Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cyclopean (part 2)

Friday, 23 July 2010

Cyclopean (part 1 - prelude)

Cyclopean (Introduction)

For some time now I have been entertaining the though that it would be an interesting challenge to attempt to translate into English certain passages from the books of the late Prof. Dimitris Liantinis. His writing style, marrying lyrical didactical prose with untranslated passages from English, German, Italian, Spanish, Ancient Greek and Latin works as well as frequent references to traditional Greek demotic poetry guarantee the daunting nature of this task.

Liantinis' was a passionate speaker and in his writings he cares nothing for political correctness. His works are highly critical, primarily focused on the Hellenic society, and have extremely high expectations from the reader. They were not written for a mass market but for a tiny minority. These are often satirical, spirited, blatantly honest works and they traverse the existential spectrum from the Apollonian to the Dionysian end, creating a  treasure chest in which he collects, pebble by pebble, his world view. His ecstasy in the face of (natural) beauty is ostensibly contagious while in his darker moments he reaches for the solace of lyrical melodic writing, not so much in order to eschew the mists, but in order to sail smoothly along these dark waters and befriend the soul with the inevitable in life. In that, his clarity of mind is of a Socratic nature.

The passage that I will start working on is "Η ΚΥΚΛΩΠΕΙΑ" (Cyclopean) from the book ΓΚΕΜΜΑ (Gemma) and it will be posted here in parts over the next few days, weeks, months, however long it takes. I intend to take a lot of liberty with the translation in my attempt to convey the essence and style of the passage to a non-greek reader instead of attempting a - virtually impossible - literal translation. It deals with the meaning of the encounter between Odysseus/Ulysses and the Cyclops Polyphemus.

The translation has been removed after the request of the copyright owner.

On the Low

Hope Sandoval singing On the Low from Bavarian Fruit Bread

Monday, 19 July 2010

Death Melon

In a galaxy far far away ...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The microwave sky

This image show below is a map of the whole sky as seen by the space mission Planck. This mission was launched in 2009 and is part of ESA's Cosmic Vision Programme. It is designed to image the anisotropies of the Cosmic Background Radiation (the "afterglow" of the Big Bang) over the whole sky with unprecedented accuracy.

The bright line bisecting the picture is the contribution from our own galaxy, viewed edge-on. The intense light comes from the radiation released by the interstellar dust and gas clouds.
Planck will test theories of the evolution of the universe and the origin of cosmic structure as well as provide insights into the nature of dark matter.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Kids and Digital Media

The prophets of doom are at it again with renewed fervour.

"PHANTOMS" who trawl the internet are the greatest threat to our children, says best-selling author Jilliane Hoffman.

Every so often we encounter horror stories about the corrupting influence these uncontrollable new Digital Media have on today's innocent youth. Fear mongering at it's most exquisite.
Everything Bad is Good for You approaches the taboos associated with the transition to the digital age from a humorous, refreshingly honest, if slightly biased (the author is a devout gamer), perspective but it is  also instructive to have a look at the summary of findings from the Digital Youth project.

"Kids' Informal Learning with Digital Media: An Ethnographic Investigation of Innovative Knowledge Cultures" is a three-year collaborative project funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, the digital youth project explores how kids use digital media in their everyday lives
 In their summary they state:

The digital world is creating new opportunities for
youth to grapple with social norms, explore interests,
develop technical skills, and experiment with new forms
of self-expression. These activities have captured teens’
attention because they provide avenues for extending
social worlds, self-directed learning, and independence.
Specifically, they stress:

Most youth use online networks to extend the friendships that they navigate in the familiar contexts of school ...  youth also use the online world to explore interests and find information that goes beyond what they have access to at school or in their local community ... youth may find new peers outside the boundaries of their local community. They can also
find opportunities to publicize and distribute their work to online audiences, and to gain new forms of visibility and reputation. By exploring new interests, tinkering, and “messing around” with new forms of media, they acquire various forms of technical and media literacy.

New media allow for a degree of freedom and autonomy for youth that is less apparent in a classroom setting. Youth respect one another’s authority online, and they are often more motivated to learn from peers than from adults. Their efforts are also largely self-directed,exploration, in contrast to classroom learning that is oriented by set, predefined goals.

Youths’ participation in this networked world suggests new ways of thinking about the role of education.
Why all the doom and gloom?