Sunday, April 24, 2005

Do yourselves a favor...

If you are around the Athens or Lavrio area, find the time to visit the painting exhibition of Katia Vardoulaki, at the Lavrion Technological and Cultural Park (Τεχνολογικό και Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο Λαυρίου).

The exibition is entitled "Industrial Landscapes of Lavrion (Βιομηχανικά Τοπία Λαυρίου)" and takes place inside one of the beautiful buildings of the old French Mining Company (Γαλλική Εταιρεία Λαυρίου - Compagnie Francaise des Mines de Laurium ).

It runs until May 8th. It's worth it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

And the wind cries Mary

(Image copied without permission from the BBC)

I heard this incident about how the first time Jimi Hendrix was ever broadcast live on radio was on a BBC Radio 3 classical music programme, in 1967, I think.

The story says that Hendrix was setting up the studio for a live BBC sessions recording, about 2 floors up from the BBC radio 3 studio that was broadcasting a classical music programme. Aparently, in order to set up his guitars and amps the way he wanted to, and to get the desired distortion and overdrive, he had to pump up the gain and volume to such an extent that the sound crossed the two floors into the BBC3 studio, and was actually heard by the audience who were calling the classical music producer to complain for the interference.

Is that cool, or what?

After all the jacks are in their boxes,
and the clowns have all gone to bed,
you can hear happiness staggering on down the street,
footprints dressed in red

and the wind whispers Mary

A broom is drearily sweeping,
up the broken pieces of yesterday'€™s life
somewhere a queen is weeping,
somewhere a king has no wife

and the wind it cries Mary

The traffic lights they turn of blue tomorrow,
and shine their emptiness down on my bed,
the tiny island sails downstream,
cause the life that lived is is dead

and the wind screams Mary

Will the wind ever remember,
the names it has blown in the past,
and with this crutch it'€™s old age and it's wisdom,
it whispers no this will be the last

and the wind cries Mary.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Vatican's prescient Web masters

Reproduced without permission from the Risks-Forum Digest Monday 18 April 2005 Volume 23 : Issue 84. By Diomidis Spinellis

The "Vacancy of the Apostolic See" Web page appears to have been prepared one day BEFORE the Pope's death.The page's HTML markup contains the following meta tags:

Meta name="title" content="vacancy of the Apostolic See"
Meta name="creator" content="Vacancy of the Apostolic See"
Meta name="subject" content="Vacancy of the Apostolic See, death of John Paul II, Holy Father"

Meta name="date.created" content="2005-04-01"
Meta name="date.issued" content="2005-04-03"
Meta name="date.expires" content=""

Thus it appears that the web page was created on April 1st, yet the Pope's death certificate clearly indicates that the Pope died on April 2nd. "His Holiness John Paul II (Karol Woytyla) born in Wadovice (Crakow, Poland) the 18th of May 1920, resident of Vatican City, expired at 9:37 on the evening of April 2, 2005".

It is a well-known fact that journalists prepare in advance obituaries of public figures that appear to be nearing their life's end. See for example the article "Quirk in British Computer Privacy Laws" (RISKS-11.63). Nevertheless, for the Vatican's content creators to advertise the fact that they were creating the "Vacancy of the Apostolic See" Web page while the Pope was still alive and struggling is at the very least a sign of poor taste; worse, the fact will now provide food to conspiracy theorists who thrive on these details.

The risk: accurate metadata is not always appropriate.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Επειδή είδα αρκετή ανταπόκριση στο post μου περί πολεμικού ναυτικού , είπα να αποκαλύψω τις πραγματικές πηγές .

Έχω μάλιστα και μια σειρά από φωτό που είχα τραβήξει στη φρεγάτα, όπου ήμουν στο άγημα ελικοπτέρων εν πλώ. Μερικές αρκετά εντυπωσιακές... λέω να τις μαζέψω για ένα μελλοντικό post.

Πλήρωμα... στον καιρό.
Πλήρωμα... άκυρο.
Πλήρωμα... ΕΙ!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

V+T II: This time it's personal

Had some more V+T, with G & A this time.

Very cool stuff.

The resume of the evening (for me) was:

- Names don't matter, people do. But sometimes names are useful too (cool, it rhymes!).
- The world is VERY small.
- There's a LOT of good music out there.
- The only interesting issues are the controversial ones.
- It's probably about time this blog went to sleep...

Bon voyage.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Adventures of a young entrepreneur #2

Chapter 2: The name wasn't always "ducky"...

Paul did not have a last name. He was known to the creatures of the forest simply as "Paul, the king of the forest", or "Fatty Paulie", or "Paul, the one whose diapers defy the sense of smell".

Until one day while he was slowly strolling though forest on the back of his devoted tiger "Whiskas"....

