Friday, December 31, 2010

CYCLING: VICKY PENDLETON FEELS PRESSURE

SPRINT queen Vicky Pendleton says the huge pressure to shine in London 2012 is almost suffocating both her and the rest of the British cycling team.
A spectacular haul of cycling gold medals at the Beijing Olympics and world championships has sent expectations soaring for the home Games.
Pendleton chalked up yet another sprint first place at the recent track world championships in Copenhagen, adding a silver medal in the women’s keirin event. Pendleton, 29, is aiming for three golds in London and noticed the first rumblings of discontent in Denmark after Britain fell behind Australia in the overall table.
And with the entire team now marked men and women with rivals, Pendleton is increasingly aware of the difficulties of staying clear of the field. She said: “Everyone is feeling the pressure already that Britain is expecting great things from their team, and the cycling team specifically.
“I feel more pressure on me now than I ever have in succeeding in big competitions like the world champs and the Olympics.
“There are a few new challenges to deal with to stay there at the top.
“The standard is very high in terms of what is expected of us come 2012 because of what we have achieved in the recent past. You started to see it already in Copenhagen – we didn’t come away with all the gold medals we expected. There was some doom and gloom about the place.”
The pursuit of excellence continues. Complacency is the dirtiest of words in Pendleton’s camp – and sacrifice is the most commonplace.
“Becoming complacent would be the kiss of death,” she added.
For healthy breakfast ideas and information about Hovis Wholemeal Breakfast Week, log on to www.hovisbakery.co.uk

Germany History

Middle Ages
In the first centuries the Merovingian kings of Gaul conquered many German tribes, these Colonists of Gaul were also focused in change the religion. The missionary activity funded monasteries at Würzburg, Regensburg, Reichenau, and other places. Many years later, from 772 to 814, the king Charlemagne extended his empire into northern Italy and the territories of all west of Germany, including Saxons and Bavarians. When Charlemagne was confirmed as emperor of Rome, the “Holy Roma Empire” was established. The years passed and the empire was divided into several parts because of the many fights between Charlemagne’s grandchildren, this division gave place to the beginning of the Frankish Kingdom under the government of Duke Henry of Saxony. The time between 1096 and 1291 was the age of the crusades and knightly religious orders were established: The Templars, the Knights of St. John and the Teutonic Order, many towns, castles, bishops’ palaces and monasteries were founded in this age. But from 1300 The Empire started to lose territory on all its frontiers. In the 15th century the king Maximilian I tried to reform the Empire but it was frustrated by the continued territorial fragmentation of the Empire.

Germany Reformation
In the 16th century began the Germany reformation under the philosophy of Martin Luther and his “95 theses” against the abuse of indulgences to the church. Luther translated the Bible establishing the basis of modern German. By 1555 the era of religious tensions seemed to end with the Peace of Augsburg. In the 17th century the Thirty Year’s War devastated Germany, and the religious tensions continued, and the conflict was widened into a European War by the intervention of King Christian IV of Denmark, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and France under Cardinal Richelieu, the regent of the young Louis XIV. Germany became the main theatre of war and the scene of the final conflict between France and the Habsburgs for the predominance of Europe. The war resulted in large areas of Germany being laid waste, in a loss of something like a third of its population, and in a general impoverishment. Finally, the war ended with the Peace of Westphalia and the German territory was lost to France and Sweden; Netherlands also left the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved on 6 August 1806 when the last Holy Roman Emperor Francis II resigned and the Confederation of the Rhine was established under Napoleon's protection. Later with the Wars of Liberation began the destruction of Napoleon’s army and Germany was liberated from French rule.

Germany Confederation
After the fall of Napoleon, European monarchs and statesmen convened in the Vienna in 1814 for the reorganization of European affairs. On the territory of the former "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation", the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) was founded, a loose union of 39 states (35 ruling princes and 4 free cities) under Austrian leadership, with a Federal Diet (Bundestag) meeting in Frankfurt am Main. In 1867 the German Confederation was dissolved. In its place the North German Confederation (German Norddeutscher Bund) was established, under the leadership of Prussia. Austria was excluded, and would remain outside German affairs for most of the remaining 19th and the 20th centuries. The North German Confederation was a transitory group that existed from 1867 to 1871, between the dissolution of the German Confederation and the founding of the German Empire, led by Otto Von Bismarck who was declared chancellor. With it, Prussia established control over the 22 states of northern Germany and, via the Zollverein, southern Germany.

German Empire
In 1871 The German Empire was funded with 25 states, three of which were Hanseatic free cities, and the Chancellor was Bismarck. It was dubbed the "Little German" solution, since Austria was not included. Bismarck's domestic policies as Chancellor of Germany were characterized by his fight against perceived enemies of the Protestant Prussian state. Other Bismarck's priority was to protect Germany's expanding power through a system of alliances and an attempt to contain crises until Germany was fully prepared to initiate them, then in 1879 Bismarck formed a Dual Alliance if Germany and Austria-Hungary, later Italy joined to the Dual Alliance to form a Triple Alliance against France colonial policy. In spite of Bismarck policies, the 29 year old Wilhelm II removed Bismarck of his chancellor position. In 1898 the Triple Alliance was dissolved by differences between Austria and Italy and Germany was increasingly isolated.

First World War
Imperialist power politics and the determined pursuit of national interests ultimately led to the outbreak in 1914 of the First World War, sparked by the assassination of the Austrian heir-apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife. Germany fought on the side of Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire against Russia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and several other smaller states. Fighting also spread to the Near East and the German colonies. The entry of the United States into the war in 1917 following Germany’s declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare marked a decisive turning-point against Germany. On November Kaiser Wilhelm II and all German ruling princes abdicated and the Social Democrat Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed a Republic who signed the end of the war at Compiègne. After First World War, Germany was obligated to cede many areas, allied troops occupied the left German Bank of the Rhine for a period of 5-15 years, and the German army was to be limited to 100,000 officers. Furthermore, Germany and its allies were to accept the sole responsibility of the war, and were to pay financial reparations for all loss and damage suffered by the Allies. The humiliating peace terms provoked bitter indignation throughout Germany, and seriously weakened the new democratic regime.

