Researchers from Tel Aviv University drew these conclusion after studying the attitudes of about 150 people in Israel.
Eran Toch, from the school’s department of industrial engineering, said in statement that smartphone users tend to have an illusion of being in a “privacy bubble” when using their devices in public.
The research found that people with smartphones were 70 per cent more likely than those with less advanced cellphones to think their devices gave them a fair degree of privacy when using them in public.
Smartphone users were also 20 per cent less likely to think talking on their devices in public bothered other people, and 50 per cent less inclined to be annoyed by other people using their phones, the study found.
Toronto tech-trend analyst Alan K’necht, a partner at Digital Always Media, said such cultural tendencies found in the Israeli study also hold true in Canada.
“I see it all the time,” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard conversations, thinking, ‘You shouldn’t be having that conversation at the grocery store or on the street corner.’ ”
K’necht said it’s probably not so much that certain types of cellphones transform people’s personalities, but those predisposed to react to phone calls, emails and texts right away are more attracted to smartphones. He added that a higher proportion of young people have smartphones than older people, and that could be a factor in the study’s findings.
“There’s a generation that has grown up very tech savvy and has this sense of immediacy and response, and the only way to do that is to respond immediately — take the call in meetings, respond to texts and tweets and emails on the fly.”
Another of the study’s authors, Tali Hatuka from Tel Aviv University’s geography department, suggested that public spaces be re-designed in such a way that there are designated areas for phone usage, and other areas where it’s not allowed.
K’necht said it might be worthwhile to have more phone booths in public spaces, such as restaurants, where people bring their own phones.
“If the venue wants to provide the old-fashioned phone booth where you can go and sit down in a little cubbyhole and chat, there might be a marketing opportunity,” he said.
While her manager insists that she eat her omelet, McCord is excited to share her experience and perspective of Israel in what is her first trip to the country with the organization “America’s Voices in Israel.” McCord explains that she was not afraid to travel to Israel and was excited to meet the people who experience the country every day.
“I’ve heard a lot against Israel back home, but I always knew there was a lot more to this country than what I’ve read and seen in the news,” McCord told me.
“The first question that I’ve always thought about in regard to the conflict here is how much of it is a holy war?” McCord explains that she knows the Biblical history of the region well, having “grown up with the Bible” and believes that there is “no room for the world to judge Israel or anyone in this conflict.”
“I believe there are always three sides to the story — your side, my side and the truth,” said McCord. “Until you actually live in someone else’s shoes, you can never judge.”
“With all that negative coverage about Israel, I was amazed by the resilience, human spirit and optimism that people here have facing daily turmoil. You have to come see Israel for yourself to understand this — that people can still have an amazing existence, with love and patriotism, despite all the odds.”
The one characteristic that McCord says she particularly likes about Israelis is that “they don’t care what you think, what the world thinks. As an actress, I definitely relate to that because people write mean and nice things about me all the time. I do what I have to do, no matter what the critics say. Israel does the same.”
McCord and her acting colleagues, among them Omar Epps (House), Zach Roerig (Vampire Diaries) Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds), Mekhi Pfifer (8 Mile, ER), Paul Johansson (One Tree Hill), Holt McCallany (Lights Out), Holly Robinson Peete (Hangin’ Out With Mr. Cooper) were particularly impressed with Israel’s state-of-the-art facilities for special needs/disabled children.
Peete wrote that “this country is so ahead of ours when it comes to caring for children with autism…I’m inspired.”
The itinerary for the trip included visits to Jerusalem’s Meshi, a rehabilitation center and school for 196 children with severe neurological and muscular disabilities who receive the world’s top treatments, and the Na’Alagat Center in Old Jaffa, a theater group made up of deaf and blind people who are Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze.
For others, the trip reinforced the spiritual dimensions of the Holy Land. Omar Epps, on his second visit to Israel with America’s Voices in Israel, explained that it was the country’s “rich history, culture, people and energies” that drew him back. “For me personally, the spiritual significance of this place hits me to the core. The fact that the world’s three ancient religions meet in one place makes the holiness of this land so unique,” said Epps. “I’m bringing my kids here next time to experience this land together with my wife.”
