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Dec 2, 2010

Vladimir Putin

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•Born: 7 October 1952
•Birthplace: Leningrad, Russia (now St. Petersburg)
•Best Known As: President of the Russian Federation, 2000-2008

Vladimir Putin was elected president of the Russian Federation in 2000 as the hand-picked successor of Boris Yeltsin. After earning a law degree in 1975, Putin joined the KGB, the security force of the former Soviet Union. He spent years working primarily in East Germany, then left the service in 1991 and became active in the politics of St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad). He was brought to Moscow by Yeltsin in 1996 and served as an administrator in the Kremlin and an official for the security organizations which replaced the KGB. In 1999 Putin became Yeltsin's fifth prime minister in 17 months, then became acting president when Yeltsin left office. He was officially elected to the office in 2000 and then re-elected in a landslide vote in March of 2004. As president he gained a reputation as a clever and ruthless political operator with a hunger for Russian power and not too much concern for the niceties of democracy or diplomacy. He stepped down in 2008 (as required by term limits) and was replaced by his own hand-picked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev then installed Putin as prime minister, a move which left Putin, as The New York Times put it, as "the country's dominant politician, with a firm grip on power."

Putin married the former Lyudmila Shkrebneva in 1983. They have two daughters: Maria (b. 1985) and Yekaterina (b. 1986, also known as Katerina or Katya).

Nov 28, 2010

Raymond Kopa

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Raymond Kopa (born Kopaszewski, on October 13, 1931 in Nœux-les-Mines, Pas-de-Calais), is a former French football striker, integral to the French national team of the 1950s. He was a great and versatile playmaker, who also scored plenty of goals.

Born into a family of Polish immigrants, Kopa began his professional career at the age of 17 with SCO Angers in France's second level, and was transferred two years later to Stade de Reims, with whom he won French championships in 1953 and 1955. He helped Reims reach the first European Cup final in 1956, which the team lost to Alfredo Di Stéfano's Real Madrid, 4-3.

Kopa was transferred to Real Madrid the subsequent season, where he was soon joined by Ferenc Puskás. At Real Madrid, Kopa won the Spanish league in 1957 and 1958. Kopa also became the first French player to win the European Cup when Madrid defeated Fiorentina 2-0 in the 1957 final. He would go on to be European champion again in 1958 and 1959, the last against former side Stade de Reims, where Just Fontaine played.

In the 1959-60 season, Kopa returned to France to finish his career with Reims, where he won further Championnats in 1960 and 1962. In total, he scored 75 goals in 346 matches in France's top flight, and was given the Ballon d'or by France Football in 1958.

With the France national football team, Kopa scored 18 goals in 45 games between 1952 and 1962. He played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden, where the French team finished third, losing to the Brazilian team. He was also voted as the 1958 Best Player of the Tournament and retroactively as the 1954 Best Young Player of the Tournament, being the only footballer to receive both honours.

Kopa was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Business Term of the Day: cannibalism

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In marketing, situation where the sales of a new (introduced as an extension of an established brand) or differently branded product eat into the sales of other products within the same line. If the total sales revenue of that product line increases, then the line extension is justifiable. However the danger of weakening the main brand remains.


Cannibalism is in the Advertising, Marketing, & Sales and Decision Making, Problem Solving, & Strategy subjects.

Cannibalism appears in the definitions of the following terms: parasitic advertising and multi-brand strategy.

Term of the Day - weak dollar

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Dollar that can be exchanged for only a small or decreasing amount of foreign currency. A weak dollar means that the U.S. dollar cannot buy very much of another currency. The strength of the dollar has an impact on imports and exports because goods and services from a foreign nation are usually purchased in the currency of the producing nation. A weak dollar usually leads to high exports and low imports. opposite of strong dollar.

Nov 26, 2010

Texe Marrs

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Texe W. Marrs is an American author and conspiracy theorist. He lives in Spicewood, Texas. Prior to 1987 he was a prolific author of nonfiction books on career preparation and other subjects. His book Dark Secrets of the New Age was published by Crossway Books in 1987 and became a #1 bestseller in the Christian book market in 1988, on the momentum of growing alarm at the time within evangelical Christianity about the New Age Movement. He followed that up with another book, Mystery Mark of the New Age, also published by Crossway Books. Subsequent books took on a much more outspoken tone as he started writing books alleging a vast world conspiracy involving Freemasonry, the Illuminati and Zionism. His books since 1989 have been self-published.

Term of the Day - ROC

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Return on Capital. A measure of how effectively a company uses the money (borrowed or owned) invested in its operations. Return on Invested Capital is equal to the following: net operating income after taxes / [total assets minus cash and investments (except in strategic alliances) minus non-interest-bearing liabilities]. If the Return on Invested Capital of a company exceeds its WACC (Weighted Average Cost Of Capital), then the company created value. If the Return on Invested Capital is less than the WACC, then the company destroyed value.

Business Term of the Day: decision analysis

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Management technique in which statistical tools such as decision tree analysis, multivariate analysis, and probabilistic forecasting are applied to the mathematical models of real-world problems. The objective of a decision analysis is to discover the most advantageous alternative under the circumstances.

Decision analysis is in the Decision Making, Problem Solving, & Strategy and Statistics, Mathematics, & Analysis subjects.

Nov 23, 2010

Business Term of the Day: internet commerce

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Broad term covering all commercial activity on the internet, including auctioning, placing orders, making payments, transferring funds, and collaborating with trading partners. Internet commerce is not a synonym for electronic commerce (e-commerce) but one of its subsets.


Internet commerce is in the Banking, Commerce, Credit, & Finance, E-Commerce and Internet & World Wide Web subjects.

Internet commerce appears in the definitions of the following terms: credit card , consumer to business (C2B), consumer to consumer (C2C), co-branding, and countertrade.

Term of the Day - Ιnflation

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The overall general upward price movement of goods and services in an economy (often caused by a increase in the supply of money), usually as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the Producer Price Index. Over time, as the cost of goods and services increase, the value of a dollar is going to fall because a person won't be able to purchase as much with that dollar as he/she previously could. While the annual rate of inflation has fluctuated greatly over the last half century, ranging from nearly zero inflation to 23% inflation, the Fed actively tries to maintain a specific rate of inflation, which is usually 2-3% but can vary depending on circumstances. opposite of deflation.

