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Vasilis Mazarakis of Greece March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Tennis Squash.
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There has been mixed success for New Zealand tennis players in the quarterfinals of a Futures tournament on clay in Victoria.

Davis Cup team member Rubin Statham won his quarter-final against Britain’s Myles Blake and will play the second seed Vasilis Mazarakis of Greece, who beat the New Zealand number one Dan King-Turner.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Leanne Baker and her Australian partner Nicole Kriz have scored a good win in the quarter-finals of the Challenger tournament in California, beating the top seeded Chinese pair.

Epic war movie 300 makes UK debut March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life.
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Stars of the epic movie 300 have turned out for its UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square.

The films depicts a small group of 300 Spartan soldiers lead by King Leonidas holding off a huge Persian army which has invaded Greece. Gerard Butler, who plays King Leonidas, was accompanied by Lena Headey who plays Queen Gorgo. The cast were met by a group dressed as Spartan warriors.

The film has been called “psychological warfare” by Iranian authorities, but it has broken US box office records.

Glasgow-born Butler, 37, said: “I used a lot of the Scotsman in my role because there is a great similarity in what goes on inside the warriors of old that has been very much lost. I read the story, I learnt about the Spartans. I was doing it for Greece but I was doing it for Scotland as well.”

Fellow British star Headey, 33, said: “It feels great being involved with something that has been so well received. To play a woman who isn’t relied on to be the weeping, sorrowful woman and to be strong and stand with the men in something so big and risky is great.”

The film is inspired by the graphic novel by Frank Miller.

Related Links > http://300themovie.warnerbros.com

300 > Spartan’s huge victory in Greece March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.
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The Spartans were victors on their home turf last weekend.

The latest box-office figures indicate that Zack Snyder’s 300 raked in $3.1 million on 138 Greek screens, at an average of $22,500 per theater, last weekend to set a record in Greece.

The film tells the story of the battle of Thermopylae, in which a band of 300 Spartans, according to historical lore, held back an army of thousands of Persians. It has been banned in Iran, where it was denounced as insulting and historically inaccurate.

Adidas buys Reebok distribution rights in Greece March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Sports & Games.
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Adidas AG said it bought the distribution rights for its Reebok brand in Greece from RBK Hellas SA as part of its strategy to regain rights to its own brands around the world. Financial details were not disclosed.

The German sporting goods maker, which acquired Reebok in 2005, said Greek unit Adidas Hellas SA will become the exclusive distributor of the brand in Greece from Jan 1 2008.

Adidas’ plan to buy out distributors and joint ventures around the world will generate annual savings of at least 200 millions euro by 2009, the company reiterated.

Ancient mashed grapes discovered in Greece March 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Archaeology Greece.
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Either the ancient Greeks loved grape juice, or they were making wine nearly 6,500 years ago, according to a new study that describes what could be the world’s earliest evidence of crushed grapes.

If the charred 2,460 grape seeds and 300 empty grape skins were used to make wine, as the researchers suspect, the remains might have belonged to the second oldest known grape wine in the world, edged out only by a residue-covered Iranian wine jug dating to the sixth millennium B.C. Since the Greeks influenced the Romans, who in turn influenced virtually all of Europe, it is possible that a drink made in a humble, post-framed house in eastern Macedonia influenced much of the world’s wine.

“For the Neolithic or the Bronze Age, we have no evidence for markets and a market economy,” lead author Tania Valamoti said. “Production was on a household or communal basis,” added Valamoti, who is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Valamoti and her team excavated four homes at a Neolithic site called Dikili Tash. After discovering the grape remains in one residence, they conducted charring experiments on fresh grapes, raisins and wine pressings to see what would best match the ancient seeds and skins. They determined the archaeological remains “morphologically resemble wine pressings and could not have originated from charred grapes or raisins.”

Analysis of the grape remains determined they either were harvested from wild plants or originated from a very early cultivar. Findings are published in the current journal Antiquities.

The scientists also found two-handled clay cups and jars, which they say suggest a use for decanting and consuming liquids. Charred figs were also found near the grape remnants. The presence of figs likely was not a coincidence, according to the researchers, who mentioned that juice from wild grapes often has a bitter taste.

“Figs could have been added to the grape juice prior to fermentation and the sugars contained in them would have entered the juice,” explained Valamoti. “Or, they could have been added to the fermented product after completion of the fermentation process. Honey could be dealt with in the same way.”

The world’s oldest wine, a 9,000-year old rice wine from China, also contained honey and fruits. The ancient Greek grapes might change wine history, as experts previously theorized grape wine-making could have first spread throughout the Middle East.

Patrick McGovern, a senior research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania, and one of the world’s leading ancient wine experts, has pointed out that “the wild grape never grew in ancient Egypt,” yet evidence for wine there dates back to at least 2,700 B.C. Red wine residue was even found in King Tut’s tomb. He and his colleagues believe wine-making became established in Egypt due to “early Bronze Age trade between Egypt and Palestine, encompassing modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, and Jordan.”

But since the Phoenicians and the Greeks largely controlled Egyptian trade during much of the Pharaonic period, because many such individuals had settled into the Delta, it is now possible that Greeks brought wine into Egypt and into numerous other places, through Greece’s extensive trade routes.

Valamoti and her colleagues hope further studies can be conducted on the Dikili Tash pottery, to determine whether tartaric acid, a component of grapes and wine, was present in the cups.