The Highs And Lows Of Payday Cash Loans

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Pay day loans will not be that perplexing as a subject matter. For some reason many people feel that pay day loans are difficult to know your head about. They don’t determine if they need to obtain one or not. Effectively browse through this article, and see what you are able learn about pay day loans. To be able to make that choice.

In order to apply for a cash advance, the best choice is to use from well trustworthy and well-liked creditors and websites. These websites have built an excellent standing, and you also won’t place yourself at risk of providing delicate details into a swindle or under a good financial institution.

Avoid getting a payday loan unless it is really an unexpected emergency. The quantity that you pay out in interest is incredibly large on these sorts of lending options, therefore it is not worth it in case you are buying one on an each day cause. Get a lender financial loan when it is something that can hold out for some time.

The easiest method to manage pay day loans is to not have to take them. Do your very best to save lots of just a little money weekly, allowing you to have a one thing to drop back again on in an emergency. Whenever you can help save the amount of money for the urgent, you are going to eliminate the demand for by using a pay day loan assistance.

When getting a cash advance, it is essential that you do your research. You may not would like to blindly believe that an ad, because you will not be getting the complete story. Talk with individuals that took out this particular personal loan, or read several of the company evaluations on the Internet.

Just before investing in a payday advance, make sure that the opportunity firm you might be borrowing from is certified through your condition. In the states, no matter which express the company is within, they legally must be registered. Should they be not accredited, odds are good that they are illegitimate.

Make your personalized safety in mind if you have to personally go to the payday financial institution. These spots of business manage huge amounts of cash and they are normally in economically impoverished areas of village. Make an attempt to only visit while in daylight time and recreation area in extremely noticeable areas. Go in when other customers may also be all around.

Most payday loans usually do not require a credit verify, hence which makes them extremely luring to both university students and those that experience bad credit. While it is very effortless to obtain a payday loan, this kind of bank loan is not going to improve credit score. These creditors usually do not normally document for the credit rating bureaus, except when the payday advance is not compensated.

Due to the fact loan providers make it really easy to have a cash advance, many people rely on them if they are not inside a situation or crisis scenario. This can result in customers to grow to be secure paying the high interest rates and when a crisis comes up, they may be inside a unpleasant situation since they are already overextended.

When you would like a pay day loan firm, ensure that you look at a number of company before settling on one. In the event you examine the costs and fascination rates, you will see that they change from organization to business. Ensure that they are certainly not compensating for reduced curiosity, by charging additional costs in many other way.

Find out about the normal payment plan for the loan company you are interested in. You will probably find yourself without having the funds you need to pay off it when it is due. The financial institution may offer you an opportunity to spend merely the interest quantity. This can roll around your lent amount for the upcoming 2 weeks. You will be sensible to pay for yet another interest charge the next paycheck as well as the financial debt owed.

Seeing as there are normally extra fees and terminology secret there. A lot of people have the error of not doing that, and they end up owing considerably more than they obtained to start with. Always make sure that you are aware of completely, nearly anything that you are currently putting your signature on.

As stated before, if you are in the middle of an economic circumstance that you require funds in a timely manner, then a pay day loan can be a feasible option for you. Just be sure you recall the ideas through the post, and you’ll have a great pay day loan very quickly.

Beneficial Payday Advance Suggestions, Tricks And Tips

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Considering all of that consumers are going through in today’s economy, it’s no surprise pay day loan professional services is such a fast-developing sector. If you find oneself pondering a pay day loan, please read on to learn more about them and how they can support allow you to get out from a recent economic crisis quickly.

Prior to deciding to sign up for a cash advance, talk with any friends associates which have currently accomplished so. Inquire further regarding their activities to see which pay day lender they chose. The more study you are doing in advance, the more likely you may be to steer clear of engaging in additional fiscal difficulty.

Select your personal references smartly. Some pay day loan organizations require that you label two, or about three references. These represent the folks that they may call, when there is a challenge and also you can not be reached. Be sure your recommendations could be reached. Furthermore, make sure that you notify your personal references, you are using them. This will help these to expect any telephone calls.

While searching for a payday advance, tend not to decide on the 1st firm you see. As an alternative, compare several prices that you can. Although some organizations will simply charge you about 10 or 15 %, other individuals might charge you 20 and even 25 percent. Perform your due diligence and look for the cheapest business.

Be sure that your payday advance agreement is at English. Some rogue payday loan organizations create their personal loan agreements in the foreign words, as a way to technique buyers into agreeing to undesirable conditions. Therefore, it is essential that you simply make certain you recognize all the written text presented on your payday advance agreement before you sign it.

If you apply for a payday advance, it is rather crucial that you study any discover print out that, comes along with the loan deal. Frequently you will find stuff you don’t understand, or were actually unaware of. This may cause you to choose a different payday loan loan company. In this way, you won’t be caught not aware.

Will not sit down close to and wait for a verify once you have requested a pay day loan. The vast majority of payday advance firms will send you your cash into your bank account within a day or two via electronic digital put in. After this receives transferred, you need to rapidly negotiate your financial unexpected emergency simply because payday advance conditions are extremely quick.

