I Watch TV on My PC For All the Best Movies

I am so happy I just discovered I can watch TV on my PC. Before television on my computer I was paying over $75 a month for cable. Canceling your cable service is a very pleasurable experience. The customer service representatives there sometimes say that getting tv on your PC isn’t possible. One only has to try the service for a minute to know this isn’t true.

There are several options out there. To get tv on your pc used to require additional equipment. This is no longer the case. If you have a PC and are online, then you are ready to go. All you need is a simply downloaded program. Some companies attempt to charge a monthly license fee for this software in an attempt to mimic the cable companies.

A few allow you to break the monthly payment cycle forever. Charging a one time fee only, you are perpetually able to receive satellite tv channels with no ongoing cost. Many think it sounds to good to be true. I admit I was one of them. However, seeing is believing. Not only does it work, but you would be astounded at the selection of programming.

Some programs offer up to 3000 channels. Yes, three thousand. That puts my old cable line up to shame. It is possible to receive channels from all over the globe. Watching live coverage from Rio one minute then Iraq the next is wild. It is as if a window has opened up to the world. Whether it be news, sports or movies the best of all countries becomes available right on your PC.

Friends who are rabid soccer fans are rushing to get this service now. Whatever the sport, many fans can not access their favorite games and team on regular cable television. Satellite TV on your computer allows for an incredible choice between events from all over the world. Never again will you utter that there is nothing good on to watch.

As I mentioned, the best part is that there is nothing left to pay after purchasing the initial software. Never. No ongoing monthly bills like all normal cable and satellite services entail. I read this software used to cost several hundred dollars. Some companies would charge comparable amounts to cable bills for its use each month. However, recently that has changed.

My timing was perfect because the most cutting edge package has now hit the market, and I can’t believe what a bargain it was. After confirming with the seller that it was 100% legal, the plunge was made. Download was as simple as downloading and installing any other software program.

Within minutes, I was able to watch TV on my PC. The best part is that home computers are now easily connected to televisions. Viewed this way, the amazing high def picture is fully experienced along with all sound effects. Nothing is missing except the bill. Added were several thousand channels. I wonder why anyone has cable anymore.

Media-Ocrity: Why Impartiality Is Not Their Concern

The late Terence McKenna, the American ethnobotanist and mystic, once exclaimed, “We have to create culture, don’t watch TV, don’t read magazines, don’t even listen to NPR. Create your own roadshow. The nexus of space and time where you are now is the most immediate sector of your universe, and if you’re worrying about Michael Jackson or Bill Clinton or somebody else, then you are dis-empowered, you’re giving it all away to icons, icons which are maintained by an electronic media so that you want to dress like X or have lips like Y. This is shit-brained, this kind of thinking. That is all cultural diversion, and what is real is you and your friends and your associations, your highs, your orgasms, your hopes, your plans, your fears. And we are told ‘no’, we’re unimportant, we’re peripheral. ‘Get a degree, get a job, get a this, get a that.’ And then you’re a player, you don’t want to even play in that game. You want to reclaim your mind and get it out of the hands of the cultural engineers who want to turn you into a half-baked moron consuming all this trash that’s being manufactured out of the bones of a dying world.”

Indeed, the media has been responsible for propagating the widespread misinformation we see today. This insidious plot of social engineering, whether we acknowledge this or not, can be found in tailored TV, radio and newspapers, that are filled with celebrity tittle-tattle and government propaganda, (ISIS, Syria, et al.), essentially giving their recommendations on what to wear, who you should aspire to be, and what to believe. Most of it bile with endless fear-mongering and lacking any semblance of truth.

Impartiality is not their concern, and control and obedience is, and remains their sole aim as they continue to churn out half-truths and innuendos that line a popular political narrative that stick like barnacles on a whale, to nudge and cajole a susceptible viewing public to align with one commonly held point of view.

Most people are aware of this of course, however, as social conditioning is part of the fabric of our media culture this can go unnoticed, and is transferred as if by osmosis, and we are affected regardless, unless are concerted effort is made on our part not to react in the negative. The general populace can seem so burdened by the very act of daily living, they can feel almost powerless to mount a rebellion. However, a sea of change is afoot and those among the elite know this, and the movement is now gathering pace.

What we can do now is to resist this element of mind control by refusing to listen and to explore other sources of information to keep up to date and well-informed. Turning off the TV and radio in the first instance, and in so doing taking some of our power back. Effectively shutting the hatch on the rising tide of excrement that you may hear lapping against the shutter door, but just enough to prevent it seeping through. Expunged of government and media brainwashing tactics, we will hopefully develop a clearer mind and become instinctively aware of the many injustices around the world, and by refusing to accept the status quo, potentially enable everyone to live more empowered and fulfilling lives and finally usher in the long-awaited collapse of the controlling elite.

The Acropolis – Athens, Goddess Athena

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Archaeologists tell us that the original city of Athens was situated on the Acropolis. Even in classical times, the Athenians still referred to this area as “the City.” The city of Athens and its patron goddess emerge into the light of history as inseparably coupled. In Mycenaean times each city was built around a central palace, and each palace was under the protection of its patron goddess. Athena was the goddess of the palace on the Acropolis. The names of the city and its goddess are essentially the same: Athena was Athens, and Athens was Athena. She was “The Athenian.” The ancient Athenians seem to have exhibited, during much of their history, precisely those virtues which they traditionally attributed to her. This may be because, when the Athenians imagined their goddess, they did so in their own image.

