Starting in 2007, photographer and visual effects artist Dimitris Tsalkanis has been building a digital 3D model of ancient Athens. The result is an immersive historical recreation where everyone online is invited. How did Tsalkanis handle this Herculean (rather, Heraklean) task? He learned as he went. From Sarah Rose Sharp's article about Ancient Athens 3D in Hyperallergic:
“I had no previous experience on 3D and I started experimenting in my spare time,” said Tsalkanis in an email interview with Hyperallergic. “I always liked archaeology and since I am from Athens, I was always interested in its monuments and history. During my research, I realised that up until then no one had attempted a complete 3D reconstruction of ancient Athens..."
Tsalkanis stays up to date with his fantasy city, updating reconstructions constantly for better quality of models and better archaeological and historical accuracy...
Visitors to the site can browse reconstructions that date back as early as 1200 BCE, the Mycenaean period — or Bronze Age — through Classical Athens, featuring the rebuilds made necessary by the Greco-Persian War, and ages of occupation by Romans and Ottomans.
"Explore Ancient Athens Online Through 3D Models, Created by One Animator Over 12 Years" (Hyperallergic, thanks Mark Dery!)
Images below: "Aerial view of the Library of Hadrian" and "Panoramic view of the Acropolis," Dimitris Tsalkanis/Ancient Athens 3D
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It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows,
the feeling is mutual.
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Juxtaposing bright spray-painted mesh with the ocean vista of a 400-year-old Greek ruin, artistic duo Quintessenz created Kagkatikas Secret. Read the rest
In the village of Antia on Greece's Evia island, shepherds use whistling to communicate over long distances. This isn't a code but rather a real language.
"Whistles let shepherds communicate between distant hillsides because a whistled sound wave travels farther than spoken words."
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In 2013, Mike Zuckerman, a self-described culture hacker, attended the White House’s National Day of Civic Hacking. Inspired by what he’d learned there, Mike returned to San Francisco and founded [freespace], an organization that focuses on sustainability and urban tactical development. In the spring of 2016, Mike went to Greece where he spent four months rehabilitating an abandoned clothing factory in the industrial sector of Thessaloniki, turning it into a humane shelter that he and his colleagues named Elpida. Unlike the official migrant camps in Greece, where refugees have little say in the day-to-day operations of the camp, Elpida put its 140 residents in charge, and the results were remarkable. Not only is Elpida much less expensive to run on a per person basis than official camps in Greece, the residents don’t suffer from boredom, restlessness, and disengagement like they do at NGO-run camps.
As a pilot model, Elpida offers hope and improved living conditions for refugees in a place where no other NGO was able to provide in this kind of support.
Mike has been working with Institute for the Future (where I'm on staff) as an affiliate since 2014 and recently accepted an IFTF fellowship to help uncover and study new paradigms for restoring vulnerable places and space, such as post-disaster sites, informal refugee settlements, and decaying urban neighborhoods.
I spoke to Mike about his work at Elpida in August, 2016, just days after he returned from Greece.
Listen to the audio podcast interview with Mike Zuckerman here. Read the rest
Chelsea Clinton's husband Marc Mezvinsky is a Goldman Sachs alumnus; in 2014, he founded Hellenic Opportunity, a hedge fund that raised $25M to bet on distressed assets from Greece's collapsed economy, wagering that the country's investors would force it to make deeper cuts to finance payments on the debts. Read the rest
In 1938, Mihailo Tolotos died at age 82. He's considered to have been the only man to have lived such a long life "without ever seeing a woman." Tolotos, whose mother died at childbirth, lived all his years as a monk in one of Greece's Mt. Ethos monasteries where only men are permitted. Of course, Tolotos's claim to fame doesn't account for people who are blind since birth, but it's still a rather curious story anyway.
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An exceptionally broad proposal before the Council of the EU lumps the traffickers who cram refugees into unsafe boats with the volunteers and NGOs who rescue drowning refugees when those boats sink. Read the rest
Sculptor Petros Eftstathiadiadis makes these "pacifist bombs" as a commentary on the Greek political/economic situation, constructing them from materials chosen to seem absurd, playful and harmless. Despite that, a few of these look somewhat alarming to me, possibly because of
Eftstathiadiadis's (admirable) lack of knowledge about antipersonnel weaponry -- the soap immediately makes me think of jellied gasoline, for example. Read the rest
Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest
Or in Italian, "Arte greca, pietra tombale di donna con la sua schiavetta, databile al 100 a.C. circa." Read the rest
Yanis Varoufakis, a "libertarian Marxist" who played the heavy in Greece's negotiations with its creditors, has stepped down after helping to secure a historic popular mandate rejecting austerity. Read the rest
Two new, anti-establishment parties (including one that grew out of the indignados movement -- a kind of Spanish precedent to Occupy) took key seats in regional and municipal elections in yesterday's Spanish election, which is a kind of dress rehearsal for the upcoming national elections. Read the rest
The economist says that the US's post-crisis job creation record and the EU's lagging record demonstrates that austerity cripples recoveries. Read the rest
Yanis Varoufakis used to manage in-game economies in games like Counter-Strike; now he's finance minister for a Greek government that has set its sights on reforming the entire basis of austerity and debt service in the Eurozone. Read the rest