Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gold plated contact lenses

Chandrashekhar Chawan, who is an eye specialist, being inspired by jewels in the teeth of his wife, he created contact lenses decorated with diamonds. 

However his invention received mixed reactions. Some thought it was a frightening site, whilst others loved it. Chawan personally believes that it will be the next big fashion tip in Bollywood. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Moderate drinking is good for the heart

Two new Canadian scientific studies have confirmed that moderate alcohol consumption on a daily basis is good for the heart and the blood circulatory system. The daily but moderate alcohol consumption (about one glass a day) reduces to 14% to 25% risk for heart disease, compared with those who do not drink. According to the researchers, the beneficial effect appears to come from all forms of alcohol.

Similar benefits with moderate alcohol, one can achieve with exercise and proper nutrition. The Canadians, however, scientists believe that governments should give a different message from a public health perspective, advocating moderate drinking, despite the fact that such a public campaign would entail reactions. So lets open a bottle of wine and enjoy a glass!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Living in Athens for four years I got to see most of the Greek capital, with its ups and downs, as any city in the world. Many things aren't up to scratch, that is why a group of Athenians called "Atenistas" formed an open community of citizens of Athens who love their city and believe that a compromise with the various problematic aspects found around the city is unacceptable. It should, in a way, return to its previous glory and beauty by realising its enormous potential as a metropolitan centre of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Via this group the importance of civil society is emphasised, where thousands of Athenians wish to do something for their city. It is a vibrant community that wants to share its faith in a much better Athens, believing in rejuvenating power of action.   

It is time to act, not time to expect the government or the municipality to solve 'small' problems and issues around the Greek capital, such as dodgy plants, they clean signs and areas and restore pavements,especially in this bad economic climate. People of all ages and backgrounds get involved, bringing colour, order, nature and beauty to the concrete city which Athens has become to be. They are also involved in philanthropic work, collecting clothes, beds, various objects and promote recycling.  

However this movement is not only found within Athena's city..similar movements are found all around Greece, named accordingly after the city of origin, for example Thessaloniki-Thessalonistas. The Greek cities which host these groups of people are: Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patra, Ioannina, Irakleio, Kavala, Serres, Corfu, Komotini, Mitilini, Chania, Chios, Ptolemaeda, Lasithi Mountains, Zante, Sivota, Mallia, Naxos and the small Cyclades islands. For more information (in Greek) you can visit their site here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Murder Story on the Internet

I'm not sure if this story is true.. However if it is then it should make us all think that we should be careful with what we see and find whilst surfing on the internet. A treasure hunt which turned into a murder story..!

P.S. excuse the bad language here and there..!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saint Demetrios Cathedral, New York

Since today the Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Demetrios it is only right I dedicate this post to a church devoted to this saint, i.e. Saint Demetrios in Astoria, New York. The Community of St. Demetrios has been in existence for over 80 years and its progress has been astonishing. In 1927 the ground on which St. Demetrios stands today was purchased for $3500. 

With just $306.000 in their treasury, the immigrant people consisting of furriers, tailors, bakers and labourers gathered on November 7, 1927 in order to form a charter with the State of New York and proclaimed their official name, the Hellenic Orthodox Community of Astoria, St. Demetrios Inc. 

From the inception of the community an afternoon Greek School and a Sunday School Program was organised to hold on to the precious Greek Language, customs, traditions and religion (which is also the way the Greek communities organise them selves in the diaspora, in general). 

The church was elevated to a cathedral on June 12, 1985. 

The community has currently a school, which opened in 1957 having 267 students. It has since become an all day school with over 700 Greek-American students.

Today it is a thriving community with four clergy men, Fr. Archimandrite Apostolos Koufallakis (Dean), Fr. Anastasios Pourakis, Fr. Vasiliios Louros and Fr. Ioannis Antonopoulos.  

Astoria retains its historic importance for the Greek community in the U.S.A. since it was the first See (1922-1942) of the Archdiocese of North and South America and was also the site of the first Seminary of Saint Athanasios. It is still a very "Greek" are, where on can find numerous shops, supermarkets, restaurants, cafes, bars, churches, schools, medical practices and societies. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

St Margaret's Church, Essex

St Margaret's Church in Stanford Rivers, Essex, is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit if ever passing by this are, near the English Capital.  

The church is one of the oldest in Essex, dating from the twelfth century, 1150 A.D to be precise., built in the Norman style with walls of flint and rubble. The chancel was rebuilt in the 14th century and the bay roof of the nave dates back to the 15th century. The interior of the church building is very light, whilst five original Norman windows are still found to this day.

A question many ask is to which St. Margaret is this church dedicated to? Although having a picture of St. Margaret of Scotland in a stained glass window, who had not been canonised when the church had begun, it is hence dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch. However the church continues to hedge its bets by revering both ladies. 

The church is now part of a wider benefice including the ancient Saxon Church of Greensted.

I would like to thank Fr. Andrei Petrine, the parish priest of this church, together with another 3 within his community, for taking the time to show me St Margaret's and St Andrew's Churches. (I will refer to the latter one soon). 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Georgios Averof Ship

Georgios Averof is the world's only surviving heavily armoured cruiser of the early 20th century. During the Balkan Wars (1912-13), she was the Hellenic Navy fleet flagship during the campaign in the North and Central Aegean islands, as well as the coastal cities of East Macedonia and Thrace.

