Videos

Vonnegut’s 8 points on how to Write a Story

Point 7:

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

Kurt Vonnegut

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The Country of Vatican

This is a short, American-style, animated description of the Vatican City, not as a spiritual centre or a world heritage depot, but as a country. Fun to watch and learn:

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Beauty in the sky

Every summer I cannot decide if I prefer full moon nights or the dark starry ones. The truth is I care not choose, I love both. In this sense I love August, a month with magical full moon(s) and star-dotted night skies.

This is an iphone (hipstamatic) pic I took of the full moon rising a couple of nights ago on the beach (almost) in front of my house in Kolymbithres, Paros.

And here is a video – guide for spotting celestial objects in the summer night sky (english with Greek subtitles.) Thank you Silina for sending me this video!

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Looking at how CERN is looking for Higgs

Excellent documentary by BBC on the research that goes on in CERN. Hearing people that either do research there or that their theories are being tried out in this mega-lab made me feel very appreciative of the commitment that has gone into CERN. A huge idea, a huge place, a huge cooperation existing in order to try out ideas (usually called ‘theories’).

This documentary was produced earlier this year, before CERN scientists announced that they have found something that could be the Higgs boson. But it is recent enough to give you the feeling that we are about to have news… and beyond that, it gave me an idea of how that huge organisation – (even logistically) on terms of research, budget, equipment and of course of scope – goes about trying to prove modern physics and mathematics.

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The travels of knowledge

William Noel (curator, rare book scholar) makes this fascinating talk on TED about the recent discoveries lying under a byzantine manuscript. As we quickly understand from his speech, in the past it was quite common to re-use paper in order to make new manuscripts. In a byzantine manuscript which was re-discovered in 1906, its then owner found that on some pages, underneath the Christian prayers and illustrations, there was earlier text from… Archimedes! This manuscript was bought at the end of the 20th century by an, obviously wealthy, man whose ambition was to discover, preserve and share this barely surviving treasure.

So the travels of these binded pages in the millenia could be quickly described as various sheets of paper that carry ancient Greek texts by Archimedes and Hypereides, as well as Roman commentary on Aristotle, that manage to survive through the centuries to be reused (written over) and binded  into a prayer manuscript during the Byzantine times. In the 21st century this damaged by now book comes into the hands of scientists and scholars who photograph, x-ray, analyze, read through the layers and share the underlying ancient precious texts with the world through the website: Archimedes Palimpsest

William Noel: Revealing the lost codex of Archimedes

It is so beautiful hearing about a contemporary individual who buys a treasure not to store it away but to fund its conservation and its data distribution.

It is also beautiful to hear about such diverse people making up a team and use old & new technologies to bring to light parts of the archeology of human thought, knowledge and wit.

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TED 2008 Talk by Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

TED is one of my favourite platforms / sites out there. I always try to be updated with its events and event uploads and most of the times I am amazed by the people, ideas and material there is! Creative minds from all sorts of walks of life and fields communicate their creative thinking, they get attention and hopefully further their funding options, while we get to have “shining eyes” out of excitement and wonder. TED has become super trendy and popular these days, but there are older talks that might get ‘lost’ on TED’s always expanding video bank. So I thought of sharing today a talk I love from Benjamin Zander, an orchestra conductor, that gave a presentatiom at TED 2008, on music and passion.

Zander uses this talk to communicate his sense of fulfillment when he shares his love of classical music and of empowering people.

At some point during his talk he says:

‘The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound, he depends of his power on his ability to make other people powerful…. I realised that my job is to awaken possibility to other people”

You know if you are doing it “if other people’s eyes are shining.”

Because the question is, “Who am I being that my players’ eyes are not shining?”

A fun and beautiful talk. Enjoy it!

TED 2008 talk: Benjamin Zander on music and passion

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Paco de Lucia’s amazing interpretation of the Concierto de Aranjuez

Paco de Lucia, this amazing Spanish flamenco guitarist plays the Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, another spaniard. De Lucia cannot read music, so he interpets this piece following his unique sense of rhythm. Apparently Rodrigo thought that this was the best interpretation of his work.

This video (via youtube) includes all three movements, but my favorite ones are the second and third and they begin at 6:40mins into the video.

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Richard Feynman – No Ordinary Genius (full version BBC doc)

This is a BBC Horizon documentary on Richard Feynman, this beautiful man full of curiosity. I love how in pictures of him shown on this doc he looks younger as he grows older.

Horizon: Richard Feynman – No Ordinary Genius (full version) – YouTube.

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Jorge Luis Borges, The mirror – documentary on Vimeo

Jorge Luis Borges, the mirror

A documentary on Borges. At the very beginning it sounds a bit too “proud” for the man about to portray, but very quickly it becomes interesting, informative and engaging.

Here is a Borges quote from an interview of him featured in this doc:

“Reality is a combination of perceptions, emotions, feelings, distractions, dreams and surprises. That is reality” 

(via Jorge Luis Borges, the mirror on Vimeo.)

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