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Saturday, October 10, 2015

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Heebonics is a division of The Canadian Jewish News bringing news and views to Jews in their 20's and 30's interested in Jewish culture, including music, film, travel, business, social activism, and more.
Updated: 55 min 9 sec ago

Shabbat project returns with Challah Bake 2015

Thursday October 1, 2015
Last years wildly successful Shabbat Project sold out nearly every event it offered, both across the Greater Toronto Area and around the world.

Once again, the hashtag #KeepingItTogether is starting to trend, and the Shabbat Project is gearing up to do it all over again this month.

The goal is to extend the splendour of passing traditions of our people on through the generations, whether by preparing favourite foods or making time for family – both key tent poles of observing the Sabbath.

Creating a warm and loving space, holding our families together, and spiritual fulfilment are what these events are all about.

Don't miss your chance to register for the Cholent Cook Off and Tasting, or the Challah Bake, leading up to the worldwide Shabbat celebration Oct. 23 and 24.

For more details or to register,  click here.

Sushi in the Sukkah: a modern holiday meal?

Wednesday September 30, 2015
It's hard to say what drives its popularity, but sushi has come a long way on this continent from the days of being just a casually eaten fast food.

But in many North American sushi bars, all-you--can-eat offerings and even sushi pizza have taken the market by storm over the last 25 years.

In the midst of celebrating the holiday of Sukkot this week, during which we traditionally revel in the bounty of the harvest after the Days of Awe, it was interesting to see two religious centres in Toronto using the rice roll in its various varieties to add a contemporary spin to celebrating the chag.

The Annex Shul, in partnership with Hillel, hosted a fusion event at the Wolfond Centre on Harbord Street in the holiday hut, for singles and young professionals in and around the University of Toronto campus.

Similarly, up north along the Bathurst Street corridor, the Sephardic Kehila Center just north of Steeles Avenue hosted a sushi in the sukkah night, too.

Would sushi be a go to for you on your sukkah table? Too modern? What do your guests typically sit down to as they come to dwell in your temporary home?

90s Scream queen Neve Campbell returns to TV

Thursday September 24, 2015
The 2015 Emmy Awards honoured the best in television last weekend, and a slew of high-profile premieres are coming soon for new and returning shows.
Fans of the hit Netflix series House of Cards will need to wait a few months for season 4, but we caught up with Canadian actor Neve Campbell at Toronto's Fan Expo this summer. Campbell will be joining the House of Cards cast, led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, when the show returns in 2016.

For those unfamiliar with its premise, it's an American political drama set in Washington, D.C., and revolves around Frank Underwood (Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina, who, after being passed over for secretary of state, develops a complex and elaborate plan to get himself into a position of even greater power.

No word about the character Campbell will play, though she's rumoured to be playing the female half of a rival political couple, opposite fellow Canadian Colm Feore.

The show was adapted from a BBC miniseries and is based on the novel by Michael Dobbs.

Campbell – a practising Catholic whose mother is descended from Sephardi Jews – was in Toronto to mark 20 years since filming on the Scream movie franchise began, which was one of crowning achievements of director Wes Craven's career. Sadly, the filmmaker passed away Aug. 30 just days before start of this year's Expo.

Campbell looked back fondly on Craven and had high praise for the director she absolutely adored working for, because he challenged everyone on set and made them better actors because of how much he was able to draw from them in their roles.

Here are some of the highlights from what we got to see and hear.

The Yom Kippur fast according to Amy Schumer

Tuesday September 22, 2015
Comedian Amy Schumer is having a red-hot year: she starred in one of the most critically acclaimed and wildly successful comedies of the summer and won an Emmy earlier this week for her Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer.

On Sept. 17, in anticipation of Yom Kippur, Becca Soverinsky, a student at the University of Michigan, posted 10 memes featuring the multifaceted Shumer that illustrate the 10 stages of the fast.