... he witnessed a TERRIBLE scene, that would change his life (or his name, anyway). A fearceful piranha fish had attacked a little ducky, that was minding it's own business in the river.

Paulie could not just stand there. He jumped into the water, fought away the ugly fish within inches of his life, and rescued the duck.

Since that day, he became know with his present name: Paul Ducky!

Adventures of a young entrepreneur #1

Chapter 1: The beginning.

Paul Ducky, as our hero is to be known from now on, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Nor was he educated in the most exclusive private schools and universities.

As the photo demonstrates, he spent the first years of his life in the jungles of south America, in the company of revolutionary leaders such as Che Guevara (who was kind enough to let him have his T-shirt as an homage to their close friendship).

There, he devoted himself to living in close communication with all creatures of nature, learning to play the guitar (as well as various other musical instruments), and reading the works of all major philosophers of the world.

He actively participated in the revolutionary struggles of the oppressed local people, formed his own revolutionary ideas, and wrote the first version of his freedom manifesto.

That's where it all started, many years ago...

(to be cont/d)

Monday, April 11, 2005

Much better...

Early stage funding

It's tough for young entrepreneurs out there...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Michael Jackson trial Britney Spears pope elections terri schiavo vatican sex free travel autos

This is actually a bogus post. I just threw in a few "hot" keywords in the subject to see if it will attract more hits to my blog.

Of course it's the quality of our readers that we are interested in, and the comments they leave, but since business has been so-so lately, I thought I'd go for volume instead!

Of course it will take some time before google and the other beasts spider this.

Sorry about this experiment. If I get any interesting results I'll post something about them.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Life on the long tail

(photo without permission from

The other day G. was telling me about how in some cases the "long tail" of certain events should not be underestimated. In the particular example, he was referring to sales in a specific market. He said that although the initial bulk of income was produced by the more "hot" goods that sold immediately, considerable (perhaps the predominant) income came from products that only attracted the attention of particular niches of consumers, but that would keep selling for a long period of time, even after the hot products became unfashionable and stop selling altogether.

Starting from that thought, I observed that in our lives there are a multitude of events that behave in a similar "asymptotic manner". Things that do not have a specific "hard" ending, but softly vanish as time passes. A highschool crash with a girl that goes to College abroad, the shock from an awful scene on our way to work, the irritation from a strong verbal argument, the excitement generated by an idea that could change our life, if we were to follow it, new years resolutions gone stale etc. etc.

Well, if it is true what G. said, and the same applies, this means that we are constantly living our lives affected by the "long tails" of things seamingly past, which continue to affect our state of mind, feelings, decisions, and ultimately our lives. Could it be that we are still slightly in love with that girl from college (ή με τη Μαργαρίτα από την 1η δημοτικού, Δυστροπ :-), slightly mad at our boss from our previous job, slightly sorry for our pet that passed away 6 months ago, slightly shocked by the sight of the blind woman lost in the snowy street last month, slightly stressed by the suicide bombing on TV the night before... ?

I wonder. Of course as any mathematician will tell you, the tail quickly converges towards α, but the question is, how quickly? And also, what if α>0?

And, to be honest, all of the above would explain a large number of the weird decisions and turns that I have taken in my life thus far.

Having said all this, these combined, entrenched tails, many of which seem to be bound to follow us to our graves, are, in the end, the essense our own being. So I guess we should treat them with respect and, in some cases, gratefulness!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Υποστολή Σημαίας

Όποιος έχει υπηρετήσει σε καράβι στο Πολεμικό Ναυτικό, θα συγκινηθεί!

Γιώργο, έτσι είναι το σωστό...

Ρε χαλβά!

Σταθμός ΗΣΑΠ Βικτώρια, πριν λίγο καιρό.

Color reading...

Try naming the colors of these words, one by one. Do not read the words... rather, say the color of the words. Do it as fast as you can.

It's not that easy, is it?

Can someone explain it?

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Our new obsession.

What can I say, my son is weird...

(...and so is his father...)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Met G. yesterday evening, for a couple of V+T (that's Vodka Tonic to you).

Had an excellent time. Got some good advice. Talked about some fun things. Made some interesting plans.

Thanx, G!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


*** Update: Just came accross, a very nice and complete site about Stratos. ***

I have undertaken the fascinating, but also very hard, task of setting up a music CD including what I consider to be "some of the most beautiful and important music ever".

After considerable thought, I decided on the first track.

It turns out that it had to be a song by Demetrio Stratos , of the Italian fusion band Area, who died at my age, in 1979, of leukemia. His voice was more than a voice. I won't even start writing about it, there's so much information on google. Interestingly it turns out that a (late) uncle of mine, a professor of phonetics/otolaryngology (sp?) in Italy, had spent a great part of his career as a researcher studying his vocal capabilities.

