Sunday, 4 November 2012

Athens: Social Meltdown

Text from original site

Dr Dimitris Dalakoglou explains the social meltdown which took place in Greece between May 2010 & June 2012 that is on going. This film contains videos and photos shot on the streets, often containing violence and paints a portrait of widespread economic hardship endured by a cities inhabitants. This film is part of an ongoing research project, which looks at the rapid structural changes which Greece is undergoing.
Produced & Directed by Ross Domoney
Interview: Dimitris Dalakoglou
Filmed, Photographed & Edited by Ross Domoney

My personal comment is that you have to notice that the policemen are dressed for combat. Also, they concistently throw military grade tear gases that are not allowed even for war and they are they same kind that the Israel army uses. Additionally, most of the people they fight with molotof are govorment funded units  (some them being the police itself) with a role to provoke and in the aftermath destroy every demonstration in violence. All the above have been going on for years now with incremental increase of violence towards unsuspected people, young and old people.

Greece doesn't have a demogratic regime for too long. However believes otherwise he doesn't understand that in a democracy first and foremost, the goverment fears the people and not the other way around. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Blue Gold - World Water Wars

I incresingly believe that water will be o horrible issue that my generation and the next one will have to deal with.
Unfortunatly, most of northern europe has to my knowledge privatized water and it is really expensive. Additionally, for some reason people hear drink huge quantities of sparkled water as if it existed before normal tap water. Regardless of the kind of the bottled water, it is really expensive without having an actual reason for this.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Flow: For Love of Water

A multi awarded documentary about the destructive practises of multinational coorporations in the water industry.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Manowar - Elgringo

Manowar released their latest album named The Lord Of Steel. The Gods of Metal are back! Thank you!!!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

From a press conference in Ireland

This is from a press conference in Ireland. The title of the this video says, "one more video that the media hasn't shown".

Of coarse it hasn't been shown. Media all across the world are sold out and display only what their master wants or what they want in case they are the master.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Wind raises 747

The airline is missing the four jet engines so it is lighter. Then again it is still impressive!

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Finally the Catastroika is available here from the team of Aris Xatzistefanou and Katerina Kitidi.

You can watch here with English susbtitles

The site is also available in

Monday, 9 April 2012


All latin based languages had it easy with computers because their letters were common and actually present in English when computers became available.
In Hellas before Unicode, we had a lot of issues with the codepages, so initially when we wanted to make sure that our text would be readable by other parties, we used latin characters to write down the words. Because, we have been using for ages the term Greek for our nationality, this form of writing became known as Greeklish.

I started communicating heavily throught computers at the age of sixteen around 1996. As every other person, I used Greeklish to communicate and I didn't care much about the harm I was doing to my language, mainly because I was a teenager and I was never good with languages. Some years later when cell phones became available, the first devices were serioulsy lacking the Hellenic characters support. So everybody and especially the youth was texting in Greeklish which they continiued with the im-texting frenzy that followed the same period.

Unicode was widely adopted around 2001 if I remember correctly, but even aftwerwards corporate world used Greeklish because of limited knowledge and because external partners couldn't always read the emails. I still know past colleagues, that when writing internal emails they will automatically write it in Greeklish.

During 2001 I did my first thesis for the university. Then I realized how much damage I had already done with the Hellenics. So I started using the Hellenic character set as much as I good and steadily became annoyed when reading greeklish. Around 2003 I became a member of a technology forum and wrote in hellenic as an effort to improove my forsaken skills in my mother tongue. There was a debate on the same year about whether the Hellenic language should become a rule for valid posts, which I voted for, even though I did a lot of proofing mistakes. And I wasn't the only one. Luckily ADSLgr was actually the first big forum in Hellas that dissallowed the usage of Greeklish and this helped with the cause. 

From my experience I can understand how harmful it is for children writing in greeklish. Hellenic charcter set and language is richer and more difficult than the latin one. When writing in greeklish, proofing is really simplified because combinations of character or different characters or letter for the same sound are reduced to one latin character. It is really easier and this part of the reason I originally accepted it. But this is the reason why people forget their original mother tongue and thus their culture and history. As a kid I used to write Hellenic without proofing errors. Sadly now I can't and I'm to dependent on proofing tools. Even so, my original blog is filled with proofing errors and a lot of friends have been complaining about this.

