Monday, February 28, 2011

How many calories do we burn just by using our brains

Generally our brain burns 20% of the total energy needed on a daily basis in order to function normally. This means that it requires 400-500 calories a day, which varies according to how hard-working someone is. When we are awake we use a major part of our brain in order to function, use our muscles and our senses.

Experiments have shown that this is also relative to ones IQ. According to how clever someone is he burns more calories. This is because a clever person has to use his brain more and harder to solve a difficult problem. 
At least now when I am going to be reading I will have in mind that I'm burning calories...!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A boutique in the middle of nowhere

I can't say that I understand all the new trends and the commercial side of things but this belongs in the sphere of 'odd things'. A Prada boutique was built in the middle of a desert motorway in the Western part of Texas, USA. It was built for an artistic and commercial project in order to promote bags designed by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, who spent for the whole project 80.000 dollars.

I just have two questions...Who works there and who will buy these designer bags in the middle of a motorway in Texas???

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A 22 year old has...61 children with 52 women

Iakovos Georgiou from Kalohori in Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece, is a unique case, breaking a world record. He became a father for the first time when he was 18 and it seems he liked it so much that he became a father in total 61 times in four years with 52 women.

The media found out about this when the police arrested the 22 year old boy for not being able to pay child support. Many local residents asked for Iakovo's castration. The funny thing is that since this has been published by the local press many other women have called the police and claimed that the father of their child is in fact Iakovos. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

A woman needs 1 million friends on facebook in order to get married.

Kelly Coxhead who is currently 32, got engaged 10 years ago and has tried since to get married to her fiancée, so she can book a date and let the family know.  However Paul Mappelthorpe, a mechanic who lives with Kelly in Swindon, outside London, has stated that he will only get married to Kelly if she can achieve to obtain 1 million friends on her facebook group page. This long process definitely gives Paul the title of the least romantic person in England.  

If anyone wants to help Kelly to get married soon, the group on facebook is called :" I NEED 1 MILLION PEOPLE TO JOIN FOR PAUL TO MARRY ME C'MON GUYS HELP ME lol". I am actually now questioning if Paul is suitable for Kelly, since this will be a long task to achieve. Is someone you love worth this kind of torture?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Illegal baby names

In mid January of this year the Pope declared war on parents naming babies after celebrities, fruit or popular sports cars. In an address to parents the pontiff pleaded with worshippers to 'give your children names that are in the Christian calendar'. So Orange, Brooklyn and Ferrari are out, Roberto and Alessandra are in.

The Pope, however, is not the only authority figure to stamp down on one of the sillier by products of celebrity culture. The following are some examples of names which have been banned around the world for reasons of taste, decency or just plain stupidity.

1. Venerdi, meaning Friday (Italy)
In 2008 a court banned an Italian couple from naming their child Venerdi. The judges believed that the name would expose the boy to mockery. The funny thing is that the parents 'threatened' to call their next child Mercoledi (Wednesday).

2. Brfxxccxxmnpccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (Sweden)
Don't worry, I didn't just make it up. This is a name that a couple in Sweden tried to inflict on their son back in 1996. The name is apparently pronounced 'Albin'..not sure how they came to this conclusion. They chose this name as a protest against Sweden's admittedly strict naming laws. Tax authorities must give their blessing to both first and surnames before they can be used.  

3. Chow Tow meaning Smelly Head (Malaysia)
Malaysian authorities have cracked down on unsuitable titles in recent years. In 2006 government killjoys published a list of undesirable names that were not in keeping with the religious traditions of the country, just like Chow Tow.

4. Anus (Denmark)
The Danes are even tougher than the Swedes when it comes down to names, with parents given seven thousand names to choose from by the government. Special permission is needed to deviate from the list, with ethnic names, odd spellings and even compound surnames forbidden. Luckily for this person Anus was rejected. 

5. Akuma meaning Devil (Japan)
In 1993 a Japanese parent called his son Akuma. The authorities decided this was an abuse of the parent's rights to decide a child's name and a lengthy court battle ensued. Eventually the father backed down and the son got a less demonic name. 

These are just a few examples of the 'crazy' names which parents try to impose on their children. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A nun was dismissed from a monastery because she was addicted to facebook

A nun, called Maria Galan from Spain,  was dismissed from a monastery because she was addicted to facebook. She was not only addicted to facebook but to the internet in general. She had also 600 friends on her facebook list, with whom she kept in contact 24/7.