Greece remained neutral during most of World War I. Eleutherios Venizelo's government in 1917 decided to participate on the Allies' side. At the end of W.W.I., November 1918, the Averof sailed to Constantinople and  raised the Hellenic flag as one of the winning powers of the Great War. After the signing of the peace treaties, Averof together with the rest of the fleet moved the Hellenic troops to Asia Minor. 

She served on the Allied side during W.W. II, having fled to Egypt and the Indian Ocean with the rest of the fleet. The Averof led the Greek naval force when the fleet dropped anchor in the Faliron Bay, Athens, on October 17 1944. The raising of the ship's war flag on the Acropolis marked Athens' liberation. 

Georgios Averof last voyaged to Rhodes, May 1947, to commemorate the accession of the Dodecanese islands from Italy. In 1984 the Greek Navy decided to restore her as a museum and in the same year she was towed to Faliron Bay, where she is anchored to this day and functioning as a floating museum, seeking to promote the historical consolidation and upkeep of the Greek Naval tradition. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A unique skin disease

A 26 year old woman from Vietnam, Nguyen Thi Phuong, had an allergic reaction which made her age rapidly in a few days, looking like a 70 year old woman, stunning all the doctors who examined her. She believes that she had an allergic reaction to seafood, adding that in 2008 she suffered from an anaphylactic shock. 

Her skin loosened and wrinkles were evident all over her body. After using various medicine, given to her by her doctors, she turned to numerous traditional local practices and remedies in order to find a solution to her unique problem. Doctors believe that there is a possibility that the medicine given to her were partly at fault, in speeding up her condition's progress, emphasising this rare skin disease.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Political Cartoons by Carlos Latuff

Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian freelance political cartoonist. His work, as seen here, deals with a plethora of themes, including anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism and anti-U.S. military intervention. Latuff is critical of U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, the intentions the West has with Iran and of course the Israel-Palestine issue. However he also depicts current political and economic affairs taking place, for example the Greek debt problem. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Is there a future for multiculturalism?

A forum on religion and THEOS public debate took place today at the London School of Economics, where Dr. Jonathan Chaplin, Alan Craig, Claire Fox and Professor Tariq Modood, chaired by Jane Little, answered various issues concerning the theme of the public debate: "Is there a future for multiculturalism?". 

The past few years a number of politicians around the world, for example German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and various commentators from all backgrounds condemn the idea and the reality of multiculturalism. This event asked the crucial question, whether we are right to bury state multiculturalism, having previously praised it so energetically. 
All speakers pointed out important factors of modern British society concerning multiculturalism, giving examples mostly from the Muslim paradigm. However many truths were stated, which can shock a person not living in the U.K. Dr. Jonathan Chaplin claimed that "Christianity is a minority religion in Britain". Nevertheless the Church of England is still the state Church, despite the ongoing secularisation process taking effect and prevailing during the past 50 years.

A key issue which was highlighted was the values problem, do we have common values in the U.K. today? Should the government categorise the British values in the modern world? The answer to the last point was of course a negative one. It seems that British values have collapsed, whilst at the same time multiculturalism has filled in the gap. What is obvious is that freedom of speech is not a case today, since political correctness is more important. Tolerance is the result of multiculturalism, promoting neutrality to our daily life, as Alan Craig explained: "Until we know who we are we can't say yes or no", meaning towards the foreign, strange and alien cultures and traditions which try to impose to the modern British society disregarding the values (if they exist) found in British society today.
The debate coincides with the launch of Multiculturalism: a Christian Retrieval, by THEOS, the public theology think tank. In this book "Tariq Modoo defines multiculturalism as ' the political accommodation of minorities formed by immigration to western countries'". This book is a Christian response to the issue of increasing religious, cultural and in many respects political diversity, however  it is accessible and persuasive to those outside the Christian faith. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to beat a woman

I don't think I have to comment much on these videos, but when I saw it I was disgusted. It just seems that some societies accept the beating of women, degrading women and placing them in the same category as animals.

I can't believe that a religion is behind this, however the political and social version of it, in this case the Islamic one, is responsible for the prevalence of these backward ideologies and practices in the 21st century. Despite the videos here emphasising how a man should never hit a woman on the face, we have countless paradigms stating the opposite. 


Domestic violence is a massive problem in an Islamic society. According to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in 2002, over 90% of married women surveyed in that country reported being kicked, slapped, beaten or sexually abused when husbands were dissatisfied by their cooking or cleaning, when the women had in a way failed to bear a child or had given birth to a girl instead of a boy (a belief which no longer is validated by science), or had an illicit affair. Also the beatings are not always done in private, as stated in this previous post

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flying hotels

Kite like hotels, weighing 400 tons each with luxury suites and windows, are a reality and  will have a fantastic view from the sky. The idea is based on the Zeppelin. The Flying hotels will cruise over the Atlantic Ocean. The first one has already been built and is currently in London and specifically in the Docklands area. It can cater for 100 passengers, having a bar, salon, four two story flats, a penthouse and five rooms. 

Travelling 145 kilometres per hour, it can be in New York from London in 37 hours, during which the passengers can enjoy the view from the glass floor. Although, I am guessing, the price will be very high to travel in one of the kite hotels, it is definitely an experience to have.