Balaam’s ass: Now with Wi-Fi

A light-hearted piece for summer holiday.

Donkeys become Wi-Fi hot spots in historic Israeli park

From Los Angeles Times (H/T: Religious News Service)

An American tourist uses an iPad while being led through Kfar Kedem on a donkey outfitted as a Wi-Fi hot spot. (Ariel Schalit / Associated Press / August 22, 2012)

By Deborah Netburn
August 22, 2012, 12:39 p.m.

Kfar Kedem is a historic park in northern Israel that promises to take visitors back 1,000 to 2,000 years to biblical times. You can thresh grain there, don old fashioned robes, press oil from fresh olives, ride the rolling hills on donkeys, and as of recently, you’ll also get great 4G access.

That’s because Kfar Kedem recently turned five of the park’s 30 donkeys into historically inaccurate, living, walking, Wi-Fi hotspots.

“Our village has 30 donkeys, and we’ve equipped the first five with wireless routers that are attached to the donkey’s body,” the park’s founder, Menachem Goldberg, told the Times of Israel. “In the future we’ll consider equipping all of the donkeys with the necessary apparatuses as necessary.”

It may sound strange, but if you think about it, donkeys have been helping people with their work for thousands of years.

The Wi-Fi-equipped donkeys wear a router around their necks in what looks like a little feed pouch to keep the historical vibe going, according to the Associated Press.

While some people may bemoan the Wi-Fi donkeys as an emblem of our culture’s addiction to a constantly connected lifestyle, you can’t blame Goldberg for capitalizing on a great viral marketing, social media opportunity.

His Wi-Fi donkeys will make it easier for visitors to Kfar Kedem to upload pictures of themselves at the village to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which might convince other people to come and check out the village themselves.

To life, to life, to Wi-Fi!

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2 Responses to Balaam’s ass: Now with Wi-Fi

  1. toadspittle says:

    “You can thresh grain there, don old fashioned robes, press oil from fresh olives, ride the rolling hills on donkeys,”

    And, one of the bemoaners, in his old-fashioned (circa 1995) robes, will be Toad. Are these people mad?
    Where he lives, the countryside is austere and beautiful. Gently undulating fields of rye, barley and sunflowers. And mostly silent, the occasional call of a crow or a hawk. Very good for thinking.
    So, many pilgrims feel it necessary to wear headphones to listen to God knows what racket.
    If they could get wi-fi, they’d be walking along looking at Facebook or Twitter, no doubt.

    I once walked a beautiful part of of the Camino with a group what included a girl who trailed along behind, ignoring everything and talking non-stop on her mobile to her boyfriend in Italy.

    (Crabby old git, Toad!)


  2. JabbaPapa says:

    Last time I walked the Camino, it was already invaded by mobile phone madness, and it was definitely a negative development.

    People were keeping their minds focused outside of the Way, instead of in the Here and Now.

    I *did* notice that the ones most addicted to their mobiles were also the ones most likely to just up one day, give up the walking, and vanish.


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