Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

Kintsukuroi (Original Image c/o Wikipedia Commons)

2014-06-16 @ 06:10 CDT

With any grace, the above photograph and caption – which I found on Facebook – will be the perfect summary of my life as I portray it on this blog. (Wikipedia’s article on the Japanese aesthetic philosophy itself is well worth reading.)

(יוחנן רכב)

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John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

My latest video project, based on a special Psalm…

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

2015-03-26 @ 07:30 CDT

This Psalm always has been one of my favorites even in English. When I heard it for the first time on Suzanne Haik-Vantoura’s first recording, as featured above, I knew I had to do whatever it took to learn whether her thesis was “on the level”. How little did I foresee the changes in my life which would follow from that one decision.

At a time when my future feels so fragile and uncertain, this Psalm reminds me of the strength of the One who has guided me long before and ever since that life-changing decision. Would that the peoples of the world were at a place where they could accept the message this “art song” conveys – even to the mere style of the sacred music which supports the words.

(יוחנן רכב)

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Psychiatrists have finally discovered how to better treat depression

Originally posted on Quartz:

Depression affects an estimated 5% of the world population, according to the WHO, and is the leading cause of disability for both male and female workers (though it affects women 50% more than men). Despite its ubiquity, the disease is complex to understand, and to treat. The latest family of antidepressants was developed in the 1980s and drugs today, while improved, haven’t changed substantially since then.

And there are a variety of drugs to choose from (at least 18 medications in several different brands and preparations), which can make it difficult for doctors to select the optimal treatment for a patient.

Gregor Hasler, a professor of Psychiatry at the University of Bern, told Quartz that most therapies for depression are decided on by trial-and-error: in about 30% patients, the first drug prescribed is effective, but for the remaining 70% it can take anywhere from weeks to years to find a successful therapy.

A new study, which Hasler co-authored with his…

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John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

Just part of my pre-Passover self-examination… :)

Originally posted on Island, Sea, and Sky:

ENFP: Roo (from Disney Pooh)ENFP: Roo (from Disney Pooh)

2015-03-23 @ 09:15 CDT

There is a line somewhere in one of the many comic books derived from the Star Wars fictional universe, a line which reminds me a lot of the ENFP self-image. In the scenario presented, a nefarious man-woman pair – I don’t recall their profession – were being pursued by Han, Leia, and Luke. The man was trying to say there was nothing to worry about – that trio’s past accomplishments were a matter of luck. The woman exclaimed that they had destroyed the Death Star and killed the Emperor, adding, “With that kind of luck, they don’t need skill!” None of the heroes were ENFP by preference, but the woman seems to have presented the ENFP outlook on life very well.

Not that we ENFPs, if we apply ourselves, can’t get proud of our skill (and I mean exalted in our…

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SHILOH THE CAT 2015-03-19

2015-03-19 @ 11:45 CDT

This video on The Simbers Channel features the latest addition to Yisraela Shulamith’s household: Shiloh the Cat (still a kitten, technically). The video combines two QuickTime Movies which I took last night using my iPod Touch. As I’m not used to uploading such movie files to YouTube, there is too much shadowboxing on the YouTube version. Ah, well.

Simbers the Cat will have her own memorial video one of these days, God willing. Meanwhile, Yisraela and Shiloh are beginning a new life together. May it be a long and happy companionship!

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Daily Life, Internet, YouTube | 1 Comment


John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

The second video in my latest series…

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

2015-03-19 @ 09:30 CDT

This is the second video of my new “fully pointed” series, one which is based on the second track of Suzanne Haik-Vantoura’s first recording. This text is the famous Priestly Blessing, with its immediate context.

(יוחנן רכב)

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John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

While Shiloh the Cat gets her name from the place where Israel made the Tabernacle to rest at first, there is a similar-looking name for a gentle spring in Jerusalem, Shiloah, which in context is peaceful. There is also a somewhat controversial name of the Messiah, Shiloh, which – if it is preserved correctly in the Hebrew Masoretic Text – likewise hearkens back to peacefulness.

Originally posted on Scribal Habit:

Shiloh the CatShiloh the Cat

2015-03-17 @ 9:00 CDT

What does an orphaned (and soon-to-be-adopted) cat have to do with the biblical names Shiloh and Shiloah?

The cat – a young female residing at this writing at one of the PetSmart stores in Houston – will be named Shiloh because her soon-to-be staff (er, owner) dreamed of that name. The proper name “Shiloh” really goes back to the place name Shiloh, which we see first here:

(Jos 18:1 ESV) Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.

It was the place where the Tabernacle resided for many years. Its location is described here:

(Jdg 21:19 ESV) So they said, “Behold, there is the yearly feast of the LORD at Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east of the highway that goes up…

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John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

Finally, I figured out how to use Nero to create videos which will be properly proportioned on YouTube (4:3 rather than stretched out to 16:9).

Originally posted on The Music of the Bible Revealed:

2015-03-13 @ 16:00 CDT

It’s taken quite a lot of time to prepare the slides for the “final editions” in video form of Volumes 1-3 and the Song of Songs – that is, in the series of recordings produced by or under the supervision of Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. But today I not only was able to record the first of the set on Nero, but how to put it into a format which YouTube can accept. Heretofore the Nero program – due to its default settings it seems – put the videos into an incompatible ration (16:9 versus 4:3) and nothing I did fixed the problem. After some checking with the YouTube help files and some repeated testing, I found settings that work. (For one thing, YouTube prefers uploaded files in .mp4 format.)

This series puts just one Hebrew word on each slide, with the appropriate consonants, vowel-points, melodic accents (the…

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Zits Comic – Laundry Taxonomy

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

And then there’s this… :D LOL

Originally posted on DigIn' the Humanities!:

Zits Comic

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Here is the King’s College London announcement about the recently released twin study

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

More on the study just mentioned…

Originally posted on Raising Rob:


Genetic influences on autism estimated at between 74-98 per cent

Posted on 04/03/2015

Researchers have found that autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is more heritable than recent studies have suggested with genetic influences on the disorder estimated to fall between 74-98 per cent.

Genetic risk factors for ASD were also found to overlap with the genes that influence less extreme autistic skills and behaviours seen in the general population.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London and published today in JAMA Psychiatry.

‘Our main finding was that the heritability of ASD was high. These results further demonstrate the importance of genetic effects on ASD, despite the dramatic increase in prevalence of the disorder over the last 20 years,’ said lead author Beata Tick from the IoPPN, King’s College London.

‘They also confirm that genetic factors lead to…

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UK Twins Study says genetics “to blame for nearly all autism cases”

John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav):

This is a very important result regarding autism…

Originally posted on Raising Rob:


Scientists at King’s College London have collected evidence from a population-based sample revealing that genetic factors outweigh more moderate environmental influences regards risk of autism and related traits in personality. They published their results online this week in JAMA Psychiatry.

Over 6,000 twins, born in England and Wales between 1994 and 1996, with a variety of autism-related traits – high and low subclinical levels, as well as ASD, – participated in several evaluations: the Childhood Autism Spectrum Test (6,423 twins), the Development and Well-being Assessment (359), the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (203), the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (205), and a best-estimate diagnosis (207) – and all of them showed consistency in their results. […]

“Our main finding was that the heritability of ASD was high. These results further demonstrate the importance of genetic effects on ASD, despite the dramatic increase in prevalence of the disorder over the last 20 years,”

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