Never ever associate your self-esteem using the paycheck financing sector. You might be not a bad individual simply because you need to remove a pay day loan. Stuff eventually everybody. Also, simply because pay day lender workers present you with money does not necessarily mean they love you. They are, in reality, only working and they are supplying you with your very own cash in improve, in exchange for even more of your hard earned money.

When determining when a pay day loan fits your needs, you should know the sum most online payday loans enables you to acquire is not a lot of. Typically, the most money you can find coming from a payday advance is about $one thousand. It might be even lower if your revenue is just not way too high.

Reduce your cash advance borrowing to twenty-5 percent of the overall income. Many individuals get lending options for additional money compared to what they could possibly desire repaying within this quick-word fashion. By acquiring simply a quarter from the income in personal loan, you are more likely to have enough resources to get rid of this bank loan whenever your salary ultimately comes.

If you locate on your own seeking to get a payday advance make sure, you check around first. Every single firm has different plans and rates, and also by shopping around you save yourself coming from a big head ache. Make sure to check with several inquiries as possible before you sign to nearly anything so do you know what to anticipate.

When you are in need of quick cash, and are considering pay day loans, it is best to steer clear of taking out a couple of financial loan at one time. Although it will be appealing to attend distinct loan companies, it will be harder to repay the financial loans, in case you have a lot of them.

A fantastic way of decreasing your expenses is, buying anything you can applied. This may not simply affect automobiles. This implies clothes, electronics, furniture, and more. In case you are not familiar with eBay, then utilize it. It’s a fantastic location for getting outstanding deals. In the event you are in need of a brand new laptop or computer, search Yahoo and google for “remodeled personal computers.” Numerous pcs can be bought for affordable at the high quality. You’d be blown away at how much cash you are going to help save, that will help you pay off these payday cash loans.

Even though you must not use online payday loans as a go into default on a monthly basis, they are often of wonderful efficiency to you should you be inside a limited spot. Using a continuous salary is essential, but this is usually a great way to pay out an immediate expense if you cannot hold back until you happen to be paid for!

Who Makes use of Weight Reduction Vitamin supplements With Phentermine 37.5 milligram?

Along side it connection between Phentermine 37.5 milligrams , like insufficient sleep and low mood, in addition to driving yourself to physical exercise, can all get their cost on your entire body. However, when you find yourself having a caloric-controlled diet plan, regardless of your best intentions to eat wholesomely, it can be difficult to ensure you’re acquiring sufficient quantities of important nourishment to be sure bodies are up to the problem.  Adding weight-loss supplements for your Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  prescription can present you with the increase you have to feel great and get over a number of the unwanted effects of Phentermine 37.5 mg from http://womansdepot.com, also letting you achieve far better results when you improvement together excess fat reduction quest. But, who can benefit from this profitable combination essentially the most? We will find outPer centu2026

