Israel is a world-leader in gesture recognition, with international names like Microsoft, Apple and Sega using it for their products. Now, Israeli startup Extreme Reality has shown that their software can be used for the security industry as well as the gaming industry.
Extreme Reality, an Israeli video technology firm, may have found the solution to racial or ethnic profiling in a biometric profiling system that can automatically analyze how an individual moves, based on a “skeletal map” that indicates if an individual is up to no good.
Lantern Library is giving storybooks to children in all Arab, Bedouin and Druze kindergartens and special-education Israeli schools, and some preschools.
A storybook about a mouse named Soumsoum has caused quite a sensation in Arab, Bedouin and Druze state-run schools throughout Israel.
The Arabic book was gifted to every kindergartner, special-needs pupils and some preschoolers in state-run Arab schools as the latest extension of the Massachusetts-based Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library project. Suggestions included for classroom and home activities based on the book have been a big hit.
“I’ve seen more mouse masks, mouse hats, mouse drawings and pictures of mouse homes than I ever dreamed I would,” laughs Galina Vromen, CEO of the Grinspoon Foundation’s Israeli arm and director of its book distribution programs Sifriyat Pijama (PJ Library) for Jewish children, now in its fifth year, and the new Maktabat al-Fanoos (Lantern Library) for Arab children.
Because SodaStream uses water straight from the tap, the system makes traditional store-bought beverage bottles obsolete. That means less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes.
Globally, 206 billion liters of bottled water were consumed in 2008 (Zenith International Global Bottled Water Report, 2008). The energy required to make water bottles in the US only, is equivalent to 17 million barrels of oil (Container Recycling Institute, 2002).
According to the US Recycling Institute, more than 80% of bottles in the US do not get recycled and end up in landfills. Also, an estimated 4.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were produced in the process of replacing the 134 billion bottles and cans not recycled in 2005.
First Scarlett Johansson, now Ellen DeGeneres. Plus you and me. Sodastream is making friends in all the right places.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time spoke about the Palestinian demands for extending peace talks: A three month freeze in settlement construction during which time talks would focus on delineating the border of the future Palestinian state.
“If Israel believes in the two state solution… let us define the borders – where Israel will be and where Palestine will be,” he said in a special press conference to Israel journalists covering peace talks Tuesday.
So says the latest actor to play him, Andrew Garfield, while detailing his own Jewish roots.
Nu, of course Spider-Man is Jewish, says Andrew Garfield, the latest actor to play the character in the new blockbuster “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
“He hems and haws about his future because he’s neurotic. He’s Jewish,” Garfield said in an interview with Time Out ahead of the film’s opening this week. “It’s a defining feature. He’s an over-thinker.”
UK-raised actor Garfield, 30, ought to know, because his father is Jewish and he was raised in the faith. “I hope Jewish people won’t mind the [neurotic] cliché, because my father’s Jewish. I have that in me for sure.”
“Peter Parker is not a simple dude,” he added. “He can’t just switch off. He never feels like he’s doing enough. And Peter suffers from self-doubt.”
Garfield’s take will come as no surprise to Times of Israel readers. As our film critic Jordan Hoffman mused in 2012, when Garfield first played the role: “On paper at least, Peter Parker, the teenage science whiz-turned-superhero and principal character in the Marvel Universe, is a non-specific American Protestant of vague Anglo descent. Anyone who has an ear for these things, however, can tell you that Spidey’s as Jewish as Tevye.”
“Created by Jewish-American Stan Lee (nee Lieber) in 1962, Spider-Man is considered to be the character most likely to be Lee’s alter ego. Prior to getting his superpowers, Peter Parker is a bit of a nebbish, often bullied by the blond jock Flash Thompson. He is a ‘good, smart boy’ living with his aunt and uncle in Forest Hills, Queens, a neighborhood that had and still has one of the largest Jewish communities in New York…
“One could argue that Spider-Man, a representative of the second generation of comics (known as the Silver Age), embodies the first generation of post-war Jewish-Americans. His parents are simply gone (symbolically, in a wiped-out Europe?) in contrast to the classic ‘Is He Jewish?’ character from the earlier Golden Age, Superman, who himself had to actively leave his homeworld behind as it self-destructed.
“More important, perhaps, is the evidence right there on the page. Peter Parker doesn’t just sling webs, he slings zing. The Parker patter, as written by Stan Lee and other legendary Jewish writers like Brian Michael Bendis and Peter David, is an endless stream of yiddishe schtick that livens up the action.”