Undoubtedly, in counting down the hours until eating, we'll have worked our way through items 1 to 10, as listed below:

Stage 1. Extreme confidence
Stage 2. Lying to yourself
Stage 3. Irritability
Stage 4. Exhaustion
Stage 5. Hysteria
Stage 6. Defeat
Stage 7. Random burst of endurance
Stage 8. Excitement
Stage 9. Blacking out
Stage 10. Comatose

See the the 10 stages with the Schumer memes by jumping to Soverinsky's post here.

Sodastream scored a win as 5775 came to a close

Wednesday September 16, 2015
We've been documenting a number of setbacks home-carbonation beverage-machine maker SodaStream has faced over the last couple of years, so we're happy to report something that is actually good news for the Israeli manufacturer.

Shares of the publicly traded company jumped as much as 8.8 per cent to $16.13 in morning trading on Sept. 11 after the Wall Street Journal reported that PepsiCo would deepen its ties with SodaStream International. The soda giant announced that it would expand the number of Pepsi and Sierra Mist flavour offerings it makes for the Israeli machine.

According to business insiders the "caps" (which are similar to Keurig pods) will be available through SodaStream’s website in the next few months. A four-cap pack will be priced at $3.49 (US) and will also soon be sold at about 50 Bed Bath & and Beyond stores in the United States (we're likely to see the caps in Bed Bath & Beyond stores north of the border as well). Each cap makes about half a litre of soda and saves users a ton compared to buying cans from the store.

Are you a SodaStream owner? Sound off on your experience using this Israeli innovation.

Use Sticko to take selfies hands-free on the go

Wednesday September 16, 2015
You've got a holder for your sunglasses, a holder for your phone, and a cup holder for your pop can that makes it difficult to sip on the go. What if you could do away with all those separate holders for one that could do it all?

Israeli innovator eNovi is hoping its Sticko will take the world by storm with its creative spin on hands-free technology.

Its durable, double-sided suction cups let you mount the Sticko to any surface without the hassle or bulk of traditional phone holders – be it a car mirror, side window, or even a can of Coke to take that all important hands-free selfie.

Just look at all it can do.

What do you think? Could they be the next big thing?

The CJN Prize for Young Writers: Win $1,800

Thursday September 10, 2015

Attention aspiring writers between the ages of 18 and 29: The CJN wants to hear from you.

We're launching The CJN Prize for Young Writers, an award for excellence in Jewish writing. The first prize winner will receive $1,800 and 10 runners-up will each receive $180.

All winners will have their works published by the award-winning CJN.

To enter, you must adhere to the following contest rules and regulations:

• You must be a Canadian citizen or resident of Canada (outside the province of Quebec)
• You must be between the ages of 18 and 29

Essays must be:

• Written in English and be between 500 and 1,000 words
• On a Jewish theme of your choice
• Submitted by Oct. 22, 2015 to contest@thecjn.ca

Employees of The CJN and their immediate families are not eligible

Essays will be judged by an independent panel of experts.

Not an aspiring young writer? Then share this page with someone you know!

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for contest updates.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/CJNYWC.

Questions? Contact contest@thecjn.ca.

Carmilla draws massive audience at Fan Expo

Thursday September 10, 2015
Perhaps one of the greatest changes of the digital revolution in recent years has been the way the entertainment industry discovers its stars of tomorrow.

In the mid-2000s, Myspace was the hot spot for discovering musical talent. Then, attention quickly shifted to YouTube. Not only have some of music's top artists, such as Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendez, been discovered there, television executives have taken ground-breaking YouTube programming to mainstream television channels, capitalizing on the viewing audiences they've come to draw.

Some of these programs have amassed viewer-ships that are equal to, if not greater than, some of the most popular shows on network and cable TV. In 2007, Canadian writer and producer Damian Kindler, a major contributor to the Stargate franchise, created the eight-part series Sanctuary, with each webisode running seven to 10 minutes.

After witnessing the number of views each episode received on the video streaming site, the broadcast rights were bought by American channel Syfy, which picked it up and expanded it into an hour-long drama for a 13-episode first season in October 2008. It became the highest rated original series on both Syfy and Space in Canada, and Kindler produced 59 hour-long episodes over four seasons.

We've now come a great deal farther than that with Carmilla.

