Friday, October 19, 2018

Einstein, Overweight

Yiddish Poets Fighting

The Yiddish poet Tino Moskovich wrote a damning critique in HaAretz about the anthology of the known Yiddish poetess Kadia Molodovsky titled Laylot Heshvan (Nights of the Month of Heshvan). The Yiddishist Amir Shomroni - who edited Kadia's book - wrote a mordant counter-criticism against Moskovich's  attack. Moskovich judges Kadia a "good poetess" but finds serious errors in Shomroni's translation: "Nothing less than a terrible mistake". Line by line, Moskovich analyses the translation's "problems" like the contrived rhymes and its pedestrian vulgarity.

Amir Shomroni does not suffer silently these insults to his opus magna (600 pages). He points out that the poem was originally translated and published by the eminent Yiddish poet Dov Stock (Sadan) in 1934, that is, 84 years ago, and that he attached a footnote explaining the archaic Hebrew used by Sadan. The Hebrew of those almost pre-historic eras cannot be compared to modern Hebrew that underwent much evolution and enrichment since then. And that Dov Sadan is among the best  researchers of Yiddish of his generation, and "further explanations are superfluous as the thing is well known".

If there is a literature presumed long dead, it is Yiddish poetry. I am surprised and happy that it is alive and able to fire such a furious dispute in October 2018. As Bashevis Singer said at his Nobel Prize ceremony: Yiddish is a long-dead language that has been dying ever since . 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Argentine Refugees

The situation in Argentina (and in Venezuela, and Brasil and the rest of the South) is so bad that the reverse transatlantic immigration is taking force. In the pic, the eight block early morning queue to the Embassy of Italia in Buenos Aires. They all want to "return" to their ancestor's country. The line in front of the Spanish Embassy is even longer. 

Eating Fruit is Bad for You

Today we made our weekly shopping in Beytan supermarket. As usual, I tried out all the fruits  but the grapes were so sweet that I passed and tried the carambola (left). It used to be an acidic fibrous tasteless thing, bought for its highly decorative star body,  but this was a very sweet meaty fruit. Cultivated fruits have been genetically modified to be much higher in sugar content than their natural, ancestral fruits. There goes the standard dietitian advice of eating MORE fruit because fruit is linked to reducing risks of heart disease, cancer and stroke. Another bad diet advice. 
But the fruit-based diet of some animals at Melbourne Zoo is posing problems for their health. Dr Senaka Ranadheera, a food scientist at the University of Melbourne said that sugar levels in some fruit, like plums, have doubled, although are still much less than those in soft drinks.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Overanalysed Jews

"The Association for Israel Studies lists thirteen affiliated institutes and departments of Israel Studies; there are eight Institutes of Palestine Studies in the world. Plus journals specializing in Palestine and Israel, dozens of international conferences on specific issues around Israel and Palestine and thousands of articles in a wide variety of journals."  writes Jeff Halper in Counterpunch.  

It seems to me crazy the amount of attention focused on us Jews, because no one ever gave a shit about the Arabs. Every word and action is reported and analyzed in detail. Jeff Halper has given A LOT of attention to us and how to solve the murderous hate we provoke by building a country here. He analyzes us on the model of "settler colonist vs natives", just like the French in Algeria vs the Arab usurpers (North Africa was Phoenician land and then Roman. They spoke Latin). The solution should be the same, ie to pack and leave, and let the natives to freely and happily massacre each other and occasionally to invade their neighbors. 

I think that Halper entirely leaves off hundreds recent and historical situations of one people settling on a land already peopled. How was solved the American Indian conflict with English settlers? And the Australian aborigines's conflict with Brits coming from so far? And the Hottentot conflict with the expanding Bantu tribes? and the Pygmies conflicts (conflicts? genocide) with the same? and the Arabs conflict with the Christian North Africans established in the Southern shores of the Mediterranean? And the conflict between the Charruas vs Solis' Spanish sailors on the River Plate? Ah, they ate them. 

My conclusion, when there is a significant asymmetry between the forces, no need nor possibility of complicated legal accords. Life eventually settles the problem, just let it be. 

P.S.: Tried to download a pic of what is called politely "the Bantu expansion" which is the successful extermination war of the Bantu tribes against all the native tribes of South and West Africa. Impossible! All what google offers are pics of European colonial people. For google, nothing happened in Africa till Europeans arrived. The only thing I found is the above article reporting that there is no war and never was. Khoisan is Hottentot in PCese. 

Friday, October 12, 2018


French scientists discover that lizards can dream. Pic: Iguana iguana. Their study on bearded dragon lizards (Pogona vitticeps) found that they have sleep states analogous to REM sleep and slow-wave sleep (or non-REM sleep). A new research by CNRS studied the sleep habits of the Argentine tegu (Salvator merianae).

Sprite Dreams

Trying to reduce my coffee intake, I buy a 1.5 liter Sprite Zero bottle and drink it. The clear liquid must contain some psycho drug as I cannot sleep till 2 AM and then have vivid dreams of dead people. Its energizing effect is different from caffeine. Tonight visited my dead aunt Ella: she was thin and evanescent, living in a neighborhood of old Jews in small cooperative shops. Ill.: Typical old world Jewish quarter. I am making a deliberate effort to avoid thinking on the long-forgotten past, I wish myself to deal with the present and the future, but to no success. I don't want to live in the past nor dream realistic strong dreams. Now I understand the tango figure "Fantasmas del pasado" (Phantoms of the Past).