Travel

Ancient mug workshop found near site of Jesus wine miracle

Israeli archeologists on Thursday unveiled a 2,000-year-old workshop for making stone vessels similar to those Jesus is believed to have used to miraculously turn water into wine. Located near the Galilee village of Reineh in northern Israel, the site is walking distance from Cana, the site of a wedding where the Gospel of John says Jesus performed the miracle, his first. The workshop and an adjoining quarry were discovered by chance during the construction of an access road for a new sports centre, excavation director Yonatan Adler said. Since the discovery two months ago, Adler and his team have uncovered fragments of chalkstone mugs and bowls along with thousands of cylindrical chalk cores discarded in the process of hollowing out the vessels with a lathe. They are typical of a period from the second half of the first century BC to the middle of the first century AD. Jews of the period used stoneware for reasons of religious observance, Adler said. “According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure,” he said. That practice was noted in John’s New Testament account of the Cana wedding, which described larger vessels: “There were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews.” “So far at this site we haven’t found production of these large jars,” Adler said. “But presumably the stone jars that would have been used at Cana would have been produced at a site like this, probably in the area.” He said that prior to the Reineh excavation two similar sites had been excavated, both near Jerusalem. “What’s exciting here is that for the first time we have physical evidence of production of stone vessels here in Galilee,” he said. “There has always been a question amongst scholars regarding the nature of Judaism in Galilee,” something particularly important when studying early Christianity, he said. “The question is, who are these people that are living in Galilee?”

Fascinating!!   🙂

Archaeological find in Jerusalem ‘proves Bible passage is historically true’

Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have found burned artifacts dating from 2,600 years ago – which prove that a passage in the Bible is true. Researchers uncovered charred wood, grape seeds, fish scales, bones and pottery while digging in the City of David in Jerusalem. The find provides evidence that the Babylonians ‘burned all the houses of Jerusalem’, described in the book of Jeremiah. Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority found the artifacts beneath layers of rock in the City of David – along with jars with seals which enabled the researchers to date the artifacts. ‘These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period,’ said Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘Used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.’ The fire damage can be dated to 2,600 years ago – which ties with events described in the Bible. The book of Jeremiah says, ‘Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.’

Fascinating!!  To see the video, click on the text above.   🙂

Colorado Divide: Isolated mountain towns struggle to survive with authentic identities without becoming tourist traps

The winding, two-lane highway into Lake City hugs the light-green Lake Fork of the Gunnison River as it rushes downward toward the valley, past thick forest and Colorado wildflowers. The first view from above is unexpected, almost startling: a town, though a tiny one with wooden boardwalks instead of sidewalks along its two-block main strip, sits isolated in a valley surrounded by mountain peaks, three to five hours from any major metropolis. The 780 residents who live in Hinsdale County year-round desperately want to entice tourists to drive over 11,000-foot passes, hundreds of miles from a major airport, to visit their breathtaking valley. But Lake City has no ski resort, no alpine slide, no Leadville 100 ultra-running race, nor any other defining attraction, save for a fall wine festival and a free ice-climbing wall. Locals in this former mining town are brainstorming to come up with an “anchor attraction,” one that draws tourists but stays true to Lake City’s identity as a farther-off-the-beaten-path, nonresort, mountain community. A consultant hired by the city recently suggested a zip line that would fly above the 12-acre, former Ute Ulay silver mine just outside town. It did not go over well. Lake City, Silverton and Creede are the county seats of three southwestern Colorado counties that have fewer than half the residents they had at their peak population, which was around 1900. Evidence of that long-dead era lies in the wooden mine shafts crumbled in the hills of Hinsdale, San Juan and Mineral counties, and in the mines that have reopened so tourists can ride trains into the dark core of the mountains, where snow runoff trickles through the tunnels and splashes on their helmeted heads. The struggle to survive, to attract young families to balance out the retirees, to find people hardy enough for year-round, high-elevation living, leads to conflict between preserving an authentic vibe and becoming a gimmicky tourist trap, between retirees and young bloods, between second-home owners and permanent residents. The three one-town counties built by gold and silver miners more than 100 years ago have worked hard since the last of the mines closed in the 1990s to reinvent their economies based on recreation. The work is constant; let down their guard and residents risk their livelihood if too many tourists or would-be residents choose someplace else. All at once, they both envy and turn up their noses at Telluride, the southwest region’s tourism darling. “This is more reality,” said DeAnne Gallegos, who owns The Chocolate Dog fine gift shop in downtown Silverton. “We protect our blue-collar vibe.” The resilient residents of Lake City mention fairly often they would rather not become a Telluride or an Aspen, though that’s hardly a legitimate concern without an airport, golf course or ski resort. When word got out about the zip line idea, Lake City locals began calling their county commissioners, and the town’s Main Street program manager asked people during a June economic vitality summit not to “freak out.” Instead of grumbling about what they don’t want, Main Street manager Kristine Borchers, a mother of two teenagers who moved to Lake City in 2006, encourages people to describe their vision for a Lake City that will survive. “We want to be an authentic community that feels like a small town, a place where kids can ride their bikes, where the rec department sets up a slip-and-slide on Friday nights, where a ski ticket for the Poma lift is seven bucks,” she said. “A place that when people visit, they think: ‘It’s tiny. It feels friendly. Everybody waves at me. I want to live in a place like this.’ ”

This is a struggle many towns here in sunny Colorado are dealing with…  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Texting While Driving, Now Legal in Colorado

The electronic signs above Colorado highways offer a warning to drivers who reach for their cellphones: “New texting law fines increased to $300.” What it doesn’t mention: Texting while driving is now legal in Colorado as long as it isn’t done in “a careless or imprudent manner.” The little-noticed provision softening the state’s standard is part of a new law that increased the penalties for a texting while driving carelessly citation from $50 to $300 and from one to four points on a driver’s license. Before now, any text messaging or manual data entry by a motorist was prohibited. “The simple fact is that if you are texting while driving but not being careless, it’s no longer illegal,” said Tim Lane at the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council.

