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Homer, the Oracles and Troy June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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Thanks to Homer, we all have heard of the Walls of Troy.

These stout walls, built at intervals between about 2000 B.C. and 1180 B.C., defended Troy from, among others, the Greeks, after Paris of Troy kidnapped the willing Helen of Sparta in about 1194 B.C.

The walls served as a wonderful defense until about 12 Greeks holed up in a wooden horse, got in and opened the gates at night. The rest of the story, and Troy, are history.

It’s the kind of failure to communicate the ancient Greeks and Romans were always running into when they consulted oracles that spoke in double meanings and used trick punctuation. Some things never change.

What do you think? Is our assumption correct? Do things change or not? And if they do, how and in what ways does this affect our daily life?

Your comments would be much appreciated. Add them!

Antonsson considering offers June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.
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According to RosenborgWeb, Norway, Mikael Antonsson has recieved an attractive offer from Panathinaikos FC, but does not rule out a move to Rosenborg.

Both Swedish and Greek media did Saturday claim that the central defender has accepted the offer from the Athens club, but this is not correct.

“Nothing is settled. Something new and interesting has turned up. Panathinaikos are a great club, but money isn’t everything. The most important is to play regularly,” Mikael Antonsson tells Swedish newspaper Gφteborgs-Posten.

In additon to RBK and the Greeks, his home town club IFK Gφteborg are interested.

“I am considering three, four clubs. I will make my decision in the beginning of next week,” he states.

Earlier on the 25-year-old has turned down offers from Swedish Malmφ FF and Elfsborg, French Nantes and Danish Aalborg.

Antonsson’s Profile > 

Date of birth: 31/05/1981
Height/weight: 190 cm/80 kg
Position: defender
Club: none
Former clubs: Sillhφvda, IFK Gφteborg, Austria Wien
League games/goals 2005/06: 12 / 0
Caps/goals: 1 / 0

Movies > IMAX film offers tantalizing tidbits + Quiz June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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An ambitious title, “Greece: Secrets of the Past” implies that it will deliver more than any 45-minute film covering thousands of years of history could possibly offer.

This new large-format movie at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, opening today and continuing through September 4, inspires curiosity about the influential nation of islands as a substitute for thoroughness. It instead provides intriguing hints about the many wonders of the ancient civilization, which, by the way, are available through other sources.

Unapologetic about all that’s missing, the movie tightly focuses on a couple of majestic moments in the empire’s development: the most explosive volcanic eruption in human history and one of the finest pieces of architecture ever created.

Mount St. Who? > In 1646 B.C., the volcano at Thera (now known as Santorini) blew with a force about 200 times as powerful as the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Some historians think that the city buried under the layers of pumice and ash at this site was Atlantis.

Athena the Great. > Maybe even more impressive than the Parthenon, the 42-foot-tall statue of Athena housed inside the building featured skin of ivory and armor of gold. The Goddess of Wisdom actually cost more to build than the temple around it. At first, the artwork was considered a monumental triumph. But later, it became a symbol of the society’s excesses.

So the film could just as easily have been called: “Greece: The Volcano, The Parthenon and what they destroyed.” Computer enhanced, with color additive.

While Greek antiquities typically look colorless and bland today, historians theorize that the works were a lot more vibrant originally, maybe even gaudy by modern standards. Statues with flesh-toned skin, wire eyelashes, independent eyeballs, there is no reason to think the Greeks were any less creative with their art in terms of colors, and the film takes educated guesses at what that might have looked like.

Geeks on Greeks. > This movie includes the most expensive and labor-intensive computer-generated IMAX scene to date, a 4-minute-long reconstruction of the Parthenon, including its flamboyant frieze, depicting common people mingling with the gods. As an example of the level of detail throughout, one of the computer artists considered dozens of different images of Medusa, the snake-headed monster, just to subtly dress up the armor’s breastplate on the centerpiece Athena statue. The film also blends computer animation and digitally enhanced footage to illustrate the pyroclastic flow at Thera, avalanches of gas, rock and lava that spread at 100 mph, wiping out everything in the path.

