Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ponting wants to play Pakistan

Ponting wants to play Pakistan

Cricinfo staff

January 1, 2008

Ricky Ponting would support the Pakistan series being played at a neutral venue if the concerns of players including Andrew Symonds prove justified © Getty Images

Ricky Ponting would prefer the Pakistan series scheduled for March to be held at a neutral venue if it is cancelled due to safety concerns. Pakistan's already unstable political situation has worsened in the aftermath of the death of Benazir Bhutto, the opposition leader, and some of the players have expressed concerns about touring.

While acknowledging Pakistan would not want to move the three Tests away from home, which it did in 2002-03 when the series was staged in Sharjah and Sri Lanka, Ponting was keen for it to go ahead. "It's been made clear that they wouldn't like to [play at a neutral venue]," Ponting said in Sydney. "I'd like to be playing cricket at that stage."

Australia has not toured Pakistan since the series of Mark Taylor's 334 in 1998-99, but the Pakistan Cricket Board also has the option to defer the contest if reports from the ICC and Cricket Australia conclude the situation is unsafe. "We haven't played a lot of Test cricket against Pakistan in the last few years," Ponting said. "I'd rather be playing cricket than not be playing."

Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee have spoken about the problems in Pakistan and Ponting said the events surrounding Bhutto's death had created concerns. "But we're always going to be guided by experts in Australia and Pakistan to see how the situation is," he said. "It's out of our control." Cricket Australia will send a security delegation to Pakistan in February before a decision is made.

Malik hopes for a positive 2008

Malik hopes for a positive 2008

Shoaib Malik: "Our series win over Sri Lanka and runners-up finish to India in the Twenty20 were the bright points and if we keep that sort of intensity we can also improve our Test performance" © AFP

Shoaib Malik hopes Pakistan will put the miseries of 2007 behind them and bounce back with strong performances in the next 12 months.

"Apart from a few positives the last year was not very good for us, but I am sure that the team will settle and do well in the new year, in which we have to play Australia and [compete] in various important tournaments," Malik said.

Pakistan had a year to forget, crashing out of the World Cup in the first round, where their coach Bob Woolmer also died. Woolmer's death came a day after Pakistan's loss to Ireland and overshadowed Pakistan's premature ejection.

The defeat prompted Inzamam-ul Haq to relinquish the captaincy and quit one-day cricket. Malik, 25, took over after first-choice Younis Khan declined to take charge citing personal reasons, while Mohammad Yousuf was not considered for the job.

Malik led Pakistan to a one-day series win over World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka before his team reached the final of the Twenty20 World Championship held in September in South Africa. "Our series win over Sri Lanka and runners-up finish to India in the Twenty20 were the bright points and if we keep that sort of intensity we can also improve our Test performance," he said.

Pakistan lost all three of their Test series - two against South Africa (home and away) and to India in India late last year. They also lost the one-day series against South Africa and India and were relegated to sixth in both one-day and Test rankings.

"It's not that we lost one-sided contests, but the notable thing was that we made minor mistakes and if we have learnt from those mistakes, which I am confident we have, then we can do well in this new year."

Pakistan face Zimbabwe in a five-match one-day home series later this month before playing hosts to Australia - a series which Malik hopes will raise his team's confidence. "Whenever you play against Australia your confidence rises because they are a world-class team and I hope that if we do well it will help us in the Champions Trophy later this year," he said.

Malik also played down fears that Australia could pull out of the tour after last week's assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and the ensuing unrest in the country. Ricky Ponting said he was keen to play Pakistan, but at a neutral venue. "I don't see the series being disturbed over security fears because things will settle down and the Pakistan Cricket Board and players like me will do our best to have this series on our grounds," Malik said.

Happy New Year 2008

Wishing Everybody a Humble and Peaceful New Year...!

