I came across this quick and easy guide on eggs today and thought it would be great to share. I love eggs. Do you?Read More
A place to share some of the great ideas and events I come across - enjoy!
Lest We Forget the sacrifices that were made so that we could enjoy our freedoms...
Every year the Antipodes Festival in Melbourne Australia has some lovely surprises. This year the crowd came to see Michalis Hatzigiannis - Greece's musical superstar. Not even the wind and rain could dampen the enthusiasm and the energy Hatzigiannis created on Saturday 16th March in the Greek precinct of Melbourne in Australia. He sang all of his hits and the crowd joined in enthusiastically putting up their hands for the hit "Χερια Ψυλα" (Hands Up). I made a video of a few of the songs he sang...Read More
It happens every year on the 6th of January. The guy in the white beard arrives and there are thousands waiting with anticipation. But, it's not Santa. It's the local Greek Orthodox Priest who has come for the Great Blessing of Waters - known as the day of Theofania or Epiphany. It is an Orthodox celebration of Christ’s baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. The video below captures some of the fun.Read More
The scene is Rome, Italy in the autumn of 1940. The dictator, Benito Mussolini, is feeling melancholic and inadequate. The reasons for his frustrations are that his ally, Adolf Hitler, has been conquering the nations of Europe: Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Romania and Austria. Their combined population was close to 140 million. Mighty France, a nation of 43 million, had collapsed and surrendered after only 17 days of fighting in an agonizing and humiliating defeat.
Mussolini was being confronted with faits accomplis, as Hitler would inform him that the Germans had conquered a country three days after the fact. Mussolini decided to show Hitler that the Italians also could conquer Europe, and have Hitler "learn of the conquest from the newspapers."
Mussolini's choice for this mighty show of Italian strength was Greece; a small country of seven million people versus Italy 's 44 million. The disparity in their armed forces was even greater: Italy had close to ten times the firepower of Greece in its army and navy. Italy 's large air force had total air superiority since Greece had a very small defensive air force.
Now that the choice was set, the invasion route was selected: the Albanian Greek border. All that remained would be to deliver an insulting ultimatum to Greece. The ultimatum demanded that Greece allow Italian troops to occupy the country (i.e., surrender) Italy would declare war and invade Greece. Mussolini had given the Greek Prime Minister Metaxas three hours to reply. After reading the demands in the early morning hours of the 28th of October 1940, he rejected the ultimatum and replied with a single Hellenic word: "OXI!" (pronounced Ohee, meaning "NO!"). It has become a Hellenic battle cry that blooms defiantly every 28th of October on walls throughout Greece and Cyprus, and in the thousands of Hellenic communities around the world, today numbering more than ten million Hellenes (Greeks) outside Greece.
Mussolini never waited for Metaxas' reply. Before the ultimatum had expired, five heavily armed divisions of Italian soldiers began moving from Italian controlled Albania over the border into Greece. Expectations of an easy Italian victory soon evaporated. The quick march to Athens for an Italian victory parade never materialized. After a 25-kilometer advance inside Greece, the 200,000 Italian troops were halted for days by a ragged army of Greek soldiers in mismatched uniforms and shepard's clothes. Though Italians outnumbered them more than two to one, the Greeks astonished the Italian generals with their courage, their tenacity, and their limited artillery's precision. The Greek forces had six mortars for each division against the invader's sixty. All Greeks helped in any way they could. The courageous women of Greece supplied clothing, food, and support to the defense of their country in very difficult winter conditions. Sometimes, large groups of women would stand arm-in-arm for hours in icy rivers and streams to slow the waters enough to permit the movement of equipment and supplies to the front.
Within four weeks of the invasion, those undermanned, under-supplied, and underfed Greeks drove the Italian army back into Albania and kept on going, continuing the pursuit into Albania. By this time, Mussolini had replaced the commanding general several times, and finally assumed command of the military campaign himself. He tried to rouse his troops to victory with speeches reminding them of the great legacy of their predecessors, the ancient Romans, but without success.
The Greeks pursued the Italians more than 60 kilometers into Albania, and by December of 1940, the Greek army had liberated the southern third of Albania, better known as Northern Epirus. There was even serious concern by the Italians that the Greek armed forces would cross the Adriatic Sea and invade Italy itself. By the end of the five month campaign, in March 1941, the Greeks had dealt the Italian armed forces some unexpected numbers: 12,500 Italians returned home badly mutilated by the fighting; 13,800 were buried in the frozen soil of Greece; 25,000 were missing in action; and 40,000 were POWs held by the Greek Army.
We should remember that the USA was still neutral, and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a year away. The USA was not involved in any fighting then, but all the major USA periodicals such as LIFE and TIME carried cover stories about the Greeks and the history that they were making. In the USA, Greeks and Greek-Americans of all ages were showered with admiration at school and work in response to the historic events.
The entire Western world, discouraged and fearful of the Axis powers and the growing ugly war, took hope from this incredible victory. It was a double first: the first defeat of the Axis powers and the first liberation of territory captured by the Axis powers. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said of the Greeks: "Today we say that Greeks fight like heroes, from now on we will say that heroes fight like Greeks." However, there was history still to be made by the Greeks.
