Argentine tango and the Greek revolution

By now it is twelve days since the protests started in the city of Athens. The message of the protesters was adopted by several other cities (Yiannena, Corfu, Patras, Larissa e.t.c.) while the number of people who wish to join seems to be on the rise. Apart from the usual shouting, chanting, marching and occupying public building, the meetings (surprisingly) include cultural activities. The other day in Thessalonike the protesters decided to dance argentine tango outside the White Tower! Several... »

Magic gestures of disapproval in Greece, ancient and modern

During the recent Greek protests we notice the extensive use of “faskelo” or “mountza”. This is an open palm gesture directed against the person you would like to insult. The protesters have been using it against the building of the parliament. See example here http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_MrdWO02quAA/S_PdiKvySNI/AAAAAAAAR14/CO4Gt7krY4s/s1600/βουλη+μουντζα The origin of this gesture is contested. Some say it derives from the ancient Greek word sfakelo (spasm). Allegedly, it ... »

Direct Democracy in Athens, ancient and modern

Last night I was checking my twitter account, when the most amazing message appeared on screen. “50.000 Greeks obstructed the exits of the Greek parliament at Syntagma square and did not allow the members of the parliament to leave the building”. Similar messages continued throughout the night. Eager to find out more details on the subject I turned on the Greek tv. The silence of the traditional media was deafening. Not a single channel reported the news. In the meantime, twitter liv... »

Obama celebrates Greekness

The following Obama speech has been brought to my attention. It looks like the US President decided to celebrate the Day of Greek Independence (25th of March) with the following proclamation. As for his views on the USA continuing the Greek democratic traditions, I will let the readers of this blog to comment! Hey, I just realised I could write an article on the topic! “One hundred ninety years ago, Greece regained its independence and became a symbol of democracy for the world for the sec... »

New Year Dreams

How many times did you come up with a crazy idea? How many times did they tell you that your project is unfeasible? How many times did they deter you from fulfilling your dreams? How many times did they say “Surely, you cannot do it”? The following story proves that dreams come true. This is an anecdote from the life of Henry Ford, the king of automobiles. At the start of his career he sought a loan from a bank in the US. The answer of the banker was both disappointing and a self ful... »

A Museum saved

The following letter by Ray Lawrence indicates one way of fighting against cuts in Arts and Humanities “Over the last year, many colleagues on this list have been very supportive of the campaign to keep museums open in Canterbury. I would like to up-date you all on how things are progressing. Basically, the argument was won and the Council recognises that the city’s museums are an asset that the community of Canterbury values. The campaign included: an on-line petition, advocacy by a range... »

Karl Lagerfeld supports Classics

Karl Lagerfeld is not just a fashion designer and famous photographer. He also seems to be a fervent supporter of teaching Greek and Latin in Schools. In a recent interview he claimed that learning ancient languages is imperative, since modern languages and civilisations are based on them. His artistic tendencies seem to idealise the ancient world. Yesterday in Moschow he revealed the new Pirelli calendar, whose photos combine his passion for natural beauty with Greek and Roman deities. When jou... »

Humanities and Social Sciences matter!

If you have not already signed the petition, I urge you to do so NOW! The University cuts we are going through will not make substantial difference to the overall budget, while they may cause chaos to Humanities and Social Sciences. Adam Smith from UCL is collecting signatures, so that we may avoid the worst. Specifically, he says that: “If you haven’t already, take a look at this site http://humanitiesmatter.wordpress.com/ and if you agree with the general thrust of it, please sign ... »

How to come up with innovative ideas

When I started writing my PhD, I was afraid that I would never have anything new to say. Back then, it seemed to me that everything had already been studied and all the good ideas were already taken. Petrified at the thought of starting my first chapter, I expressed my fears to my supervisor. He tried to alleviate them by giving me the following advice: “Open a bottle of wine, sit by the fireplace, drink a couple of glasses and relax. The ideas will flow afterwards”. As an obedient student, I fo... »

Charitable professors: Donating your money to the University

Two weeks ago I read the news about Classics Professor Douglas MacDowell of the University of Glasgow, who donated after his death over 2 million pounds to his department. The Scottish Academic left the money to the university with the provision that they would fund his old position of Professorship in Greek. It seems that because of financial difficulties Glasgow University has not advertised this post after he retired. The chair remained empty and the sustainability of the subject on the whole... »

Page 5 of 9«34567»