1. Individuals who%u2026 Have Minimal Electricity
Even though Phentermine 37.5 mg  is a catalyst, not everybody encounters precisely the same power improve, among others might even expertise paradoxical side effects, as explained the following, where Phentermine 37.5 mg  causes these to sense more exhausted than usual. Coupled with the opportunity unwanted effect of sleeplessness, substandard critically lower stamina and difficulty in commencing physical fitness. A fat-manipulated diet program without essential vitamins and minerals can add to this concern, thus, making this when a multi-vitamin aimed at individuals shedding pounds may help solve these problems. Usually approved together with Phentermine 37.5 milligrams from http://thenewsolarenergy.com, the serotonin forerunner 5-HTP is the central compound of weight-loss vitamins as it helps to get a grip on rest cycles and raise feeling. As well as the force-improving properties of vitamin B12 and backed with supplements A, C and E, as well as magnesium mineral to regulate what sort of body employs foodstuff to gasoline your body’s vitality items, the proper weight loss vitamins can get you returning to experience energized and encouraged to continue on your weight-loss trip.
2. People who%u2026 Want to lose weight naturally faster with Phentermine 37.5 mg 
Nearly great weight-loss vitamins restore your levels of energy and assist you to be in better health, they also really helps to improve your fat loss probable. Many nutrients do not have from the standard American diet, and although you may make an effort to bring in a lot more nut products, cereals, fruit and vegetables to your diet regime, it can be hard to make sure you beat each of the packing containers on your recommended daily considerations while also adhering to a calorie restriction. Nonetheless, these people, low in these essential nutritional vitamins can sluggish your very best endeavours to shed weight, and can be the reason that a lot of people battle to lose regardless of having wholesomely and doing exercises. The best weight-loss vitamins provide all the nutrients you’ll want to enhance weight-loss with Phentermine 37.5 milligrams , which includes B-12, that helps to metabolize extra fat and health proteins better, all-natural desire for food-depressent 5-HTP, and this mineral, which will help to stop yearnings and food cravings by regulatory glucose and maintaining blood sugar constant.
3. People whoPer centu2026Want to build lean muscle mass
Reducing your weight it not just about having less and burning calorie consumption, it is critical to build lean muscle mass with workout way too because this is the main element to preserving weight-loss in the long run. Because they build muscle, you happen to be helping the fat-using possible in the body as muscle can burn calorie consumption regardless if you’re not lively, so it signifies your goals are simpler to keep when you achieve them. Even so, creating lean muscle calls for more than just bodyweight-displaying physical exercise you also have to incorporate far more protein in what you eat in addition to the nutrients that help to change protein into muscle mass, namely chromium, vitamin B12, and In-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC), which are all important elements in a excellent multi-vitamin created to help you lose fat and maintain it ultimately.
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4. Individuals who%u2026Have achieved lengthy-time period weight-loss
Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  is only ever given for a limited period of time because it is made for the fast-expression treating weight problems and can be damaging if consumed for days on end. So, although Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  provides a great conquer-begin to unwanted weight damage voyage, you need to be positive that you can maintain your new way of life and for that reason carry on and endeavor in the direction of your primary goal  or sustain people you might have reached, and for that reason avoid the need to acquire Phentermine 37.5 mg  for again. To make sure you don’t undo-options all your great when your doctor prescribed finishes, having weight-loss vitamin supplements alongside Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  and then soon after your prescribed will ensure that your person is doing work effectively to take care of fat loss. Weight reduction supplements will also help one to avoid revulsion signs like minimal feelings, sleep loss and weight gain, with the help of important nourishment for example body fat-splitting vitamin C, electricity-enhancing b12, and 5-HTP, considered to be an all natural hunger suppressor, feelings enhancer and snooze regulator. Incorporating a weight loss health supplement right after your Phentermine 37.5 mg  prescription surface finishes is a strategy because you benefit from ongoing appetite suppression with an vitality boost, but without a doctor prescribed and without any possibility of side effects.
5. People thatPer-centu2026Want to experience their Most happy!
A weight loss journey can be a genuine curler-coaster of thoughts one day you might be inspired and revived, the following day it is like your main goal is really a thousand a long way away and you’re ready to surrender. Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  can help to increase these swift changes in mood, as reported by a lot of people on our weight reduction discussion board, and along with unwanted effects such as insomnia, losing weight with Phentermine 37.5 milligrams  can make you feel below your best. Physical exercise is a superb disposition lifter, additionally it improves energy so it helps you are sleeping better, nevertheless the additional increase of weight-loss supplements will give you the assistance you need to keep on top of your sport. Selenium is known for the mood-improving properties, and 5-HTP helps to raise your feelings and control snooze, and are both crucial ingredients of fine weight reduction vitamin supplements, leading to a lesser number of yearnings as well as a happier you!
So, do these describe YOU? In that case, you may gain advantage through the added wellness boost of fat loss supplements designed specifically to assist you while you’re shedding pounds, looking after your goal bodyweight, or simply to help you ensure your is working at its finest and you’re simply getting all the nutrition you’ll want to direct the kitchen connoisseur. Why don’t we read your comments by writing comments down below.

Plastic T-shirt bag making machine

1.Plastic bag making machine is suitable for high density polyethylene (HDPE), the low density gathers alkene (LDPE) plastic film material.which is produces the plastic film to flat bag, 2. the performance of Plastic bag making machine is stable, the back cover is reliable, is the large, medium and small processed foods enterprise is most economical appropriately, bag sealing&cutting system equipment.
Plastic bag machine with below parts and information:
1.step motor or Japan servo motor
2.machine with photo cell
3.produce flat open bag,patch bag and T-shirt bag
4.suit to use LDPE and HDPE film to produce plastic bag
polyethene plastic bag making machine
Plastic T-shirt bag

Plastic bag making machine technical Parameter :  
Model SHXJ-A600 SHXJ-A700 SHXJ-A800 SHXJ-A900 SHXJ-A1000
width of sealing &cutting 580 mm 680 mm 780 mm 880 mm 980 mm
length of sealing & cutting 700 mm 1200 mm 1200 mm 1400 mm 1600 mm
speed of bag-making (pc/min) 240-400 240-400 60-100 50-100 40-100

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction

Blown Film Extrusion Introduction
Blown film extrusion is a technology that is the most common method to make plastic films, especially for the packaging industry. The process involves extruding a tube of molten polymer through a die and inflating to several times its initial diameter to form a thin film bubble. This bubble is then collapsed and used as a lay-flat film or can be made into bags. Usually polyethylene is used with this process, and other materials can be used as blends with these polymers. A diagram of a polyethylene chain is shown in Figure 1 to the right.
Background Theory on Polymers

In the cooling step of blown film extrusion, the amorphous, transparent melt crystallizes to form a translucent, hazy, or opaque film. The point where opacity begins in the bubble is known as the frost line. 
Fig 1: Model of polytheylene chain frompolyethylene Wikipedia article.The frost line height is controlled by several parameters: the air flow, film speed, and temperature difference between the film and the surroundings. Properties of the film, such as tensile strength, flexural strength, toughness, and optical properties, drastically change depending on the orientation of the molecules. As the transverse or hoop direction properties increase, the machine or longitudinal direction properties decrease. For instance, if all the molecules were aligned in the machine direction, it would be easy to tear the film in that direction, and very difficult in the transverse direction.