Weimar Republic
In 1919, under the Weimar constitution, Friedrich Ebert was named as the first German President, but the Weimar republic was not accepted by the National Socialist German Workers' Party and German Communist Party. In 1923 began other the problems when Germany defaulted on its reparation payments French and Belgian troops occupied the heavily industrialized Ruhr district. The German government encouraged the population to passive resistance and later the occupation became a loss-making deal for French government. As consequence of this, many lost all their fortune and they would become bitter enemies of the Weimar Republic. Fortunately, in 1928 Germany’s industrial production improved. At this time, Hitler made his first appearance with storm troopers in Munich and after the national elections in 1932, the new president Hindenburg appointed him Chancellor.

Nazi Revolution
With Hitler, the Communism was begun. He also formed a slim majority government and obtained the full legislative power with the Enabling Act of 1933, only the Social Democrats were against this act. The Enabling Act formed the basis for the dictatorship, dissolution of the trade unions and all political parties other than the Nazi party were suppressed. A centralized totalitarian state was established, no longer based on the liberal Weimar constitution. In 1938, Hitler entered into Austria and he was acclaimed, many Austrians voted for the annexation of their country to Germany.

Second World War
In 1939, after six years, The Nazi regime prepared the country for World War II. The Nazi leadership occupied countries through forced deportation and genocide, now knows as the Holocaust. By 1945, Germany and its partners (Italy and Japan) had been defeated, chiefly by the forces of the Soviet Union, the USA, Britain, and Canada. Many people had been killed between six million Jews and five million non-Jews, and much of Europe lay in ruins. World War II resulted in the destruction of Germany's political and economic infrastructure and led directly to its partition, considerable loss of territory, and historical legacy of guilt and shame. Germany was divided into four military occupation zones by the Allies; the three western zones would form the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) while part of the Soviet Zone became the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). The Germans were repatriated to the Eastern Europe (German exodus). In this process of expulsion, millions of Germans died.

After 1945
After war, Germany population lived on near starvation levels. In the early 1950s, West Germany eventually came to enjoy prolonged economic growth. The recovery occurred largely because of the previously forbidden currency reform of June 1948 and from 1949 on partly by U.S. assistance through Marshall Plan loans. Across the border, East Germany soon became the richest, most advanced country in the Warsaw Pact, but many of its citizens looked to the West for political freedoms and economic prosperity. In 1970, West Germany under Brandt's Ostpolitik was intent on holding to its concept of "two German states in one German nation." Relations improved, and in 1973, East Germany and West Germany were admitted to the United Nations. German reunification happened in 1990 when East German authorities suddenly allowed East German citizens to enter West Berlin and West Germany. Hundreds of thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity; new crossing points were opened in the Berlin Wall and along the border with West Germany.
New Germany, France and other European countries formed the European Union. After all, Germany became into a country of remarkable diversity, with cultural differences, although Germans will never forget the dark past.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Akshay gives Bollywood gyaan to Katrina on TMK promotional tours

Nowadays thanks to the promotional tours and events for their new film together, Akshay Kumar is spending a lot of time with Katrina Kaif. And we can safely say it's time well spent for Katrina. Akshay is constantly enhancing Katrina's knowledge of Hindi films, their titles and other trivia.

By now it's common knowledge that Katrina is not quite clued into the nuances and titles of Hindi cinema. Her co-star Akshay Kumar, who prides himself for being just the opposite and is a veritable encyclopaedia of filmy titles and other trivia, has found an ingenious method of educating his co-star. He plays Dumb Charade with Katrina providing her signs and hints from commercial Hindi films as clues.

And boy, is Katrina getting clued in!

Lets hear it, Sheila ki zubaani (voice). "I've to admit I couldn't have hoped for a more fun teacher than Akshay. I come from a place where I can't gush about how I grew up on a staple diet of Sholay and Mughal-e-Azam. Akshay knows it all. He is completely clued into the cult of potboilers and can mimic every actor and act out every famous sequence. Being with him over the last few weeks, I am finally getting knowledgeable about Hindi movies."

The games of Dumb Charade are being played between bouts of promotion on cars and flights in several cities across the country. Akshay and Katrina have hired a private plane for the 12-city 25-day tour.

"So we get a lot of time to play Dumb Charade. By the time the promotions for Tees Maar Khan are over, I think I'll be an expert on Bollywood trivia," Katrina has her fingers crossed.

The education works both ways. While Akshay acts out scenes from Hindi films during Dumb Charade, Katrina mimes magical moments from Hollywood films for Akshay.

"So I guess we are both learning on the job," she chuckles.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Singapore Airport: Secret of Success


Other than buying chewing gum and a few more things that minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew would frown upon, there is little that those transiting through Singapore’s Changi airport cannot do. It has for years been a benchmark for airport excellence and passengers from all over the world know it for the calming little islands with orchids in the arrival hall, efficient baggage handling (bags are on the conveyor within 12 minutes of touchdown) and duty free shopping.

But Changi is not content. It is going all out to add more attractions: The newest terminal has spacious art deco styled powder rooms for women, and for those with time on their hands, a butterfly park and movie theatres. And adding a completely new dimension, the airport, will also offer an exclusive area for storing and trading gold, diamonds and high value art. In the process, Changi, or at least a part of it, will turn into Fort Knox.

The Freeport is a 25,000 square metre area with a containment perimeter of reinforced concrete walls and invisible laser beams to secure it. Since it is located on the runway with permanent air/land access, customers can be picked up straight from the plane and taken to exclusive viewing suites.

