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YIASSOO (Hello) Instant Messenger2.1 Out Now January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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Looking for a success story? Then look no further than Yiassoo instant messenger.

In just three months of its launch Yiassoo has grown from a quirky tool for a select few into an international communication service. The new Mark 2.1 service has added features which will benefit personal as well as business interaction, these special features are centered on the Greek populations throughout the world, featuring news from ERT, as well as chat, and an instant messenger service complete with instant transport for contacts, so you can keep working whilst you chat, and in your leisure hours there’s also a getting to know you or dating section to further promote good Greek relationships.

It’s no wonder they say that the cradle of civilization began to rock in Ancient Greece; Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Hippocrates, all stamped their names indelibly into the Greek civilisation and culture which resonates throughout our languages of today.

Greek, is the language of the poets and the language of the philosophers, but above all it is a language of the people, no matter where they live.

Yiasso the real time instant messenger celebrates the Greek language in the technology age, by providing a platform in which Greeks from all over the world can chat or converse with their family and friends in their own language.

“Yiasso” was developed by Yiassoo Media Ltd a Greek Cypriot based company who saw a real opportunity in developing a product that talks directly to the people in their own language. Or more importantly allows them to talk and write in their own language.

Aside from the obvious ease of communication, the one thing that having a system like this does is keep language alive. The easy to download and installation process, together with a Greek and English interface are designed to make the process of communication simpler so that Greeks can keep ahead of what is happening in their world, whether locally or internationally.

Yiasso real time messenger is cheaper than a phone call and has no time limitations, talk for two minutes or two hours it makes no difference, you can even talk to more than one person at a time, great for developing community spirit and business.

Related Links > www.yiasoo.com  

A Greek sweet spot in Denver January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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Dino Karas grew up with the aroma of kourambiedes and melomakarona in his nose. The traditional cookies came out of the ovens in his house in Athens, Greece, it also housed the family’s bakery.

He started baking when he was 15. More than half a century later, how much more, he won’t say, the silver-haired Karas still is making the same powdered sugar-coated wedding cookies and soft, honey-soaked treats at Denver’s Omonia Bakery.

“I’ve been baking all my life,” he said. His friend, Jimmy Tsiopelas, provides translation services since Karas still has a little difficulty with English. Tsiopelas, who was born in Tripoli, Greece, sells Omonia’s baklava and other sweets at his restaurant, Chef Zorba’s Cuisine.

Karas arrived in New York City in 1978, looking for “a better life. It was hard to make any money in Greece,” he said. Two years later, he joined his brother, Nick, who had moved to Denver about a decade earlier. Nick Karas had owned the Greek Village restaurant on Broadway.

They originally opened the bakery and cafe across Colfax Avenue in 1981 before moving to its current space in 1984. Omonia is named after a bustling central square in Greece’s capital city that includes a famous coffee house.

Although he sells to some local eateries, most of the business is done over the glass cases filled with several dozen types of goodies. “I sell to Greeks, Americans, Ethiopians . . . Chinese, too,” he said.

Jimmy Tsiopelas estimates that there are 10,000 to 15,000 Greeks, first, second and third-generation, in the metro area. Karas supplies them with cakes for birthdays, baptisms, weddings. He also double bakes biscotti-like raisin and anise toasts for dunking in coffee. “They serve those after funerals,” Karas said.

Proudly pointing out the various frosted treats, Karas said, “It’s flour, eggs and sugar, no mixes.” After all these years, the recipes are all in his head. He will make more than 200 almond, macaroon or Greek wedding cookies at a time. Omonia’s best-selling items are baklava and spanakopita, followed by the flaky, layered, cream-filled napoleons and the soft honey cookies. “I like the tiropita best,” he said of the cheese-filled snacks.

Another customer favorite is the braided bread, sweet, eggy, yeasted loaves baked golden brown that are perfect for French toast. During Easter season, Karas sells the traditional Greek Easter bread with traditional colored hard-boiled eggs baked into the top.

