Some 250 of Asia’s top scientific minds will be gathering in Jerusalem at the end of the month for one of the most prestigious youth science gatherings ever held in Israel — the Asian Science Camp, which, besides hosting promising young scientists from across the continent, will feature talks and workshops led by at least five Nobel Prize winners.
This will be the sixth ASC, a project developed by two Nobel Prize winners from Taiwan and South Korea. Students from high schools and colleges in 22 countries will be attending. Israel will supply the biggest contingent of young minds, with 35 students from around the country, followed by China with 34 participants, India with 33, and Japan with 24. Delegations from Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, Nepal, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, and Myanmar will also be participating.
ASC, set to open on August 26, is modeled on an annual meeting between young science researchers and Nobel laureates that takes place annually in Lindau, Germany. The format for ASC includes lectures and discussion for students by Nobel winners and top scientists in a variety of fields, including biology, physics, genetics, mathematics, space travel, and much more. Students will also be treated to trips showing off Israel’s sights, as well as excursions to university labs, high-tech companies, and social events. The five-day meeting will take place on the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus. While participants were not required to submit a project or paper in order to win a spot at the event — they went through an extensive interviewing and vetting process instead — the event will feature a creative poster competition.
So far, at least five Nobel Prize winners in the sciences have confirmed their attendance at ASC. Two of them — Robert J. Aumann (economics) and Aaron Ciechanover (chemistry) — are Israelis; the others include Japan’s Makoto Kobayashi (physics), Roger Kornberg (chemistry) of the U.S., and Yuan T. Lee (chemistry) from Taiwan. Organizers said that “surprise” visits from other Nobel laureates were likely. And, the entire event will be presided over by yet another Nobel winner — President Shimon Peres, who will give a speech welcoming participants.
Also speaking and holding discussions will be at least 30 top Israeli lecturers and professors, among them several winners of top awards, such as the Wolf Science Awards, Fields Mathematics Medals, and Turing Awards for theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
Israeli scientists young and old are understandably excited over ASC taking place here — as is the Foreign Ministry, which, a spokesperson said, sees Israel’s hosting of the event as “an important project, one that was one of our top goals for 2012, a special year in which Israel is emphasizing its relations with Asian countries.” According to Ministry sources, a diplomatic “surprise” is likely at the event as well; scheduled to attend are delegations from at least two countries with which Israel does not currently have diplomatic relations (but not Iran and Pakistan, the sources said, as those two countries announced that they would not attend).
The Ministry said that it had been working for months to ensure that Israel could sponsor the event, but that organizers showed a great deal of interest in holding ASC in Israel; many people in Asia, the Ministry said in a statement, are curious about Israel’s successes in high-tech and science, and are interested in getting to know more about what makes Israel “tick.”
Co-sponsoring the event with the Foreign Ministry are the Hebrew University and the ORT school network. Dr. Zvi Paltiel of ORT, a physicist who is managing the Israeli delegation, said that Israel’s hosting of ASC is “not only a great opportunity to enable the scientists of the future to experience Israel, but also to introduce the cream of our young scientists to an important international conference. I hope that the camp,” said Paltiel, “which coincides with the beginning of the school year, will be an inspiration for the field of scientific education.”
Source: Times of Israel
With Israel’s Olympic delegation now back in the country, the country’s medal hopes have turned to its Paralympic team, which flies to London on Wednesday, two weeks before the start of the games.
“We have a lot of spirit. We will do our best and try to return with the gold medal,” sailor Dror Cohen told Army Radio Wednesday. Cohen and his two sailing partners won gold at the games in 2008 in Beijing, and hope to repeat their achievement.
Hand-cyclist Nati Gruberg, who cited cyclist Lance Armstrong as his inspiration, said that making the competition was an achievement. After being injured in a motorcycle accident and spending two years in the hospital, Gruberg was ranked seventh in the world in hand-cycling.
The cyclist said he “was very proud to represent Israel,” especially since there were “no regular people” who cycled for the country at the Summer Games. “I will try to get the honors for everybody.”
On Tuesday team members met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wished them luck in the upcoming competition. Netanyahu told the athletes the two months with a cast on his leg helped him understand the difficulties of a physical handicap “just a little bit more.”
He couldn’t imagine the willpower and prowess they constantly had to call upon, he said, after he was forced to think twice about showering with his broken leg.
