Always expect the unexpected

Why should children expect to play on their computer rather than take regular exercise?

Sand cat – a cousin of Rotem of the Ramat Gan Safari (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Sand cat – a cousin of Rotem of the Ramat Gan Safari
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
I always marvel at the fresh and exciting nature of the discoveries and innovations I collect from the Israeli news, but even I couldn’t anticipate the vast number of astonishing stories recently reported in the Jewish state.
At Petah Tikva’s Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus, Israeli doctors removed a 15-centimeter-long tumor from a woman’s womb midway through her pregnancy without harming either her or the fetus.
Then, in a first-of-its-kind event, doctors at the same hospital used innovative technology to remove a massive blood clot from the lungs of a 43-year-old woman who was declared clinically dead after suffering an amniotic embolism during a cesarean section. Both the mother and her new baby daughter are now doing well.
A study conducted at Schneider Children’s Medical Center for Israel found that parents from the Arab sector whose children have been treated in Israeli hospitals feel a stronger sense of solidarity with the State of Israel.
Recent unexpected international events include that of Hebrew University Prof. Renata Reisfeld accepting an invitation to join the editorial board of the Tehran-based International Journal of Environment, Energy and Waste. And international plane spotters were amazed to watch the midair refueling by an Israeli tanker plane of a flight of Jordanian F-16 Vipers, which were flying together with Israel Air Force planes en route to exercises in the US.
But hats off to master’s graduate Haisam Hassanein, an exchange student from Egypt, who defied expectations in becoming the valedictorian of his class of international master’s students at Tel Aviv University. He delivered a remarkable speech, emphasizing that Arabs must question their assumptions about the Jewish state.
There are also three relatively new Israeli-developed apps that could help you out of an unexpected situation. Tens of thousands of Israelis have used the app Polly to find a parking space in Tel Aviv’s congested streets. Polly uses GPS, crowdsourcing, municipal information and its own algorithm to guide drivers to streets where spaces are more likely to be available. The app is now being expanded to Jerusalem.
Next, why should children expect to play on their computer rather than take regular exercise? Eylon Porat hooked up his daughter’s computer to an exercise bike that she has to pedal in order to unlock games on the computer for a certain time period.
And if you suddenly have to deal with an unexpected problem, Angels Nearby will connect you to somebody who wishes to help. The app uses a search engine to connect people based on the type of assistance needed, “trust level” (everyone, Facebook friends only, friends of friends), and location.
To conclude, I certainly didn’t expect Israel to host a global UN event at this time, but 200 scientists from 40 countries have just attended the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Tel Aviv. It coincided with a related unexpected event – Rotem, a rare Israeli sand cat, just surprised staff at the Ramat Gan Safari by giving birth to a litter of three kittens.
The writer compiles a free weekly newsletter on positive news stories about Israel – and a searchable archive at