Nov 17, 2010

Theodoros Kolokotronis (3 April 1770 – 4 February 1843)

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Theodoros Kolokotronis (Greek: Θεόδωρος Κολοκοτρώνης) was a Greek general and one of the leaders of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.

Kolokotronis' greatest success was the defeat of the Ottoman army under Mahmud Dramali Pasha at Dervenakia in 1822. In 1825, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Greek forces in the Peloponnese. Today Kolokotronis is among the most revered of the protagonists of the War of Independence.
The Kolokotroneoi were a powerful and respected clan in Arcadia in the 18th century. Several members of his family have been kleftes literally thiefs, the freedom fighters during the years of Ottoman opression.

Kolokotronis was born at Ramavouni in Messenia, and grew up in Libovitsi in Arcadia. His father, Constantine Kolokotronis, took part in an armed rebellion which was supported by Catherine the Great of Russia, but was killed in an engagement along with two of his brothers George and Harry.[citation needed] Theodoros joined the ranks of a Peloponnesian guerrilla band, and by age fifteen was the leader (kapetanios, which means "captain") of his own group. He had a brief stint at sea as a corsair, then in 1805 he took service on a series of ships in the Russian fleet in the Russo-Turkish War. After 1810 he served in a corps of Greek infantry in English service on Zakynthos, then a British possession, and was awarded the brevet rank of brigadier for his service against the French. From his service in the regular Russian and British forces, Kolokotronis gained valuable insights that he would later use in his career.

O Geros tou Morea or "The Elder of Moreas,"

Kolokotronis returned to the mainland just prior to the outbreak of the war (officially, 25 March 1821) and formed a confederation of irregular Moreot klepht bands. These he tried to train and organize into something resembling a modern army. In May, he was named archistrategos or Marshal Commander-in-Chief. He was already 50 years old by this time, a fact which contributed to his sobriquet O Geros tou Morea or "The Elder of Moreas," whereby Morea was another name describing the Peloponnese. Kolokotronis' first action was the defense of Valtetsi, the village near Tripoli where his army was mustering.

He next commanded Greek troops in the siege of the coastal town of Nafplion. He took the port, and the Turkish garrison in the town's twin citadels was running low on supplies, but the disorganized Greek provisional government at Argos, just to the north, could not complete negotiations for its surrender before a large Ottoman force began marching southward to crush the rebels. Panicked, government officials abandoned Argos and began evacuations by sea at Nafplion. Only an under-strength battalion under Demetrios Ypsilantis remained to hold Larissa castle, the fortress of Argos.

After the war Kolokotronis became a supporter of Count Ioannis Kapodistrias and a proponent of alliance with Russia. When the count was assassinated on 8 October 1831, Kolokotronis created his own administration in support of Prince Otto of Bavaria as a king of Greece. However, later he opposed the Bavarian-dominated regency during his rule. He was charged with treason and on 7 June 1834 sentenced to death; but he was pardoned in 1835. Theodoros Kolokotronis died in 1843 in Athens one day after his son's Konstantinos(Kollinos) wedding.

Kolokotronis are honored many street names, especially many of them in almost every major city, most of the towns and some of its smaller towns. One of them in the populated cities is "Kolokotronis Street

Kolokotronis' portrait was depicted on the banknote of 1984-2001.

Nov 6, 2010

The Greatness of the Greek Language - H YΠΟΔΕΙΓΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΟΜΙΛΙΑ ΤΟΥ Κ.ΞΕΝΟΦΩΝ ΖΟΛΩΤΑ.

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Αυτήν την ομιλία την έκανε ο καθηγητής στη συνεύλευση του Διεθνούς Νομισματικού Ταμείου στην Ουάσινγκτον στις 26/9/1957.Δημοσιεύτηκε την επομένη στους Τάιμς της Νέας Υόρκης,και αναπαράχθηκε την μεθεπόμενη από όλα τα αμερικάνικα μέσα. (Προσοχή!Ότι διαβάσετε παρακάτω δεν είναι "Γκρίκλις",αλλά αγγλικά!!!)

"I eulogise the... archons of the Panethnic Nomismatic Thesayroys and the Ecumenical Trapeza for the orthodoxy of their axioms,methods and policies,although there is an episode of the of cacophony of the Trapeza with HELLAS.With enthousiasm we dialogue and synagonize at the synods of our didymous organizations in which polymorphous economic ideas and dogmas are analyzed and synthesized.Our critical problems such us the numismatic plethora generate some agony and melancholy.This phenomenon is characteristic of our epoch.But,to my thesis,we have the dynamism to program therapeutic practices as a prophylaxis from chaos and catastrophe.In parallel,a panethnic unhypocritical economic synergy and charmonization in a democratic climate is basic.I apologize for my eccentric monologue.I emphasize my eucharisties to you Kyrie,to the eugenic and generous.American ethnos and to the organizers and protagonists of this amphictiony and the gastronomic symposia".

Xenophon Zolotas, Washington DC 9/26/1957

Oct 12, 2010

Nikos Sampson

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Nikos Sampson (Nicos Sampson; Greek: Νίκος Σαμψών; December 16, 1935 – May 9, 2001) was the de facto president of Cyprus that overthrew Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974.[1] Sampson was well known as a Greek nationalist and member of EOKA B, which sought Enosis (Union) of the island of Cyprus with Greece. He remained President for only eight days and the puppet regime that installed him failed to gain diplomatic recognition from any country. Shortly after the 1974 coup the New York Times described Sampson as the " Al Capone of Cyprus" and connected him with various criminal activities such as bank robberies and murders. He was also described as a 'thug and vicous killer' and a 'playboy gunman' by many journalists as reported in the 'Rough guide' to Cyprus. He strongly denied he was employed as a CIA asset when journalist Jack Anderson alleged that Sampson had been on their payroll for many years.

Sampson was born in the Cypriot port city of Famagusta to Sampson Georgiadis and Theano Liasidou. During his teenage years, he was a promising right back in the second team of Anorthosis Famagusta football club. The man who once boasted "Nobody says "no" to Nicos!" began his working life at a Nicosia newspaper, The Times of Cyprus, which was owned by Charles Foley. His original name was Nikos Georgiadis, but he adopted his father's forename as his (public) surname, a common custom in Cyprus in those days. Less well known as a Greek surname, it has been surmised that Sampson referred to the biblical figure, or even borrowed a chip off the English block. It helped to distinguish him from others who bore his surname and it was his nom de guerre during the EOKA resistance campaign against British rule in Cyprus, waged from 1955 to 1959, although he also became known as Atrotos (Greek: Áτρωτος), or Invulnerable.