Even the Dead Sea took on religious significance when Mekhi Phifer tweeted jokingly before the group’s descent to the world’s lowest elevation on land that he “might even get baptized in the Dead Sea.”
Visits and tours to Masada, the Golan Heights, Haifa,Tel Aviv, Jerusalem’s Old City and Christian sites including Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Geinosar and the Church of Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem also left strong impressions on the stars.
“I would love to come back here to film a movie someday,” said Holt McCallany, Hollywood actor, writer and producer, who starred in Fox’s Lights Out.” It was amazing to be able visualize all these stories and settings,” he told me.
At the farewell dinner, Mekhi Phifer thanked Rabbi Irwin Katsof, director of America’s Voices in Israel for organizing the week-long trip from May 7-13. “It’s been a privilege to be enveloped in your culture,” Phifer emotionally told Katsof.
Rabbi Irwin Katsof has been involved in bringing missions to Israel for the past 20 years and today directs America’s Voices in Israel which was founded in 2001 and is part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He is a businessman, educator, author and successful entrepreneur, who has brought the likes of Starbucks founder, Howard Schultz and Lady Margaret Thatcher, and others, to Israel.
Katsof explains that his missions entail a no-strings attached rule. “The groups are presented with the facts, and have the opportunity to meet with Israelis across the spectrum. They come to their own conclusions about the country.”
May’s trip was a cooperative effort between the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Affairs, El Al Israel Airlines and the Jerusalem Inbal Hotel.
For Israelis who caught a glimpse of the stars, excitement ensued as requests for photos and autographs were readily answered by the actors and actresses. The more well-known of the group, AnnaLynne McCord and Zach Roerig, found themselves posing with countless star-struck teenagers at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel.
“It’s a bit overwhelming,” said Zach Roerig. “I never expected so many fans in this region of the world.”
Source: Huffington Post
Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf, Staff Reporter, Friday, May 11, 2012
While there, the comics will be shadowed by a CBC film crew, led by Toronto director Igal Hecht, for a documentary to be released later this year.
In a recent interview with The CJN, Yuk Yuks president and CEO, Mark Breslin, said he’ll be making his first visit to the Holy Land along with the standup comedians – three Jewish, three not – and is looking forward to further connecting with his Jewish roots.
The comedians are Rebbecca Kohler, Aaron Berg, Sam Easton, Jean Paul, Nikki Payne and Michael Khardas. The latter is an Israeli Canadian.
In a country that’s experienced its fair share of sorrow and hardship, a comedy trip to Israel seems like a potentially great balm for a perpetually stressed Israeli populace. But Breslin expects that the country will also have a significant impact on his own retinue.
While the touring comics hope to “kill” audiences in Israel, the country and its diverse cultures will likely affect the travelling Canadian comedians and their material, Breslin said.
The weeklong comedy trip runs from May 30 to June 7.
They’ll be doing standup gigs in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Herzliya, as well as meeting with a number of Israeli comedians to share their experiences and engage in a comedic cultural exchange.
Breslin said the idea for the trip stemmed from his anger at the anti-Israel events that unfolded at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). What he witnessed from the boycott, divestment and sanctions advocates at the time – various filmmakers and actors vocally opposed TIFF’s spotlight on Tel Aviv films at the time – sent him into a fury.
“There were some people in the arts who protested and thought it was wrong” to spotlight Israel, he said. “So I thought, what if I did an Israeli comedy festival in Toronto. Would they picket me or was comedy not important enough?”
While that question wasn’t answered, the Israeli consulate in Toronto helped plant the seeds of this upcoming trip.
“I approached the Israeli government in Toronto and asked about what kind of access there might be to English-speaking comics in Israel” with the goal of bringing them to Canada, Breslin said.
He found out that there was indeed an English comedy circuit in Israel that might send some comedians to Canada. But the consulate proposed another idea: sending a group of Canadian comedians to Israel.
Breslin said before that talk, he’d never considered that option.
“Of the seven of us going, only one has ever been to Israel, Michael, who’s one of our fledgling comics,” he said.
The trip is also part of a plan to capitalize on the burgeoning international appetite for English-speaking comedians, Breslin said.
“Did you know there’s a comic circuit in Scandinavia for English-speaking comics?” he asked rhetorically. “And as far as I know, no one has yet taken a look at Israel as a place where people have taken a new interest in standup comedy, which they obviously have. Everyone [in Israel] speaks English, pretty much.”
