700 people.

Heebie's take:

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Guest Post: Jewish Summer Camp
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 03.22.23

NickS writes: This is very much not my milieu, but you (and some of the commentariat) may find this interview interesting and have a perspective:

Part of why I suspect so many Jews feel extremely passionate about camp, then, is the fact that they tend to go to camp for a long time each summer, and often summer after summer, for years. Not all Jews attended the same camp year after year, but if they continued to go to a camp at all, they usually stayed at the same one. To unscientifically use myself as a case in point (a thing I never do in the book, because "scholarly integrity"!): I went to a Zionist summer camp for 4 weeks in 1998, and then for 8 weeks every year through being a head staff member in 2011. That means I spent over two years of my life at my camp from age 9 until 22. The youth movement that sponsored my camp also had a gap year program in Israel, so at age 18, I went to Israel for 10 months with all of my friends from camp, where we continued to be educated according to the same ideologies our camps had fed us. Three years with my camp people; three years immersed in my camp's intensely Zionist ideology. A huge chunk of my young life that I had to write a deeply researched book to process.


... Who decides what constitutes "success"? Historically, those who do the counting demonstrate a camp's success by tracking things like whether its alumni support Israel in all of the normative ways "good American Jews" are supposed to (giving money, visiting regularly, supporting organizations like AIPAC that lobby on Israel's behalf); whether they married fellow Jews and made "Jewish babies" (the Jewish community is pretty obsessed with Jewish babies, an understandable outcome of Holocaust trauma); or whether they went on to join synagogues or be otherwise active in some form of official Jewish community.


As I see many friends who are deeply committed to their Jewishness marry non-Jews, I am evermore skeptical of the idea that high interfaith marriage rates = the end of Judaism. I often wonder if the kinds of people I spend time with (largely left-wing, unaffiliated with mainstream Jewish institutions but practicing Judaism their own ways, diaspora-minded millennials) are considered American Jewish education's greatest successes or its deepest failures. This is why I became more interested in figuring out how these ideas of what a good, successful Jew looks like came to be in the first place. My hope is that by pointing to how various visions of ideal Jewishness came about, I might spur some Jewish youth organizations today to expand them for the sake of a far more interesting, open, and diverse Jewish future. I've already been invited in by a few organizations, which indicates that there's an interest in evaluating some long-standing norms in American Jewish education.

Heebie's take: First, I was a huge summer camp kid and adored my month-long gifted camp beyond all reason, and did go back year after year. I only went to secular camps, though. However, in college, I dated a guy who was modern Orthodox, and discovered that his summer camp experiences were way goddamn crazier than anything I'd experienced.

Every year, the counselors at that camp pranked the campers. One year they somehow rented a plane, had someone fly it over head, and told all the kids during the big Color Wars finale that the camp director was flying in and was going to land on the field in front of everyone.

Then they faked a plane crash - like, the plane landed elsewhere, unexpectedly, and somehow smoke was ginned up to simulate a fire. Sirens started going off and ambulances were heard. Someone showed up to the finale celebration and told everyone in somber tones that everyone on board had been killed, including the camp director and other beloved counselors.

Many of the campers burst into tears and total chaos ensued. I'm not sure how long they let the hilarity drag out before announcing "GOTCHA! We're all alive! Suckers!"

I just cannot make sense of that story, still, but I'm delighted that I was reminded of it and had opportunity to share it. I have a lot of other thoughts on summer camps, but I'll save them for the comments.

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