According to the myth, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful titaness, Metis (“Cunning Intelligence”). Although she repeatedly changed her shape to avoid his unwelcome attentions, as was his way, he persisted. In the end he caught up with her and raped her.

An oracle then announced that Metis would bear Zeus two children: first a daughter then, a son, and the son would be mightier than his father. Just as Zeus had once overthrown and dispossessed his own father, Chronos, so he was destined in his turn, to be overthrown by his own son. In a desperate attempt to avoid sharing his father’s fate, Zeus gave Metis a potion of drugged ambrosia, and then swallowed her whole.

Some time afterwards a terrible headache came upon him. In great pain, he sought the advice of Hermes, whose only suggestion was that Hephaestos, the smith of the gods, should open his head in order to allow the cause of his pain to escape. Zeus was so desperate that even this drastic remedy was preferable to doing nothing, and Hephaestos was duly summoned to cleave open Zeus’ head with his mighty axe. When he did so, to the astonishment of all the immortals, Athena sprang out with a great war-cry, fully-formed, wearing armour and bearing arms.

Zeus’ daughter not only became the patron of many arts at that time normally considered masculine preserves, such as ceramics, she was also credited with a distinctly unfeminine warlike nature. When the Olympian gods were faced with a titanic struggle against the giants, Athena played a major role in the war, defeating the giant Enkelados in single combat. She came to be depicted not merely as a virgin goddess, but, as an ancient Roman writer put it, as a virago: as a female capable of playing a leading role in a world dominated by men.

It came to be said that the reason for the birth of this goddess lay in a wager between Zeus and his consort, Hera, as to which of them could generate the better progeny entirely alone and unaided. By herself, Hera managed to produce only the crippled god, Hephaestos and a monster; while Zeus was able to bring forth, in Athena, one of the greatest of the Immortals.

This seems to have been a picturesque reference to a widespread belief, which was to appear later in the works of the philosopher Aristotle: that the father alone is responsible for generating his children, and for providing them with their inherited characteristics, and that their mother affords them nothing more than a temporary shelter and sustenance in her womb during her pregnancy.

This is a striking example of the strong climate of male chauvinism which dominated the early classical period in ancient Greece, which is very evident in myth and legend.

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Fanning the Flames of “Media Created” Anxiety – A Break From Unnecessary Drama

Tips for gaining control of your life…

The news media is more than a source for information and current events. It has become a “roller coaster ride” of drama and self-aggrandizement. We consumers of these presentations are swept up and our visceral anxiety responses are fanned into a frenzy. But why are swept up in this media blitz of emotion?

Since the dawning of the “Information Age” in the 1970’s, we have been steadily drawn into an escalating 24/7 need for worldwide news and the media has provided us with anxiety producing excitement from every corner of the world. Technology allows this instant communication and seems to encourage our “need to know” mentality. We “need to know” because we have a very primitive survival mechanism that stimulates our external focus on any threats, even perceived threats that may exist thousands of miles away, so our unconscious minds can protect us by preparing to fight or to flee from “danger.” When the Flight/Fight Response is triggered, our reactive, survival mechanisms take priority. We can react with “knee jerk” habitual patterns that are unique to our learned responses, but are born from the survival reaction. One major reaction that occurs for many people under threat is a reduced ability to creatively problem solve and communicate effectively. We react and often do not really think things through. When this occurs, mistakes can be made. Accidents can happen. People or projects can get hurt. Relationships can be harmed. Our world can suffer by becoming a victim to poor rational thought in cases of fear or media driven anxiety. It is an extra “heaping, helping” of annoying distractions that take us away from self-care, focus on priorities, and creative pursuits that promote productivity and well-being.

Just before 9/11/2001 our news media changed. Do you remember? About 3 months prior to the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, the television news media upgraded their reporting to include, not just a “talking head” (reporter) giving us the “news” but also text messages flying by on the bottom of the screen, and often a graphic on the left of the “talking head.” Now we have to deal with 3 sources of information simultaneously. This multi-tasking creates added frenetic anxiety in coping with this increased input. Have humans evolved to keep pace with this new use of technology? When we are threatened, we have a response that NEEDS to know what is going on around us so that we can take action and survive any threat. We are often overwhelmed. We have learned to cope by becoming unconscious regarding this media craziness. The media fights to keep our attention. The media has evolved their approach to sensationalize their coverage, to yell at us even louder, with more graphic events that “demand” our attention. Even the weather news whips us with “STORM” coverage that makes weather events major news, even when it occurs hundreds of miles away!

To combat this media blitz on our senses we must do three things. First, we must become aware that we can become victims to sensationalism that may not necessarily be an immediate threat, and filter the news so that we can respond more appropriately. Secondly, as my friend Rodger Ruge suggests, we should consider a media “Fast,” where we reduce and limit the amount of media news that we subject ourselves to. For many of us, turning off the news, especially before bedtime, would be a very good option. The third necessary step is to practice self-care and strengthen our emotional foundations by eating better, avoiding caffeine, getting regular exercise, and practicing daily relaxation.