"Nicos Sampson carries a Turkish flag captured during his attack on Ormophita, a Nicosia suburb. His militia and those of other Greek Cypriot ministers led to a near civil war when the Turkish Cypriots responded in kind in late December 1963. The Greek press reported 'what is taken after bloodshed is not given back'."

In Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, the 1950s were marked by a rise in nationalistic fervour. Since its inception in 1955, the EOKA organisation actively recruited young patriots during the period of its struggle. Joining EOKA, the young Sampson became known to the British Army and police as one of EOKA's most feared resistance fighters. He participated in a number of killings carried out along Ledra Street, including three police sergeants, for one of which Sampson was tried in May 1957. He confessed but was acquitted on the grounds that his confession may have been coerced by torture. By March 1959, when the shooting ended, 509 people had died, of whom 156 were British soldiers and police.

In 1960 he set up the newspaper Makhi, meaning battle, or struggle, which was one of the first Greek newspapers in circulation in the nation of Cyprus. In 1961, in a series of newspaper articles, he admitted his responsibility for the death of the police officers in 1956 during the resistance campaign against British rule. According to the Telegraph, as a journalist, he flew to Algeria to interview Ben Bella and to Washington to talk to J F Kennedy. He quickly accumulated race horses and fast cars from Greek and Greek Cypriot businessmen eager to show their patriotism.

Following an explosion to the statue of EOKA hero Markos Drakos in Nicosia, Sampson actively participated in clashes between the Greek and Turkish communities in December 1963. On the morning of 24 December, the clashes in Nicosia spread and fighting continued into the subsequent year. The fiercest fighting took place in Constantia, Neapolis, Ledra Palace and, especially, the suburb of Omorphita (Kucuk Kaymakli) where Sampson was particularly active. In Omorfita, which had a majority Turkish Cypriot population, Sampson led armed groups in fierce battles between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot irregulars after the Greek Cypriot families living in the suburb came under heavy fire from Turkish Cypriot militias who were aiming at bringing the whole suburb under Turkish Cypriot control. Apart from conventional weapons his groups used excavator trucks as makeshift tanks. According to American sources there were 17 dead, most of them Turkish Cypriots, and 70 wounded. In total, it is estimated that the whole intercommunal war cost the lives of about 350 Turkish Cypriot and 200 Greek Cypriot. The result of these clashes was the departure of the Turkish Cypriots from government and the segregation of the Turkish Cypriot community into enclaves. The United Nations responded by dispatching a peacekeeping force to Cyprus. The precise nature of the role of these troops, mostly British troops, has been the subject of some controversy.

On May 10, 2001, he died in Nicosia.

Constantin Carathéodory

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Constantin Carathéodory (or Constantine Karatheodori) (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Καραθεοδωρή) (September 13, 1873 – February 2, 1950) was a Greek mathematician. He made significant contributions to the theory of functions of a real variable, the calculus of variations, and measure theory. His work also includes important results in conformal representations and in the theory of boundary correspondence. In 1909, Carathéodory pioneered the Axiomatic Formulation of Thermodynamics along a purely geometrical approach.
In 1909, Carathéodory published a pioneering work "Investigations on the Foundations of Thermodynamics" (Untersuchungen ueber die Grundlagen der Thermodynamik, Math. Ann., 67 (1909) p. 355-386) in which he formulated the Laws of Thermodynamics axiomatically, using only mechanical concepts and the theory of Pfaff's differential forms.
Carathéodory excelled at languages, much like many members of his family did. Greek and French were his first languages, and he mastered German with such perfection, that his writings composed in the German language are stylistic masterworks. Carathéodory also spoke and wrote English, Italian, Turkish, and the ancient languages without any effort. Such an impressive linguistic arsenal enabled him to communicate and exchange ideas directly with other mathematicians during his numerous travels, and greatly extend his fields of knowledge.

On December 19, 2005, Israeli officials along with Israel's ambassador to Athens, Ram Aviram, presented the Greek foreign ministry with copies of 10 letters between Albert Einstein and Constantin Carathéodory [Karatheodoris] that suggest that the work of Carathéodory helped shape some of Albert Einstein's theories. The letters were part of a long correspondence which lasted from 1916 to 1930. Aviram said that according to experts at the National Archives of Israel — custodians of the original letters — the mathematical side of Einstein's physics theory was partly substantiated through the work of Carathéodory. Unfortunately verification of these claims is not possible because the content of the letters has not been made public. Known correspondence Carathéodory-Einstein can be seen as facsimile in Einstein Archives Online (11 items). Three letters concern mathematics and these are printed in vol.8 of Einstein's Collected Works (Princeton Univ. Press 1987)

The Greek authorities intended for a long time to create a museum honoring Karatheodoris in Komotini, a major town of the northeastern Greek region which is close to where his family came from. On March 21, 2009 the museum "Karatheodoris"(Καραθεοδωρής) opened its gates to the public, in Komotini.

In 1924 Carathéodory was appointed professor of mathematics at the University of Munich, and held this position until retirement in 1938. He afterwards worked from the Bavarian Academy of Sciences until his death in 1950.

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Constantin Carathéodory (or Constantine Karatheodori) (Greek: Κωνσταντίνος Καραθεοδωρή) (September 13, 1873 – February 2, 1950) was a Greek mathematician. He made significant contributions to the theory of functions of a real variable, the calculus of variations, and measure theory. His work also includes important results in conformal representations and in the theory of boundary correspondence. In 1909, Carathéodory pioneered the Axiomatic Formulation of Thermodynamics along a purely geometrical approach.

Sep 28, 2010

Alain Delon

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Delon was born in Sceaux, Seine (now Hauts-de-Seine), Île-de-France, a suburb of Paris. His parents, Édith (née Arnold) and Fabien Delon, divorced when Delon was four. Both remarried, and Delon has a half-sister and two half-brothers. He attended a Roman Catholic boarding school, the first of several schools from which he was expelled because of unruly behavior. Teachers once tried to convince him to enter the priesthood because of his aptitude in religious studies.