The Film Blowing machine Process

Fig 2: Schematic of set-up from User:J.Chiang.

Typically, blown film extrusion is carried out vertically upwards, however horizontal and downward extrusion processes are now becoming more common. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the set-up for blown film extrusion. This procedure consists of four main steps: The polymer material starts in a pellet form, which are successively compacted and melted to form a continuous, viscous liquid. This molten plastic is then forced, or extruded, through an annular die. Air is injected through a hole in the center of the die, and the pressure causes the extruded melt to expand into a bubble. The air entering the bubble replaces air leaving it, so that even and constant pressure is maintained to ensure uniform thickness of the film. The bubble is pulled continually upwards from the die and a cooling ring blows air onto the film. The film can also be cooled from the inside using internal bubble cooling. This reduces the temperature inside the bubble, while maintaining the bubble diameter. After solidification at the frost line, the film moves into a set of nip rollers which collapse the bubble and flatten it into two flat film layers. The puller rolls pull the film onto windup rollers. The film passes through idler rolls during this process to ensure that there is uniform tension in the film. Between the nip rollers and the windup rollers, the film may pass through a treatment centre, depending on the application. During this stage, the film may be slit to form one or two films, or surface treated. Advantages Blown film generally has a better balance of mechanical properties than cast or extruded films because it is drawn in both the transverse and machine directions. Mechanical properties of the thin film include tensile and flexural strength, and toughness. The nearly uniform properties in both directions allow for maximum toughness in the film.
Blown film extrusion can be used to make one large film, two smaller ones, or tubes that can be made into bags. Also, one die can make many different widths and sizes without significant trimming. This high level of flexibility in the process leads to less scrap material and higher productivity. Blown films also require lower melting temperatures than cast extrusion. Measured at the die opening, the temperature of cast film is about 220 C, where as the temperature of blown film is about 135 C. Furthermore, the cost of the equipment is approximately 50% of a cast line.

Blown Film Extrusion Disadvantages Blown film has a less effective cooling process than flat film. Flat film cooling is done by means of chill rolls or water, which have significantly higher specific heat capacities than the air that is used in the blown film cooling process. The higher specific heat capacity allows the substance to absorb more heat with less change in the substance temperature. Compared to cast film, blown film has a more complicated and less accurate method to control film thickness; cast film has a thickness variation of 1 to 2% versus the 3 to 4% for blown film. The resins used for casting typically have a lower melt flow index, which is the amount of polymer that can be forced through a standard die in 10 minutes according to a standard procedure. The melt flow index for cast film is about 5.0 g/10 min where as for blown film it is about 1.0 g/10 min. Consequently, the production rates for cast film are higher: cast film lines can reach production rates of up to 300m/min where as blown film lines are usually less than half this value. And finally, cast film has better optical properties, including transparency, haze, and gloss.

Common Problems Air entrapment between film layers and rollers – this may cause film scratching or wrinkling, or processing problems when winding up the film due to reduced friction. Possible solutions to this is using a vacuum to remove entrapped air or by using winding rolls with a diamond shaped groove in the rubber cover to increase surface area and decrease amount of entrapped air in the film. Large output fluctuations from the die – this causes thickness variations, and can be prevented by keeping the extruder clean and by using more consistently shaped pellets in the extruder. Melt fractures – these appear as roughness or wavy lines on the film surface, and can be eliminated by lowering the viscosity of the polymer melt. This can be done by increasing the melting temperature or by adding an internal lubricant to the material composition. Thickness variations in the film – this can be avoided by centering the die in the extrusion line before every run, adjusting the air speed of the cooling system, or by using heated die lips. Die lines on the surface of the film – this defect reduces the aesthetic appeal of the film, reduces optical properties, and weakens mechanical properties such as tear strength. This can usually be avoided by routinely cleaning the inner surfaces of the die and by refinishing scratched or roughened flow surfaces. Gels – these defects are small, hard globules encapsulated in the film or stuck on the film surface and reduce the aesthetic appeal of the film and cause stress concentration points which may result in premature failure. These are caused by overheating to the point of polymer degradation in the die, and can therefore be avoided by cleaning the inner surfaces of the die on a regular basis. Optimization of the Process Coextrusion One way to improve the line efficiency of blown film extrusion is to implement coextrusion. This is the process of extruding two or more materials simultaneously through a single die. The orifices in the die are arranged such that the layers merge together before cooling. This process saves time because it extrudes two or more layers at the same time, and it provides a method with fewer steps to produce multilayer films. The production rate for a coextruded multilayer film of three layers is about 65m/min, and the production rate for a single layer of blown film is about 130m/min. Thus, in order to produce 10 000m of a three layer multilayer film, it would take almost 4 hours using a single layer blown film process, and only 2 and a half hours using the coextrusion process. Furthermore, the film produced from the single layer process would require an extra step to glue the layers together using some sort of adhesive. Coextrusion is the least expensive means of producing layered films and the coextrusion system is capable of quick changeovers to minimize production line down time.