Elise BaumanBased on the novella of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu. the Canadian web series, starring Elise Bauman and Natasha Negovanlis, premièred a little over a year ago on the Vervegirl YouTube channel, and each of the three-to-seven minute 36 episodes of its first season boasts more than 21 million views.

It's really not hard though to see why. Not only is it highly praised for its near all-female cast and representation of various LGBT characters, Bauman's portrayal of Laura Hollis, a student of the fictional Silas University in Styria, Austria, is astounding. Hollis awakens one morning after a party to the disappearance of her roommate and is suddenly assigned a mysterious new roommate named Carmilla.

In the clip below during a live reading on Friday of a recent episode, Bauman and Negovanlis did a little role reversal.

In addition to the series capitalizing on the ongoing love affair teens, tweens and young adults and the LGBTQ community still has with tales of vampires and all things that go bump in the night (e.g., The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, The Walking Dead, Lost Girl and Supernatural), Bauman, who has the camera squarely on her much of the time, is mesmerizing in her delivery.

At Fan Expo Canada, which wrapped up another successful convention in Toronto over the weekend, more than 500 devotees of the series camped out Friday from 9 a.m. for a panel at 5 p.m., maxing out capacity in Room 701A of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's south building.

There's a great deal of competition out there for viewership, and the Internet is burning it up. Carmilla's second season is online now, and cast and fans alike anxiously await the announcement of a third-season order from sponsor U by Kotex.

Stephen Colbert just might drive you off a cliff

Thursday September 3, 2015
Navigating your way through traffic and busy city streets is frustrating, especially if you don't know the right side streets and short cuts that will get you where you want to go. As a result, a great many of us have come to rely on GPS navigation units from Garmin and Tom Tom to help us find our way.

But they're slowly being replaced by mobile phone apps, and one of the most popular turn-by-turn direction applications is the Israeli-designed Waze, which, as many know, was sold to Google in 2013.

In June, to coincide with the big-screen release of Terminator Genisys, Arnold Schwarzenegger's verbal cues temporarily replaced the apps default assistant's voice.
Stephen Colbert, who takes over the big chair as host of The Late Show on CBS starting Sept. 8, is the latest Hollywood celebrity to verbally help you navigate to your destination, though you might think twice after watching how he directs himself in the video below. 

If you like living dangerously, Colbert's voice will be available from Waze's voice settings until Sept. 22.

Aroma to open its 30th location in the GTA

Thursday September 3, 2015
In the world of speciality coffee bars – Starbucks, Second Cups and the like – the Israeli-based Aroma Espresso Bar chain has been going strong in Canada since opening its first location eight years ago in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.

It has since expanded across southern Ontario, with locations in such places as Markham, Mississauga, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Oakville.

Residents of downtown Markham can look forward to next week's opening of the chain's 30th Greater Toronto Area location, at 179 Enterprise Blvd. It will offer the same nutritious Mediterranean-inspired menu that Aroma fans are used to, from made-to-order salads and sandwiches prepared with fresh ingredients to pastries baked fresh in-store throughout the day, and more.

With over 125 branches throughout Israel, as well as several branches in the United States and the Ukraine, single locations in Germany, Cyprus, Romania, Kazakhstan and Poland, and now 30 in Canada, the Aroma brand is hot on the heels of its North American rivals.

Star Trek Beyond cast pays tribute to mensch Nimoy

Thursday August 27, 2015
Having touched the lives of many in his lifetime – young and old, famous and not – Leonard Nimoy left an indelible mark on the people of planet Earth.

Nimoy's character Spock, the first Vulcan we were introduced to in Gene Rodenberry's Star Trek, spanned six motion pictures with the series' original cast, made appearances in just about every Trek spin-off series, and played a pivotal role in the motion picture reboot helmed by director and executive producer J.J. Abrams.

The franchise, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, recently announced that the first official Star Trek cruise will set sail in January 2017. And over the summer, fans have been given the chance to make history themselves by competing for the first walk-on role in a Star Trek movie.