At 14, Delon left school, and worked for a brief time at his stepfather's butcher shop. He enlisted in the French Navy three years later, and in 1953/54 he served as a fusilier marin in the First Indochina War. Delon has said that out of his four years of military service he spent 11 months in prison for being "undisciplined". In 1956, after being dishonorably discharged from the military he returned to France. He didn´t have any money, and got by on whatever employment he could find. He spent time working as a waiter, a porter, a secretary and a sales clerk. During this time he became friends with the actress Brigitte Auber, and joined her on a trip to the Cannes Film Festival, where his film career would begin.

At Cannes, Delon was seen by a talent scout for David O. Selznick. After an incredibly successful screen test Selznick offered him a great contract, providing he learned English. Delon returned to Paris to study this language, but when he met French director Yves Allégret, he was totally convinced that he should stay in France to begin his career. Selznick allowed Delon to cancel his contract, and Allégret gave him his debut in the film Quand la Femme s'en Mêle (When the Woman Butts In). Delon then got to show a funny aspect of himself in the film Faibles Femmes (Women Are Weak/Three Murderesses). This was also the very first of his films to be seen in America, where it became a huge success.


In 1960, Delon appeared in René Clément's Purple Noon, which was based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. He played protagonist Tom Ripley to critical acclaim. He then appeared in Luchino Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers. Critic Bosley Crowther of the New York Times said Delon's work was : "touchingly pliant and expressive." John Beaufort in the Christian Science Monitor said: "Rocco's heartbroken steadfastness furnishes the film with the foremost of its ironic tragedies ... believability rests finally on Mr. Delon's compelling performance."
Delon made his stage debut in 1961 in John Ford’s play, 'Tis Pity She’s a Whore alongside Romy Schneider in Paris.

On 20 March 1959, Delon was engaged to actress Romy Schneider, whom he met when they co-starred in the film Christine (1958). During their relationship, he had an affair with German actress and singer Nico. On 11 August 1962 Nico gave birth to a son, Ari (Christian Aaron), who was fathered by Delon. The child was raised mostly by Delon's parents.

In December 1963, Schneider and Delon decided to break the engagement. On 13 August 1964, Delon married Nathalie Barthélemy. Their son, Anthony Delon, was born in September. The couple divorced on 14 February 1969.
In 1968, during the shooting of Jeff, he met French actress Mireille Darc with whom he had a 15-year relationship until 1982.
In 1987, Delon met Dutch model Rosalie van Breemen on the shooting of the video clip for his song "Comme au cinéma" and started a relationship. They had two children: Anouschka (25 November 1990) and Alain-Fabien (18 March 1994). The relationship ended in October 2002.
In 1968, one of Delon’s bodyguards, Stevan Markovic, was found shot in the head in a dumpster outside Delon’s home. Delon’s friend, Corsican gangster François Marcantoni, was charged with accessory to murder. Delon himself was held by police for questioning, despite the fact that the murder took place in Paris, and Delon was filming in St. Tropez. Delon's then-wife, Nathalie, was also questioned.

In 1968, one of Delon’s bodyguards, Stevan Markovic, was found shot in the head in a dumpster outside Delon’s home. Delon’s friend, Corsican gangster François Marcantoni, was charged with accessory to murder. Delon himself was held by police for questioning, despite the fact that the murder took place in Paris, and Delon was filming in St. Tropez. Delon's then-wife, Nathalie, was also questioned.


At the 60th Cannes Film Festival, he presented the Best Actress Award to South Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon for her role in Lee Chang Dong's Secret Sunshine. She became the first South Korean to win a prize at the Cannes Film Festival.


At the 2008 César Awards on February 22, 2008, he presented the César Award for Best Actress to Marion Cotillard, who in two days would win the Academy Award for Best Actress for La Vie En Rose.

Delon appears on the cover of the 1986 album The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths.

He was made Officier (Officer) of the Ordre national du Mérite in 1995.

He was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur on 21 February 1991. He was promoted to Officier (Officer) in 2005.

Aug 31, 2010

Mimis Domazos

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Dimitris "Mimis" Domazos (Greek: Δημήτρης Δομάζος), (born 22 January 1942) is a retired Greek footballer (central attacking midfielder) born in Ampelokipi, Athens. His nickname is "The General".

Mimis Domazos is considered by many to be the best footballer that Greece has ever produced. He was famed for his very good dribbling ability, his creative passes, especially long passes of pinpoint accuracy, and his leadership. He was Panathinaikos FC team captain for over 15 years. When he retired from playing, in 1980, Domazos was declared the longest-active footballer in the history of Greek football, having played for more than 21 years.

Honours

Panathinaikos:
Greek Championship: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1977
Greek Cup: 1967, 1969, 1977
Greek Super Cup: 1970
Balkans Cup: 1978

AEK Athens:
Greek Championship: 1979

Domazos was one of the final torchbearers for the Opening Ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games

Macedonia (Greece)

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Macedonia Greek: Μακεδονία, is a geographical and historical region of Greece in southeastern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region. The region and that of Thrace are often together referred to informally as northern Greece.
Macedonia lies at the crossroads of human development between the Aegean and the Balkans. The earliest signs of human habitation date back to the palaeolithic period. In the Late Neolithic period (c. 4500 to 3500 BC), trade took place from quite distant regions, indicate rapid socio-economic changes. One of the most important changes was the start of copper working.
According to Herodotus, the history of Macedonia began with the Makednoi tribe, among the first to use the name, migrating to the region from Histiaeotis in the south. There they lived near non-Greek tribes such as the Bryges that would later leave Macedonia for Asia Minor and become known as Phrygians. Macedonia was named after the Makednoi. Accounts of other toponyms such as Emathia are attested to have been in use before that. A branch of Macedonians invaded Southern Greece, where, upon reaching Peloponnese were renamed to Dorians triggering the accounts of the Dorian invasion. For centuries the Macedonian tribes were organized in independent kingdoms, in what is now Central Macedonia, and their role in Greek politics was minimal. The rest of the region was inhabited by various Thracian and Illyrian tribes as well as mostly coastal colonies of other Greek states such as Amphipolis, Olynthos, Potidea, Stageira and many others. During the late 6th and early 5th century BC, the region came under Persian rule until the destruction of Xerxes at Plataea. In the next century, Macedonia became the theatre of many military actions by the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians and saw incursions of Thracians and Illyrians, as attested by Thucidydes. The kingdom of Macedon, was reorganised by Philip II and achieved Greek hegemony during his years. This is where the Greek history of the remainder of today's Greek Region of Macedonia. After his assassination, his son Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedon and, retaining the office of "General of Greece", he became one of the best known persona this land ever gave birth to. Macedonia remained an important and powerful kingdom until it was annexed by the Romans in 148 BC. The region remained under Roman rule for centuries and went under various administrative names.