If you are Hellenic or your mother tongue uses non lating based charcters and you are using a form of greeklish to communicate, please stop. Language and culture is part of our heritage and should at least be respected. And this is comming from a guy that is not that fond of culture.

Hellas and Hellenic. Not Greece neither Greek

I am a Hellenic citizen. I have a Hellenic nationality.
Official international name of my country is Hellas and not Greek. Greek is sadly a name that has been stack with Hellenic people, from the years of Turkish occupations. It meens something between slave and the one who is occupied. It is name actually given by Turks to the Hellenic people the occupied.

Sadly thing about this is that we as a nation don't seem to care much about the etymology of the world. Although all international references are based on the world Hellas (Ελλάδα), we as Hellenes always try to hurt our heritage. I also did this error, although in the past I had been informed about the importance of the subject.

All my CVs and all my initial presentations were referencing the Greek nationality which is completely wrong. I was thinking about this and I decided I need to change this. The difficult part will be to all the people that I have already been indroduced as Greek, including my colleagues.

At some point we as Hellenes should start trying to protect our heritage that we so often call upon. Naming is one thing. Also greeklish,a form of writing greek using the latin characters to write down the words based on sound, is also exremely bad for our culture. Also guilty about this subject but this I will analyze with another post.

Soldiers without name (Anonymous/Telecomix)

This is the latest production/documentary released by Warzone . This is an internation show about internation matters. This show is about the Anonymous and Telecomix groups and freedom in the internet and real world. 
Although the production is Hellenic and there are parts that are in Hellenic, because Warzone usually deals with internation matters, in most of the show guests speak in English. Only the guy with the white blouse and ski mask, speaks in Hellenic language but he is not saying something completely different from the rest of the show. 
Also there is a part about the attacks in Hellenic goverments sites, which is also mainly in the Hellenic language. As long as you can endure the Hellenic subtitles, I think this show is really interesting. Warzone is a show with many internation awards.

Funny thing is that the show is host on one of the two most anti-people interests channels in Hellas.

Painting on Water

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The 600 Years

The 600 Years from the macula on Vimeo.
Mapping during 600 years anniversary of the astronomical tower clock situated at Old Town Square in center of Prague.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Star Trek - Head Pong

How patents monopolies eork in reality, outside of the fairytale land.

I just read this article about pattents. Really easy to understand.

