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The new poster for “300” unveiled January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller comes 300 and Warner Bros. has just sent us your first look at the brand new rated one-sheet.

The film is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings Miller’s (Sin City) acclaimed graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale.

Check out the poster below and click on http://300themovie.warnerbros.com

The new poster for 300

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National award-winning poet got start at Tunxis January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora.
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Tryfon Tolides, a winner of the prestigious 2005 National Poetry Series Award, was first encouraged to pursue his passion for writing at Tunxis Community College in Farmington, a starting point for continuing his education and further developing his talent.

“I had simply followed the pattern or train of most and gone off to college after high school, but discovered this didn’t work for me,” said Tolides, of his initial enrollment in Boston University’s biomedical engineering program before coming to Tunxis. “It wasn’t time for me to be there,” he explained, so he returned to Connecticut, where he started working at his family’s pizza place in Farmington, and spent time traveling to Greece.

“Sometimes it’s equally or even more important to know where you are not, so that by something like a process of elimination, you begin to get to where you are, and to where you are going,” he continued. “After a few years of working and traveling, I thought it was time to try and tiptoe back into college, to see what would happen,” he said, and enrolled in a couple of courses at Tunxis in 1995.

“The ‘Creative Writing’ course I took at Tunxis was a guidepost along the way for me,” said Tolides, who remembers his instructor Dr. Ed Ifkovic, Tunxis professor of English emeritus and author of three fiction and eight nonfiction books among other works, for his “brightness, his personal attention, and guidance.”

“The course made me more aware of what I was already moving toward-a life in writing. Ed encouraged me to send my work to magazines,” he continued. “His reception of my work and the class’s response was a positive affirmation for my writing. I began to send things out.”

Ifkovic is thanked first among several teachers he acknowledges in An Almost Pure Empty Walking (Penguin Books, New York, NY), an 80-page book of 63 of Tolides’ poems, published in May 2006 as part of the National Poetry Series Award.

After Tunxis, Tolides eventually transferred his credits to a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Maine, and later received a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Syracuse University, a Reynolds Scholarship and the 2004 Foley Poetry Prize.
He also engaged in doctoral work at the University of Houston.

Some of Tolides’ poetry reflects his experiences with the cultural differences that span his native Greece, where he lived as a young child and still visits, and his life in America. In an excerpt “From Mount Athos,” one of several poems in the book with these themes, Tolides writes,
 
“…Afterward, from high on the balcony, the Aegean
ripples with infinite small lights, the trees
of the mountain move like the sea, the air brings
a mixed scent of pine and iodine and night.
Beauty is more evident in this quiet. You see it
through a clearing inside yourself. It is no mystery, seeing.”

Inspiration for other work sometimes comes in doing ordinary things. “Poetry is the gift I have been given,” said Tolides. “I can’t do much else, but I keep cultivating poems, and they keep coming to me. I am grateful and more alive for that.”

When he is back in Farmington, Tolides still visits Tunxis Library for research and writing. “I often came to the Library with my poems while I was in the process of trying different orders for my book manuscript,” he said.

Tolides has not been in town as much lately as he travels to share readings from his book and continues to write. But he continues to keep in contact with Tunxis, and will be returning there to read from his work at the Tunxis Writers’ Festival on April 18.
Tunxis offers over 60 associate’s degrees and certificates that respond to career opportunities and students’ transfer needs. Contact Tunxis at (860) 255-3500 or www.tunxis.commnet.edu.

Skype provides new service in Greece January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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Skype, the well known VoIP solution for Internet users, has announced that they will be launching a new service called Skype Pro, which has the added convenience of a flat rate, a monthly subscription and a connection fee but no per-minute charges.

According to Skype this new service offers a simple, convenient and cost-effective way for consumers worldwide to call landlines and mobiles over the Internet.

MSNBC said ‘the monthly fees for the new Skype Pro plans have not yet been finalized, but they were expected to be set at less than 5 euros, or about $6.50.’

This effectively means that subscribers will only have to pay a monthly flat fee for all their telephony needs.