There are a number of theories for the etymology of the name Macedonia:

1.According to Herodotus, both the Dorians and Macedonians descended from the Makednoi tribe. The name of the latter two probably derives from the Doric noun μᾶκος, mākos (Attic and modern Greek μάκρος, mákros and μῆκος, mēkos), meaning "length", and the adjective μακεδνός, makednós, meaning "tall, taper", since both the Macedonians (Makedónes) and their Makednoi tribal ancestors were regarded as tall people. The adjective is used by Homer in Odyssey (7.105f), to describe a tall poplar tree, and by Aristophanes in his comedy the Birds, to describe a wall built around their imaginary city.
2.The district of Macedonia took its name from the Macedonian people, who in turn owe their name to Macedon, who according to Hesiod was the son of Zeus and Thyia, Deucalion's daughter. Hesiod makes Magnes and Macedon brothers, cousins of Graecus, sons of Zeus and grandchildren of Deucalion, the progenitor of all Greeks

Aug 11, 2010

Massacre of Verden

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The Massacre of Verden (German: Blutgericht von Verden) was an alleged massacre of Saxons in 782 near the present town of Verden in Lower Saxony, Germany, ordered by Charlemagne during the Saxon Wars.

In 782 A.D. some 4,500 Saxon leaders are said to have been beheaded for practicing their indigenous paganism, having officially, albeit under duress, converted to Christianity and undergone baptism. The river Aller was said to have been flowing red with their blood. Charlemagne's motives were to demonstrate his overlordship and the severity of punishment for rebellion.
The effect was that the Saxons lost virtually their entire tribal leadership and were henceforth largely governed by Frankish counts installed by Charlemagne. The Saxon leader, Duke Widukind, had escaped to his in-laws in Denmark, but soon returned, submitted to Charlemagne, and accepted conversion.

The veracity of this event is questioned in some quarters: there may have been a misspelling in the original source by which the Latin delocabat (meaning exiled or displaced) erroneously became decollabat (meaning beheaded). Archaeological evidence for the massacre has not been found, although the bodies of the slain could have been buried elsewhere by their next-of-kin.
On the issue of beheading the historian Ramsay MacMullen notes that in 681 a council of bishops at Toledo called on civil authorities to seize and behead all those guilty of non-Christian practices of whatever sort. These massacres were common on both sides throughout the Christianization of Europe, with similar events involving pagan Saxons, Germans and Celts and Christians documented in Britain and Ireland.

Aug 4, 2010

Who built the Pyramids

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The question of who built the pyramids, and how, has long been debated by Egyptologists and historians. Standing at the base of the pyramids at Giza it is hard to believe that any of these enormous monuments could have been built in one pharaoh's lifetime. Herodotus, the Greek historian who wrote in the 5th century B.C., 500 years before Christ, is the earliest known chronicler and historian of the Egyptian Pyramid Age. By his accounts, the labor force that built Khufu totalled more than 100,000 people. But Herodotus visited the pyramids 2,700 years after they were built and his impressive figure was an educated guess, based on hearsay. Modern Egyptologists believe the real number is closer to 20,000.

Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass have been trying to solve the puzzle of where the 20,000 - 30,000 laborers who built the pyramids lived. Once they find the workers' living area, they can learn more about the workforce, their daily lives, and perhaps where they came from. Mark has been excavating the bakeries that presumably fed this army of workers, and Zahi has been excavating the cemetery for this grand labor force. It is believed that Giza housed a skeleton crew of workers who labored on the pyramids year round. But during the late summer and early autumn months, during the annual flooding of the fields with water from the annual innundation of the Nile flooded the fields, a large labor force would appear at Giza to put in time on the pyramids. These farmers and local villagers gathered at Giza to work for their god kings, to build their monuments to the hereafter. This would ensure their own afterlife and would also benefit the future and prosperity of Egypt as a whole. They may well have been willing workers, a labor force working for ample rations, for the benefit of man, king, and country.

Jul 7, 2010

Knights Templar (Freemasonry)

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The full title of this order is The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta.

Knights Templar is an international philanthropic chivalric order affiliated with Freemasonry. In some countries it forms part of the York Rite, while in others it is a separate order on its own. The original medieval Order of Knights Templar was established after the First Crusade, and existed from approximately 1118 to 1312. There is no known historical evidence to link the medieval Knights Templar and Masonic Templarism, nor do the Masonic Knights Templar organizations claim any such direct link to the original medieval Templar organization. Though it has been said that its affiliation with Masonry is based on texts that indicate persecuted Templars found refuge within the safety of Freemasonry, the order its self states that "there is no proof of direct connection between the ancient order and the modern order known today as the Knights Templar." The official motto of the Knights Templar is In Hoc Signo Vinces, the rendition in Latin of the Greek phrase "εν τούτῳ νίκα", en toutōi nika, meaning "in this [sign] you will conquer".

Jul 2, 2010

nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology, shortened to "nanotech", is the science and technology of building devices, such as electronic circuits, from single atoms and molecules.

Manipulation of atoms, molecules, and materials to form structures on the scale of nanometres (billionths of a metre). These nanostructures typically exhibit new properties or behaviours due to quantum mechanics. In 1959 Richard Feynman first pointed out some potential quantum benefits of miniaturization. A major advancement was the invention of molecular-beam epitaxy by Alfred Cho and John Arthur at Bell Laboratories in 1968 and its development in the 1970s, which enabled the controlled deposition of single atomic layers. Scientists have made some progress at building devices, including computer components, at nanoscales. Faster progress has occurred in the incorporation of nanomaterials in other products, such as stain-resistant coatings for clothes and invisible sunscreens.

Although nanotechnology is a relatively recent development in scientific research, the development of its central concepts happened over a longer period of time.

Jun 29, 2010

Paul Hoffman - The Left Hand of God

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The first truly hyped release of 2010, The Left Hand of God has a lot going for it - at least, on the surface. Gritty, dark fantasy cover art, great word of mouth & a tantalizing plot all add up to a lot of sound and fury. And, to give it credit, Hoffman does write a very more-ish book, fast-paced from start to finish.