In the past few years, Karas said, his Colfax neighborhood has changed for the better. He has noticed new customers coming in, some from newly built apartment buildings nearby and others from the new Tattered Cover Bookstore a block away. “Everybody likes pastries,” he said with a smile.

As the street lights come on, the evening customers stop in at Omonia Bakery for koulourakia cookies ideal for dipping, buttery spanakopita and rich baba au rhum cakes. Dino Karas puts aside his game of solitaire, plays Greek music on his boom box, dons his white apron and slips behind the counter.

“How you doin’?” he said. “You want some baklava? How much?”

Galaktoboureko (say gahl-ack-toe-boor-eck-oh): Traditional, pie-like, lemon-infused dessert wrapping semolina custard in a flaky filo crust.

Omonia Bakery
• What: Old-fashioned bakery with a few tables selling coffee and authentic Greek pastries, cookies and breads
• Where: 2813 E. Colfax Ave.
• Hours: 9 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
• Information: 303-394-9333
• Favorite items: Spanakopita (filo dough-wrapped spinach pie); baklava (filo dough-layered nut and honey dessert); macaroon cookies; and cream-filled meringue sandwich.
• Also available: Greek coffee; raisin toasts; honey-soaked nut-filled kataifi; sesame cookies; orange-filled, chocolate-dipped cookies; chocolate-glazed cake; and apricot-filled, chocolate-glazed cookies.

A Greek treasure January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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When you think of Greece, often the majestic Parthenon comes to mind, perched atop an arid hill overlooking Athens. Or perhaps the Greek islands, sun-drenched and congested with tourists. A steaming bowl of soup seems incongruous in both settings.

At Farm Grill & Rotisserie in Newton Highlands, you’re not in Greece, but the setting seems more suitable for its tangy Greek chicken-lemon soup. Called avgolemono, literally “egg lemon”, the traditional soup is made simply with chicken stock, lemon juice, egg whites, rice, and chunks of chicken. Just staring into its lemon-scented, pale-yellow depths could warm anybody. A peppery and citrusy aftertaste lingers after each spoonful of the light concoction, and the rice almost melts in your mouth.

A visit to Greece without the jet lag. Farm Grill & Rotisserie, 40 Needham St., Newton Highlands, 617-964-7766.

Cyprus to protest Turkish oil warnings January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Oil Crisis.
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Cyprus said Wednesday it will protest to the U.N. and the EU over Turkey’s warnings over the island’s oil exploration plans, and vowed to press ahead with a tender for the project.

Government spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said Cyprus will lodge a complaint, within the day, on Turkey’s “provocative behavior.”

Turkey warned Lebanon and Egypt on Tuesday not to press ahead with oil and gas exploration deals signed with Cyprus on January 17, saying Turkey and Turkish Cypriots also had rights in the region.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Turkey had “legitimate and legal rights and interests” in the eastern Mediterranean and insisted Turkish Cypriots also had a say in the island’s oil and gas rights.

“We consider Turkey’s threats as unjustified and baseless reactions of an incorrigible regional troublemaker, and we proceed with the implementation of our decisions,” Pashiardis said.

The Cypriot government has said it would launch an international tender in February for offshore oil and gas exploration licenses.

“Nothing has changed,” Pashiardis said. “We are proceeding exactly how we planned, exercising, as an independent and sovereign state, our legal, inalienable rights that are secured by international law.”

Also Wednesday, Greece said Turkey had no right to interfere with Cyprus’ plans, accusing Ankara of violating international law.

“Turkey’s reaction is not productive and opposes aims which are peaceful and are designed to promote economic development in the eastern Mediterranean region,” Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said. “It is in total contradiction with international law and the right of a sovereign government to negotiate international agreements.”

Greece and Turkey remain at odds over Cyprus and boundaries in the Aegean Sea, despite efforts over the past decade to resolve disputes and Greek backing for Turkey’s bid to join the EU.

