Explosive sales, Birthright tales, and a chuppah in three acts
Perfume sales rocket in Gaza
To move the merchandise, you gotta have a gimmick.
How about this one? Create an inexpensive perfume and name it after a terrorist rocket.
That's what a Gaza manufacturer did last month. And the idea worked.
The orange/lemon/herbal perfume, which comes in both men's and women's versions, is labeled "M-75" - after the missiles Hamas launched at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem last month. Those rockets travelled further, and reached larger population centers, than any previously fired from Gaza, and the perfume has successfully piggybacked on their popularity among Gazans.
The scent sells for about $13 for a 2 ounce bottle, and the director of the firm that markets it says "sales have gone through the roof."
Speaking of rockets....
Say you live in one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet, but the neighbors keep shooting missiles at you.
Well, there's an app for that. Actually, several.
Even before last month's rocket attacks reached their peak, innovative software developers were designing smartphone apps to help Israelis duck for cover. While the most targeted regions of Israel's south have the "Code Red" alert system -- which gives a 15-30 second warning, depending upon how close you are to Gaza -- it can't always be heard. (Think: In a car with the radio on. While wearing headphones. In a rural area far from a town. In the shower. OK, maybe you wouldn't have your phone with you in the shower. But you get the idea.) And even if you do hear it, you might not know where to go to get out of harm's way.
Enter the apps.
Several sound their own alarm any time Code Red sounds in a pre-designated area. You also can use it to track alerts in an area you aren't in, but want to know about.
Another app tells you where the nearest safe spot or shelter is, based on your GPS location. The operative word here is "nearest." Remember, you've only got seconds to get to it.
Things to do while a loved one is on Birthright
OK. We've all heard about the amazing things that can happen on a Birthright trip. Some of them can be absolutely life-changing - in the best of ways.
But did you ever stop to wonder what was going on back home with the folks who weren't on the trip?
Sometimes, they can find some pretty creative ways to use the time. And to express themselves. In ways that can be absolutely life-changing. In the best of ways.
I could tell you more, but that would spoil the surprise. You should just check it out on YouTube for yourself.
Just following orders
In a rather indecorous game of Jewish geography, a German company called Fotopuzzle that makes posters- and puzzles-to-order from a database of 55,000 aerial photographs of Germany, decided to add Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps to its collection of picturesque photos that can be made into a 60 x 40 cm poster to hang in the living room, or a 1,000-piece puzzle for hours of family entertainment.
Following the intervention of Germany's CSU (Christian Social Union) party head Gerda Hasselfeldt, in whose constituency Dachau is situated, the puzzles have been withdrawn from sale.
When Robi Gluden and Izolda Abraham decided to get married, instead of hiring a wedding hall and a band, the two aspiring actors wrote a 90-minute-long romantic comedy about how they met and fell in love, then set out to find a venue that would agree to stage their drama.
After a series of performing arts centers delicately declined to cater to the star-struck couple's fantasies, the 449-seat Nesher Cultural Center outside Haifa agreed to host the play. Invitations were designed like theatre tickets and a reception was held in the foyer. Acts ran from a scene recalling their first date to re-staging their first lover's quarrel, climaxing in the last act - how could it be otherwise - with a staged, but apparently binding, marriage ceremony.