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Archive for March, 2008

Macedonia – A Civilization Uncovered

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his is a BBC documentary about Macedonia and the excavations with the great archeologist Manolis Andronikos in Macedonia, northern Greece. A very interesting footage about the graves of the royal house of the Ancient Macedonians! Indisputable evidences about the Hellenicity of ancient Macedonians. Macedonia, is a geographical and historical region of Greece in southeastern Europe. Macedonia is the largest and second most populous Greek region. Together with the regions of Thessaly and Thrace, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece. It is located at coordinates 40°45?N, 22°54?E.

Its territory covers most of the region of ancient Macedonia, including the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Its name was later imparted to a wider Balkan region that became known in modern times as Macedonia of which it forms 52.4% of the land and 52.9% of the population. It was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1912. In 1913, most of the Ottoman lands in Europe (including Macedonia) were divided between the surrounding countries of Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania and Montenegro. The new borders between Greece and the Ottoman Empire were reconfirmed in the Treaty of Athens, in 1913.

Secrets of the Dead – Umbrella Assassin

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errorists with roadside bombs have the world’s attention at the moment, but once upon a time a different breed of killer stalked the earth. It wasn’t so long ago, and for those who remember the strange death of the Bulgarian writer Georgi Ivanov Markov in 1978, revisiting of the case on “Secrets of the Dead” series will tickle some brain cells. For those new to the tale, the episode, titled “Umbrella Assassin,” will be even more compelling. It turns out that those James Bond movies were not fiction after all.

Mr. Markov wrote novels and plays that displeased the hard-line Communist president of Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, and in 1969 he defected to the West, eventually ending up in England doing commentary for the BBC and Radio Free Europe. The Bulgarian Communist machine, it appears, had a long memory and a long reach to go with it: while waiting for a bus on a London bridge in September 1978, Mr. Markov felt a sting on his thigh. He guessed what had happened — he had been injected with a poison pellet — but had trouble convincing doctors that the illness he quickly developed was not a mere flu.

“No one was taking him seriously,” Bernard Riley, a doctor who saw him, recalls on the program. “In fact, I remember the look in his eyes. He was desperate for someone to listen to him and believe him.”

Within days Mr. Markov was dead, and a lethal umbrella was believed to be the cause. “Poison Brolly Riddle,” one newspaper headline read. No arrest was ever made.

The details of the case are vividly recalled by numerous people involved, not just doctors and investigators, but Vladimir Kostov, another Bulgarian dissident who had been similarly attacked in Paris two weeks earlier but lived. The program analyzes the crime “CSI” style, and from Bulgarian and Soviet files picks out some likely culprits.

It eventually runs out of cinematic material, resorting to images of a dripping needle and file folders far too often, but it’s fascinating nonetheless. And against today’s headlines, the tale feels like something from, well, a century ago.

Are we alone in the universe?

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or fifty years, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence has been scanning the galaxy for a message from an alien civilisation. So far to no avail, but a recent breakthrough suggests they may one day succeed. Horizon joins the planet hunters who’ve discovered a new world called Gliese 581 c. It is the most Earth-like planet yet found around another star and may have habitats capable of supporting life. NASA too hopes to find fifty more Earth-like planets by the end of the decade, all of which dramatically increases the chance that alien life has begun elsewhere in the galaxy.

(Coverage from BBC – 2008)

Isaac Newton

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he Dark Heretic’ Aired 2003 ‘Heretic’ in the sense that he disbelieved in the concept of the Trinity. A very interesting documentary revealing a hidden and truly enlightened side to one of the greatest minds that western civilisation has known. His deep study of science led him to a firm conclusion that there is a Creator and based on his study of early Christian history, he was convinced that the concept of The Trinity was a falsification of the pure message of monotheism that Jesus preached. Newton vehemently rejected the corruption of the Christian establishment and the innovation that is the divinity of Jesus, his belief was the revealed God is one God. During his life he was forced to keep this belief secret for fear of being labelled a heretic and after his death this information was carefully suppressed.

The documentary also highlights the point that in the absence of study of the final divine revelation no matter how great the mind the knowledge of the unseen can not be deciphered as is illustrated by the fact that Newton spirals into a hopeless search for the truth by vigoursly engaging in the art of alchemy!

Karachi uncovered

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cottish Actor Atta Yaqub, star of Ken Loach’s controversial film Ae Fond Kiss, goes on a journey to discover the cosmopolitan city of Karachi in Pakistan. Immersing himself in the glamorous world of supermodels and slick TV shows, he finds his misconceptions about the country his parents came from challenged and his opinions changed.

Arriving in the country for the first time in 20 years, Atta gets himself into a press conference for the Lux Style Awards — Pakistan’s equivalent of the Oscars. Befriending A list stars, he finds a country in the grip of a television boom.

At one of the myriad satellite stations broadcasting a diet of music, fashion, and drama he sees how television is influencing the aspirations of modern urbanites. To get in on the act, he tries out for a part in a top drama, but in a toe curling audition, finds his Urdu is not up to scratch.

He meets some young men obsessed with modifying sports cars and asks they think of the more traditional art form of truck modification. Culture, they say, is not interesting for them. Dazzled by the highly skilled workmanship that goes into truck decoration, Atta begins to suspect that modern Pakistan is out of touch with its own traditions.

To investigate further, he tries his hand at modelling. Eager to find out exactly how far girls will go when it comes to flesh content, he meets the country’s top models. However, even the most modern Pakistanis, it seems, are not willing to bear flesh. Being modern he learns, does not mean being western.

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