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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two Videos, Two Treats!

After a fairly busy week (mostly with studying, not to mention attempting to learn Hebrew...more updates about that later) here are two video's from two events highlighting Israel.

The first video is from Israel 21st Century which highlights world/corporate leaders at the Facing Tomorrow Conference.

Many of these individuals seemed to be very impressed with the Jewish state--more of which can be seen over here.

The second video is from a speech Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada gave, expressing his belief that a threat against Israel is a threat against the "Great White North" (note: what those of us in America call our northern neighbors).

That video (which is a must see) can be seen over at IsraelPlug.com.

Note: I'll be picking up the pace with posts later on this week, so stay tuned! ;-)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Video: GreenFuel Uses Algae For Biofuel?

Dr. Isaac Berzin, an Israeli scientist in love with "all things algae" has discovered a unique way to extract fuel from the tiny creatures in order to help ease our world's dependence upon fossil fuels.





(Video Credit: Newfangler Productions, via GreenFuel Technologies)


(Haaretz.com) When Berzin looks at algae, he sees a new world and a revolution. Dr. Berzin, 40, is wearing a blue suit, and his hair is held in place with glistening gel. Eight months ago he returned to Israel from the United States after generating a research breakthrough that changed his life. Berzin, the founder of GreenFuel Technologies - a U.S. company that produces green fuel from algae - discovered that "green slime" contains one of the keys to the alternative fuel the world is seeking. His company is the first ever to develop and produce biofuels from algae that are bred on gases emitted by power plants. [...]

"I feel a bit like Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb," he says. "He tried thousands of materials until he arrived at the filament. My intuition, too, told me that it was possible to do something that people were only dreaming of - to build a device from algae to produce energy at market-compatible costs.


Even though other Israeli scientists are using seaweed as a means of alternative fuel, using algae may prove to be a lot more economical (not to mention easier to grow as well).

Note: More info regarding GreenFuel Technologies can be found over here.

Belated: Google Founder Visits Israel

Update (7/3): Listen to this post, courtesy of Bnarrator!







(Image Credit: Haaretz)



Unless you are either from Israel or up-to-date in the world of "geek," you probably would have never realized that Sergey Brin, one of the founders of Google, visited the holy land recently as a delegate to Peres's Presidential Conference.



Upon arriving in Israel and glimpsing at some of its technology, the Google founder expressed nothing but praise for the Jewish state.



(Haaretz.com) Google co-founder Sergey Brin on Thursday lauded Israeli innovations in technology and environmental efforts, saying Israel "takes our climate challenges very seriously." [...]



He noted that Israel's leading efforts in the field of sustainable energy, saying: "Obviously in Israel they need to innovate with water and things like that. I was really intrigued to see drip irrigation. I just realized that came out of Israel."



Brin gave particular attention to Israel's work in environmentally friendly transportation.





Even though Brin is Jewish, he seems to realize what many government officials, business executives and "green geeks," have already discovered about Israel--that the Jewish state is serious when it comes to protecting its environment, without draining its economy.



Hopefully Israel will be able to export some of this technology overseas (such as hydrogen powered cars, fungus bio-fuel and eco-friendly houses), as it could do wonders in improving our planet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Video: CBS Keeps Its Eyes Upon Israel

(Hat Tip: IsRealli.org)

In the American city that never sleeps (that's New York for those of you who do not know), CBS-TV highlighted the Jewish nation in one of its Eye on New York videos.



The video highlighted Israel's struggles during its creation as a state, as well as celebrating Israel's 60th birthday.

Note: Next time Dan Gillerman (Israel's UN Ambassador) should mention about how close Israeli scientists are at producing a viable hydrogen car, something that has caught the attention of a few of my friends.

Bush To Israel: How About A Mega Radar System?

In order to help bolster Israel's defenses against "less than friendly" neighbors (both near and far), President Bush is giving Israel a powerful new radar system that should compliment its missile defense shield quite nicely.

(Ynet News) The system Bush may offer is known as a forward-based X-band radar and has been described by US officials as capable of tracking an object the size of a baseball from about 2,900 miles away.

It would let Israel's Arrow missile defenses engage a Shahab-3 ballistic missile about halfway through what would be its 11-minute flight to Israel from Iran, or six times sooner than Israel's "Green Pine" Radar is currently capable of doing, Kirk said on Friday.

"This is the best thing to lower tensions between Israel and Iran" because Iran presumably would be less likely to attack under such circumstances, Kirk said.


While the radar system will help reduce the threat against Israel from Iran, it should also help the tiny Jewish state combat rockets being launched from Gaza as well as from the hostile regions inside of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank).

