Saturday, April 21, 2007

2007 Sydney Royal Easter Show

Better late than never (been busy - AND had trouble with blogger - updated Firefox and now seems fine).

Took the family (wife, daughter and self) to the Sydney Royal Easter Show last weekend. We don't go every year, but, like most years we have gone, had a great family day out. It is so big (amongst the top 3 'state fair' type shows in the world I'm led to believe) that you can't see it all in a day - not even close

I try occasionally to look at it through the eyes of a newcomer. Renews my enthusiasm.

'The Royal' as it is sometimes called, 'brings the country to the city'. The new venue was built as part of the site for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. In fact was finished 2 years before then, and the first two Easter shows helped test out the Olympic venue (transport, water, infrastructure and the like).

What I really like is the original and quirky architecture of the arenas and pavilions - each different.

A great family day out (Wore us out though).

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Movies I've seen - 300.

I went and saw the movie '300' today. It was on my list, but it went to a higher priority when I discovered Ahmadinejad was upset and took exception to the general idea of the movie. That elevated it to 'must see' status.

"...Spartan King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fight to the last man against Persian King Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro) and his army of over one million soldiers, while in Sparta, Queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) attempts to rally support for her husband. The story is framed by a voice-over narrative by the Spartan soldier Dilios (David Wenham)..." [Wikipedia].

The movie is a dramatisation of the events of, and leading to the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC, when Xerxes tried to conquer Greece (it wasn't the first time, Darius had tried once before - the battle at Marathon was one episode in that campaign). the Persians were defeated, at Salamis, and then at Plataea, which marked the end of Persia's chances to conquer Greece.

To those who view history as dead letters on a page, I must say this;
Greek philosophy and the kernel of objective thinking that became science formed the basis of what became Western Civilization. If Greece had fallen to the Persians, that would have been the end of the noble experiment in Democracy. No flowering of science. Nothing to pass on to the Romans. No basis for the Enlightenment centuries later. Perhaps darkness would still prevail. Possibly, the entire fate of Western progress rested upon those few hundred (not all or only, but pre-eminently) Spartans who fought for all of us down through two and a half thousand years of history those few days.

"Stranger! To Sparta say, her faithful band,
Here lie in death, remembering her command."
[Inscription at Thermopylae].

"Lest we forget".

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