Changi’s latest addition is being built by Singapore Airport Freeport, a company co-founded by private investors from Singapore and Switzerland. “It will operate as a round-the-clock free trade zone that customers can use for tax-free storage and trading,” says Alain Vandenborre, vice-chairman of the company. Auction house Christie’s has taken up 40 percent of the space in the first phase; the rest is likely to be booked by art dealers, sovereign institutions, and companies active in the storage or trading of fine art and physical gold.

The Freeport is part of Changi’s attempts to increase activity that attracts more traffic into the airport. It has shielded airline users from increase in landing fees and offers incentives to those who bring in more traffic or use Singapore as a hub to link up with other carriers. Three Indian airlines — Jet Airways, Kingfisher and Air India (as well as its low cost subsidiary AI Express) — currently connect to Changi from about half a dozen points in India. These airlines have had to face huge increase in fees at airports back home over the past two years. As airline losses grew to $9 billion in 2009, most were grateful for any reductions that came their way.

Changi was able to freeze fees and offer airlines discounts on various airport services thanks to a revenue buffer created from non-aeronautical income (from shops, food and beverage sales, hotels and parking) — which was 55 percent of the total revenues earned in 2009. In the year ended March 31, 2009, the airport’s operations generated revenues of S$1.23 billion and a net surplus of S$284 million.

As traffic picks up, the discounts are slowly being scaled back for passenger carriers, though they are still in place for cargo airlines where recovery is much slower. Few airports in the region have been able to match this. Airports in India, for instance, have increased landing charges by about 10 percent during the period.

The ability to take the unconventional route to increasing traffic to the city-state, has put Changi in the lead as one of Asia’s biggest hubs. Thirty-seven million passengers used its three terminals in 2009, despite there being virtually no domestic flights in the single-city state. Contrast this with Mumbai airport that handled about 25 million passengers in the same period, counting both domestic and international flights.

Competition is stiff and every new scheme is directed at attracting more airlines. With a capacity of 70 million passengers, Changi is well-provided for growth, a trait not very evident at airports in India.
“The Bangalore international airport that opened in 2008 was saturated from day one. It was built for 11 million passengers, and traffic was already over 10 million the year it opened,” says D.P. Singh, general manager, corporate planning, at the Airport Authority of India.

At Changi they are already taking the next step. Last year the airport structure changed from a government to a corporate entity. The Temasek-led Changi Airport Group (CAG) is the new owner that bought the airport from the ministry of civil aviation. (Temasek owns and manages the Singapore government’s direct investments.) This has been followed by better salaries and hiring from the non-aviation sectors like retail. This will allow the airport to improve revenues, says a report by the Sydney-based think tank Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation which closely monitors airlines and airports in the region.

One way that Changi manages to keep its edge is by providing for the entire spectrum of airline traffic. High-value passengers, whether they are flying by a commercial airline or a business jet, can pay about S$500 to be met at the aircraft and whisked away to JetQuay, a small exclusive terminal. The service is available for arrival and departure, and the JetQuay team helps with immigration and other travel formalities.

On the other end of the band is the budget terminal that caters to the no-frills customer. Though only 20 percent of Changi’s passengers use the terminal, it allows airlines to save on aerobridge and office rental charges. There are no aerobridges or escalators and passengers have to walk on the tarmac to reach the aircraft. They are charged S$15 for using the budget terminal as opposed to S$28 for the ones with frills. “Three airlines — Tiger, Sebu-Pacific and Firefly — operate from it, even as others like AirAsia and Jetstar choose to use the main terminals so that they can interline with carriers like Qantas,” says Ivan Tan, director communications, CAG.

One formal way devised to funnel the changes needed to keep ahead is the Changi Airport Growth initiative, launched this year. Yam Kum Weng, executive vice president, Air Hub Development, says incentive programmes and joint collaborations are tailored according to the airline’s business model and needs.

Yet competition is creeping up fast in the form of other very aggressive regional airports like Kuala Lumpur and others in the Middle East like Dubai and Doha. CAG will have to think on its feet to keep ahead. The most recent case of a tough fight over a customer was for Australian budget carrier Jetstar. The Aussie carrier  committed to make Changi its largest air hub in Asia. The choice was made over Kuala Lumpur airport, after much negotiation. Changi airport is the sixth largest in the world now, but keeping ahead in the future will not be easy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Unpaired Tips to Help you Improve your Shower

Most bathroom remodeling projects start by focusing on the bathtub and shower. By changing your shower you can actually change the look of the whole bathroom. Redesigning your bathroom shower does take a lot of planning, however there’s no reason that it can’t be done on a budget.
When you are deciding which bathroom shower you would like to install it is important to understand exactly what you are trying to achieve. You should have a plan in mind with accurate measurements so that you are sure everything will work. It’s always a good idea to locate your shower where the plumbing already exists, this will make the project much more reasonable.
There are a lot of things that you have to decide other than just choosing the shower and where you are going to put it. You should also choose the shower head that you want to use, you could opt for a traditional model or go for one of the multi-jet heads. You also need to decide on some tiles for the shower area, both floor and wall tiles will be needed. Alternatively you could use a premade unit which does not need tiling. Then you will decide if you will use a shower door or shower curtains.
Choosing a Shower Stall
When you are remodeling your bathroom you can make the project a huge success just by choosing the right shower to start off with. There are so many options available it is important you choose the right one. You will also have to choose toilets, tubs and vanities to tie in with this shower. You should bear in mind all of your other bathroom fixtures and fittings when deciding on your shower stall. Ideally you want to coordinate your shower with everything else in your bathroom so that it all fits together nicely.
Your shower will hopefully become the focal point of your bathroom, this is after all what will grab everyone’s attention. There are many popular shower designs including glass frameless doors, or even no doors. Glass doors without frames allow plenty of light in while also looking clean and modern. Many newly built homes have large showers which are tiled and have attractive glass doors.
Ultimately the decision about your bathroom shower is completely up to you, when you have decided you should make sure that it goes with everything else in your bathroom. Bathrooms work very well if everything matches and works together, otherwise you could end up with a mixed room. Creating a unified look will make your room much more attractive. It is possible to mix different colors of metal, however to be safe it’s probably best to stay with either gold or silver since everything will be uniform this way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SNOOKER: LOYALTY ISSUE IS A MOUNTAIN FOR DEL HILL

