The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Some people have this knack of finding ways to profit from other people’s woes and sorrows. Here’s a case in point (taken from an article in The New York Times). There were two consortiums eagerly bidding to acquire the 5,500 artifacts that have been recovered from the wreckage of the Titanic. One of the consortiums included a number of British museums, the National Geographic Society, and the film-maker James Cameron. You might have thought that with that fire-power they would be sure to win, but no, they were only able to come up with $19.2 million. The other consortium, three hedge funds that none of us have ever heard of, was able to raise $19.5 million. So they will be the proud owners of, among other trophies, “a bowler hat, the crusty leather folds of a once-sumptuous Gladstone bag and the dark, sleek curves of a bronze angel that graced the post of a staircase.” Plus a collection of marbles, the playthings of children who didn’t quite make it out alive.  Continue reading

The Hagim — 2018

The Tiny Man with the Numbers on His Arm

I rarely use my articles as an excuse to take my readers on a stroll down Memory Lane, but once in a while, I can’t help myself.  This year, if you remember, Rosh Hashana began on a Sunday night. So you can imagine what the Machane Yehuda shuk in Jerusalem would have been like the Thursday before – probably like your market, wherever you are. I had done as much of my shopping as I could in advance, but there’s always something you need at the last minute. Right?  The main item for me was a few pieces of salmon because there’s no way we’re going to do four ‘meat’ meals over the two-day holiday. Continue reading