They outraged Hitler and the Germans. A small military power like Greece had succeeded in defeating their ally, Italy. The Germans invaded Greece in April of 1941, and after nearly two months of fierce fighting, overwhelmed the defiant Greeks. The Greek army included disabled soldiers from the Albanian campaign against the Italians, ordinary citizens, teenagers, and the elderly. On the Greek island of Crete, there were 75-year old peasant women with butcher knives slitting the throats of German paratroopers as they landed. About 10,000 German soldiers died trying to invade Crete. Even Greek prison convicts demanded and were released from jail so that they could fight. The Greek freedom fighters took the lives of many German troops and destroyed much German equipment. The Germans were forced to divert 50 battalions to Greece, though they desperately needed them on the Eastern front.
The six months of fighting caused by the Greek resistance of the Axis powers also delayed Germany 's invasion and campaign against what is today the Commonwealth of Independent States (the former Soviet Union). The fierce resistance of the Greeks in Macedonia, Crete, and other regions of Greece to the Germans caused delays. It overturned German plans to occupy Moscow before the onset of the heavy and deadly Russian winter. This was something the Germans had not planned and thus were unprepared.
The German war machine literally bogged down and froze. The Russians were successful in repulsing and defeating the Germans. This was a major turning point of World War 2. This signalled the beginning of the end of the German Third Reich. The sacrifice and success of the Greek armed forces, the Greek guerrillas, and the ordinary Greek citizens drew the admiration of the free world and kindled hope for the final victory of the Allied powers.
We should note that Greek Prime Minister Metaxas was also a military dictator. Yet the Greeks united behind the belief that the defense of their country, which they wished to become more democratic again, was very important. That is another symbolism and irony of the 28th of October 1940, that the Greek people not only fought the fascist Axis powers invading Greece, but also later fought the extremist forces that were trying to rule Greece and not allow it to be a democracy.
The Greeks faithfully met their obligations to their allies, with heroism and self-sacrifice. As a small country, the human sacrifice and mega devastation Greece suffered in World War 2 were much more that those of the other countries that were on the victorious Allied side. In World War 2, Greece lost the highest percentage of its population in comparison to the other members of the victorious Allies. It lost more than any other member of the Allies on a percentage basis, about 12%, meaning about one million people. The world leadership of the time, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, recognized the decisive contribution of the Greeks. The timeless character of the Modern Greek was shining brightly for all to see: passionate, determined, and proud.
The next time you see or communicate with a Greek, tell them that you remember the 28th of October 1940. Send this article to others who may not know this important day in world history. On that day, Greece, the birthplace of democracy said "NO!" to fascism, and defended its birthright despite overwhelming and unfavorable odds to yet another triumph. On that day, Greece, the ancient cradle of democracy and Western civilization, helped save democracy in its darkest hour. People have brought that birthright of democracy to much of our planet and for that we should all be proud. Interestingly, the 28th of October is also the anniversary of the opening of a symbol patterned after one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Colossus of Rhodes in Greece. This symbol of democracy is the Statue of Liberty in the between New Jersey and New York, USA.
This day is an inspiration to all those who cherish democracy and freedom. For when the world was a risk, an ancient and brave people were willing to risk everything. The ancient Greeks invented democracy, and the twentieth century Greeks are still defending it. All of those who believe in democracy and freedom want Greece to continue as a vigorous and vibrant democracy into the Third Millennium that is two months away. Hellenic civilization in entering its 10,000th year and is still a major cultural force, and this was evident when the Olympics returned to their birthplace in the Athens games of 2004.
Miss Universe 2011, the 60th anniversary of the Miss Universe pageant, was held at the Credicard Hall in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2011.
Ximena Navarrete of Mexico crowned her successor, Leila Lopes of Angola, at the end of this event.
Miss Australia, Scherri-Lee Biggs, our favourite, made the top 10 but was not able to make the next cut.
Contestants from 89 countries and territories participated in this year's pageant, surpassing the previous record of 86 contestants in 2006.
Let's cheer on the gorgeous Scherri-Lee Biggs who will be representing Australia at this year's Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 12th 2011.
The 56th Eurovision Song Contest is being held this year in Dusseldorf Germany. From the original 43 contestants, just 25 were chosen to participate in the final this Saturday 14th May.
France is the favourite to win with a song by Amaury Vassili called "Sognu" meaning dream. Greece's contribution is a song by Loukas Giorkas called "Watch My Dance".
Who will win and who will have the craziest costume? Enjoy all 25 songs below in their final order:
The earthquake that hit off the coast of Sendai in Japan on the 11th March 2011 lasted several minutes and was a 8.9 magnitude one - the largest ever recorded in Japan.
The earthquake triggered tsunami warnings and evacuations in many countries in the Pacific region. These tsunami waves were recorded up to 10 metres high and travelled up to 10km inland in some places.
Residents within a 20km radius of the Fakushima Nuclear Power Plant have been evacuated due to possible radiation leakage.
