Good News Friday

It seems the world is speeding up on its axis because before I look round it’s time for another Good News Friday post.

Maccabi Tel Aviv players lift the Euroleague trophy

We start this week’s installment with the news that has dominated Israel’s headlines this week: Maccabi Tel Aviv’s brilliant victory (after a cliff-hanger win at the semi-finals) to win the Euroleague basketball championship:

Maccabi Tel Aviv won their sixth Euroleague title in grand style by beating hot favorites Real Madrid 98-86 in overtime on Sunday.

Guard Tyrese Rice produced his second effervescent performance of the weekend to lead the Israeli side with a game-high 26 points after scoring the winner in Friday’s 68-67 semi-final defeat of CSKA Moscow.

[…]

More than 10,000 Israelis flew to the final held in the Milan, and all over Israel, club fans and citizens alike were glued to their television sets.

After their victory, nonagenarian President Peres jokingly said he almost had a heart attack, but praised one of Tel Aviv’s two teams, saying “The entire country is yellow,” a reference to the teams colors – yellow and blue.

President Shimon Peres watches Maccabi Tel Aviv’s Euroleague win

[…]

Prime Minister Netanyahu echoed the congratulatory claims of the president, writing on his Facebook page “We have the championship,” together with a picture of himself watching the game.

What is there to say but a hearty mazal tov to Maccabi Tel Aviv! You have done yourselves – and the rest of the country – proud. May your success continue into the next season.

Prof. Ilana Gozes

Moving to something completely different, an Israeli discovery could reverse the damage caused by Alzheimers:

Research by a Tel Aviv University team may point the way to protecting cells from the damage wrought by Alzheimer’s disease, and even reverse damage that the disease caused before treatment. The method involves a protein similar to one which protects the brain from damage, but which is lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

What causes Alzheimer’s is still a mystery, but the direct physical conditions leading to the dementia associated with the disease are very clear to scientists. Plaque accumulations and tangles in neurons kill brain cells in Alzheimer’s sufferers, leading to the degeneration of cognitive function and the loss of memory associated with the disease.

One of the most important objectives of Alzheimer’s research has been to figure out ways to protect brain cells from these senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In a study published in the May edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Tel Aviv University Prof. Illana Gozes describes how NAP, a snippet of a protein essential for brain formation, has been proven in previous studies to protect cognitive functioning. Loss of NAP exposes cells to physical damage that eventually destroys them, but applying proteins with NAP-like properties makes them healthy again.

It’s just such a protein that Gozes and her team have discovered. The research, she said, could eventually lead to development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s.

This is incredibly good news for Alzheimer’s patients, or it will be when and if the drug is developed.  Having seen close-up the terrible damage wrought by Alzheimer’s, the development of such a treatment can’t come a moment too soon. Kol hakavod to Prof. Illana Gozes and the reset of the research team at Tel Aviv university. I wish them all the possible success in the world for the benefit of all of us.

And now, from Israel’s burgeoning world of hi-tech, two brilliant gadgets that will change and improve our lives in ways we can hardly imagine.

First, we have the Scio (via Hadassah and Suzanne) which scans and analyzes any material around us.  Let the video explain:

And the second is a brilliant little device that will revolutionize your air-conditioner:

If it weren’t for Willis Carrier’s invention of the air conditioner in 1902, the scorching hot summer months in warm climate countries would be close to unbearable. So it’s is only fitting that the latest innovation in the realm of air conditioning would come from Israel.

Meet Sensibo, the greatest thing to happen to climate control since the introduction of the remote-controlled AC.

Sensibo’s system works with virtually every brand and every AC (as long as it can be remote controlled), is a breeze to install (pun intended) and best of all – makes any AC smarter and more efficient. Although similar solutions have been introduced in the past, Sensibo, which today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, claims it offers key advantages that set it apart from the competition.

The concept is basic: you attach the smartphone-controlled pod to your unit and install the app on your smartphone or tablet. The device works with your Wi-Fi network using Zigbee technology and iBeacon Bluetooth technology which enables control for multiple air conditioners from different devices.

Watch the hilarious video:

As someone who hates the heat and humidity of Israel’s summers, I remember how difficult it was in pre-air-conditioning days, and I can’t imagine now living without it. But this device takes air-conditioning to a whole new level. What a clever concept! Kol hakavod Sensibo’s developers, Omer Enbar (CEO) and Ran Roth (CTO).  I hope the device is very successful.

1,000 posts on my blog!

And finally, a little personal blogging announcement. I was delighted to be informed by WordPress this week that I had posted my 1,000th post! I can hardly believe that I’ve come so far, with the help of you, my readers and commenters.

Furthermore, if you look at the URL of this post, i.e. the http “address” of this post, you will see it reads “good-news-friday-100”. This means this is my 100th Good News Friday post! In fact it’s a bit more than 100 because I posted a few with slightly different headlines e.g. “Pesach edition”. But it gives me huge pleasure to see that “100” in the URL.   I get such pleasure from writing these posts and from feedback I’ve recieved I know this series is very much enjoyed by my readers too. So thank you to everyone for your participation and may we continue together to the next 100.

And Up, up and away to the next 1,000 posts! 🙂

And with that happy announcement, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!

This entry was posted in Blogging, Culture, Arts & Sports, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Good News Friday

  1. Reality says:

    wow so many posts?You are amazing!Keep those blogs coming.As for all the rest of Good news Friday blog-just wonderful as always.
    Shabbat Shalom and congratulations

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