SNOOKER coaching guru Del Hill is staying away from the first week of this year’s world championship – because four of his prodigies are playing against each other and he does not want divided loyalties.
This is typical of Hill, who is rated as the best coach in the game , having masterminded world titles with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon and Graeme Dott .
Hill operates from his snooker “farm” which is set in five acres of lush grounds that boast a large lake stocked with perch, carp and bream, where players can relax and fish after long spells of potting pressure.
He is also head of World Snooker’s elite coaching team, manager of England’s amateur squad and has still found time to answer business calls from Russia, Thailand, Jordan, Romania, Belgium, Malta, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.
And if that is not enough, he also brokered a deal for Chelsea’s John Terry to buy The Crucible’s 2008 World Championship table – and arranged for technicians to set it up.
During his coaching career, Hill has found himself dashing from one dressing room to another before a major tournament to offer final words of advice to players squaring up to one another – something which, from a professional point of view, he finds rather embarrassing.
And that is why he will not be at The Crucible in Sheffield for the opening rounds of the tournament, which starts on Saturday, when Ebdon faces Dott and Michael Holt plays Joe Perry. Instead, Hill – 6ft 9ins and known as the Gentle Giant – will telephone each player with the words: “May the best man win. I’ll be watching you on TV – but if you’re in desperate trouble, then you’d better ring me.”
Hill recalled an incident in 2005 when Dott phoned him urgently before he played O’Sullivan in the world final, complaining that a problem had developed with his break-off shot.
“I dropped everything and rushed to Sheffield . We thought it had all been sorted out when Graeme went 5-0 in front – only for O’Sullivan to hit back and go on to win,” said Hill.

WAUGH SO SURE SKIPPER PONTING CAN BE THE BEST

HISTORY has always warned against displays of premature triumphalism, which is why Steve Waugh, a man who knows a little about these things, suggested that while Australia dominated much of the drawn first npower Test, there is still work left to do if the Ashes are to be retained.
But former Australian captain Waugh, the man who handed over control in early 2004, believes that while England’s tail proved too devilishly tricky to grab who came, saw and was conquered in 2005.

And Waugh says his time will come sooner or later. Ponting has taken time to mature into the role of skipper, but Waugh insists that there are two factors that have sharpened him from the rather blunt blade that failed to cut the mustard four years ago – namely fatherhood and then the moulding of his own side.

The birth of Waugh’s own daughter 13 years ago proved the catalyst that gave the former skipper the perspective needed to start improving as a captain.

“Becoming a parent was the key for me,” he said.

“It gave me the ability to stop thinking about cricket 24-7 and that’s important.

“It changes a lot of things in your life and maybe that was what changed Ricky’s captaincy, becoming a father.

“You see things from a different perspective. It’s not so much about yourself anymore. You have to look after your own family and your kids and you see things differently.”

A year after the birth of his first daughter, Waugh became involved with an orphanage in Calcutta called Udayan that helped girls with leprosy. And following the birth of Ponting’s fi rst daughter, Emmy Charlotte in July last year, Waugh detected a similar shift in Ponting’s focus. 

“It may be because it also coincided with the fact that he has had to build a team from some new guys.

“In some ways he has probably appreciated having some young guys in there who he can infl uence. It is easier when you have a team you  can mould, rather than experienced players.”

Waugh was not at Cardiff yesterday and instead was saddle sore having completed 40 miles on a bicycle supporting Daley Thompson’s Laureus knife crime initiative.

Like Ponting, Waugh endured a signifi cant amount of criticism during his fi ve-year stint as captain. He maintained it is something that goes with the territory.

“Everyone in a position of leadership is going to get criticism,” he said.

“People will always have opinions. But you just have to look in the mirror and work out whether you are doing the best job you could possibly be doing. Most importantly, you have to realise you are never going to please everyone.

“When you are fresh you take all the criticism home but the longer you play the easier it gets. As a young kid you take everything on board and you think the world is against you but, later on, while you are still under pressure, you have a better perspective.” 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Golf Courses in germany

The very first steps
The biggest mistake by people wanting to start in golf is to rush out and buy a brand new set of shiny and expensive golf clubs. While they are nice to look at you should keep in mind that today's golf equipment comes in great varieties to cater for different golfing types and abilities. Since you're just starting out you do not know which set fits you best. Just imagine the envious looks you get at the driving range when you come with your $2000 set, and the subsequent laughter when you try and just 'hack away' - not worth the embarrassment! Once you spend a few hundred or even thousand $$ on a set that doesn't suit your style you're stuck with it or you have to sell it to somebody else at a loss.



GOLF COURSES IN GERMANY


Taking a Golf courses can be very expensive, time-consuming effort. And like any good or service that will cost money and require time, you should be careful before you buy. It's OK to shop around for a golf instructor, it's recommended in order to find the best fit. Here you can find some things to consider before you commit to golf lessons.

Know your Price Limit
Golf lessons are expensive. But some are more expensive than others. Generally, the more expensive instructors are the ones with more experience, more accolades and who are attached to a more upscale golf facility. But there are lots of teaching pros out there who are less expensive but still very good. Decide how much you are willing to spend before you start shopping, and stick to it.

Make Sure Your Goals and Commitment Match
A golf instructor can do wonders with your game, but he can't do it alone. To make golf lessons worthwhile, you must be able to follow up on them by continuing to work on the instructor's suggestions on your own time. The higher your goals, the more work will be required. Be realistic in your goals and make sure you can offer the commitment necessary to meet those goals.