Minimizing the Melt Temperature
The efficiency of blown film extrusion can be improved by minimizing the temperature of the polymer melt. Reduction of the melt temperature causes the melt to require less heating in the extruder. Normal extrusion conditions have a melting temperature at about 190 C despite the fact that the temperature of the melt only needs to be about 135 C. However, it is not always practical to decrease the melting temperature by that much. By decreasing the melt temperature 2 to 20 C, the motor load can be decreased by about 1 to 10%. Furthermore, reduction of the melt temperature causes less need for cooling, so there is a reduced use of the cooling system. Moreover, removing heat from the bubble is usually the rate-limiting factor in this extrusion process, so by having less heat in the polymer to remove, the rate of the process can be increased, thus yielding higher productivity. A way to maintain the melt temperature at a minimum is to choose an extruder that is matched to the specific processing conditions, such as the material of the melt, pressure, and throughput.

Heated Extrusion Die Lips
Typically, solutions to melt fractures involve decreasing the output or increasing the melt temperature to decrease the shear stress in the extruder. Both of these methods are not ideal because they both reduce the efficiency of the blown film line. Heated extrusion die lips can solve this problem. This targeted heating method allows for film extruders to be run at higher production rates with narrower die gaps while eliminating melt fractures. Direct heat is applied to the surface of the polymer melt as it exits the die so that viscosity is reduced. Therefore, melt fractures, which are caused when trying to extrude too much of the polymer at one time, will no longer act as a limiting factor to increasing the production rate. Furthermore, heated die lips use less energy than increasing the melting temperature because only the surface of the melt is heated and not the bulk of the liquid. Another benefit of using heated die lips is that thickness variations can be controlled by adding heat to certain areas along the die circumference to make the film at that position thinner. This would ensure that no excess material is used.
Determine how much energy each of these processes can save per given volume of material. 

Above article from www.appropedia.org

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Athens – What To See And How To See It

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There are so many aspects of current civilization that were birthed in ancient Athens. Among these are theatre, philosophy, democracy, classical art and even the Olympic games. Athens is located on the southern coast of Greece and has existed for over 7,000 years providing a rich culture expressed in a diverse setting. The term diverse fits as you will find ancient relics and sites in some of the same areas where there are trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes all mixed in together. This mixture of the very old and the new create a very unique experience provided nowhere in the world like it is provided in the ancient city of Athens. You will need to be sure your passport is up to day so if you need to add passport pages, be sure to go online and access a passport site to help you with this so you can be on you way.

World travel requires a passport but computers have simplified all passport needs. Even if you have to get an emergency passport, an online passport is available to help you. No one plans to have their travel documents lost or stolen but if this happens, help is as close as the nearest computer.

Athens is a city that contains many sites that make history come alive so this is certainly the ideal place for lovers of history to visit. High on top of the Acropolis you will find the Parthenon. This famous sight has earned the honor of being named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Investigating these ruins takes you back to sights names in Greek Mythology related to gods and goddesses, the titans and many other mythological characters. Admission to this site also opens the Theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Agora and the Temple of Olympian Zeus to the traveler.

Being the birthplace of the performing arts, it is no wonder that the arts and culture are very important to the Athenians. While the National Gallery is certainly large and well known, many smaller art galleries populate the city. Athens is also host to approximately 148 theatres so if you are in the mood for a show, the difficult part will be which performance to see. Among the theatres is the famous Herodes Atticus Theatre.

Using a bike or even walking around this city is a wonderful way to see the sights. Green space is always welcome when you travel to big cities and the National Garden of Athens provides an exceptional treat. Within it can be found a small zoo, ponds with ducks, colorful flowers and beautiful landscape with no shortage of a shady tree to relax under and consider the sights of the day.

For those who would like to shop till your drop, your experience will be a little different in Athens. Rather than large malls and strip centers, you will find street vendors selling custom crafts rather than name brand items. Some of the most visited markets are found on Plaka, Kolonaki and Ermou Street. You will find endless selections of shoes, purses and jewelry if you visit here and the quality will certainly not disappoint you.

Authentic cuisine is always interesting in a foreign city and Athens is no exception to this rule. Known for their souvlaki, which is comprised of grilled meat, veggies and a special yogurt sauce, this Athenian staple is considered a treat by all who try it.

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Athens – Church of Agioi Theodoroi

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Crossing Odos Dragatsaniou, in the end stands the attractive medieval church of Agioi Theodoroi (St. Theodore), built on the site of a church founded in the ninth century, but in its present form dating from between 1050 and 1075. This small cruciform church with its high narrow dome, multiple roofs that lend it an air of rhythmic grace, narrow mullioned windows and decorated central door surmounted by arches, is a precious gem of eleventh century Byzantine architecture.

The earliest form of Byzantine churches was that of the basilica, a long rectangle divided by two or four ranges of columns into three or five naves. Later, during the 11th and 12th centuries, the plan changed to that of a Greek cross within a square, dominated by a dome constructed in brick and often combined with one or more subsidiary domes. The exterior walls consist of square-cut stone with thin brick surrounds and are enriched by bands of decoration, carving and the use of color. Few of these churches were large. Apart from St. Theodore, typical examples are the churches of Kapnikarea and St. Eleutherios.

