Saturday, July 23, 2005


We're off!

See, I told you we are not afraid.

We travel to camping-penboch tomorrow, and stay for just over a fortnight

See you when we get back

A Bientot!

Alfie Dennen has set up a web site where we can share pictures, to show the world that we are not going to be intimidated by such obscene acts as the london bombings, the kidnapping of the Egyptian Ambassador, or the attack on Sharm-El-Shiek

We must not let terror win

to quote Alfie:-

About We’re Not Afraid

We are not afraid to ride public transportation.

We are not afraid to walk down a crowded street.

We are not afraid of each other.

We are not afraid to say that terrorism in any form is never the answer.

We’re not afraid is an outlet for the global community to speak out against the acts of terror that have struck London, Madrid, New York, Baghdad, Bazra, Tikkut, Gaza, Tel-Aviv, Afghanistan, Bali, and against the atrocities occurring in cities around the world each and every day. It is a worldwide action for people not willing to be cowed by terrorism and fear mongering.

The historical response to these types of attacks has been a show of deadly force; we believe that there is a better way. We refuse to respond to aggression and hatred in kind. Instead, we who are not afraid will continue to live our lives the best way we know how. We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear. We are not afraid.

well said

Thursday, July 21, 2005

creative zen micro

Just bought Hari a creative zen micro . what a cool piece of kit!
5gb (about 2500 songs), and is smaller than your average mobile phone.

now, just have to think of how to justify buying one for me...............

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

where is mount olympos?

where oh where can Mount Olympos be?
There was I thinking the home of the Greek Gods would be in Greece..........
but no, in Middlesex, desdemona's village is on the slopes of Mt. Olympos, in Turkey.
so I did some research, and found:-

or maybe in Greece?
another Olympos

corroborated by:-
Greece 2, Turkey 1

but with a late equaliser by the Turks:-
Greece 2, Turkey 2


My money is on Turkey. This would make more sense, and seems corroborated by the ruins of the city of Olympos being there. I reckon the Greeks renamed their mountain after 1919, and then created the national park around it.

more homework needed again!

but where did the turks come from?

wikipedia - Turkish_peoples

The Turkic peoples are (currently some 150 million) Central Asians whose members speak languages in the Turkic family of languages, and their descendants thoughout the world.

The first mention of the term "Turk" applied to a known Turkic group, was in reference to the Gokturks in the 6th century. A letter by the Chinese Emperor written to the Göktürk Khan named Isbara in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan". The Orhun inscriptions (735 AD) use the term "Turuk".

The author M. Adji in the book "'Kypçaks" presents a view typical of Turkish historians. He claims that the Turks first invented iron swords and arrows, were artful horse-riders, and were also the first to invent pants and the bridle. He further asserts that ancient Turkic (or Kypçak) people made an empire that was the biggest in the ancient world, bigger than Greek and Roman empires - from the Black sea on the west to China on the east, and from the Ural mountains on the north to India in the south.

Later Turkic peoples include the Karluks (mainly 8th century), Uyghurs, Kirghiz, Oghuz (or Ğuz) Turks, and Turkmens. As these peoples were founding states in the area between Mongolia and Transoxiana,

Turkic soldiers in the army of the Abbasid caliphs emerged as de facto rulers of most of the Muslim Middle East (except Syria and Egypt), particularly after the 10th century. Oghuz and other tribes captured and dominated various countries under the leadership of the Seljuk dynasty, and eventually captured the territories of the Abbasid dynasty and the Byzantine Empire.

In Central Asia, a Turkic warrior caste whose lifestyle was influenced by the Mongols became the aristocrats of the polyglot Turco-Persian culture. These Turco-Mongols conquered on horseback, while Arabic-schooled Persians (called "Tajiks") served as their administrators over the territories they absorbed. Timur conquered much of Central Asia, while his descendant Babur moved into India, founding the Mughal ("Mongol") dynasty.

As the Seljuks declined after the Mongol invasion, the Ottoman Empire emerged as a new important Turkic state that came to dominate not only the Middle East, but also southeastern Europe and parts of southwestern Russia and northern Africa. Meanwhile, other Turkic groups founded dynasties in northern India (the Mughal Empire).
The Ottoman Empire grew weaker in the face of repeated wars with Russia and Austria, and the emergence of nationalist movements in the Balkans, and it finally gave way after World War I to the present-day republic of Turkey.