The cast and crew of Star Trek Beyond, the next film in the canon with the fresh-faced ensemble, have dedicated this week to Nimoy's memory and legacy, as well as his humanitarian efforts, influence and love for the human spirit.

Hear the praise in the clip below that actor Zachary Quinto bestows on the mensch whom he was honoured to call a friend and Trek mentor.

Dead Sea products can rejuvenate your pet, too

Thursday August 27, 2015
The Dead Sea is renowned for its extraordinary revitalizing and healing properties, and many of us who have visited the world wonder have experienced them first hand.

But did you know that these minerals are also beneficial for your pets?

Toronto startup Soos offers a unique line of Dead Sea products for cats and dogs, including natural shampoos, conditioners and remedies for dry skin, chronic pain, wounds, fleas and ticks.

The company was founded by young Jewish entrepreneurs Yemina Kaiman and Yosef Benayon, along with their seasoned partner, Shay Shvartshtein.

Soos Pets was inspired by Shvartshtein’s rescue Shetland sheepdog, Shane.

The dog suffered from a lacklustre coat, dry skin, irritated paws and sore joints. Finding that available treatments were expensive and contained complex chemical ingredients. Shvartshtein decided to find the perfect combination of natural ingredients and make them available to the public so that all pets could reap the benefits of natural treatments.

After much research, Soos Pets was founded and began producing and importing handmade products from Israel as a way to contribute to the Israeli economy. The company also donates a portion of its proceeds to local animal shelters and organizations helping animals in need.

 For more information visit http://www.soospets.com/

Filmmaker touts vibrant Israeli food scene

Thursday August 20, 2015
Working toward a release on PBS later this year, Emmy- and Peabody-award winner Roger Sherman's documentary The Search for Israeli Cuisine will undoubtedly whet the appetite and palates of Americans and Canadians alike for far more than falafel and shwarma.

Over the course of two hours, Sherman explores the 70+ cultural influences on Israeli chefs and restaurants in the Jewish state.

He admits that up until his first trip to Israel almost five years ago, his "Jew-ish" – ie., non-religious, not entirely practising – upbringing left him without an understanding of the worth of Shabbat or an appreciation for the rich history of the foods that make up the Jewish experience.

After returning stateside, Sherman says, "It became clear that most people I meet don’t know much about the Israeli people either, and they’re surprised at what I reveal. I discovered a vibrant restaurant scene in Tel Aviv that rivals New York, San Francisco, London and, yes, Paris. And, more and more of Jerusalem’s restaurants, once thought stuffy, are must-experience destinations.

"I tasted wines from some of the 350 boutique wineries gaining international acclaim. I savoured distinctive cheeses that you’d find in France or Italy. And I found remarkable food traditions as diverse as Moroccan, Persian, and Lebanese, French, Italian, and Russian, in the most cutting-edge restaurants – Jewish, Arabs, Palestinians, Christian, and Druze – kosher and non-kosher, secular and religious. I learned that home cooks are preserving their grandmothers’ recipes and dynamic chefs are updating them."

While no official air date has been announced either in Canada or the United States just yet, this teaser will give you the taste of what's to come, as Sherman is now putting the final touches on this delectable inside look at Israel's culinary delights.

Coming soon to #TIFF.40

Thursday August 20, 2015
With the summer of 2015 drawing to a close and September nearly upon us, various expos and festivals are about to signal a return to fall.

Chief among them, of course, is the 40th annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which runs this year from Sept. 10 to 20, with a lineup of well over 100 films from around the world.

Here on Heebonics, we'll feature just a taste of the documentaries, shorts and features that will grace Toronto screens and have their world premières here in four short weeks.

We're leading off this week, giving you a preview of director Danae Elon's documentary P.S. Jerusalem, a joint Canadian-Israeli production.

Returning to her hometown of Jerusalem with her young family after several years abroad, Elon offers an intimate, ground’s-eye view of one of the most fiercely contested cities in the world.

With the program book available from the TIFF festival box office beginning Aug. 25, the schedule of festival showings is also likely to be posted online by then at TIFF.net.

Check back each week leading up the start of this year's celebration of world class offerings as we highlight some of the festival's top Jewish-theme films.