Awareness of the media frenzy can help protect us and our children from the “overwhelm.” Since the mid 1980’s, we have been deluged by new technologies that force us to react to news and information that is swirling around us. We have experienced: pagers, fax machines, cable TV with 500 channels, Cell phones, text messaging, e-mail, internet information, changes in media coverage of world “disasters,” “robo-calls” at dinner time, and huge expectations that we are plugged in 24/7 and can respond instantaneously even when we are driving our cars…. This is crazy making! Some people can handle this gracefully, in fact, some people can thrive in this environment. But most of us are just victims to our technology and can benefit from setting some limits on the ways that we use, and react to, our technologies… We need to evolve and to create survival strategies that meet our unique, individual requirements.

Please be smart and figure out how to “not become a VICTIM” to the media and our newest technologies!

When we see natural disasters on the TV, we think that we filter the visceral effects on our survival systems, but our unconscious often reacts to the possible threats that are perceive through our visual and auditory senses. When we witness “coverage” of war zones, murders, attacks, rapes, fires, or vehicular accidents, we may believe that this does not affect us at a “conscious level,” but we are still triggering the flight/fight response in some systems at an unconscious level. Have you ever noticed your heart race or your gut tighten when confronted by news or movies? Does your neck, jaw, or back react to accidents or disasters that you witness in person or on TV? Do thoughts of “media images” ever pop into your conscious mind as you try to sleep? We are bombarded by negative media attacks almost everyday.

Do media pundits ever whip you up with their “news coverage” or editorials so that anger or fear seem to rise to the surface of you or your loved ones? This can be emotionally and physically hard on our systems…. Be aware and do not get caught up in the media circus, if at all possible.

Final note. Many people are studying and applying the principles of the “Law of Attraction” believing that goal setting and positive attitudes toward achieving these goals is essential to success. World class competitive athletes have been using these “Sports Psychology” techniques in their training regimen for decades to achieve advantages in mental preparation in their events. When we get caught in the sensationalized, negative reporting by the various media we are sapped of our positive thoughts and energy. We lose our focus on attracting success and positive outcomes. In fact, we can be overwhelmed by negativity. This can strip you of your ability to problem solve in positive and creative ways. Negative thoughts can attract negative outcomes, mistakes, and ill health. Avoiding negativity (and negative thoughts) can be a path to better health and lead to positive outcomes. “Dwell in the Light” and when you feel overwhelmed, consider turning off the negative newscasts and immerse yourself in a book or audio program, or a video that will inspire you with positive; thoughts, actions, and emotions.

Classical Athens to Modern One

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“Just as eyes are trained to astronomy, what are the ears to perceive the movements of harmony.” This quote belongs to the Athenian philosopher Plato, who possesses the highest figure in his time in the town that gave birth to democracy. The ideas around an architecture of parameters studied and balanced for a time in which the sage lived with Socrates and Aristotle differentiated way. This moment marks the zenith that Greece has had in its history, more refreshing than any other and that the Roman empire for centuries used this extension to the thinking in the West.

In these days of apathy the Athenian capital stretches slowly, but steadily. It is the epicenter of thinking, knowing and dedicated to the daily lives of its inhabitants, totaling nearly four million. Byzantine conquests enriched the past despite the political struggles that still exist between Turkey and the country and around the city today is a mixture of survival, rundown myth, and racial variety.

The desire to discover what lies beneath the ruins in  Athens  is a constant traveler who gets surprised by the way the most advanced social thought public education participates in the elitism of the port of Piraeus or small restaurants of the low of the Acropolis.

The first thing the visitor, a lover of the classical past of the city should do is make a booking in the Plaka. The hostels in  Athens , located in the winding streets of the place, offering access to the ancient Greek  city  and revolve around 10/15 Euros.

Then our meeting will begin with the city. The metro network (single ticket 0.80 EUR), tram and bus service is remarkable and is the best option (even reach the city from the airport) to scroll. To delve into classical  Athens , we know that we will move one or two areas where the development of our legs is important.

The pedestrian zone is around the Acropolis has an area of over three miles. By acquiring entry (General 12 EUR, Sundays and students free) walks around the ancient Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus by it would be advisable to begin the journey to reach the top of the polish (the acropolis). The vision of the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion (adorned with the rostrum of the caryatids) will be our reward in addition to the magnificent view it gives us the rise of the Gulf Sarano. On the hill, we will run into the theater where playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles and Aristophanes premiered many of his works, the Theater of Dionysus.

The agora to which we referred earlier, and whose function was public communication among its inhabitants, is the valley between the Acropolis and the hill of Philopappou. The latter is the eponymous name funerary monument that we cannot ignore.

In the current political  center  of  Athens  are Plato’s Academy, reconstruction of Théophile Hansen in 1887 as a library, and the National Archaeological Museum (EUR 7 general admission, free EU student). Parts like the funeral mask of Agamemnon or the Zeus of Artemision are headquartered in place, althoughm ost of the city’s treasures were looted in the colonial period and taken to other cities. See, for example, the headquarters of the Elgin Marbles, the British Museum in London.

XXI century Greeks were aware of being the origin of language, culture and pace of life, but today nothing extrapolated. The appointment of Socrates “I am a citizen, not of  Athens  or Greece, if not the world” would be understood today pursuant to globalization, but not in the sense that the teacher of Plato meant to express universal ideas a  city  and country, classical  Athens  and Greece in half the world.

