Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chios massacre

Scène des massacres de Scio, Eugène Delacroix, Louvre, Paris

31 March 1822: The Chios massacre begins, lasting for the following four months

The Chios Massacre refers to the slaughter of tens of thousands of Greeks on the island of Chios by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822.
In March 1822, as the Greek revolt gathered strength on the mainland, several hundred armed Greeks from the neighbouring island of Samos landed in Chios. They began the fight for independence from foreign rule and started attacking the Turks, who retreated to the citadel. Many islanders also decided to join the revolution. However, the vast majority of the population had by all accounts done nothing to provoke the massacre and had not joined other Greeks in their revolt against the Ottoman Empire.
Reinforcements in the form of a Turkish fleet under the Kapudan Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha arrived on the island on 22 March. They quickly pillaged and looted the town. On 31 March, orders were given to burn down the town, and over the next four months, an estimated 40,000 Turkish troops arrived. In addition to setting fires, the troops were ordered to kill all infants under three years old, all males 12 years and older, and all females 40 and older, except those willing to convert to Islam.
Approximately 20,000 Chians were killed or starved to death and 23,000 were exiled or sold into slavery.
There was outrage when the events were reported in Europe. French painter Eugène Delacroix created a painting depicting the events that occurred; his painting was named Scene from the Massacres of Chios.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

World of Escher

40 years without Escher (27 March 1972)

"I try in my prints to testify that we live in a beautiful and orderly world, not in a chaos without norms, even though that is how it sometimes appears. My subjects are also often playful: I cannot refrain from demonstrating the nonsensicalness of some of what we take to be irrefutable certainties. It is, for example, a pleasure to deliberately mix together objects of two and three dimensions, surface and spatial relationships, and to make fun of gravity."

Escher on Escher: exploring the infinite (1989), edited by J. W. Vermeulen and H. N. Abrams

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ποιο 1821;

Ποιο '21; Σίγουρα όχι το '21 των "προοδευτικών" δυνάμεων ...
Υπήρξαν και κάποιοι που είχαν μάλλον διαφορετική άποψη για την τότε "φιλία των λαών".
Κάποιοι σαν τον Διάκο, τον Μακρυγιάννη, τον Παπαφλέσσα ... κάποιοι που άφησαν πίσω τους καριέρα (όχι απαραίτητα ακαδημαϊκή ...), αξιώματα και πλούτη και έδωσαν τελικά τη ζωή τους, όπως ο Υψηλάντης ... κάποιοι ανώνυμοι που τσακίστηκαν στον αγώνα και τους αποτέλειωσε η φωταδιστική εξουσία του νεολλαδικού κρατιδίου ... (ας μην ξεχνάμε ότι οι αγρότες της Θεσσαλίας με την απελευθέρωση από τον οθωμανικό ζυγό βρέθηκαν σε ακόμη χειρότερη μοίρα - χάρη στους εκσυγχρονιστές της εποχής ...)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

να γίνομαι

                                                                               Η Κλειώ και ο χαρταετός / © I.A. Daglis

νὰ γίνομαι ἄνεμος γιὰ τὸ χαρταετὸ καὶ χαρταετὸς γιὰ τὸν ἄνεμο, ἀκόμη καὶ ὅταν οὐρανὸς δὲν ὑπάρχει

Οδυσσέας Ελύτης [Ο μικρός Ναυτίλος, 1985]
με ευχαριστίες στην ΕΛ

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Ανεμώνη / © I.A. Daglis

ότι ιδού ο χειμών παρήλθεν, ο υετός απήλθεν, επορεύθη εαυτώ,
τα άνθη ώφθη εν τη γη ...

επειδή, να, ο χειμώνας πέρασε, η βροχή διάβηκε, έφυγε·
τα λουλούδια φαίνονται στη γη ...

Άσμα Ασμάτων, β' 11-12

Ανεμώνη / © I.A. Daglis

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Blue waters of the Aegean sea / © I.A. Daglis

... Dear friends, it has been granted to me to write in a language that is spoken only by a few million people. But a language spoken without interruption, with very few differences, throughout more than two thousand five hundred years. This apparently surprising spatial-temporal distance is found in the cultural dimensions of my country. Its spatial area is one of the smallest; but its temporal extension is infinite. If I remind you of this, it is certainly not to derive some kind of pride from it, but to show the difficulties a poet faces when he must make use, to name the things dearest to him, of the same words as did Sappho, for example, or Pindar, while being deprived of the audience they had and which then extended to all of human civilization.

If language were not such a simple means of communication there would not be any problem. But it happens, at times, that it is also an instrument of "magic". In addition, in the course of centuries, language acquires a certain way of being. It becomes a lofty speech. And this way of being entails obligations.

Let us not forget either that in each of these twenty-five centuries and without any interruption, poetry has been written in Greek. It is this collection of given facts which makes the great weight of tradition that this instrument lifts. Modern Greek poetry gives an expressive image of this.

Odysseus Elytis (Nobel Prize in Literature 1979), The Nobel Lecture
Elytis died in Athens on 18 March 1986

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spacecraft launchers and Robert H. Goddard

It has often proved true that 
the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow

Robert Goddard, On Taking Things for Granted, 1904

Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled (gasoline and liquid oxygen) rocket on March 16, 1926, in Auburn, Massachusetts. 

His diary entry the next day elaborated:
March 17, 1926. The first flight with a rocket using liquid propellants was made yesterday at Aunt Effie's farm in Auburn. . . 

Bronze plaque in Auburn, Massachusetts marking the town in which Dr. Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day 1932

80 years ago: Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of March holiday

The red text reads:
"The 8th of March: A day of rebellion by working women against kitchen slavery"
The grey text in lower right reads:
"Say NO to the oppression and vacuity of household work!"

Not one word about factory slavery ... of course.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


"That was the best cup of coffee I ever had", Cafe Florian, Venice / © I.A. Daglis

All the places I've been make it hard to begin
to enjoy life again on the inside,
but I mean to.
Take a walk around the block
and be glad that I've got me some time
to be in from the outside,
and inside with you.

I'm sitting on the corner feeling glad.
Got no money coming in but I can't be sad.
That was the best cup of coffee I ever had.
And I won't worry about a thing
because we've got it made,
here on the inside, outside so far away.

Ian Anderson [Inside, in Benefit, 1970]

Inside - Jethro Tull

Friday, March 2, 2012

Manipulation of reality

Enki Bilal

30 years from the death of Philip K. Dick [2 March 1982]

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. George Orwell made this clear in his novel 1984. But another way to control the minds of people is to control their perceptions. If you can get them to see the world as you do, they will think as you do. Comprehension follows perception. How do you get them to see the reality you see? After all, it is only one reality out of many. Images are a basic constituent: pictures. This is why the power of TV to influence young minds is so staggeringly vast. Words and pictures are synchronized. The possibility of total control of the viewer exists, especially the young viewer. TV viewing is a kind of sleep-learning. An EEG of a person watching TV shows that after about half an hour the brain decides that nothing is happening, and it goes into a hypnoidal twilight state, emitting alpha waves. This is because there is such little eye motion. In addition, much of the information is graphic and therefore passes into the right hemisphere of the brain, rather than being processed by the left, where the conscious personality is located. Recent experiments indicate that much of what we see on the TV screen is received on a subliminal basis. We only imagine that we consciously see what is there. The bulk of the messages elude our attention; literally, after a few hours of TV watching, we do not know what we have seen. Our memories are spurious, like our memories of dreams; the blank are filled in retrospectively. And falsified. We have participated unknowingly in the creation of a spurious reality, and then we have obligingly fed it to ourselves. We have colluded in our own doom.