Good News Friday

This past week has been a rather difficult one for Israel, and yet, as always, we can find plenty of good news to brighten our Shabbat, so here is my latest Good News Friday installment.

The first item will be a must for everyone who owns a smartphone – The StoreDot charger that charges a phone in 30 seconds!

The company produces “nanodots” derived from bio-organic material that, due to their size, have increased electrode capacitance and electrolyte performance, enabling batteries to be charged in minutes.

The multifunctional nanodots are chemically synthesized bio-organic peptide molecules that change the rules of mobile device capabilities. The nanocrystals are made from peptides – short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. StoreDot’s bio-organic devices, such as smartphone displays, provide much more efficient power consumption, and are eco-friendly. While other nanodot and quantum-dot technologies currently in use are heavy metal based and often toxic, StoreDot nanodots are biocompatible.

Based in Ramat Gan, StoreDot bio-organic innovators are developing and commercializing peptide-based technology based on their discovery of self-assembled nanodots of biological origin. The company aims to develop cost-effective, nature-inspired, environmentally friendly technology.

Watch the charger in action:

What an incredible invention! I can just picture the lines outside the store the minute the charger becomes commercially available. And the fact that they’re “green” too is all the more impressive. Kol hakavod to the innovators at StoreDot. I hope they enjoy huge success.

One dead jellyfish – one potential diaper?

Another Israeli technological innovation is turning jellyfish into paper towels!

Cine’al Ltd., an Israeli nanotechnology start-up, is developing technology to turn jellyfish into “super-absorbers,” making the much-disdained sea creature suitable for use in diapers, tampons, medical sponges, even paper towels.

[…]

Unlike most sea creatures, jellyfish are mostly useless. Some species are eaten in the Far East and mucin, a chemical extracted from the creatures, is used in drug delivery systems. For the most part, they’re useless, even dangerous, pests, as jellyfish swarm not only near beaches, but near intake pipes as well, often clogging them up. This happened last November in Sweden, when jellyfish got into the pipes and clogged up the water intake systems of a nuclear power generator in Sweden, forcing it to shut down.

Cine’al sees a potential use for the scourge. Hydromash, the dry, flexible, strong material Cine’al is developing, is made from jellyfish and is allegedly several times more absorbent than the “quicker picker-upper” paper towels from the popular TV commercials.

“Right now, these items are made of synthetics, which take hundreds and thousands of years to break down,” said Ofer Du-Nour, chairman and president of Cine’al and head of investment firm Capital Nano. The latter invests in early-stage nanotechnology companies that are based on research emerging from Israeli universities.

[…]

The result is a product that absorbs several times its volume, bio-degrades in less than 30 days and can compete with SAP on price, Du-Nour said. It’s perfectly safe, he added, and offers a potential to clear up landfills and clear the oceans of the endless swarms of jellyfish, which can now be seen as commodities worth harvesting instead of pests.

Just thinking about it makes me feel sick but if they can get rid of those revolting creatures, more power to them!  As CEO Du-Nour says:

“There are too many jellyfish in the sea, and too many Pampers in landfills. Cine’al may have the ultimate answer to both those issues.”



Kol Hakavod to Cine’al and Du-Nour for having the imagination to even think of using jellyfish for such an enterprising innovation. Once again, we find Israelis at the forefront of improving the environment.  I’m sure we all wish them every success.

Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, winner of the 2014 season of ‘Master Chef’ on April 5, 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

My next item is from a different field altogether. Putting the lie to accusations of apartheid, the winner of Israel’s Master Chef competition is an Israeli Arab woman who is also a highly-qualified microbiologist and mother of three.

When Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, a 33-year-old Israeli Arab, clinched the title of Master Chef on Saturday night, it was all part of a plan. The mother of three, a trained microbiologist with a PhD and a thriving scientific career, has for years been looking for a way to leverage her love of cooking and her passion for peace into a school where Jews and Arabs can cook alongside each other and literally taste a better future for this country. A native of the Israeli Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye, she says she entered the Master Chef competition to make that dream a reality.

[…]

Where did you learn to cook?

I started joining my grandma when I was four years old. I used to sit on the counter in the kitchen and just get involved and watch my grandma really closely. I learned all the basics of Arabic cooking from her. And then my mom, she was much more modern, she used to buy all these cookbooks and I started reading them. She exposed me to other cuisines by buying these books, and a lot of times she would translate them for me because my Hebrew wasn’t yet all that good.

And then I took my own personality into the food. I am bold, I don’t care, I will do things and I have the guts to make twists with food. I’m not afraid to make changes.

[…]

Were you worried that being a minority, you would be discriminated against?