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How MTV Got Started and How it Has Influenced Television Today

For many young adults, they can never imagine life without computers, music video production and reality television. Many of these things got it’s start in the 1970’s or even later. This article will discuss the history of MTV, or the music television channel that has become a staple of cable television for many households with teens or young adults. Today’s youth are much more tuned into various types of media outlets using their computers or phones to see videos on Facebook, vimby preditor, Twitter and YouTube. It all started in 1977 with a small cable TV network that had a show called Sight On Sound in Columbus Ohio.

This show was a new concept as a music channel that featured concerts as well as music oriented TV programs. It was the first two way cable TV program where viewers could call in and vote for their favorite song or artist that was being shown on the program. This cable network also had other programs like a children’s show but the one that really became popular was the music channel. Viewers had never been able to see a concert or see a band interviewed on TV before unless they went to a concert themselves so it was a great new concept. With this increasing popularity, the network changed their format in 1981 to be called MTV-music television.

The original idea of MTV was to model it after the top 40 radio shows, putting on the best pop rock bands at the time. Instead of having a disc jockey like they did on the radio, they hired several young hip hosts to introduce the videos and called them VJ’s as in video jockeys. Some of these original VJ’s on MTV ended up being celebrities in their own right from the enormous amount of exposure that they got from being on MTV at the start.

Because music videos started out as just someone recording the band playing music, many film directors got involved and started creating a much more elaborate concept for the videos. They took a song and made almost a small movie type of clip that told the story of the song. This is how many of these film directors that went on to be quite famous got their first start, making music videos. With the increasing popularity of this channel and the new wave of music videos playing in the early 1980’s, the network created the MTV Music Video Awards in 1984. This was a way for the music industry to showcase some bands in a more hip and alternative way than the Grammy’s offered.

MTV soon started adding other types of shows on the channel like animated cartoons for the adolescent and young adult crowd, and they were the first ones to have a reality show creating the concept of the Real World where they had several young adults live together and have their lives filmed while adjusting to each other and a new city. MTV pioneered many of the popular shows that young adults continue to watch today.

Athens – Ancient Athens

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Let us try and bring to mind a picture of  Athens  as the ancients might have known it, drenched in diaphanous light, its arid mountains protecting it from the north winds and harsh weather, with the beauty of the Acropolis thrown into relief by the sun and the delightfully modest houses at the foot of the great rock. An  Athens  free of noise other than the voices of children and pedlars in the narrow streets. An  Athens  to be dreamed of.

That’s what it must have been like in the Age of Pericles, when the city was already very ancient. Research shows us that the area around  Athens  has been inhabited since the neolithic age, as testified to by artifacts found in wells near the Areopagos (Mars’ Hill) on the south side of the Acropolis, and in the Agios Kosmas peninsula near Alimos. The original inhabitants were then joined by waves of new settlers, Carians, Leleges and finally Pelasgians, mainly tribes of IndoEuropean origin. The intermingling of all these peoples contributed to shaping the Hellenes, with their contradictory temperament and frequent conflicts.

Sometime around the late 9th or early 8th century BC, Hesiod and Homer gave us the first myths, exaggerated, heroic tales which provided a glimpse of the kind of society where everything was dependent on an unknown divinity. During subsequent generations, these gods and heroes underwent many sea-changes in the service of local, often political needs. Myth may be a wonderful depiction of the world but it was also the easiest way for simple people to learn about their history. Thus the early inhabitants believed that their leaders-who sometimes took peculiar forms-were descended from the gods. Even their names can be explained in the light of societal needs.

Then gradually, over a period of time, the leaders ceased to be supernatural, and began taking on more human dimensions. And the people themselves, as they acquired knowledge of the outside world from the sea routes, stopped being afraid of the otherworldly and began to wonder about the world. It is a fascinating experience to watch myth evolving hand in hand with the development of a people and to discern historical truth through an imaginative construct.

Thus Kekrops and Erichthonios, the first kings of  Athens , were strange creatures, half-man and half-snake, whose form portrayed how they had sprung from the Attic soil. Kekrops had brought in master craftsmen, the Pelasgians who, having built a strong Acropolis, stayed on to settle round it. Names ending in -ttos or -ssos appear to have been Pelasgian, such as the Ilissos, Kefissos, Hymettos, Lycabettos, Ardettos; they are all geographic landmarks (mountains, rivers) which remain prominent in the topography of  Athens  up to the present day. Likewise, it was Kekrops who selected the goddess Athena as protector of his city, after whom he named it. It should be noted that some scholars believe the name of the goddess to have been derived from the Egyptian word aten.

With respect to Erichthonios, mythology provides us with a number of illuminating details. It is said that Hephaestos, the lame blacksmith of the gods, wanted to join in union with Athena, the great goddess of knowledge, but she drew back from his loving embrace and the divine seed fell on her legs. She then rubbed her leg with a swatch of the wool she was spinning and threw it to the ground. But whereas Athena refused the seed of the god, the Earth received it and thus did Erichthonios spring forth.

The Athenians always had a particular affection for their founding father in his snakish form: they built him an exquisite temple, the Erechthion, which priests made sure was constantly supplied with offerings of honey cakes. In some myths, Erichthonios is called Erechtheas; in others Erechtheas is the grandson of Erichthonios and in a third version, Erechtheas has come from Egypt. Perhaps all these versions represented attempts to explain the successive waves of colonists inundating the Aegean during those turbulent years.

