Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Acharnian Gate of the Ancient Athens Wall

The excavation carried out by the 3rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities on the building site brought to light important antiquities concerning the approach to the most important Acharnian Gate of the ancient Athens circuit wall. Scanty remains of the city wall, which were most likely foundations of a tower, as well as extended parts of the front-rampart and the moat were discovered in situ.

 An ancient road was also found preserving on its surface the grooves of cartwheels. The road crosses the peripheral road of the circuit wall and intersects the front rampart and the moat. It is identified with the ancient road leading from Athens to Acharnai. Despite the fact that the Acharnian Gate itself has not been found, its position on the existing evidence must be regarded as certain. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Tragedy in Smyrna, 1922

This is a small but interesting documentary which analysis the tragedy before, during and after the burning down of Smyrna, in Asia Minor.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Greek Language.

The Greek language, being a living organisation, has been evolving since its first written forms, to Homer, past Plato, the Hellenistic period, the Byzantine epoch, forming itself to its current form, the so cold Modern Greek. Greek was for many centuries the common language of the ancient world around the Mediterranean. It was the language of culture and commerce; the language in which new and innovative ideas were propagated, hence we have the birth and evolution of philosophy in the Greek world. No educated Roman was without it, that is why countless words were incorporated into the Latin vocabulary and hence, through the scholars of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance who spoke Greek at least as fluently as Latin, passed to the European languages of today.

In English, about a third of the words are either transliterated Greek or of Greek origin; including most medical, scientific and literary terms, as well as hundreds of names for plants, animals and elements.
Modern Greek has retained unchanged more than 80% of its original vocabulary; however, the rest is made up of transliterated foreign words, derived mainly from English, Italian, French and Turkish.
A number of Greek word used in English are: Christ (the Anointed One), apostles, martyrs, choir, crypt, monastery, dogma, mysterious, ethereal, tragic, magnetic, democratic, nostalgic, automatic, diplomatic, European, hysterical, ironic, anonymous, aristocratic, ethics, anarchists, symbols, diamonds, theatre, scenes, comedy, cinema, scandal, architect, ideas, electric, hydraulics, atom... 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

“Europe’s Lost Generation”

According to a new research, there are worries that Europe will have its own “Arab Spring” due to  youth unemployment in Europe. The study was undertaken by Eurofound that called the 14 million unemployed youth “Europe’s Lost Generation”. This, of course, could create enormous problems and agony for the future of the European Union.

According to the study that researched people aged 15-29, who are not in higher education, the so called Neets (not in employment, education or training), this group of people costs the E.U. 153 billion euros annually in benefits and lost production. This situation does not only affect the economy, but it also has negative results in the democratic participation in society. Unemployed youth are less politicised than employed citizens, whilst they also trust the politicians less and less.
According to the research, since the beginning of this economic crisis (2008) the unemployment rate has gone up to 28% within the E.U. member states.  This research shows emphatically that Europe did not have any provision in protecting its youngest members. This could and most probably will create unprecedented issues in a couple of years; however, we can state that this has already begun in the Mediterranean, specifically in the so called PIIGS. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Birth rates in Turkey

Currently the South-Eastern part of Turkey has an increasing birth rate; on the other hand the Western part of the Asian country has a decrease of child birth, resulting in the massive increase of the Kurdish population in Turkey. This, however, goes hand in hand with the low economic power of the region, together with the low education levels seen in that part of the country.

The Birth rate in Turkey is 2.02%, according to the recent facts published by the Turkish Statistical Institute. This means that in 2011 1.237.172 babies were born, whilst in 2010 the number was 1.253.309 (i.e. 2.05%).  In Western Turkey the birth rate is 1.5% whilst in the South-East it is 3.4%.
Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has asked the families in the West of the country to have 3 kids in order to balance out the situation. According to another research, in 2023 the population in Turkey will be 82 million, which is a 10% increase. With that in mind, the prime minister wishes to move a part of the population from the South East to the Western part in order to mix the populations, partly solving thus the issue of Kurdistan and the Kurds, who seem to be residing in only one part of the country. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Greek Gold

Despite the fact that Greece is going through a devastating economic crisis, there is still one product which can produce great opportunity for many farmers in the Mediterranean state.  This is mainly due to the fact that only certain areas of Greece are permitted to use the term Feta for the white cheese, whilst farmers producing this type of cheese outside these areas are banned from using the term Feta, according to European Courts. The consumption of Feta worldwide comes to a staggering 1 billion Euros; unfortunately Greek exports only account for 130 million Euros.

