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Could it be all Greek for struggling Hawks? May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Point-guard search could be all Greek for struggling Hawks

The Hawks, who passed on Chris Paul and Deron Williams in the 2005 draft to take Marvin Williams, and who then gave ex-Sixer Speedy Claxton $25 million in free agency last summer, may be looking at another potential solution to their perennial point-guard problem.

Word is they’re looking hard at Greek guard Theodoros Papaloukas, the 30-year-old star point at CSKA Moscow who is expected to try the NBA next season.

Papaloukas is considered by many personnel types to be the best player in Europe, and while he isn’t the quickest guy going, at 6-foot-7 he has the size that would give him an edge over other Euro imports that have tried to make a go of it over there.

Papaloukas led CSKA to the Euroleague Final Four Championship game last month, held in Athens, and impressed observers again.

The Greek Warriors > Re-enactors in full metal gear May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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They’re not Civil War re-enactors, the apparent top of the pecking order in a world that is part history lesson, part role-playing. They’re certainly out numbered by Revolutionary War actors, who replicate full battles that exhibit the folly of rigid linear warfare. The Greek Warriors look a lot cooler than your average Trekkie in full Klingon regalia.

“The Civil War guys are the most prominent re-enactors in the United States, then Revolutionary War, then the Romans,” said George Marcinek of Staten Island, N.Y., founder of the Greek Warriors. “You will not come up with too many Greek warrior re-enactors sites.”

A New York City-based group that portrays ancient Greek soldiers, the Warriors do their thing at Greek-American festivals, parades and cultural events. The surprise box-office success of the movie “300” which dramatizes the Spartan stand at Thermopylae, has contributed to interest in the Warriors, which Marcinek started in 2004. The group performs at events for nothing more than food and lodging.

They’ve become a staple at the Greek Independence Day Parade in Manhattan, as well as other local and regional festivals. The troupe, or maybe troop, features about two dozen re-enactors who can represent Spartan, Athenian or Corinthian soldiers. They pose for photos, dispense history, serve as honor guards and display maneuvers, but they don’t do combat re-enactments.

“It brings ancient times into modern times,” said Marcinek, a 52-year-old risk management analyst from Staten Island. “The best medium to do this is at a Greek festival.”

While the spectacle of the Warriors’ costumes, including colorful helmets and shields with regional and family crests, attracts some participants, history is another draw, although the interest extends beyond those of Greek heritage.

“At least half the members are Greek,” said Marcinek, who is actually of Italian descent. “The other half are those who appreciate Greek heritage and Greek armor.”

Rocco Manitta, an ex-Marine from East Greenbush, N.Y., plans to take up a shield as a member of the group for the first time.

“I think it’s more of a military type of interest,” the 33-year-old said. “… This is sort of the roots of Western military tradition. … There are a lot of similarities between the Spartan ethos and Marine Corps life.”

Peter Giakoumis of Queens, N.Y., who works for the Department of Homeland Security in New York, serves as co-commander of the group. He spent six years as a Civil War re-enactor.

“We are bringing a different phase of history to life. Usually, it’s just in a museum,” said the 41-year-old. “This year, of course, the movie ‘300’ was popular and interest has piqued. People are into it. “It is kind of cool,” he continued. “The only bad thing is we don’t have ancient Persians to beat up.”

Related Links > http://www.thegreekwarriors.com

Paniyiri Greek Festival > Sunday final day May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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Brisbane’s Greek spectacular Paniyiri brings with it all the flair and excitement of Greek culture.

South-East Queensland’s 25,000 strong Greek community will be out in force to celebrate this 31-year-old festival, inviting everyone to sample the wonders of Mediterranean traditions.

The food of the Gods will be available throughout the festival, with a variety of Hellenic delights, including Honey Puffs, Haloumi and Dolmades. Over six days, the sounds of the Bouzouki and Baglama will resound and the irrepressible Effie will be her usual high-pitched self. George Calombaris Award-winning chef, who took home the Young Chef of the Year Award 2004 from The Age Good Food Guide, will be cooking up a mass of fragrant and succulent Greek dishes.