If we seek to unravel the threads of the myths, then the truth emerges in all its radiance. The name of Erichthonios shows us his origin: eriochthon means wool-earth, i.e. born of the earth and from it. His descendants intermarried with peoples from Thessaly whose genealogical tree shows their founding father to have been Prometheus. He was the wise Titan who gave mortals the gift of fire, i.e. the light of knowledge-previously the exclusive realm of the gods or perhaps of some priestly brother hood- and for this reason was cruelly punished on a rock in the Caucasus.

It was Prometheus’ son Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha who brought the human race back to life in the mountains of Thessaly after the great flood. His grandson was Hellene. Today we know that the Indo-European Aryan tribes, after discovering the use of metals somewhere in the Caucasus, learned to craft strong weapons. Some tribes spread out into central Europe and the Balkans, some remained to take advantage of the good grazing lands while others pressed on southward.

The initial root began to put forth many branches as Hellene, grandson of Prometheus, had sons who were quite different one from the other. There were Aeolos, Xouthos and Doros, who gave their names to Hellenic tribes in later years. Xouthos, which means “the fair”, was quite distinct from the early Athenians who had the darker skin of the Aegean peoples. He was to marry Kreousa, the granddaughter of Erechtheas: their children were named Achaeos and Ion, the forefathers of the later Hellenes. Another variation of the myth had Ion as the offspring of Apollo’s secret liaison with the same princess. This detail helped advance the mythic cycle from the primeval, with its demonic forms of nature, evolving into humanized deities like Apollo who led man to thought, poetry and philosophy.

Many modern historians believe that the later Hellenes came from Pindus, on the border between Thessaly and Epirus. This fits in admirably with the Attic myths about the genealogy of their kings and the various intermarriages, documenting the arrogance of the ancient Athenians toward the other inhabitants of the region, since from the very outset, gods would frequently come down and intermingle with the mortals, lending a divine dimension to many conjugal dramas.

We know that the first inhabitants of the Attic earth were cultivators, but its poor, arid soil made them turn toward the sea. The story of Theseus who volunteered to go to Crete and kill the Minotaur, delivering  Athens  from the terrible annual tribute of youths sent to feed the insatiable monster, may perhaps be telling us about the Athenians’ first great campaign at sea and their independence from a ruling naval power.

From then on, Theseus never stopped traveling, like all those who, having once experienced the vastness of new horizons, could never thereafter remain closed within narrow confines. He went with the Argonauts to the Pontus (Black Sea), fought against and defeated the imperious Amazons, winning their queen, and taught the spoiled Centaurs a hard lesson in good behavior. But he also took care of his own region, joining together little individual townships into a large and powerful confederacy, with temples in which gods and ancestors were worshiped and with a citadel for security against jealous neighbors.

Theseus was possibly a historic figure who, over the passage of centuries, has become wrapped in the glory of myth to serve domestic expediencies and presented as the scion of the divine race of Ion. A hero who was also a demi-god was always more impressive than just a worthy leader; the inhabitants of the city favored with such a leader would feel special and try to emulate him. Thus the descendants of the first Athenians began their fearless exploration of the sea. As they succeeded in guaranteeing their livelihood, their numbers grew; they learned, became wealthy and expanded their activities around the Mediterranean coasts, creating bridgeheads of commerce and free thought. The colonizers of the east side of the Aegean were called Ionians; and it was there that the ideas of philosophy, the principles of human rights, ethics, metaphysics and the harmony of the universe were born.

Economic ease created a new order of things. Until then, the head of the largest family had been king; but when other men gained power through trade, they too claimed the right to a voice in government, thrusting aside the custom of the hereditary monarchy. A special place was needed for the exchange of commodities and this was how the Agora (market) grew up. The meetings of the local people with strangers made it necessary for them to learn how to develop convincing arguments; from this need sprang the art of rhetoric.

The interests of the people had to be protected. As there were already a great many people, the proper role models had to be found on whose example they could shape their behavior, which at its most sublime moment, led to the formulation of laws by Solon the Sage in the 6th century. Developments in the administrative system were accompanied by cultural progress. The local clay was used to make ceramics which, while initially serving the needs of daily life, soon became objects of trade and then developed into works of art, since men, having assured themselves of the necessities, now sought the beautiful. Athenian potters began producing enormous grave amphoras with austere ornamentation, dominated by Greek key designs and shadowy figures. Black-figured vases were the next phase, with their stylized silhouettes; these evolved into the marvelous red-figured vases which sometimes bear the craftsman’s name under vivid compositions depicting moments from the lives of gods and men.

The gods were worshiped in stately stone temples decorated with marble statues that replaced the earlier idols. The myths became overlaid by a multitude of heroic details, as gods and mortals alike came alive in a new form of ceremony which took place in the theater. Meanwhile, more and more Athenian ships were sailing to and fro in the Mediterranean, carrying new developments and provoking envy in other lands which rapidly turned into the desire of foreign leaders for conquest and expansion. The result was the Persian wars at the beginning of the 5th century BC.