Private Lessons vs. Golf Schools
Private lessons and Golf schools are the two typical ways to receive golf instruction. Both have strengths. Private lessons allow for follow-up visits over a period of time - a building block approach to learning golf. Schools offer an intensive amount of learning in a short time, but can also offer too much information and without follow-up. But private lessons can take months to complete.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Guzaarish


Producer: Ronnie Screwvala, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Aishwarya Rai, Aditya Roy Kapoor, Monikangana Dutta, Rajit Kapoor, Shernaz Patel,Nafisa Ali, Sanjay Lafont
Music: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Lyrics: A.M. Turaz, Vibhu Puri
Genre: Drama
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 19 November 2010


Hrithik Roshan. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Three powerhouse names in a single film, and the potential viewer has nothing but the universe to expect for the film. And yet, there will be some skeptics who have lost faith in Bhansali a la Saawariya. The questions that now remain on the mind are: Does Guzaarish score? Has Bhansali made a gem? Do Hrithik and Aishwarya get it right again with their chemistry?

Set in Goa, Guzaarish traces the lives of a paraplegic Ethan Mascarenhas (Hrithik Roshan), once a famed magician who lost his ability to feel or work with anything below his neck level. He is now a radio show host of the program Radio Zindagi – a show that speaks about life and living it to the fullest – in an unknown radio station, and is taken care of by his nurse, Sofia D’Souza (Aishwarya Rai), who shares a strong but silent bond with him. One fine day, he calls his lawyer friend, Devyani Dutta (Shernaz Patel) and asks her to file a petition in the court for his own death, leaving Devyani and Sofia stunned. In this time, an eager magician, Omar Siddiqui (Aditya Roy Kapoor), comes into his life to learn magic – and it is here that Ethan decides to hand over his entire knowedge to him. Slowly, he learns to live, to absorb and to love… all in more ways than one!

Now we all know that Bhansali films are unique in their own, regardless of how good or bad the box office collections or critical reactions may be may be. While Khamoshi is still the standpoint of his career, the only film in which he has given a glimmer of hope to see more of the filmmaker’s potential was in Black. And when Saawariya released, most felt the hope was diminished, as though it was made on a large scale, the movie was slow, and the screenplay of the story lacked punch to attract a universal crowd; hence the extremely mixed buzz for Guzaarish. In fact, many people stated that the promos and trailers of Guzaarish had a certain déjà vu from Saawariya.

Guzaarish is not only different from Saawariya; in fact, here, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has finally outdone Khamoshi and has given us a moving storyline with an equally sensational screenplay (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Bhavani Iyer), having fantastic dialogues (Vibhu Puri, Bhavani Iyer) that will sting your mind long after the movie’s over. Post Black and Saawariya, we already know that Bhansali is a fan of the bluish color tone, and here too, though it hasn’t been added in dollops, there’s just the right amount of it with subtlety all over it. Even if there’s so much pain and tragedy in display in the lives of the protagonists, each frame looks picturesque; thereby forming an ironical correlation between pulchritude and desolation.

Production design and styling of the characters give the movie and the protagonists an old-world feel. Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography captures each frame with a hauntingly dark aesthetic that will not just seduce the viewer, but arouse a lot of curiosity in one’s mind concerning the lives and the incidents of the protagonists.

Tubby and Parik’s background score is absolutely breathtaking, and one of the best since Love Aaj Kal. The score is something not to be listened, but to be experienced deep within while watching the film. Camerawork is smooth and consistent throughout, keeping the overall pace uniform. Hemal Kothari’s edit is excellent. Music by the auteur, Bhansali, himself, is terrific, and the visuals totally support the lyrics and the compositions.

Moving on to the performances, Hrithik Roshan is the showstealer. Here he takes the whole movie forward with the varied emotions he exhibits, whether it’s the awkward laugh, or the tears when he cries hearing the voice of his muse Estelle after fourteen long years. His aggressiveness and the way he reacts like an excited 10-year old while touching upon matters of sexual arousal.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gets back at her detractors like a raging tigress after the failure of Raavan, and performs stupendously. She impresses with her absolutely restrained performance, her aura and her overall controlled self. She plays the part of the nurse more like she is the nurse. The chemistry they both display, as usual, is phenomenal. Each scene they’ve shared with each other has a certain uniqueness of intensity attached to it.

Aditya Roy Kapoor shines. He’s already proved himself in London Dreams and Action Replayy, and he’s continuing to do so in his own inimitable style. This guy’s got a lot of potential. Shernaz Patel is a natural. Nafisa Ali charms, even though it is in a small role. Ash Chandler enacts his part efficiently. Others are laudable.

Overall, I’ll have to say that never since Khamoshi, have I seen something Bhansali has done better till Guzaarish came along. Guzaarish is easily the best film of Bhansali, and the best film of the year so far. In a year where we’ve seen a lot of masala moneymakers, the audience has always thirsted for something far different and meaningful. Guzaarish is not just those, it’s THE actual, genuine, bona fide deal. It’s food for the mind and the soul. It’s relish for each of the body’s senses. It’s well-worth the big screen experience, and is to be appreciated in a whole new way!

Break Ke Baad


Producer: Kunal Kohli
Director: Danish Aslam
Starring: Imran Khan,Deepika Padukone,Shahana Goswami,Yudishtir Urs,Navin Nischol, Lillete Dubey
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi
Genre: Romantic
Recommended Audience: General
Film Released on: 26 November 2010


Kunal Kohli has, and will always be known for his surprise hit Hum Tum, for which actor Saif Ali Khan became a star overnight. Post Hum Tum’s success, Kohli directed an average Fanaa, and followed it up with a decent Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic, which also announced the debut of his production cell, Kunal Kohli Productions. More than two years later, Kohli is back, albeit only to produce debutant director Danish Aslam’s film under his banner. This movie has a lot going for it – Vishal-Shekhar’s excellent music, Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone’s extra-promising pair, and a genre (romantic comedy) that has proven to be a success more often than not.

But there are times when the genre doesn’t work, and when the formula fails to generate success. Does Break Ke Baad succeed or does Danish Aslam fail to execute a good product? Let me analyse.