Hoffman also asked Israeli “Amazing Spider-Man” producer Avi Arad about the superhero’s Jewish credentials. Said Arad, “To me, when Stan Lee, excuse me, Stanley Lieber, puts the family in Forest Hills, this is a first sign. These are practically shtetl Jews living in Queens.
Israeli startups get nurtured and mentored in UpWest Labs, a Silicon Valley high-tech accelerator founded just for them.
Shuly Galili had been working for a dozen years at the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Silicon Valley when she decided to take her passion for growing Israeli business in the US to a higher level.
Two years ago, she cofounded UpWest Labs, a high-tech accelerator based on the model of YCombinator and Techstars.
She and her partners take a handful of Israeli startups for four months at a time, and run them through basic training at a startup bootcamp in Silicon Valley, the place where every Israeli company aspires to be.
The photo [h/tip: DB] was evidently taken in Gaza in the past few days. When Zahar declares children to be part of his war, basic caution and good sense say he (and his Hamas cohort) ought to be taken literally.
Much of the world’s conflict-resolution is done behind closed doors between various nations, but what if architects were thrown into the mix? Israeli firm Saya has set out to design a practical, architectural solution to world conflicts, from the Middle East to Cyprus and the US Mexican border.
The process starts with thinking of unexplored issues, including: territorial, educational, or environmental problems. After examining and analyzing the problem, the firm builds a design for a possible solution. Finally, they market their idea to interested clients, mainly policy makers “who have the power to set ideas into reality and influence discourse”, according to Greenfield-Gilat, in order to support the project.
Possible new treatment approach suggested by Arab-Israeli pediatrician’s discovery of how interrupted sleep speeds the spread of cancer.
Dr. Fahed Hakim laughs while admitting that he is remiss at taking his own advice about getting a good night’s sleep. As is the case with so many of us, his grueling work schedule, coupled with a full family life, takes its toll on his ability to get sufficient shut-eye.
But Hakim, a pediatrician and pediatric pulmonologist at the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, as well as a private practitioner in Nazareth, spends his waking hours efficiently and wisely. Sleep research he conducted during a two-year stint at the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital led to a discovery that is causing genuine excitement in the scientific community.
Since Israel isn't The Aggressor, Peace isn't Up to Us
David Ben Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence of Israel on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv
The State of Israel from its very inception, from those few simple words of independence and even before, has always bent dangerouslyover backwards to have peaceful coexistence with the Arabs who live here in our Land. Therefore, peace, true peace, isn’t up to us. We’ve offered it on gilded platters forever. Nothing we do will bring peace to our Land.
It’s the aggressor, the Arabs, who terrorize us, murder, maim Jews and undermine our national security who must change totally for there to be peace, true peace.
Speaking to a group of Israeli journalists in Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas laid out his three conditions for continuing talks with Israel: that Israel release the fourth batch of Palestinian security prisoners, including Israeli-Arabs, and that none of them be deported; that Israel freeze all settlement construction; and that the first three months of the extended talks deal with the borders of a future Palestinian state. (Jerusalem Post)
We should be shouting out the truth!
Mahmoud Abbas does not want peace with the State of Israel!
The messages Mahmoud Abbas sends to Arabs are the ones we should be paying attention to, not his well-crafted English for foreigners and journalists. Remember that we’re not going to have peaceful coexistence with his public relations team. Peace has to be with ordinary people, and the Arabs Abbas is trying to control either support Hamas or prefer that the Israeli Government stay in charge. There are very few Arabs, except those on the “take,” who want to perpetuate his rule. Corruption is rampant in the P.A. under Abbas. Video
Abbas admits PA sent terrorists to kill Israelis
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:”I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We - the [Palestinian] Authority. They should not be punished while we sit at one table negotiating. Besides, they spent many years in prison. How much longer? Do they have to spend all their life in prison and even die there?”
Interviewer: “How can we deal with their criteria “bloodstained hands?”
'Palestinians': 'Our blood is redder than Jewish blood'
A ‘Palestinian Authority minister’ who condemned the Passover eve terror attack in which Baruch Mizrachi HYD (May God Avenge his blood) was murdered, is still being subjected to condemnation by other ‘Palestinians,’including his own family.
The report in the Israeli media about the minister’s supposed condemnation has triggered an unprecedented smear campaign against al-Habbash.
