Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recycle Bins, Donation Bins

They say there's big profit in the recycling business.  I don't know about that and frankly I don't care. I'm just pleased not to throw away my used items into the garbage , and at the same time I'm proud to help, in a small way, protect the environment.

There's a decent coverage of the city with  recycling bins of all sorts: for glass bottles and jars,  plastic bottles,  clothing and textiles , paper and cardboard, metals and even...holy items. 

These bins are placed at "strategic" points: near grocery stores, malls, post offices, parking plots - either as several kinds grouped together or as individual bins. (Disposable bins for batteries and small electronics are not placed outside, for safety reasons.)

bins near a bus stop and a synagogue, 

bin for clothing, bags, shoes, textiles

bin for paper, cardboard...

bin for glass bottles and jars

bin for plastic bottles

Usually, people donate clothes and accessories that are in good condition,  to charity organizations. The donor brings the package with the stuff to be donated into the office / thrift shop of the organization, or throws it into a donation bin outside the place. 

There are rumors that, for some reason, most of the undamaged, good stuff also goes to recycling. If this is true, then it's rather sad news. These clothes could make someone happy. One could sometimes get a unique  garment for free or for a fraction of the price. Another could get several garments for the price of a single new outfit.   Let's hope the matter will be investigated and good, usable items will not go to recycling centers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Cartoon Museum

With all those terrible events going on in the world: the terror attacks in Nice (France) and in Istanbul (Turkey), the killing of cops (USA), Erdogan and the coup failure (Turkey), daily terror acts here in Israel etc.., I felt a strange need to bring a smile to my face. So, this week I found myself at the Museum of caricatures and comics located in the city of Holon.

On the roof of the building, stands the self-portrait poster caricature of Zeev (pen name), the most famous israeli caricaturist.  He died in 2002 at the age of 79. His family has donated all his cartoon works to the museum.

The poster with the self portrait was probably placed at first at the entrance stairs (see Wikipedia picture) and moved, for some good reason, to the top of the building.

Zeev - self portrait (Wikipedia)

My favorite is his  cartoon of the Peace process (between Israel and the arabs).  So simple, and yet expressing something so complex and hard to achieve!

the Peace  process

His caricatures of political figures are just genious. However, nowadays, I'm so fed up with politicians and their politics that even a good political caricature doesn't make me smile.

The museum honors the veteran cartoonists both outside and inside the building.  In the area near the entrance there are wooden posters representing some of their work. 

On the walls of the staircase hall that leads to the museum - there are biographical facts about these outstanding israeli cartoonists and samples of their work - framed and covered with glass.  Even on the elevator's room door there are caricatures.

the door to the elevator's room

I was  pleasantly surprised to find out that photography is allowed within the museum, despite the fact that its tiny shop is interested in selling cards, catalogues and books based on the stuff they have in the archives  and galleries. However, with my shoot and point little camera  I couldn't do much about those displayed delicate exhibits.


The museum hosts permanent exhibitions as well as changing ones. It has a room for educational activities too, and some audio-video equipment.

activities'  room

During my visit there, I focused on the displayed  exhibits of the late Friedl Stern, a well-know israeli cartoon journalist - caricatures on the theme of Adam and Eve from her book 'Fig Leaves".

They say there are only about twelve such museums in the world. If this is true then it's a Pity! I think  there should be more of this kind.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ice Land - Warm Prospects

Iceland's football team at the 2016 Euro Games, was a surprise, not to say a sensation. Against all odds, it made it to the quarter finals after beating  England (2-1).

I am not a sports fan, and don't get too impressed by sport achievements, but  the case of Iceland  is worth studying as there were other surprises, not sports related, that have preceded the one at the Euro Games.

During the economic crisis of 2008-2009, this tiny nation living on an island with very harsh climatic and geological conditions - let its banks collapse instead of bailing them out, and put bankers and other finance people in jail!!  No prize was given to the banks and bankers , but punishment for their part in the economic collapse. The banks were nationalized and the banking system was taken over by the government.

Usually,in the event of an economic crisis, a country's banking system is saved at all costs (unfortunately, the banks use that knowledge to play high  risk financial games, which is quite frightening).

Iceland did the unusual, and it worked. Since 2011 she has recovered from the economic crisis, and is doing well with fishing and tourism as the main industries (The banking system, though, is still in the hands of the government) .

Anyway, considering its football team performances at the Euro Games, Iceland, a land of more volcanoes and glaciers  than people, is now on the "world map" and  cannot be ignored.