Afterlife snack: Jar of toads popped open in 4,000-year-old Canaanite tomb dig

Posted on October 2nd, 2017
By AMANDA BORSCHEL-DAN for The Times of Israel


Excavation just outside Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo gives window into funerary rites with unexpected remains of decapitated frogs and not-local myrtle and date pollen



A 4,000-year-old Canaanite “burial kit” has been found to include an afterlife snack pack of nine decapitated frogs. Discovered in a salvage excavation near Jerusalem’s Biblical zoo, a set of intact jars and their contents shedsnew light on funerary rites of the Middle Bronze period — and give a window into an ancient recipe for toad.


The dig’s co-director, Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Shua Kisilevitz, told The Times of Israel on Monday that while food offerings in burials are typical of the Bronze Age, “finding toads is pretty unusual,” she said. “To the best of my knowledge, the only other place in Israel with toad find was in Wadi Ara, and dates to the Late Bronze Age.”


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New app orients visually impaired in malls, schools, hospitals

Posted on September 25th, 2017
By Brian Blum for Israel21c


Free text-to-speech smartphone app mimics the function of a venue’s directory board, orienting a visitor toward the proper direction.


Idan Meir thought he was building a technology to help stores sell more goods. He wound up with a product that allows blind and visually impaired people to navigate malls, universities and hospitals.

“It happened almost by accident,” Meir says, explaining the genesis for RightHear, the pioneering accessibility app he built with cofounder and CTO Gil Elgrably.

The two had created a technology to offer virtual on-the-spot coupons to shoppers based on Apple’s iBeacon technology. iBeacons are small self-powered Bluetooth transmitters that can be placed on walls and roofs in a retail location. But the business model wasn’t making sense.

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Restaurants okayed to say food kosher without rabbinate’s approval

Posted on September 18th, 2017
Times of Israel Staff



Landmark High Court ruling finds informing consumers about food's origins cannot be prohibited, denting monopoly by ultra-Orthodox-controlled state rabbinical body



The High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that Israeli restaurateurs are permitted to inform their clientele that they serve kosher food even if they do not have kashrut certification from the Israeli state rabbinate.
The Law Prohibiting Fraud in Kashrut states that “the owner of a food establishment may not present the establishment as kosher unless it was given a certificate of kashrut,” and that only official state or local rabbis may give such certificates.


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Was the oldest mug shop in history just discovered?

Posted on September 11th, 2017
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine 


Archaeologists have found a chalkstone vessel workshop that dates back thousands of years.


You saunter into your office break room for a cup of joe and scan the room for a usable mug. There, far in the corner, is the "World's Best Dad" cup that some co-worker left there months ago – so long, in fact, that nobody can quite remember who it belongs to. Nonetheless, it sits in the corner collecting dust. You think that mug is old? Think again.

A team of archaeologists in Israel has just discovered the remains of a rare mug workshop in the northern part of the country. It's believed to be thousands of years old. The dig site was full of chalkstone vessels – mostly mugs and bowls – that were in various stages of production.

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Jerusalem gets smart with new digital gadget library

Posted on September 4th, 2017
By Viva Sarah Press for Israel21c


On loan are smartwatches and laptops, 3D cameras, smart computer chips, gaming computers, tablets, and Android and iOS smartphones.


Israel’s startup community has inaugurated its first gadget library. The Jerusalem venue, called The Device Lab, has cutting-edge technologies and devices on loan for entrepreneurs and students to try out their ideas.

US colleges have long offered their academic communities the opportunity to come try out new and old technologies on an array of gadgets and computers at so-called gadget libraries.

Now, Israeli developers – new and veteran – have a library of their own in which to tinker about.

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