Star Trek goes to warp speed on the high seas

Wednesday August 12, 2015
Fans of the two most popular science fiction franchises, Star Wars and Star Trek, have much to be excited about over the next six months.

While movie theatres will see the return of Han Solo, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca and the Droids for a seventh instalment of the iconic Star Wars series in December, Trekkies will be booking tickets for January 2017, travelling not to a galaxy far far away, but rather somewhere a little closer to home, on Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Star Trek: The Cruise, a six-day voyage between Florida and the Bahamas on the Pearl – with stops in Cozumel, Nassau and Norwegian's private island Great Stirrup Cay – will treat approximately 2,200 travellers to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 
Captaining the six-day "immersive journey" is none other than the Enterprise's crooning captain James T. Kirk, portrayed of course by much-loved Canuck and Montreal-born Jew William Shatner.

“I am excited to be the host of Star Trek: The Cruise,” Shatner said. “When I was told that this was the first authorized Star Trek cruise and part of the 50th-anniversary celebration [of the show], I just knew that my participation would be something that our fans would enjoy. It should be a lot of fun.”

Until now, CBS Studios, which controls all things Trek, had not endorsed Cruise Trek, which has been running for years, but now the timing is right.

The cruise – billed as "a new way to engage with the global science fiction phenomenon's past present and future universe," according to the cruise's website – will additionally feature Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis and Denise Crosby from Star Trek: The Next Generation; James Darren of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Robert Picardo of Star Trek: Voyager; and John de Lancie, who portrayed "Q" in all three of those later Star Trek series.

Passengers will also be treated to speaking engagements with leading scientists, influencers and experts, as well as viewings of Star Trek movies on deck, themed bars and much more.

Tickets range from $975 to $7,500, and you won't want to delay, as they'll go at warp speed.

Get yours at startrekthecruise.com/.

Lost Girl last episodes start airing Sept. 6

Wednesday August 12, 2015
Heebonics has been there since the beginning, chronicling the journey of self-discovery that Anna Silk's alter ego Bo Dennis has travelled since the still-popular supernatural hit series Lost Girl began on Showcase in September 2010.

Sadly, we are less than a month away from the start of the final eight episodes of the Canadian Screen Award-winning show, which begin Sept. 6.

Exactly one week ago, Showcase released the first teaser trailer, giving us a glimpse into the drama yet to unfold in the world of the fae and what fate awaits Bo's two foremost romantic loves: Dyson, the werewolf portrayed by Kris Holden-Reid, and doctor Lauren Lewis, played by the equally wildly talented Zoie Palmer.

In the clip below, the much-loved Kenzie (played by Ksenia Solo) returns for a final showdown to aid her best friend, the succubus Bo, and defend their world and protect their family from Bo's father, the king of hell, who we will finally see in the form of Eric Roberts.

Excited? We are.

Smartphone or school: chassidic village makes parents choose

Thursday August 6, 2015
Most schools forbid the use of cellphones by students during class, but in the chassidic Jewish village of Kiryas Joel, New York, it’s the parents who are being required to power down.

At the end of July, a notice was sent to families in the haredi Orthodox community about 50-miles northwest of New York City detailing strict parental prohibitions on smartphone use as a prerequisite for their children’s enrolment at the local yeshiva.

The main synagogue in Kiryas Joel, N.Y.“Make sure to put your devices in order and send in the filled out rules form for both parents (enclosed) before the above date, in order to avoid inconveniences,” read the announcement, unearthed by Shmarya Rosenberg on his Failed Messiah blog. “Remember: we will not provide acceptance cards if you are not in order with the technological rules.”

The notice went on to list several digital commandments: Men may use a smartphone if deemed essential to business and, in that case, only with an approved filter; women may not use a smartphone, only a basic cellphone.

Home computers may not be connected to the Internet. All members of the community must have a stamp of approval from religious leaders on their devices, even “kosher cellphones” that have been inspected by rabbis and whose web browsers have been deactivated.