He cited comedy clubs springing up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other towns in Israel.
Breslin said it’s not out of the question that a Yuk Yuks franchise could work in Israel, specifically in Tel Aviv, and it’s something he’ll look into while there.
“If I found someone who could run it, a franchisee, it’s not impossible,” he said.
On a personal note, this being his first trip to Israel, he said now that he’s turned 60, it’s time to make the journey.
“In my assimilated, arty circle, it’s not unusual” to have not visited Israel, he said, adding: “I married a German. Does it get more assimilated than that?”
Breslin said his family has been in Canada since the 1880s, so their connection to Europe and the Middle East was always distant.
Not having led a “traditional” Jewish life, he said during the course of his career he hasn’t had much room to express his Jewishness.
“I’ve always looked for ways to do this. I don’t have a political attachment to Israel. I don’t belong to a shul. My community is less Jewish and more multicultural. But this trip may be one of the ways I can connect with the Jewish strand in my life. I couldn’t [connect] in a conventional way because I don’t do anything in a conventional way,” he joked.
“But in the end, I enjoy being a Jew. I don’t think enough people say that,” he said.
Bringing the conversation back to comedy, Breslin noted that the history of the craft is laden with Jewish influence but the old days of Jewish comedians dominating the landscape of North American comedy – the Borsht Belt circuit being one example – are over. But there is a new flavour of Jewish comedy in the world, and it’s emerging from the Holy Land.
“The history of comedy as we know it is very much the history of Jewish comedy. And the idea that there may be a place in the world now, Israel, that is going to continue on in creating a new tradition of Jewish comedy, really excites me and interests me,” he said.
It will also be an apolitical trip, Breslin said, noting he ensured that all the comedians had “good feelings” about Israel before embarking on the tour.
His goal for the trip to expose people to how “great a country Israel is.”
“It’s a progressive country. The people going on this trip are not religious people, to put it mildly. The Israel we’re interested in is the one that is a beacon of western thought and democracy in the Middle East,” Breslin said.
He added: “As artists, a lot of the time we identify with the outsiders and [one area] where we note this is happening is in Tel Aviv’s huge gay community. Also, there’s an explosion of Israeli filmmaking happening. The political debate on Israel has been going of for so long… there’s a lot of other stuff in Israel that should be seen.”
Lastly, Breslin said he hasn’t let go of the idea of bringing Israeli comics to Canada as part of a cross-cultural initiative.
A high-level minister came out in support of same-sex marriage in Israel on Monday.
Speaking to Army Radio Monday morning, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon said he believed such decisions were personal and the government should “give people the freedom to choose.”
The former chief of staff, who is often characterized as a hard-liner on security issues, said there was a partial precedent for this, in that the IDF recognized partners of the same sex for the purpose of common-law marriages. Not every personal choice needs to be approved by the rabbinate, said Ya’alon, who sits in the prime minister’s high-level inner cabinet.
Legislation to recognize civilian and gay marriages in Israel that was submitted by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) will be voted on in the Knesset later this week.
Last week, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said he didn’t think Israel would approve such a measure, but he himself would reconsider his position on gay marriage.
The topic of gay marriages made headlines recently when President Barack Obama spoke out openly in favor of the issue. On Monday, Newsweek called Obama America’s first gay president.
All marital affairs within the state are currently controlled by the religious establishments — Jews marry through the rabbinate, while Christian and Muslim citizens can tie the knot at their religious institutions.
Because of this status quo there are a few groups who can’t legally get married in Israel, including members of the gay community who aren’t recognized by any official religious institution in the country.
Common-law marriages have been recognized for specific monetary purposes, and civil marriages from abroad are recognized retroactively by the authorities, meaning gay marriages that take place outside Israel are recognized by the state.
The push for full recognition and official civil marriages within Israel has been ongoing for years, but it has yet to pass the test of legislation.
Source: Times of Israel
Baron Cohen’s new film, “The Dictator,” will open the festival with a special screening at the Wohl Amphitheater. Keitel, who acted in classics such as “Mean Streets,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Taxi Driver,” is expected serve as the chairman of the festival’s jury.