I am spending a week in Israel to visit three physics institutes for colloquia and seminars: the Tel Aviv University (where I gave a colloquium yesterday), the Haifa Technion (where I am giving a seminar today), and the Weizmann institute in Rehovot (where I'll speak next Wednesday).

The topic of my talk is the same you've heard about already if you are a regular of this column: the five-sigma criterion for discovery claims in physics, its history and shortcomings, and the proposal of how to update it. Tangentially, I also mention some of the material discussed in detail in my book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at the Tevatron" (you can get more information on the book at its World Scientific web site, where you can read endorsements, a contents list, and also order a copy with a 35% discount until Jan 15).

I was very happy to meet my friend professor Marek Karliner at Tel Aviv University yesterday. Marek is a particle phenomenologist and he directs the institute of advanced studies at TAU. He was a great host - he invited me and my fiancee to an outstanding restaurant (Santa Rosa) on new years' eve, and later to a party at one of his friend's house.

As for today in Haifa, my host at the Technion (a.k.a. the Israeli Institute of Technology) is professor Yoram Rozen, an ATLAS colleague. After Tel Aviv and Haifa I must say that the hospitality and courtesy here in Israel is second to none. Tonight we'll spend some good time at a restaurant downtown (although I have been explained that there is no "downtown" Haifa - the town is on three levels on a multitude of hills and slopes). 

Besides another seminar at Weizmann, the plan for the next few days includes a visit to Jerusalem. If you have suggestions for that I'm glad to hear them - I have already been advised to take an organized tour; others have suggested to walk the wall around the city. If you have leads, I want to hear them :)