The glory of the Byzantine church lies not so much in the architecture as to the ethereal beauty of its mosaics or frescoes. From the center of the principal dome Christ looks down upon the faithful and below Him are the Apostles. The Virgin appears in the half dome, while around the sanctuary are symbolic figures and emblems connected with the Eucharist. On the West wall opposite the chancel is the Last Judgement. Colored marble and similar material in the lower walls add to the resplendent beauty of the interior.

The liturgy of the Greek Orthodox Church requires separation of the altar from the laity. The altar is placed in a chancel screened from the congregation by the iconostasis, i.e. the screen dividing the sanctuary from the church proper. This is adorned with pictures of Christ, the Virgin, and Saints, and generally has three doors, the curtains of which are lowered while Mass is being celebrated. The chancel is flanked by the Prothesis, where the bread and wine for the Eucharist are prepared, and by the Diakonikon, or vestry.

In St. Theodore one can also notice the influence of the East on Byzantine art, which was prominent in the period from the mid-9th to mid-11th centuries, when Byzantine artists used a variety of Oriental motifs in their designs. It is probable that the design of pseudo-kufic characters (the script perfected during the 7th century by calligraphers in the city of Kafa, in present-day Iraq) that decorate the terracotta panel below the windows of the facade was inspired by the work of Arab craftsmen.

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The Acropolis – Athens, Goddess Athena

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Archaeologists tell us that the original city of Athens was situated on the Acropolis. Even in classical times, the Athenians still referred to this area as “the City.” The city of Athens and its patron goddess emerge into the light of history as inseparably coupled. In Mycenaean times each city was built around a central palace, and each palace was under the protection of its patron goddess. Athena was the goddess of the palace on the Acropolis. The names of the city and its goddess are essentially the same: Athena was Athens, and Athens was Athena. She was “The Athenian.” The ancient Athenians seem to have exhibited, during much of their history, precisely those virtues which they traditionally attributed to her. This may be because, when the Athenians imagined their goddess, they did so in their own image.

According to the myth, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful titaness, Metis (“Cunning Intelligence”). Although she repeatedly changed her shape to avoid his unwelcome attentions, as was his way, he persisted. In the end he caught up with her and raped her.

An oracle then announced that Metis would bear Zeus two children: first a daughter then, a son, and the son would be mightier than his father. Just as Zeus had once overthrown and dispossessed his own father, Chronos, so he was destined in his turn, to be overthrown by his own son. In a desperate attempt to avoid sharing his father’s fate, Zeus gave Metis a potion of drugged ambrosia, and then swallowed her whole.

Some time afterwards a terrible headache came upon him. In great pain, he sought the advice of Hermes, whose only suggestion was that Hephaestos, the smith of the gods, should open his head in order to allow the cause of his pain to escape. Zeus was so desperate that even this drastic remedy was preferable to doing nothing, and Hephaestos was duly summoned to cleave open Zeus’ head with his mighty axe. When he did so, to the astonishment of all the immortals, Athena sprang out with a great war-cry, fully-formed, wearing armour and bearing arms.

Zeus’ daughter not only became the patron of many arts at that time normally considered masculine preserves, such as ceramics, she was also credited with a distinctly unfeminine warlike nature. When the Olympian gods were faced with a titanic struggle against the giants, Athena played a major role in the war, defeating the giant Enkelados in single combat. She came to be depicted not merely as a virgin goddess, but, as an ancient Roman writer put it, as a virago: as a female capable of playing a leading role in a world dominated by men.

It came to be said that the reason for the birth of this goddess lay in a wager between Zeus and his consort, Hera, as to which of them could generate the better progeny entirely alone and unaided. By herself, Hera managed to produce only the crippled god, Hephaestos and a monster; while Zeus was able to bring forth, in Athena, one of the greatest of the Immortals.

This seems to have been a picturesque reference to a widespread belief, which was to appear later in the works of the philosopher Aristotle: that the father alone is responsible for generating his children, and for providing them with their inherited characteristics, and that their mother affords them nothing more than a temporary shelter and sustenance in her womb during her pregnancy.

This is a striking example of the strong climate of male chauvinism which dominated the early classical period in ancient Greece, which is very evident in myth and legend.

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Ancient History – Athens

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Archaeologists have found evidence that Athens has been inhabited from at least the fifth millennium BC. The site would have been attractive to early settlers for a number of reasons: its location in the midst of productive agricultural terrain; its closeness to the coast and the natural safe harbour of Piraeus; the existence of defensible high ground, the Acropolis (from akron and polis, or ‘city on the high ground’); and the proximity of a natural source of water on the north-west side of the Acropolis.

Traces of Mycenaean fortifications from the thirteenth century AC can still be seen on the Acropolis, including some foundations belonging to what must have been a palatial structure. The fortifications, known as the ‘Pelasgian’ walls (after the indigenous people believed to have built them before the arrival of the Greeks around 2000 BC), remained in use until the Persian Wars of 490-480 BC. One stretch behind the temple of Athena Nike appears to have been deliberately preserved in the Classical period.