As I noted in a previous post, more movement of people, expansion, expulsion, invasion, and emigration.

the start of greco-turkish hostilities in the 20th cent.

from wikipedia:Turkey

Throughout the 19th and early 20th century the Ottoman empire began to lose a foothold on its territories, first with Algeria and Tunisia, then Greece, Egypt, Libya and the Balkans in the 1912 Balkans war. Faced with territorial losses on all sides Turkey forged an alliance with Germany who supported it with troops and equipment. In World War I Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and later Bulgaria) and was subsequently defeated. Between 1915 and 1917 large parts of the Armenian population were deported from the area constituting today's Turkey. Whether the casualties were the result of genocide or the turmoils of World War I is debated today (see Armenian Genocide).

On October 30th 1918, the Mondros Armistice was signed followed by the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10th 1920. These sought to break up the Ottoman empire and force large concessions on Turkey in favour of its rival Greece who had fought against the Germans. Greece, France and Italy were awarded parts of the coast of Minor Asia. The city of Izmir (Smyrna), with its large Greek population, was awarded to Greece. The Greek army took it over on May 15 1919 and triggered the War of Independence. A nationalist movement led by Mustafa Kemal, rejected the Sèvres and organised an army which repelled Greece from Asia Minor. By September 18th 1922 the country was liberated resulting in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, recognising the new borders of Turkey.

Dim terrorism

Stuff and Nonsense wholeheartedly supports this campaign

Greek Expulsion From Asia Minor

I'm going to attempt to get a balanced view of what happened in Anatolia in 1919-22.

There must be two sides to this tragedy?

New York Times Article


LAUSANNE, Dec. 1.--A black page of modern history was written here today. Ismet Pasha stood before the statesmen of the civilized world and admitted that the banishment from Turkish territory of nearly a million Christian Greeks, who were two million only a few short years ago had been decreed. The Turkish Government graciously allows two more weeks for the great exodus.

The statesmen of the civilized powers accepted the Turkish dictum and set about ways to get those thousands of Greeks out of harm's way before they should meet the fate of 800,000 Armenians who were massacred in Anatolia in 1910 and 1917.

Lord Curzon then said that he wished to give some statistics in order that there might be a clear idea what was at stake. He said that figures from American sources showed that before 1914 there were 1,600,000 Greeks in Anatolia. Between 1914 and 1918 300,000 died, left the country or otherwise disappeared. Between 1919 and 1922 another 200,00 left Anatolia or disappeared. In September and October of this year another reduction of 500,000 took place leaving now 500,000 or 600,000 Greeks in Anatolia, most of whom were males between 15 and 60, to whom the Turks had refused permission to leave. "In other words" said the British Foreign Minister "a million Greeks have been killed, deported or have died."

mmmmmmm new york times, eh.

turkey invades cyprus

on this day in 1974, turkey invaded cyprus, which ties in nicely with the post below regarding Jeffrey Eugenides. Funnily enough, one of my other favorite authors, Louis de bernieres has also written about the greco-turkish troubles of recent times. This is my planned holiday read. birds without wings . I will publish my thoughts when I get back.

I seem to be drawn to this area at the moment.

Actually, I have long been fascinated by this melting pot of western civilisation. I guess it started when I toured down through mainland Greece & Cyclides on my bike. When You travel in Greece, you cannot avoid immersing yourself in Greek history. The evidence is all around you.

Later, I was suprised at the extent of Hellenic Civilisation in Asia Minor. Travelling to the west coast of Turkey and touring the mainland by car, you keep seeing ruined villages with tattered signs whispering greek names. I had not realised that up until 1919-1922, Asia Minor has been both Greek and Turk, living side by side.

Reading Heroditus also gave a fascinating insight into the area. the constant movement of people, expansion, expulsion, invasion, and emigration have been the constant themes of this area. This leads you on to realise that to a lesser extent, this process has been going on over the world since the genesis of hom. sap., and I can see no reason for it to stop. To my mind, this reinforces how ridiculous nationality and nationalism is, we all hail from the same puddle........

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Jeffrey Eugenides

just found a good interview with Mr E., which seems to point to him just being a very good author. one of the points he makes is that gender, in his opinion, is a continuum.

and his favorite author is A.A.Milne



his top ten novels?

top ten novels


I've just finished Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. wow. what a book. I feel exhausted!
it's a huge project of a book, charting the history of three generations of a Greek emigre family, and mainly from the point of view of the "intersexual" granddaughter.

Don't get me wrong, there were lulls in the story, just as there are lulls in all lives, and passages that Kim found riveting, I tired of, and vice versa. However, overall, the pace was fast enough to keep my interest.

I am now fascinated to find out if the author speaks from experience of intersexual physiology, or has just done his research very, very well.