The book's protagonist is Thomas Cale, an orphan in the care of the Redeemers. The Redeemers are a sinister, reclusive religious order that stress penitence & punishment (also torture and the occasional bout of pedophilia). Although the orphans are cut off from the world, it doesn't take much for Thomas to figure out that the abandoned kids are being trained into an army of killers.

May 29, 2010

Eddy Merckx, The Cannibal

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Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx (born 17 June 1945 in Meensel-Kiezegemin Belgium, better known as Eddy Merckx, is a former professional cyclist. The French magazine Vélo called him "the most accomplished rider that cycling has ever known." The American publication, VeloNews, called him the greatest and most successful cyclist of all time. He won the Tour de France five times, won all the classics except Paris-Tours, won the Giro d'Italia five times and the Vuelta a España, won the world championship as an amateur and a professional, and broke the world hour record. Definately the best cyclist of all times.

May 28, 2010

Carlos Mavroleon - Κάρλος Μαυρολέων

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It is a last moment decision, not to post anything for Carlos Mavroleon. Only a simple reference of his name is enough for the people they "know". One more Great Greek. He is a Legend.

May 23, 2010

The Black Dahlia Murder

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Elizabeth Short(July 29, 1924 – ca. January 15, 1947) was an American woman and the victim of a gruesome and much-publicized murder. She acquired the nickname Black Dahlia after moving to California. Short was found mutilated, her body severed at the waist, on January 15, 1947 in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, California. Short's unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation along with several books and film adaptations.

The body of Elizabeth Short was found on January 15, 1947, in a vacant lot located in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles near 39th Street and Norton Avenue. Her severely mutilated body had been severed at the waist and drained of blood and her face was slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears. She had been "posed" with her hands over her head and elbows bent at right angles. The autopsy stated Short was 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m), weighed 115 pounds (52 kg), had light blue eyes, brown hair, and badly decayed teeth.

Short was buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. After her other sisters had grown and married, Short's mother moved to Oakland to be near her daughter's grave.

May 21, 2010

Artem Mikoyan (1905-1970)

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Artem Ivanovich Mikoyan was born in 1905, in the Armenian village of Sanahin.
He completed his basic education and took a job as a machine-tool operator in Rostov. Then in "Dynamo" factory in Moscow. He was conscripted into the military.

In 1940 under the leadership of Artem Mikoyan jointly with Mikhail Gurevich MiG-3 fighter was created.
Artem Mikoyan was a genius who brought glory to his country. The whole world uses his inventions . He was recognized as a great aircraft designer not only in his Motherland, but also abroad.
MiGs have been in the armament of air forces, Soviet and foreign, for over 50 years. Mikoyan's fighters showed 55 world records.

Artem Mikoyan died on 9 December 1970.

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara

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Date of Birth: 14 June 1928, Rosario, Argentina
Date of Death: 9 October 1967, La Higuera, Bolivia (executed by firing squad)
Nickname: El Fuser-Che
Height: 5'11½" (1.82 m)

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born to a middle-class family in Rosario, Santa Fe Province, Argentina on June 14, 1928. Disgusted by the corrupt Argentine militarist government, Guevara became a dedicated Marxist while still in his teens. As a student, he vowed to dedicate his life to revolutionary causes and in 1953 he received a medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires. He left Argentina later that year to take part in a Communist revolt in Guatemala. There he adopted his revolutionary nickname, nom de guerre Che, the local slang for "pal." When the revolution in Guatemala failed the following year, Che fled to Mexico where he was introduced to another Communist revolutionary in exile, Fidel Castro. Joining Castro's July 26 Movement, named after the date of Castro's aborted 1953 revolution in Cuba, Che Guevara sailed with Castro and over 80 guerrilla troops to Cuba where they landed on December 2, 1956, bent on overthrowing General Fulgencio Batista's government. After the invasion force was almost decimated by government troops and air strikes, Castro, Guevara and about 10 others hid out on the Sierra Mastera mountains of southern Cuba. In July 1957, Che was assigned command of half of Castro's forces with the rank of Comandante, a title he shared only with Castro himself. For the next year and a half, he led his insurgents against the government forces in the province of Las Villas, while growing hatred to Batista's government fueled widespread support to Castro's forces, which steadily grew in size. Che's successful attack against the government troops in Santa Clara in December 1958 sealed the victory of Castro's forces. Batista's fled into exhile on January 1, 1959 and Castro's troops then marched unopposed into Havana a week later. After Castro assumed power, Che became one of his most trusted advisors and a leading international revolutionary. Che became the Cuban minister of agriculture and in 1960 wrote a book titled "Guerilla Warfare," a manual for Third World insurgents as part of his plan to bring Communism throught the world. Che resigned his post in Cuba in 1965 and traveled widely to Africa and other insurgent hot spots in the world, including the Belgian Congo, to organize Communist revolts as well as train Cuban contingents there and teach them the French colonial language. In November 1966, Che surfaced in Bolivia to organize another revolt by the local Communist peasants. But the revolution in Bolivia only received lukewarm support from many of the poorly-educated, non-Spanish-speaking peasants who preferred to support the government, not caring for foreign insurgents. After a long and drawn out campaign, Che's revolt in Bolivia came to an abrupt end on October 7, 1967 when he and the surviving members of his group were captured by government Bolivian soldiers. Two days later, on October 9, 1967, Che was executed by a Bolivian firing squad, who were apparently acting under orders from the CIA which were training the Bolivian army.

Albert Einstein, The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921

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Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitpold Gymnasium. Later, they moved to Italy and Albert continued his education at Aarau, Switzerland and in 1896 he entered the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich to be trained as a teacher in physics and mathematics. In 1901, the year he gained his diploma, he acquired Swiss citizenship and, as he was unable to find a teaching post, he accepted a position as technical assistant in the Swiss Patent Office. In 1905 he obtained his doctor's degree.

In 1914 he was appointed Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Physical Institute and Professor in the University of Berlin. He became a German citizen in 1914 and remained in Berlin until 1933 when he renounced his citizenship for political reasons and emigrated to America to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton*. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and retired from his post in 1945.

Einstein always appeared to have a clear view of the problems of physics and the determination to solve them. He had a strategy of his own and was able to visualize the main stages on the way to his goal.