Greek exports need to become competitive and need to spread to all corners of the globe. Unfortunately, the majority of restaurants, including Greek ones outside of Greece and Cyprus, sell ‘fake’ Feta cheese, which derives from other countries such as Turkey, China and Denmark, just because it is cheaper than the Greek one; however, this Feta gives the wrong impression to the consumer.  Countless companies are persisting on using the name Feta on their products, but this needs to be censored and stopped, in order to promote the true flavour of this wonderful Greek product. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cypriots will become a minority in Cyprus!

Cypriots will become a minority in their own country if the current situation persists. I am not stating that this is happening by neighbouring Turkey or via the violent route, as has happened in the past, which brings us to the current unacceptable situation. The current matter is been realised through peaceful means.
The population in the Republic of Cyprus is 840.407. (Here I am not speaking about the Northern part of the Mediterranean Island, which has been illegally occupied by Turkish troops since 1974). From this population 667.398 are actually Cypriot nationals. 170.383 are foreign nationals, whilst 2.626 have not given a nationality, due to various reasons. However, the 170.383 are 20% of the population of the Republic of Cyprus; this means that one in five is a foreigner in this small European state.

Out of the foreigners, 106.270 come from other E.U. countries, whilst 64.113 are nationals from countries outside the European Union. This of course is due to Cyprus’ induction into the European Union in 2004. In 2000 only 3.960 non-Cypriots moved to the Greek island, however this number increased after 2004, where we have 7.070 in 2004, 8.128 in 2005, 10.299 in 2006, 15.222 in 2007, 16.586 in 2008, 17.784 in 2009, 15.913 in 2010 and 18.142 in 2011. In total, in the past eight years 109.144 foreigners have moved to the island of Cyprus.
Greeks from Greece are merely 18.2% of the total number. This number is increasing due to the economic difficulties that Greece is going through, since 2008. Nevertheless, 15.6% of them come from Great Britain, being an ex-colony. What is interesting is that the Romanians (14.3%) and the Bulgarians (11.3%) are constantly moving to Cyprus. Russians are currently 5% of the foreign population, i.e. 8.663, followed by the Sri Lankan population (7.350) and Vietnamese (7.102), whilst the Philippines number 9.744. Of course, there are certain areas that have gathered many foreigners, such as Nicosia (the capital of Cyprus) and Paphos. In the first case 1 in 3 is not Cypriot, whilst in the latter case 41.6 % of the population are not Cypriot.
These are worrying figures, which the government should stress and find solutions to. If nothing alters then Cyprus will lose its identity, producing thus enormous problems for the European country.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Igloo of Knowledge

Artist Lagos Miller, from Colombia, created a unique igloo by using hundreds of books, which she placed together. The "Igloo of Knowledge" received the title "Home" and is currently located in the MagnanMetz Gallery. It is all symbolical, as one can understand. The igloo is the house, whilst the books are the spiritual nourishment. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Be careful of Sugar!

We all drink and eat food with too much sugar. However, we never think about the future and our health when constantly we consume these products. This is a video which should be seen by all. Let us eat and drink more healthy products.!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Golden Dawn Invades Schools in Greece

The power of Golden Dawn, Greece's far right party which won 18 seats in parliament in the last elections, is evident in schools all around Greece, interfering with the ideals and ideas the future generation will have in respect to politics and society. This has created problems for both the pupils and the teachers, especially those who have different political beliefs. 

The students and pupils who support this political party express their beliefs, stating "we are Golden Dawn supporters", whilst at the same time anyone who opposes their views are too scared to express it. This has resulted in violent instances, where some Golden Dawn supporters beat immigrant children. This, however, is the result of the failing Greek political system, which for decades was functioning under an ill manner. Nevertheless, if this does not change, the future of this European country will be problematic, creating unprecedented issues for the local society. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Interesting and weird facts from around the world

1. More than 25% of the world's forests are in Siberia, as the area is covered by 40% of large coniferous trees.
2. More than 800 different languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea. 
3. New Zealand was the first country in the world to allow women to vote in 1893.
4. The population in the small nation of Nauru is 100% overweight, making it the obese nation.
5. In the Falkland Islands there are more sheep than humans.
6. Singapore is merely a large city.

