Sunday, February 13, 2005

At airport

About to fly to Bombay from Tel Aviv. It has been a great trip so far. I went to the Ramon Crater today, which is a spectacular sight. There is an explanatory film that describes how the sandstone was covered with a layer of limestone, there was an uplift, and then there was a great deal of erosion, which accelerated after the limestone layer was gone.

The result is called a "crater" in English, but is really just a very wide canyon. It is very beautiful, and looks like something from another part of the world. There are even volcanoes in it, that look like black mounds, some with red coloring around them.

I have some pictures of it, but I have not uploaded them yet.

For those who are interested in such things I will mention that I am using Flickr (flickr.com) to host the pictures. They make it very easy to integrate them into a blog such as this one. In fact, it is as easy to blog a photo, as to type an entry such as this one.

The camera I am using is an Epson RD-1, which is a wonderful gadget. It is as much like using a film camera as a digital could be. In fact I generally do not use the lcd display at all, as all the important controls are accessible by dials, and the important info is always visible on a set of needles. The only reason to avoid the camera is that you may find yourself in a state of idolatry with respect to it. I really like that it does not have a bunch of weird modes that try to do your thinking for you. Instead it lets you take the picture. The magic part is that when you change the ISO you are not just accomodating a new roll of film, but changing the way it acts, so it is useful in broad daylight, and around a campfire. Of course I have relatively fast lenses (f2) so that helps as well.

While I am rambling on and waiting for my plane, I may as well mention that the train ride from Be'er Sheva to the airport was easy and inexpensive. I have never heard anyone talk about the trains in Israel, but they are very convenient. Service to Jerusalem should be starting soon, and that may cause an increase in attention.

Last night Martin and Inbar took me to the Be'er Sheva Sinfonietta. It was a good concert, given the limitations of a Sinfonietta. I had never heard one before, it is a sort of reduced orchestra. There was a young woman named Kinneret who was the violin soloist for the first few pieces. Oddly enough she was the third woman with that uncommon name I ran into this trip.

There was also a soprano who sang some Tchaikovsky, and other things. I think the Russian was a sop to the large number of Russians who live in Be'er Sheva. Unfortunately not so many of them come to the concerts, the hall was not full, and it was very very small. The Beethovens 4th symphony that finished the concert was lovely in parts, although it really suffered from the diminished string section.


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