The Whole of Greece in One Smile

The Whole of Greece in One Smile

A photomontage by Kodak titled “The Whole of Greece in One Smile”, celebrating the citizens of Greece and the return of the Olympic Games to Athens, sets new Guinness World Record and wins the Gold Award in its category at the 3rd annual Effie Hellas 2004 Awards Ceremony.

The photomontage comprises 16,609 photos of the Greek community that cover a surface area of over 5,000 square feet. The montage, situated in the Athens Syntagma Square opposite the Parliament of Greece, was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest photomontage ever created, breaking the previous record – also held by Kodak – of 12,012 photos displayed at an exhibition in St. Petersburg, Russia in May 2003.

More: PhotographyBlog.

[via Boing Boing]

Tunisian opinions on delay of Arab Summit

Tunis postponed the two-day Arab summit due to start Monday 29th saying some countries rejected its proposals for democratic reforms. The foreign minister said his country regarded those issues as “non-negotiable.”

Tunisia’s decision has been hailed by its intellectuals as “the right move,” saying it was aimed to force other countries to seriously consider popular calls for democratic reforms.

It is time the Arab League took radical steps to get the Arabs out of their “miserable situations” by introducing genuine reforms, said academician Mohammed bin Omar.

“The reforms should include political plurality, promotion of women’s rights and encouraging scientific research,” he said at a forum held a day after Tunisia postponed the summit.

“The Tunisian decision came at the right time,” Omar said, adding that it would help “shake the current status quo,” and “launch serious debate over the necessity of urgent reforms” in the Arab public opinion.

“Someone should have had the courage to do that a long time ago,” said Mustpha Madani, another university professor.

“But unfortunately the Arabs disappointed us. They seem to like things the way they are,” he added, saying time will “prove Tunisia was right.”

It is now for the Arab “masses” to hold their leaders accountable for rejecting the Tunisian proposals, he said.

Poet Abdul Salam Lasaileh said he was “not surprised” by the summit suspension. “If the last 50 years have taught us anything, it is that the Arabs will never agree on anything,” he added bitterly.

“Honestly, I will not lose any sleep over it. I was certain that one day the Arabs would expose their real selves to the world – a divided and spineless nation,” he added.

Tunis “succeeded twice,” said literature critic Sahbi bin Mansour. The first time when it succeeded in hosting the 22 delegations in the run up to the aborted summit, he added.

“And the second time when it put on the table a real plan that would take us all into the 21st century on equal footing with other nations of the world,” he said.

When the Arab leaders have “something worthwhile” to do, “they are welcome in Tunis anytime”, said Mansour.

“Let’s be frank,” said poet Jelaidi Ouieni, “I am glad the government didn’t want to be part of the usual charade that is called the Arab summit.”

[Source: Gulf News]

Cuba Si, Castro No

Cuba Si, Castro No

More: RSF

[via Hou-Hou Blog]

Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel – Bush Adviser

Inter Press Service (IPS) uncovered remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 — the 9/11 commission — in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion of Iraq just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.

“Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member of a top-level White House intelligence group.” — Philip Zelikow, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) 2001/2003 [ IPS ]

[via Je Blog, Bouillabaisse]

World Best 2004 : The Best of Star Academy

I just caught WorldBest on TF1, a competition for the best of the Star Academy winners from all over the world.

I didn’t catch it from the beginning so I can’t really judge who deserved to win or not, but from the people I saw (Argentina, Chile, Russia, France), Elodie from France was the best. She sang “S’il suffisait d’aimer” originally by Celine Dion.

Bruno from Star Academy Lebanon was one of the candidates too.

Lionel Richie was the guest of honor at the show. He sang “All Night Long” with 4 of the candidates, and then sang his new song “Just For You”, which I love.

In the end, Elodie (France) won, with a duo from Canada following in second place.

Bruno from Lebanon came in at second place from the end, with only a group from Germany with less points than him.

