Dead Sea Odyssey 422 metres below sea level – 4: Ein Gedi springs

( 1 )( 2 )( 3 )( 4 ) – more soon….

Ein Gedi is an interesting phenomenon, its a little oasis just on the other side of main road from the Dead Sea.

Its odd that a body of water completely sterile of life has a stunningly attractive beauty spot a few hundred metres away.  Here at Ein Gedi you walk along twisty paths around large boulders and streams, see unusual animals not seen in Europe, and follow your way around streams that twist around rocks and paths up to a big waterfall.  Ein Gedi served as a water source during biblical times.  Joshua 15 : 62 and 1 Samuel 24 : 1-2 feature this place.  The Bible  records that 3,000 years ago hid from King Saul at Ein Gedi. When David surprised the King and spared his life after finding him unarmed, Saul said David would succeed him on the throne.

Not far from Ein Gedi, is Qumran one of the most significant archaeological sites here in Israel as the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

There are more unusual animals, in this case its these little critters, Rock Badgers,  officially called Hyrax, large rodents that seems to dwell around mountainous places with sources of water.

When I came here before in 2006, some people on the tour chose to get baptised here.  Often the river Jordan is the main choice for that amongst Christian pilgrims here, but Ein Gedi is just as good. 🙂

( 1 )( 2 )( 3 )( 4 ) – more soon….

Power cut in Talpiyot

On wednesday when working at our food bank warehouse in Talpiyot we had a power cut.

Quite sudden, I was working on setting up a server on my work bench which suddenly went off.  It wasn’t running anything important.  A repeated beeping came on from the various UPS (battery back up) units around the building.   One of them I rebuilt myself as the batteries were old and no longer functioning, each of the cells has a life span of 3 years or so.   I am glad I did now.

With multiple circuits around the building, with the sockets labeled for computer use, it seems everything went to plan, apart from the lights going off in my workshop (one of the only rooms with no natural light)  and the video intercom system on the front door.  I had to manually power down the servers and tell everyone to quickly save their work and shut down their PCs.  Meanwhile our giant walk in freezer had its own battery system, so no food that was to be supplied to the poor got spoiled.

After the utility company was called, we were told there could be a wait of 2 hours.  I think the power outage ran for about 45 minutes, this meant the electric water heater built into a water bottle dispenser was still hot enough to get two cups of tea each.   Once the power came back on, I manually powered on four PCs in my workshop and the two servers and all seems to be fine.    Oddly enough, some switches and routers were still blinking away protected with a shoebox sized UPS but we had no internet connection, although I could ping our router.  It seems during the hotter months, more people have their air conditioning on and the electricity supplier may not be able to cope.   It seems all companies I have seen in Israel all have UPSes on PCs and critical equipment, often see them underneath a cash register in a shop.   If this sounds like a big concern, now that I have been here a year, this is the first time I have seen a power cut at one of our offices.

I want to look at means of monitoring our bigger UPS units remotely, we have some APC and some lesser brand units, so I can see sources of problems from my main desk.