Best Of The Web
“In the fall of 2016 I began filming a documentary about the battle to retake Mosul from Islamic State. I made a promise to myself and to my crew: Whatever risks and obstacles the war unpredictably produced, we would reach the burial ground of the prophet Jonah on the Tigris River—right in the middle of the city.
The goal was met. Though the site was buried in rubble and ash, one of our film’s scenes would show the final resting place of the most enigmatic and provocative biblical prophet. When my crew and I deemed our mission accomplished, we savored a double satisfaction: We had covered the first half of the war to destroy ISIS and also rediscovered an important site in the biblical narrative and Jewish history.
Then down came a bolt from the blue. It took the form of a phone call from the French human-rights activist Hugues Dewavrin. For the entire reign of ISIS, my friend told me, a certain Omar Mohammed had remained in Mosul, chronicling the devastation of his city on the blog, Mosul Eye.
This immensely talented “citizen historian” was madly in love with his city. His then-unsigned posts drew the attention of every journalist in the vicinity, as they knew he could provide reliable information on daily life in Mosul.
In late June, Omar Mohammed posted some astonishing photos. In the heart of the old city, in the very spot where the jihadists planned to make their last stand, appeared a synagogue. Mohammed tweeted that he had found some strange inscriptions in Hebrew carved into blue stone and needed volunteers to transcribe and translate them. The internet took it from there.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"...after five months of canceled meetings and muted statements of dissatisfaction by both countries, experts say there is no sign of progress toward the Singapore goal of so-called "denuclearization" of the North."
"The presidential news conferences have become frustrating to watch and, doubtless, are frustrating for President Trump to engage in. While we have freedom of the press in our country, we should not tolerate unprofessionalism."
"It's highly unlikely that Israel's center-left parties will form a coalition to run together in the 2019 election, but they should not abandon efforts to find common ground to fight for."
"Cam has the brilliant audacity to argue that the internet isn’t about connecting people. Netflix’s slick, saucy new horror noir understands the existential terror of losing your carefully curated fictional internet persona."
"Wealthy nations have strong currencies. A strong dollar allows Americans to buy goods, services and resources from other countries at low prices."
"China’s leaders like the internet they have created. And now, they want to direct the nation’s talent and tech acumen toward an even loftier end: building an innovation-driven economy, one that produces world-leading companies."
"At an inaugural desert festival of yogis and spirit guides like Russell Brand, an exclusive industry grapples with consumerism, addiction, and the actual meaning of wellness."
"The confusing thing about Franzen is that even people who hate him admit that he is a great novelist, and even people who love him admit that his essays are often a little on the insufferable..."
"“And just like that” or “in the blink of an eye” are familiar captions on parenting milestone photos. But for me, while the days were long, not even one year flew by."
"How the Silicon Valley set fell in love with sourdough and decided to disrupt the 6,000-year-old craft of making bread, one crumbshot at a time."
"...everyone can — and should — learn quantum mechanics. It’s not rocket science — it’s a fundamental part of how our world works, and not as complex as you might fear."
"New Hebrew University initiative brings international students to Yoga studio run by Breslov Hasidim for course on 'Judaism and the Body.'"