EROS fundraiser for Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick Intensive Care Unit

Greek heart always beats for charities

Greek heart always beats for charities


The Greek Australian community is well known for its passion and support for charity work and worthwhile social causes, in particular in the area of medical research, social justice and education.

Over the years various charity groups and fundraising initiatives from within the community have raised millions of dollars whicher were donates in such areas as medical research, and education.

It comes as no surprise then, that a new charity intiative from the Greek Community, aptly named EROS – charity from the heart, has been created with a view of raising funds for the intensive care unit of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.

 The Intensive Care Unit faces daily challenges and resource demands in their efforts to care for sick and injured children, so additional funds are particularly crucial.

 EROS – charity from the heart would like to invite members of the Greek community to support their cause and help raise funds by attending their Valentine’s Day Greek Family Night.

 When: Friday, 14th February 2014

Time: 6:30pm

Where: Venus Reception Centre

20 Belgrave Street, Kogarah NSW


Tickets are only $70 Adults, $30 Children and FREE for children under 2 years of age

For booking and donation enquiries please contact: Connie on 0405 141 960

If you cannot make the event but would be interested in making a donation, or a contribution to the event’s raffle please call Connie on 0405 141 960 or email

George Michael puts record £8.25m price tag on home

One of the most expensive houses in Britain – the former home of media mogul Chris Evans and now owned by singer George Michael – is up for sale with an £8.25 million price tag.

The six-bedroom Victorian corner house, which boasts its own tower and walled garden, is – in terms of pounds per square foot – Britain’s dearest property, but with floor space of 4,250 square feet, it is hardly bijou.

The house is in Gilston Road, a small street in South Kensington, and was once nicknamed Goldman Sachs Alley after the investment bank. It is just around the corner from other expensive addresses, including The Boltons and Tregunter Road.

The quiet west London street, with its white stucco houses, is already home to celebrities including David Bowie, comedian Rowan Atkinson and fashion designer Tom Ford. But their houses are likely to be outshone by Michael’s, as the singer hopes to achieve what would be a record-breaking price.

Jonathan Hewlett, of FPD-Savills, said: “This house always commands the most extraordinary price every time it sells.

“It is a mixture of its provenance, its appearance and its location on Gilston Road, which has become a destination address.”

The house hit the headlines last year when radio and television presenter Evans bought it for £6.7million but never moved in. Only months later, it was again in the papers when it was sold on to George Michael for £7.25 million.

In the late Eighties, the property became one

of the first houses in London to fetch a sevenfigure sum after it was bought for £1 million from an elderly woman who shared it with dozens of cats.

The Flick family, whose Ger man industrial empire included the Mercedes-Benz motor company, were the buyers and brought over builders from Germany to completely redesign the interior.

“You would be thrilled every time you came home to walk up to the front door and think, ‘This is my house’,” said David Forbes of estate agency Chesterfield.

“It has great presence on the street, with its lovely walled garden. It has always been a marker house for the market.”

But not all estate agents were quite so impressed.

One said: “It’s all hat and no cattle, as they say in Texas.

“You walk into a wonderful series of reception-rooms, with a lovely library, a fine drawing room and huge kitchen, but after that it fizzles out.”

Earthquake strikes Kefalonia off western Greece

An earlier earthquake had damaged the town of Lixouri on the island of Kefalonia, western Greece (AP)
Damage ... a supermarket in Kefalonia was shaken by a quake last week.

Damage … a supermarket in Kefalonia was shaken by a quake last week. Source: AP

Shelter ... women gather inside a church in Kefalonia after last week's ear...

Shelter … women gather inside a church in Kefalonia after last week’s earthquake. Source: AP

Cracked ... damage is visible at a port in Kefalonia after last week'...

Cracked … damage is visible at a port in Kefalonia after last week’s quake. Source: AP

A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude between 5.7 and 6.1 hit the western Greek island of Kefalonia before dawn Monday, sending scared residents into the streets just over a week after a similar quake damaged hundreds of buildings, reviving memories of a disaster in the 1950s.

Authorities said about 16 people had been slightly hurt, mainly by falling objects, while roads were damaged and some areas suffered power and water supply cuts.

Christos Kyrakatos, a resident of one of Kefalonia’s villages, told Greek television that at least one person in his village had been taken away by ambulance after being injured by falling objects in his home. The power and water supply to the area had been cut, and residents who had fled their homes also had to contend with intense bad weather, with strong rain and low temperatures.