It’s a very fair competition. If I didn’t know how to cook, I am sure that I would have gone home in the very early stages. This is a cooking show and the judges are actually tasting and criticizing the food. They give you a chance to prove yourself and if you’re talented enough, you can win. It’s a very fair competition.

[…]

Now that you’ve won and can plan your cooking school, what will it be like?

I have always believed deeply, as have my husband and family, that the only way to have a better future for our children in this country is to teach them to live together. The inspiration for the school was my son’s school [The Hand in Hand school where Jewish and Arab children study together in bilingual classrooms], and I was always really inspired by the community there. At celebrations of different holidays, parents come, bring their food, and exchange recipes. I thought it was a very nice idea to do that in a school for cooking.

I want the school to be in a mixed area, and it will teach different cuisines. People can share a curiosity for learning and for food, and they will sit together and work in pairs, and as they cook you’ll have a chance of creating friendships between people.

It’s a scientific fact that food causes joy. So there will be a good atmosphere there, and it will be an easy way to create friendships between different kinds of people.

What wonderful news both for Mrs. Atamna-Ismaeel and for Israeli society. Would that all Israel’s Arab citizens feel similarly about living in peace with and Israel.   Kol hakavod to Nof Atamna-Ismaeel on her win and kol hakavod for her plans for her future.

Tourists at the Kotel (Western Wall) in the Old City of Jerusalem

My next item brings us the excellent news that a top tourist site, Trip Advisor, has placed Jerusalem as no. 4 on its list of its 10 “destinations on the rise”:

TripAdvisor put the capital in fourth place in a list of the “top ten destinations on the rise” worldwide.

The announcement came as Israel’s Tourism Ministry announced record-breaking numbers of tourists in the country for the first quarter of 2014.

Among the reasons listed by TripAdvisor to visit the city are its “profound cultural and historical significance.”

“The year 2014 began with the momentum of a record-breaking year for incoming tourism in 2013,” said Tourism Minister Uzi Landau.

Some 302,000 visitors came to Israel during March and 776,000 tourists arrived since the beginning of the year, an increase of 3% over the same period in 2013. The first quarter figures have steadily increased over the past three years, the ministry noted.

The Tourism Ministry reported in January that 2013 saw a record number of tourists coming to the country, and that Jerusalem was the most-visited city.

According to the figures a record 3.54 million tourists entered the country in 2013, half a percent more than in 2012.

Jerusalem saw 75% of tourists passing through it during their trips to Israel. The most-visited site was the Western Wall, with 68% of tourists stopping there.

What a fantastic boost to Jerusalem and Israel’s tourism figures, which will be sure to promote Israel’s standing in the world as well.  Let the boycotters eat dust! The tourists keep flooding in!

I want to thank reader Reality for the last 3 links in this week’s installment.

photoTo finish this week’s edition I want to wish my dear hubby Mazal Tov on his 60th birthday. Many happy returns עד מאה ועשרים (until 120). I can’t believe I’m married to an almost pensioner! 🙂  We had an impromptu party at our house a couple of days ago with all our children – but without the grandchildren since it’s a minute before Pesach and the house is upside down.

I also want to wish our son and his family בשעה טובה on finally moving into their new house in their Shomron community. The house has been over 2 years in the building, courtesy of Obama and his cursed freeze, but now it’s finished. May they live many long, happy and fruitful years in their beautiful house, and as the Jewish tradition of bringing bread (or Matza since it’s nearly Pesach), salt and candles to a new house illustrates, may they always have food, money and light in their house.

And with all that good news, may we all have a good rest so that we come back refreshed, ready to tackle the last-minute Pesach preparations.

Shabbat shalom everyone!

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7 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. JudyPT says:

    Really great post esp to get rid of jellyfish. what made them think of this?You wouldnt get me near one to even try utilising the revolting creatures!!

  2. Reality says:

    what a great post as usual. By the way apparently (I may be wrong but this is what I heard) that Nof Atamna ‘s husband is a doctor who has treated many Israeli soldiers.Isn’t that nice?I’m delighted for her too.
    A hearty Mazal Tov to your hubby &son.
    May we all have a quiet Shabbat &a happy kosher Pesach

  3. bernard says:

    Well done to israel

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Mazeltov to your husband, Anne, as long as you realise that he’s a mere stripling, says he who is just a month shy of his 70th (bearing in mind the Woody Allen crack on being asked whether he feared getting old: “it’s better than the alternative!”). Isn’t it just!

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks Brian. And advanced mazal tov to you too! Meanwhile H is going round telling everyone he’s 40. He could even get away with it on looks, but the 11-12 year old grandchildren are a bit of a give-away. 😀

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