They grew up together, they became the closest of friends, and then they decided to be in a relationship for around eight years, till she finally gets to achieve her dream of being an actress, post getting elected in a scholarship for acting in Australia, and this is when Abhay (Imran Khan) and Aaliya (Deepika Padukone) decide to “take a break” in their relationship. And then life changes for them…

I’ve always said that, and I repeat, that story and screenplay is very important for the viewers to hold their attention, but here, the screenplay (Renuka Kunzru, Danish Aslam) is full of glitches. Most of the movie borrows from the attitude of Love Aaj Kal, which was a far superior product, which successfully conveyed the confusion in relationships and kept it far more real than any other. While the character development is something viewers must watch out for, the story fails to grip post interval – it just goes all slow, and the viewer wonders why did they come to see the film.

The pre-interval portions hold some interest due to the imaginative writing of the lead characters and engaging chemistry between the two; along with some witty realistic one-liners and some scenes you could relate to. But post-intermission, the movie drags and goes into various subplots such as the two trying to make a secure life out of their ambitions and dreams, which for most part makes the story drab and boring. What makes the movie worse is the random climax, which makes the viewer feel it was as if the movie was written in a hurry. Though Imran Khan’s previous film had nothing new to say, it was far more entertaining because of some smart writing, something that’s only shown in bits and spurts here. I’d like to mention, however, that though Danish the screenwriter requires a lot more to work on, Danish the director has a lot of potential and is here to stay, provided he gets better scripts to work on.

It seems the makers try very hard to cover their screenplay by trying to gloss it up with technically superior stuff. The movie boasts of amazing cinematography, where each frame looks beautiful, and with the help of some neat camerawork, makes it look on par with international films. Background score gels well with the scene. Music by Vishal-Shekhar is absolutely fresh, and the visuals complement the song terrifically. Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi have been well written and fit the songs and the situations they support well. What’s good about it is that the songs don’t have lip-sync, which make it pretty grounded. Styling for the lead characters is spot-on. Editing by Anand Subaya is phenomenal; especially noteworthy is the split-screen scene where the two are leading separate lives, feeling the same way.

Moving on to the performances, Imran Khan does really well, but he seems repetitive, just like Deepika Padukone’s character graph looks like. Imran Khan played a similar “understanding” guy in Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na, but when actors look repetitive in their roles, the future doesn’t look good unless they get more versatile even though they want to stick to the same genre. Nevertheless, he hooks you because of the slightly different mould of the character he’s playing.

Deepika Padukone has spunk, but her role reminds you of both Bachna Ae Haseeno and Love Aaj Kal. While her commitment phobia reminds you of Bachna Ae Haseeno, the bold, thinking attitude of her character reminds you a bit of Love Aaj Kal. While Deepika’s mad act is probably the only reason one might stay to watch how the film unfolds, post her gripping act in Lafangey Parindey, one expected her to reach new heights, and with the promising promos, it looked quite like it, but apparently all that glitters isn’t always gold!

Lillette Dubey is a far more gripping character to look out for, and when supporting characters like herself and Sharmila Tagore (playing Ayesha Khan, Aaliya’s ex-star mom) become more interesting than the lead characters themselves, you know there’s something wrong. Navin Nischol is good. Yudhishtir Urs, otherwise known as the host of Channel [V]’s hatke show Truth/Love/Cash, is hilarious! Shahana Goswami is amazing! She is one actress to look out for! Her body language as the no nonsense person is perfect! Others are good.

Overall, Break Ke Baad tries to hard to be cool and modern, but also tries to pack in too many subplots and shaadis and over-exaggerated coolness, that it gets difficult to view the movie as a romantic comedy anymore! This is a clear case of the trailers giving dubious promise! Watch this film only if you’ve got nothing to do! Disappointing.

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey


Producer: Sunita Gowariker, Ajay Bijli, Sanjeev K Bijli
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Vishakha Singh, Sikandar Kher
Music: Sohail Sen
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Genre: Historic
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 03 December 2010


Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is a book to movie adaptation by the gifted film-maker Ashutosh Gowariker. The film is based on the book 'Do And Die: The Chittagong Uprising 1930-34' by Manini Chatterjee. Once again Ashutosh Gowariker has returned to the forgotten era. And once again he has shown that this most definitely his forte, previously with Lagaan , Jodhaa Akbar, and now Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey. Speaking with Ashutosh Gowariker he spoke about the difficulties which arose whilst shooting this film and the most difficult hurdle by far was in re-creating the 1930s in Chittagong. Not only is this demanding and a lengthy process, but Gowariker sure convinces the audiences of the realities of the 1930s.

The film is set in the 1930s British India: In the province of undivided Bengal lies the sleepy, peaceful port of Chittagong. In this unassuming little town a revolution is about to begin; a revolution which will forever wake all of Chittagong and inspire the entire nation. The plot of the movie is based on a real incident...April 18. One night. Five simultaneous attacks. A band of 64 people; 56 innocent yet fearless young boys, five defiant revolutionaries, two determined young women, and an idealistic leader - Suriya Sen, a school teacher by profession.

This group of 64 represents a little-known chapter in history; a forgotten night that reigned terror on the British through a series of calculated attacks. Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is a true story of these forgotten heroes and the narrative takes us through every step of the action from the initial trepidation, to the thrill of the attack, to the underground movement, daring escapes and tragic captures, and most importantly, their undying legacy. The film has been shot in Goa and not in Chittagong as some may think, Despite not shooting in the original locations of the 1930 revolution; the film most certainly captures the feel and spirit of the youth in that era.

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is embroidered with some beautifully soft instrumental pieces alongside two songs “Naiyn Tere” [Pamela Jain and Rajini Jose] and “Sapney Saloney” [Sohail Sen and Pamela Jain] hit a chord with me besides the patriotic number “Vande Mataram” [Revised Sanskrit To Hindi] by Cine Singers Association Chorus Group. The music was impactful in every scene and added to the screenplay.

