Try counting creaks, noses, and sheep

Creaky door hinge nets gold medal for Israeli youngster
If a door hinge creaks and sometimes gets stuck because of friction, how fast must one push the door to make the hinge creak?

According to Israeli student Gal Dor, 16, who won the gold medal in the 12th Asian Physics Olympiad, this was the most challenging question in the competition, which was held in Israel, this past week, for the first time. The participants included 120 students from 17 countries. Israeli students also took silver and bronze medals and received honorary mentions.

Dor told Ha’aretz that he never studied physics formally and that he learned it by “thinking a lot … about all kinds of things.”

I’ve thought a lot about all kinds of things, but it didn’t get me even halfway to first base in physics. Yet I remain hopeful; knowing elementary physics would change my life.

Counting noses on the eve of Israel’s Independence Day
Israel’s population is almost 8 million, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics. This number, which is 10 times the population in 1948, includes about 5.84 million Jews, some 1.59 million Arabs, about 320,000 immigrants and their offspring whom the Interior Ministry has not registered as Jews (no matter how they view themselves), and about 220,000 “foreigners” (migrant workers).

More than 70% of the Jewish population was born in Israel (compared with 35% in 1948).

Israel had only one city with more than 100,000 residents in 1948; now it has 14, and 6 of those have more than 200,000 residents.

A boa digesting an elephant, or a boaschlang vos fardayt a helfant
Zayt azoy gut … tseykhn mir a lemele.”

That’s what the pilot who has crashed in the Sahara hears when the Little Prince asks him to please draw him a sheep, in the first Yiddish translation of Saint-Exupéry’s classic. Der Kleyner Prints, translated from the original French by Shlomo (Shloyme) Lerman of Jerusalem, has the original illustrations and also a transliteration of the Yiddish text into Latin characters, published by M. Naumann.

A Ladino version, El Princhipiko, translated by Avner Perez and Gladys Pimienta, is available from Tintenfass.

Text copyright 2011 by Esther Hecht. No part of the text may be used without written permission of the author.

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One Response to “Try counting creaks, noses, and sheep”

  1. Bahala of the hills Says:

    How many of the 5.84 jews in israel are arabs?

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