Thursday, September 30, 2021

La Palma and Human Helplessness



The fascinating pictures of red fire and black lava coming from La Palma (Spain , the Canary islands) make us for a moment forget the huge destruction caused by the volcano's eruption, and the problematic existence of islands in this era of Climate  Change.

The eruption started on 19 of September, and is not completely over yet.  "All we can do is cry", said a young woman who lost her home and shop.

There are things in life that we could  control, both as nations and as individuals: birth rate and nutrition, for example. Yet, we do little to nothing about that, and so,  we fail to improve things  on the national and on the personal level.

What then, are our chances to control the uncontrollable? (Yes, climate and Nature's whims are uncontrollable by humans, in my very humble opinion). The answer to my above question is not an optimistic one.

The big plan , supported by scientists and heads of state, is to reduce gas emissions to zero, and invest in renewable energy. These are good things;  they should be done regardless of climate change, will take time - time that we do not have. It's a very slow, inefficient process,  full of obstacles, and requiring global action.

Nevertheless, we should not lose hope ; we should work on it,  parallel to our main efforts to avoid /minimize disaster caused by climate change.

To try and avoid / minimize Nature's disasters we should first stop ignoring what science  tells us about the melting ice in Antarctica, the sea level rise, the increased frequency and intensity of  hurricanes, floods, wild fires, droughts, earthquakes, volcano eruptions.  'Knowledge is power'.

We could next try to redesign our homes, cities, coastlines;   consider relocation, plan how to assure adequate supply of food , water, and shelter.   

Not easy, not cheap - but we have to keep in mind that according to scientific predictions, latest by 2050  (make it 2040) many islands and cities in various parts of the world will be ....under water.


Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Volunteers are The Best Part.


Twice a year, before the start of the two major holidays Passover and New Year, the municipality sends a box of food products to its senior citizens. Nice initiative but...I'm sometimes unhappy with some of the box's content.

I don't know how it works, and who's in charge of the project there, but it's done with minimum of thought and logic.

Elderly people try to keep away from the unofficial 'killers' : sugar, salt, oil. In the box, these are  dominant items both as stand alone (1 kilo sugar, 1 kilo salt, 1 bottle of oil) and as part of the various products (coca cola bottles - not the diet or zero version - but the classic one with all the sugar and calories; several tins of tuna - in oil, not in water).

People like to drink coffee, but the only type in the box is always the strong, black, turkish coffee which might cause or increase insomnia at a certain age.  Ketchup is a constant. I wish some of it be replaced by a few fresh tomatoes.

The good stuff in the box is the one that helps with observing the holiday tradition, and I feel grateful for that:  for Passover - a big package of matzot (unleavened bread), eggs, potatoes, a jar of 'gefilte fish' (egg-shaped patties made of  ground carp fish), a package of matza flour for making  soup balls , a bottle of non-alcoholic wine.

soup balls
'gefiilte fish'  with carrot topping

For New Year, a small jar of honey, traditional honey cake , apples, eggs, a bottle of wine. (Dipping slices of apple in honey is symbolic of  a sweet, abundant New Year).

honey and apples

The box is brought in by one or two young volunteers, in their last year of high school, methink. They deserve  a big hug for their heart-warming effort and caring.

* web pictures



Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ready To Fast?


Last week we celebrated the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), with fasting and prayers.

The day before, I left home in the morning without any breakfast , and by late afternoon I was famished. I stopped at an eatery and ordered a 'schawarma' portion ( a pita pocket stuffed with roasted  meat, salad, and chips)+ a small bottle of cold soda water. I ate it at a table outside. The portion was unusually spicy, and being very hungry, I ate it hastily.


                                                                      schawarma skewer

I reached home having a burning thirst and an upset stomach. I drank some water and tea, but  felt no much improvement. Suddenly,  my eyes fell on the bowl with sabra fruit (cactus prickle pear).  'Here comes my salvation', I thought. I remembered reading somewhere that the sabra calms down the digestive system by absorbing whatever irritates it.