There is a fairytale about how a poor, lone inventor can come up with something fantastic, file a patent monopoly on it, and get insanely rich through that patent monopoly. Like all fairytales, it’s a beautiful story, but still a fairytale. Outside of children’s books, the patent monopoly system makes sure that no disruptive inventors or inventions can threaten the current giants in the slightest. Here’s how it works in reality.
Let’s assume you’ve invented a new and amazing wrench. It’s going to save a lot of hard labor through a new mechanical leverage, translating into real profits. Usually, to get this idea, you’ve gone through school and studied a lot of mechanical knowledge that was discovered before your time, but still, let’s go with the myth of the completely independent and alone inventor here. So you’re a lonely poor genius inventor, working in a poorly-ventilated dark basement (perhaps contributing to creative thought through its lack of oxygen but enrichment of other exciting chemicals).
So you want a patent, or patent monopoly, on this wrench. (Patents are usually referred to asexclusive rights. To put this lawyerspeak in a more graspable language, exclusive rights are a monopoly in everyday speak, and this is the term I’ll use.)
The first shock comes at the price of the lottery ticket. To just apply for a patent monopoly in Europe, the typical cost is 50,000 euros. Did you have that stashed away in your basement? If so, why are you calling yourself poor, and why were you living in a basement in the first place? This is the first barrier to make sure that only the current rich corporations can afford patent monopolies and use them against cash-strapped upstarts.
But let’s assume that you magically have 50,000 euros that you can spend on this, and get to take part in the patent monopoly lottery. Let’s even assume that the patent monopoly is approved and granted (which is quite a bit like the odds on winning on a lottery ticket, and just as scientifically predictable).
What happens then?
Nothing. Nothing much.
Except some huge SinghCorp in Bengali may all of a sudden start manufacturing your wrench in large volumes. Not that they’re paying you anything. Or even telling you about it. You’re going to need to find out what’s going on in an obscure market on another continent all through your own efforts.
So assuming you magically discover that this is going on, you contact SinghCorp and demand royalty payments and damages, only to get laughed at in the face. “And what do you plan to do about that?”, they respond.
This is where the next shock sets in as to how rigged the system is in favor of the big corporations and current kings of the hill, rigged against competitive inventions and inventors. Your only recourse is to sue SinghCorp for damages in a court of law. You may win, you may lose; it’s a flip of a coin in your favor, at best. This is where you realize that a patent monopoly lawsuit costs four million dollars on average for both parties.
And you are a poor lonesome genius working with a flashlight in a basement.
So let’s assume you get so far into fairytale land that you somehow can afford to sue SinghCorp for infringing on your patent monopoly for this wrench, that you come up with four million US dollars. (Do you still think “the poor genius inventor” sounds plausible here?)
The instant you file a lawsuit, SinghCorp will retaliate with suing you for five or ten patent monopolies from their portfolio, saying that your patent infringes on theirs. It doesn’t even have to be true – you have to prove it not to be true in a court of law. That means you are now finding yourself in the position of defending in patent monopoly lawsuits – five or ten of them – each costing, on average, four million US dollars.
Do you still believe this is something that protects the poor lonely inventor?
If you’re lucky, really lucky, you will just lose the patent monopoly on your wrench and ten years of your life that were drenched in bureaucracy, lawyers, and red tape.
Patent monopolies prevent innovation. It is a system that works against innovations, to protect the current corporations against competition from aggressive, innovative, and competitive upstarts. It allows the big corporations to crush competitive upstarts in the courtroom, rather than having to compete with their products and services.
As a last line of defense for the patent monopoly system, some people will claim that venture capitalists don’t invest in companies that don’t have a set of patent monopolies. Those who claim that use a common political process known as “lying through their teeth”, and usually have a strong vested interest in the system as such: you typically hear it from representatives of US embassies or patent lawyer trade groups.
The venture capitalists themselves, however, hate the patent system as a whole with all their guts and call it a cancer in the economy and say things like “I can’t understand why our government allows this shit to go on”.
It’s more than time to abolish this guild-era abomination and start promoting innovation again.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Food Inc

I have read a lot about the how global companies rule the world. But every time I come across new resources I am always like suprized again and again.

Persons who run the regulatory agencies for the food industries are people who used to work for these companies. Does this ring a bell? Weapon industry? Financial Institutions?

Is Europe as sold out as they are in United States? I don't know for the Food Industry. If we are in the financial sector then why not also with thee food industry? At least based on the standarization I see in the super markets I more inclined to believe that Europe is also sold out. Of coarse standarization isn't directly related to what applies to food growing but again it is about food.

Beyond Treason (2005) Documentary

Please take note that this video has some tough and upsetting scenes.
Based on this documentary it is understood that wherever peace and democracy has been enforced by peace keeper force NATO, the land and nation are forever sentenced to death and misery. Not for the current generation, not fot the next but for a lifetime of billion years. 
At the time of the making of this documentary, Yugoslavia, Afganistan and Irak, have been permantly contaminated. It makes sense that Libya will suffer the same fate. Currently there is no forecast for NATO operations to stop using this kind of weaponry. There is also no forecast that NATO won't enforce "peace" to other nations.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Cost of car ownership

Ever since I came to Belgium I have been hearing about how good is the company car and how it is in my financial interest to choose that.
I understand that if you don't have a car it is a bargain.
I understand that if you live half a belgium away from workm it is again a bargain because of the fuel card.

But I have a car. It is not perfect but it is a car that actually runs prety well and does its job. I don't live very far from work so again it is a matter of usage. Ever since I came to Belgium I have this issue of finding out the actual cost of owning a car in Belgium. Just simple ownership.

Today I presented with some numbers. For a 2008 mini car, I was informed about 130€ road taxes and 1000€ for full insurance. Total sum of 1200€ annually.

This is the same cost in my country and we don't have company cars. I am not saying that it is cheap, but why for example is it concidered in Belgium the car such an expensive comodity? I don't understand.

Am I missing something besides cost of maintenance of the car? Is it so cheaper in other countries?

