Monday, May 17, 2010

Dear TRS: Live from Atlantic City

That's right folks, it's time for another exciting edition of Dear TRS, where your questions are answered and all your dreams come true!

Dear TRS: Why did you take so long to put out another one of these?


Terry Lean
Dear Terry,

It's the kindness and concern which people like you have shown me throughout this difficult time which has enabled me to make it through. More specifically, I refer to the excellent content on other people's websites which has enabled me to put off updating mine.
Dear TRS: What do you think of Lipa's new CD?


St. Mary
Dear R' Mary,

In general Lipa's albums have been following an interesting track. As you look through them you'll see that the production values have really gotten better as time goes by- by that I mean that the albums sound much more professional and well produced. At the same time, the music has gotten much "shtickier". I don't necessarily mean that Lipa's songs make for better ear-worms, but rather that instead of just music they're filled with all sorts of shtick. At the same time, his songs have gone from being Yom Tov Ehrlich-like, long, not too much music, plenty of Yiddish which I don't have half a hope of understanding, to a much more accessible style, much simpler, using a lot more Hebrew and more complicated melodies and whatnot. If I was a music insider (or even if I thought I was one [in point of fact, it's the same thing]) I'm sure I could express myself much better. If the late, great Chaim Rubin was still blogging, I'm sure he'd have lots to say on this. That's not to say that I don't like the new albums, I really do, but they're a very different style.
Dear TRS: That answer was quite serious, quite eloquent, quite unlike you.


The other guy next door
Dear Karl,

Was that supposed to be nice?
Dear TRS: What do you think of women sitting together with men during services in synagogue?


Sara H.
Dear Sara,

Why would women want to do that? Do they have any idea what goes on in the men's section of your typical Shul? Do you know the last time these people took showers? Hello?
Dear TRS: I went on a date last night, and the girl looked great. Really, she must have spent upwards of thirty five hundred dollars on her wardrobe, and three hours (conservative estimate) on her hair (not to mention her nails). I told her that she looked really nice. Or something like that. She did not respond positively. I can't go into the details, but let's just say that she went Robin Williams on my Mercedes after the date. What did I do wrong?


Considering suing for treble damages
Dear In need of a lawyer,

You seem to be laboring under a delusion here, which has not only cost you significant amounts of money but has also let this great catch get away. The way of the woman is mysterious, but there are certain rules which should always be followed when dealing with this dangerous and elusive quarry. Here's a nine point checklist you should follow:

1. Wear the right camouflage or else the girl will spot you and run away.

2. Relax. Before trying to stalk a girl you must be relaxed. Most people get overexcited when they spot a girl so you must remember to stay calm.

3. Find a girl track. Girl tracks look like two parallel almond-shaped prints that are pointed on the top end. Follow the tracks in the direction of the pointed end.

4. After following the track for a while to see which direction it is going, check the map to see where the direction will take you. Try to avoid following the girl if there are any big rivers or heavy bush to walk through, because girl will run right through it when they are spooked and you will never be able to follow the track.

5. Once you know that there isn’t anything that will get in your way, start heading in the direction of the girl.

6. Look out for coyotes or wolves, because you’ll be hunting during girl mating season and they are vulnerable to coyote and wolf attacks. If the coyotes and wolves are hungry enough, there is a chance that they will attack men, so be careful.

7. Pay attention to the trees and the bushes because the girl may have stopped to eat or defecate; by looking at the feces and checking its temperature, you can tell how long ago the girl was there.

8. If you find a sign that can tell you that the girl was there within half an hour, you may be extremely close to the girl and may spook it.

9. Once you think you are close to the girl, stop and make a girl call for a minute or two. If you hear the girl call back, you know you are within viewing range. Set up and wait for the girl. Once it is close enough to you, try to make the shot.

Amazingly enough, this advice also works really well with deer.
Dear TRS: Sometimes when I'm speaking to someone on the phone, and he's giving instructions or telling me something, I won't understand what he's saying, but I'd rather just say, "Mmmhhhhmmmm. Yeah, OK" than find out what he said. After I hang up, I think, "Gosh I wonder what he said." Why do I do that?


A Bochur in Bobov/Belz/Brergsass/Biala/Boston/Boyan/Bohush/Binding/Bonia/Bender
Dear Bochur,

You know what you need? To clear out the wax in your ear. Or else you need some help becoming more assertive. Try becoming a lawyer, and suing the girl we dealt with in the previous question- who knows, maybe you could even marry her!
Dear TRS: What's your all time favorite Lipa song?


Tom Dennis Fitzgerald
Dear Brain,

That's like asking a father to pick the most precious of his children. Still, we all know that one kid always gets stiffed in the will, and in this case, I think I'd have to say that if there's one song I could never stand, it's Halelu off A Poshiter Yid. In Lipa's defense, he didn't write the song. On the other hand, he obviously loves it. Maybe it's like when the parents adopt a kid who turns out to be a serial murderer- they have to show it all the more love. Or maybe it has something to do with the moon and tides and such things. I really couldn't tell you.


Anarchist Chossid said...

And only one thing bothers me: that I left the preparation of the expedition to Nikolay...

Sorry, what I meant to say is: does this mean that the quality of l’chayims at local farbrengens went up, went down, or stayed about the same?