The Israeli delegation consists of 25 people, seven of them women, who are set to compete in nine sporting disciplines: sailing, wheelchair-tennis, sharpshooting, marathon, hand-cycling, table-tennis, swimming, riding and rowing.
Sharpshooter Doron Shaziri is one of the team’s more decorated members with six Paralympic medals.This summer he hopes to win his first Olympic gold. “It’s coincidence that I haven’t won gold at the Olympics yet,” he told the Israeli sporting site One. The same competitors attend every international competition, he said, noting that he won gold at the European and World championships.
The Ramat Gan resident was injured by a landmine at the age of 20 and had his leg amputated below the knee. Since then, Shaziri has won the European and World Championships, as well as multiple international medals.
At the ’96 Games in Atlanta he won two silver medals and in the following two Olympics he added three bronze and another silver to his shelf. “It’s a question of timing,” Shaziri said, of winning the ultimate prize. “You have to bring yourself to the peak at the right moment, and that’s what I’ve been training for.”
“You do amazing things and you act as role models,” Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat told the delegation. Livnat said her office was trying to increase its support of the Paralympic team, as Israel tries to bridge the gap between the able-bodied and disabled in all fields of life.
Because there are different levels of disabilities present at the game, the competition is divided into subcategories, determined by the severity of impairment the athlete has.
The 2012 London Paralympics will be the 14th time the Games are held. They will open on August 29 and close on September 9. Seats for the sporting events were already sold out, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
Source: Times of Israel
1960: CYPRUS gains independence from Britain! Happy Independence day to our Cypriot friends!
1954: Sports Illustrated is published for the first time! In that spirit, the 2009 Swimsuit edition cover with Israel’s own Bar Refaeli!
In the video, LaBeouf plays a man in a tempestuous relationship, and he gets to show an emotional, mature side of himself that isn’t often tested by battling-robots movies. He also appears frontally nude in the video, which is definitelysomething you wouldn’t expect to see in a Transformers film. Did he feel any inhibitions about it?
“Well, we were playing a couple in the midst of a drug-addled binge,” said LaBeouf. “It was extremely abusive. And the direction from Alma was: You two wake up in bed after having made love all night, and now starts the bad side of this. And so we go to the blocking tape markers on the floor, and we both get there. [The actress is] nude and I’m in my clothes and I’m thinking, There’s no way I would have slept with you in my clothes and gotten up with my clothes on and come to this moment. If you’re going to be naked, I should be naked as well.”
“We agreed, and that’s what we did,” he said simply, adding, “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh my God, he’s fucking naked now.’”
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is going on tour in Israel in September. The tour will be launched in Jerusalem on September 29 and will then move on to The Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv.
The ensemble will premiere ‘Home’ the work of choreographer and dancer Lorenzo Harris. The piece is set to a soul-lifting score of gospel house music and inspired by the stories of people living with or affected by HIV.
The group first premiered the work on New York on International AIDS Day, exactly 22 years after the dance company’s founder died from the disease.
“Harris takes a conceptual approach to hip-hop,” said Robert Battle, the company’s new artistic director. “He is bringing a unique perspective to stories that absolutely have to be told, and that ought to be realized in a dance vocabulary that comes from a new generation,” he added.
Their current tour will see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater perform the work of American choreographer Paul Taylor for the first time. Arden Court by Taylor was created 30 years agoand is mainly performed by the choreographer’s own group. Another piece which will be premiered is Robert Battle’s Takademe.
Takademe was created in 1999; the complex, tightly woven rhythms of Indian Kathak dance are deconstructed and abstracted in this percussive, fast-paced work, where clear shapes and propulsive jumps mimic the vocalized rhythmic syllables of Sheila Chandra’s jazzy score.
“Takademe is near and dear to me as one of my first creations. It’s a work I made in the tiny living room of my old apartment in Queens,” Battle noted.
“As I begin as Artistic Director, I want to acknowledge my journey, look back on what I did with so little and recognize having so very much now. Also, the work has a sense of humor, and some of my other works that have been done at Ailey were in a more serious vein. I wanted to share another aspect of myself with the Ailey audience,” he added.
Another piece which will be presented in Israel for the first time is Hunt which Battle created before he became artistic director of the ensemble.
The visit to Israel is part of a global tour which will end Battle’s first year as artistic director. Battle succeeded legendary dancer Judith Jamison as Artistic Director. Jamison had served as Ailey’s right hand. The group will arrive in Israel after touring in Geneva, Barcelona and Copenhagen.