In plain numbers, 7000€ that are kept from the salary are like 3500€ less in net salary because this 7000€ would be taxed with the highest rate, around 50%. 3500€ is not much for the annual cost of buying and maintening a new car, especially if the fuel cost is high, because of heavy commuting. I'm just wondering whether I have been spending this kind of money for my 2004 Renault Clio 1.4. Currently ownership of the car costs me annually around the same as here. Is it really in my interest to choose the company car, especially when there is like a goverment predisposition to increase taxes for leased cars.

If I didn't own already a car I wouldn't even concider buying one. I have already paid a serious amount for my 8 year old car and I would really like to avoid doing something like that again in the future. But since I own one and it is difficult to sell, assuming I could import it to Belgium (I hear it has serious issues), I feel that I have one more serious decision to make.

Cars are a really expensive commodity, regardless if you or the company pays for them. And they are everywhere expensive to have.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tax Brackets

These are the tax brackets for 2012 income including local tax.
€ 0 up to € 8350 = 25% + 1.75 local (7% on 25%) = 26.75%
€ 8351 up to € 11890 = 30% + 2.1 local (7% on 30%) = 32.1%
€ 11891 up to € 19810 = 40% + 2.8 local (7% on 40%) = 42.8%
€ 19811 up to € 36300 = 45% + 3.15 local (7% on 45%) = 48.15% € 36301 and above = 50% + 3.5 local (7% on 50%) = 53.5%

The local tax is for expatriates that is why it is a steady 7%.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


I have been in Belgium for about four months now and I would like to write about the feeling I get when socializing with people here.

Belgians are really good people or at least this is the feeling I got from the Flanders region. I always receive a kindness and willingness to help me. Possibly, because I'm not from a northern European country, I am not used to the way Northern Europeans behave and treat other people. It can be also possible that I receive some kind of different attitude because I'm not from around. I have seen the same in my county and it is a common characteristic in human behavior

Some examples:
I have colleagues that have never refused actively or passively to help me and some of them the have really gone out of their way to help me.
Whenever I have asked for help in English, most people really try to communicate with me even though they don't speak always easily English. In shops they always try to provide you with a solution even if they redirect you to another shop which is antagonistic to them.

Besides examples like the above, I always feel a vibe of kindness. If I could express this differently I would say that people here have a gentle and kind heart and never leave you with an impression that there is some kind of "exploit" scheme hiding behind the scenes.

A dutch colleague of mine gives me also the same vibe and for the few days I've been in the Hague, I would say that I felt the same from people there. I understand that it is different and no comparison is valid between living and visiting but when I visited Lille, I certainly felt the exact opposite to say the least.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Nigel Farage about Greece

I have the feeling that Mr Farage is the only one who shouts to the European Parliament.
But after watching this video I have to say a few things.
Always have reservations about people who have a history of involvement with financial markets.
Always have reservations from the British when they talk about good. Do not forget that the UK is a country with strong colonial memory.
I'm very disturbed and annoyed that his solution is based on making Greece a cheap tourist vacation. We have seen what has happened in countries such as Indonesia etc. Just read the book The Shock Doctrine.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Human Projector

  1. Focus on the red dot in the girl's nose for 30 seconds.
  2. Turn your gaze to a blank surface (eg ceiling or a blank wall).
  3. Start blinking your eyes rapidly and continuously.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Pulic Transportation

I originally come from a country that doesn't have any understanding of what public transportation should work like. So, my first impressions from the public transportation system in Belgium were extremely good. While I was looking for a job, I was staying in Gent and almost daily I used buses, trams and trains from Gent to various places in Belgium and back. Public transportation in Belgium consists of three major companies, all public at least to my knowledge.

  • stib. This is the metropolitan public transportation system of Brussels. All busses, trams and metro lines belong to stib.
  • sncb. This is for the entire train system network in Belgium.
  • de-lijn. This is for the busses and trams outside Belgium. I'm not sure whether this company services the Walloon Brabant, but for the Flanders part I'm pretty sure that serves everything.

All of the above services provide something like a route planner. For moving in the Brussels area one can use the Google maps transportation integration which is absolutely great. The detail in Google maps but the printable version of a route is so good, that you can easily print it to paper or pdf and get it with you.
For door to door routes just use de-lijn, which calculates the best route from address to address. The problem with this route planner is that it uses another mechanism to display maps, which I would say that is not good.