And now coming to the crunch time, Abhishek Bachchan suited the character of Suriya Sen. His character appears very passionate, but at the same time very composed and it was great to see that contradiction. Abhishek emerges into the character very well. The cool, calm collected teacher to the successful revolutionary he really is. After Guru this has to be Abhishek’s most memorable performance to date. Let's hope he receives some accolades for this role. He portrayed the character to the fullest.

Deepika Padukone discards her glamorous looks that we usually see her sport in films. For accepting a role like this so early on in her career, she should be commended. She lived up to the strong, determined and ambitious character of Kalpana Datta and brought her own elements in to the role. She looked stunning in simple sarees draped in a Bengali manner.

Sikander Kher who essays the role of Suriya Sen’s friend Nirmal Sen, left me with a lasting impression. He stood out in most of the scenes he was in. Kudos to Sikander for pulling off a supporting actor role so brilliantly. The rest of the supporting cast and comrades of Suriya Sen were played by Samrat Mukerji, Vishakha Singh, Maninder and Feroz Wahid Khan, each actor gave an honest and natural performance. I would not want to forget the teenage actors, some whose faces I did recognise from television serials. Each youth artist gave an honest performance; all of them looked the part, showed enthusiasm and charisma.

One must mention the production design by Nitin Desai and costume design by Neeta Lulla which proves to be very authentic and transports you to the 1930s era in India.

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey is truly an enlightening and enriching experience especially as this revolution was almost unheard of within our Indian history. It certainly evoked the Indian in me and brought me to tears in many scenes. The only flaw with the film (as with all Gowariker's films) is the length. It is approximately 2:50 hours long and there are parts that could have been condensed. It may not rake in the coins at the box office, but it’s by far one of this year’s epics and runaway success in terms of creativity. It is a film that needs to be encouraged and appreciated by all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sanjay Dutt gifts Rolls Royce car to Manyata

The latest gossip in bollywood is that after Manyata gave birth to twins Sanjay Dutt has gifted Manyata a car worth rupees 3 crores and may be it seems that Sanju is too much happy after Manyata gave birth to two twins and may be he is finding this to be a new start in his life and may be he has many plans ahead and may be he may give more gifts in happiness to Manyata.

Sanjay Dutt has gifted Manyata Rolls Royce car which is worth rupees 3 crores. Sanju had actually planned to take the twins and Manyata home from hospital in the Rolls Royce car but the car was delivered pretty much late .

Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan on ‘Koffee With Karan’


KOFFEE WITH KARAN

Karan Johar’s ‘Koffee With Karan’ third season is undoubtedly spicier than the previous ones. Each episode throws up surprises. This weekend, it’s the smashing Bollywood couple Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan on the couch.

What so special about this episode? Read on...

On the show, Saif looked dashing, and Kareena quite saucy in a saree. Saif once again proved he is one of the best in clever quips and ripostes. He sure does impress with his wit and humour. When asked by Karan, what his advertising punchline would be, he replied, “Reliable, strong and very long!”

Here are the stills of the duo with Karan:

Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor in an epic love story


The director of films like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Black and Guzaarish is now planning to revive his once-shelved film which will star Salman Khanand Kareena Kapoor in lead roles.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has recently admitted that he makes films, not money, so reviving an old film requires courage. If the recent buzz is to be believed than the director has started thinking again about his magnum opus Bajirao Mastani with Salman and Kareena. The movie was planned in the year 2003 and Sanjay was eager to have Aishwarya Rai in the lead role of Mastani opposite Salman. But because of the Salman and Aishwarya break-up, the director abandoned the thought of making the film with the couple.

Later he went on to make other films but he couldn’t actually part withBajirao Mastani. Sanjay even thought of Kareena at that time for the role but nothing could materialize. Afterwards, Bajirao Mastani was tagged as a jinxed film.

The film narrates the love story of Peshwa Bajirao and his second wife Mastani, who was a Muslim. Their relationship was also the reason of much rift in the orthodox Marathi society of that time and led to a major crisis within the royal Peshwa family. Mastani was a brave lady; she was a skilled horse-rider and used to go to the battlefield with her valiant husband.

With a skilled director like Sanjay, we can expect Bajirao Mastani to be another grandiose, epic film.

A white X'mas for Kareena

Actress Kareena Kapoor has been hoping and dreaming of having a White X'mas for some years now. However, she has never made it happen.

"There's always been work, or then some show..." she goes on. However, this year maybe a different story, what with beau Saif Ali Khan making all her dreams come true.

Though Saifoo claims to be mighty busy with the post production of 'Agent Vinod', a movie of which Kareena is also a part, we hear that the actor is planning a surprise Christmas for Kareena in Europe. Now we weren't so sure if this cat was to come outta Santa's goodie bag this soon...

New Year's we hear will be spent abroad as well, and there'll be no dancing at any New Year bash back home this time round. This is of course what we hear. Now, unless some organisers are willing going to throw in an abundance of moolah that Bebo can't refuse...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World’s Most Extraordinary Swimming Pools