There was a decline of Mycenaean society across the Greek world around the end of the twelfth century BC. Whether this was directly connected with the Trojan War (around 1184 BC), or the so-called Dorian Invasion thought to have taken place soon after this conflict, Athens does not appear to have succumbed to an attack. The Mycenaean royal family of Pylos is said to have taken refuge in Athens after their city’s fall to the Dorians. One of its members, Codros, became king of his adoptive city.

The collapse of Mycenaean civilization left Greece in political, economic and social decline, accompanied by loss of artistic skills, literacy and trade networks. The Mycenaean form of writing, known as Linear B, was completely forgotten, and the Greek alphabet did not emerge until the late eighth century BC as the new form of writing. At this time city states began to emerge throughout the Greek world, governed by oligarchies, or aristocratic councils. Thirteen kings ruled in Athens after Codros, until in 753 BC they were replaced by officials with a ten-year term, known as decennial archons, and in 683 BC by annually appointed eponymous archons.

Conflict between the oligarchs and the lower classes, many of whom had been reduced to slavery, led to a series of reforms that paved the way for the emergence of the world’s first true democracy. Around 620 BC the lawmaker Dracon set up wooden tablets on the Acropolis known as axones. These were inscribed with civil laws and punishments so harsh that the death penalty was prescribed even for minor crimes, giving rise to the term `draconian’ which is still used today. Dracon’s intervention did little to ensure order, prompting representatives of the nobles and lower classes in 594 BC to appoint the statesman and poet Solon as archon.

Solon terminated aristocratic rule, setting up a representational government where participation was determined not by lineage or bloodline, but wealth. He eliminated slavery based on debt, and restituted freedom and land to those who had been enslaved. Solon created a `Council of Four Hundred’ from equal numbers of representatives of the Ionian tribes to which the Athenians claimed to belong, and instituted four classes of citizenry.

Peisistratos, Solon’s younger cousin, became tyrant (tyrannos) of Athens in 545 BC. He ensured the Solonian constitution was respected and governed benevolently. After Peisistratos’ death, however, things took a negative turn and anti-Peisistratid sentiment grew. By 510 BC King Cleomenes of Sparta was asked to assist in deposing Peisistratos’ son Hippias. Hippias sought refuge in Persia at the court of King Darius.

Soon after, the aristocrat Cleisthenes promised to institute further reforms giving a more direct role to citizens in government. His reforms were passed in 508 BC, and democracy was established in Athens. A new `Council of Five Hundred’ (the Boule) replaced the ‘Council of Four Hundred’, with equal representation from the various tribes. Cleisthenes is also credited with instituting the system of ostracism, which ‘voted’ an individual considered dangerous to democracy into exile for ten years.

It is uncertain when the former Mycenaean citadel was transformed into a sacred precinct but by the late eighth century BC a modest temple (or perhaps more than one) stood on the plateau. The oldest and holiest cult image on the Acropolis was the statue of Athena Polias (Protectress of the City), a crude olive-wood figure, so old that Athenians of the Classical period believed it had either fallen from heaven or been made by Cecrops or Erichthonios. This sacred image of Athena was ritually ‘dressed’ every year in a peplos, a sacred robe, as part of the Panathenaic festival.

A temple is thought to have been built around 700 BC to the south of the later, Classical Erechtheion, to house the statue of Athena Polias. The first major building of which there are significant remains on the Acropolis was the so-called ‘Bluebeard Temple’, built in the Archaic period around 560 BC. The ‘Bluebeard Temple’ is thought by some to have stood to the south of the later Erechtheion. Ancient texts mention a mysterious building or precinct contemporary to the ‘Bluebeard Temple’, called the Hecatompedon, or ‘Hundred-footer’. Whatever this structure or place was, it gave its name to the principal room of the Classical Parthenon, perhaps because the later building occupies the same site.

With the expulsion of Hippias a new temple was built on the Acropolis, its foundations still visible to the south of the later Erechtheion. This building, the Archaios Naos, or ‘ancient temple’, is likely to have been deliberately commissioned around 506 BC as a replacement for the ‘Bluebeard Temple’.

The first Persian invasion of 490 BC saw the victory of the Athenians at the battle of Marathon against the forces of King Darius of Persia. The following year the elated Athenians leveled an area on the south side of the Acropolis and began construction of the Old Parthenon. A new gateway to the Acropolis was also commenced, known as the Old Propylaia.

This post-Marathonian building program on the Acropolis came to a violent end in 480 BC when Xerxes, son of King Darius, led a second Persian invasion of Greece. Athens had to be evacuated and Xerxes razed the city and buildings on the Acropolis. Under the command of Themistocles, the Athenians destroyed the Persian fleet in the battle of Salamis. Victory over the Persians was ensured after the battle of Plataea (479 BC), to the northwest of Athens, when a combined Greek army annihilated the Persians.

In the aftermath of the battle of Plataea, a vow was made by the victors never to rebuild the shrines that were destroyed in the war, preserving them instead as memorials for later generations.