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Video: Happy 60th Israel!

Happy 60th Israel! Here is wishing you another 60 years of success, and hopefully peace as well!

In the meantime, here is a cool video from Aish.com, celebrating 60 years of Israel in 60 seconds.





Note: Be sure to check out the other video via Israel 21st Century.

Video: Celebrating Israel At 60 (A New Soul)

(Hat Tip: Harry Rubenstein)

While there have been several video's displayed here at IsraGood portraying the Jewish state, this by far seems to have been the best one made.





Note: The theme song used in the video is by Yael Naim, a rising Israeli star in both the holy land as well as the US.

Update: Oh, and just in case anybody in the states does not know, today is Israel's Independence Day! Happy 60th Israel! I look forward towards your 70th birthday!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Video: Israel's Conceptic Helping Restaurants Go High Tech

Probably one of the most stressful parts of ordering food at a restaurant is...well the ordering!

While many (if not most) waiters/waitresses are excellent at receiving orders from their customer, there is always a chance that a mix up can occur--especially if someone orders one thing while expecting something completely different.

Conceptic, a company based in Israel hopes to change all of this by offering a hi-tech solution in order to avoid a potential problem.





(Video: Conceptic has developed new e-menus that allow restaurant customers to order their meals from a touch screen. Credit: Israel 21st Century)

Conceptic is fairly confident that this technology will benefit not only food lovers, but the respective restaurant owners as well.

Cell Phones Can Aid Medical Personal With A Diagnosis?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an image capturing a disease is probably worth a million, especially if it can help save someone's life.

Unfortunately many medical facilities do not have either the technology, funding or training to take advantage of imaging a disease, a fact all to familiar to those living in third world countries.

Despite this fact, many of these doctors, nurses, etc. do have cell phones, and one Israeli scientists is trying to take advantage of that in order to help these medical professionals aid their patients.

(Israel 21st Century) Israeli researchers have discovered a way to transmit medical images via a cellular phone, opening up the possibility of providing sophisticated diagnosis and treatment to millions of people who live a long distance from modern medical centers. [...]

"Imaging is considered one of the most important achievements in modern medicine," said Rubinsky. "Diagnosis and treatment of an estimated 20 percent of diseases would benefit from medical imaging, yet this advancement has been out of reach for millions of people in the world because the equipment is too costly to maintain. Our system would make imaging technology inexpensive and accessible for these underserved populations."

Using Rubinsky's technology, an independent data acquisition device (DAD) with limited controls and no image display, at a remote patient site, would be connected via cellular phone technology with an advanced image reconstruction and hardware control multiserver unit, at a central site (which can be anywhere in the world).


According to Rubinsky, this technology should also help bring down the cost, which will make these tests more affordable (and hopefully conducted more frequently) for medical outposts in remote areas.

This technology has the potential of helping not only doctors located in remote places around the world, but also disaster sites (which are often located in isolated regions due to the disaster or geography).

(Image Credit: Nicky via Israel 21st Century)

Din Din Aviv: Using Music To Connect US Jews To Israel

While there have been several Israeli musicians profiled on IsraGood who help the world connect to Israel (or at least present a new image of the Jewish state), it looks as if one Israeli is using her music to help Jewish Americans reconnect with their homeland within the city that never sleeps.

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency) Though it is her New York debut concert, Israeli singer-songwriter Din Din Aviv is no stranger here. The performance hall at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is packed with Israeli fans of Aviv who live in New York and American Jews clutching her CD. [...]

It's the kind of scene that brings a smile to the face of David Borowich, the founder of the American-Israeli group that organized the concert, Dor Chadash. [...]

"Music is a natural bridge," Borowich says. "People are looking for ways to connect to Israel. If you can't bring them to Israel, then bring pieces of Israel to them."


Hopefully this will convince a few Jewish fans to make Aliyah (or migration) towards Israel, in order to enjoy similar artists like Din Din Aviv, who was warmly received in New York by the crowd.

Note: For those looking to hear more of Din Din Aviv's music, you can visit DinDinAviv.com for more details.

Israel Tech Could Help Reduce Heart Attacks

When it comes to avoiding heart attacks, a healthy diet and even good old fashioned exercise can help keep ones heart happy, healthy and (most importantly) beating at strong rhythm.

Unfortunately this may not be enough for some people--especially for those suffering from endothelium dysfunction (also called ED).

Fortunately for these patients, there is a new device that may help them and their doctors detect this in order to avoid a potential heart attack.