Kefalonia Mayor Alexandros Parisis said the port at the island’s second largest town of Lixouri, the closest to the epicenter, had been damaged.

Earthquakes have been rattling Kefalonia constantly for the past week, after a 5.9-magnitude temblor struck the area on Jan. 26, damaging homes and slightly injuring seven people. Since then, thousands of residents have been spending nights with relatives or in ships sent to accommodate them.

Schools on the island have been shut for the past week, and had not been scheduled to reopen until Wednesday, said Deputy Mayor Evangelos Kekatos.

Authorities urged the islanders to remain calm and not approach any buildings that appeared damaged.

“This is a critical time, people must be careful and remain calm,” said deputy regional governor Antonis Kouris.

The Athens Geodynamic Institute registered the pre-dawn quake, which struck just after 5 a.m. local time, with a magnitude of 5.7 and an epicenter 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northwest of the island’s capital of Argostoli. The U.S. Geological Survey registered a 6.1-magnitude. It is common for institutes to register different figures.

The intense seismic activity reawakened memories of the devastating 1953 quakes on Kefalonia and neighboring Zakinthos, when a 7.2-magnitude temblor struck three days after a 6.4 quake, killing hundreds, injuring thousands and destroying nearly all the buildings on the islands.

Seismologists said more aftershocks were to be expected on the island, which lies in a highly seismically active region. Several registered in the initial hours after Monday’s quake.

“The whole area has been activated … we are all on alert,” said Maria Sahpazi, head of the Geodynamic Institute, adding that Monday morning’s quake appeared to be a strong aftershock of the Jan. 26 temblor.

“We expect more aftershocks, which will be of this size or smaller,” she said.

Monday’s quake was felt across parts of the western Greek mainland and as far away as the Greek capital, Athens, nearly 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the west.

Twins Helena and Vikki put heat on rivals Chloe and Kelly with stunning score on My Kitchen Rules

VICTORIA’S Helena and Vikki Moursellas have thrown down the gauntlet to bitchy Perth rivals Chloe James and Kelly Ramsay with a stunning performance on My Kitchen Rules tonight.

The identical twins scored a whopping 95 out of 100 – the equal highest score in My Kitchen Rules history – with their Mediterranean-inspired three-course menu.

The bubbly pair have coined their own catchphrase – “twinning”.

The twins’ score included two perfect 10s from judge Pete Evans and another perfect 10 from Manu Feildel.

Force to be reckoned with ... identical twins Helena and Vikki impressed the MKR judges with their Mediterranean-inspired thr...

Force to be reckoned with … identical twins Helena and Vikki impressed the MKR judges with their Mediterranean-inspired three-course menu.

The Victorian pair, who named their instant restaurant Didima (twins in Greek) plated up an entree of squid wraps with tomato salad; a main of hapuka with black olive sauce, veggie chips and roasted tomatoes; and a clementine and clove semolina cake with spiced mascarpone dessert.

The five other teams gave Helena and Vikki a total of 41 out of 50 for the meal. Deb and Rick led the way with 9 out of 10 with other teams, including Chloe and Kelly (through gritted teeth), giving them 8 out of 10.

In the zone ... twins Helena and Vikki cook up a storm on My Kitchen Rules.

In the zone … twins Helena and Vikki cook up a storm on My Kitchen Rules. Source: Supplied

More importantly, Evans and Feildel were mighty impressed. They both scored the entree 10 out of 10. Feildel was harsh on the main scoring 6 out of 10 but Evans disagreed and scored it 9 out of 10. The dessert was another winner, with 10 from Evans and 9 from Feildel.”Read between the lines Chloe and Kelly,” Helena said after the score was announced.

“It was pretty clear Chloe and Kelly didn’t think we had it in us, well we showed them,” Helena said later.

Close bond ... twin sisters Helena and Vikki have hailed their mother Sophie for her strength after the tragic loss of their ...

Close bond … twin sisters Helena and Vikki have hailed their mother Sophie for her strength after the tragic loss of their father. Source: News Limited

An unfazed Chloe fired back a zinger. “We learnt the girls can cook, and maybe they’re not as dumb as we think – no, they’re still dumb.”Chloe and Kelly will get their chance to prove that Kelly’s oft-quoted travels to “more than 40 countries” will help their cooking, with their instant restaurant performance scheduled to air on Tuesday night.