The new SkypePro service will be offered in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

Rural Roaming trial in Greece January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Telecoms.
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Vodafone Greece and TIM Hellas have jointly announced that they will start a national roaming trial on the islands of Cephallonia and Ithaki and in the wider area of Kalamata, including the Messinian Bay and Pylos.

Piloting of the national roaming services in these areas will only be available to post-paid subscribers of Vodafone and TIM who will be able to make use of both companies’ networks so that in cases where one of the two networks does not offer coverage they can communicate via the other company’s network.

The aim of this pilot basis service is to explore technical parameters and the potential of offering this service nationwide for all mobile telephony users (pre-paid and post-paid subscribers) in order to ensure uninterrupted communications, particularly in remote areas of the country and areas with rough geographical terrain.

It should be noted that Cephallonia, Ithaki and the wider area of Kalamata were chosen for this trial because they meet key criteria (coverage, population levels, terrain morphology) for complete technical evaluation of how the service operates.

Piloting of the national roaming service by TIM and Vodafone covers voice and SMS services on the 2G networks of both companies. Automatic hand-over to another network during the same call will not be supported by the national roaming service.

Speaking of “games” and “gods” January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Athens 2004 Olympics, Culture History Mythology.
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Speaking of “games” and “gods” usually makes one think of the Greeks and the Olympic Games.

The original Olympic Games began in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. According to Greek mythology, Hercules started these games. After a great victory, Hercules made sacrifices to the Olympic gods and founded the Olympic games.

The Olympic games were held every four years and lasted five days. During this period, general peace was declared all over Greece. Before beginning and after completing the Olympic games, plentiful prayers and sacrifices were made to Zeus.

One interesting aspect of these games was that the main winner was crowned with laurels. Laurels were wreaths made from the leaves of the laurel tree. They were placed on the heads of the victors. It was the highest honor that a Greek could reach.

Yeah, that’s right, a leafy wreath. That was their award. No money. Not even a gold medal! Boy, times sure have changed. Now lots of these Olympic stars get rich endorsing merchandise and doing commercials. And many athletes get a free college education. I guess the Greek Olympians were just happy to “rest on their laurels.”

Another interesting thing about the original Olympic games is that they offered prayers to their god, Zeus. Nice to know that they did, at least, believe that their deity deserved some thanks and homage, and they were willing to ask for his blessings before and after their games.

‘Explore your senses’ unveiled as Greece’s tourism promotion theme January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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Tourism development issues dominated an Inner Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, chaired here by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

On her part, relevant minister Fani Palli-Petralia reiterated that the tourism industry remains the Greek economy’s “lifeblood”, as she cited a figure of one billion euros per month from tourism-related revenues.

Moreover, Petralia cited a 10-percent increase in tourist arrivals for 2006, namely, 16 million tourists. She also said foreign exchange revenues from tourism reached approximately 12 billion euros, a 10-percent hike from 2005.

Additionally, the minister said 4,600 television spots promoting Greece as a tourism destination will be aired on major international networks, including Al-Jazeera. Beyond television, she said specialised publications and websites, ranging from airline magazines to sailing to convention tourism to winter sports, will be targeted. Petralia said the main theme of the 2007 ad campaign will revolve around the slogan “Explore your senses”.

Tourism in Greece up 10 percent in 2006 January 23, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tourism.
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Preliminary figures show that nearly 16 million tourists visited Greece in 2006, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, the tourism minister said Tuesday.

The tourists spent an estimated euro12 billion (US$15.7 billion) last year, also an increase of 10 percent from 2005, Fani Pali Petralia said. Official figures on tourism for 2006 have not yet been released.

“Tourism is a blood donor for the Greek economy, contributing euro1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to the national economy every month … 2006 was a very good year,” Petralia said after meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

The government plans to spend more than euro40 million (US$52 million) on its advertising campaign to promote Greece as a holiday destination, with international television ads taking up most of the cost.

“There was an increase in the order of 10 percent in tourist arrivals, close to 16 million visitors. That generated a 10 percent increase in currency revenue, equivalent to euro12 billion,” Petralia said.

Government officials say private and public infrastructure improvements for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens have helped attract more visitors, as well as a general regard by travelers of Greece as a safe destination.

Greek National Tourism Organization: http://www.visitgreece.gr