Friday, March 23, 2018

High -Tech at Bus Stops

I'm a great believer in solar power. I've already mentioned that in a previous post called "Go Solar" (Nov.2009). We all have here solar water heaters on the roof which are remarkably efficient. I've also got  solar weighing scales, a variety of solar little gadgets, and  books on the subject.

Since  about 2011, passengers waiting at bus stops are able to get real time information on bus arrival time, from a digital sign energized by a solar panel facing south - both mounted on a nearby pole. The distance between  pole and bus shelter may slightly differ from place to place, depending, probably, on the condition of the sidewalk near the bus shelter, and on finding the best angle for the solar panel .

the sign and the solar panel (near street lamps and  bus shelter)

The bus arrival information is based on data  transferred to a control center from a satellite navigation system (GPS) installed on buses. During the day, the solar panel accumulates enough energy from the sun to make the information visible on the sign screen in the dark hours too.

info visible on the sign during the dark hours

This, no doubt, highly improves the level of public transportation service. The problem is that not all bus stops are equipped with this smart system, and not all bus companies have adhered to the solar project.  It takes time and money, but there's no way back; the future belongs to the energy produced by sun, wind, water, and other 'green' sources.

panel facing sun,at the top; sign, facing bus shelter

As far as I know, Israel is not among the first countries that have introduced the above system.. Australia, Singapore, California , and other  countries have preceded us. Good for them, and good for us to have them as model, and be able to learn from their experience.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Cleaning Favs

March is the first month of Spring and also the month of thorough home Cleaning. The two - spring and cleaning go hand in hand. To clean we need open windows and the warm weather that Spring can offer. So far, the weather hasn't disappointed.

I prefer cleaning agents that are cheap, simple, good for additional uses too. I like them in liquid and powder form, less in spray form.  My favorites  are:  white vinegar , lemon (both juice and peel), baking soda, and, for durer, larger surfaces, commercial Calinda  sanding powder. 

basic cleaning agents

I always have lemons in the kitchen, not only for culinary and cleaning uses, but also for a sore throat condition. I drink some undiluted lemon juice and it immediately clears up my aching throat.
The vinegar  has 5% acetic acid. It can be used in foods and as a folk medication (ear canal infection). I use it only in cleaning and as a relief from insect bites.

white vingar

Both the vinegar and Calinda powder (which can be bought at the store in an economical pack of three) are very effective, and from my experience, do not damage surfaces.

Calinda sanding powder

economical  3-pack Calinda

An essential cleaning tool for me is the toothbrush. It helps me reach tight spaces and corners. I use cheap toothbrushes that I buy  at the dollar store in packs of six. (Of course, I use several other 
kinds of brushes and  also pieces of cloth to assist me in my cleaning job.).

6-pack toothbrushes

Our Passover holiday starts at the end of the month, and that requires additional preparations; not just cleaning and renewing, but removing any speck of 'chametz' (leavened food). I don't belong to those who observe strictly. I do the essentials only, and even that takes a lot of time and effort.

Let's hope for a happy Spring and Passover!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Putin and his high scool Teacher

This is a true story; it first appeared on Ynet - a most popular israeli news and general content website . 

It all began in 2005. Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, visited Israel. Prior to his visit, an elderly woman came to the russian embassy in Tel-Aviv, and left a message for him.

He remembered her; she was his favorite teacher in high school, in St.Petersburg, She was the german language teacher. He invited her to a private talk with him ; shortly after that, she received  his signed autobiography book, and a wrist watch as a present.

Mina Yuditskaya  Berliner - the  teacher, with Putin's autobiography

the watch she got as a present from Putin

(the above pictures are from Ynet).

So far, so good. The best was yet to come.

Several weeks later, the then 84 year old lady ,was surprised by the visit of a russian embassy employee who informed her that Putin wanted to buy her an apartment. At that time, she was living in a tiny apartment , not her own, on the third floor, in a building without lift. The embassy worker asked for her cooperation in choosing the right apartment for her.

She died in December 2017, three months ago, at the age of 96. In her will, she asked for the little apartment to be returned to Putin through the russian embassy (She was a widow with no children or close family). At the funeral, Putin was represented by a memember of the russian embassy which , according to the media, also  paid for the burrial expenses.

(This  moving story has generated in the media some talkbackers' jokes on... Macron, the french PM. Putin bought his teacher an apartment!? Look what Macron  did for his teacher. He not only bought her a home, he also married her, and raised her children from a previous marriage...ha, ha, ha).

Well, may the teacher's soul rest in peace! The above story shows a generous, grateful side to Putin's character.