Bidding Farewell to 2007

You Gave us Happiness, You gave us Sorrow, You gave us surprises, You Gave Us Shock, You taught us Many things...Bye Bye 2007

Welcoming New Hopes, New Dreams, New Wishes, New Resolutions...Welcoming 2008...
Hope This Year brings Peace, Harmony and Love...


*_*_* Taare Zameen Par *_*_*

Hats Off! _--_!

Its a Very Great Movie, Its Indeed an inspirational Movie...!
Do Watch it!

C365`s Moments Of The Year

There are many moments that were worthy of consideration in 2007, but those that made the final five were chosen after serious discussion in the local. Over many pints.

In other words, perhaps none of these make your list...


"Sluggo" was undoubtedly the light relief in a fraught World Cup. Weighing in at an armchair Olympic 20 stone, the Bermudan leapt like Jonty Rhodes to pull off a sensational one-handed catch to dismiss Robin Uthappa.

"Fat Man Spin" also took the prized wickets of Kevin Pietersen and Kumar Sangakkara during the tournament.

"It has been incredible," Leverock said. "Who am I? I am not used to this sort of treatment."

"He once claimed a silver medal in the 110m hurdles at the Junior Caribbean Games," Bermuda coach Gus Logie said. That's before he started living under the local curry house...


One-day internationals and fielding duties have never been Michael Vaughan's favourite combination. In the World Cup match against Bangladesh this year, England's skipper dropped an absolute dolly to give opener Shahriar Nafees another life.

Vaughan was so angry he hurled the ball back to Paul Nixon in disgust, inadvertently running out opposite number Habibul Bashar, who had frozen mid-pitch expecting the routine catch to be snaffled.

As a comedy moment it was up there with England's scoring rate against South Africa in the quarter-final. "I was embarrassed to be honest," admitted Vaughan.

The captain managed to produce another moment of high farce in the final Test match against the West Indies when he missed the ball (fielding, of course), fell over and his trousers fell down.


Malinga was voted the sexiest man in cricket in a Barbadian magazine, which described his appeal thus: "With his eye-catching, blond-streaked curly hairdo, eyebrow ring and tattooed biceps, the unique 23-year-old strikes 'Easy' as the type who would be up for anything, and anywhere." It certainly caused many a woman a missed heartbeat and many batsmen a look of bewilderment.

His four wickets in four balls against South Africa in the World Cup was memorable for its visuals, something his hairdresser knows all about.

"Malinga likes to stand out, so he goes for unusual styles unlike the other well-known cricketers," said Nishantha Jayasekera, who runs the Le Paris salon in Panadura, outside Colombo.

Many Sri Lankan men have tried to replicate Malinga's hairstyle, not always successfully. One suffered burns for his troubles.


If ever there was a scene that summed up England's impotence during the series against Sri Lanka, then it was the swarm of bees that invaded Kandy's Asgiriya Stadium.

Both players and umpires lay motionless on the field during the fourth day of the first Test as the swarm descended.

Some might say - Mahela Jayawardene, for instance - that lying down is exactly what England did whenever they saw either himself or Kumar Sangakkara walk out to bat.

Sangakkara added that angry bees had invaded the stadium at least twice before. While he was accumulating runs at will, the locals must have thought they posed more of a threat than England's attack.

A side picked for its ability to take 20 wickets, struggled to take 10.


Livelier than a Disney animation, Danish Kaneria provided the winner for moment of the match in the first Test at Delhi against India. A bellowed appeal brought on spontaneous exhaustion as he collapsed to the ground. Australian umpire Simon Taufel, whose demeanour is normally that of a detached prison warder, couldn't resist a smile.

In the second Test, the Pakistan leg-spinner chased down a ball in that Keystone cops sort of way he specialises in. Eventually, Kaneria limped off the field with a dive more ridiculous than a Cristiano Ronaldo dying swan routine.


He wasn't exactly Speedy Gonzales in England, but the sight of Rahul Dravid hanging on for dear life at Melbourne yesterday, strokeless and impotent, was a sad reflection of India's miserable batting performance.

