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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Good news from Israel21c

When the news gets you down, surf over to Israel21c and remind yourself that the Israelis keep doing incredible stuff.

Video game enthusiasts can look forward to a world without controllers:
Video game enthusiasts will soon enjoy their virtual recreation in a whole new way, with the Israeli development of a real-time motion-capture interface which makes it possible to play computer games without using a controller.

Imaging technology specialists 3DV Systems, based in the Galilee city of Yokneam, have announced the release of the ZCam, which is able to perceive depth and can recognize human gestures, translating movements in the physical world into on-screen action.

"ZCam enables gamers, in a way never before possible, to interact intuitively and naturally with games," said Zvika Klier, CEO of the company.
I don't think that the Arabs, who are always touchy about Israel co-opting "their" foods, will be happy about this:
It's practically a national sport in Israel. At sidewalk cafes, and at bustling fast food joints, diners enjoy the fine art of sopping up delicious plates of hummus and tehina with freshly baked pita. Truly a wonder food, hummus is rich in vitamins, high in protein and fiber and free of trans fats - and prepared Israeli style, it tastes fantastic.

Americans and Canadians can begin preparing their bread in dipping position because last week, fast food giant PepsiCo announced that it had signed an agreement to operate the Israeli-owned brand of Sabra Middle Eastern dip products in North America under its Frito-Lay snack food division.

The agreement, worth $45 million, will bring the Sabra line of chickpea and eggplant-based dips and spreads produced by food manufacturer Strauss-Elite directly to American grocery shelves alongside other Frito-Lay products like potato chips, salsas and popcorn.

Israelis continue to turn the desert green, and creating medicines along the way:
Director of the Arava Institute's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Solowey, a mother of six, has left an impressive track record. Through her different cooperative research projects, two highly cited books in her field - Small Steps Towards Abundance and Supping at God's Table - and past coverage of her work by mainstream media, Solowey has acquired a prestigious reputation. Notably in 2005, after germinating a sapling from a 2,000-year-old date palm seed believed to be from ancient Judea, Solowey's work was featured in the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications.

She was recently featured in Time magazine for her groundbreaking work in the cultivation of Tibetan medicinal herbs. In addition, she was the primary lecturer at the Indigenous Fruit Tree Conference, held by the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations at Matopos Reserve in Bulweyo, Zimbabwe in May 2003.

Solowey rushes back and forth from the orchard in her khaki trousers, thick-rimmed sunglasses and paper-suitcase in hand. Talking outside the library, where she works her duty kibbutz 'toranut' (shifts), she explains that in Biblical times, the Arava expanse was more fertile and included a string of interconnected oases. Today, beyond her innovative research, Solowey also believes in combating desertification - the greening of the desert.
An Israeli physician is tackling ADHD without using drugs:
Brawn for the brain is part of a cure to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), according to Dr. Amnon Gimpel. The Israeli physician has developed a comprehensive proven approach to treat this medical condition suffered by 9.7 percent of American children. According to new studies published in September, only 35% of those diagnosed receive treatment.

Gimpel's book Brain Exercises to Cure ADHD was published last week by BookSurge Publishing, a subsidiary of Amazon based in North Charleston, South Carolina, and will be followed by Hebrew and Russian translations

"By nature I'm eclectic, not a purist. I'll use in my approach whatever works for effective treatment," says Gimpel. ADHD is a neurological condition that causes impulsivity, poor concentration, and hyperactivity beyond the control of the child.