Gourmet travellers from WA, Chloe and Kelly have already displayed villainess tendencies within the shows first episode. Courtesy: My Kitchen Rules, Seven Network

Chloe and Kelly were forced to eat humble pie from the start when the twins’ squid entree proved delicious.”I’m surprised it’s this good, but then again it’s Greek food” and “they cook it all the time, maybe they will stuff up the main,” the Perth pair said.

Modern flair ... Helena and Vikki have caused a buzz with their Greek dishes.

Modern flair … Helena and Vikki have caused a buzz with their Greek dishes. Source: Channel 7

Evans was more effusive. “Sensational dish ladies, absolutely blew me away, that is exactly what I am looking for in this competition,” Evans said.The only slip happened with Feildel’s main. The Frenchman got the pip.

“I loved the combination of flavours … but my fish is completely overcooked,” Feildel said. “On top of that I have a little stone of olive I have chewed on and it hurts.”

The clementine cake turned into an orange cake when the twins couldn’t find clementines at the supermarket. They also had to bake a second semolina cake when the first one failed to rise.

Monday night’s show saucy Deb – who has turned flirting with Manu into her trademark – and her long-suffering husband Rick strut their stuff in the kitchen and on Tuesday night the first elimination of the season occurs.

Adelaide’s 27-storey residential tower to go ahead on King William St

Artist impression of Vue on King William, set to be Adelaide's tallest residenti...

Artist impression of Vue on King William, set to be Adelaide’s tallest residential tower. Source: Supplied

WORK on Adelaide’s tallest residential building will begin by the middle of year and plans for the city’s first eco-hotel have also been given the green light.

The Development Assessment Commission has approved Asian Pacific Group’s application for an 85m tall, 27-storey apartment tower at the southern end of King William St.

Designed by Woods Bagot, the $100 million Vue on King William development will have

205 apartments.

A 21-level glass wall tower will sit above a five-level podium with a rooftop garden and recreation centre on the sixth floor.

Asian Pacific Group CEO Will Deague said marketing will begin in May and site works in July.

“Buyers will be encouraged to walk, cycle or use public transport and will be attracted by its location right on the tramline, making it easy to commute to work in the CBD or head to the beach at Glenelg,” Mr Deague said.

TELL US: What do you think of the plans?

A joint venture with Starfish Developments, Vue on King William is Asian Pacific Group’s second Adelaide project following the Watson Hotel and Apartments at Walkerville.

The Commission also approved Troppo Architects’ plans for a nine-story eco-hotel facing Whitmore Square.

The non-airconditioned Hotel Ivaritji would honour a revered Kaurna ancestor and have a cafe and basement gallery space.

Troppo director Phil Harris said the hotel would help kickstart a transformation of the area into “the Greenwich Village of Adelaide”, but could not say how soon construction would begin.

“We think bringing (environmentally conscious) visitors to the square fits with the whole market precinct and the slightly bohemian character of the whole southwest corner,” he said.

“We very much have designed it to be broadly open to the community.”

Adelaide City Council opposed the application because it requires the demolition of two 1895 villas, but Mr Harris said “common sense” had prevailed because the highly modified buildings were of no heritage value.

The Commission this week deferred consideration of an application for a 110m, 32-storey hotel and residential tower on Currie St that would be Adelaide’s second tallest building.

A decision on a bid for a 19-level development on North Tce, including the revival of the 1878 G & R Wills warehouse building into a high end retail centre, was also deferred.

This maps shows where the world’s internet cables go

The world's internet doesn't come...

The world’s internet doesn’t come from nowhere. Source: Supplied

YOU are probably reading this on your phone on some wireless connection right now, but that data had to physically come from somewhere.

So how does it all connect? Through undersea cables, of course. This map created by TeleGeography shows where every cable comes from and where it connects.

Interestingly, every cable in Australia comes into Sydney or Western Australia, while if you take a look at Southern Asia and Europe, it looks like a complete jumble of cables going and coming from every direction. Australia also feeds New Zealand two out of three internet cables.

If you really love your maps, you can even order a print for $US250 to hang in the office.

So it shows that supplying the world with a digital connection actually involves a lot of complicated infrastructure. Take a moment to look at this interactive map and truly appreciate the marvel of your tweet travelling along those cables for the world to see in a split second.

Seven things you probably don’t know about maps

Maps can be fascinating. Picture: Thinkstock

Maps can be fascinating. Picture: Thinkstock Source: ThinkStock

MAPS can be beautiful and good ones can be great investments.

But what collectors often find most entrancing about maps are how they provide portals into history.

The rise and fall of cities, the charting of war and adventure, the promise of riches through trade … history continues to be rewritten according to scholars’ reinterpretations of ancient cartography.