180 balls for a return of 21 runs is a strike rate that Geoff Boycott might have sneered at.

Ravi Shastri had some useful advice: "Dravid needs to take a chill pill. He needs to go and relax, have a good New Year and stay away form the nets as much as possible and just go out and bat."

Tim Ellis

Link : http://www.cricket365.com/story/0,18305,6673_3009910,00.html

Transcript of alleged al-Qaida intercept

A transcript released by the Pakistani government Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud, who is referred to as Emir Sahib, and another man identified as a Maulvi Sahib, or Mr. Cleric. The government alleges the intercepted conversation proves al-Qaida was behind the assassination of Benazir Bhutto:

Maulvi Sahib: Peace be on you.

Mehsud: Peace be on you, too.

Maulvi Sahib: How are you Emir Sahib?

Mehsud: Fine.

Maulvi Sahib: Congratulations. I arrived now tonight.

Mehsud: Congratulations to you, too.

Maulvi Sahib: They were our men there.

Mehsud: Who were they?

Maulvi Sahib : There were Saeed, the second was Badarwala Bilal and Ikramullah was also there.

Mehsud: The three did it?

Maulvi Sahib: Ikramullah and Bilal did it.

Mehsud: Then congratulations to you again.

Maulvi: Where are you? I want to meet with you?

Mehsud: I am in Makin. Come I am at Anwar Shah's home.

Maulvi Sahib: OK I will come.

Mehsud: Do not inform their family presently.

Maulvi Sahib: Right.

Mehsud: It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her.

Maulvi Sahib: Praise be to God. I will give you more details when I come.

Mehsud: I will wait for you. Congratulation once again.

Maulvi Sahib: Congratulations to you as well.

Mehsud: Any service?

Mauvliv: Thank you very much?

Mehsud: Peace be on you.

Maulvi: Same to you.

Taliban, al-Qaida blamed in Bhutto death

By ASHRAF KHAN, Associated Press Writer

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH, Pakistan - Hundreds of thousands of mourners thronged the mausoleum of Pakistan's most famous political dynasty in an outpouring of emotion for Benazir Bhutto. The government said al-Qaida and the Taliban were responsible for her death, claiming it intercepted an al-Qaida leader's message of congratulation for the assassination.

But many of Bhutto's furious supporters blamed President Pervez Musharraf's government for the shooting and bombing attack on the former prime minister, Musharraf's most powerful opponent. They rampaged through several cities in violence that left at least 23 dead less than two weeks before crucial parliamentary elections.

"We have the evidence that al-Qaida and Taliban were behind the suicide attack on Benazir Bhutto," Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz said.

Thursday's attack on Bhutto plunged Pakistan into turmoil and badly damaged plans to restore democracy in this nuclear-armed nation, a key U.S. ally in the war on terror.

Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said that on Friday, the government recorded an "intelligence intercept" in which militant leader Baitullah Mehsud "congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act."

Cheema described Mehsud as an "al-Qaida leader" who was also behind the Karachi bomb blast in October against Bhutto that killed more than 140 people. He also announced the formation of two inquiries into Bhutto's death, one to be carried out by a high court judge and another by security forces.

Bhutto was killed Thursday when a suicide attacker shot at her and then blew himself up as she left a rally in Rawalpindi. Authorities initially said she died from bullet wounds, and a surgeon who treated her said she died from the impact of shrapnel on her skull.

But Cheema said she was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast smashed her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull, he said.

Cheema said Pakistani security forces would hunt down those responsible for her death: "They will definitely be brought to justice."

He said other senior politicians were also under threat of militant attack, including former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who promised to boycott parliamentary elections on Jan. 8 in response to Bhutto's assassination.

Cheema showed a videotape of the attack, with Bhutto waving, smiling and chatting with supporters from the sunroof as her car sat unmoving on the street outside the rally. Three gunshots rang out, the camera appeared to fall, and the tape ended.

On Friday, Bhutto's supporters ransacked banks, waged shootouts with police and burned trains and stations in a spasm of violence less than two weeks before parliamentary elections.