Well, salvation it was. At the third fruit, I felt much better. In fact, I felt wonderful.

This fruit has always been a favorite of mine for its taste and texture (I even put it on the sidebar of my blog and I wrote a post on it in Oct. 2017). Now, I've learnt that "there's more to it than meets the eye" as they say. 

I was glad to be ready for next day's evening - the beginning of  the 25 hours of fasting, hours with no liquid, no solid food. The Yom Kippur day and the fasting are very important to me spiritually.

The sabra fruit is small but encased in a thick, semi- thorny peel . It's not cheap, but I always buy some when it's available at the grocery store.

 * Web pictures


Sunday, September 12, 2021

New in Town


Finally, the defibrillator, the external life- saving device during cardiac arrest, has been installed in our town. It is placed in public locations, mainly on lottery kiosks and old payphone booths. 

yellow device on the kiosk's outer wall

The defib. is meant for untrained people who by pushing the right button activate an electric shock  helping the collapsed person survive until ambulance with the rescue team arrives. Everyone on the street, they  say, could be a life saver.

I 've noticed, though,  there are no instructions on this yellow colored device, except for the one, demanding to dial the urgency number 101 when an emergency occurs.  Probably at that number one gets the necessary information on what needs to be done (buttons are under lock).

As I understand, Mifal Hapais (national Lotttery of Israel),  which owns the lottery kiosks,  is funding these devices.The phone booths are the property of the giant phone company Bezek. 

As most of  the phone booths are not in use any more, but still need some maintenance,  it is  now for the Magen David Adom (Israel's national Emergency organization) to bear the responsability for them; it's a win-win situation.

                                                           empty phone booth

                                       simple top booth with functioning phone


May we never need to use the defib! The sad reality, however, is that we often hear about cases of cardiac arrest. There's even a rise in the number of cases now, probably having something to do with the Covid infection.


Monday, September 6, 2021

The Article and Its Author


There's an old article (published some 25 years ago) which I re-read from time to time.  It is entitled 'The Thinking Person's Guide to Perfect Health', written by the american Ron Kennedy M.D.  Only recently have I become aware of the fact that the author has  a whole book on the subject ( it sells at Amazon, and it's not cheap).

Anyway, I'm  quite satisfied with the 13-page internet article. I like everything about it : style , approach, and message. I got to it in my quest for information on the glaucoma eye disease. My late Mother suffered of glaucoma, and in her late years became blind.

I remember myself feeling very frustrated with what standard medicine had to offer once the disease was detected - mainly drops to lower the pressure built up in the eye liquid, but the drops and the other meds didn't stop the progress of the disease towards blindness.

The other day,  when I wished to  re-read the above article, I found out the last 2 pages were missing. I decided to look for it and type it again. Well, it seems to have disappeared from the Web; that might probably have something to do with possible interference in the  selling of the book.

While looking for the article, I have learnt that the doctor, owner of an anti-aging clinic, is being charged with having provided illegal written exemption from vaccination for three children. I've  also come upon the info that a book of his against vaccines has been in the headlines for some 20 years (never heard of it; I wish I could get hold of it/ I'm curious of what he has to say on this hot topic ).

I'm not surprised he gets himself into trouble . He's not a conventional doctor. He calls himself a nutritional doctor, one that believes that the vitamins and minerals in our nutrition can heal our body, not the synthetic drugs. He advocates curing by nutrient therapy. 

In his article, he names the FDA 'an Old Boys' Club', and the NIH a mighty organization with a small corner only for progressive medicine.  He promises that if we follow the principles outlined in his article we'll never have to visit his medical office.

I must admit he sounds rather convincing to me.  We can have control of nutrition, much less of stress, not at all of genetics. The right nutrition and mineral /vitamin supplements could  eliminate or lower our need for 'doctor's appointment'.