Israel Style

Today we walked around Tel Aviv and went to the Art Museum here and also the stores, grocery, and cafes.


What I really liked was seeing it up close and not from the back of a tour bus. 


After just a day or so, I started to feel like I was really experiencing life here. 


Crossing Menachem Begin Road, we ran into these fashion-conscious ladies. 


The colorful clothes and hair, the tall blue shoes, the ripped leggings of the women on the left definitely stood out.


Juxtaposed is the lady on the right in the black dress, short haircut, bag, and glasses. 


This pair was a standout!


In a way, I miss the Holy lifestyle of Jerusalem here in Tel Aviv, but at the same time, I like the cosmopolitan and modern life here too.


Anyway, I feel like I am learning a lot and enjoying experiencing culture and religion Israel-style. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Greatest Museum of Them All

Museum of Bible.jpeg

So the greatest museum of them all is scheduled to open in just 3 months!


The Museum of the Bible.


Right here in Washington, D.C.–a few blocks from the Capitol. 


There is a wonderful video on their website


It’s 430,000 square feet and 8 stories floors. 


With two 40-feet-high bronze doors that look like the Ten Commandments. 


And an overall tall and narrow shape with a curved roof that reminds me of Noah’s Ark.


It encompasses: 


Religion.


History.


Art. 


It all comes together here. 


There is an interesting display of all the different versions of the Bible.


But what it all points to is how similar we all really are. 


The emergence of faith in The One G-d who created us all–his children–and the foundation in the words of His book. 


Yes, we share in common much more than what separates us. 


If we can just see ourselves in His eyes and be the people we can be and were meant to be. 


The museum should be an inspiration to be better, to be brothers, to have peace, to partner and progress to the future.


With our faith sustaining us, and the Bible and our conscience as our guides, we can overcome. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Mouths Alert

Big MOuth.JPeG

So I took this photo in the Museum of Natural History. 


As you can see, this hippopotamus has quite a big mouth. 


He is also not alive and is behind a glass-enclosed case for viewing. 


To me this screams that those with big mouths often don’t end up well. 


I remember a relative of mine used to bluntly call it, “being full of sh*t.”


Whether these people are in politics, your neighborhood, bullies at work and school, or even those in the fake news media…they have become all to somewhat frequent.


Sure there are other animals with small mouths in the same situation, but the hippo truly is a decreasing and vulnerable species.


And like it’s neighbor in the museum, the dinosaur–another one who has a big mouth–that ended up extinct, the prospects for talking big, but accomplishing little is sort of part of the character. 


The hippopotamus is mostly a herbivore–it has a big mouth and some big sharp teeth, but it mainly eats humble plants and doesn’t pursue the hunt of the big game and eat lots of red meat. 


Listen, big mouths can still be highly dangerous–words are powerful and can do a lot of damage. 


But overall “talk is cheap,” especially when people focus on words and not good deeds and who don’t have the right intentions. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

X Marks The Spot With A Dot Dot Dot

Dots.jpeg

Love this exhibit by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, at the Hirshhorn Museum. 


Unfortunately, they were out of passes for this special showing, so I could only grab a quick photo or two. 


But I was amazed at how splashes of dots and color can make such am amazing impact on a room. 


Futuristic and yet surreal. 


Everything in the room–walls, floor, chairs, tables, fixtures, and ornaments–had the design elements on them. 


The only thing that didn’t were the people checking it out and what a contrast that was. 


It felt like being in the fantasy world of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory or something amazing like that. 


It is no surprise that people were lining up out the doors for tickets to this exhibit. 


What an spectacular vision for the world–so happy, so magical and so wow beautiful! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Naked Sitting

Naked Sitting.jpeg

This was some amazing sculpture at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. 


This “Big Man” is just sitting in the corner at the top of the escalator.


Sitting naked and looking deep in thought and down on his luck.


In a sense, as we sit or stand in front of our Maker, we are all naked bearing witness to our transgressions and trespasses. 


What are we to do when we give in to weakness?


We see people looking around and hoping no one is seeing them as they try to get away with doing the wrong thing.


But as my Oma (grandmother) used to say in German to me: 

“Liebe Gott sieht alles” 

Almighty G-d sees everything!

Our souls, and the souls of those that came before us, and those that will come after us, are all around us, without limitation to time or space. 

Our nakedness is revealed no matter what we use to try to cover up with. 

Hunched in the corner, we don’t really know what to do, but to try to do better with each and every next time.

We have opportunities to right the wrongs, if we get up and exert self control and overcome our mortal and character weaknesses. 

Then our nakedness won’t be foul in sight and smell, but will be radiant, with our spirits having risen to the occasion of what we can be as the children of G-d. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana

Orange Fridge
Took this photo of this very cool looking Orange Fridge.

 
It actually comes in all sort of vibrant colors including pink, blue, and even “Union Jack.”
 
Made by an Italian appliance maker called SMEG, whose tag line is “Technology with style.”
 
I like technology, and I like design…so this is great stuff!
 
For home and Museum of Modern Art. 😉
 
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

From Holocaust To Holograms

From Holocaust To Holograms

My father told me last week how my mom had awoken in the middle of night full of fearful, vivid memories of the Holocaust.

In particular, she remembers when she was just a six year-old little girl, walking down the street in Germany, and suddenly the Nazi S.S. came up behind them and dragged her father off to the concentration camp, Buchenwald–leaving her alone, afraid, and crying on the street. And so started their personal tale of oppression, survival, and escape.

Unfortunately, with an aging generation of Holocaust survivors–soon there won’t be anyone to tell the stories of persecution and genocide for others to learn from.

In light of this, as you can imagine, I was very pleased to see the University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and the USC Shoah Foundation collaborating on a project called “New Dimensions In Testimony” to use technology to maintain the enduring lessons of the Holocaust into the future.

The project involves developing holograms of Holocaust survivors giving testimony about what happened to them and their families during this awful period of discrimination, oppression, torture, and mass murder.

ICT is using a technology called Light Stage that uses multiple high-fidelity cameras and lighting from more than 150 directions to capture 3-D holograms.

There are some interesting videos about Light Stage (which has been used for many familiar movies from Superman to Spiderman, Avatar, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) at their Stage 5 and Stage 6 facilities.

To make the holograms into a full exhibit, the survivors are interviewed and their testimony is combined with natural language processing, so people can come and learn in a conversational manner with the Holocaust survivor holograms.

Mashable reports that these holograms may be used at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. where visitors will talk “face-to-face” with the survivors about their personal experiences–and we will be fortunate to hear it directly from them. 😉

(Photo from USC ICT New Dimensions In Technology)