Soldiers patrolled the streets of the southern cities of Hyderabad and Karachi, witnesses said. At least 23 people were killed in unrest, said Ghulam Mohammed Mohtaram, home secretary for Sindh province.

Prime Minister Mohammedmian Soomro said the government had no immediate plans to postpone Jan. 8 parliamentary elections, despite the growing chaos and a top opposition leader's decision to boycott the poll.

"Right now the elections stand where they were," he told a news conference. "We will consult all the political parties to take any decision about it."

Mourners traveled to Garhi Khuda Bakhsh by tractor, bus, car and jeep. Many crammed inside the mausoleum and threw petals on the coffin. Women beat their heads and chests in grief.

"As long as the moon and sun are alive, so is the name of Bhutto," they chanted.

An Islamic cleric led mourners in prayers and Bhutto's son, Bilawal, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, helped lower the coffin beside the grave of her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, also a popular former prime minister who met a violent death. Thousands of supporters then filed in to shovel dirt onto the grave.

Some mourners angrily blamed Musharraf, the former army chief, for Bhutto's death, shouting "General, killer!" "Army, killer."

The death of the 54-year-old Bhutto left her party without a clear successor. Her husband, who was freed in December 2004 after eight years in detention on graft charges, is one contender, although he lacks the cachet of a blood relative.

"I don't know what will happen to the country now," said Nazakat Soomro, 32.

A mob in Karachi looted at least three banks and set them on fire, and engaged in a shootout with police that left three officers wounded, police said.

About 7,000 people in the central city of Multan ransacked seven banks and a gas station and threw stones at police, who responded with tear gas. In the capital, Islamabad, about 100 protesters burned tires in a commercial district.

Paramilitary rangers were given the authority to use live fire against rioters in southern Pakistan, said Maj. Asad Ali, the rangers' spokesman.

"We have orders to shoot on sight," he said.

Earlier, mobs burned 10 railway stations and several trains across Bhutto's Sindh province, forcing the suspension of all train service between the city of Karachi and the eastern Punjab province, said Mir Mohammed Khaskheli, a senior railroad official.

The rioters uprooted one section of the track leading to India, he said.

About 4,000 Bhutto supporters rallied in the northwestern city of Peshawar and several hundred ransacked the empty office of the main pro-Musharraf party, burning furniture and stationery.

Protesters shouted "Musharraf dog" and "Bhutto was alive yesterday, Bhutto is alive today." Dozens of police in riot gear followed the protesters but did not intervene.

In other violence, a roadside bomb killed a local leader from the ruling party and six of his associates as they drove through Swat in northwestern Pakistan, where troops have been fighting followers of a pro-Taliban cleric in recent months, said Mohib Ullah, a local police official.

Many cities were nearly deserted as businesses closed and public transportation came to a halt at the start of three days of national mourning for Bhutto.

"The repercussions of her murder will continue to unfold for months, even years," read a mournful editorial in the Dawn newspaper. "What is clear is that Pakistan's political landscape will never be the same, having lost one of its finest daughters."

Dr. Mussadiq Khan, a surgeon who treated Bhutto, said Friday that she died from shrapnel that hit her on the right side of the skull. Bhutto had no heartbeat or pulse when she arrived at the hospital and doctors failed to resuscitate her, he said.

Soomro, the prime minister, told the Cabinet on Friday that Bhutto's husband did not allow an autopsy, according to a government statement.

After the killing, Sharif, another former premier and leader of a rival opposition party, announced his party would boycott the elections.

"I am worried about the country, about the people. Nobody is secure, there is total insecurity," Sharif said.

Opposition politician and former cricket star Imran Khan blamed Musharraf for Bhutto's death, saying he did not give her proper security. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, India, where he was on a private visit, he called on the president to resign and for an independent judicial probe into her death.

