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PM Karamanlis for a week-long visit to Australia May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News, Politics.
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Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is due to arrive in Sydney on Monday following a visit to New Zealand in order to begin an official week-long visit to Australia.

Australia and Greece are expected to sign a long-awaited mutual social insurance agreement guaranteeing the pension rights of Greek-Australians, and allowing the transfer of retirement pensions to Greece. The agreement will be signed on behalf of Greece by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who will accompany the Prime Minister.

Karamanlis is expected in Melbourne on Thursday for talks with the political leadership of the state of Victoria and representatives of the sizeable Greek-Australian community there. On Friday, May 25, the Greek Prime Minister will address a public gathering at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park.

Greek Festival ready to roll in New Orleans May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The 34th Annual Greek Festival will be held May 25 – 27 at the Greek Orthodox Church located at 1200 Robert E. Lee Boulevard in New Orleans.

Donations of $5 are encouraged. Children under 12 years of age get in for free. The hours of the festival are > Friday, May 25: 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Saturday, May 26: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Sunday, May 27: 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Our theme this year is “Experience Greece on $5 a Day!” We think attending Greek Festival New Orleans is almost as good as being there, with authentic foods, live entertainment, and actual Greeks! Plus, you don’t have to spend thousands to fly hours in a cramped airplane cabin!

Our tireless volunteers have been hard at work in preparation of old favorites and new additions! Once again, we have expanded and reconfigured the grounds to better accomodate our guests. Come out and join us for delicious food, delightful drinks,
and entertainment the entire family will enjoy.

NEWEST ATTRACTIONS > Be sure to stop by the Festival and enjoy our newest attractions. Expanded Kids Area: games & fun! The Agora Returns: an outdoor marketplace Greek Grill: souvlaki and Greek sausage Greek Dinner: a different entree every day More Space on the Bayou! Byzantine Chanting: during Church Tours! Rent a Canoe: Take a Bayou Trip! Entrance Prize: Trip to Greece or $1,500!
POSTER BY PANTELIS ZOGRAFOS > Our 2007 Greek Festival poster was created by watercolor artist Pantelis Zografos.
CLIMB MOUNT OLYMPUS > Rock climbing Grecian style!
GOURMET GREEK CUISINE > Authentic Greek dinners, desserts, and drinks, ready for you to enjoy on the grounds or to go. Check out our website to find out what Kali Orexi really means!
HELLENIC SHOPPING EXCURSION > From Festival posters and shirts to baubles and foods, take a slice of Greece home with you.
FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT > Traditional Greek dancers, live musicians, and an Olympic Run round out our exciting event schedule. Event times and locations at our website
CATHEDRAL TOURS > Explore our culture with a guided tour of the Holy Trinity Cathedral, given by our Church historians. Tour schedules can be found on our website.
WIN A TRIP TO GREECE! > Our door prize this year is two round-trip tickets to Greece or $1,500 cash! Check out our website if you feel lucky!
FREE PARKING AND SHUTTLE > Don’t waste any time finding a parking spot with our free off-site parking and shuttle service! Driving, parking, and shuttle information at our website!

Be sure to browse the entire web site for information on new items, event schedules, and a comprehensive list of our fabulous Greek cuisine. We’re looking forward to another great Greek Festival, and are looking forward to seeing you there. Opa!

Related Links > www.greekfestnola.com

A new Greek language immersion programme May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Education, Learn To Speak Greek.
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Coeus International School and the Education Office of the Embassy of Greece form partnership

Dr. J. Daniel Hollinger, Founder and Head of Coeus International School (CIS), and Dr. Zoe Kavogli, Counselor of Education at the Embassy of Greece, are proud to announce the formation of a new Greek Language Immersion Programme.

A new Greek Language Immersion Programme for kindergarten through twelfth grade at CIS. In addition, CIS will serve as a Center for Greek Language and Culture for the Washington metropolitan area.

Located at 4401 Connecticut Avenue, NW in Washington, DC, CIS is an economically, culturally, racially and linguistically diverse school community. CIS’s dual-language, international curriculum develops fluency in two or more languges and prepares students for global citizenship. Beginning in 2007, Coeus students will be able to choose from five dual-language immersion programs in English and Arabic, French, Greek, Mandarin or Spanish. 

Related Links > http://www.coeusis.org

Camilla on holidays in Greece without Prince Charles May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Lifestyle.
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Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is enjoying a vacation without Britain’s Prince Charles, amid reports that the couple argued over the use of their private jet.

The Prince allegedly decided to remain at home since he believed using their private jet to fly to Greece would make a mockery of his efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The Duchess, who recently had hysterectomy, reportedly told her husband she needed to use the jet, rather than board a chartered flight, due to her recent health problems.

Charles, 58, traditionally accompanies his wife for a week-long trip to the Aegean every summer. But this year he stayed behind despite having no official duties scheduled for this week. Camilla, 59, enjoyed a cruise of the sunny Greek isles with her friends aboard Greek billionaire Spiros Latsis’s private yacht on Tuesday night.

Environmentalist Charles vowed at the start of the year that Clarence House would make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and release a ‘green’ transport plan. The Prince already canceled his annual Swiss skiing trip in a show of dedication to the cause. Earlier this year, Charles was criticized for jetting to the U.S. to collect an award for increasing environmental awareness.

Eat Greek in Santa Cruz this weekend May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Can’t afford a trip to Greece? One Santa Cruz church will bring a little taste of the Mediterranean to you during the three-day Greek Food Fair, kicking off this Friday at Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church.

