The Wednesday Curator – 9/24/14

September 23, 2014

Let’s start with How Gary Hart’s Downfall Forever Changed American Politics by Matt Bai, written for the September 22 New York Time magazine. This is an exceptional piece of reporting/writing about one of the exceptional figures from the last 25 years of the last century. Definitely worth your time!

For political junkies, there’s also been lots of news out of Kansas in the U.S. Senate race. Senator Pat Roberts, the incumbent Republican whose time has probably passed, was barely beating the D and the I in a three-man race. The D pulled out of the race and asked that his name be removed from the ballot, the Secretary of State claimed his letter didn’t say “pretty please” in quite the right way, and the Kansas Supreme Court weighed in Taylor v. Kobach. For an update, read Republicans Doing Everything They Can to Save Kansas, Senate by Domenico Montanaro, Simone Pathe, and Rachel Wellford for the NewsHour on September 23.

I haven’t yet read Why Do Americans Love to Blame Teachers? by Noah Berlatsky, from The Atlantic on September 2. Pretty amazing, though, how we ask teachers to take kids as they come, spend non-compensable time on prep work and grading papers, bring in supplies and other necessities which they pay for, and then we’re unhappy with them. Something is really wrong here!

Here’s something I read and totally did not understand, titled The Beauty of Bounded Gaps, and written by Jordan Ellenberg for Slate on 9/17. It’s about prime numbers, and that’s about the only thing I really understood.

With Rosh Hashanah upon us in less than 24 hours, here’s my challah.


The mishpochah does dinner at a steakhouse, which is not super-frum, but we’re all together, which is what really matters. I bring challah, though, because saying the Motzi doesn’t cut it with whatever bread we may be served. (Mishpochah is a Hebrew word for family, in its broadest sense. Frum means observant, devout, or pious, and the Motzi is the Hebrew prayer for bread and the food we eat.)

And in keeping with the Jewish theme, when I’m in Philadelphia next time, two places on my “must go” list are Dizengoff and Abe Fisher, both of which are written about—with photos—in Better than Bubbe, by Nell Mcshane Wohlfart for Tasting Table 9/11. Then, as a pairing, here’s Pete Wells’ 9/23 New York Times review of Sammy’s Roumanian, Come. Eat. There’s Plenty of Food.

La’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu (Happy New Year), and may 5775 be better, much better, than 5774!



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