John Selden’s 17th-century map of China made a huge splash recently as the stimulus for two new books analysing London’s rise as an economic hub (the city’s success is inextricably linked to trade with China, as the Selden map illustrates).

According to some experts, the current unprecedented volume of global travel is also contributing to a burgeoning interest in map collecting.

“I believe that as people travel more, migrate more and speak more languages, and as business becomes more globalised, the appeal of two types of attachment to the idea of ‘place’ increases,” says Daniel Crouch, a London based specialist of antique maps and atlases.

Russell Crowe: “I’m a map geek”.

“One, as an identification with, or memory of, a place or homeland left behind, and the other as a statement of a new ‘home’ or adopted country, or fondness for a land visited.”

Crouch reveals some fascinating map facts gathered from a lifetime of collecting and selling antique maps, and shares favourites from his most recent exhibition in Hong Kong featuring maps of China.

Here are seven things to know about maps:

1. It’s still possible to have your own world-class map collection

Even the wealthiest collectors of old master or impressionist paintings, Chinese ceramics or modern art can never hope to have collections of a quality to match the likes of the Louvre, the British Museum or the MET.

However, that’s not true of maps.

The savvy collector can still buy maps or atlases as good as, and sometimes better than, those found in the world’s major libraries and museums.

“We have several items in our gallery that are at least as good, if not better, than the equivalent examples in, say, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the British Library or Library of Congress,” says Crouch, whose gallery keeps approximately 250 maps and 50 atlases in stock at any one time.

2. “BRIC” nations are hot right now

Antique maps featuring the world’s biggest developing countries have seen a recent spike in prices.

According to Crouch this heightened interest can be linked to the recently increased inbound and outbound travel from these countries.

“Maps of B.R.I.C. nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have seen the fastest growing markets (and prices) in recent years,” says Crouch.

“I have also noticed an increased interest in ‘thematic’ and 19th and even early 20th century mapping,” he says.

3. The first “modern” map was printed more than 500 years ago

While the earliest maps were rudimentary diagrams drawn in caves in prehistoric times, the first proper manuscript maps appeared in the 12th century.

The map of the Holy Land printed in the “Rudimentum Novitiorum,” an encyclopedia of world history published in 1475, is considered the first modern printed map.

A sample of the Rudimentum Novitiorum was sold for Pound500,000 ($937,000) in 2013.

4. Mapmakers included fake towns to catch forgers

Ever been to the town of Agloe in New York State? Whitewall in California? Or Relescent in Florida?

While these towns are clearly marked on a number of antique maps of the United States, they don’t actually exist.

“Paper towns” were fake places added to maps by early mapmakers in order to dupe forgers into copying them, thereby exposing themselves to charges of copyright infringement.

5 . The world’s best map collection is in Paris

“The best collection in the world, in my opinion, is that of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, followed by the Library of Congress in the United States and the British Library,” says Crouch.

“Many of what we now regard as the major institutional collections of cartography were actually put together by individuals in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the United Kingdom, the best collection of such material was made by King George III.”

The latter collection is known as the “K. Top,” and can be found in the British Library.

They are worth a look. Picture: Thinkstock

They are worth a look. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

6. The most expensive map was the first to name America

The US Library of Congress paid a record $10 million for German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller’s Universalis Cosmographia, a wall map of the world printed in 1507.

It’s the only surviving copy of the map, which was the first to use the name “America”.

In 2007, Crouch brokered the sale of the most expensive atlas ever sold – the 1477 Bologna Ptolemy, the first printed atlas – for Pound1.9 million ($3.5 million).

7. The best place to shop for maps is in the Netherlands

The annual European Fine Art and Antiques Fair in Masstricht, Netherlands is often considered the world’s best place to shop for antique maps, classic and modern art and jewellery.

More than 70,000 people visited the TEFAF Maastricht in 2013 to browse the 260 booths from 20 countries.

“It’s simply the biggest and best fine art fair in the world,” says Crouch.

This year’s fair dates are March 14-23.

This story originally appeared on CNN.

Today Tonight: the scandals, the blunders, the lowlights

Hosts came and went, but stories on 'dole bludgers' were a constant at...

Hosts came and went, but stories on ‘dole bludgers’ were a constant at Today Tonight. Source: News Limited

IT was announced today that Channel Seven has dumped Today Tonight in favour of one-hour news bulletins in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, to begin tonight.

