Good News Friday

I very nearly cancelled this week’s Good News Friday post due to a dearth of good news this week, but thankfully after some energetic digging, I came up with the following happy news:

The first item isn’t from or about Israel at all, but it holds so much potential for the improvement of the Middle East.

Women beat up Iranian cleric

Iranian clerics beware – women fight back!

An Iranian cleric was beaten up by two “immodestly dressed” girls who reproved them for their immodest dress:

An Iranian Muslim cleric was hospitalized for three days after being kicked and beaten up by two girls, one of whom he warned was “badly covered.”


The report was picked up first by Bloomberg News, which noted that the regime in Iran often sends out police to enforce strict Islamic dress codes, especially in the summer when women may be prone to wearing less covering.

The cleric, Hojatoleslam Ali Beheshti, told Mehr he was on the way to a mosque when he admonished one of the girls.

She startled the cleric with her feminist reply, “Cover your eyes.” He stood his ground and repeated the warning, and the girl and her friend teamed up to promptly hurl insults at him and then followed up with a few kicks while pushing him.

“I fell on my back on the floor,” Beheshti said. “I don’t know what happened after that, all I could feel was the kicks of this woman who was insulting me and attacking me.”

After recuperating for three days in the hospital, Beheshti said he was carrying out his religious responsibility by “commanding right and forbidding wrong” and that he would risk attacks by women, despite experiencing what he “the worst day of my life.”

Mehr told its readers that there have been previous attacks on Muslim clerics by women.

I must admit that the schadenfreude has left me grinning all day. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Well done girls! May you be an inspiration to repressed women all over the Middle East.

Wave power

Wave power

My second item tells us of an Israeli breakthrough which could double the energy harnessed from wave power, which could improve our green energy sources.

An Israeli researcher has developed a new method of predicting the shape of oncoming waves in a breakthrough that could double the amount of energy previously collected from wave power.

Prof. George Weiss, of Tel Aviv University’s Center for Renewable Energy has created a computer algorithm which, he claims, can substantially improve the functioning of wave energy converters (WEC) used in producing electrical energy from ocean waves.

Like wind and solar power, wave power has enormous potential and is already in use on the East coast of the US, and on the Atlantic coast in Spain.  The unpredictability of the waves, however, which differ in size and force, makes harvesting energy from the sea unstable.

WECs consist of two parts, a fixed part often attached to the ocean bed, and an upper part which moves up and down with the motion of the sea. Energy is created by the resistance force between the parts. To function properly WEC’s need to adjust themselves to each oncoming wave, but currently this is something they cannot do.

Weiss, who is working with a team at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, believes that his control algorithm used in conjunction with previously-developed wave prediction technology, can help WECs calculate the correct amount of force needed to collect the maximum energy possible from each individual wave.


In the lab, Weiss and fellow researchers have run simulations of the technology using wave data gathered from the ocean. They found that by using the new algorithm, energy collection was improved by 100 percent, doubling the amount of energy WEC’s were previously collecting.


Weiss believes that his findings, published recently in the journal Renewable Energy, can do much to improve the functioning of existing WECs, but can also help much the technology become more competitive.

Like wind and solar energy in their infancy, today marine energy is 50 times more expensive to collect than the market price for the energy itself. With improvements to the structure, performance and production of the WEC, it could become commercially viable.

“There is a lot of untapped energy in the ocean,” said Weiss.

Once more, kol hakavod to Israel’s scientists, always looking to make life better for the world.


Honey tastes good and is good for you

My last item returns back to the Jewish festivals, specifically to honey, which graces our tables on Rosh Hashana, and which has been found to have medically proven health benefits.

At this time of year there is one ingredient that features prominently in many Jewish holiday recipes. […]

Now it seems, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, honey could also be a useful remedy for children suffering from persistent coughs due to colds or the flu.

At a pediatric medical clinic in Petah Tikva, just outside of Tel Aviv, Professor Herman Avner Cohen and his team measured the effects of honey on night-time coughs in children suffering from upper respiratory tract infections due to colds.

Over 300 children between the ages of one to five were given honey or a placebo silan (rub syrup), a date extract, 30 minutes before going to bed. Parents were then asked to record their children’s cough frequency, cough severity and the sleep quality of both parent and child.

Parents recorded that there was significant improvement in both test groups. However, it was found that the improvement was greater in the children that received the real honey.

Researchers concluded that honey had a higher rate of relief for children’s coughs at night and that it could be a preferable treatment for children dealing with upper respiratory infections.

It was cautioned, however, that honey should only be given to children over the age of one, as the sweet treat contains botulinum, allergens found to be harmful to babies under a year old.

May we have a sweet week with better news. Shabbat shalom everyone.

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8 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. Linda says:

    I guess it’s good to be wearing a bhurka if you want to beat up a cleric. They won’t know who dunnit.

    • anneinpt says:

      I guess they weren’t wearing burkas though, otherwise he’d have had no reason to comment. But I hoped they slipped their burkas on straight afterwards to confound the police!

  2. Colin Stephenson says:

    Very encouraging to know that Prof Weiss is working with a team at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom – it’s known as a hotbed of anti-Israel activity – the likes of Ilan Pappe who earned a salary from Haifa Univ for long enough & now calls for boycotting Israel – one wonders quite what the logic of he an Israeli now earning a salary from Exeter is in proposing that UK institutions have nothing to do with Israel but then logic BDS never went together very well

    Good on for Prof Weiss & good on you Anne for telling us

    • anneinpt says:

      Interesting point about Exeter U, Colin. I think I was vaguely aware of their anti-Israel activity, but so many universities are equally “hotbeds” that it’s hard to keep track.

      logic and BDS never went together very well

      Exactly. It’s the same as Omar Barghouti demanding a boycott of Israeli universities – when he himself is a doctoral student at Tel Aviv Uni! “Hatred blinds”, according to the Jewish sages and we see it so clearly with the BDS brigade.

  3. Andrea says:

    When I was in Theran I saw many girls – all in downtown – ” immodestly dressed ” according to rigid standards.I mean they did not wear Chador at all but a tiny headscarf around coloured hairs . Most of them were really attractive girls, incidentally. It was during reformist era of Khathami,not sure how is going now.
    Indeed I have never heard about clerics beaten by women but Iran is one of youngest nation in the world and everything can change all of sudden…. very good news from a fascinating and obscure land.

  4. reality says:

    I just read the good news friday & it really cheered me up after getting the awful depressing news about the soldiers on Friday. Thanks for cheering me up.

  5. floranista says:

    Glad to read some good news, annie.

    Wishing you and yours a happy Sukkot celebration, I’ll drop you a line. Thinking of you…

    • anneinpt says:

      Hiya florrie! Long time no see! I write a “good news Friday” every Friday – there’s always some good news out there to be found if you look hard enough. 🙂

      Thanks for the good wishes.

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