Within minutes, a photograph of the minister, dressed up as a Jewish rabbi, appeared on many Palestinian websites, making him the public’s number one enemy.
Al-Habbash’s attempts to deny that he had condemned the terrorist attack have fallen on deaf ears. Many Palestinians appealed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas to fire him and bring him to trial for causing damage to the Palestinian cause.
In a futile bid to contain the public outcry, the beleaguered al-Habbash told a Ramallah-based TV station, “I didn’t use the word condemn. I only said that the Palestinian leadership rejects all acts of violence.”
The minister’s family in the Gaza Strip rushed to issue a statement “disowning” him over his purported condemnation of the terrorist attack.
In the statement, the al-Habbash clan said, “We are proud of the heroic operation in Hebron and of every man and child fighting against the occupation. We disown him and anyone who embraces the despicable Israeli enemy.”
The family later issued another statement denying that it had disowned the minister.
The attacks on al-Habbash have come from Palestinians representing all walks of life, including the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.
Zakariya Zubeidi, a well-known former leader of Fatah’s terrorist group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, called on al-Habbash to apologize to the Palestinians. “If your blood is like the blood of the Zionists, our blood is not,” Zubeidi declared.
What nice people! I’ll bet they’ll stop behaving this way once we give them a ‘state.’ /sarc
After years studying the phenomenon, an Israeli and an American professor have developed a revolutionary treatment method for teenage depression, which is now being awarded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The treatment model, known as Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT) is the culmination of nearly 15 years of collaboration between the two professors and asserts that family therapy is more effective than standard one-on-one treatments for suicidal youths. The team examined the effects of family therapy on the level of suicidal symptoms in adolescents struggling with anger, substance abuse, depression, and suicide.
Right now, in each present moment, your life is perfect for you to continue fulfilling your life’s mission. Each moment of life provides you with opportunities to develop your character and elevate your life.
Some moments will give you exactly the experience you would want. Grow from each of these moments. Some experiences will not be exactly what you would choose. You may wish to be someplace else or to do something different at that moment. Grow from each of these moments.
Your thoughts can make every moment meaningful.
((Life is Now: Creating moments of joy, courage, kindness, and serenity, p. 68))
Drifters-in-the-sea: salps bloom off the coast of New Zealand. Credit: Seacology
(Phys.org) —If diapers choke landfills and sea creatures plague tourism and invade power stations, an Israeli startup seeks to promote a single answer to both problems, according to The Times of Israel report filed earlier this month. The company is developing technology that makes use of jellyfish to construct super-absorbing material that can be used for diapers and applications such as medical sponges.
Hydromash is the name given to the flexible, strong material being developed by the startup, Cine’al. Ofer Du-Nour is chairman and president of Cine’al ; the product is based on research by Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Shachar Richter.
The material, said The Times of Israel, is highly absorbent: “Highly absorbent products are made of synthetic materials such as super-absorbing polymers (SAP). The challenge was to find a biodegradable material that was at least as absorbent.”
The Israeli researchers turned to jellyfish, with bodies that can absorb and hold high volumes of liquids without disintegrating or dissolving. They have a processing technique that results in a material called Hydromash, capable of absorbing high volumes of water and blood in seconds. The Tel Aviv University researchers added nanoparticles for antibacterial properties. This can compete with conventional products for absorbency, and biodegrades in less than 30 days. The report said it could also compete with SAPs on price. (SAPs stand for super-absorbent polymers, which are materials with the ability to absorb and retain large volumes of water and aqueous solutions. They are made from lightly cross-linked polyacrylic acid; they are key ingredients in disposable diapers, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products.)
As important, jellyfish could serve, not threaten, the economy, becoming commodities rather than headaches. Jellyfish inhabit every major ocean. Infestations trouble the tourist industry and scientists alike, with swarms finding beach environments hospitable, driving swimmers away, but also gathering near intake pipes and clogging them up.
Nofar Vaknin studies elementary math education at the Oranim Academic College of Education. When Nofar met Lital at the beginning of the school year, her biggest fear was that the girl’s extended family – living together in one apartment – and complicated home life could interfere with her studies.
Nofar’s misgivings were soon laid to rest: The family members were very involved in one another’s lives, but they knew when to keep their distance. Nofar and Lital began working together on Hebrew, math and science. They completed homework assignments, studied for tests and, when they finished with these, put on makeup, sang karaoke and played board games.