 As I promissed, we continue splashing through the world’s most extraordinary swimming pools. If we can’t get there yet, we can entertain ourselves with photos and imagine how it would be to swim in these pools. Be it for location, design or size, these pools are more than just enclosed bodies of water intended for swimming – as put in a definition. These extraordinary pools give a whole new concept to swimming. In some cases you would have to be super rich to dip yourself in the luxurious waters, but a few of them are set in amazing sceneries, open to the public, and quite inexpensive.
1. The Icebergs. Sydney. Australia
The ocean’s waves often break over the side of the Icebergs swimming pool, located in the corner of the famed Bondi Beach. This beautiful full-sized 8 lane, 50m swimming pool is open to the public and the fee is only 5 AUD.
The Neptune Pool
The Neptune Pool-2
2. The Neptune Pool, Hearst Castle. California, USA.
Unlike the Icebergs, you would have to be a millionaire to immerse yourself in the waters of the Neptune Pool. The pool, located at Hearst Castle, was originally constructed in 1920s for William Randolph Hearst, an American magnate, and has, since, been rebuilt twice.
The Joule Hotel-2
The Joule Hotel-3
3. The Joule Hotel. Dallas, USA
This twisting swimming pool projects eight feet over the sidewalk, at the edge of the 10th floor of the Joule Hotel in Dallas. The five-star complex, located in the building since 1927, was designed by a famed architect, Adam D. Tihany.
4. The Alila Ubud swimming pool. Bali
The calm, emerald-green swimming pool is floating above the Ayung River valley in Bali’s lush foothills. The pool’s home is the Alila Udubu resort, Payangan, a traditional Balinese hill village, near Ubud.
5. Simply a swimming pool. Iceland
All we know about this swimming pool is that it is located somewhere in Iceland, and to swim in it you have to drive to the farm next door to ask for a key. If you find it, let me know…
6. San Alfonso del Mar.Algarrobo, Chile
This is the world’s largest swimming pool. It is 1,013 m (3,324 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (19.77 acre), which is equivalent to 6,000 8-meter-long pools. The water is pumped from the Pacific Ocean, then filtered and treated before it is supplied to the pool.
7. The Gellert Swimming Pool. Budapest, Hungary
Gellert Baths and Swimming Pool complex looks more like a cathedral than a pool. The famed Budapest’s bath was constructed between 1912 and 1918 and it features chic Art Nouveau style. The temperature of water exceeds 40°C (110°F), so visiting the baths is a perfect way to kill the time on a rainy day.
Harbour Plaza Hotel Swimming Pool. Hong Kong
8. Harbour Plaza Hotel Swimming Pool. Hong Kong, China
Harbour Grand Hong Kong, an icon of luxury in Hong Kong, is home to an amazing outdoor swimming pool that sits on the 23th floor of the hotel. The pool, facing the Victoria Harbour, has some truly stunning views of the city’s countless skyscrapers.
The Badeschiff. Berlin
9. The Badeschiff. Berlin, Germany
Badeschiff or “bathing ship” is the most unusual swimming pool in Berlin. It is an old cargo container converted into a pool on Spree River. During the summer it is an outdoor pool with the beach, bar and DJs. In the winter the whole thing is covered, and a few extra saunas are added.
10. The Pimalai Resort swimming pool. Koh Lanta, Thailand.
This amazing swimming pool in Pimalai Resort & Spa on Koh Lanta looks more like some kind of a temple site. In fact, it is a fresh-water, infinity-edge pool, which is set around 50 meters above sea level – so while swimming you can admire the spectacular views of the beach and the sea below.
That’s what you call swimming with a capital S. Just looking at them, sends shivers down my spine, so diving to their bottoms must be nothing short of thrilling.

10 most extraordinary buildings around the world

For long, building structure has been listed in the most-wanted arts. Original and convenient building designs are always the target of all architects in the world. There are unprecedented buildings that make you surprised and curious. Those original construction designs are recognized as the world's wonders and become the most desirable destinations. Let's have a look at the list of ten most impressive buildings of all times.


Forest Spiral - Hundertwasser Building ( Darmstadt , Germany ) was built between 1998 and 2000, well-known for its colorful architecture designs and onion-shaped domes.
Forest Spiral - Hundertwasser Building ( Darmstadt , Germany ) was built between 1998 and 2000, well-known for its colorful architecture designs and onion-shaped domes.

The Crooked House ( Sopot , Poland ) was designed basing on the pictures and paintings of the famous drawer Jan Marcin Szancer and Swedish painter Per Dahlberg
The Crooked House ( Sopot , Poland ) was designed basing on the pictures and paintings of the famous drawer Jan Marcin Szancer and Swedish painter Per Dahlberg

The Torre Galatea Figueres ( Spain ) is impressive with the giant egg sculptures along the roofline
The Torre Galatea Figueres ( Spain ) is impressive with the giant egg sculptures along the roofline

Ferdinand Cheval Palace a.k.a Ideal Palace ( France ) is the perfect combination between different styles such as Romanesque, Oriental, Muslim.
Ferdinand Cheval Palace a.k.a Ideal Palace ( France ) is the perfect combination between different styles such as Romanesque, Oriental, Muslim.

The Basket Building ( Ohio , United States ) is considered to be the strangest office building in the world with the square of 180,000 feet
The Basket Building ( Ohio , United States ) is considered to be the strangest office building in the world with the square of 180,000 feet

Kansas City Public Library ( Missouri , United States ) was built in 1873. This is the oldest and third largest library in the Kansas City area.
Kansas City Public Library ( Missouri , United States ) was built in 1873. This is the oldest and third largest library in the Kansas City area.

Wonderworks ( Orlando , Florida , United States ) is famous as a classical dramatic building
Wonderworks ( Orlando , Florida , United States ) is famous as a classical dramatic building

 Habitat 67 ( Montreal , Canada ) was arranged together by giant 354 cubes. Those cubes are the symbol of wisdom, truth, moral perfection.
Habitat 67 ( Montreal , Canada ) was arranged together by giant 354 cubes. Those cubes are the symbol of wisdom, truth, moral perfection.

Cubic Houses ( Rotterdam , Netherlands ) came from the original idea of cubic houses in 1970s which was designed by Piet Blom
Cubic Houses ( Rotterdam , Netherlands ) came from the original idea of cubic houses in 1970s which was designed by Piet Blom

 Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House ( Vietnam ) looks like a fairy tale castle with giant “animals” such as giraffes and spiders
Hang Nga Guesthouse a.k.a Crazy House ( Vietnam ) looks like a fairy tale castle with giant "animals" such as giraffes and spiders

Water Cycle for Kids


Water cycle is one of the most interesting environmental cycles to learn about. One can always experiment with simple projects on water cycle and observe this cycle practically. This article will provide you with an explanation of the water cycle for kids with the different stages of the water cycle and some interesting projects to perform and observe the water cycle.

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