After detailing the exact devices that each person in the household possesses, and the level of restriction (email only, basic apps, browsing with filter), the parents are required to sign the following affidavit:

“We the parents are confirming in writing that our cellphones/smartphones are in accordance to the rules of the community and yeshiva, according to the guidance of our holy grand rabbi and the judge. We also confirm that we do not possess in our home another cellphone/smartphone except for the ones mentioned above.”

Kiryas Joel was established in the 1970s by members of the haredi Orthodox Satmar chassidic community who had moved to the region from Brooklyn. The insular village of approximately 22,000 residents has faced numerous legal battles with its neighbours over the years, one making its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994 over the question of whether district boundaries had been unfairly drawn to accommodate a religious population.

In the 2010 census, Kiryas Joel was named the poorest city in the United States, with nearly 70 percent of its population living below the poverty line.

Founded in Romania at the start of the 20th century, the Satmar are considered among the most religiously stringent of the chassidic sects. They are also one of the fastest growing, with over 100,000 adherents and counting. Committed anti-Zionists, they reject the political state of Israel because it was not established by the messiah.

In creating a self-sufficient and isolated community, the Satmar chassidim of Kiryas Joel and similar enclaves manage to operate in a world largely untouched by modern temptations. They see technology as a potential puncture to their carefully constructed bubble — the recently released school mandate referred to smartphones as “extremely dangerous.”

Even for a community heavily regulated by religious decrees, the school’s smartphone requirements are notable for threatening punishment of the children (non-enrol
ment) for the sins of the parents. For those whose parents comply, the new school year begins on Aug. 16.

From JTA

Jason Segel on being a Jewish outsider as a kid

Thursday August 6, 2015

Actor Jason Segel — best known as the star of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and “How I Met Your Mother” — opened up on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast earlier this month about growing up with one Jewish parent and as a complete outsider.

Segel sat down for the podcast ahead of the release of his film The End of the Tour, in which he plays the tortured writer David Foster Wallace — a career U-turn away from the comedic work that made him famous.

Jason SegelOn Maron’s podcast (on which U.S. President Barack Obama was recently a guest), Segel said he long felt unsure of his place in the world. He traces the feeling back to growing up with a Jewish father and a Christian mother; attending Christian school during the day and Hebrew school at night.

“At Christian school you’re the Jewish kid, and at Hebrew school you’re the Christian kid. I think that’s the nature of groups,” he said. “And so everyone wants to compartmentalize people. And I think I decided at that point, like OK, its me versus the world, kind of.”

“Is your mom Jewish? No? You’re not a real Jew,” offered Maron, who is Jewish.

Segel recalled explaining his bar mitzvah to his Christian classmates as a pivotal moment that pushed him away from his peers and toward acting.

“This is when you become funny… Little 13-year-old Jason Segel standing there like, ‘On Saturday I become a man,’” he said, imitating his adolescent voice breaking. “It’s literally a direct cut to getting punched in the face.”

Weighing in on mixed-religion parenting, Segel said, “You know what? Neither of [my parents] are religious. So they made this decision that they were going to let me decide, which is the dumbest thing you can do for a kid. Because you don’t really care [at that age].”

Segel did credit his parents, though, with enrolling him in acting classes when he was a child. They were less concerned with the acting than with him becoming less shy and making some friends, he said.

And acting was indeed a refuge for him.

Segal recalled tapping into his childhood angst for the TV show that launched his career, “Freaks and Geeks,” created by Paul Feig and executive produced by Judd Apatow, both Jews. Segel credited Apatow with changing his life by teaching him how to act and write.

“It was really special. Everybody was kind of like digging deep into what it feels like not to feel comfortable,” he said.

Segel said he later spearheaded and co-wrote The Muppets movie in 2011 because the puppets’ message appealed to him as a kid and he wanted to share it with a new generation.

“I felt like one of the things The Muppets did that was really unique and special is they never made fun of people, they never got laughs at other people’s expense,” he said. “They’re a frog and a bear and Gonzo’s a whatever, and they all kind of come together. And I felt like you can catch a kid at a certain age and instil this idea that it’s OK. Whatever you are is OK.”