Panyiri highlights: 

Flavours of Paniyiri: Saturday May 19 from 2pm, Sunday May 20 from 10am Musgrave Park

Paniyiri Church Tours: Saturday May 19 from 2pm, Sunday May 20 from 11:30am Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, South Brisbane

Fireworks: Saturday May 19 from 8:30pm, Sunday May 20 from 7pm Musgrave Park

Public Lectures: ‘Cyrene’, ‘Atomic Physics in Ancient Greece’, ‘Greek and Australian Literature Translated’, Sunday May 20 from 11am, The Greek Club & Convention Centre, South Brisbane

Trella-After Party: The Greek Club Sunday May 20 from 8pm

Greek Cooking: Featuring George Calombaris Sunday May 20 from 12pm Musgrave Park & The Greek Club & Convention Centre, South Brisbane

Honey Puff & Olive Eating Contest: Sunday May 20 from 12.30pm, Musgrave Park

Paniyiri Ready Steady Cook: Sunday May 20 from 12pm onwards, The Greek Club & Convention Centre, South Brisbane

Check out the Paniyiri website for further information about the events over this week!

Where: Main events held at The Greek Club and Musgrave Park
Cost: $2 (Pensioner and Concession) $7 Adult (Over 13) Children Free

Related Links > http://www.ourbrisbane.com/whatson/paniyiri/

Detroit Institute of Arts goes high-tech May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Americas.
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Antiquity, Silhouette Video > At DIA’s Ancient Greek and Roman Gallery

Visitors watch a nearly life-size silhouette projection of a slave mixing and serving wine to a man reclining on a couch at a Greek banquet. The vessels are identified in the video with a caption; the actual vessels are in cases in the gallery.

The goal is to help people appreciate the specialized forms required for mixing and serving wine in ancient Greece and to bring the objects to life.

Related Links > http://www.dia.org/nowonview.html

The new way to cruise the Greek islands May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in News Cruises.
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Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the man behind the low-cost successes of Europe’s easyJet and easyHotel, has been experimenting with a new concept in cruising: easyCruise. This summer, after several seasons of sailing the French and Italian Rivieras, Stelios is repositioning his cost-conscious cruise ship to the waters of his homeland, Greece.

With so many cruise operators plying the Aegean and Mediterranean, why waste time focusing on a single company with only one ship? EasyCruise offers three distinct advantages over its competitors: unique itineraries, incredibly low prices and a daily schedule that allows passengers to spend the bulk of their time ashore rather than at boring buffet dinners aboard the ship.

Stelios, the son of a GreekCypriot shipping magnate, explains that he has spent a lifetime “visiting many smaller, unknown Greek Islands, ones with no tourists.” Now he’s ready to share these little-visited gems with the public.

Some of the islands on easyCruise’s itineraries are famous, Mykonos, Paros and Naxos, but others, Spetses, Milos, Amorgos, Folegandros, Serifos and Sifnos, are known only to insiders or less known to travellers. These islands are strung together in three different loops, each leaving out of the Athens port of Piraeus and lasting three, four and seven nights, respectively. This cycle repeats every 14 days, so you could string together a two-week cruise visiting 11 islands by booking all three loops back-to-back.

Essentially, easyCruise offers the opportunity to go island-hopping without the discomfort of milk-run ferries, but almost as inexpensively. Rates for a two-person interior cabin start around 102 euros ($139 USD) for the three-night, midweek cruise; from 168 euros ($228) for the four-night, long-weekend cruise; and from 294 euros ($400) for the seven-night itinerary.

Cabins with a window cost a bit more, while suites with balconies often double the per-night rates. These low prices are more common at the end of the season, in September and October, with June to August dates ranging more along the lines of 42 euros to 120 euros ($57 to $163) per cabin per night.

The easyCruise difference goes well beyond unknown islands and laughably low prices. Stelios himself describes easyCruise as “a cruise for people who hate cruising.” It’s designed for those who’d rather spend their time exploring the islands than aboard the ship. Only one-third of the stops on the full itinerary require a tender boat to get back and forth from the ship; all other stops allow the ship to dock at port, so guests are free to wander on and off.

More importantly, the daily cruising schedule is designed to let passengers tour each destination in full, by day and by night. You arrive at each new port by noon, with plenty of time to get off the ship and explore, the ship offers a variety of adventures ashore. Then, rather than setting sail at 5 p.m., as on most ships, easyCruise doesn’t leave until between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. the next morning. This allows you to relax all evening on shore and have dinner in a local taverna or restaurant, though there is an a la carte restaurant on board the ship that serves fusion cuisine.

It also means that passengers are free to party the night away at local nightclubs, part of the fabled attraction on some Greek islands, but one that most cruisers miss out on, or simply stroll the sands in the moonlight. The actual sailing from island to island is done during the morning hours while, presumably, most passengers are sleeping off a night of revelry.

Take the note about nightclubs to heart. EasyCruise does tend to a much younger age, by some 20 years, than your average cruise ship, with most passengers in their 30s and early 40s. Neither is this a cruise for families: There are no facilities for children, and the minimum age is 14.

You can get more information or make a booking at www.easycruise.com. The Greek islands itineraries run from May 18 through November 11.

Greek Minister underlines the role of Olympic Truce May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games.
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Greek Culture Minister George Voulgarakis underlined the role of the Olympic Truce to the idea of the Olympic Games on Saturday at an international forum on the Olympic Truce which took place in ancient Olympia of Greece, according to Athens News Agency.

Voulgarakis said that the forum helped to revive the overall idea of the Olympic Games and bring the truce back to the forefront. He said the importance of the effort for an Olympic Truce was that it combined the strength of the Olympic Movement with the desire of younger generations to work together for peace.

The forum was also addressed by Tourism Development Minister and Vice-President of the International Olympic Truce Foundation Fani Palli-Petralia, who underlined that the Olympic Truce was an institution that had achieved many things in the 15 years since it was revived.

“It is indicative that during the Olympic Games in Athens, enemy armies and groups of conflict throughout the world show through their stance, and some through their statements, that they respected the idea of the Olympic Truce but also Greece itself,” Petralia said. The Beijing Olympics would be another opportunity to reinforce the ideal of the Olympic Truce, she added.

The “International Forum on Sport for Peace and the Olympic Truce” is now undergoing at Olympia from May 17 until May 21.

General public to design pins for Beijing Games May 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Olympic Games.
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An Olympic pin designing contest was launched on Friday, welcoming people from all over China to share their ideas about the Beijing Games.

The contest, lasting until June 30, will have its winners on August 8 to mark the exact one-year countdown for the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games.

All contestants can choose between the five categories in their design, namely Olympic and Chinese culture, Olympic sports, torch relay, Green Olympics as well as drawing whatever on your mind about the Games. People can visit the Olympic channel on sohu.com for contesting information.

“The contest is aimed at general public instead of professional designers because we hope to involve more people with the Olympics,” said David Brooks, vice president of Coca-Cola (China) which sponsors the contest. “Not all the people can buy a ticket to watch the competition in 2008 but they can take their parts in the Games, for instance, joining the pin design contest,” he said.

Olympic pin trading has become a tradition since the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece where athletes, officials and judges exchanged little round cards with their names and titles on it. Since 1988, each Olympics will have a pin trading center for people to trade their pins, mainly made of metal nowadays, and make friends. Beijing is not exception.

Brooks said Beijing should have more than one trading center considering its large population. “In Athens, we set up one center close to beach volleyball venue but in Beijing, one is not enough,” he said. The Chinese capital has a population of around 16 million in 2005, five million more than that of Greece.

“So we plan to build two pin trading centers in Beijing and there also will be trading sites in co-host cities,” he said. Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shenyang, Qinhuangdao, Tianjin and Shanghai are the co-host cities of the Games.