7. Almost half of Nigeria's population (49%) have not yet reached puberty, so the country has the youngest age population.
8. In Australia the number of kangaroos that live there are twice that of men.
9. The 60% of the lakes in the world are located in Canada.
10. In Italy, most notably in Milan, there is in force an old law (on paper, at least) which obliges citizens in public spaces to smile all the time; except for those who attend funerals or visit patients in hospitals.
11. The Canary Islands owes its name to the dogs and not the birds, as some people think. In Roman times, the islands were known for wild dogs that roamed there. And since the Latin word for "dog" is «canis», they are named Canary Islands. When explorers visited the islands in the 16th century, they returned to their home countries bringing with them small yellow birds from the Canary Islands, which are constantly singing, called canaries.
12. New Zealand is the only country that combines all the climates of the world.
13. In Turkey black is not the colour of mourning but purple.
14. In Saudi Arabia there is no natural river.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Monastery made with 6 million matches

Bulgarian artist Plamen Ignatov wished and eventually achieved his goal of creating a miniature model of the Orthodox monastery of St. John of Rila, located in the homonymous mountain range to the south of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. He used 6.000.000 matches, spending 16 years in order to finalise this incredible project. His work is currently located in the Archaeological Museum of Sofia impressing the visitors who admire this work. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A.E.C.A. Reception for Orthodox Clergy

The Anglican and Eastern Churches Association organised a Reception for Orthodox Clergy at Faith House, near Westminster Abbey, on Monday 15th October 2012. It was a great chance for members of the Anglican Communion and the Orthodox Church to come together to speak and examine various topics which interest both worlds. 

After the welcome message, which was given by the Chairman of the Association, Fr. William Taylor, Bishop Angaelos  (Bishop of the Coptic Church) spoke about the current situation in Egypt, explaining the difficulties that face the Coptic Christians in the Muslim country.

Also the Anglican Bishop of Kensington, Paul Williams, spoke about the support that the Anglicans give towards the Christians who suffer now in the Middle East, through their prayer. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bath Abbey

There has been a place of Christian worship on this site for well over a thousand years. However, the Abbey has undergone many transformations and changes during this time, and much like the city of Bath has experienced rise and falls in fortune, survived a number of major conflicts, architectural and religious reforms, and two World Wars, but still stands proudly today as an essential place for both worshippers and visitors.

Since 757 AD, three different churches have occupied the site of today’s Abbey: an Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church (757-1066), pulled down by the Norman conquerors of England; a massive Norman cathedral begun about 1090, which lay in ruins by late 15th century; and the present Abbey Church founded in 1499 but incomplete until 1611.

In 973 King Edgar was crowned King of all England in the Anglo-Saxon Abbey Church. The service set the precedent for the coronation of all future Kings and Queens of England including Elizabeth II.

The present Abbey Church was founded in 1499 when the newly appointed, Bishop of Bath, Oliver King, is said to have a dream of angels ascending and descending into heaven, which inspired him to build a new Abbey church – the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England.

After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 by order of King Henry VIII, the Abbey lay in ruins for more than 70 years. It wasn’t until 1616, that much of the building we see today was repaired and in use as a parish church and over two hundred years later, in the 1830s, that local architect George Manners added new pinnacles and flying buttresses to the exterior and inside, built a new organ on a screen over the crossing, more galleries over the choir and installed extra seating.

The Abbey as we know it is the work of Sir George Gilbert Scott, who from 1864 to 1874, completely transformed the inside of the Abbey to conform with his vision of Victorian Gothic architecture. His most significant contribution must surely be the replacement of the ancient wooden ceiling over the nave with the spectacular stone fan vaulting we see today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Capital of Mount Athos

Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos is the  administrative centre of the monastic republic of Mount Athos, Karyes is situated in a forest of walnut and hazel in the middle of the peninsula at an altitude of 370 m.

It is home to the representatives of the monasteries and to those who trade in ecclesiastical objects and forest products of Mount Athos. The Protos, or spiritual leader of the monasteries, is chosen for life from among the body of abbots of the Athos monasteries. The Holy Community is responsible for administrative matters common to the monasteries. In civil matters the community is subordinate to the foreign office of Greece, represented at Karyes by a civil governor.

The 2001 Greek census reported a population of 233 inhabitants, being this the largest settlement in Mount Athos.

Tradition relates that Karyes was built by Constantine the Great, but destroyed by Julian the Transgressor.