Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Ashkenazi Jewish Name Tree

A list of origins for prominent Ashkenazi Jewish names -- an interesting article indeed! My name is not on there (presumably because it is too obscure), but I happen to know that "Schraub" means "screw" in German. As in the hardware sense, not in the prostitution sense. So presumably somebody was in that line of work.

Also interesting that there is a name associated with Jews who descended from Khazars -- Kagan. This, to me, is particularly noteworthy given that the article contends most Jews didn't adopt last names until the 17th century or later. The Khazar empire died out in the 11th century -- some 600 years earlier -- and I wouldn't have thought that any Jews who did trace their lineage to Khazar converts would have maintained that connection as part of their familial history or lineage (such that they'd adopt it as a last name). It's just a shame Justice Kagan has already been seated on the Supreme Court -- she could have been asked about it at her confirmation hearings.

Update: Looks like that Kagan/Khazar thing is likely bogus. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

New Year's Resolutions: 2014

I nearly forgot one of this blog's most venerated traditions: New Year's resolutions! Unforgivable (except that I did, in fact, remember). Previous installments here, and, like we do every year, we start with last year's resolutions:

Met: 1, 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13 (amazingly enough! I didn't find the books until I moved to DC), 14 (I honestly feel like this is true).

Missed: 2, 7, 8 (I think -- I don't actually remember), 9.

Pick 'em: 5, 6.

Not bad, all told. I think we can consider the resolution-side of last year a success, if nothing else. But time marches on, and so to we move to this year's resolutions!

1) Publish an article, or have one accepted for publication (other than Academic Freedom versus Academic Legitimacy). (Met)

2) Keep the frequency of anxiety attacks to "sporadic". (Pick 'em)

3) Feel decently competent in an additional area of law beyond my current speciality. (Pick 'em)

4) Attend a Devils game (cheating -- Jill already got me tickets for my birthday). (Met)

5) Spend money while still being financially responsible. (Met)

6) Get the blog's average hits back over 100/day. (Missed)

7) Stay in contact with my law advisers. (Met)

8) Finish a book. (Met -- pulp Star Wars fiction counts!)

9) Finish my secret project for Judge Murphy. (Missed)

10) Find a new computer and/or console game I like. (Met)

11) Attend the Carleton Reunion (again)! (Met)

12) Stay in contact with the academic community. (Met)

13) Work frequently with people whom I like working with frequently. (Met)

14) Be in a position where I am looking forward to next year. (Pick 'em -- looking forward to it right up until about August, where things get very hazy).