Posts Tagged 'haifa'

Day of Mourning – Carmel Fire

Thursday, Dec. 2nd, will be declared a National Day of Mourning in Israel, to commemorate one of the toughest disasters in our country’s history – The Carmel Wildfire (still raging). Emergency forces are describing the fire using war terms, and many agree that, excluding the wars – this disaster is the biggest and most complicated Israel has ever faced.

Carmel Fire, Thursday night (Dec. 2nd)

Carmel Fire, Thursday night (Dec. 2nd), at Tirat Hacarmel. By Niv Calderon

Starting small near the Village of Nucleus (also see Google Map below) on Thursday at 10:45am, the wildfire picked up with the winds, changed direction west to road 721, and trapped a bus conveying 40 Prison Guards on route to evacuate a nearby detention facility. 37 died on the bus, 3 escaped, presumed dead.

The remains of the prison guards' bus

The remains of the prison guards' bus, Carmel Fire. By Niv Calderon

Pictures by Niv Calderon. Additional pictures from the disaster area at

View שריפה בכרמל – חדשות 2 באינטרנט in a larger map

The fire burst on the 2nd day of Hannuka, a Jewish holiday celebrating the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, marking the rededicating of the Temple in Jerusalem (Second Temple). The olive oil in the temple’s eternal fire was enough for one day, but miraculously it burned for 8 days – exactly the time needed to prepare fresh olive oil.

Carmel Fire, captured by The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Carmel Fire, captured by The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Click image for original

My heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones and to the emergency forces working around the clock to extinguish the fire. Special thanks to Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Britain and Russia for sending their fire-fighting aircrafts to assist.

The future of collaboration from IBM Research

Lotus Enterprise Collaboration and Social Software Event (a.k.a LCTY Israel) is a day away, and today we (Alan Lepofsky, Jason Risley and Arjan Radder) are visiting IBM Haifa Research Labs, hearing what’s in store for social software and collaboration tools. Our agenda here is packed with presentations and we’re behind by 20min so far – too many questions…

Tomorrow we’re gonna talk about how you can start implementing social software tools specifically developed for enterprises, and today we’re hearing about the future: social networking, software, web 2.0 aggregated search, people search, WS Portal search, visualization, plugins, widgets, Quickr ‘Next’, Connections ‘Next’ – very exciting stuff! I can’t elaborate obviously, and trying to put what I’m seeing into words is not easy as well…

The people at IBM Research are working on some innovative projects, and I’m very excited to see the outcome of some of these projects.. I think you’ll be interested as well… 😉

Social software and Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres, Israel’s President, visited Haifa Research Lab (HRL) this week, along with Meir Nissensohn, IBM Israel General Manager. Mr. Peres demonstrated excellent knowledge in internet and social networks, as several researchers presented their work in the field of business implications of social networks. Then Mr. Peres discussed in Arabic with Aya Soffer, using IBM’s MASTOR, a two-way, free form speech translator that assists human communication using natural spoken language for people who do not share a common language. The speech translator is in use in Iraq by humanitarian services, to improve communication with the local population.
Mr. Peres concluded his visit by driving ‘the virtual car’ (pictured above), a new driving simulator that enables social communication between cars on the road – to decrease accidents and improve road safety.

Links: (Hebrew): President Peres visits IBM Haifa Research Lab (Hebrew): Presidential Visit

In the picture below (from left to right): Mr. Shimon Peres, Israeli President, Dr. Aya Soffer, HRL (both sitting), Yossi Shoval, Media Relations Mgr. and Mr. Meir Nissensohn, GM, IBM Israel (far right).

Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.