She felt that this was another way of expressing her love to other people and was amazed when she was informed of her dismissal, since she was at her monastery for 35 years. However this has given her the opportunity of a life time, to travel all around the world. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

She gave a discount to whoever ate all their food.

A restaurant owner in Australia got annoyed with all the food she had to throw away because people simply did not eat all their food. So she tried to find a solution. The owner not only was not happy with all the extra food the customers ordered that they did not eventually eat, meaning that she got more money, she tried to stop this phenomenon. She therefore announced that whoever ate all their food will receive a 30% discount. In front of the restaurant's entrance she placed a notification stating that: 

'To contribute towards creating a more sustainable future we ask a little more from our customers than other restaurants'. For some reason I do not see this working in many countries and cultures. Most of us order more than we can eat...But, working in restaurants the past few years, I find it dreadful how we throw away so much food.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A wearable planter

Colleen Jordan invented something unique and original, i.e. small and creative wearable plants with flowers to wear around the neck. Why do we need to keep the flowers at home? They help with the atmosphere and with the air we breathe, they are beautiful and a good excuse for someone to talk to you. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Too much TV is bad for the heart

Too much TV is bad for the heart according to British scientists. This cannot be reduced even if someone exercises. Staying in front of the television for more than four hours increases heart problems by 125%. Also it increases by 48% other illnesses. These are mainly caused due to stressful and frightening scenes shown on TV. These illnesses and shocks could eventually kill someone. 

So lets try and reduce the hours we spend in front of the TV and maybe read a book or go for a walk...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Colmar, Europe's most beautiful city!!!

Many believe that Colmar, a small city in the North-Eastern part of France with a population of 65.000, is the most beautiful city in Europe. This city is known for its museums and many architecturally beautiful monuments. 

Although the pictures are fantastic and magical I am not sure a city can claim the title of the most beautiful city in Europe, or even any region or the world. A city, a town, an area or  a street can be beautiful, magical and unique for everyone since that reminds an individual of previous moments and experiences. Even an 'ugly' city is lovely for someone who had a wonderful time there and vice versa. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

The largest library in the world

The largest library in the USA is also the largest one in the world, i.e. The United States Library of Congress in Washington D.C. It holds the astronomical number of books which are about 118 million items. They require 500 miles of shelving. As seen in these pictures the building is a work of art on its own, with lovely decorations, paintings and architecture. This is a new 'Library of Alexandria', a one which should be preserved, even in the modern digital and internet epoch we live in. 

But I am not sure if it has the largest book in the world. This book contains 10.000 pages. It belongs to the University of Iowa and is called 'Marathon of Poetry' and is considered the 'fattest' book to ever be printed. This book was created for the celebration of "The City of Literature" from UNESCO.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sean Connery recites Kavafi's poem 'Ithaca'

Poems are difficult to translate. Most of the meanings are lost in the process or need to be explained with numerous footnotes. A poem written in one language has to be understood in that language. But again we have had many examples of various poems which, when translated and recited in a specific way, will give the true meaning and pass on the fealings needed to move the reader. This video emphasises exactly this, the famous poem by Kavafis, "Ithaca", recited by Sean Connery.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Electric Vehicle

General Motors has presented, at the last CES Exhibition in Las Vegas, the new EN-V (Electric-Networked Vehicle), a two seater electric vehicle. It is small, economical and environmentally friendly. It also has many other new and unique technologies. It has the capability to turn 360 degrees around its self, it has sensors which are able to identify obstacles on the street and stops when it detects pedestrians in the middle of the road or if it determines that the vehicle will collide with an obstacle or another vehicle.

It is also equipped with a wireless connection which connects with other EN-Vs, giving the ability to other drivers to be informed of any traffic congestion, or whatever else happens on the road. It reaches 40 mph, which is not much but it is adequate for any city. It charges with a simple plug and it can last for 40 kilometres. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

They were counting for an hour...!

Nick Ramos, a student at the University of Colorado, wanted to send a message towards the Universities for the rise in the tuition fees. He paid his $14.000 fee by giving one dollar bills. To collect all of these bills, the twenty year old student had to go and collect them from two banks. He then put them into bags and took them to the University. The University staff did not see the funny side to this "protest" since they were counting the money for an hour. 

The message Nick Ramos wanted to point out was the fact that it is currently too expensive for someone to  study and wanted to remind the leaders of the Universities that many students will have to abandon the University due to this enormous and astronomical rise in fees. 