Yossi said...

Where is brergsass anyway?

Just like a guy said...

CA: Let's just say that it wasn't unwelcome.

Yossi: Somewhere in Hungary.

theRealPianist said...

Dear TDS,

Does the "during during" in instruction note #6 imply a necessity for extra precaution at these difficult times?

Truly Yours,

Anonymous said...

I don't wish to come across as a "zealot", but surely the name doesn't need to be "[..] Mary" (regardless if said writer wrote such) -

just as you eloquently respond in a different fashion.

To throw in an anecdote relating to TRS' former city (I heard it from a "landzman" of his):

There was some plaque or the like for a dinner of Chabad Minnesota, which reviewed it by the Rebbe prior to its finished copy. The Rebbe changed the printed "S. Paul" to "Twin Cities"..

(There's a place with an easy alternative.. As for the Brazilian city - the Rebbe opted for only the second word "Paulo").

TRS, I intend only to be constructive, as your hard day must have let your wording slip by..

le7 said...

Halelu is the only Lipa song I like.

Just like a guy said...

TRP: actually, it just implies that you should never copy and paste from wiki without checking for mistakes like that.

Anon: correct you are. From the aforementioned wiki:

The original Hungarian name of the town of origin was Szatmár. The name appeared at first in a document written in 1213 in the form "Zotmar". Originally it was derived from a personal name. The Romanian name was first Sǎtmar, differing only in orthography from the Hungarian one, but in 1925 was officially changed to Satu Mare. That version means "large village," with the Romanian Satu ("village") deriving from the Latin fossatum, while Mare means "large" in Romanian.[citation needed]

There is a well known folk etymology, repeated both among members of Satmar itself and in outside literature about the group, that Satu Mare actually meant "Saint Mary." Many Hasidim, occasionally including Reb Yoel himself, referred to the town as "Sakmar" to avoid use of its allegedly "pagan" name. The folk story notwithstanding, the vast majority of hasidim now use the original Hungarian name "Satmar".

le7: What!

bonne said...

Ah, the ol' women hunts...I wonder how I should feel about this.

Just like a guy said...

Is that a question for the next edition of Dear TRS:?

bonne said...

Well if you had warned me, I could have provided a whole slew of useless questions. So I suppose you can save it for the next edition, yes.

Just like a guy said...

Well, the next edition will be coming out sooner rather than later, so if you'd like to contribute some more questions...

bonne said...

I will think deeply on the matter and make an appropriate contribution.

e said...

dear TRS: how do you invert the circle of radius sqrt(41) centered (5,0) through the circle of radius sqrt(21) centered at (-2,0).

These questions are plaguing me.

Just like a guy said...

Implementation notes:
Notes on mathematical functions

Note: ^ denotes the exponentiation operator, sqrt is the square root function, acos the arc-cosine (or inverse cosine) function and asin is the arc-sine function. If asin or acos are unavailable they can be implemented using the atan2 function:

acos returns a value in the range 0 <= acos <= pi
asin returns a value in the range -pi/2 <= asin <= pi/2

Note: Here atan2 has the conventional (C) ordering of arguments, namely atan2(y,x). This is not universal, Excel for instance uses atan2(x,y), but it has asin and acos anyway. Be warned. It returns a value in the range -pi < atan2 <= pi.

Further note: if your calculator/programming language is so impoverished that only atan is available then use:

acos(x)=2*atan(sqrt((1-x)/(1+x))) x>=0
=pi - 2*atan(sqrt((1+x)/(1-x))) x<0

atan2(y,x)=atan(y/x) x>0
atan2(y,x)=atan(y/x)+pi x<0, y>=0
atan2(y,x)=pi/2 x=0, y>0
atan2(y,x)=atan(y/x)-pi x<0, y<0
atan2(y,x)=-pi/2 x=0, y<0
atan2(0,0) is undefined and should give an error.

Another potential implementation problem is that the arguments of asin and/or acos may, because of rounding error, exceed one in magnitude. With perfect arithmetic this can't happen. You may need to use "safe" versions of asin and acos on the lines of:


Note on the mod function. This appears to be implemented differently in different languages. Mod(y,x) is the remainder on dividing y by x and always lies in the range 0 <=mod <x. For instance: mod(2.3,2.)=0.3 and mod(-2.3,2.)=1.7

If you have a floor function (int in Excel), that returns floor(x)= "largest integer less than x" e.g. floor(-2.3)=-3 and floor(2.3) =2

mod(y,x) = y - x*floor(y/x)

The following should work in the absence of a floor function- regardless of whether "int" truncates or rounds downward:

mod=y - x * int(y/x)
if ( mod < 0) mod = mod + x

Sign Convention

As stated in the introduction, North latitudes and West longitudes are treated as positive, and South latitudes and East longitudes negative. It's easier to go with the flow, but if you prefer another convention you can change the signs in the formulae.

e said...

that answers not the question. Oh well. I guess I'll go downstairs and work this out myself. sigh.

Just like a guy said...

I figured Google wouldn't be very helpful. Sorry about that.

Menashe said...

Hallelu is also my favorite Lipa song. At least someone in the Maister family has taste.

Just like a guy said...


bonne said...

I don't listen to Lipa.

Just like a guy said...


bonne said...