The Imaginary Limitations of Modern Technology

I will start by exposing the reader to a truth that may be uncommon to the general public. The limitations that we face in our physical reality are scientifically biased. There is no way to truly…


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Archeology Training

Dear Friends,

For the past two week, I’ve been going to Akko and receiving an introduction to the techniques used in underwater archeological excavations. It was super fun and you lucked out because our dive master is also a great photographer!

The Dive Workshop (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman)

First we had to learn to navigate with a compass. It is straightforward and easy to do on land, but everything is more difficult in the water. The compass is on your wrist and you have to keep it still. But when you are floating underwater, there are waves rolling above you, your mask is fogging up, and you also have to hold onto a line, suddenly keeping the compass steady and horizontal becomes impossible. Presumably, practice will makes it possible, but I have my doubts.

I am proud to say that after hours of practice and drawing my own diagram, I can now consistently do a bowline knot. Also, we did other knots as well.

We had a big tarp for shade and everything had a bluish tinge underneath…It’s not as visible in this picture, but there nonetheless (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman).

Then we did dredging. That was fun. There is a lot of set up, but by the end we have a system where a firehose runs from a pump on a boat down to a metal tube which has a bendy tube attached to it near the front by the firehose. The bendy hose is then taken by divers to suck up sand. The sand then goes up the bendy tube and out the back of the metal tube. There is physics involved in why this works. But anyway, when you’re the diver you have then end of the bendy tube and it is your job to shove it into the sand and suck all the sand up off of the site. We didn’t have a site, so we practiced digging holes; we dug some deep holes!

The dredger pump sits on this barge. That’s the Island of Flies to the left (artificial island built as part of a mole by the Phoenicians or Romans) and Haifa is all the way across the bay (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman).

Watching the dredger suck sand is like watching the sandworms in Dune (by Frank Herbert) move through the desert. Sometimes the dredger would kick up so much sediment that I couldn’t see past my mask. This was a weird scuba diving experience because if that much stuff is in the air on land, you can’t breath. But underwater, you can keep breathing because what you see is not what you’re breathing. I had to keep reminding myself that I could breath. After a minute of claustrophobia, the sediment did clear up, and I could keep shoving the sandworm dredger deeper into the hole.

Late every afternoon, I would return to my apartment caked in salt and sand with soggy stuff in my backpack. It has been a fun two weeks!

I’m either under the water or under the tarp when this picture was taken (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman).

Also, it was hilarious; to do this training, the school was required to follow a ton of regulations to limit the spread of corona. So, everyday, we had to show the corona regulation safety person (a very nice lady who was also in charge of tracking who was currently scuba diving) a health statement that we had not been in contact with a known corona patient and had not had a temperature for the past two weeks. We don’t have a way of knowing if we have been in contact with a corona patient and none of us have a thermometer; so, I’m not sure what that accomplishes besides providing plausible deniability for the university if we all come down with COVID.

Infectious air bubbles we’re breathing (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman).

Then, everyone was required to wear a mask (the surgical kind, not the scuba kind…though we did wear those a lot). We did wear masks, but only until we put on our scuba gear. After that, everyone was too soggy and hungry to remember to wear a mask (and the safety lady was great and totally understood that). All the scuba gear had to be washed differently from normal, but only half the people remembered on any given day. Then when we went out on a boat, we still had to wear a mask; though, how you could catch corona in a boat with a ton of wind and water in your face is unclear to me. Then as part of the drill, we had to jump into the water and get pulled back into the boat. Obviously, the masks couldn’t go into the water with us, and we were too soggy afterwards to put them on. Also, we were strictly prohibited from sharing food…though, one of the girls didn’t like tomatoes and I love them. Incidentally, I’ve eaten a lot of tomatoes this past week…

A classmate taking notes for class (Photo Credit: Amir Yurman).

That’s all for this week, Friends!



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