Bhutto, whose party has long been popular among Pakistan's legions of poor, served two terms as prime minister between 1988 and 1996. Both elected governments were toppled amid accusations of corruption and mismanagement, but she was respected in the West for her liberal outlook and determination to combat Islamic extremism.

Link : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071228/ap_on_re_as/pakistan

Countries condemn Bhutto killing

By ANDREW O. SELSKY, Associated Press Writer

From Moscow to Washington to New Delhi and points in between, dismay and condemnation poured forth Thursday over the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, along with concern for the stability of the volatile region. World leaders lauded her bravery and commitment to democratic reform.

In India, which has fought three wars against Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Bhutto is irreplaceable, and noted she had striven to improve relations between the two nuclear-armed countries.

"I was deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination," Singh said. "In her death, the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country."

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, who met Bhutto earlier on Thursday in Islamabad, said he was "deeply pained" by the assassination of "this brave sister of ours, a brave daughter of the Muslim world"

"She sacrificed her life, for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of this region," he said. "I found in her this morning a lot of love and desire for peace in Afghanistan, for prosperity in Afghanistan and ... Pakistan."

In a letter to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the attack an "odious act" and said "terrorism and violence have no place in the democratic debate and the combat of ideas and programs."

Bhutto, a former two-time prime minister of Pakistan, was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi just 10 weeks after she returned to her homeland from eight years in exile. A suicide attack on her homecoming parade killed more than 140 people. The articulate, poised 54-year-old had lashed out at the spread of Islamic extremism as she campaigned for next month's parliamentary elections.

The United States had been at the forefront of foreign powers trying to arrange reconciliation between Bhutto and Musharraf, who under heavy U.S. pressure resigned as army chief and earlier this month lifted a state of emergency, in the hope it would put Pakistan back on the road to democracy.

President Bush demanded that the killers be brought to justice.

"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," he said. He expressed his deepest condolences to Bhutto's family and to the families of others slain in the attack and to all the people of Pakistan.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice and for "all Pakistanis to work together for peace and national unity."

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Pope Benedict XVI was immediately informed of the "terrible news."

"One cannot see signs of peace in this tormented region," Lombardi said.

Sarkozy said Bhutto had paid "with her life her commitment to the service of her fellow citizens and to Pakistan's political life" and urged Pakistan's elections be held as scheduled on Jan. 8.

In Britain, where Bhutto had attended Oxford University, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said she "risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards who are afraid of democracy."

"The terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan, and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that the terrorists will not win there, here, or anywhere in the world," Brown said.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the attack "is clearly aimed at destabilizing the country." He beseeched Pakistanis to refrain from violence.

Italian Premier Romano Prodi said he was filled with grief and called Bhutto "a woman who chose to fight her battle until the end with a single weapon — the one of dialogue and political debate."

"The difficult path toward peace and democracy in that region must not be stopped, and Bhutto's sacrifice will serve as the strongest example for those who do not surrender to terrorism," Prodi said.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, during a speech south of Santiago, paid "sincere tribute to a woman ... who fought her entire life for a better Pakistan."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the "cowardly terrorist attack ... also targets the stability and democratic process of Pakistan."

In Moscow, Anatoly Safonov, Russian President Vladmir Putin's envoy on international cooperation against terrorism, expressed fears the assassination would trigger violent repercussions.

"The already unstable situation in Pakistan will be further exacerbated by this powerful factor," Safonov said, according to the Interfax news agency.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin condemned the attack, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

"We hope that the leadership of Pakistan will succeed in taking all measures for guaranteeing security in the country," Kamynin said.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who personally knew Bhutto, said he hails her memory and called on the international community to support Pakistan and its democracy.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said he had felt disgust when receiving the news of Bhutto's murder, which he called "bestial."

"I feel a strong worry for the consequences this will have for Pakistan," he said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said Bhutto "feared nothing and served her country with valor."