The decisive military confrontation at sea and  Athens ‘ defeat of the Persians in the battle of Salamis, promoted  Athens  to a position of foremost power and intellectual leader over the other Hellenes, much to Sparta’s great annoyance. The Athenians, having acquired the social comfort that accompanies economic prosperity, had by then developed the versatility of thinking people with freedom of opinion and political views. On the contrary, the strapping sons of Sparta remained products of a rigid military education and attitude. Thus, when the gold-bedecked invaders, decimated and in tatters, retreated back into the hinterlands of Persia,  Athens  justifiably assumed a position of preeminence, achieved greatness which culminated in the classical age, and produced works of eternal beauty which have remained vital until the present day. It caused the historian Thucydides to prophesy that if ever the two great adversaries  Athens  and Sparta were someday lost, everybody would know where  Athens  had been by its wonderful monuments whereas Sparta would have left not a trace to remind people of its once great power.

These wonderful monuments were what roused military Sparta’s ire and ultimately led to the armed confrontation. Like all civil wars, the Peloponnesian War was devastating and, unbeknownst to anyone at that time, it signalled the beginning of the end for the proud  city  of  Athens . This was a slow decline which lasted for centuries; it saw insults and passions, tyrannies and uprisings, flaming rhetoric and objections; it saw  Athens  yielding to the Hellenes of the North, the Macedonians, and finally its subjugation by the Roman legions. All this occurred in the shadow of the Parthenon, at a time when the theatres continually presented works by playwrights whose names would become renowned throughout history, and when Athenians would gather under the colonnades of the Agora to listen to the wandering philosophers and discuss the current political situation.

The Christian religion which was slowly spreading hope of deliverance among oppressed peoples, began to gain followers while the philosophical schools were still full of young people seeking enlightenment on questions of rhetoric, the written word and even theology. One of the most famous students of these schools (4th century A.D.) was Julian, later the Byzantine emperor who came to be known as the Apostate because of his attachment to pagan religion; others were Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, future Fathers of the Church. The philosophical schools of  Athens  functioned until the 6th century, at which point Justinian closed them by decree, perhaps because freedom of philosophic thought conflicted with the dogmatism of what had become the state religion. At this point,  Athens  entered the Dark Ages.

Deprived of its intellectual nourishment, the city was gradually forgotten, destined to continue its progress through time as an insignificant village, the roads of which were studded with pieces of marble from statues that had been smashed by fanatics remembering the heathen past of this once-great city. It was this past that made the official Byzantine state neglect the birthplace of art and beauty, which they regarded as a dangerous incitement to those who tended to disagree with the medieval terms of immortality. The religious exaltation of the period could in no way be reconciled with the frivolity of the ancient gods and thus Christianity’s fight for dominance was a tough one without concessions or exceptions.

In the 13th century, when the Crusaders transferred their need for expansion to the East, thinly disguised under a veil of religion, knights who had been excluded from the division of the conquered lands fanned out over the Aegean and around the coasts snatching land by brute force. During the years that followed, the Franks and Catalans established their principalities in Attica and fought to keep them safe from the rising power of Islam. All during this time, the few remaining residents of  Athens  were simply struggling to survive, as they sank ever deeper into the lethargy of illiteracy, poverty and obscurity. The rest of Europe welcomed the educated Byzantines who had fled after the fall of Constantinople (1453), and this infusion of new culture helped push forward the Renaissance, contributing substantially to what we now know as Western civilization. But at that time, this forgotten corner of the earth was not even called Hellas, even though from time to time, travellers would fill tour journals with notes about the monuments, carved stones and inscriptions they had seen on the ground along the pathways of Attica.

It was these descriptions which awakened the memories of Hellas and soon the travellers would start coming in earnest to look, dig and depart in order to send others in ever greater numbers. The Ottoman conquerors, gazing down indifferently from the heights of the Acropolis, where they had established themselves for security reasons, looked condescendingly upon those who came to do research, while the suspicious local population tried to make some money by helping those people whom they, in their ignorance, termed “silly strangers”. In the mid- 18th century, lists had already begun to circulate around Europe of the most significant Greek monuments; some of these lists were even accompanied by drawings. By the early 19th century a few collections of the plunder had already been established.

The French Revolution brought a different atmosphere to the intellectuals of Europe. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity became accepted values. Romantic verses by Lord Byron brought back to the Western mind the memory of Hellenic culture associated with this part of the Balkans, rather than the Greece that had become known through the wealthy Greek merchants in various cities of Europe. Thus the news that the Greek War of Independence had been proclaimed fell on fertile ground and the voice of the enslaved Greek nation was heard once again after centuries of silence, inspiring artists to paint episodes from the desperate struggle waged by the few descendants of the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae. The scene depicting a mounted, turbaned warrior fighting against an impassioned footsoldier. In his fustanela inspired a sense of heroism and the confrontation between life and death, as well as awakening feelings of anger against the oppressors and support for the oppressed.

In June 1822, the Greeks captured the Acropolis and made it their command post, while the struggle continued with an uncertain outcome on all fronts. Five years later, Kiutahis Pasha had recaptured the citadel in a last ditch effort to suppress the revolution. But the Great Powers of the times formed an alliance -either because they wanted to bow to public opinion or because they were counting on gaining influence in the new independent state in the strategic Mediterranean region, or because they regarded the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire as inevitable-and in the decisive battle of Navarino, it was they who administered the final blow to the Sultan, which gave Greece her freedom.

