Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

2 average days in israel

Yesterday the israeli civil defense force tested its own preparedness with three simulated attacks: a rocket attack against the aiport, a suicide bombing at a school and chemical attack on a power plant. At 2pm there were nationwide sirens. Despite knowing that they were coming, hearing the wailing of alarms was enough to make me want to leave the string theory lecture I was in and duck into a bunker. Earlier in the day a suspected suicide bomber was caught en-route north of Tel Aviv.

Today at 9am, negotiations between the Histadrut (Workers union) and the government regarding the wages of 3700 civil servants failed, resulting in a general strike being called. Ministries, local authorities, municipalities, religious councils, banks, the post office and public instituitions are closed. Trains, airports, and seaports are also shut. Kindergartens and libraries are closed while border guards, firemen and elctrical and water services are all operating in a limited capacity. The worst bit is that the bank of israel is also on strike which means there will be no cash distribution and ATMs will not be filled! The strike is open ended.

"However, union leaders decided to make one exception to the strike - airport workers will be back on duty on Thursday evening for a single incoming flight - carrying the England football team. They are due to play Israel in a Euro 2008 qualifying match on Saturday."


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