AP writers Fisnik Abrashi in Kabul, Afghanistan; Jenny Barchfield in Paris; Matthew Rosenberg in New Delhi; Jill Lawless in London; Marta Falconi in Rome; Matthew Lee in Washington; John Heilprin at the United Nations; Eduardo Gallardo in Santiago, Chile; and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

Link : http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/pakistan_bhutto_world

Benazir Bhutto Passes Away!

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A Suicidal Bombing took place few hours before. Mrs. Bhutto was Shot on her neck. She was later Hospitalized in Civil Hospital but couldn't bear the Pain and Passed away.

May my Allah Bless Her Soul...Ameen!

Books That I Am Looking Forward To

I am really waiting for Dan Brown's Solomon's Key. Its a Sequel to Bestseller Da Vinci Code.

Secondly, I am expecting R.L Stine's New Goosebumps a.k.a Goosebumps HorrorLand to be a Hit! I am a Die-Hard Fan of him!

I'll Be Out of Order! :P

I'll Not be online for about a Week, As i'm going out of town to attend a Wedding. I'll be visiting Lahore and Faisalabad.

See You Soon....!

'Helpless When She Smiles' : Personal Thoughts

The Video Of Helpless When She smiles is Great, The Direction is Great, The Situation is Unique. Very Nice Indeed!

Next Single Confirmed From 'Backstreet Boys' Unbreakable

The third single Confirmed for release by the Backstreet boys from Unbreakable is the second track on the album Everything But Mine, as confirmed by Nick Carter in an interview for industry magazine Music Magazine.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_But_Mine

The Rotten Truth: Best/Worst of 2007

Source: Ryan Rotten

Defining moments in horror are lacking when I take a bittersweet look back on 2007. Even for films that endeavored to break the lingering remake/sequel formula there was nothing, birthed on U.S. soil, to push the envelope. Venture into the abyss and dare to return with unspeakable terrors. Instead, as you'll see, two of my top picks of the year came from overseas - our fellow fear mongers in France, who have impressed me the last two years, and Spain. Domestically, there were highs ("The Mist"), lows ("Dead Silence") and two "Pumpkinhead" sequels. In spite of that last sign of the apocalypse, I did think there were ten films worthy to be the spoiled cream of the crop, so here they are followed by ten losers of the year. Take my hand, pal, and let us rip through the last twelve months festering with more remakes and sequels.

The Best of '07

1.) Inside: The wettest film of the year is also tops in my book. There's not a dry frame in this French import from director's Alexandre Bastillo and Julien Maury. The opening credits pulse with life juice spreading this way and that. None of it can prepare you for the unpredictable descent into furious violence that unfolds as a woman spends ninety minutes trying to extract, with a glistening pair of sterilized shears, an eight-month-old fetus out of a fellow female! This movie is positively immoral. An edge-of-your-seat take-no-prisoners affair that's probably the bloodiest film since Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive." Yet for all of its artful flair and the news headlines-inspired nightmare scenario, it is burdened by near show-killing preposterousness. But if you embrace the absurd, like I often do, you'll open your arms to "Inside" like a mewling newborn dripping in afterbirth.

2.) Rec: From Spain, Jaume Balleguero and Paco Plaza's verite approach to the zombie(-ish) sub-genre. Read my full review here.

3.) The Mist: Pure King and a return to form for Darabont after the cavity-inducing, saccharine "The Majestic." I'm glad to see a bonafide monster movie on the big screen again. Read my full review here.

4.) Grindhouse: Although one entry felt more "grindhouse" than the other, Rodriguez and Tarantino's love letter to the shady days of '70s cinema was an overall success, even if it was shunned at the box office. Originally, Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" won me over with its goopy FX, wild "sicko" action and dedicated cast. Tarantino's "Death Proof," however, is edging its way into my decrepit black heart largely due to the one thing everyone seems to despise: the talk-talk-talk. Kurt Russell's turn as Stuntman Mike is an obvious high point - as is the centerpiece back roads demolition derby and final act chase - but the characters are becoming less grating on me. In spite of the unevenness, as a whole, "Grindhouse" was a great time at the movies.

