Travel

Glass Half Full – Better Place Transforms Station Error into Customer Service Case Study

February 20, 2013

Hey Better Place electric car aficionados: ever wonder what would happen if you pulled into one of the company’s fully automated battery swap stations and it didn’t work? Well, I’m here to tell the tale. It’s a classic glass half empty/half full situation. Half empty: the station broke down and we weren’t able to get […]

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Waze to go, GPS

January 9, 2013

I wrote last week on Israelity about some innovative ways that data from the Israeli traffic and mapping app Waze is being used by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Waze was in the news again this morning, but for less positive reason. When the intense rains that have hit Israel over the past three days flooded […]

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Buses Here and There

December 7, 2012

I grew up in a small suburb in the San Francisco Bay Area with no public transportation. This was tough because I have always been fascinated (my family would say obsessed) by buses, trams, trains and the like. San Francisco had pretty much everything a transit head like me could desire, including electric trolleys, streetcars […]

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Politics and Electric Cars

November 21, 2012

Does electric car company Better Place discriminate against driving across the Green Line? Now, certainly, Better Place will be happy to sell you a shiny new 100% gasoline-free Renault Fluence, no matter where you live. But in our brief time driving our own Better Place car, OSCAR – the company’s personable if flaky GPS – […]

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Stepping Out on the New Jerusalem Bike Trail

October 5, 2012

I’ve never been a cyclist, but after seeing some of the incredible bike trail ringing Jerusalem, I think I’m might just have to take up the sport. Every year, during the intermediary days of the Sukkot holiday, the city sponsors the Tzada’at Yerushalayim – translated as roughly “Jerusalem Steps”(or perhaps better “Jerusalem March”  – a series […]

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Ten Years of This Normal Life

September 11, 2012

The original logo for This Normal Life It was ten years ago that I started writing This Normal Life, my personal blog. And for ten years, I have posted a minimum of one essay per week. Actually, in the first year, I published more like 2-3 a week, but as the blog became more established […]

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A Date in Jerusalem

August 9, 2012

Every year on our wedding anniversary, my wife Jody and I try to get away to a bed and breakfast/spa, somewhere in Israel for a night or two. This year, however, the prices were even higher than usual – the cost for a vacation in Israel was double that for a flight and hotel in […]

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The Travel Nightmare Begins in August

June 22, 2012

Anyone who’s ever driven up the hill on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway in the afternoon, in the stretch between Sha’ar Hagai to Shoresh, knows that during rush hour it can be a nightmare. The combination of a steep incline, too many curves and slow trucks in the right lane can – and often does – […]

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Shmulik and Mushkie go to Kathmandu

June 8, 2012

Shmulik and Mushkie are not the kind of protagonists you usually see on Israeli television. The newly married Chabad couple are all set to begin their shlichut (emissary period) in Brussels when a last minute change of plans lands them in Kathmandu, just days before Passover, with the seemingly impossible task of organizing a mass Seder for […]

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Emek Tzurim Park: a Hidden Treasure in Jerusalem

April 17, 2012

File this one in the “who knew?” department. During the intermediary days of Passover, my wife and I had the opportunity to join a guided tour through the Tzurim Valley that begins at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University and ends at the Dung Gate entrance to the Old City, opposite the Western Wall. The route […]

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