Everything was going well until, two months into her tutoring, Nofar got a phone call. It was Lital’s mother, telling her that the girl had undergone an operation to remove a malignant growth from her brainstem, and she was now about to undergo a series of difficult treatments.
Nofar says: “I understood that I was about to undergo a change in my life as well, to be involved in Lital’s transition from a completely normal child to one in an extreme situation, including changes in her mood, her physical state, her social situation, her studies, her feelings – all of it falling on her at once!”
Nofar’s PERACH coordinator suggested that she seriously weigh the possibility of stopping the tutoring. Nofar, after some deep reflection, decided to stay on, though she admits that the decision was not an easy one. In a final report on her year’s activities she wrote: “Before each meeting, I hesitated, thinking ‘what will it be this time? What will I see when I open her door?’ There were many surprises, most of them unpleasant and hard to cope with. Yet I discovered that when I saw Lital, my reserves would refill, my tension would dissolve and I would feel that I could never abandon her. Every time, I had to overcome my anxiety, but afterward I would be filled with satisfaction that I had not skipped the meeting.”
Visiting Lital in the children’s oncology ward, Nofar helped her talk about her difficulties, took her to the hospital art room to create artworks and helped her maintain her friendships with her classmates. When the girl was home, Nofar took her on a shopping outing, to an amusement park and a costume parade for Purim.
US defends Kuwait Airways discrimination against Israelis
The United States Secretary of Transportation is defending Kuwait Airways against charges of discrimination due to the airline’s refusal to carry Israelis on its non-stop New York - London route.
In late 2013, a formal complaint was filed with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) alleging illegal discrimination by Kuwait Airways (KA) on the basis of national origin, in violation of federal law proscribing such discrimination by air carriers. The complaint concerned the airline’s refusal to transport Israeli nationals on nonstop flights from New York to London. KA’s bigoted policy is readily apparent: to purchase tickets through the airline’s website, the passenger must select his or her nationality from a drop-down list of countries, as well as the passport issuing country. Israel is absent from these drop-downs and, consequently, Israeli nationals cannot buy tickets.
The Secretary denied the complaint earlier this year, asserting that KA had not violated any U.S. anti-discrimination law because the airline is required to comply with Kuwaiti law, which prohibits Israeli passport holders from entering Kuwait. As the attorney now pursuing this matter correctly articulated, "In essence, the Secretary determined that Kuwait Airways did not violate U.S. law because that airline was required by Kuwaiti law to discriminate against Israeli nationals.” The Secretary’s rationale is particularly unfounded because the flight at issue goes from New York to London; the fact that Israeli passport holders cannot enter Kuwait is wholly irrelevant. Moreover, if any entity conducts business in the United States, it must comply with U.S. law.
Dissatisfied with the response, Eldad Gatt, who filed the initial complaint, commenced an action in U.S. federal court in March 2014, appealing the Secretary’s denial and requesting appropriate relief, arguing that “[t]he Secretary has officially endorsed Kuwait Airways’ policy of boycotting Israeli nationals, and has explicitly authorized Kuwait Airways to continue its blatantly discriminatory practices.”
The complainant is hoping that Kuwait Airways will be barred from operating in the United States if it refuses to change its discriminatory practices.
I’m planning a trip next month, so just for the fun of it, I went to Kuwait Airways’ website and tried to book a round trip between London and New York. It keeps telling me that there are no flights available. In fact, I even tried pushing the reservation to June and got told no flights available. And I never reached the nationality question. You don’t think they’re refusing to transport me because my computer is in Israel, do you?
You know, back in 1991, Israel took a whole bunch of missiles for Kuwait….
According to Sham Times and other Arabic websites, jihadi social media networks posted the above picture of a child sitting on the ground while surrounded by armed men pointing their rifles at him. The caption appearing with the picture, purportedly posted by a supporter of the Free Syrian Army, is “Our youngest hostage from among the hostile sects of Kessab.”
Kessab is a predominantly Christian Armenian village in Syria near the Turkish border. Earlier it was invaded by jihadis, who terrorized, pillaged churches, and prompted some 2000 residents to flee. Initial reports had stated that about a dozen families remained as hostages.
Since the picture appeared on social media, many have expressed shock and outrage, condemning the Syrian “rebels,” while others cast doubt on the authenticity of the picture.
The fact remains that the “Free Syrian Army,” along with other “rebel” groups operating in Syria, are guilty of several crimes against humanity — including against women and children.