As soon as it gained its independence, the newly constituted state became an apple of discord for European politicians, while the dusty village of  Athens  was, as a matter of courtesy, designated capital. Still reeling from their bloody fight and from the heady feeling of freedom, the Greeks were struggling to rediscover their identity, and at the same time to wipe out the taint of slavery. They wore European clothes, avoided the brigand-riddled mountains and began building mansions that resembled their monuments. The simple people were awed by the fact that their huts had been built on the settlements and graves of their forefathers and began to be aware of themselves as constituting part of a long, unbroken chain. They all started tearing down, clearing away, digging up and restoring. At last, the Attic earth was ready to surrender its treasures and ideals to humanity.

It was in this way that Greek archeology, the new science of antiquities, was born.

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The Evolution of Marketing Channels for Digital Media

Caleb hangs his back-pack up everyday when he comes home from middle school. He kicks off his shoes, uses the bathroom, maybe fixes himself something to eat. The remote control gets grabbed, but mainstream TV is not what comes on the screen. Through the Sony Google Net Box, Caleb dials up a list of YouTube videos. He is absorbed as he watches one video after another and then another and another. By time his parents tell him to shut it off and get to his homework, not one single network program has been viewed. The sixth grader can’t tell you what’s on Nickelodeon. Cartoon Network has no influence. YouTube’s immense collection of videos about video games and random funny stuff are his poison.

Caleb’s parents are beginning to wonder about the benefits of keeping cable. Besides the diminishing cable TV interest of their son, the cable company recently decided to take away a few more channels and make them exclusive on the premium package. This came only too soon after another hike in their monthly rate. The combination of cable, Netflix and occasional Red Box now has the parents paying more on home entertainment than ever before. If the family can become more dependent on their Sony Box, then all they’ll have to pay for is the internet service (and possibly Netflix.) Ether way, the impact of YouTube and other video hosting platforms will probably serve as the tipping point in their decision.

Recent advantages in technology have added fuel to this video watching revolution. New video hosting platform websites have been popping up all over. HTML 5 and its built-in video player make it easy for anyone with server space to show off videos. Digital media distributors can provide and package the means for anyone to create their own video hosting platform website. Sites that used to just let you showcase photos are now bursting with video.

Because of all of this, marketing through digital channels now takes on a whole new look. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and other organizations now use video to increase results; and they do it by providing their content to video hosting platform sites like YouTube, Daily Motion, Metacafe and Vimeo. In turn, they share the content through the platform to other sites, apps and blogs, giving the good content out there legendary status. Internet celebrities are discovered overnight. Going viral is now a worthy quest.

The challenge for marketers is how to stand-out when sharing content. Successful ways have included the ever-present list making and interactive ranking. Through the convenient application of embed-able mark-up offered at these hosting platforms, website owners all around the WWW are listing and ranking their top video picks. Even the larger media outlets have joined in the game (see Fox News, Billboard, and USA Today.) Some of the sites doing a consistently good job at listing the best online videos are: mashable.com, Wikipedia and Huffington Post (now operating their own platform – aol.com.) For those not entertained by a mere list, there are ranking/rating sites that get viewers involved. In addition to the video platform hosts offering their own ways for visitors to interact, some of the more relevant high brow social media sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and Digg use the power of collective judgment to filter up the best quality viral video. Other fun video watching sites like Funny or Die and Blip tv let their audiences select winners and losers of popular online videos.

The landscape of entertainment is changing. Soon the myopic conduits of television content will be replaced with the fluid and dynamic content channels that stem from the World Wide Web. With the influx of new devices and brilliantly easy HTML coding, the ability to provide better-than-ever variety and quality will become the standard norm.

Cheap Athens Hotels

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 Athens  is the capital  city  of Greece, having a population of close to 5 million people. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. Whenever people talk about  Athens , there is always a mixture of feelings between love and hatred.

People love  Athens  because there are so many things to do. To name a few, there are museums, theatres and concert halls. There are also fashion shops, cinemas, modern shopping centres and also nightclubs and bars. On the other side, it is a very big city and the traffic jams and pollution can be very bad at times. In general, it seems that most people still love to visit  Athens .

Like most hotels in other countries, the hotels in  Athens  are divided into several categories with 5-Star being the most luxurious and 2-Star being the most economical. However, it is worth to note that the difference in categories does not mean that one hotel is better than the other. This is because there are different levels within each category. I have come across 2 cheap hotels in  Athens  which are low-price but are of high quality and value for money.

Attalos Hotel

The 2-Star hotel is located in the heart of  Athens  and close to the Kotzia Square and Parthenon. Next to it is the Monastiraki Flea market and Metro Station and it takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Acropolis. There is a rooftop cafe which is air-conditioned. From there, you can have a nice view of the Parthenon. The hotel also provides free wireless internet access in case you need to check your emails. At Attalos Hotel, you get to enjoy top quality services at a very low price. There is also a safe in the room so that you do not have to worry about your valuables.

 Athens  Cypria Hotel

This 3-Star hotel is located in  Athens  and has 115 well furnished guest rooms. In the room you can find a refrigerator, a mini-bar, a direct dial-out phone, a television with satellite channels and a safe. Free wireless internet access is also available should you need to surf the net or check your emails.

Both hotels are cheap but are of high quality. During off-peak seasons, it costs only less than $80 per night with free internet access. If you plan to visit  Athens  in the near future and are not sure where to stay, the 2 hotels might be an additional option for you.

