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PM Papandreou`s interview with Newsweek

Greece will decide whether or not to activate the EU-IMF support mechanism within the next few weeks, Prime Minister George Papandreou said in an interview with Newsweek magazine, on April16. 
Papandreou said that the aid package was not a programme for rescuing the Greek economy but would give Greece some “breathing space” in which to carry out necessary reforms, giving the government room to manoeuvre as it embarks on changes that would make the economy sustainable:
“We’re not looking for scapegoats. These are problems of our own making. Markets, however, take a snapshot of the day, projecting it onto the future. It’s difficult for them to evaluate the changes we are making: changes in mentality, changes in our political culture. That may take some time for the markets to realize. But we need a period of calm to make these changes happen. We just passed a new tax law, for example, that is a major revolution in our country. It’s more just and transparent, and it will target tax evaders. This will help slash our deficit. Those numbers are bound to come down”.

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Decoding the Heavens by the Antikythera mechanism

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    antikythera-mechanismJo Marchant, Decoding The Heavens, William Heinemann 2008. Humanity’s need for purpose seems universal.  Regardless of our belief system, perhaps the beginning of winter is the best time to contemplate meaning and purpose.  How affirming and humbling to realize we are still so similar to others from the past.  The Antikythera mechanism (www.antikythera-mechanism.gr), calculated the motions of the sun, moon and planets and predicted eclipses using intricate gear mechanisms created over 2000 years ago.  Now scientists are reconstructing the device and finding that ancient Greek technology was far more advanced than previously thought.  “Historians have often scoffed at the Greeks for wasting their technology on toys rather than doing anything useful with it. If they had the steam engine, why not use it to do work?” But these devices may have been “a way to get closer to the true meaning of things. To what better use could technology be put?” The size of a shoebox, the Antikythera mechanism – a mysterious bronze device scooped out of a Roman-era shipwreck at the dawn of the 20th century, off the island of Antikythera (www.antikythira.gr), has baffled scientists for years and proved to be a  calculator used by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. New Scientist (12.12.2008): Archimedes and the 2000-year-old computer; Ancient computer recreated; Nature science journal (31.7.2008): Streaming video: Antikythera

The Antikythera Mechanism Reveals its Secrets

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)      The Ionic Centre is hosting the first exhibition showcasing the renowned Antikythera Mechanism, a display which is jointly organised with the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project and the National Archaeological Museum. The exhibition which is placed under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, is taking place from October 22 to December 14. The Mechanism of Antikythera – an ancient mechanical object which has begun to be “decoded” scientifically only in the past few years – has attracted world-wide interest and re-writes the history of science and culture, not only for Greece but for the entire world. The history of this extraordinary object begins in the mid 1st century BC, when a ship loaded with artefacts and precious objects, possible heading towards Rome, sinks near Antikythera. About two thousands years later, in the spring of 1900, two fishing boats with sponge divers discover one of the most important treasures of antiquity. Filled with signs and cog wheels, it was characterized early as belonging to the family of astronomy instruments – sometimes as an astrolabe, a planetarium, an instrument used for sailing or a combination of instruments. When the first results of the Mechanism Research Project, comprising of top Greek and foreign specialists, were announced in Athens in the end of 2006, they brought about international interest – an interest which continues today. At the Ionic Centre, visitors will have the opportunity to see the mechanism as scientists see it, using the latest technology, to experiment with the calculation models that were developed and to use the software developed for making the erased engravings on its surface appear.  GoCulture.gr: The Antikythera Mechanism reveals its secrets; Nature science journal (31.7.2008): Streaming video: Antikythera

Greece: An Ancient Calculator

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The size of a shoebox, a mysterious bronze device scooped out of a Roman-era shipwreck at the dawn of the 20th century, off the island of Antikythera (www.antikythira.gr), has baffled scientists for years and proved to be a  a calculator used by the Ancient Greeks more than 2,000 years ago. Researchers yesterday announced that the Antikythera Mechanism (www.antikythera-mechanism.gr), as it is now known, could predict eclipses decades in advance and was also used to record the four-yearly cycle of the original Olympic Games.  World Media Reports – Google: Scientists unlock new secrets of Antikythera mechanism; Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Highlights

Olympic Link to a 2,100 Years Old Calkulator

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   More than a hundred years ago an extraordinary mechanism was found by sponge divers at the bottom of the sea near the island of Antikythera. It astonished the whole international community of experts on the ancient world. Was it an astrolabe? Was it an orrery or an astronomical clock? Or something else? For decades, scientific investigation failed to yield much light and relied more on imagination than the facts. However research over the last half century has begun to reveal its secrets. The Antikythira mechanim dates from approximately the 1st century B.C. and is the most sophisticated mechanism known in the ancient world. Nothing as complex had been manufactured for the next thousand years. A new paper from the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project (www.antikythera-mechanism.gr) is published in the prestige science journal Nature on July 31st 2008. It reveals surprising results on the back dials of the Antikythera Mechanism – including a dial dedicated to the four-year Olympiad Cycle of athletic games in ancient Greece. Antikythera Mechanism: Frequently Asked Questions; World Media Reports – Google: Scientists unlock new secrets of Antikythera mechanism Secretariat General of Information: World Media on Greece – Highlights