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Netanyahu briefly follows Persian sex site on Twitter

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, briefly followed an Iranian "sex feed" over the weekend. At the time, reports Ilan Ben Zion, @PersianHotBook had only 15 followers—and it soon lost its latest fan.

The apparent Twitter faux pas was the second for Netanyahu among Iranians in a little over a week, after he was roundly mocked on social media for telling BBC Persian that Iranians should overthrow their government so they can be free to wear jeans. That comment was followed on Twitter by a groundswell of pictures of ordinary Iranians showing off their denim duds.

The Likud Central Committee said that it runs the account, that it suffered a "malfunction," and that it is investigating the "malfunction."

In Israel, new insights on the science of medical Marijuana

A great piece in the NYT by Isabel Kershner on Tikkun Olam, a commercial medical marijuana plantation in Israel. The name is "a reference to the Jewish concept of repairing or healing the world," and while marijuana is illegal in this country, some of the most interesting scientific research into its healing properties is happening here. The last graf is the most amazing. (Thanks, Stoningham!) Xeni

For the children of Gaza and Israel

The Velveteen Rabbi wrote a beautiful piece, in the form of a psalm, for The Children of Abraham / Ibrahim. Snip: "For every toddler in his mother's arms / behind rubble of concrete and rebar / For every child who's learned to distinguish / "our" bombs from "their" bombs by sound..." (via @ethanz) Xeni

Medical marijuana in Israel

"I've been a Holocaust child all my life. I'm now 80 and I'm still a Holocaust child, but I'm finally able to better cope." A Buchenwald survivor who uses cannabis for PTSD in a nursing home in Israel, in USA Today. Xeni

Stone tools with plastic handles


Israeli designers Ami Drach and Dov Ganchrow presented their modern stone and flint tools at the Budapest Design Week. The pair combined hand-chipped blades and axes with modern high-impact plastic handles, to make tools that are beautiful and functional. I'd love to have one of those knives around the office. Designboom has more pics, and commentary:

the set is a result of an experimental exploration of the realm of tool making. where stone and flint tools have been the means of our ancestors' survival for over a million years, they magnify our bodily (teeth, fingernails, fists etc.) capabilities of cutting and chopping, sawing and pounding. through a method of three-dimensionally scanning and printing, the ancient artifacts are digitally outfitted with custom-designed handles, encapsulating the rugged forms in a perfectly enclosed case. by juxtaposing the polarities of the manufacturing processes in computer generated forms, an intersection of material technologies and functionality coincide on a tangible scale.

modern stone + flint tools by ami drach + dov ganchrow (via Neatorama)

Mitt Romney does not understand how one creates a "dirty bomb"

Mother Jones today published a second part of the video secretly recorded at a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Boca Raton. The first bombshell will forever be known as "47 percent," but the portion getting attention today focuses on a response the Republican presidential candidate gave to a question about the Israel/Palestine peace process. The tl;dr there: he doesn't believe it'll happen, and intends to "kick the ball down the road" and let the next administration deal with it, or something like that.

But here's a derpworthy moment in the video that may be of interest to science fans, and people who have actually done some reporting on how so-called "dirty bombs" work.

Here's a transcript for the relevant portion of the video:

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Swiss Army Knife with animals instead of blades


Third year design student David Suhami made the "Animal Pocket Knife" for a studio course at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Tel Aviv. As he explained to Designboom, "the piece is made for adults who still enjoy playing with small objects. it combines the idea of a swiss army knife and a jungle safari in africa. the prototype is made from stainless steel to represent the current technology while the handles are made from fine tabebuia wood to symbolize the traditional craft."

Hell, I'd buy one and fidget for days with it.

david suhami: animal pocket knife (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

The $9 cardboard bicycle

Israeli designer Giora Kariv invented his $9 cardboard bicycle after hearing about someone who'd created a cardboard canoe. The finished product is advertised as remarkably strong and durable:

The Cardboard Bicycle Project is a new, revolutionary and green concept that produces bicycles which are made of durable recycled cardboard.

ERB is an active partner who manages all the business and financial aspects.

The first commercial model of bicycles is designed for large companies as a vehicle for the employees and to large cities as a cheap, light-weight vehicle and parallel to it the electric model is being developed.

The Cardboard Bicycle can withstand water and humidity, coated with a strong layer of brown and white material, making the finished product look like it is made of hard lightweight plastic and can carry riders weighing up to 220 kilograms. The cost to make the bicycle is around $9-$12 and the manufacturer expects that the cost to the consumer would be around $60-$90 depending on what parts they choose to add on.

Cardboard Bicycles (via MeFi)

For Passover fun in Israel, a safari of animals crafted from Coca-Cola trash

A monkey sculpture is pictured on a pick-up truck before it is placed in an exhibition at Hiriya recycling park, built on the site of a former garbage dump near Tel Aviv. The Coca-Cola Recycled Safari featuring animals made of recycled Coca Cola packages will be open to the public during the Passover holiday.

More images of other critter creations from the recycling project, below. (REUTERS/Nir Elia)

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Israeli President Shimon Peres writes on Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook Wall (no, an actual wall at Facebook HQ)

Israeli President Shimon Peres writes on a blackboard with Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on March 6, 2012. (REUTERS/Moshe Milner/Office of President Peres)

The Botany of Bible Lands: An Interview with Prof. Avinoam Danin

Avinoam Danin is Professor Emeritus of Botany in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He curates Flora of Israel Online. His latest book is Botany of the Shroud: The Story of Floral Images on the Shroud of Turin.

Avi Solomon: What first sparked your lifelong fascination with botany?

Avinoam Danin: My parents told me that when I was 3 years old I always said "Look father, I found a flower". My grandparents gave me the book "Analytical Flora of Palestine" on my 13 birthday - I checked off every plant I determined in the book's index of plant names.

Avi: How did you get to know the flora of Israel so intimately?

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