Inbetween travelling to and back from NYC, trying to keep up with the news from Italy (my deepest sympathies go to the victims and their families), guilt-tripping all that had forgotten my b’day (Am I really supposed to email out reminders?), enjoying the gorgeous spring weather over here at temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, contemplating about asking Playmobil to issue an Israelites edition as they’ve already got a Pharaoh with his chariot out, figuring out MSG-free dishes with my fab new wok, planting flowers and herbs, there hasn’t been much to blog extensively about, so I’ll just do a round-up post (and thus possibly even give CTC a chance of commenting yet staying on topic).
Gregory Katz reports the gradual Americanization of Britain:
Remember the dapper English gentleman? Shoes polished and dressed to the nines? He’s often found in blue jeans, an open shirt, and sneakers these days.
And those bad English teeth, neglected for years? Tooth-whitening is catching on, a l’americaine. There has been a surge of cosmetic surgeries as more women _ and teenagers _ embrace the Hollywood ideal and have their breasts enhanced and wrinkles Botoxed. Pillbox psychiatry is catching on too, with record numbers gobbling antidepressants, and Britons are turning to fast food at such an alarming pace that obesity among young people is reaching epidemic proportions. [Full article]
The article’s pretty interesting; when I first stayed in Britain for a longer while in 1993, the widespread availability of fastfood appeared distinctively British to me compared to Germany; ever since, I’ve lived and worked in Britain for an extended period of time and have spent at least as much time in NYC, and I can understand if Britains object to the masses of fastfood places and coffee chains appearing all over their old cities. Good fish’n’chips there really are a treat (so are the curries and masalas), and Britain’s probably the best place to have a decent cuppa in all of Europe, so why water either down with generic burgers and sorry excuses for coffee? (As a popular language-cabaret artist / musician / author of Italian origin correctly noted, the demarcation line between generally available good and bad coffee can be drawn where the main stress on the word flips from the second to the first syllable.)
Israeli tourism pros anticipate the cash-flow Pope Benedict’s XVI visit to Israel will likely bring about, but why need I read about this on the Lebanese Daily Star?
The Jewish state is pumping some $10 million into preparations for Pope Benedict XVI’s May 11-15 visit to the Holy Land that will bring tens of thousands of pilgrims to Israel. It also hopes the papal trip will help polish Israel’s international image in the wake of the Gaza war. [Full article]
Will CK come up with a clever T-shirt design to sell to the incoming masses? Afterall, we need to re-establish his dental plan and retirement savings in his soy-piggy bank.
A JÃ¼dische Allgmeine contributor laments that shopkeepers in Borough Park did not keep the promise they’d made to Dov Hikind to either reduce or maintain the prices of KfP food items in these days of economic hardship. What can I say? Oh puhleazzzzze! I love my BPers, but I know that a large bulk of them do not need the wellfare they clamour. (If you want to see Lexus-driving, high end-designer garb-wearing, food stamp carrying individuals, then I suggest you take a trip to BP. Note, there are poor religious Jews, in BP as well as elsewhere, but there are far poorer communities than BP, and $1.99 to the half-gallon of milk is still considerably less than I pay for my lactose-free milk here, and our dairy farmers receive subsidies to be able to offer their products at competitive prices.)
A Swedish congregation built a Jesus statue out of Lego bricks. I’ll dedicate a unique cake recipe to anyone who can come up with a Lego brick Kelsey.
Oh, and finally, in case you should have missed it among the overflow of extensive coverage on politics and the economy, the Presidential dog has been inaugurated.