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The Power of Social Media in a Globalised World

Much has been talked about globalisation, its pros and cons, its promises and failures, and how it can or cannot help developing countries follow the trajectories of development charted by those who have already achieved the distinction of being officially called the ‘developed nations’. The debates have centred on pure economics of it: the merits or otherwise of market economics based on international trade and investment, with resource allocation mediated by international free market forces. In more sense than one, globalisation is not new – even before the Europeans rode the high tide of globalisation, Chinese and Indian traders dominated the globalised market of pre-medieval world.

There are three important factors that are overlooked in most discourses on the current round of globalisation, although these have potential to make significant impact on the lives of billions of people in poor countries which globalisation has simply passed by. First, when Britain and America led their brand of globalisation in the eighteenth to the twentieth century, they ensured that they were themselves not ‘globalised’ – they developed their domestic market and capacity of the masses to play their role in the market. This helped in broadening and deepening the effects of globalisation by making sure that the benefits were not confined to the rich and the moneyed who went out to ‘globalise’. That unfortunately is not happening in many of the poorer countries now where millions of people remain disenfranchised, and too incapacitated to play their role in a global market.

The second most important departure from previous globalisations, and perhaps the one that holds out the most prospect for the poor and the powerless, has been in the concept of global rights, especially in the global policy regimes on rights to development and application of humanitarian laws. Just as the current chapter of globalisation drew the world closer in terms of free market mechanism and unfettered capital flows, it also brought about a realisation that basic rights to protection, assistance and development as enshrined in different human rights conventions and international humanitarian laws needed global application. These are often referred to as second generation rights involving universal minimum welfare entitlements, as opposed to the first generation rights which relate to individual liberty and freedom on which an universal consensus ideology is yet to emerge. You could not have economic growth and prosperity for some, while turning a blind eye to the denial of basic rights to life and protection for a large majority of the world. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and reshaping of the international aid architecture following the Monterrey consensus are part of this global agenda. MDGs are not just wish lists for donor agencies or governments, but reflect commitments to ensure that various instruments under the international humanitarian laws and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) are met by the governments in the first instance.

For the first time in the history of humanity, the language of rights entered the frame of discussions and policy making at national and international levels in the past decade. The economic, social and cultural rights include a number of claims, like claims to social security and a certain standard of living, including claims to adequate food, clothing, housing, health care, sanitation, education, etc. Prior to this, despite having various conventions and protocols agreed and ratified by governments, these hardly provided any strong reference point when it came to implementation, especially in developing countries. The introduction of rights in development discourse recognised that access to good healthcare is not just something a good government ought to provide, it is a right of the villagers who never see their health workers visit the derelict primary healthcare centre to demand it. Likewise, when the devastating Tsunami hit the Indian Ocean area, the affected families in the Tsunami-hit areas had a right to receive assistance in the form of food, shelter and livelihoods from the national governments and from the international humanitarian agencies like the UN, the International and national non-government organisations. It is no longer the case of ‘a good government’ doing a favour to its chosen subjects, nor a poor woman surviving on the generosity of a large-hearted non-government organisations (NGO). There are rights, duties (duty of care) and obligations that come into the equation. Thanks to globalisation that triggered this global thinking.

This has been the most significant achievement of globalisation: the recognition of individuals as ‘subjects’ of international law, and so of international concern, and bringing into the development equation the economic, social and cultural rights which national and international development processes ought to strengthen.

Thanks to globalisation, global media and public opinion, the renewed commitment to providing basic needs of life and livelihoods as a matter of right has meant that governments can no longer hide behind the curtain of sovereignty and still maintain a facade of a nation which tramples upon the rights and liberties of individuals. China could get away with Tiananmen massacre in 1989, but Chinese businesses and government would shudder to think what would become of their global dreams if the same were to occur in the 21st century. It is globalisation again which by leveraging public scrutiny of war crimes now enables international governance to bring to book perpetrators of crimes against humanity in the International War Crimes Tribunal.

Finally, it is globalisation again which has made the world flatter by democratising technology. That you and I, and billions others, can communicate in real time, although separated by a distance of tens of thousands of miles, and that we ordinary folks can have the same access to vital information which in the past would have been handed down to us from those who rule and govern us, mean that each one of us now have tremendous power to influence the world. After the Haiti earthquake, we saw social media, (the facebook, twitter, Digg, Myspace to name a few) play a vital role in bringing out the reality and gravity of the situation through numerous stories and eye-witness accounts as the situation started unfolding from day one, including where aid agencies were failing in reaching out to the affected communities. Five years ago when the Tsunami happened in Asia, we were relying on the big newspapers and TV channels to bring us stories, which sometimes were either late or only covered areas the TV cameras could reach. After the Haiti earthquake, through the millions of blogs and micro-blogs, we saw millions of concerned citizens the world over expressing their solidarity with the victims. Through these, we also saw a more extensive and mature portrayal of the crisis that was unfolding: the catastrophic destruction and damages aside, we also saw the challenges in providing any rescue or relief operations, the lack of infrastructure for providing relief and why aid was slow in reaching out to the affected communities, real time stories of what the humanitarian response was or wasn’t doing. We were no longer relying solely on the news that the governments, established media and aid agencies were dishing out to us. That was a remarkable transformation in a short span of five years.