Today Tonight will still screen its local versions in the smaller markets of Perth and Adelaide, but for most of us, one of Australia’s most controversial TV shows is no more. Let’s look back at some of TT’s most questionable, controversial and scandalous moments:

1. Naomi Robson’s gecko

Ah Naomi, arguably Today Tonight‘s most iconic host. There were her frequent off-air outbursts (helpfully posted to YouTube for posterity – be warned, the language she uses is definitely NSFW) but our favourite moment of her time in the hot seat has got to be the evening in 2006 when she reported on Steve Irwin’s death stood outside Australia Zoo clad in khaki, complete with a lizard on her shoulder. So moving.


Naomi Robson and friend outside Australia Zoo.

Naomi Robson and friend outside Australia Zoo. Source: News Limited

2. The cyber bully victim who wasn’t

In March last year, Today Tonight ran a special expose on an alleged ‘cyber bully’ named Tristan Barker, dubbing him “the world’s nastiest man.” Reporter David Eccleston interviewed a victim named Jasmine Frost, who accused barker of vicious bullying online. Just hours after the story aired, a YouTube video revealed that the entire thing had been a hoax: ‘Jasmine’ was actually Jasmine Vanmidde, a friend of Barker’s, and had concocted the story to expose TT’s lax research practices.


Jasmine (at left) with Lewis Spears, both part of a gang that dubbed itself 'Facebeef' and punked Today Tonight ...

Jasmine (at left) with Lewis Spears, both part of a gang that dubbed itself ‘Facebeef’ and punked Today Tonight with a concocted story about cyber bullying. Source: NewsComAu

3. The leadership spill blunder

Last year’s Labor leadership spill broadcast was plagued by gremlins and technical hiccups.

While over on the ABC, host Leigh Sales and guest Annabel Crabb handled the live, seat-of-your-pants coverage with aplomb, Kapalos struggled when for approximately 90 seconds she was left with no autocue, no script and no one to cross to.

Her broadcast collapsed into mumbo jumbo shortly after she announced Kevin Rudd was “gaining the numbers”.

“The same opinion …,” Kapalos started. “And we’ll have to move on to our next story now … but all very interesting down in Canberra. Of course we’ll continue to bring you continuing coverage throughout the evening on our news but now we’ll also be crossing to our viewer poll shortly.”

But the poll vanished from the screen. “Now to a Muslim who was on his way to becoming a radical …” she started, but it was not to be.

“I’m sorry we’ll have to go to something else there. But it is all happening in Canberra as we can see.”

Today Tonight host Helen Kapalos stumbled on election spill night, particularly for one torturous 90-second segment.

Today Tonight host Helen Kapalos stumbled on election spill night, particularly for one torturous 90-second segment. Source: Supplied

4. Let’s get Skase

In 1996, the show aired a report about disgraced and ailing businessman Christopher Skase. It was a dramatic story, with reporter David Richardson breathlessly explaining to camera that he and his crew were being blocked at every turn by Majorcan authorities, saying they were helping to prevent access to Skase’s Majorca home. “Roadblocks! Let’s get out of here,” he shouted at one point, giving viewers the impression the entire island was in lockdown at Skase’s behest.

One problem: as Media Watch later revealed, the footage was in fact shot in Barcelona, not on Majorca. The police Richardson claimed were blocking his access to Skase in Majorca were in fact the ‘Guardia Urbana de Barcelona’, directing traffic in the Spanish city.

Richardson was a serial offender for TT – in 2005, his story on a ‘serial single mum’ who he alleged was pocketing tens of thousands of dollars in Centrelink benefits was revealed to be a beat-up – Media Watch revealed that the woman in question was actually in full-time employment.


It didn't take long for Media Watch to find many inaccuracies in TT's supposed report from Majorca, much of whic...

It didn’t take long for Media Watch to find many inaccuracies in TT’s supposed report from Majorca, much of which was actually filmed in Barcelona. Source: NewsComAu

5. Those behind-the-scenes videos

In an attempt to endear Kapalos to the audience, the Today Tonight team started posting daily behind-the-scenes video blogs to promote the show, but her high-fives and winks were a little too much.

In one clip, Kapalos sashayed across the set and high-fived a member of her production crew. “Another day, another great line-up on TT,” she said.

In another, Kapalos sauntered outside the network’s studios, greeting fans with a “happy Monday” and a wink.

“She not only has bad days at the same time as Julia Gillard, but gets PR advice from the same person too,” media publication Mumbrella said.


High fives for Helen!

High fives for Helen! Source: NewsComAu

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