Students from Israel and Austria are working on developing an alternative to pharmaceuticals when someone has a migraine headache. The alternative is based on electrodes that send the user’s physiological vital signs for analysis by a computer program that customizes a playlist of music tailored to the patient’s physical state that will reduce pain by balancing irregular readings. While the test group is Austrian oncology patients, the entrepreneurial spirits behind the R&D hope the final product will be a wearable bracelet able to help people with minor ailments choose what music they should be listening to. (Yediot) Photo credit: vintage posters



Decades ago, ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Mizrachi men of North African origins adopted the dress of European ultra-Orthodox men with their wide brimmed black hats—the result of countless Mizrachi yeshiva boys attending Ashkenazi Talmudic academies where black broad-brimmed hats, black coats and matching trousers and a white shirt are literally a ‘uniform’ (leading non-religious Israelis to dub the haredim penguins’…) 

            Well, no longer…at least as far as head coverings go. The revered cabbalist Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto is setting a new norm…actually an old one: back to the good old casquette (French for a little hat or visor cap) that Jews traditionally wore in Morocco. Not only is the new fashion brimless; black is ‘out’. Visor caps come in a host of colors*…although perhaps not all the colors of the rainbow. (Yediot Darom) Photo credit: Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, Shuva Yisrael website


* during the High Holidays Pinto’s followers around the world in Shuva Yisrael synagogues and Yishivot as they are called, wear white casquettes.



An innovative bill before the Knesset, sponsored by MK Michael Malchieli (Shas), will turn moving violation tickets into a windfall for offenders.  Instead of simply enriching the state coffers, drivers will be able to spend a hefty 1,000 NIS fine towards purchase and installation of an anti-accident warning system such as Mobileye or Awacs designed to correct human error on the road. One hundred and eighty million NIS in ‘lost revenue’ has already been approved to operate as an incentive plan that subsidizes installation of such safety systems in exchange for a 1,500 NIS ($405) discount on one’s annual vehicle license fee; the law would make moving violation fines grounds for the tradeoff, as well. (Yediot) Photo credit: Mobileyeagainst the backdrop of the iconic Azrieli towers adjacent to the Ayalon Freeway



Here’s another glimpse into ingenuity and the Israeli mindset. Yariv Bash, a former member of the Prime Minister’s Technology Group who served as a team leader in a certain field of engineering, related how he had been among the people behind organization one of  the Technology Groups annual (since 2007) Machnet, think out-of-the-box ‘summer camp’ for geeks who already think-out-of-the-box…

            Mechnet is billed as a “creativity and entrepreneurship event” that brings together the technological units from Siyeret Matkal* and the Navy Commandos, the GSS, the Mossad, and the IDF Intelligence Branch and the IAF computer unit. What happens when 300 participants who in their day jobs play the role of Q (!) a la James Bond, are allowed to let their imagines run wild and built a product without any operational purpose?

            Among the gems revealed in a 2015 televised new feature item on the same subject that Chelm-on-the-Med found floating around the Internet: a young inventor from the Intelligence Branch who in two hours gerry-rigged a Spiderman suction gadget that allows him to climb walls by repurposing an off-the-shelf industrial-strength vacuum cleaner. Other contraptions: an air battle simulator for two flying dragons; a digital soccer goalie; and a device that shoots playing cards like arrows at a target, and a water cannon that shoots rolls of toilet paper… (Israel HaYom, Uvdah – Channel 2, Israel Air Force website) Photo credit: Screenshot from Uvdah news item          


* The special operations unit attached to the IDF General Staff.



A new way of making aliyah…and a sign that in this day and age you can have your tuchis* in two places at the same time…

            Canadian-born Dr. Dubi Kuperberg—a pulmonary ICU specialist from California is a new immigrant to Israel. He telecommutes to work on the eastern coast of the United States from Israel, virtually clocking-in for work at 5 AM in Israel from his home office, just as the 12-hour night shift goes on duty at hospitals in places like New York, Washington  or Atlanta…

            An array of satellite dishes on Kuperberg’s rooftop on the outskirts of Jerusalem relay readings of a patent’s status from bedside monitoring devices in America to computer screens in Kupperberg’s home office.  In an emergency Dr. Kuperberg is at the patent’s side virtually within seconds (at the touch of a button, setting in motion two-way high definition cameras installed at each bedside, as well). Thus, Kuperberg can assess the situation and give instructions to on-site nurses/residents on duty during the um…‘graveyard shift’ when no senior intensivist is on the ward. He’s able to cover 80-120 patents spread out in ICUs at tens of hospitals on the eastern seaboard— an infinitely better solution for all concerned: It’s faster and more comprehensive than reaching a senior intensivist on-call at home, and saves lives. It’s a win-win solution that allows senior department staff tension-free uninterrupted nights, and allowed board-certified specialists like Kupperberg (there are others) to made aliyah without any drop in income. (YediotPhoto credit:  Kuperberg at work


* your ‘’ass’ in Yiddish



Eyal Shani* isn’t a fashion designer or patent-owner of the latest craze gadget whose concept has been copied by Chinese manufacturers. He’s the chef behind Miznon (‘buffet’)—a three-branch Tel Aviv fast food chain with slow-cooked meat-stuffed-in-a-pita and other delectables.

            Shani was surprised to discover a mysterious branch in China (in addition to the ones he opened in Vienna, Paris and Melbourn)…with the same name and exact-same items on the menu right down to the chef’s ‘signature’ 21 NIS ($5.68) tapud nidras (a four-times ‘run-over’ flattened baked potato mugged with a rolling pin) and 46 NIS ($12.43) whole French-style roasted coq (chicken in French) with greens topped with lemon juice and olive oil, inside a brown paper sack…seasoned with a scandalously erotic name.

            The chef called the Shenzhen replica (that even plastered one wall with photos of Shani as a sign of authenticity) to ask the owners what they had to say for themselves. The operators (apparently westerners, not Chinese) retorted with a shrug: “Everybody copies” and hung up… (Yediot) Photo credit: Miznon facebook page   


* The originator of whole roasted baby cauliflower, a dish that has taking the global culinary scene by storm.