The Mediterranean island has been divided into a Greek Cypriot south home of the internationally recognized government and Turkish Cypriot north recognized only by Ankara, since a Turkish military invasion in July 1974 sparked by a coup supporting union of the island with Greece.

Turkey has no diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot government in the south and supports a self-proclaimed and illegal breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, recognized only by Ankara.

Turks warn neighbors over Cyprus January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Oil Crisis.
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Turkey urged countries in the east Mediterranean yesterday not to clinch bilateral agreements with Greek Cypriots over oil and gas exploration, saying they could harm efforts to settle the decades-old Cyprus problem.

Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots it backs on the Turkish-occupied and military controlled north of Cyprus are furious over Greek Cypriot plans to open tenders for offshore licensing accords on February 15. The Turkish Cypriots, whose enclave is recognized only by Turkey, say Greek Cypriots are claiming all the potential benefits for themselves.

“Turkey is determined to protect its rights and interests in the east Mediterranean and will not permit the Greek Cypriot initiatives to erode these,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“We expect countries and companies thinking of carrying out exploration work for oil and natural gas based on invalid licenses that Greek Cyprus may try to hand out to consider the wishes of the Turkish Cypriots, the other nation on the island. We remind them that they should not take part in initiatives that would have a negative effect on efforts to resolve the Cyprus dispute,” the ministry said.

The international community regards the Greek Cypriot government as the sole legal authority on Cyprus, which has been ethnically partitioned since a 1974 Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup.

The Greek Cypriots signed accords with Egypt in 2005 and Lebanon this month delineating the sea boundaries between them.

Previous studies have suggested the seas around Cyprus could contain unproven reserves of between six and eight billion barrels of crude with an estimated value of up to $400 billion. Authorities say preliminary data give “encouraging signs” of hydrocarbons on the Mediterranean seabed.

Turkey warns against Cyprus oil deals January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Oil Crisis.
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Turkey warned Lebanon and Egypt against an crude oil and natural gas exploration deal signed with Cyprus, saying Turkey and Turkish Cypriots also had rights in the region.

Lebanon and Cyprus signed an agreement for the delineation of an undersea border on Jan. 17 to facilitate oil and gas exploration between the two east Mediterranean countries. A similar agreement was signed between Cyprus and Egypt last year.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Turkey had “legitimate and legal rights and interests” in the eastern Mediterranean and said Turkey did not recognize the agreements. The ministry also said Turkey was determined to “protect its rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean and will not allow attempts to erode them.”

Turkey has asked Lebanon and Egypt not to put the agreements into force, the ministry statement said.

“We remind them to also take into consideration the will of the Turkish Cypriots and not to take any initiatives that may negatively affect the process of resolution of the Cyprus issue,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The 120 mile-wide seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant crude oil and natural gas deposits. The exclusive zone agreement is designed to mark the underwater areas where each country can carry out exploration and production work once oil or gas is discovered.

The Norwegian energy consulting firm PGS recently began a 3-D seismic survey to determine the potential volume of commercially producible hydrocarbon reserves off the Lebanese coast.

Swan Lake > Matthew Bourne’s wayward prince and rogue Odile January 31, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Ballet Dance Opera.
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Director/choreographer explains his ‘Swan Lake’ take, opening tonight

 ‘Swan Lake’ opening tonight in Athens  ‘The white swan is an image the prince has had in his mind as one of flight, escape.’

Finishing touches were being made yesterday to the newly reconstructed Badminton Theater in Goudi for tonight’s Greek premiere of Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed production of “Swan Lake” which took the world by storm when it was first performed 12 years ago, surprising even its creator.

“I had no idea that we would still be doing it today and that it would become the phenomenon that it has become. It was originally going to be performed for just two weeks,” said Bourne at a press conference yesterday. “It’s true that when it was announced people couldn’t quite imagine what the swans would look like. I think a lot of people thought it was going to be men in tutus and on point, something like the Trocs. I think they thought the swans would be the funny part of the show, but when they appear is when it actually turns very serious.”

