Modern Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip resumed only after the 1967 Six-Day War, but even with those settlements set to be evacuated, Jewish roots in the sandy strip of land where Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea meet run deep.
Opinions differ on whether the area was or was not included in the Land of Israel conquered by the ancient Israelites in the Bible.
How many trees does it take to absorb the emissions from your car's commute? How much land does it take to feed and raise the beef you eat for dinner? How much space on earth does your trash take up?
The city of Santa Monica has taken up the task of answering those questions in "Santa Monica's Ecological Footprint, 1990-2000," released in March. The report measures the amount of land used to produce everyday products and services like electricity, transportation, garbage disposal and housing. That land use is called the ecological footprint, and it can be measured individually or citywide.
For The Kids
On the day of my wedding, my grandfather was on his deathbed. In earlier years, he had been a delight of my childhood, a source of insight and stability, a constant presence. In planning our wedding, we'd asked my grandfather to play some favorite old songs on his violin during the ceremony. But illness came suddenly upon this 90-year-old, and it became impossible for him to attend. That day, despite the intense celebration, my joy was diminished. But when he died seven days later, I knew he'd seen at least a glimpse of the life I was entering and the family I might later create.