5.) 30 Days of Night: Maybe I was a bit too eager to claim one specific horror film as my "favorite of the year" (see my review here). After ten months of crap and near-crap, I was looking for something to show up in U.S. theaters that was bloody, dismal and antagonistic. "30 Days of Night" answered the call and I lapped it up greedily. The best American horror film of the year? Nah, but for what it is, it's pretty damn cool. For more of my thoughts, click on the aforementioned review link.

6.) The Girl Next Door: No other film made me feel like I had been violated by a pack of frothing, biting Rottweillers. This is the toughest film I've seen all year. Uncomfortable to sit through. Heartbreaking and hopeless. Okay, so "Hurray for life!" is not something you'll be bellowing when the credits roll. It leaves you with food for thought, though, and what it's serving up is tough to stomach.

7.) Sunshine: Don't, for a second, dismiss this one because of its sci-fi premise. Director Danny Boyle treads territory previously explored in Paul W.S. Anderson's "Event Horizon" and maximizes the fear factor. Lives are sacrificed, bodies are charred and this outer space odyssey, which heavily cribs from other efforts with harmless reverence, actually has a few suspenseful, jaw-dropping scenes that will leave gripping your armrests.

8.) 28 Weeks Later: An infected massacre by way of helicopter blades! Snipers gone wild! The streets of London firebombed! This was one sequel that took great efforts to up the ante. And while it doesn't match the raw intensity of the original, it gets kudos for trying. With visions of clean-up efforts echoing the Katrina disaster, director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo brings some decent ideas to the table. An infected Robert Carlisle literally recognizing and chasing his own kin down through the whole film? Well, that's not one of them.

9.) Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: I can tolerate musicals, but don't expect to find me at home belting out lyrics from "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Rent" or "Wicked." However, if you have a musical and include a montage where Johnny Depp, as an angry barber, cutting throat after throat after throat in a rainstorm of Mario Bava-esque brightly colored blood, I'm soooo there. Seriously though, "Sweeney" is one of Burton's best. Macabre, and at times funny, you don't exactly find yourself tapping along to the tunes but the images are wonderfully grim, Depp is top drawer (as usual) and Borat gets a beatdown.

10>) Vacancy: Yeah, you read that right. On repeat viewing (to ensure that it deserves placement here), I still find this one taught and nasty for being a slice of Hollywood fare. My full review here.

Honorable mention should go to: Hatchet (made my "best of" list last year), Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Right at Your Door, The Orphanage, Joshua, Severance, Alone with Her

The Fetid Abominations of '07

1.) Skinwalkers: Brainless. I can't even imagine how this even sounded good on paper. Moreover, why didn't the Sci-Fi Channel get their paws on this material first? 'Cause that's where this long-delayed flick about battling lycanthrope tribes belongs. James Isaac serves up ham with a side of cheese as the good werewolves dispense with exposition about being, well, good and the bad guys spend their time looking tough and loading guns, repeatedly (thanks to a few glaring continuity errors).

2.) Primeval: Who cares how Disney marketed it? If you truly thought this was a film about a serial killer, then you were not reading ShockTillYouDrop.com (actually, we didn't exist at the time...so you're off the hook). This latest entry in the nature-run-amok cannon was toothless regardless of how you spin it. Less croc-munching-locals actions, too much political commentary about Africa - where were Brad and Angelina to save the children? Boo.

3.) Wind Chill: A direct flight to dulls-ville. Even as I write this I'm hard-pressed to remember the details about the plot. All I know is there was snow. Drab performances. Snow. Ice. Eels (or snakes?). And a ghost story we've seen beaten to death...even in sitcoms. I'm gonna go re-read my review and refresh my memory.

4.) The Hills Have Eyes 2: A fan of Alexandre Aja's remake, I expected the Wes Craven co-penned follow-up to be somewhat decent. Or at least tap a few simple pleasures. Man, was I wrong. The National Guard should boycott this flick for its disgraceful depiction of supposed new recruits. Yeah, I know, it's supposed to be "The Dirty Dozen" meets the mutie gang. F**k that. Give me the original "The Hills Have Eyes Part II" any day. There, I said it.

