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Greek scientists cultivate Chinese mushroom September 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Greece.
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Greek scientists have managed to cultivate in Greece a type of Chinese mushroom, the Lentinula Edodes, which is known for thousands of years and which has anti-cancer qualities and protects people from heart illnesses.

They have secured a patent, as the scientists managed to grow the mushroom in less than five months, at the time when it takes two years for it to grow when the classical method is used.

The scientists are now seeking an investor so as to proceed in the mushroom’s industrial cultivation in Greece.

This type of mushroom, which is considered a panacea in China from the Ming dynasty era (1300-1400) and is used for the cure of the common cold and the combating of microbes in the intestine, contains Lentinan, which has anti-cancer qualities.

The disclosure was made by the director of the Biotechnology Institute, Kleanthis Israilidis, during a conference on the theme Organic Cultivation/Nutrition, within the framework of the 71st Thessaloniki International Fair.


Athens IAAF World Cup in Athletics September 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Athletics.
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Hart’s work, father’s advice; Richards taps into her reserves

Athens, Greece – With all due respect to her mother Sharon, Sanya Richards’ sensational 48.70 North American record in the 400 metres tonight at Athens Olympic stadium was clearly a case of “father knows best.”

“I talked to my dad today,” the 21-year-old explained, “and he told me, ‘You’re in lane seven, nobody’s in front of you, and you can execute a perfect race today. So before I got in the blocks, I just blocked everybody out and said I was going to run my best race today and break the American record. And I did that and I’m so happy.”

Beaming, she was also delighted that more than 30,000 turned out in the Greek capital on an ideal night for athletics.

“The fans came out and it was great”

“Athens is a great place and a lot of people turned out,” she said, adding that she took advantage of the opportunity to see much of the city. “We heard they initially only sold a thousand tickets, and all got nervous, but the fans came out and it was great.”

On Friday, Richards said that first and foremost, she planned to enjoy the team aspect of the World Cup, and true to form, she interrupted her own moment in the spotlight to watch the conclusion of the men’s 400, won by compatriot LaShawn Merritt.

And besides the diligent guidance of her father, she credits her success to her coach, Clyde Hart, who has also guided world record holder Michael Johnson and Richards’ training partner, Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner, to greatness.

“Coach Hart always gives us hard workouts the early part of the week and then we kind of taper off, and usually our performances are very good,” she explained. “Coach Hart’s work is really the explanation for my success so far.”





Greek architect Nikos Tountas exhibits > University of Miami September 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Architecture Exhibitions, Hellenic Light Americas.
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The work of the Greek architect Nikos Tountas is poetry, in many ways, spare and yet lush.

This is eloquent, evocative architecture that, like poetry, depends on structure, language, metaphor, allusion, and does so with only a few repeated elements. His work tells long stories about the history and culture of a single, little-known Greek island called Kea.

Tountas is little-known outside of Greece, indeed outside of Athens and the tiny island where he has worked over the past two decades, and indeed, he might have remained that way, comparatively obscure. A random question at a dinner party changed that.

Tountas was educated at Cornell University, where his roommate was the architect Jose Gelabert-Navia, the Managing Director of the Miami office of Perkins & Will and an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture. Last spring, Gelabert-Navia took a group of students to Greece and renewed his friendship with his former roommate. At dinner one night, Gelabert-Navia asked, ”Where is your office?” And Tountas replied, ”Right here,” pointing to a room in his own house.

Gelabert-Navia was moved and inspired by what he saw of Tountas’ work and determined to bring it to wider attention. The reasons are many, starting with the extraordinary beauty of the architecture. The houses, says Gelabert-Navia, are all sustainable, all belong to a specific place. And in an era when we all should be asking questions about what is the right way to build, these simple houses in a faraway place offer both inspiration and instruction.

Tountas’ work is the subject of an exhibition at the University of Miami School of Architecture, and Tountas will be in Miami for a week that will culminate in a lecture on his work on October 5. The exhibition, on view at the architecture school’s Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center runs through October 6.

Kea is a rugged, picturesque island in the northern Cyclades, an island that boasted a thriving population of 70,000 in classical antiquity and then declined; until recently, when summer visitors began rediscovering it, the island’s population was little more than 1,500, and it has now just doubled. Kea is an island of terraced hillsides and fertile soil. Viniculture (the red wine of Kea is well-known), barley-growing and pig-farming dominate the economy.