Pericles, who was a general and statesman, came to power in Athens around 461 BC. He considered the oath of Plataea to have been fulfilled, as thirty years had elapsed from the Persian invasion, and proceeded to reconstruct the temples on the Acropolis. He gathered together the best architects and artists in the city and plans were drawn up to erect new buildings that would outshine those torn down by the Persians. The Periclean building programme enhanced the lower city with new monuments, such as the Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Theseion, and the Painted Stoa or Poikile situated near the Agora (marketplace).

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Athens – The Destination

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Athens was named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, which is certainly fitting for the birthplace itself. Evidence of its ancient heyday is everywhere, in the remnants of monuments, statuary and sacred sites that are still revered as survivors of one of history’s most important eras.

A Poseidon adventure in art

In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the god of sea, so it is only fitting that the astoundingly wrought bronze statue of him was raised from the bottom of the Aegean Sea, where it lay for centuries after a shipwreck off the Cape of Artemision. The two-meter tall figure stands with arms extended and leaning forward on its left leg. The right hand once held a trident, and the unknown sculptor clearly was a master in accurately duplicating the complicated balancing act that goes into the seemingly simple motion of throwing a spear.

This work of art is one of the many stunning bronzes at the National Archeological Museum in Athens. The museum’s collection – which includes pieces that date all the way back to the prehistoric period – offers the best collection of Greek art in the world. Renovations closed the museum for a year and half, but it was reopened just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

At 260 feet above the city, the Acropolis (“high city”) is not only the highest point in Athens, but for many people it is the high point of any visit to Greece. It is the oldest known settlement in Greece and was a sacred site for ancient Athenians.

During the period of 448 to 420 B.C., the distinguished Athenian statesman Pericles commissioned the construction of four new monuments on the Acropolis at the site of former ruins. The Athenian sculptor Phidias presided over the construction and interior design. The Ionic Erechtheum includes the Porch of Caryatids, with its column in the shape of monumental female figures that identify remains a mystery. The Ionic Temples of Athena Nike, dedicated to the cult of Athena as the goddess of victory, was built during the Peloponnesian War, its frieze depicts the Greek victory over the Persians in the battle of Plataea. The Propylaea, the gateway to the Acropolis with rows of both Doric and Ionic columns, replaced an earlier version destroyed by the Persians. And of course, the Acropolis remains home to what’s left of the Parthenon.

The Parthenon, designed by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, took 15 years to complete. It was the closest to Pericles’ heart: Among various friezes depicting life among gods, the large statue of Athena represented his homage to the goddess and to the greatness of Athens.

Even in A.D. 131, savvy developers like the Roman Emperor Hadrian recognized the importance of signage. “This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus,” reads the inscription on Hadrian’s arch, situated at the foot of the Acropolis and once the marker between Hadrianopolis and the Athens city limits. The side facing the Acropolis and ancient Athens reads, ” This is Athens, the city of Theseus.”

Like all the surrounding monuments and the Athens infrastructure itself, Hadrian’s Arch has undergone a major facelift. The 60-foot high archway, constructed of Pentelic marble, upheld by columns with Corthinian capitals and topped by a series of Corinthians columns, lost a bit of structural stability in the mid-18th century, when 8 of its columns were removed.

Restorers shored up the arch, cleaned away centuries of pollution and repaired its cracks, just in time for the 2004 Olympic Games.

The Evzones

The Evzones were once the elite soldiers of the Greek army. Today they are the presidential guards, a ceremonial unit that maintains watch over The Parliament, The Presidential Mansion and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The soldiers wear a traditional and highly photogenic uniform comprising a scarlet cap with a long black tassel, a cotton tunic, black knee tassels above white stockings, red clogs with black pompons and a woolen kilt called a fustanella. The fustanella has 400 pleats, one for each year that the Greeks were on the occupation of the Ottoman Empire. Bearing leather cartridge belts and rifles with a bayonet, the soldiers maintain strict physical discipline as they stand at attention and resist tourists’ attempts to distract them.

A changing of guard is performed daily before the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but on Sundays, the complete ceremony – involving an army band and dozens of soldiers – is conducted.

Alice in Wonderland

Imagine Alice in Wonderland’s tumble into a magical world, and you will have an idea what this-off-beaten-path attraction in the Village of Paiania is like. Far larger than a rabbit hole, Koutouki Cave is a natural wonder that will awe you with its colors and formations. In 1926, a goat disappeared from its herd where it was grazing on the slope of Mount Ymittos. A search turned up a small crevice, and a brave soul descended by rope into the abyss below. The goat had not survived the fall, but its intended rescuer returned with a story of a beautiful underground chamber.

The vertical cave consists of a 38.5 meter shaft that opens onto a large cavern with a diameter of about 60 meters. Guided tours take visitors in through a man-made entrance and lead them on a path through stalactites and stalagmites formed by mineral deposits from water seeping through the limestone of the mountain. The tour ends with a light show accompanied by classical music. It’s just a short taxi ride from Athens to nearby Paiania.

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