Egypt Independent: Culture-Main news en Egypt retrieves stolen artifacts from Spain, France <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt has managed to retrieve and claim title to 274 illegally smuggled artifacts from Spain and France, the Antiquities&nbsp;Ministry has declared.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On its Facebook page on Thursday, the ministry&rsquo;s statement quoted Minister Mamdouh al-Damaty as saying that Egypt had succeeded in establishing claim to 36 antiquities that were smuggled to Spain illegally after secret excavations that had taken place recently in the country.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Damaty added that Interpol informed the ministry of a collection of artifacts that arrived to Valencia seaport, coming from Alexandria, hidden inside pots on board a container ship. The minister explained that ministry experts checked photos of the seized pieces confirmed they were ancient Egyptian artifacts.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ali Ahmed, who heads the ministry&rsquo;s retrieval department, said the seized pieces included, inter alia, a black granite head resembling Goddess Sekhmet, as well as a limestone head resembling God Amon.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ahmed added that the ministry is coordinating with the embassy in Madrid for the handover of the stolen pieces.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The declaration comes two days after Egypt said it retrieved 238 pieces of antiquity from France, with the artifacts being handed to the embassy in Paris.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The minister said Tuesday that an international press conference will be held after the collection arrives back to Egypt, noting that he discussed with the French ambassador to Cairo, Andre Baran, the possibility of signing a French-Egyptian memorandum of understanding that could help curb the illegal trafficking of antiquities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:24:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2443422 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/10/19/94/antiquities_minister_mamdouh_al-damaty_inaugurates_jewellery_museum_in_alexandria.jpg Apps bring speed reading into the digital age <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Speed reading has been around for more than half a century, but new apps are bringing the technique into the digital age, helping users breeze through books faster.</p><p>ReadMe!, a new app for iPhones, lets readers control the pace of their reading from 50 to 1,000 words per minute.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s about being able to read a book like &#39;Harry Potter&#39; in an hour and a half and still have the full comprehension of it,&rdquo; said Pierre DiAvisoo, who created the app and is based in Boras, Sweden.</p><p>Readers select an ebook in the app, which is available worldwide and costs $1.99. After opening the speed-reading technology it shows one word at a time. The app does not work ebooks that have sharing restrictions.</p><p>Within just minutes, most readers can learn to double their reading speed to between 400 and 450 words per minute without losing comprehension, according to Spritz, the Boston-based company that created the speed-reading technology.</p><p>&ldquo;Reading hasn&rsquo;t really changed in thousands of years. Speed reading techniques are still focused on consuming texts in lines and reading left to right line-by-line,&rdquo; said Frank Waldman, the chief executive of Spritz.&nbsp;</p><p>He added that the technology combines rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP), with eye research to present words at the ideal recognition point for quick understanding.</p><p>As people start reading on small devices, and even smartwatches, Waldman said Spritz will be a more convenient way to comprehend information.</p><p>But a small study from the University of California San Diego showed that speed reading may not lead to the same level of comprehension as normal reading because it is harder to go back to clarify understanding.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re looking for the equivalent level of understanding as natural reading then I think it will make comprehension poorer,&rdquo; said Elizabeth Schotter, a researcher involved in the study.</p><p>The study, which did not include Spritz technology, showed comprehension was about 25 percent lower using the RSVP technique. But Schotter added if people just want to skim content quickly, the apps might be beneficial.</p><p>&ldquo;If people just want to see text and absorb it passively then this is the way to go. It&rsquo;s a treadmill provided to you and you don&rsquo;t need to do much work,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>&ldquo;But if you want to get more out of it, it might be worth the effort required to move your eyes over a line of text,&rdquo; she added.</p><p>DiAvisoo admitted that not all types of reading are suited for speed reading.</p><p>&ldquo;If I were to read about atomic physics or something I would probably not pick up as much through speed reading,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Spritz also has an app for all Web browsers called Spritzlet, which lets users speed read on the Web. Several other speed-reading apps also use the Spritz technology.</p><p>Velocity, an iPhone app that costs $2.99, and ReadQuick, which costs $9.99, use RSVP, as does Speed Reader, a free app for Android devices.</p> Thu, 29 Jan 2015 13:59:00 +0000 Reuters 2443426 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/27/43/law-books-tablet.jpg PM opens Cairo Int'l book fair <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb has opened the 46th session of Cairo International Book Fair.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The opening was attended by Culture Minister Gaber Asfour, Planning Minister Ashraf al-Araby, Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy, Higher Education Minister Al-Sayyed Abdel Khaleq as well as several ambassadors of countries taking part at the fair.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mehleb inspected the pavilions under tight security measures without any external security as no ambulance or fire engine were stationed, although a bomb was found at the metro stop next to Gate 1 on Tuesday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Workers of the exhibition received the visitors with placards at calling on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi not to move the exhibition from Nasr City.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The event was the first time for a president to be absent from opening of the fair, as done in previous years.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>News circulated earlier about Sisi&rsquo;s participation in the African Union Summit held in Ethiopia, which caused confusion whether he would open the fair himself or delegate Mehleb, especially as the printing of the brochure on symposiums were late in addition to the delay in distributing tickets allocated for the journalists and media professionals until Tuesday morning. In the previous sessions such procedures are concluded almost a week before opening.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The celebrations were earlier canceled by Sisi within mourning of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz. All artistic activities will be canceled within the seven-day state of mourning, according to Ahmed Megahed, head of General Egyptian Book Organisation (GEBO).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Four African countries including Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Eritrea will take part for the first time in the fair, in addition to other seven foreign countries like Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan, India, Germany, France and the Czech Republic. Sixteen Arab countries will take part including Saudi Arabia as the guest of honor.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 13:50:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2443332 at sites/default/files/photo/2012/02/05/9948/9.jpg Odeon Cinema to show documentary film ‘The Mulberry House’ <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Odeon Cinema will screen a special showing next Sunday evening&nbsp;of the documentary film &ldquo;The Mulberry House&rdquo; (Bayt al-Toot) at al-Zawya hall.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The film revolves around teenager Sara, born in Yemen from a Yemeni father and a Scottish mother. Sara gradually grows impatient with the surrounding crippling circumstances. At the age of 17, she decides to migrate and live with her mother, provided that she does not abandon her Yemeni origins, according to an agreement with ther father that she is not able fulfill.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>After 10 years, Sara returns to Yemen as a different person determined to confront the circumstances in her homeland and reconnect with her roots. But unlike all her personal expectations, she finds Yemen on the cusp of a revolution.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 10:18:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2443323 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/01/28/484151/still10.jpg