Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?


A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Friday, May 9, 2014

TV Technology--A Godsend

I remember back when I was a kid, I had to decide which TV show to watch on a particular night. The decision was forced because two shows I wanted to watch were on different channels, and came on at the same time. I still remember them: Batman and Lost in Space. (I was a kid, okay?)

I don't remember which I chose, but I suspect I chose Lost in Space. It was good until it got goofy. And Batman was always goofy. But as a kid, it was more tolerable. Anyway, you don't have that problem with today's TV technology. With the DVR feature, you can record any show at any time, at any amount, and from anywhere!

So even if there were three shows or four or more coming on at the same time on different channels, you can record them all, and watch all of them at your leisure. Amazing. And I thought that the invention of the video recorder was amazing. It was, but you couldn't record more than one show at a time. And you needed to have a video tape to insert into the machine, which had limited space. Now, all of that is obsolete.

And it makes the forced decisions obsolete, too. And right now, I'm glad for that. Because I have two shows that I enjoy that are on different channels, and at the same time. Game of Thrones comes on HBO Sunday nights at 9, and TURN comes on AMC on Sunday nights at 9. Not a problem.

But really, I wasn't even watching TURN at first. Which brings me to another amazing thing about today's TV technology. You just go to the "On Demand" feature and look up any recently televised show, and you can catch up on what you had missed.

I had missed the first five episodes of TURN. I knew about it because of the trailers they showed while I watched The Walking Dead, and it caught my interest, but since it came on the same day and time as Game of Thrones I forgot about it. But then I happened to see another advertisement for it, and realized that it had been on for over a month. Not a problem. On Demand to the rescue. And in the space of one week, I've now seen all five of those missed episodes. And I'm glad I did.

The production for TURN is good. The time period, (American Revolutionary War) is intriguing, and the concept, (America's first spy ring,) is also intriguing. Bottom line is the writing, which is good, (unlike DaVinci's Demons, which I watch solely because I'm a fan of the real Leonardo.) But TURN, like Game of Thrones is well paced, well written, and fun to watch.

And again, thanks to today's TV technology, I don't have to choose. You get the best of all worlds, (meaning all TV channels in this case.)

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