Even in ancient times when elsewhere in Greece the buildings were far more elaborate, Spartan rules forbade the use of ornament in Kea. That is pertinent here, in that Tountas’ houses are minimalist in many ways, a reflection on centuries of tradition. It is not the luminous white architecture, with its blue trim, that we think of when we envision a Greek IslandSantorini, perhaps, or Mykonos. This is a much different aesthetic, a vernacular true to its location and history, and yet it is somehow just as romantic. Almost every place has, or had, an equivalent; in Miami one could point to the exquisite and highly endangered coral rock houses, or to the last vestiges of those pioneer dwellings built of ship salvage and driftwood.

The work on view is all residential and mostly single-family. Tountas relies on local materials, slate, lime made from burned marble, clay, and ocher from the land, but varies the theme. The first house he did on the island, one for himself and his family, was actually the restoration of an old farmhouse, but that led to other commissions to build anew in the same motif.

The work on view includes houses, among them the Craddock House, the Givon House, the Transfilis House, for a number of Europeans, as well as some Greek nationals. Each in its own way is more dramatic than the last, sited to maximize the views and yet, at the same time, seem integral to the landscape.

Gelabert-Navia, working with recent graduate, and now a Perkins & Will employee, Juan Mullerat and funding from the firm, used computer manipulation to give the photographs a kind of watercolor wash, imbuing them with an otherworldly sensibility. They are very alluring.

The exhibition is not so much about an individual house as about a body of work, focused on a singular place and on ideas of building in such a place. It is clear from viewing the images that these are houses that were both designed and crafted, and that the craft imbues the design with its importance, which in our times is quite the opposite of what usually happens.

When architecture becomes metaphor, it must tell a whole story in a single phrase. The work on view here may seem deceptively simple, but the work of Nikos Tountas speaks volumes about a way of designing that, in a world of technological advances, ersatz materials, computerized design, not to mention living, is too often overlooked. We rise above the Earth and look down on it, and it all loses reality, allowing us to forget that the land, and what is in it and on it, is the very reason we’re all here.

The Work of Nikos Tountas on the Island of Kea in the Cyclades, Greece
Where: University of Miami, Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center Gallery
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; through October 6. Lecture by Nikos Tountas, Work on the Island of Kea in the Cyclades, Greece at 6:30 p.m. October 5
How much: Free Info: 305 284 3438

Aphrodite Hills Resort September 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Paphos.
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Resort Overview

Aphrodite Hills, a luxurious and casually elegant resort near Paphos, is set in one of the most scenic, naturally beautiful locations in Cyprus, overlooking the very spot where Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, is said to have emerged from the shimmering Mediterranean Sea.

Developed and managed by Lanitis Development Ltd, Aphrodite Hills is the first ever fully-integrated golf, leisure and real estate development in Cyprus. Built at a cost of around CYP 150 million, the resort’s exceptional facilities include a five-star deluxe InterContinental Resort Hotel, featuring 290 rooms and suites, plus a presidential suite complete with private pool.

A multi-award winning resort ranging through 578 acres, Aphrodite Hills offers the tempting contrasts of peace and tranquillity combined with outstanding sports and leisure facilities. Residents and guests alike can enjoy world-class golf on the superb 18-hole championship course, competition-standard tennis courts, excellent fitness facilities, the sophisticated Retreat Spa with its Greco-Roman thermae and the exclusive Amathus Vacation Club with vacation ownership facilities.

At the heart of the resort is the bustling Village Centre with its bars, restaurants and shops; an amphitheatre for entertainment and traditional chapel –the perfect setting for romantic weddings.

Aphrodite Hills is being sympathetically developed with respect for the beautiful natural environment. It extends over two elevated plateaux standing either side of the Randi Gorge, a natural ravine and public nature reserve. And surrounding the resort is the Randi Forest, protected by the Cyprus Government Department of Forestry.

Related Link > http://www.aphroditehills.com

A detailed feature and photos about Aphrodite Hills will follow soon. Stay tuned!

Coming Soon > Comics Festival in Athens September 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece.
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Comics Festival > October 12 – 15, Athens, Greece

Among the participants >

Babel (Vavel) Comics > Athens, Greece

Pixel This E-Zine > Nicosia, Cyprus

Will keep you informed as soon as additional details are available. Stay tuned!