Thursday, February 15, 2007


In case you haven't heard, a 2,000 year old date palm seed that was found on Masada (in Israel by the Dead Sea) was planted and is now growing. Although it is the oldest seed by far to have germinated, the interest is that it is an actual date palm which was indigenous to the Holy Land back during the second Temple times. All of the current date palms here were imported from various places over the years. You can read about it here and here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Do Clouds Come From Smoke Stacks?" daughter asked me when we were walking home the other day. I told her "no", but......she didn't seem to believe me.

Friday, February 2, 2007


Just a little over an hour's walk from our house, a nasty civil war is brewing. Roughly speaking, from about early December until late January nearly 30 Palestinians were killed in Gaza in the inter-factional fighting. Last Thursday until late Monday night the fighting intensified and another 30 people were killed. A cease-fire was announced between Fatah and Hamas starting early Tuesday morning, but from that time until this morning (Friday) another 20 people were killed and 250 wounded and the cease-fire was officially in tatters. Just a few hours ago, though, a new cease-fire was announced between the two factions. Since then, at the time of writing, another four people have been killed.

Similarly, the Palestinians supposedly have a cease-fire with Israel which belatedly came into effect at the end of November. However, a recent study showed that the rate of rockets fired into Israel during this current cease-fire is greater than the rate of rockets fired when there was no cease-fire in effect.

I get the feeling that the Palestinians do not understand what "cease-fire" means.

UPDATE - Oh well, so much for that cease-fire. Didn't last until this (Saturday) morning. Maybe we'll have another...?

UPDATE II - Cease-fire back on.