Greek fame, not what it used to be: One gimmicky tradition of IMAX is the “celebrity” narrator. Just about every film features a prominent or semi-prominent voice to American ears. In this case, a Greek had to be chosen. But who? In America today, even the Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis would be too obscure. As possibilities, there’s that political adviser, George Stephanopoulos, who wasn’t born in Greece but has immigrant parents, and, umm. The winner: Nia Vardalos. She was the star of the independent blockbuster film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”

Where have I heard of MacGillivray Freeman Films? > The producers of this movie also have created some of the most successful IMAX ventures in the medium’s history, including shows familiar to OMSI patrons, such as “Everest,” “Dolphins” and “Coral Reef Adventure.” The director of this piece, Greg MacGillivray, reportedly has shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history.

Sound familiar? > The film suggests that Greece’s downfall came from a combination of hubris, arrogance embodied by The Parthenon, and the overextension of its armies in various wars in faraway lands.

If you go >

What: “Greece: Secrets of the Past,” an IMAX film presented by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

When: Opens today with screenings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. daily through June 27 as well as 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily from June 28 through Sept. 4.

Where: OMSI’s Omnimax Theater, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland.

Cost: $8.50, $6.50 seniors and children 3-13.

Information: 503-797-4640 or www.omsi.edu and www.greecefilm.com.

When Greeks Ruled the World >

7000 to 3000 B.C. > The first settlers, nomads, begin arriving in Greece; evidence of seafaring present.

1646 B.C. > Volcano on Thera (known as Santorini today) explodes, the most powerful eruption in human history.

776 B.C. > The debut of the Olympic Games.

700 B.C. > Homer writes “The Odyssey.”

508 B.C. > Democracy is established in Athens.

500-336 B.C. > Considered “The Golden Age” of Greece, when considerable advances in art, science, politics and culture take place, including construction of The Parthenon (438 B.C.).

431 B.C. > The Peloponnesian War, between Athens and Sparta, begins. Sparta eventually claims victory, 27 years later.

399 B.C. > Socrates, a self-educated stonemason, is condemned to death for his teaching methods.

336 B.C. > Alexander the Great becomes King of Macedonia.

146 B.C. > Rome conquers Greece, absorbing it as part of a growing empire.

GREECE QUIZ > How much do you know about ancient Greece?

1. Besides being the patriarch of the Simpsons, Homer also was the name of the Greek poet who told the stories about the Trojan War dubbed “The Odyssey” and:

A. “The Sirens of Titan”

B. “The Iliad”

C. “The Homercratic Oath”

D. “The Da Vinci Code”

2. Alexander the Great loved his horse, which had an unusually large head and wild disposition. Alexander even named a city after the steed, which he thought immortal. What was that horse’s name?

A. Pegasus

B. Black Beauty

C. Bucephalus

D. Seabiscuit

3. This comedic playwright created “Lysistrata,” set during the Peloponnesian War, a story in which the women of Athens and Sparta threaten to deprive their husbands of sex until the fighting ends. One of the most memorable lines, “Can’t live with them, or without them.” Who wrote that?

A. Aristophanes

B. Sophocles

C. Aeschylus

D. Euripides

4. With “the face that launched a thousand ships” and started the Trojan War, the Greek goddess of idealized beauty was known as:

A. Eliza

B. Susan

C. Helen

D. Maria

5. The Greek mathematician who calculated pi, among other major discoveries, kept working on an equation in the sand while his city was being conquered and looted by the Romans. He reportedly told one of the soldiers, “Don’t disturb my circles,” which enraged the brute, who immediately killed the mathematician, named?

A. Eratosthenes

B. Xerxes

C. Pythagoras

D. Archimedes

6. Before cellular phones, during the Persian Wars, there was an Athenian general named Kimon who was devoted to defeating his enemies. On his deathbed he demanded secrecy about his impending passing, in fear that it would discourage his troops. The Greeks over the next month were victorious in battle, and a statue of Kimon in Cyprus commemorates with the inscription:

A. “No man is indispensable. But some are irreplaceable.”

B. “Even in death he was victorious.”

C. “Steel true, blade straight.”

D. “Farewell, my friends. I go to glory!”

7. What legendary archaeologist uncovered what he and others believe are the remains of the ancient city of Troy?

A. Howard Carter

B. Heinrich Schliemann

C. Thomas Jefferson

D. Jacques Cousteau

8. A disenchanted outcast wants to become famous. What better way, he thinks, than to burn down one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis — serendipitously on the same night that Alexander the Great is born. The Greek government responds to the blaze not only with capital punishment but also by making even the mention of his name a death sentence. You wouldn’t hear this uttered in 356 B.C., but who was the pyromaniac?

A. Herostratus

B. Tisafern

C. John Hinckley Jr.

D. Ephesus

9. A Greek orator and scholar named Herodotus wrote “The Histories” in the fifth century B.C., which included rich tales of people and places from that era. Besides earning him the title of “The Father of History,” his presentation of those stories also garnered another nickname, which was:

A. “The Great Communicator”

B. “Herodolittle”

C. “The Genius of the Carpathians”

D. “The Father of Lies”

10. A messenger for the Athenian army (Phaedippas) ran the approximately 26 miles from the Marathon battlefield back to Athens to utter a single word before he died of exhaustion. That was “nike,” which means in Greek:

A. “I wish I had better shoes.”

B. “This job should have been exported to Taiwan.”

C. “Someday, I dream I will become a television commercial.”

D. “Victory.”
Your Score 9-10 Your Name Here, The Great

7-8 Philosopher

5-6 Citizen

3-4 Hoplite

0-12 Plebeian

Answers > 1 – B, 2 – C, 3 – A, 4 – C, 5 – D, 6 – B, 7 – B, 8 – A, 9 – D, 10 – D.

OTE upbeat it will meet its broadband users target June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web.
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OTE Telecom (Hellenic Telecommunication Organization) is on track to meet its target of 500,000 broadband users this year, its chief executive said yesterday, a key part of its strategy to offset erosion in its voice traffic.

“Broadband is not just the future of the company but is also that of Greece,” CEO Panagis Vourloumis told reporters. OTE, which had slightly more than 260,000 users on Monday, estimates that the Greek broadband penetration rate, at 2.5 percent, is the lowest in Europe, held back by high prices and consumers’ lack of knowledge of the technology.

The country’s dominant telecoms provider has said it plans to invest 946 million euros over the next three years to boost its network and broadband services. OTE will launch a mobile unit next month that will visit major cities in the next two years to educate Greeks on broadband technology in a bid to increase takeup of the service.

Seaplane routes June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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AirSea Lines, Greece’s first seaplane operator, said yesterday it would invest 100 million euros in the purchase of about 30 seaplanes to expand operations across the country’s island archipelago and launch services between Greece and Italy.

Earlier this year, the start-up company began its first flights in the west of the country and has carried some 50,000 passengers so far. It says Greece may have the potential for a 300-million-euro market. Its future fleet will fly routes between Corfu and the southern Italian port of Brindisi.

Greek men, women lead European Cup First League June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
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Greek men, women lead European Cup First League Group B match after Day One held in Thessaloniki

While both the men’s and women’s Greek squads lead the First League Group B match, the battle for promotion to the SPAR European Cup will be particularly fierce when competition resumes on Sunday. In the men’s race, three other teams, Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania, are still in contention while Bulgaria remains in striking distance on the women’s side of the programme.
Halkia’s double win paces the Greek women

Olympic 400 metre Hurdles champion Fani Halkia has gradually overcome the injury she sustained in the national championships last week, achieving a double win today. Halkia easily won both the 400 and 400 metre Hurdles races in 52.14 and 55.31 respectively, while the country’s other Olympic medallist, Chrisopigi Devetzi, was the winner of the Triple Jump with a 14.44 leap, ahead of Sydney Olympic Champion Tereza Marinova, who was second with a 14.21 effort. Devetzi also doubles back tomorrow in the Long Jump, on the heels of her 6.83 personal best at the national championships last weekend.

In all, the Greek women achieved seven wins on the first day, collecting 79 points to lead Bulgaria’s 66. Savva Lika won the Javelin Throw with a 60.58 effort, Areti Abatzi the discus with 55.86, and Antigoni Asteriou the Pole Vault with a 4.20 leap before the 4 x 100 metre relay team capped the day with a win. (more…)

Female painters to present Iranian art in Greece June 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.
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An exhibition of paintings by Iran’s female artists is to open on June 19 at the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Maroussi, Greece, Iranian cultural attaché in Athens told the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

“Thirty works by Homa Khoshbin, Fereshteh Ghazirah, Foruzan Farzam, Shirin Ettehadiyeh, Shahla Habibi, and Sharareh Zandiyeh will be on display in the weeklong event organized by Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art,” Mohammadreza Darbandi added.

He explained that they have held several painting exhibitions over the past four years, aiming to familiarize the Greeks with Iranian art and culture.

To Darbandi, painting is the easiest means one can communicate with people of different cultural background at anytime.