It's worth looking into his life and work.

I think that the track will either be "cometa rossa", or "gioia e rivoluzione".

canto per te
che mi vieni a sentire
suono per te
che non mi vuoi capire
ido per te
che non sai sognare
uono per te
che non mi vuoi capire

Another one...

Got the following by email. I marked my favorite with many many exclamation marks!!!!

What is the IQ of doctors? Written in patients' notes:

  • She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.
  • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
  • On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.
  • The patient is tearful and crying constantly. She also appears to be depressed.
  • Healthy appearing decrepit 69 years old male, mentally alert but forgetful.
  • The patient refused autopsy.
  • The patient has no previous history of suicides.
  • Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.
  • Patient's medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.
  • Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home
  • The skin was moist and dry.
  • Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • Rectal examination revealed a normal size thyroid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.
  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  • Skin: somewhat pale but present.
  • The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.
  • Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.
  • Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Just saw (again) the film Ararat by Atom Egoyan.

A really, really beautiful film.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Εμπνευσμένος από το τελευταίο άρθρο του αρκούδου , καταθέτω κι εγώ μια μικρή τεχνο-related ιστορία που μου έλεγε ένας φίλος τις προάλλες. Η μητέρα του φίλου μου του Τ. λοιπόν αγόρασε ένα νέο κινητό. Φυσικά δεν είχε ιδέα πώς να το χρησιμοποιήσει, και έκατσε ο Τ. και της έδειξε τα βασικά. Για πλάκα όμως, και χωρίς βέβαια να της το πεί, άλλαξε και το "κείμενο υποδοχής", αυτό που σου βγάζει στη μάπα όταν το ανάβεις (βλ. "Πόπη", "Γειά σου ματάκια μου...", "Σ'αγαπώ ζουζούνι μου" και άλλα τέτοια χαριτωμένα). Ο Τ. όμως, που η έμπνευση ποτέ δεν ήταν το αδύνατό του σημείο, της έβαλε σαν κείμενο υποδοχής μια μόνο λέξη: "Χάλασε!".

Το παίρνει λοιπόν η μάνα του, το ανοίγει το πρωί της επόμενης μέρας για πρώτη φορά, όλη υπερηφάνεια, και βλέπει αμέσως στην οθόνη να γράφει "Χάλασε!". Μεγάλη απογοήτευση, τι στο καλό, τώρα το πήρα, χαλασμένο μου το δώσανε;

Παίρνει λοιπόν αμέσως τηλέφωνο την εταιρεία, και ζητάει τεχνική υποστήριξη.
-Παρακαλώ, πείτε μου.
-Ε, ναι γειά σας, πήρα ένα καινούργιο τηλέφωνο, δεν το έχω ούτε μια μέρα, και χάλασε.
-Δηλαδή, τι παρουσιάζει;
-Που να ξέρω εγώ;...
-Δεν καταλαβαίνω κυρία μου, λέτε ότι το τηλέφωνό σας είναι χαλασμένο. Τι σας κάνει να το πιστεύετε αυτό;
-Έτσι λέει!
-Έτσι λέει ποιός;;;
-Το τηλέφωνο!!!
[Πάλι παύση]
-Τι εννοείτε;
-Το άνοιξα, και λέει "Χάλασε!" στην οθόνη.
[Τρίτη παύση, ελαφρός εκνευρισμός]
-Κυρία μου, σας διαβεβαιώ ότι ακόμα κι αν έχει χαλάσει, ΑΠΟΚΛΕΙΕΤΑΙ να γράφει "Χάλασε"...
-Ε αφού έτσι γράφει, το κρατάω μπροστά μου τώρα και το κοιτάω
[ΠΟΛΥ μεγάλη παύση...]

Τέλος πάντων, το τηλεφώνημα δεν κατέληξε πουθενά, όπως καταλαβαίνετε, αλλά όταν το διηγήθηκε στον Τ. η μητέρα του, διαμαρτυρόμενη για την ασχετοσύνη και ανικανότητα των υπαλλήλων τεχνικής υποστήριξης της εταιρείας, νομίζω χρειάστηκε ηλεκτροσόκ για να σταματήσει να γελάει και να πάρει ανάσα.

Friday, April 01, 2005


After about 2 months of posting, I decided that it's time I really introduced myself to the large circle of people that has formed around my posts and my projected e-personality.

So here I am (in the picture I mean..). Yup, that's me! It's not one of my best ones, for sure, but it's quite representative. I asked a friend of mine who is good with cameras to take a few pictures of me, and I chose the one that I think is better.

So, if you think I am an interesting character, and you would like to meet me, please don't hestitate to post a comment. Although I am in a relationship, as many of you know, I am open to new experiences, so, come on, don't be shy.

I kiss you!!!