Unfortunately this is the case in many countries now, making it impossible for millions of people to continue their studies, which inevitably means that they will have to abandon their dreams of a better and secure life, since good jobs will only go to those who can afford a good high education. The richer are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer..!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Greek Tattoos

Many people in the world have a tattoo, most of them are plain and small. But the ones shown here have a theme...Greek Mythology, History and Religion..

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mona Lisa made by coffee cups

Everyone knows and can easily identify this Leonardo Da Vinci painting. The unique fact is that in Australia they achieved to recreate this painting using 3604 cups of coffee. They achieved this by filling with different quantities of coffee the cups they had and by using more or less milk in each one to change the colour.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Minoans are Fathers of the solar calendar

Cretan Professor Minas Tsikritzis read and translated ancient Minoan sources which specify that the Minoans found the solar calendar at around 3000 B.C., 19 centuries before the Babylonians founded there own. This finding goes against the established belief that the Babylonians were the first to invent the solar calendar. 

A Minoan sealing finding dated back to 2200 B.C. is what drove Mr. Tsikritzis to this encounter. This seal is cylindrical and made from a hippopotamus's tooth. The 12 cavities on the seal symbolise the moon, the year, the 12 months. Observing the winter solstice and the movement of the moon they would have found that the moon had the exact same position after 365,3 days.
"The seal reflects the island of the Minoans in the centre and the days which are positioned around it. It is believed that the maths validate the 365,3 days of the year. This fact emphasises that during the period of the old palace in the Minoan civilization they had a solar calendar, centuries before the Babylonians", Mr. Tsikritzis  states in the newspaper Ethnos.
The seal was discovered near the ancient palace of Phaistos and is considered a phenomenon in the universal history of mathematics. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Woman violently beaten in Sudan

I'm not going to comment much on this topic, as I acknowledge that weird and outdated laws still exist all over the world. However, maybe, feminist groups, human right groups, the UN or any other international body should intervene when things like the one shown in this video take place. 
As explained from the title it is a video showing a violent beating of a woman in Sudan because she wore trousers, which goes against the country's controversial INDECENCY LAW.
This video contains violence not suitable for everyone.

Meat flavour water

Is this the first step towards the food-pill which we all have seen in futuristic films? Till Krautkraemer is the inventor of the Meat Water, a fluid which could take our foods' place, since it has various tastes including chicken, meat, fish. The funny thing is that you even have a variety of kitchens when it comes down to buying a bottle, ranging from Indian to American.

I'm not sure if this will work and if we will abolish food in order to live of this water...but it would be and experience to try one.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kingsbury Station

I thought of writing about the name of the area and underground station which is closest to my house, Kingsbury. The station is located in the northern side of the Jubilee line. This line is going to bear the weight of many venues during the Olympic Games in London, in the summer of 2012.

Kingsbury was recorded as Kynges byrig in 1046 and as Chingesberie in the Domesday Book. The name is derived from Kings and the Old English burh, 'a fortified place' and means the ' Kings manor or stronghold'. The manor was granted to Westminster Abbey by Edward the Confessor (reigned 1042-66) and the association of the area with a King goes back to at least 957, when the woodland in the parish was referred to as Kings Wood. It has had various spellings, being known as Kyngesbury in 1199. The Station was opened as Kingsbury on 10 December 1932.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Closing the radiator will help with your diet

Scientists from City University of London found that having the radiator on  all day long helps increase obesity. The warmth of our house does not allow us to burn any calories, something that would happen if the heating was off and our body had to burn calories to maintain its temperature.

The Scientists found that people living and working all day long in front of the computer, in an office, together with the fact that they do not exercise often contributes towards obesity, which is a common phenomenon in the first world countries. In order to preserve a healthy and stable diet we, in the first world, should preserve a temperature level that would preserve our current weight...this is important because the phenomenon of global warming is increasing the world temperature which means that we have to minimize the temperature within closed areas, whether it is at home or at work, to maintain the current balance.
Maybe by wearing more clothes, drinking more hot drinks and using the radiator less we will all be successful towards finding a solution to the modern problem of global warming.

A Blind man's work of art

Esref Armagan was born blind but learnt to read and write on his own. Currently he is a successful painter. His work has been exhibited on countless occasions. His unique work allows him to paint without any assistance.

To begin with he carves on the drawing board the shapes he wants, in order to touch the carvings with his fingers. When eventually he is happy with his work he begins to colour in the painting, using paints which have an oil base.