Einstein's gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

Marco Pantani, Il Pirata

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Marco Pantani (January 13, 1970–February 14, 2004) was an Italian road racing cyclist, one of the best climbers in professional road bicycle racing. He won the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia in 1998. He was known as 'Il Pirata' (the pirate) because of the bandana he wore. His career was beset by drug abuse allegations after a failed blood test in the 1999 Giro d'Italia. He died after a cocaine overdose in 2004.

Pantani was born in Cesena, Romagna. At 1.72m and 57 kg (5 ft 8 in, 126 lb/9 st),Marco Pantani had the classic build for a mountain climber.
Pantani's climbing style was to stay on the lower section of his handlebars, often pedaling out of the saddle. Bianchi built for him a bike with a longer steerer tube for higher handlebars.

During the early evening of 14 February 2004 Pantani was found dead at a hotel in Rimini, Italy. An autopsy revealed he a cerebral edema and heart failure, and a coroner's inquest revealed acute cocaine poisoning. Mario Cipollini said "I am devastated. It's a tragedy of enormous proportions for everyone involved in cycling. I'm lost for words."

Pantani was buried in his hometown, Cesenatico. Twenty thousand mourners were at his funeral.

World's Tallest Buildings

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Rank       Building                   city                                       Year      m        ft
1.  (formerly Burj Dubai),The United Arab Emirates             2010   828    2,716
2. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan                                              2004    508    1,667
3. World Financial Center, Shanghai, China                         2008    492    1,614
4. Petronas Tower 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia                    1998    452    1,483
5. Petronas Tower 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia                    1998    452    1,483
6. Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China                     2009    450    1,476
7. Sears Tower, Chicago                                                     1974    442    1,451
8. Guangzhou West Tower, Guangzhou, China                     2009    438    1,435
9. Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China                                    1999    421    1,381
10. Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong               2003    415    1,362
11. Trump International Hotel, Chicago, U.S.                       2009    415    1,362
12. CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China                                     1996    391    1,283
13. Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China                               1996     384   1,260
14. Empire State Building, New York                                  1931     381    1,250
15. Central Plaza, Hong Kong                                             1992     374    1,227
16. Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong                                1989     367    1,205
17. Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S.             2009     366    1,200
18. Almas Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates                  2009     363    1,191
19. Emirates Tower One, Dubai, United Arab Emirates       1999     355    1,165
20. Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan                         1997     348    1,140
21. Aon Centre, Chicago                                                    1973     346    1,136
22. The Center, Hong Kong                                               1998      346   1,135
23. John Hancock Center, Chicago                                    1969     344    1,127
24. Rose Tower, Dubai                                                      2007     333    1,093
25. Shimao International Plaza, Shanghai                            2006      333    1,093
26. Minsheng Bank Building, Wuhan, China                       2007      331    1,087
27. Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, N. Korea                        1995     330    1,083
28. China World Trade Center, Beijing, China                   2009      330    1,083
29. The Index, Dubai, United Arab Emirates                      2009      328    1,076
30. Q1, Gold Coast, Australia                                           2005      323    1,058
31. Burj al Arab Hotel, Dubai                                            1999      321    1,053
32. Chrysler Building, New York                                       1930      319    1,046
33. Nina Tower I, Hong Kong                                           2006      319    1,046
34. New York Times Building, New York                         2007      319    1,046
35. Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta                                   1993       317    1,039
36. U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles                                   1990       310    1,018
37. Menara Telekom Hdq, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia          1999       310    1,017
38. Emirates Tower Two, Dubai                                        2000       309    1,014
39. AT&T Corporate Center, Chicago                       1989       307    1,007
40. The Address Downtown Burj Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.     2008       306    1,004
41. JP Morgan Chase Tower, Houston                              1982        305    1,002
42. Baiyoke Tower II, Bangkok                                         1997       304       997
43. Two Prudential Plaza, Chicago                                     1990       303       995
44. Wells Fargo Plaza, Houston                                         1983       302       992
45. Kingdom Centre, Riyadh                                             2002        302       992
46. Aspire Tower, Doha                                                   2006        300       984
47. Arraya 2, Kuwait City, Kuwait                                    2009        300      984
48. One Island East Centre, Hong Kong, China                 2008        298      979
49. First Bank Tower, Toronto                                          1975        298      978
50. Shanghai Wheelock Square, Shanghai, China               2009        298      978
51. Eureka Tower, Melbourne                                           2006        297      975
52. Comcast Center, Philadelphia, U.S.                             2008        297      975
53. Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan                           1993        296      971
54. Emirates Crown, Dubai, U.A.E                                    2008        296      971
55. 311 South Wacker Drive, Chicago                               1990        293      961
56. SEG Plaza, Shenzhen, China                                        2000        292      957
57. American International Building, New York                  1932        290      952
58. Key Tower, Cleveland                                                 1991        289      947
59. Plaza 66, Shanghai                                                       2001        288      945
60. One Liberty Place, Philadelphia                                    1987        288      945
61. Columbia Center, Seattle, U.S.                                    1985         285     937
62. Millennium Tower, Dubai                                             2006         285     935
63. Sunjoy Tomorrow Square, Shanghai                            2003         285     934
64. Chongqing World Trade Center, Chongqing, China      2005         283     929
65. Cheung Kong Center, Hong Kong                               1999         283     929
66. The Trump Building, New York                                   1930         283     927
67. Bank of America Plaza, Dallas                                     1985         281     921
68. United Overseas Bank Plaza, Singapore                      1992          280     919
69. Republic Plaza, Singapore                                           1995          280     919
70. Overseas Union Bank Centre, Singapore                     1986          280     919
71. Citigroup Center, New York                                       1977          279     915
72. Hong Kong New World Tower, Shanghai                   2002          278     913
73. Diwang Int. Commerce Center, Nanning, China           2006          276     906
74. Scotia Plaza, Toronto                                                  1989          275     902
75. Williams Tower, Houston                                            1983           275    901
76. Moscow, Moscow                                                      2009          274    900
77. Wuhan World Trade Tower, Wuhan, China                 1998          273    896
78. Cullinan North Tower, Hong Kong                              2007          270    886
79. Cullinan South Tower, Hong Kong                              2007          270    886
80. Renaissance Tower, Dallas                                          1975          270    886
81. China Int. Center Tower B, Guangzhou, China             2007          270    884
82. Dapeng International Plaza, Guangzhou, China             2006          269    883
83. One Luijiazui, Shanghai, China                                     2008          269    883
84. 21st Century Tower, Dubai                                          2003          269    883
85. Naberezhnaya Tower C, Moscow                                2007         268    881
86. Al Faisaliah Center, Riyadh                                          2000          267    876
87. 900 North Michigan Ave., Chicago                              1989          265    871
88. Bank of America Corporate Center, Charlotte              1992          265    871
89. SunTrust Plaza, Atlanta                                                 1992         265     871
90. Al Kazim Tower 1, Dubai, U.A.E                                 2008         265     871
91. Al Kazim Tower 2, Dubai, U.A.E                                 2008         265     871
92. BOCOM Financial Towers, Shanghai                           1999         265     869
93. 120 Collins Street, Melbourne                                      1991         265     869
94. Triumph Palace, Moscow                                             2005         264     866
95. Tower Palace Three, Tower G, Seoul                           2004         264     865
96. Trump World Tower, New York                                  2001         262     861
97. Shenzhen Special Zone Daily Tower, Shenzhen, China   1998         262     860
98. Water Tower Place, Chicago                                        1976         262     859
99. Grand Gateway Plaza I, Shanghai                                  2005         262     859
100. Grand Gateway Plaza II, Shanghai                               2005         262     859