An alcoholic who quit drinking a couple years ago, Segel said that when he got the script for “The End of the Tour,” he could relate immediately to Wallace, the pioneering author of the postmodern novel “Infinite Jest.” Wallace committed suicide in 2008.

“At this point in my life, it felt like kismet when we started shooting,” Segel said. “I’m like a year and a half sober at that point and [How I Met Your Mother] was coming to an end, and I was at a real moment of ‘what do I do now?'”

On working with Jewish co-star Jessie Eisenberg, who plays Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky in The End of the Tour, Segel said, “It was the most intimate experience I’ve ever had acting.”

The film relies heavily on Lipsky’s transcripts from interviewing Wallace over the final five days of his book tour for Infinite Jest. He never published the profile he set out to write.

Segel said he and Eisenberg would drive together to the set and go over their scenes in the morning, act “against each other” all day and then drive home together at night and reflect on the day. After a late-night doughnut, they would wake up and do it all again, he said.

“The End of the Tour” opens nationwide Friday. Segel has surprised naysayers by earning critical acclaim for his performance. Apparently he still doesn’t fit neatly into any one box.

From JTA

Top firms latch on to Israeli tech boom

Wednesday July 29, 2015
As detailed by Viva Sarah Press of Israel21C, it's become a well-documented fact that Israel stands toe toe toe with the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 firms in Silicon Valley, Calif., when it comes to developing next-generation technologies and applications.

Israeli ingenuity in connected devices, wearables, perceptual computing and robotics is one of the hottest commodities the country's innovators have to offer.

Over the past month, Microsoft has just about closed its biggest deal on record, acquiring the cloud security company Adallom for a reported $320 million. If it indeed goes through, the purchase will be the largest ever completed in Israel by the American multinational. While Adallom's headquarters are in Palo Alto, Calif., its development centre is in Tel Aviv.

A logical acquisition for Microsoft, Adallom is the security firm that exposed the flaw in Microsoft's Office365 server following a hack in December 2013.

Similarly, and almost exactly a year after Facebook acquired Oculus and its headset the Oculus Rift, a popular virtual reality gaming headset, for $2 billion, the Facebook division has now bought Israel's vision specialist Pebbles Interfaces. It's reported the deal is valued at $60 million.

It appears Mark Zuckerberg's social media powerhouse will try to takes its users' experiences to the next level. On the homepage for Pebbles Interfaces, the Kfar Saba-based team wrote the following: "For the last five years, we've been focused on building a technology that extend human behaviour, enabling simple and intuitive interaction with any consumer electronic device."

According to a report from Ynet, Facebook is likely to now open "a VR development centre in Israel and benefit from abundant local talent in the field."

From the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology to the University of Haifa, there is most certainly no shortage.

Summer concerts: R&B icons take over Tel Aviv

Wednesday July 29, 2015
Top musicians come from around the world to give concerts in Israel, mostly in Tel Aviv, and every year the number is increasing!

Leonard Cohen, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Paul McCartney are just some of the big names who have given concerts in Israel in recent years.

This summer’s concerts are all about R&B with performances by such artists as Chris Brown and Mariah Carey.

More than 10,000 people gathered Monday night at Live Park in Rishon LeZion to see Chris Brown, one of the most popular rappers in the world. Brown, 26, gave the audience a show full of energy, and played many of his big hits including Turn Up the Music and Yeah 3x, as well as several cover versions, among others, of songs by Michael Jackson. Sometimes the brightly lit stage was transformed into a New York rap club, with the appearance of more than a dozen dancers.

Mariah Carey, one of the most celebrated singers in the world, is also coming to Live Park next month to give her first-ever concert in Israel.

The gig comes less than two months after Carey made her first visit to Israel, with boyfriend James Packer, an Australian businessman who reportedly is a friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The couple had a “pre-engagement spiritual meeting” with an unnamed religious leader meant to advise them on whether or not to marry. Most famous for her five-octave vocal range and 18 No. 1 singles on the Billboard charts, Carey will make $500,000 for her first concert in Israel.

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