While we certainly don’t recommend texting while driving, we applaud this reduction of the big brother environment that has been created over texting.  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Cuba deal rollback: Trump says he’s nixing Obama’s ‘one-sided’ pact

President Trump, speaking at a Miami theater associated with Cuban exiles, announced Friday he is nixing his predecessor’s “one-sided deal” with the Communist nation – moving to restrict individual travel to the island, crack down on the flow of U.S. cash to the Cuban military and demand key reforms in Havana. While stopping short of a full reversal, Trump said he would challenge Cuba to come back to the table with a new agreement. “Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration’s completely one-sided deal with Cuba,” Trump told a cheering crowd. Trump cast his announcement Friday as the fulfillment of a campaign pledge to turn back former President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to the country. “I keep my promises,” Trump said. “And now that I am your president, America will expose the crimes of the Castro regime.” A cornerstone of the new policy is to ensure Americans traveling to Cuba only support private businesses and services, banning financial transactions with the dozens of enterprises run by the military-linked corporation GAESA. The Trump administration also says it will strictly enforce the 12 authorized categories allowing American citizens to travel to Cuba – banning one particular type of travel, known as individual “people-to-people” trips, seen as ripe for abuse by would-be tourists. Most U.S. travelers to Cuba will again be required to visit the island as part of organized tour groups run by American companies. Obama eliminated the tour requirement, allowing tens of thousands of Americans to book solo trips and spend their money with individual bed-and-breakfast owners, restaurants and taxi drivers. The rules also require a daylong schedule of activities designed to expose the travelers to ordinary Cubans. Trump focused his speech Friday on the crimes and misdeeds of the Castro government, saying his administration would not “hide from it.” He accused the regime of harboring “cop killers, hijackers and terrorists” while casting the policy changes as meant to encourage a free Cuba. “With God’s help, a free Cuba is what we will soon achieve,” Trump said. Critics of the United States’ decades-long freeze – and embargo – with Cuba say it failed to spur such changes, and had welcomed Obama’s outreach as a fresh approach. But many Cuban-American lawmakers recoiled. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Cuban-American lawmaker who helped craft the new policy, spoke before the president in Miami on Friday and took a shot at Trump’s predecessor for his visit to Cuba last March. “A year and a half ago … an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to a regime. Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba,” Rubio said.

Exactly!!  This is great news for the good people of Cuba who have been brutalized by the communist dictator Castro brothers for over half a century.  Outstanding!!   🙂

Worst airports for summer flight delays

Even without the snow and inclimate weather, summertime is no picnic for busy travelers. Some delays are inevitable but it turns out several airports perform a lot worse than others during this busy travel season. MileCards.com recently analyzed on-time arrival data from the U.S. Department of Transportation for the past 10 years dating back to 2007, uncovering the best and worst airports for summer flight delays. Three of the four worst airports for on-time summer arrivals are located in or around New York: Newark Liberty International (66.5 percent), LaGuardia (66.9 percent) and John F. Kennedy International (69.2 percent) ranked first, second and fourth in worst on-time arrival percentage between 2007 and 2016, respectively. San Francisco International and Boston’s Logan International round out the top five worst airports for on-time arrivals in the summer, according to MileCards.com’s 2017 Summer Flight Delay Study. While undoubtedly better, Chicago’s O’Hare, Philadelphia International, Miami International, Ronald Reagan Washington National and John Glenn Columbus International Airport also cracked the list of the top 10 worst for summer travel with average on-time arrival percentages ranging from 72.3 percent to 73.9 percent. Hawaii dominates the list of the best airports for on-time arrivals during the summer. Kahului Airport and Honolulu International Airport rank Nos. 1 and 2 at 88 percent and 86.5 percent, respectively. The West also reigns supreme when it comes to the top-performing airports in the mainland U.S. Salt Lake City International, Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Portland International, Seattle-Tacoma International, San Jose International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International and Las Vegas’ McCarran International are among the best U.S. airports for summer travel, boasting an on-time percentage of 79.5 percent or better. MileCards.com’s research also found that 40 percent of the top 50 U.S. airports have more summer than winter delays and that June is the worst month for summer delays—with more than three-quarters of the 50 busiest airports experiencing more frequent delays in June compared to July or August. The website declared that Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport is the best United Airlines hub for on-time summer arrivals while Phoenix is the top-performing American Airlines hub this time of year. Delta Air Lines’ best hub for summer travel is Salt Lake City. To combat summer flight delays, MileCards.com recommends air travelers check for waived change fees before they check in, take advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi to rebook on their way to their destination and choose their airports and departure times carefully.