Iraqi-Born Woman Wins Pritzker Architecture Award

Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid won the Pritzker Architecture Prize for 2004, considered the profession’s highest honor. She is the first woman to receive it.

Movement, curvature, porosity, extreme horizontal elongation: these are some of the aesthetic properties that helped to establish Ms. Hadid, 53, as a major influence in her field well before she began to build.

Ms. Hadid was born in Baghdad in 1950. She studied mathematics in Beirut before moving to London to study architecture at the Architectural Association School. After graduating in 1977, she worked with Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis at the fledgling Office for Metropolitan Architecture, a practice that subsequently moved to Rotterdam under Mr. Koolhaas’s direction. She is now based in London and is a British citizen.

For more: click here.
(NY Times link. You can get login info from

[via Antipixel]

Google Makes It Personal

After releasing local search lately, Google yesterday rolled out test versions of tools for personalized searches.

1. Personalized Search: this lets users define a personal profile by selecting from several categories, including news, science, business/industries, and computers. A search through the selected category can then be fine-tuned by using an on-screen slider tool to, for instance, bring more pertinent results to the top of the list.

2. Web Alerts: Similar to the already-in-place news alerts that Google offers, Web Alerts lets users enter a search string, and will then send a daily or weekly e-mail with links to newly discovered pages.
Google’s alerts will also include findings from its news pages and Froogle shopping site.

Google also debuted other enhancements to its general search engine, news engine and shopping engine Froogle.

I think this part of a push by all search engines towards personalizing search more and more in an effort to provide users with more useful results that are personalized to their interests and location.

Disney’s Toy Story 3 ?!

Disney is planning to make Toy Story 3 on its own as a theatrical feature after its deal with Pixar ends next year, Disney Studio Chairman Dick Cook said.

Cook did not rule out the possibility that the sequel might go directly to home video, but said, “My hunch is big screen.” He added: “I think it deserves it. These are two of the most beloved characters in the last generation. Buzz and Woody are fantastic characters, and I think that is something that would fit on the big screen nicely.”

Well, it’s true Toy Story 3 deserves to be big screen, and Buzz and Woody are great characters, but I just feel that without Pixar behind the wheel, this will be a miserable failure.

First of all, Disney suck big time in sequels. No Disney sequel has been even a fraction as good as the original.
Secondly, this is a Pixar creation, no one can do it better. They made a great first one and followed it with a great sequel.
Finally, I don’t think Disney’s 3D animations are anywhere as good as Pixars.

I think it’s a shame Disney are going to screw up something as great as Toy Story.

10 Commandments of Coffee Brewing

  1. Store unused coffee in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
  2. Always use the correct grind for the particular brewing method you have chosen.
  3. Always use freshly drawn cold water.
  4. Never guess amounts.
  5. Make sure the coffee brewer and server are clean, thoroughly rinsed and hot.
  6. For best results, always brew to the full capacity of your coffee maker.
  7. To prevent bitterness, remove the grounds from the brew as soon as the brewing process is completed. For the same reason, never re-use grounds.
  8. Serve coffee immediately after brewing.
  9. Never reheat cooled coffee or allow it to sit on a heat source.
  10. An air pot, such as a thermos or any other kind of vacuum container with a glass or stainless steel interior, will keep freshly brewed coffee warm for a long time.

[More Details: Click Here]

Eastern Standard Tribe Review

I finished reading Eastern Standard Tribe last night, and what a read that was.

As I said before, I didn’t really know what to expect before I started reading it, but the first pages gave me some high expectations, and well the book exceeded those expectations.

It’s a really fun read, and I love the way Cory portrays the future and makes it so close, so true and so believable.
I actually share the same vision he has and expect much of the same things to happen.

Also, now that I’m done with the book, the whole idea of a tribe choosing a certain time zone to live in instead of their time zone is really cool and makes a lot of sense.

Cory’s writing style is so catching and indulging. He keeps you inside of the story all throughout the book and paints the world it’s happening in around you.
This is really one of the best books I’ve read lately.

If you’re into futuristic fiction, this is a must.