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blog entry

Tito Bravo!

today was Jerusalem day - it wasn't a holiday though but the newspapers said there were celebrations in the city and children walked / marched in the streets. I went to Ben Yehuda to the chemist & bank so it was a great excuse to go to Tito Bravo! for pizza night. this time I ate in - well half the pizza - other half is for tomorrow night so it was take-away. chatted to pizza guy a fair bit tonight - I mentioned I was only here for a few more weeks. it's amazing how people talk to you more when they know you're leaving! I said he should open a store in Sydney, I think it'd be a great success! I thought his name was Aaron for some reason (this is what I heard one of the guys say but it was probably another Hebrew word that I couldn't understand). but I think his name is actually Tito!! how did I miss that.. he's very precise when he makes the pizzas (& pasta) - he said he's used to doing cuisine in fancy restaurants (in USA) but had an idea to make pizzas with sourdough so started the restaurants here in Jerusalem. he's so careful - it's almost like he's painting on a canvas - he places each ingredient with such care. he wrote Tito Bravo! with his finger in the flour on the workbench too. i couldn't resist so I asked if I could take a video when he was making another pizza - I think he got embarrassed a bit, but this way I can remember things better. I didn't catch his great smile though on video!!

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YouTube banned in Turkey

this is the page you receive should you try to access YouTube whilst in Turkey. at first I thought it was a problem with the hotel internet connection in Istanbul, but I could (almost) read / understand some of the text of the message. and I googled it and found many articles about it from 2007. and there's an updated 2008 wikipedia entry saying this is the second ban.

I love TED!

I love watching the TED Talks. it's great they publish the videos as it's REALLY expensive to attend the conference. tonight I've watched a few :

Sir Ken Robinson : Creativity and Education
his talk was very entertaining - he's quite funny!, and he raised some good points and examples of how modern education system is designed towards getting people jobs, since it was formed since the introduction of industrialisation. as we don't know what will happen in the future, how can we educate children correctly to prepare for the future. and how creativity has a lesser importance in the education system of today. I liked a couple of comments he raised - listed below. the full transcript is on the TED blog page

"creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status"


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drupal + ubercart vs ecommerce for an online store

I'm going to try out ubercart with drupal. I've tried an older version of drupal's e-commerce package when the site was on 4.6, but there seems to be some good comments about ubercart so it might be worth a try too.

update: oops both are for drupal 5 :( another reason I should have stayed at drupal 5 for a bit longer. apparently within 1-2 months both should be ported to drupal 6. they're waiting for the final CCK & views (so I read)

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Consciousness is the Key - by Propaganda

here's a video from Propaganda & his friends - he's been in a couple of the online MLA courses I've done. I really like it - the message, the music, the whole thing!!

it's on also - which is also a great video / online magazine

here's the blurb from youtube about it :

episode features four underground hip hop artists -- Naada, Propaganda Anonymous, 2HL, and iLL SpoKKinN -- and producer euphAmism in an animated music video packing lyrical and graphical punch in a call for global awakening.

Please go to to see the rest of the episodes (more)

other social sites

jerusalem memorial day siren - 07/05/2008

today was Memorial day where the fallen people of Israel are remembered. there was a nation-wide siren last night at 8pm but I was still at work so missed it. today was a public holiday, as is tomorrow for Independence Day - the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel. at 11am this morning there was another siren. I left the apartment with about 1 minute to spare. the guy from upstairs ran down the stairwell just in front of me. he made it out the gate then the siren started. I was still in the front yard and I didn't want to move once it had started but I took a video from behind the green gate. the man from the laundromat was standing near his motorbike. another man stood by the car he was unpacking. a man stood on his balcony across the street - head bowed. another man put his grocery bags down and stood by them on the footpath across the road. the cars stopped. it was silent except for the ringing of the siren which could be heard across the city. this is the first siren I've heard throughout the city. afterwards, the siren wound down and stopped then daily life continued on.


Israel National News Memorial Day 5768 (2008) Honors Israel's Fallen

"The Defense Ministry reports the number of fallen in the Jews' war for the Land of Israel since 1860 as 22,437. This number includes soldiers - not civilians - who fell since 1948, as well as all Jews killed between 1860 and 1948 in the struggle for the Land. The total number is 132 higher than last year, including 31 who were murdered or fell in battle since last year's Memorial Day, as well as others who died of their wounds or were recognized as IDF war casualties this year."

