Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Errata: Israel Notes, and π-Themed Recipe

I told myself I wasn't going to blog until both of my papers are in. They are in. So I am back!

Today is pi day! In honor of that:

Pi Apple Cake

π apples, chopped up
π /2 cups flour
π eggs
π /4 cup sugar
π /5-π/4 cup milk
1/π tsp. salt
cinnamon to taste

1. Preheat oven to 120π degrees. Grease a 3πx4π cake pan.

2. Layer the apples in the pan, leaving space in between at places.

3. Mix the ingredients into a thick batter. Pour into the pan and spread evenly over, letting the batter seep into the apples.

4. Bake for 12π-18π minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. Remove, cool and serve.


I'm going to Israel for a week next week during the university break. I found a really cheap ticket, and I haven't seen the family for a while. My grandfather just turned 90, and my grandmother turns 85 in a few days, so they can't really come to the US anymore. Expect a couple of posts on Israel. I'm really excited, and I'm super-grateful that I have the chance to go. I really miss my relations.

I am going primarily to visit relatives. But I will want to see the facts on the ground.

I'm pretty worried about the way Israeli politics are swinging. So extreme! I'm not referring to the West Bank and Gaza issue - everyone is extreme on that count (Erekat refused to even sit down with the Israeli negotiators last time), and that's been around for a hell of a long time. I'm talking about the clampdown on the press within Israel, and on criticism of dogma. It's a domestic thing.

Don't get me wrong: Israel is still pretty damn free. There has to be a reason that the press is still so lively, that 5,000 refugees from Arab countries a year come to Israel so that they won't be killed for being gay, that German tourists are flocking to Tel Aviv.

 But it's worrying when the main critical TV station gets threatened with closure, when 51% of the population thinks criticism of the state should be punished, when certain things can and cannot be broadcast and the reason isn't the old security thing. It's worrying when eight-year-old girls get spit on and called sluts for not dressing "modestly" enough - all while the spitters themselves violate tzniut themselves by acting immodestly.

So I will want to see how things are. How ordinary life has been affected. When I go back, I become Israeli for a few days - and I'll be able to notice the little changes in things. What's on the radio? What's being said? What if I say something to someone? What are the bumper stickers? Does anyone have a bumper sticker from the time Clinton said farewell to Rabin in Hebrew still? What do the posters say?

I may be in Haifa on the same day as Israel's first SlutWalk (an awesome anti-blamethevictimforrape demonstration movement), visiting relatives (or second, Tel Aviv might be a few days earlier). Should I go if I can? I need to take an early afternoon train because the public transport system shuts on Shabbat.

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