Friday, December 7, 2012


This guy is absolutely amazing. His name is Yann Frisch. See if you can figure out how he does this stuff:
There's more on Frisch and his act here.

By the way, I don't wish to be pedantic, but the term that describes Frisch's art is sleight-of-hand, not slight-of-hand as the people at the link spell it, although it is pronounced as if the word were "slight."

Meaningful Gift-Giving

Looking for a meaningful way to observe Christmas and to file a silent protest against the crass commercialization and consumerism which seems to have taken over the season in which we celebrate the birth of Christ?

Nicholas Kristof has some suggestions in a recent New York Times column:
Looking for an unusual holiday gift? How about a $60 trio of rabbits to a family in Haiti in the name of someone special? Bunnies raise a farming family’s income because they, well, reproduce like rabbits — six litters a year! Heifer International arranges the gift on its Web site.

Or for $52 you can buy your uncle something more meaningful than a necktie: send an Afghan girl to school for a year in his name.
Kristof adds a number of other suggestions along with accompanying links. These include Shining Hope for Communities a Kenyan girls' school and clinic started by Kennedy Odede, a slum-dweller in Nairobi, Kenya, who taught himself to read; a hospital, school and refugee camp in war-torn Somalia; The Polaris Project, a leader in the fight against human trafficking in the United States; Fair Girls a Washington-based organization also engaged in the fight against sex trafficking at home and abroad.

Kristoff gives details on all these in his column, and they all seem worthy of our attention and consideration this Christmas season.

Some of my own favorite charities include Kiva, a microfinance organization that provides loans to third world entrepreneurs; Logos Academy, a private school in York, PA for underprivileged children; and ASAPH ministries, the support organization for a friend of mine who's been a missionary in Haiti for twenty years and who has started a school there.

If you'd like to give this Christmas but aren't sure where your gift would do the most good, I can promise you that each of the above are doing great work on behalf of the poor.