(Israel 21st Century) Before now, there were only two real techniques to measure ED - neither of which were very practical according to Amitzur, one of Israel's top cardiovascular experts, and the inventor of the Endotect.

In one method, an invasive operating procedure is necessary, and in the other, an expensive, complicated ultrasound-type device is used to measure the endothelium, requiring a large investment and intensive training for proper use (Israel, for all it's advanced medical infrastructure, has only one medical center with the device).

The Endotect, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive, and easy to use - so easy that any doctor will be able to run tests in their offices, in as little as 15 minutes. The Endotect determines the condition of the endothelium by non-invasively measuring the pulse at two main points on the arm (radial artery and brachial artery), comparing the pulse before and after pressure is applied to the arm.


According to the article, this device is very close to being approved by the FDA, so your local heart physician probably does not have access to one of these--at least not yet.

Hopefully once approved, Endotect will be able to not only help reduce the number of heart attacks by providing early warning of ED, but potentially the cost of doing these tests (which could translate into lower bills for patients).

(Image Credit: Cardiatec, via Israel 21st Century)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Israel Celebrates 400 New Immigrants (Aliyah)

It looks as if the government of Israel has decided to celebrate International Aliyah Day with 400 Jewish immigrants who decided to leave their former homelands in order to settle within the holy land.

(Haaretz.com) The Immigration Absorption Ministry and the Jewish Agency on Monday welcomed some 400 new immigrants from around the world in a gala ceremony marking International Aliyah Day.

The ceremony was held at 3 P.M. at Ben Gurion International Airport in honor of the hundreds of immigrants who arrived from 23 countries including the United States, Canada, South Africa Russia and France.

Immigrants who arrived Monday were eligible for a package of special immigration benefits, including extra baggage allowance, temporary free housing for young olim, 60 hours of guided tours around Israel, as well as a number of other excursions and events.


Israel has been recently increasing their efforts to encourage Jews to make Aliyah (or move to Israel), especially from the western world (where the temptation to stay is much greater due to the ease of life--at least in the US).

Hopefully some of them will consider, as they have the potential of greatly impacting the nation financially, if not culturally as well.

Israeli Flag, Super Sized!

Weighing at 5.2 tons and stretching out at 200 meters by 100 meters, this may be the largest Israeli flag ever made (if not within the top five).

(One Jerusalem) When you're driving to and from Jerusalem, in a field in the Latrun area there is a huge flag recently laid out for the upcoming 60 Independence Day Celebrations[.]


Note: Is it me, or does this flag look almost like the one made by the Filipino business woman?

Image Credit: Parks.org.il, who was also responsible for rolling out the flag.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Israeli Science: Cranberries Can Indeed Heal



(Image: Cranberry harvest in New Jersey, Credit: Keith Weller / USDA Agriculture Research Service)

It looks as if an Israeli researcher has helped turn a common folklore into scientific fact. Often seen as nothing more than "folk medicine," Israeli scientists have now proven that cranberries can in fact help those suffering from urinary tract infections(or UTI)--at least for women.

(Israel 21st Century) "Cranberries started as a folk medicine in the US," Ofek told ISRAEL21c. "Every fourth American in the '60s knew it was good for urinary tract infection." Ofek's goal was to find out the truth behind the myth.

With his research funded by the cranberry juice-producing monolith Ocean Spray, Ofek recently published his findings in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. There is only one snag: the benefits of cranberries, though prodigious, appear to apply only to women.

"It appears that in certain infections, such as ulcers caused by H. pylori bacteria, a clinical trial showed that the cranberry has beneficial effects for women only," says Ofek. "In urinary tract infections (UTI), the cranberry has been tested only on women and has proven to be beneficial, although UTI is primarily an infectious disease most common in women."


This research will no doubt boost sales for cranberry juice, especially Ocean Spray, who is already promoting this fact on their website.

Although this is great news for doctors and women around the world, hopefully Ofek can find something similar for the other half of humanity (note: as us guys feel left out).

Video: Israel's Guardium (Think Batmobile Minus Batman)

(Hat Tip: Gizmodo)

As any Israelis soldier knows, their is nothing "romantic" about patrolling a hostile border along the Israeli security fence. Especially when you have insurgents focused on causing you harm.

But instead of sending out soldiers to confront those who seek to trespass the security fence, Israel may end up sending a robotic rover courtesy of the Israel Aerospace Industries.


video


(Video: Animation coupled with real footage showing how The Guardium can help thwart potential terrorist attacks. Credit: Israel Aerospace Industries)

(Fox News) The Guardium, an unmanned ground vehicle commissioned by the Israeli military and shown to The Associated Press on Monday, is essentially a robotic soldier, among the first in the world to be operational. It can replace human soldiers in dangerous roles, cutting casualty rates.