Here are some images and Youtube videos that capture the disaster:
These videos capture some amazing and terrible moments:
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the Canterbury region of New Zealand's South Island yesterday, near the country's second-largest city, Christchurch. It is an aftershock of a massive, deeper earthquake that hit New Zealand last September, and has already caused more damage, injuries, and fatalities than the earlier quake. Hundreds of structures in Christchurch have now been severely damaged or collapsed completely. There are over 65 deaths that have been confirmed, hundreds have been injured, and many are still missing. Below are images from New Zealand and a very sad video.
At the start of the new millennium, specific dates have become more popular and significant, especially as a day to get married. The abbreviated date of 10/10/10 or October 10, 2010 is believed to have more than just a meaning as a day to get married. There are other great significances to this date that can be somewhat surprising.
The calendar date of October 10, 2010 is believed to hold some significance because it has a numerical abbreviation of 10/10/10. We will have to wait another hundred years to write the date like this.
The date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) has become a widely popular date to get married because it only consists of the number ten. It is even more significant that the date 10/10/10 at 10:10am (10:10) or 10:10pm (22:10) to be a very lucky time. One reason for this comes from the story of George Inmad who had been deaf since birth. On 10/10/1910 at 10:10pm (22:10) he suddenly was able to hear with no explanation from the doctors. It was a medical mystery and the only conclusion they had was that he was very lucky. From then on, it is believed that you will have good luck if you touch your ears at 10:10am or pm.
Many organizations are using the ease of remembering this date of 10/10/10 to host large events so that people will associate the date to the event. The psychology of the number ten seems to give people a nice and comfortable feeling where many use the number ten as a reference or limit such as Top Ten lists.
There are many coincidences and prophecies that are involved with the date of October 10, 2010. In mathematics, the date of 10/10/10 or 101010 is divisible by the number of days in a week, which is seven (7), which is considered to be very lucky. However, the date also appears to have a yin and yang situation where the date is also divisible by the number six (6), which is considered to be very unlucky.
Most predictions and opinions concerning the date of 10/10/10 are based on its mathematical uniqueness as a number. Some believe that on this day something either good or bad has to happen, however there is no scientific or logical basis for this belief. The belief that something good or bad will happen is based solely on faith and/or natural belief because we don’t know what the future entails.
While some believe that something good will happen, there are others who believe that nothing will happen, which is most likely the scenario. This is not the first day that the date has had this type of sequence or significance. In the past couple of years, we have faced different dates such as June 6, 2006 (6/6/06), which is a very negative number sequence, and August 8, 2008 (8/8/08), which is a very lucky sequence to the Chinese culture. However, nothing significant happened on these days and will probably be the case on October 10, 2010.
Many organizations are taking advantage of the significant date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) by creating global events such as the Global Work Party, World Homeless Day and the 10-10-10 Initiative to help create awareness for their cause.
The Global Work Party is a time for people around the world to participate in an event that will help deal with global warming issues in their area. The day will join together thousands of communities to celebrate climate solutions by putting up solar panels, planting trees, cleaning up trash, installing wind turbines, digging community gardens, and more activities that will help deal with global warming issues.
On October 10, 2010, the Netherlands Antilles will be dissolved, with the islands being split up and given a new constitutional status.
World Homeless day hopes to draw attention to the needs of homeless people by making the 10th of the 10th in 2010 to become an international day that provides opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness.
Whether the date is used to create more significance to its cause or by coincidence, the date of October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) will surely be a date that people find amusing and significant.
The 2010 Canterbury earthquake (also known as the Christchurch earthquake) was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which struck the South Island of New Zealand at 4:35 am on 4 September 2010 local time. The quake caused widespread damage and several power outages, particularly in the city of Christchurch.
The ground was in a very patchy and bumpy condition. The wind was very strong and made the ball in the air unpredictable. The Green Gully team played a very physical game receiving 5 yellow cards during the game. The Bulleen Lions played a superior technical game but were beaten by Green Gully in a 1-3 finish.
This was an honourable loss by a young team that had not lost any games the whole season and convincingly beat Brighton and Skye in preliminary finals. Bulleen lost the battle but definitely not the competitive spirit. They gave their parents and supporters their best, lots of highlights, fun and enjoyment during the 2010 season.
One of the songs on this video is "Push It To The Limit" and I would like to dedicate it to the Bulleen Lions U15B team as I believe it aptly describes their team spirit and never say die attitude. We are very proud of you Bulleen Lions. Thank you for a great 2010 season.
Enjoy two images from the game:
Here is the highlights video of the grand final game:
The Bulleen Lions 15B team finished the 2010 season on top of their Victorian Football federation league segment. They kicked 52 goals for the season.
The goals scorers were: Kyle(13), Sam(9), Alex(6), Matt(6), PeterP(5), Curtis(2), Damien(2), PatrickC(2), PatrickM(1), Taras(1), PeterN(1), Billy(1), Gian(1), and other team Own Goals(2).
Watch them all here in this highlights video:
Congratulations to the Bulleen Lions U15B team who remain undefeated for the 2010 season and now move onto a finals playoff with other teams around Victoria who also finished on top. Enjoy the pictures and video highlights below.
Here are some images from the game:
And the proud soccer mums & dads:
Here is a video with all the highlights: