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The Flutes of Dionysus July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology.
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The Classical Greek writer Sophocles called Dionysus “the god of many names”, and Dionysus has been associated with the arts of civilization and with drama, and under his form as Bacchus with wine as liberating and rhapsodic. 

Friedrich Nietzsche saw Dionysus as the bringer of divine ecstasy, the restorer of the instinctive, unconscious unity of all life, a symbol of the periodic need of release from the rational and the common place, a return to the springs of life through the emotions. 

While Dionysus is associated with the vine and fertility, his main function is to teach that the soul is beyond time and space and seeks rapturous union with the divine.

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Greek-Cypriot YouTube star heading for Hollywood July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Media Radio TV.
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Orthodoxos Theodoulou the YouTube film producer with acclaimed hits including “Meat Balls”, “Fajin” among others has attracted the attention of some of Hollywood’s leading digital media production houses.

Orthodoxos said > “..I began filming my mum and dad as a hobby and to make my family and friends laugh, but following the massive press interest this has now been transformed into a full time job”.

Orthodoxos is now working on a new project “S-300” which by all accounts will spellbound the fan base of thousands that follow his work on YouTube.

‘S-300’ Trailer > Cypriot Secret Investigations (CSI), have had to call upon their No1 agent, code name ‘the onion’ license to cook. His mission is to infiltrate a North London HQ and steal plans for the ‘S-300’ missile site due to be built in Famagusta.

Safe sex seems to be the norm in Greece July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Lifestyle.
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The age for first having sex on an average is 19.25 years worldwide, according to “Global Face of Sex”, a worldwide study of sexual behaviour and contraceptive use, compiled by Durex Network.

In contrast, Austrians are the youngest to lose their virginity, at 17.3 years. Brazilians at 17.4 years, Germans at 17.6 years, New Zealanders at 17.8 years and Australians at 17.9 years trail closely behind. Incidentally, Americans lose their virginity at an average of 18 years. Almost half the women surveyed also said they regretted their first sexual experience, compared with 32 per cent of men.

Safe sex seems to be the norm in Greece as 88 per cent used contraception the first time they have sex. Poland, with 86 per cent, and Thailand, with 84 per cent, follow closely behind. However, in the US, Australia and France, condom use hovered around the 60 per cent mark. People were less likely to feel pressured into having sex or having sex earlier if they lived in an area, had a better education or higher income. The study indicated that women were 25 per cent more likely than men to take precautions but were more likely to feel pressured. Almost 30 per cent of women revealed that they felt under pressure, compared to 15 per cent of men.

The survey also revealed that sex worldwide could be better as barely 44 per cent of people are fully satisfied with their sex lives. In contrast, for 60 per cent sex is fun, enjoyable, and a vital part of life.

Frequency of sex varies considerably, Greece tops with 87 per cent having sex weekly, followed by Brazil at 82 per cent and Russia at 80 per cent. India hovers at 68 per cent; above Britain at 55 per cent and the United States at 53 per cent. However, the shocker is Japan, only 34 per cent have sex weekly.

The survey also revealed that people become less satisfied with their sex lives as they get older, more so for men than women. This is partly because they tend to have sex less often and have been in relationships for longer. In the UK, more than a quarter of people did not use contraception when having sex for first time, and 14 per cent were under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

The survey found that overall contraceptive use had increased in the past 50 years. However, three in 10 people still reported that they did not use protection when they first had sex.

Related Links > http://www.durex.com/UK/index.asp

International crisis management conference in Athens July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Shows & Conferences.
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An international conference on crisis management, entitled “Athena 2007”, opened on Wednesday at a central Athens hotel under the auspices of Greece’s National Defence General Staff (GEETHA).

The three-day conference, which runs through Friday, was inaugurated by Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis, who in a brief greeting noted that such initiatives advance information and exchanges of views on the successful prevention and management of crises.

The objective of the conference is to acquire familiarity with a broad spectrum of crisis management issues, as well as to inform and exchange views on the methods, procedures and capabilities of the international community regarding crisis prevention and management. 

The conference will be attended by 219 political and military representatives from 44 countries and international organisations, as well as representatives from several Greek Μinistries.

Vodafone and HOL launch ADSL bundles July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Telecoms.
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Vodafone Greece has launched telephony and ADSL packages for residential and business users in partnership with local ISP Hellas On Line (HOL).

The new bundles offer ADSL connections at download speeds of between 2Mbps and 12Mbps, and a Vodafone Home Zone or Office Zone subscription, allowing users to make calls over Vodafones GSM network from a chosen location at prices similar to landlines, with the option of using a geographic fixed line telephone number or porting their existing fixed line number and receiving calls routed to their mobile phone or a special home handset.

Self-loathing and the American tourist in Europe July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Testimonials.
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At first, I was curious what an American “tourist” had to say about visiting Greece. So, I started reading the article. I felt a bit uneasy, after reading the first paragraphs, especially the one about photography and filming in Greece’s Museums. Yes, what I said to myself was simply, “another one bites the dust. another negative comment, oh, well, turn the page!”.

I was wrong. I apologise for reaching quick decisions and for making my mind up, before reading further. If I am not mistaken, one of my ancient ancestors, Themistocles, once said: Hear me first, judge me later (Akouson men, pataxon de).

To make it short, after concluding reading the complete article, I understood what was the authors’ message to his readers. I have to say thank you for putting it into such an effective way.

Well, here’s some abstracts from the article, by Steven Winn, published Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at San Francisco Chronicle. Click the link below, to read the complete article >

Oh, and by the way, Happy fourth of July to all my American readers!

It happened to us over and over on a family vacation in Greece last month, at the Acropolis Museum the day we arrived in Athens, at the National Archaeological Museum the next morning and then later in the week at the Benaki Museum. It was the same thing in the Palace of the Grand Masters on Rhodes, at the Byzantine Museum in Thessaloniki, even in the cliff-top monasteries at Meteora, where photography and filming are explicitly forbidden.

There’s nothing quite like being an American tourist to fill you with contempt for American tourists. I could feel my lip curling with disgust one afternoon on the island of Hydra, when a swarm of college women from Michigan stormed past me in pursuit of designer handbags at some waterfront shop. Didn’t they know, as I did, that the way to experience the essence of Hydra was to hike up the whitewashed steps in the midday sun, get hopelessly lost and nearly pass out from heat exhaustion in order to watch a group of Greek children play hide-and-seek on some narrow street?

It could be the eternally all-American, apple-pie reason that so many of us travel to Europe and elsewhere, as exhausting, pricey and sometimes futile as it can seem. The harder we try to vanish into another culture, to innocently and naively lose our own national identity, the more American we become. All those centuries of history that are so plainly visible in Greece (or Italy or France) take the measure of us as a very young and still very wide-eyed country. We Americans are never more curious and clumsy, more eager and obtuse, more self-critical and self-absorbed than when we travel.

Walking into the cool subterranean tombs at Vergina one beastly hot afternoon, I was instantly dismayed by a horde of English-speaking college students clustered around the exhibits and feverishly taking notes and sketching. Every glittering gold thing, masterly frieze fragment and silver shin guard from the Philip II of Macedonia excavation was obscured by a mass of American backs and sunburned bare shoulders.

I’m happy to be home on this Fourth of July. I know my quest for the essential Greek experience was touristic folly, every bit as much as the search for designer purses in Hydra or the compulsion to see every potsherd is. But I also hope I can hold onto that sweet sense of dislocation that travel brings, that way of seeing your world back home that is both woozily out of focus and oddly acute. Our bodies really just go along for the ride. It’s our minds and our imaginations that make the journey.

Article by Steven Winn, Copyright by San Francisco Chronicle > Self-loathing and the American tourist in Europe.

Gagarin Open-Air Festival > Biggest of them all joins in July 4, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Gagarin Open-Air Festival, a six-day event, starts tomorrow with Iggy Pop & the Stooges as the headliners > Calexico, a highlight on the festival’s agenda, performs next Tuesday.

The ongoing parade of concerts in and around the capital this summer includes several rock festivals, the biggest of them all, in terms of duration, number of acts and ambition, if not quality as well, starts tomorrow at the Olympic Baseball Arena in Hellenikon, southern Athens.

A six-day event, the Gagarin Open-Air Festival brings in a diverse cast of leading acts, from still-relevant veterans to bright contemporaries. They include Iggy Pop & the Stooges, Calexico, Kaiser Chiefs and Mudhoney.

The Gagarin Open-Air Festival, a summertime event organized by the winter-season club of the same name, follows hot on the heels of this year’s Rockwave Festival, an 11-year-old event whose earlier indie-rock leanings have gradually given way to a hard-rock/metal agenda. It was exclusively that this year, with Metallica bringing the three-day event to its end last night.

As for the Gagarin Open-Air Festival, Iggy & the Stooges headline the opening night, tomorrow, not long after the legendary proto-punk act followed up a reunion tour with a new album. Released this year, “The Weirdness,” the first album of new material by the Stooges in over three decades, emerged as a logical step following a triumphant return to the stage in 2003. Though frontman Pop and his old bandmates Ron Asheton and Scott Asheton did recreate the riotous sound of their early period for the reunion tour, the ensuing new album, produced by Steve Albini, read me Nirvana, Pixies, Dirty Three, differed greatly. It caught the critics by surprise and has received mixed reviews, which, of course, probably mean little, if anything at all, to Pop, an enduring, dedicated and real rock‘n’roll animal, now 60, and his reunited bandmates.

Also on the festival’s worthy agenda tomorrow are grunge-era pioneers and survivors Mudhoney, as well as the Soulsavers, featuring Mark Lanegan, the charismatic, big-voiced former frontman of another grunge-era band, Screaming Trees.

For Friday, the event’s organizers have put together major domestic drawcards, including Yiannis Angelakas & the Episkeptes, the reunited Last Drive, Diafana Krina, and cult attraction Lost Bodies.

Headlining next Tuesday, Calexico, a refreshing addition to the contemporary scene with considerable reliance on old-school sounds, including country, mariachi-Mexican, and punk-surf, rank as a highlight.

The band’s drummer John Convertino, one of the act’s two core members, spent years providing the beats for the ultra-alternative and long-lasting project Giant Sand, fronted by Howe Gelb, a gifted yet fiercely uncompromising musical figure. Through its ranks, Convertino found a fertile artistic partner in Joey Burns. Working as the rhythm section, chiefly on bass and drums, for Gelb’s criminally neglected Giant Sand, Convertino and Burns gradually realized there was potent enough chemistry for musical activity of their own as a side project.

Calling themselves Calexico, the pair’s debut effort “Spoke” hinted at a worthy direction, but it was not until the follow-up, “Black Light,” that they achieved a coherency capable of attracting a wider following. And it did. That was back in 1998 and since then, Calexico have gone from being appealing unknowns to one of the healthier aspects of the musical establishment. The band had passed through Greece last summer, but skipped Athens for shows in Thessaloniki and on Crete instead. This time, the return is for just one show, in Athens.

Gagarin Open-Air Festival > Line-Up >

  • Tomorrow > Iggy & the Stooges, Mudhoney, Soulsavers featuring Mark Lanegan;
  •  Friday > Yiannis Angelakas & the Episkeptes, the Last Drive, Diafana Krina, Pavlos Pavlidis & the B-Movies, Dinos Sadikis, Lost Bodies;
  • Sunday > Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Rotting Christ, Opened Paradise, Sun of Nothing;
  • July 9 > Kaiser Chiefs, the Long Blondes, Good Shoes;
  • July 10 > Calexico, Sophie Solomon, Beirut, A Hawk and a Hawksaw;
  • July 11 > Joe Satriani and special guests.