In general you can find most of the required info on these sites. I would quickly explain things that I understood and found out on my own.

All networks have very good support for smart phones. Most of them have applications for iPhone and Android but since I have a Windows Phone os, I did my job really good with the sites for mobile devices.

Tickets for STIB cost 1.8 euro. This ticket is valid for one hour and a half for all mediums. There are also daily tickets and group tickets. Best thing about STIB is that the vending machines have also an English menu, which is more helpful than the one time I tried to ask a clerk.

Tickets for trains are a bit expensive. Gent to Brussels is around 8 euros when Gent to Luxembourg costs only around 21 euros. Mechelen to Brussels is around 4 euros. Buying tickets for the train is really easy, but always keep in mind that there might be a significant line of people in the queue. Until you get a grip on how the system work, just ask the clerk which train you should take, because it is not always clear.

There are different kinds of trains, which define the time needed to cover specific distances. There are trains that travel non-stop between major cities, trains that stop in towns and trains that stop everywhere. Also keep in mind, that the company provides first and second class service. I was really confused about it, so one time I sat in first class section and the ticket validator kindly explained me that first class wagons are marked with a "1" and second class with a "2". He also told me that first class is marked with an orange line. For me there is no significant difference that would make someone choose a first class ticket over the second one.

Tickets for De-Lijn can be bought in several ways. You can buy them from the driver, by sending an SMS or from De-Lijn stores. I think that I have also seen automatic vending machines in the center of Gent. Tickets from the driver are really expensive. In general, for De-Lijn the fair is based on the distance which is measured in zones. If you don't know the zones, just ask the driver and he will put it on the machine in front of him. One zone fairs normally costs 1.2 euros but you can buy cards that cost 9euros for ten single zone fairs. The problem with De-Lijn is that it is really difficult to buy these tickets, because the stores that sell them are mainly located in central places, like the train station, and also close relatively early. So, I suggest buying the 9 euros card.

There are also monthly cards, but I don't know their cost or how you can get them. I'm not sure whether you can have one if you are not registered with the state.

Always keep your ticket until you reach your final destination. Also, always validate your ticket in each medium. Tickets have a magnetic strip which probably stores info that the machine takes into account, and only if required it makes the charge.

Belgians really think that their public transportation is bad, at least when it is compared to the one in the Netherlands. I would agree that if your starting point is not close to central locations, the frequency of the busses is not good. This doesn't apply for the majority of the STIB network. Regardless, I believe that the trains are excellent, mostly on time or with a few minutes’ delays. I was never late for any interview and I could trust the route planners.

In Brussels every station (sncb and stib) has two names, one in French and one in Dutch. This doesn't happen in the rest of the Belgium. For example Brussels Zuid and Midi is actually the same station in different language. I remember first day I arrived I was really confused if I was getting out on the correct station because of the two names, that nobody has told be about.

One thing that I didn't like was the condition of the train stations, especially Brussels Noord, Centraal and Midi/Zuid. Especially Noord is in a very bad condition. The government should really do something about, because as was the case, every tourist that visits the town. Normally will take the train from the airport and once he reaches these station he will be really disappointed from what he sees.


I originally come from Athens, Greece.
End of the 2011 year found me getting a job in Belgium in the Mechelen area where I also moved.
Until now I kept a blog in Greek for matters regarding Greece, the World and fun.
I thought that it would be a good idea to start bloging in English for subjects such as

  • moving to Belgium
  • expat at Belgium
  • Serious issues concerning The World including Greece
  • and fun, like videos and images like Chuck Norris stuff and demotivators.

Through bloging I will improve my English and I will be able to provide useful info for other expats coming to Belgium. Fun stuff hopefully act as a break to other posts.

One thing I would like to clarify is that in the months I've been in Belgium, I noticed good and bad things mostly by comparing with things that I perceived as granted in my country. Without forgetting that I'm actually a guest in this country and being thankful for that, it is always my opinion that  constructive criticism is a mechanism to improve. So, if at any point you get offended by the comparison or criticism, especially if you from Belgium, just keep in mind that it is well intended.