The event will include traditional Greek food such as moussaka, dolmades and lamb, most of which is made from scratch using fresh ingredients and a whole lot of love. “The recipes are ancient, carried down generation to generation,” said Christine Sirakides Thorne, a longtime member of the church.

This will be the group’s first spring food fair in more than a decade. Its annual Greek Festival draws thousands to downtown Santa Cruz at the end of summer each year. Thorne, who learned to cook from her grandmother, said food is a central part of many Greek families. Traditionally, the food is full of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplant, and rich in herbs, such as oregano. They use fresh meat, and never use preservatives, she said. The recipes are complex and take lots of pots and lots of time.

Fewer than two dozen church members have been working around the clock for the past week to make everything from 6,000 skewers of souvlaki, to an arrangement of baklava that includes classic chocolate and amaretto. Even though their hectic schedules have led many to the brink of exhaustion, the cooks know how to keep their spirits high.

Years ago in Greece, families cooked using fresh, regional ingredients, which is why some recipes vary slightly based on the island their families are from, she said. Cooking was a huge part of life, and something that was passed down through generations along with family recipes. Sharing their food with the community allows them to share a little bit of their family history.

The handmade pastries are labor intensive. Lara Willingham, who’s in charge of pastries, helped make tens of dozens of cookies and treats, including custard Galaktoboureko, Koulourakia, twisted butter cookies and Kourambiedes, powdered sugar cookies with almonds. “I appreciate the European customs, plus the Greek people are so warm and friendly,” she said. “They just welcome you with open arms”.

Greek Food Fair > 5-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Prophet Elias Greek Church, 223 Church St., Santa Cruz. For info call 429-6500.

A Taste of Greece in Hillsboro May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Hillsboro’s Doukenie Winery (formerly Windham Winery) will host its annual Taste of Greece Festival Saturday, May 19 from noon-6 p.m., rain or shine.

Cellar and vineyard tours, wine tasting and Greek specialties highlight the event. Tickets are $12/advance or $15 at the gate. Questions? Call 540-668-6464.

The Byzantine Angeloktisti Church at Kiti, Cyprus May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Cyprus Larnaca, Science.
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angeloktisti_church.jpg  The Byzantine Angeloktisti Church at Kiti, Cyprus, the team will produce trial reconstructions of the interior as part of the project. (Credit: Image courtesy of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)

Our understanding of what life was like in bygone eras could be boosted, thanks to a new initiative aiming to depict more accurately and realistically how heritage sites may have looked in their heyday. Computer scientists and cultural heritage researchers are assessing whether today’s increasingly sophisticated 3-d computer technology can be combined with the most recent historical evidence to produce significantly improved visual reconstructions of churches, palaces and other ancient sites.

This could help historians, students and museum visitors gain a much better feel of how such sites were perceived by the people who used them in the past and what it was actually like to be there. The project is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The work is being carried out by researchers from Warwick Manufacturing Group and the new Warwick Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick.

In particular, the effects of smoke, dust, fog and interior lighting conditions, all of which would have impacted on the way that buildings were experienced by contemporaries, can now be modelled very accurately, for the first time. New developments in display technology also mean it is possible to produce images that are many times brighter, more vivid in colour, incorporate better contrast between light and dark, and are therefore much more realistic, than those previously achievable.

Harnessing such capabilities developed by leading-edge organisations in these specialised fields, the Warwick team is the first to examine whether they can be combined with the most up-to-date literary and archaeological evidence, about a site’s characteristics, usage etc, and used to create 3-d computer reconstructions that provide new insight into the past.

“We’re trying to produce images that show more realistically the actual conditions of the time we’re looking back at,” says Professor Alan Chalmers, who is leading the project. “Achieving this involves taking up-to-date historical evidence and combining it with the very latest in 3-d computer technology.” “The future might see the combining of extremely accurate, high-fidelity 3-d representations with temperature, smell, sound and other parameters,” comments Professor Chalmers. “Our work may lead to a significant new tool that could help put us in closer touch with the past.”

The high-fidelity computer graphics techniques being developed within this project are equally applicable to other fields which require highly realistic visualisation, including medical images, product design, architecture and crime scene reconstruction.

In this feasibility study, the team, with the assistance of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, the Byzantine Museum and Art Galleries, Cyprus, the University of Cyprus and Cultural Heritage Imaging, USA, are focusing on Cypriot remains from the Byzantine Empire (c.350-1450 AD).

Within a few years, the techniques being assessed could provide the basis for 3-d computer displays in museums that show how artefacts really may have appeared in their original settings. Indeed, the education sector as a whole could benefit enormously from the availability of such computer reconstructions of an unprecedented high quality.

The feasibility study, ‘A Comparative Study of the High-Fidelity Computer Reconstruction of Byzantine Art in Cyprus in the Past and Present’, is due to run for 10 months and is receiving EPSRC funding of just over £61,000.

The Byzantine period is particularly well-suited as a ‘test case’ because the use of gold in Byzantine churches, and its interplay with natural light, candlelight and architectural features, created visual effects, e.g. pictures of Christ, the Virgin Maria and saints glowing and apparently illuminated from within, that had a profound impact on worshippers. More realistic recreations of such interiors could shed valuable light on people’s spiritual lives and inform our understanding of how they viewed religious and secular authority, for instance.

Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

For more information visit > www.visitcyprus.org.cy