It also leads me on to the actress Daryll Hannah. someone told me that she too was intersex. Is this true, or an urban myth?

you can find the book on amazon:-

amazon - middlesex

this page has this review:-

Wholly original and un-put-downable, May 22, 2004

Reviewer: kimbofo (no relation :D) from London United Kingdom

This book has received rave reviews, been an international bestseller and won the 2003 Pullitzer Prize for Fiction. And no wonder - it is BRILLIANT. Middlesex is wholly original and unlike anything I've ever read before.

Just look at the opening line:
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." How could you not be intrigued?

The narrator, Calliope Helen Stephanides, tells an amazingly entertaining story, tracing not only her own incredible history but that of her entire family's, beginning with her emigre grandparents, who have their own secrets to keep. By unravelling this secret, Cal is able to understand who she is and where she comes from.
This illuminating book not only explores the notions of sex and gender identity, but what it is to be a Greek-American in a racially-troubled society (a large portion of the story is set during the times leading up to and surrounding the race riots of 1967).
All in all this is a wry, humorous, moving, exhilarating and fascinating read. And it will do wonders for raising awareness of those born with this surprisingly common but largely hidden genetic mutation now referred to as "intersex"

Monday, July 18, 2005

picking periwinkles by the pier

had a superb half hour with the kids & kim, on the little beach next to mumbles pier.


This reminded me of the times I used to go there with my great grandmother, or Ma, as she was known.

We would collect periwinkles & whelks, take them home to 41 Woodville road, & boil them up on top of the stove.

Ma would then produce a pin, and proceed to eat them, one by one, dipping them in a saucer of vinegar & pepper.

I could never face eating one myself.

Martin has reminded me of the pleasure of getting a whole one out of its shell, intact, and seeing thier spiral bodies

wikipedia - Periwinkle

wikipedia - Whelk

THE RADULA OF A WHELK. This rasping organ which is used rather like a flexible file is used to graze seaweed. For a mouthpart it constitutes a formidable tool. Viewing is greatly improved by the "blue" selenite slip. The whelk radula can be mounted after extraction and cleaning from the "mouth area" by dissection and immersion in a solution of sodium hyroxide, although this substance is very caustic, and very dangerous to the eyes in particular. It should only be done by those with experience in handling caustic materials in a safe place like a fume cupboard.


the avenue

just spent 30mins trying to trace the original version of roll deep crew's cover, "the avenue"
nothing on kazzaa, nothing on google, not even in the complete british charts book :(

will try harder later.

Friday, July 15, 2005

God Speaks

NEW YORK—Responding to recent events on Earth, God, the omniscient creator-deity worshipped by billions of followers of various faiths for more than 6,000 years, angrily clarified His longtime stance against humans killing each other Monday.

"Look, I don't know, maybe I haven't made myself completely clear, so for the record, here it is again," said the Lord, His divine face betraying visible emotion during a press conference near the site of the fallen Twin Towers.
"Somehow, people keep coming up with the idea that I want them to kill their neighbor. Well, I don't. And to be honest, I'm really getting sick and tired of it. Get it straight. Not only do I not want anybody to kill anyone, but I specifically commanded you not to, in really simple terms that anybody ought to be able to understand.
"Worshipped by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, God said His name has been invoked countless times over the centuries as a reason to kill in what He called "an unending cycle of violence.""I don't care how holy somebody claims to be," God said. "If a person tells you it's My will that they kill someone, they're wrong. Got it? I don't care what religion you are, or who you think your enemy is, here it is one more time: No killing, in My name or anyone else's, ever again.
"The press conference came as a surprise to humankind, as God rarely intervenes in earthly affairs. As a matter of longstanding policy, He has traditionally left the task of interpreting His message and divine will to clerics, rabbis, priests, imams, and Biblical scholars. Theologians and laymen alike have been given the task of pondering His ineffable mysteries, deciding for themselves what to do as a matter of faith. His decision to manifest on the material plane was motivated by the deep sense of shock, outrage, and sorrow He felt over the Sept. 11 violence carried out in His name, and over its dire potential ramifications around the globe.
"I tried to put it in the simplest possible terms for you people, so you'd get it straight, because I thought it was pretty important," said God, called Yahweh and Allah respectively in the Judaic and Muslim traditions. "I guess I figured I'd left no real room for confusion after putting it in a four-word sentence with one-syllable words, on the tablets I gave to Moses. How much more clear can I get?"
"But somehow, it all gets twisted around and, next thing you know, somebody's spouting off some nonsense about, 'God says I have to kill this guy, God wants me to kill that guy, it's God's will,'" God continued. "It's not God's will, all right? News flash: 'God's will' equals 'Don't murder people.'

stolen from Nick Browne's blog "a welsh born icon"

a welsh born icon

& originally From The Onion after 9/11.

the onion article

Thursday, July 14, 2005


wahey! blog virgins loose their virginity at last!!!