"The year 1860 was chosen because it was then that Jews began to move outside Jerusalem's Old City walls and build new neighborhoods there."


History of Israel's Fallen
"The 1948-49 War of Independence was Israel's costliest war, with more than 6,000 dead - one percent of the Jewish population at the time - and 15,000 wounded."

"During the ensuing seven years of relative quiet, 101 Israelis were killed in "1,339 cases of armed clashes with Egyptian armed forces, 435 cases of incursion from Egyptian-controlled territory, and 172 cases of sabotage perpetrated by Egyptian military units and fedayeen [terrorists] in Israel. So said Israel's Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban to the UN Security Council on October 30, 1956 - the day after Israel began the Sinai Campaign in response to Egypt's violation of international agreements by blockading the Israeli port of Eilat. A total of 231 Israeli soldiers died in the eight days of fighting."

"The Six-Day War broke out on June 5, 1967. Along with the stunning victories, over 770 Israelis were killed."

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Israel News sites

some sites with news of Israel : Jerusalem Post - this is the online version of the Jerusalem Post newspaper - The Jerusalem Times - this is based in East Jerusalem and has Palestinian & Arabic news, though their website is often hacked so there's not much to read there - Sderot Media - news and info about the city of Sderot which is targeted regularly and constantly by missiles from Gaza. myth busting site - here you can see that Israel actually helps Gaza residents and counter arguments against the propaganda that the media portray about the area.
articles with people living in Sderot - English radio documentaries and programs - Arutz Sheva - Israeli news site. you can receive daily email summaries of articles



Israeli & Jerusalem radio

most of the cafes and taxis here in Jerusalem listen to Galatz Radio - this is the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) station. army service is a part of everyone's life here in Israel with teenagers having to serve after they finish high school. they have a Hebrew news services & play popular Israeli and International music.

another station I've listened to online is Israel National Radio as some of the shows are in English. they have interviews and music programs and also Jewish specific programs so it's interesting to listen. I listened to some programs after the Yeshiva was attacked by the terrorist. and today being Memorial Day, there's a special program of songs that every Israeli knows. another program has an interview with local Israeli trance artists ITP - Individual Thought Patterns

of course there's also Voice of Peace Radio which used to broadcast from a ship in the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv. VOP was very popular with the Israeli people and peace protester Abie Nathan was it's main stalwart. this was the first Israeli pirate radio station broadcasting from 1973 to 1993. it's since closed down, though I read they might start it up again one day - not sure if this has happened. they had a reunion in 2006, and a double album tribute cd was released in 2007.

"India produces everything - it doesn't import anything ..."

"India produces everything - it doesn't import anything ..." - this is what the Indian guys from work were telling me. I'm not sure if it's an exaggeration or spot on. but when I was there I certainly saw most things were locally made - from Tata & Reliance and other large corporations. I think some of the Westerners laugh at some of the locally made products - some are a little rough around the edges. but I wonder who'll be laughing in the next 10 years when India is the global economic power it's touted to be/come.

I wonder what percentage of things Australia imports? I know Australians love to support Australian-made - the green & gold. I think for Australia to stay in the list of leading countries it needs to keep producing it's own goods.

I've read that the USA doesn't produce anything any more (obviously an exaggeration) - and perhaps this will be it's downfall, especially if they keep printing more money to buy more things and 'pay off' their debts.

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biofuels - George Monbiot's prediction + rice shortages articles

wow it sounds like George Monbiot got it right - unfortunately :(

from 2007 :,,329758811-121568,00.html
If we want to save the planet, we need a five-year freeze on biofuels
- Oil produced from plants sets up competition for food between cars and people. People - and the environment - will lose
George Monbiot
Tuesday March 27, 2007

It used to be a matter of good intentions gone awry. Now it is plain fraud. The governments using biofuel to tackle global warming know that it causes more harm than good. But they plough on regardless. In theory, fuels made from plants can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by cars and trucks. Plants absorb carbon as they grow - it is released again when the fuel is burned. By encouraging oil companies to switch from fossil plants to living ones, governments on both sides of the Atlantic claim to be "decarbonising" our transport networks.

