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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Zagori Village Communities, Epirus, Greece

A useful website.

From the Zagori Municipality Website, a photo and facts about each of the 45 Zagori villages

Zagori History

Monasteries and Churches of note

Village squares and plane trees

Historical paths

Activities for visitors and residents

I didn't know there was a shooting range at Asprangelos. I like the description in English:

"The shooting range runs from March to September in hours of no peace of mind".

(Το σκοπευτήριο λειτουργεί από τον Μάρτιο έως τον Σεπτέμβριο σε ώρες που δεν είναι κοινής ησυχίας).

Update: Just checked at the Mayor's office in Asprangelos. The shooting range is no longer in operation. So no shooting practice, but plenty of peace of mind!

Epirus: the best-kept secret in Greece? The Telegraph

On 'Furriners' (Foreigners) and 'Furrin' Churches, George Eliot (1857, 1858)

From Scenes of Clerical Life, George Eliot

See also: Wikisource


'Well,' said Mrs. Sharp, with the air of a person who held liberal views, but knew where to draw the line, 'I'm not a-going to defend the furriners, for I've as good reason to know what they are as most folks, an' nobody'll ever hear me say but what they're next door to heathens, and the hile they eat wi' their victuals is enough to turn any Christian's stomach. But for all that—an' for all as the trouble in respect o' washin' and managin' has fell upo' me through the journey—I can't say but what I think as my Lady an' Sir Cristifer's done a right thing by a hinnicent child as doesn't know its right hand from its left, i' bringing it where it'll learn to speak summat better nor gibberish, and be brought up i' the true religion. For as for them furrin churches as Sir Cristifer is so unaccountable mad after, wi' pictures o' men an' women a-showing themselves just for all the world as God made 'em. I think, for my part, as it's welly a sin to go into 'em.'

'You're likely to have more foreigners, however,' said Mr. Warren, who liked to provoke the gardener, 'for Sir Christopher has engaged some Italian workmen to help in the alterations in the house.'

'Olterations!' exclaimed Mrs. Bellamy, in alarm. 'What olterations!'

'Why,' answered Mr. Warren, 'Sir Christopher, as I understand, is going to make a new thing of the old Manor-house both inside and out. And he's got portfolios full of plans and pictures coming. It is to be cased with stone, in the Gothic style—pretty near like the churches, you know, as far as I can make out; and the ceilings are to be beyond anything that's been seen in the country. Sir Christopher's been giving a deal of study to it.'

'Dear heart alive!' said Mrs. Bellamy, 'we shall be pisoned wi' lime an' plaster, an' hev the house full o' workmen colloguing wi' the maids, an' makin' no end o' mischief.'


A Note and Query

"The hile they eat": an English Midlands dialect transliteration of Ancient Greek ὕλη? The substance they eat? Or from the Latin hilum, a small thing, a trifle? At first I took it to be a Midlands dialect word for 'oil'. Any better explanations? Could it come from the Nepalese for 'muddy'? I think not.


"Scenes of Clerical Life is the title under which George Eliot's first published fictional work, a collection of three short stories, was released in book form, and the first of her works to be released under her famous pseudonym. The stories were first published in Blackwood's Magazine over the course of the year 1857, initially anonymously, before being released as a two-volume set by Blackwood and Sons in January 1858", from Biblio

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

The Economist's David Rennie on the magazine's cover on Trump's unprecedented summit with the ruler of North Korea.

EU Observer: Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

From  EU Observer- "The Amsterdam court of appeal ruled on Tuesday (19 June) that the Court of Justice of the EU will not be asked to clarify the post-Brexit rights of UK citizens in the Netherlands after all, in a ruling which may have repercussions for the 1.2m Britons estimated to live in the EU"

Global Governance of Climate: Fit for purpose? Climate Justice II; Corfu and Epirus; Centre for United Nations Constitutional Research, 16-20 July 2018

Indoor Air Quality in London's Schools, A Report; Traffic and Air Pollution.

Pollution and a threat to public health (especially schoolchildren's) is not just about piles of rubbish in the streets.

A report (pdf) - 79 pages - UCL and University of Cambridge

Indoor Air Quality in London’s Schools

Report Commissioned by: 
Greater London Authority City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA

Report prepared by: 

Professor Dejan Mumovic CEng FCIBSE MASHRAE UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, London 
Dr Lia Chatzidiakou Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
Dr Joe Jack Williams Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, London
Dr Esfand Burman UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, London

Health, comfort and cognitive performance 

"The UK has the highest prevalence of childhood asthma among all European countries. The school represents a significant exposure environment that can trigger health symptoms among susceptible children. A review of existing studies concluded that children living or attending schools near high traffic density roads were exposed to higher levels of motor vehicle exhaust gases, and had higher incidence and prevalence of childhood asthma and wheeze. A higher incidence of childhood asthma was positively associated with exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Exposure to particulate matter (PM) was also associated with a higher incidence of wheeze in children. 

Although there is limited evidence, some studies indicate significant improvement in cognitive performance of students when temperature in classrooms drops from 25◦C to 20◦C. The evidence also suggests that ventilation rates keeping carbon dioxide (CO2) levels between 600 and 1,000 ppm may improve cognitive performance of students". 

Understanding Indoor to Outdoor (I/O) ratios of pollutants 

"In urban areas, a significant proportion of indoor air pollution is due to outdoor air pollution that penetrates through the buildings. Peak penetration of pollutants into buildings occurs when high concentrations of pollutants coincide with high pressure weather fronts. Understanding these factors can become extremely complex in urban areas due to the close proximity and configuration of surrounding buildings. It is, thus, also true that internal concentrations in an urban building close to busy roads can vary greatly depending on the time of day, or location within the building. 

The relationship between the indoor (I) and outdoor (O) air pollution levels for a building at a given time is usually expressed in terms of the I/O ratio. The I/O ratio gives an indication of the protective effect of a building for a given pollutant. However, I/O ratios are affected by many factors, such as ventilation rates and local meteorology. I/O ratios have been shown to vary greatly, even with the same building".


Back in the early 1980's, I was involved with the organisation of an international scientific conference in Thessaloniki, Greece, where we had invited several distinguished British scientists and experts, to present papers on air and lead pollution. I made notes at the time (not to hand) on carcinogens, terratogens, mutagens and neurotoxins.