However, because he uses his hands to apply the colours he has to wait two to three days for the colour to dry and then he continues with the other colour. 
This shows how people can use their imagination to create any work of art. It is astonishing how someone who has never seen has the power and imagination to create the paintings portrayed here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sagrada Familia became a Church

Last summer I visited Barcelona, but before my visit I had never heard of  Sagrada Familia church or Gaudi, an excellent Catalan architect, who has built all of the 'wierd' but fantastic buildings in the Catalan capital. Seeing and visiting the Church of Sagrada Familia I was astonished at how different, unique and in a way scary this building was. Going in the interior I felt I was in a Harry Potter / Lord of the Rings movie...the columns are built like trees, the windows are magnificently unique, the roof is breathtaking, the height is overwhelming and the space within the church is massive. But the most 'scary' part of it is the exterior with the sky high towers and the mysterious sculptures of saints, angels and figures from the Bible, including Christ's life.

128 years after the foundation of this building it was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI and became a Basilica, meaning that now it is a Church where mass can take place. It is still being constructed but when it will, eventually, be finished it will be able to receive 10.000 people.   

The Pope greeted the "faith" of Antonio Gaudi, who combined the traditional architecture of the big Cathedrals with his special creativity. Although Gaudi died in 1926, knowing that he will never see this masterpiece finalised, the works follow his plans and orders.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Russia requests from Turkey to allow the Byzantine Churches to re-open

In the recent meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in Strasbourg Ivan Savvides, member of the Russian delegation, talked about the spiritual, Byzantine legacy referring especially to the Panayia Soumela monastery in Pontos, Northern Turkey. Mr. Savvides thanked the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul for allowing the Orthodox Church to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the historic Monastery of Panayia Soumela on the 15th of August, 88 years after the last Eucharist took place there.

In a letter sent to the President of Turkey he asks if the Monastery of Panayia Soumela could be brought under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in order to preserve it and to be able to use it as a religious centre, according to Orthodox traditions. He also referred to other churches and monuments which could be given back to the Orthodox Church, and reminded the President of the current unsatisfactory situation concerning the Theological School of Chalki.
If these issues are seriously dealt with by Turkey it will bring close the two people, Orthodox and Muslim, promoting tolerance and acceptance. Abdullah Gul promised Mr. Savvides to examine the issue of cooperation on a dialogue between the two civilizations and religions. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a fruitful and lasting cooperation between the Turkish Government and the Orthodox Church.
The only concern is that this is happening during a time where facts are arising involving the bad restoration project taking place in Agia Sofia, in Constantinople. Due to the bad maintenance and restoration it is believed that many historic mosaics will rot due to humidity, as found by the local Planning Commission. The newspaper Sabah analyses this issue by stating that " Agia Sofia is rotting because they scratched the plaster off". According to this report many mistakes have taken place on the restoration project.

The Department of Foundations a year ago decided to scratch the external plaster off in order to renovate the front of the Church. However many omissions on behalf of the Department will cost massive damages to Agia Sofia.
This for me indicates that it is time for all the Churches to be returned to the Ecumenical Patriarchate so the proper measures can be enforced to maintain and preserve these unique and important centres of Orthodoxy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Source of inspiration, optimism and faith - Nick Vujicic

This man emphasises through his life, actions and talks that we should not complain about small unimportant things.. We should see life positevily. Due to Nick's belief in God, besides his dissability, he has been able to give courage and strenght to millions of people through his talks, by giving them meaning and hope. Always think that there are worse situations in life...!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Church that became a house

The Church of St. Jacob, a Christian Church built in 1870 which is located in Utrecht (Netherlands), is currently for sale. The architect, Gerard Gerritsen, undertook the challenging task of transforming the church into a modern house. The pictures show how he succeeded.
He tried to combine the natural light with the functional aspect of a normal, rich, house. The exterior has remained untouched as have the windows which date back from 1911.
"The residential Church XL" as its called, is currently listed in the local auction and has been given the astronomical evaluation of 2.5 million euros.
If you ask me I believe it is wrong to transform a Church into a house..If it had to become something else then a more suitable function for it would have been a school, even a community hall. This of course is not the first time where Churches have transformed into houses in the West. I have seen many Churches becoming Mosques, flats, halls, community halls and restaurants in England
This practice is totally alien to the mind of an Eastern Christian, but it seems that secularism and wealth have no boundaries in the West.