Like the pilotless drones that have become a mainstay of air forces in Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere, the four-wheeled Guardium is operated from a command room that can be far from the front line.

It can be mounted with cameras, night-vision equipment and sensors, as well as more lethal tools like machine guns.

Following pre-programmed routes, it can navigate alone through cities — the vehicle knows how to deal with intersections, traffic and road markings. It can patrol borders, its cameras scanning 360 degrees at all times, and alert operators if it spots anything suspicious.


The Guardium costs around $600,000 for the vehicle alone--millions more if one includes ammunition and software to run this vehicle.

Even though its not battle tested yet, hopefully the Israeli's will be able to launch several dozen of these (note: with a group discount included) as it could not only save lives for Israeli Defense Forces patrolling the border, but also their enemies as it may prove to be a useful deterrent.

Israel: Turning Garbage Into Energy

Like most countries, Israel has to deal with the problem of land fills. While recycling helps reduce the amount of trash that ends up in land fills, its affect is minor at best in countering how much garbage people put out (especially for cities).

However it looks as if a new Israeli startup called TGE Tech has found a unique way of turning trash into gas--which is good news for major cities everywhere.

(Israel 21st Century) But with the TGE system, "the trash is turned into syngas, which can be burned for fuel like any other material. The trash is gone, and in its place is electricity, which can then be used to supply power to a whole neighborhood or small city," says Ohayon.

Syngas is not as effective as oil or coal, Ohayon realizes; it only has about 15% of the calorie (energy) power of its authentic siblings. However, Ohayon explains, that level of energy is more than enough to power the gasifier, the waste treatment plant, and probably all the streetlights and traffic lights in a city on any particular day.

"One ton of garbage can generate 0.4 kilowatts of electricity an hour, which isn't a huge amount, but can definitely contribute somewhat to the energy pool in a locality," he says. And at the same time - the garbage is gone.


Even though this technology would do nothing to help lower gas prices (something Israel's scientists are trying to do via hydrogen), it may help lower taxes for citizens paying for garbage pickup.

Energy benefits aside, this technology may help many communities remove the ever expanding problem of landfills, making our planet a greener place for future generations.

Israel And Europe Reach Agriculture Trade Agreement

(Image Credit: Jerusalem Baskets)

It looks as if Israel will have an easier time exporting fruits and vegetables towards Europe thanks to a new trade agreement between the Jewish state and the European Union.

(Globes Online) The European Commission and Israel reached a common understanding today on mutual trade concessions in the fields of agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fisheries. [...]

The Delegation of the European Commission to the State of Israel's announcement said, "Once adopted, the agreement will create new trade opportunities for EU exporters in a range of products that could not previously reach the Israeli market. On the other hand, Israel's major exporting sectors will benefit from further liberalization and better market access. The result is a balanced deal ." [sic]


This should help expand Israel's agricultural market which has been gaining international attention as many countries seem to be seeking Israel's advice on raising crop--especially in hostile climates.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Yad Vashem Goes Hi-Tech To Convey Holocaust Message

(Image Credit: Rachel of Israel 21st Century)

Yad Vashem, a museum in charge of insuring that the world remembers the tragedy of the Holocaust (so that it is never repeated) has decided to use the internet to help enlighten the world about the horrors of the past.

(Israel 21st Century) Today, May 1, which is Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day in Israel, Yad Vashem will upload its 130,000-image photo archive to its website. The collection, the largest of its kind in the world, includes photographs taken in the ghettos, during the deportations, images that illustrate slave labor, the camps, liberation and more. [...]

"This will allow the public at large direct and simple access to the vast collection of resources collected by Yad Vashem over the past half century," says Avner Shalev, chairman of Yad Vashem. "We are hoping that it will increase public awareness of the archives' tremendous importance, and encourage people who have similar photographs and documents to confer them to Yad Vashem for safekeeping."


Users can search the photo archive by clicking over here in order to see the images for themselves.

Yad Vashem has also launched a YouTube channel in English as well as Arabic for the middle east.

Users interested in learning more about this Museum, and why they should visit (as everyone should at least once in their life) can visit here for more information.

Update (5/3): Google just highlighted Yad Vashem over on their corporate blog.

Video: Remembering The Holocaust

(Hat Tip: Israelity)

Even though different countries hold this on different days, Holocaust Remembrance Day was held today in Israel.

Upon hearing the siren, citizens stop whatever they are doing in order to honor those who were killed without mercy during World War Two.





Never again.