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air ::: wind & coincidences on the interweb

I'm doing another MLA course - this one with Starhawk called Earth As Teacher - Earth As Healer.

the coincidences abounded this week again - or perhaps I could refer to it as the interconnectedness Starhawk mentioned in week 1's class. she spoke more about the connections between the Gaian world though. apparently these messages are always there but when you start learning or noticing something new, then you are more open to seeing these messages. I noticed Dan, a facebook friend, joined a Sydney Permablitz- Changing the World One Garden at a Time fb group. so I took a look and joined also. this led me to the permablitz website. and friends of the earth website. I noticed one of the forum messages was for an Introduction to Permaculture - Sydney - Jun 08 - it's being held on the last weekend in June. I might even be back in Sydney by then, but I'll have to wait and see before signing up in case there's a delay. I took a look at their flickr photos and saw some of the previous projects they've done. the hidden garden in Newtown looks great.

then I noticed the flickr user was cicadas and the person was Kirsten Bradley - I've never met her but I've seen her name around heaps - at electrofringe and different festivals. she's always working on a great project! I was looking at flickr contacts and somehow I ended up on one which had INSPIRE!, a street / artist from Israel / Tel Aviv - who's messages I see around the streets all the time, bilateral, and a couple of the guys who do the ShiftSpace project (who are Israelis in USA) - I was trying this out earlier this year but after Angus died I didn't feel like doing much for a while. this is lifting now though so the links in the labyrinth are unwinding. it's amazing how interrelated we all are. I had an email from Daniel Liss of from videoblogging list (some of my favourites!) who said he knows the ShiftSpace guys too and is using it - I think he went to uni/course or something with one of them? there really is only 1 degree of separation. I'd love to do a festival and have them all in Australia - what an amazing collection of artists they would be!! if only I could afford it ...

anyway, it's week 2 already in the Earth course - time seems to fly. I've been doing the MLA courses pretty much non-stop since the PKD class last year. each has been interesting and I've learnt much - some I hadn't known much about to start with.

this week we've had readings and audio talks and forum questions about AIR. we were asked to share our observations about Wind - especially if we've been noticing any differences in our weather patterns.

here's my reply. I might start keeping the course journal online (I won't include the course specifics - just my notes / impressions)


this morning I walked into the city to the post office - it was a little cool but I didn't put my jumper on so I could feel the sun & the wind more whilst I walked. I noticed some of the trees' leaves flutter only on the edges whilst with others, the whole tree sways in the wind (even if the trees near it just have the light fluttering leaves). so it was interesting to notice the difference. also next week is the 60th year celebrations so many of the cars have flags on them and also people have hung flags and banners from their balconies. so the wind is very noticeable at the moment - it's adding life & movement to the ideas and celebrations of the people. similarly for the protesters banners being held outside the prime ministers house in the city. the wind moves the banners and makes them more noticeable as people seem to notice movement of things around them. is a quick video of a flag in the wind (on a parked car) - I love watching the flags move - they have bursts of energy, then the wind dies down and they take a rest.

the wind for me also brings relief on a hot day - a light breeze is enough to cool your skin when you're overheated. a couple of weeks ago (I was overseas) there were a few days of 40degree heat - unusual for this time of year. now it's back to being cool in the evenings again.

the city here doesn't have tall highrises casting shadows over the streets so it doesn't seem as cold as some cities I've been in. and the wind doesn't catch between them. I've stayed in highrises in Auckland where the wind howls past the buildings. I used to record some of the sounds it made. it was almost like the sky was making the noise to annoy the building as the wind & sky's space was being taken up by the buildings! it's a strange feeling being up so high and hearing the power of the wind around the building. the sounds are much more pronounced than what you hear from the lower & ground levels. Auckland is known for it's wind at certain times of the year so it can get pretty strong.

shadows on the wall

20042008878, originally uploaded by AliaK.

walking through the old part of the city in Istanbul - near Balat. I liked the shadows this window grill made

20/04/2008, Istanbul, Turkey


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istanbul music & things to research

Agit - (pron. aught ??) Kurdish women wailing in music. traditional in Eastern Turkey

book (Andrew bought) - "Journey of a Sufi musician"

other music styles : Fasil, Arabesque music

music of Turkey wikipedia entry

Taksim - improvisation : A specific sequence of classical Turkish musical forms become a fasil, a suite an instrumental prelude, an instrumental postlude (saz semaisi), and in between, the main section of vocal compositions which begins with and is punctuated by instrumental improvisations taksim

makams - musical scales in Turkish music

instrument - Oud, Saz

books in Taksim, Istanbul

20042008795, originally uploaded by AliaK.

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