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Grammy winners at Half Note January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Oscar Feldman on for a week

Drummer Horacio Hernandez features in Feldman’s band > Latin-jazz musician Oscar Feldman, a Grammy Award winner from Argentina who has recently been busy working the New York scene, will front his quartet for a one-week run at the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens beginning tonight.

Feldman’s lineup for these shows will include percussionist and drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, also a Grammy Award winner, who rates highly on the international circuit in various musical fields, including jazz, latin, and rock.

Performing as a sideman on alto, tenor and soprano saxes, Feldman has recorded more than 50 albums ranging from straightforward jazz as well as Brazilian and pop music to fusion.

His first solo album, “El Angel,” was released in 1999, when he also recorded two albums with a big band conducted by Paquito D’Rivera, including “Tropicana Nights,” which received the Latin Grammy Award 2000 for Best Latin Jazz Album. In other joint efforts, Feldman has released notable work with high-profile musicians such as Al Di Meola and Eumir Deodato, the Brazilian-born musician who has racked up a number of platinum records as an artist, arranger and producer since his 1973 Grammy-winning debut release.

Also highly versatile, Hernandez, Feldman’s drummer and percussionist for the series of Athens shows, has collaborated with a wide range of acts, including revered jazz act McCoy Tyner, rock star Carlos Santana, and the late Latin-jazz great Tito Puente’s Tropi-Jazz All Stars.

The Cuban percussionist’s versatility suits Feldman’s stage intentions. The Argentinean saxophonist’s sets cover broad stylistic ground, ranging from abstract and moody material to bouncy, fluid and spicy Latin-jazz carried along by driving rhythm.

The Feldman quartet’s shows at the Half Note will be followed by a weeklong run from Portuguese fado singer Ana Lains and quartet beginning next Friday. Lains recently released a well-received debut album.


Study > Rising temps put sea life at risk January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Environment.
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Temperatures rising a few degrees in the Mediterranean Sea could kill its fish population in vast numbers, a Greek university said.

Researchers from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki said they established the impact that a rise in sea temperatures and an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the water would have on sea life.

“We are researching the lowest temperature above which the effect on fish will be seen,” lead researcher Vassilis Michailidis said. “It is especially important that the tolerance levels of the organism to changes in their environment be established.”

Earth’s average temperature rose by up to 1 degree F during the last few years and is predicted to increase by as much as 5 degrees F over the next few decades, enough to kill fish in Greek seas, the researchers said.

Fish in the Mediterranean ideally live in temperatures between 64 degrees F and 75 degrees F, Michailidis said. Above 78 degrees F, fish do not take in enough oxygen. At temperatures above 84 degrees F, their cardiac systems fail, he said.

Scientists said increased amounts of carbon dioxide in seawater also threaten sea life because water would be more acidic.

Buckets of DNA nanoparticles January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Science.
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Molecular buckets that pack DNA into nanoparticles could have implications for gene therapy, say scientists in Greece. 

Konstantina Yannakopoulou at the National Center for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ in Athens and her team have made a series of cyclic sugars, called cyclodextrins, that can interact with DNA. Cyclodextrins have a cone-like structure that allows them to act as hosts for guest molecules. This new class of cyclodextrin can compress DNA guests into nanoparticles, which is a requirement for transferring DNA into cells, said Yannakopoulou. 

DNA transfer is of particular interest in the field of gene therapy. Cyclodextrin-based gene transfer agents are likely to be more biocompatible, less toxic and cause fewer unwanted immune responses than other agents used in gene transfer, said Yannakopoulou. 

Yannakopoulou’s team made the novel cyclodextrins by introducing guanidine groups, the basic group of the amino acid arginine, into the sides of cyclodextrins. Yannakopoulou suggested that the incorporated guanidines interact with the phosphate groups of a DNA guest molecule. This results in a change in the charge on the DNA molecule, leading to the change in its structure, she said. 

‘The circular, rigid shape of the guanidinylated cyclodextrin has an area comparable to the cross-section of alpha helices,’ said Yannakopoulou. These shapes are found in arginine-rich proteins responsible for densely packing DNA, she explained. 

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US Airways expands flights to Greece and Europe January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Flights.
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US Airways Group Inc. is adding new round-trip flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Athens, Greece; Brussels, Belgium; and Zurich, Switzerland.

The daily flights, which start in the late spring, will increase the company’s number of daily flights to Europe from Philadelphia to 22.

US Airways, based in Arizona, operates its largest hub at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, where it has more than 500 daily flights and about 5,000 employees. It is also one of the largest carriers seving Piedmont Triad International Airport.

In a bold effort to create the world’s largest airline, the company made an $8 billion hostile takeover bid for Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (Pink Sheets:DALRQ) on Nov. 15. The board of Delta, which filed its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the spring, unanimously rejected that offer.

US Airways operates 3,800 flights per day to more than 230 destinations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Ridley Scott plans ‘Gladiator’ sequel? January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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Ridley Scott has admitted that he is considering making a sequel to his hit film Gladiator, despite the fact that the ending of the film seems unquestionably definite.

The director originally attempted to get a follow-up to the epic Roman drama in production in 2003, but after failing once he now seems ready to try again, provided he can get the original actor to return to the role of General Maximus Decimus Meridius.

According to Contactmusic, Scott commented: “I will probably do a sequel to Gladiator. The only problem is Russell Crowe was such a powerful presence and, of course, Maximus dies at the end. We’ll have to get Russell back somehow.”

Chalk this down as speculative, bordering on the wildly improbable. But Springboard, the UK casting site, via Filmstalker, have put out a casting call for a sequel to Ridley Scott’s 2000 multi-Oscar juggernaut “Gladiator”.

The sequel to Gladiator is due for a hopeful release date in late 2006 / early 2007. Filming will most likely take place in Athens, Greece and the UK. The film will be based around Roman politics, senators, generals and praetorian guards and not so much focus on the gladiators.

Scott himself has expressed an interest in a follow-up in the past, featuring a zombie Maximus? But the time line towards release here seems improbable, under the best of circumstances. But just to be on the safe side, perhaps you should send in your portfolio, and get fitted for a toga.

The question becomes is Gladiator 2 really coming? Perhaps, but I question it since its 2007 and the note says 2006 is when filming could start. Who knows, but to me I wont be putting to much merit in this just yet.

Donetsk region hosting Days of Greek Culture January 5, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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The event has been triggered by the Federation of Greek Societies under support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Within the framework of the event a gala concert took place in the village of Telmanovo.

Greeks, residing in Ukraine comprise Urums and Ellines. They have united into public organizations, which keep in tight contact with Greece. As of 2001, Ukraine has been home to 91,500 Ukrainians, 77,500 of whom reside in the Donetsk region.