May 20, 2010

Acropolis, Athens

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The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the fifth century bc, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike.

Epsilon Team - Ομάδα Έψιλον

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The Epsilon Team (Greek: Ομάδα Έψιλον, Omada Epsilon) is a conspiracy theory concerning a secret society consisting of an elite team of Greek engineers, academics, pilots, powerful businessmen and politicians.
Epsilon Team's supposed symbol is a Delphic Epsilon, ie two Epsilons connected back to back and supposedly appearing on ancient Greek and Inca monuments and even on some sighted "UFOs".
It is also theorized that the debris salvaged from the Roswell UFO Incident have the Greek word "Ελευθερία" (Freedom) on them.
No clear timeline of the Epsilon team can be traced, mainly because people who support its existence or claim to be members, wannabees, connaisseurs or even its representatives all give very different and incoherent versions of the story.

Some of them claim that the Epsilon team has existed in some form since the first forms of Greek civilization , and that its members included ancient philosophers, historians, scientists and politicians like Plato, Aristoteles, Pericles, Socrates and so on.

Others don't dwell into antiquity but claim that the "conteporary" form of the Epsilon team as a secret society dates back to the post World War 2 period, founded as a sercet society by Greek scientists working in the United States and economically backed up by people like Aristotelis Onassis and others (mostly people already deceased at the moment of "acknowledgment").

One of the few common points is however that the Epsilon team has always helped and protected the Greek People and culture through the centuries, yet all supporters fail to give a satisfactory answer and use elusive statements when asked where the Epsilon team was when hardships such as the fall of Constantinople and the subsequent 400-year Ottoman dominion was imposed on Greece, when the Minor Asia Catastrophe took place in 1922 and when other minor or major Ethnic problems like the Cyprus dispute or the Imia Crisis took place.

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The Epsilon Team (In Greek: Ομάδα Έψιλον,Omada Epsilon) is an urban legend about a probably entirely imaginary secret society consisting of an elite team of Greek engineers, academics, pilots, powerful businessmen and politicians etc. manufacturing and piloting UFOs and supposedly working for major international forces or even secretly ruling the United States of America.

Vlad Tepes (1431 - 1476) The Impaler - Prince of Wallachia - Son of Vlad Dracul (Knight of the Order of the Dragon) - Grandson of Mircea the Great, Voevod of Wallachia - "Dracula"

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Vlad III was born in November or December of 1431 in the Transylvanian city of Sighisoara. At the time his father, Vlad II (Vlad Dracul), was living in exile in Transylvania. The house where he was born is still standing. It was located in a prosperous neighborhood surrounded by the homes of Saxon and Magyar merchants and the townhouses of the nobility.
Click to Enlarge
Little is known about the early years of Vlad III’s life. He had an older brother, Mircea, and a younger brother, Radu the Handsome. His early education was left in the hands of his mother, a Transylvanian noblewoman, and her family. His real education began in 1436 after his father succeeded in claiming the Wallachian throne by killing his Danesti rival. His training was typical to that of the sons of nobility throughout Europe. His first tutor in his apprenticeship to knighthood was an elderly boyar who had fought against the Turks at the battle of Nicolopolis. Vlad learned all the skills of war and peace that were deemed necessary for a Christian knight.
In 1444, at the age of thirteen, young Vlad and his brother Radu were sent to Adrianople as hostages, to appease the Sultan. He remained there until 1448, at which time he was released by the Turks, who supported him as their candidate for the Wallachian throne. Vlad’s younger brother apparently chose to remain in Turkey, where he had grown up. (Radu is later supported by the Turks as a candidate for the Wallachian throne, in opposition to his own brother, Vlad.)
As previously noted, Vlad III’s initial reign was quite short (two months), and it was not until 1456, under the support of Hunyadi and the Kingdom of Hungary that he returned to the throne. He established Tirgoviste as his capitol city, and began to build his castle some distance away in the mountains near the Arges River.
Vlad usually had a horse attached to each of the victim’s legs and a sharpened stake was gradually forced into the body. The end of the stake was usually oiled and care was taken that the stake not be too sharp, else the victim might die too rapidly from shock. Normally the stake was inserted into the body through the buttocks and was often forced through the body until it emerged from the mouth. However, there were many instances where victims were impaled through other body orifices or through the abdomen or chest. Infants were sometimes impaled on the stake forced through their mother’s chests. The records indicate that victims were sometimes impaled so that they hung upside down on the stake.

Vlad Dracula was killed in battle against the Turks near the town of Bucharest in December of 1476. Some reports indicate that he was assassinated by disloyal Wallachian boyars just as he was about to sweep the Turks from the field. Other accounts have him falling in defeat, surrounded by the ranks of his loyal Moldavian bodyguard. Still other reports claim that Vlad, at the moment of victory, was accidentally struck down by one of his own men. The one undisputed fact is that ultimately his body was decapitated by the Turks and his head sent to Constantinople where the sultan had it displayed on a stake as proof that the horrible Impaler was finally dead. He was reportedly buried at Snagov, an island monastery located near Bucharest.