Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quirkier Side Of Israel Revealed As Chelm-On-The-Med Announces Chelm Prizes

Squeeze Z Hummus, straight from the bottle.
Last August we introduced you to Chelm-on-the-Med Online, an Israeli Internet news outlet in English that features snippets of the lighter side of daily life in Israel.

This week, the web site announced its Chelm prizes, highlighting the best stories of the year.

As the site's founder, Daniella Ashkenazy, reported in JTA online news,
The following is a roundup of some of the best odd news stories from Chelm-on-the-Med Online, an Israeli Internet news outlet in English that features snippets of daily life gleaned from the Hebrew press, revealing the lighter side of Israeli life.

Take Israeli innovation. Blue-and-white advances ran the gamut from a gadget jury-rigged by army engineers that enables a religiously observant amputee to put on tefillin, single-handed, to naturally dehydrated tomatoes for spreading on bread like avocado that plant geneticists designed to end the bane of packing sandwiches garnished with lip-smacking tomatoes for lunch-soggy bread.
One of this year's most promising gizmos may finally convince 70,000 pelicans to stop feeding at kibbutz fish ponds when migrating between Europe and Africa: a lifelike motorized plastic Nile crocodile, a predator with a predilection for pelican meat. It works on the principle that even pelicans probably know it's better to miss lunch than to become lunch.

At the other end of the food chain, an Israeli in New York has debuted hummus in a plastic squeeze-it condiment bottle for the local market after his American-born wife told him "wiping up" hummus with a pita was disgusting.
Here's a video of the product, Squeeze Z Hummus, in action on the streets of New York and in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Arriving at IKEA Israel.  
A Chelm Prize did not go to IKEA, which was considered because its new branch in Rishon Lezion added falafel to the kosher lineup in the cafeteria.  We would agree that IKEA doesn't merit the prize after watching this video introducing the new store.  We saw a couple arrive with their son in tow and drop him off at the convenient play area, freeing them to spend the day shopping.  As night fell and they loaded their car with all the stuff they bought, the kid was nowhere in sight, and nobody seemed to mind.

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