Friday, December 29, 2023

The Unsolved Mystery


                                                        *Web   picture

Nine years ago, on March 2014, the Malaysian plane MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur airport (Malaysia) to Beijing  airport  (China).   Over the years, there were many theories  about the disappearance.

 The most 'popular'  theory was that of the pilot's plan to commit suicide and take the plane with its passengers and crew  ( 239 people)  down with him.  The second 'popular' theory was that the plane, a huge Boeing 777,  was carrying something or someone, that  a certain factor wanted gone and never to be found.

Since 2014, there have been  some three major very expensive searches, and three main countries involved: Malaysia, Australia (the plane was believed to have dissappeared close to  her area),  and China (most of the passengers - 153 - were chinese).   Nothing conclusive. Some examined debris found  in the Indian Ocean and other areas,  gave no indication as to the location of the missing plane.

Now, we are being told by aviation experts that the mystery could be solved in a matter of days with the help of advanced technology. They propose a new search based on the belief  that the plane was hijacked and deliberately downed into the ocean  ( in fact, that  resembles the theory with the pilot's suicidal plan).

The missing MH370 has captivated my attention for many months. It's sadly, one of the best mystery stories ever!  I do want the plane to be found,  as this will bring some closure and comfort to the families of the victims, and on the way, will satisfy our curiosity.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Red Sea Crossing


The Red Sea , located between Asia and Africa continents, is in the news.   Cargo ships are being attacked by the Houthis, yemenite rebels (at least 17 incidents from November). This could disrupt global supply, leading to economic chaos and shortage of products.

The news take us back to the well-known Bible story in Exodus chapters 14, 15, about the spectacular miracle of parting the water and enabling the Israelites that fled from Egyptian slavery,  a safe crossing of the sea.

Moses, who led the Israelites from Egypt to the Red Sea, stretched his hand out over the sea, and God caused a wind that parted the waters creating dry land. When the israelites were safe on the other side, Moses, at God's command, stretched out his hand again, and the waters returned,  covering  completely the Egyptian hostile army. 

I suppose there will be some sort of miracle this time too,  and the Houthis will learn their lesson; one doesn't mess up with things of Biblical origin:)

It is believed The Red Sea got its name due to a bacteria that lives in its waters and is responsible for their  occasional reddish tint .

Major ports along this sea are: Suez (Egypt), Sharm El Sheik  (Egypt), Jedda (Saudi Arabia), Port of Sudan (Sudan), Mocha (Yemen),  Port of Aden (Yemen),  Aqaba (Jordan), Eilat (Israel).

Many years ago,  I attended a trip to the Sinai Desert;  the trip also included  a brief visit to the Red Sea port of Sharm El Sheik. Fascinating place! 

                           me, enjoying the sea views at Sharm El Sheik

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Open-air Art

There's a pedestrian street, part of a road running paralel to our municipality building,  which hosts a constant display of art works created by local artists. The place also has benches, trees, flower beds and grass,  for people to sit and enjoy art in nature.

I  am not always free to stop and contemplate these works of art.  Pity, as they get replaced by new ones, from time to time, and I miss enjoying some good stuff.

Last time,  I was impressed  by three such works:   the statue of a pony,   the statue of two elders  playing chess (long table between them),  and that of a young woman exercising:

Works of art placed outdoors bring a lot of pleasure to the wide public. I'm sure  artists get great satisfaction from that;  it even  helps them ignore the fact that nature's  elements (rain,  wind, sun) and/or wicked people, might somehow  damage their creation. 
Outdoor art is definitely a meaningful experience both for the artist and the public.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Hanukah (7 Dec. - 15 Dec.)


Hanukah is supposed to be a  happy holiday.  Apparently, not this year.

With a massacre in the background and a war still going on, there's no joy on faces and in the hearts of people here. There's sorrow, sadness, and fear of upcoming events.

Things associated with Hanukah  (lighting of candles in the menorah  candle holder, dreidel spinning game , eating of favorite foods such as donuts, and potato pancakes ) are mostly done almost automatically now,  to please the children and carry on with the tradition.

Hanukah is referred to as  'the Festival of lights'.  Light (freedom) as opposed to darkness (oppression) is its theme.  It is said to celebrate a miracle - a tiny jar of oil lasting  for eight days;  (hence the belief that looking into the light of the Menorah  burning candles,  can give one better vision and make  a miracle  for those with impaired eyesight).

dreidel (sevivon)

donuts (sufganiot)

potato pancakes (latkes)

Here's a  Youtube  classic Hanukah  song:

* web pictures

Thursday, December 7, 2023



The other day, I happened to be in one of the main squares of Petach- Tikva city ( The "founders square").  I was totally stunned by the sight of  about a hundred dark pigeons flocked there.  It looked rather ominous.

Usually, pigeons are attracted by food, but no food here as there's a big white sign (see in the picture below) that forbids feeding them. Perhaps, it's the place itself that attracts them and,  for some reason, makes them feel safe and comfortable. 

They were gathered especially around a small stucture with a dome. I wished to approach the stucture, but  was afraid of their reaction -  mass flying over my head.  It was midday;  I saw no people or kids  close to their area.

Anyway,  I've noticed  some lovely art on the fence surrounding the square : statues of a musical band members.   Nice, enjoyable view  for the pigeons too:)

                     pigeons gathered   around  a  structure with a dome

statues of a music band


After the encounter with the pigeons in the 'founder square', I promised myself to read and learn more about these birds and their behaviour.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Till 120 ?!

 Longevity is advancing slowly but steadily. Hentry Kissinger (RIP) has recently died at 100. Many people in the world (especially in Japan) died at a similar age, even a few  years beyond that.

According to science, the average person's DNA is programmed to about 120 years.

The Bible mentions 120 in Genesis 6:3.  In Hebrew there's a blessing which says  " May you live until 120" ( ad meah ve essrim!).

According to Wikipedia , the french woman Jeanne Calment (1875-1997) is the oldest  documented person who ever lived. She made it to 122 despite smoking everyday for 96 years. She lived on her own until age 110 when she moved into a nursing home.  Amazing!

Following , are two  women  aged 119: the american Sara Knauss and the japanese Kane Tanaka ; both died in 2022.  Kane Tanaka had several major ilnesses during her life including cancer at 45, and at 103; underwent surgery, and.. survived.

We think we know and understand the secret of longevity. We don't.   It's very complex; it involves luck, genetics, wisdom, health care, diet , life style, character.   In Kissinger's case, he had a younger  and very intelligent wife; that must have helped his longevity too:)

The important part in any research on longevity is  expanding the  health span rather than life span. If the consequence is a longer life then, that's  a nice bonus.