It wasn’t just the wide popularity of the show that surprised Bourne, but the fact that using males in the swan roles was what impressed the public and media most.

“My work is always narrative-based. It’s always about telling a story. I’m known as a director-choreographer and my dancers are as much actors as they are dancers. Having watched the classical version many times, I had started to see another story in it,” he explained. “It was something to do with the Prince and the Queen, a story that at that time (1995) with Prince Charles, Diana and the Queen, of course, was in the papers every day in Britain. It seemed to me that anyone who was Royal or had that spotlight put on them could not be the person they wanted to be. This seemed to be a very good subject for ‘Swan Lake.’ It’s essentially the same story, there’s a queen, worried about her son who seems not suited to royal life, a bit wayward. These are all elements of the classical version. I thought this was going to be the subject that the newspapers would pick up on when we opened. But the thing that really captured the imagination of the audiences and the press was the casting of the men as swans.”

Yet it is not an all-male “Swan Lake.” “It is often called the all-male ‘Swan Lake,’ but a third of the company are women, real women, not men in drag as has been suggested at times. The swans are male swans.” He said the main reason he used male swans was because he wanted to wipe away everyone’s images of what “Swan Lake” should look like.

“If I was going to tell a new story, the image of the swan had to change completely. I had to make the audience sit up and take notice.” Changing the images on stage was also a way of getting the audience to focus on the music, he added.

“Watching the classical version many times, I felt it was stopping the audience from hearing or seeing any more because the images went with the movement, the same images with the same music, so people weren’t really listening any more. By giving people different images, a different story, it makes you concentrate more on the music and get deeper into it.”

He noted Maurice Bejart’s observation back in the 1960s that a swan could be a very strong, aggressive creature, and a swan out of the water is a very different figure from one floating on the water.

“This was also something that inspired me to want to create male swans for this piece. For me as a storyteller it also set up so many interesting ideas psychologically. It became a study of what is going on in the prince’s mind. It came to represent something to him, the freedom, the wildness, the beauty. Something he almost wanted to be. In my mind it started a new story developing there,” explained Bourne.

“For me, the white swan is an image he has had in his mind since he was an innocent child, as we show at the beginning of the piece, an image of flight, escape from his royal life.”

The role of Odile, the black swan in the classical version, has been replaced by a male stranger, a gatecrasher at the ball.

“What the prince sees in this person is something that he’s seen in the image of the swan all his life. This person is wild, free, he does what he likes. The prince feels attracted to him, that’s why it’s important to the story. Because of who he is the prince can’t really come to terms with that, and that’s what starts his mental breakdown.”

Asked whether this is a gay “Swan Lake” Bourne explained: “It is a difficult question. Male swans themselves are just male swans, there is nothing gay about them as such. Also it’s been called homo-erotic, well, yes it is, because there a lot of men on stage with bare chests looking very beautiful and dancing with power and beauty, but that is as appealing to women as it is to gay men, or anyone actually. Where you could say it becomes a gay ballet has to do with the prince who is male and the swan. Initially the relationship is not straightforward. It’s two men, but one of them is this creature, a swan. So it’s not completely clear what’s going on. I would suggest that in Act III it does turn sexual for the prince, but only a long way into the piece, it’s not clear-cut. I wouldn’t like it to be labeled in that way. But I’m not denying that that’s part of the story that’s told in this piece.”

Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake,” at the Badminton Theater, tonight through Sunday, February 11 (except Monday, February 5). Performances at 9 p.m. and at 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The Swan/The Stranger is danced alternately by Thomas Whitehead and Alan Vincent, the Prince by Simon Williams and Chris Mahoney, the Queen by Saranne Curtin and Nina Goldman. Tickets at Virgin Megastores and www.ticketnet.gr, tel 210 8840600.

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