5.) Dead Silence: Open wide for a boatload of silly. Rich, baroque atmosphere. A creepy doll. It's a shame there wasn't a script to effectively pull the strings.

6.) Broken: The only film this year that I actually turned off without finishing it. Started it. Didn't care what was happening. Don't care how it ends. Pure mediocrity and pathetic stabs at shock value.

7.) Captivity: Slick and blatantly disgusting at times. But what was the point of it all? We saw the twist coming a mile away.

8.) The Reaping: More showboating from Joel Silver that emphasizes big budget pizzazz over subtlety. Full review.

9.) Ghost Rider: Oops. Friends tried to tell me that a "flaming skull super hero" couldn't work. Being a fan of the comic, I argued they were wrong. Sorry, fellas. You were right. You were all right.

10.) Disturbia: Maybe I'm getting old, but I liked this better when it was called Rear Window...or even Fright Night.

All the rest that didn't get a rise out of me: After Dark's Horrorfest 2007, Dead Mary, The Messengers, The Hitcher, The Breed, The Invasion, Hallowed Ground

That's it for the final edition of "The Rotten Truth" for '07. Keep an eye out after the New Year as this column goes all "blog style" on your ass - which means more updates and inside, opinionated poop from the world of horror in Hollywood.

Original Link : Article Taken From / http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=4105

No Sam Raimi for Spider-Man 4?

Source: Superhero Hype!

This is just pure speculation, but Sam Raimi has been saying for a while now that if Peter Jackson decides to produce The Hobbit for New Line instead of direct it, that Raimi hoped he would get a chance to take the director's chair.

Well, the big news has finally hit this morning -- Peter Jackson will produce (not direct) The Hobbit and a sequel to The Hobbit. Full details can be found here.

If Raimi decides to helm "The Hobbit" films instead, we would assume he would still be involved with the Spidey franchise in some capacity, probably as an executive producer.

Again, this is just speculation and nothing is certain.

'Helpless When She Smiles'

Here's Backstreet Boys' New Video From their Latest Album 'Unbreakable'

Zimbabwe set to tour Pakistan in January

Details of Zimbabwe's tour of Pakistan have been announced. The side will arrive in Karachi on January 12 and will play a four-day match at the National Bank of Pakistan Sports Complex from January 14 and then a three-day game at the Asghar Ali Shah Stadium starting on January 22.

The five-match ODI series begins on January 26 in Hyderabad before continuing in Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad and Sheikhupura.

It is likely that Pakistan will use the series to blood some untried players. "We will definitely try out some new faces in whichever department we need them in," Salahuddin Ahmed, Pakistan's chief selector, said. "That's not to say that we are taking Zimbabwe lightly, but we need to assess players on the fringes of the national side and this is a good opportunity.

"We're also keeping an eye on the progress of Anwar Ali and Sohail Khan ... Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif and Nasir Jamshed have been very good this season from all reports and they are definitely in the mix for that series, as is Asim Kamal."

Zimbabwe last toured Pakistan in September 2004 for a tri-nations one-day tournament, also involving Sri Lanka, where they failed to win a match.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Belated Eid (Sorry My Connection was Down! Merry Christmas Ho! Ho! Ho! and Happy New Year (Is it 2008 :p)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Backstreet Boy Howie D weds in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. - Backstreet Boy Howie Dorough is single no more. He wed his longtime girlfriend Saturday in his hometown, the band's attorney confirmed.

Fellow Backstreet Boys bandmates were in attendance as Dorough, 34, married Leigh Boniello at St. James Cathedral in a traditional Catholic ceremony, People and OK! magazine reported on their Web sites.

"The wedding took place as planned and all went well," attorney Jason L. Turner said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

Dorough, also known as Howie D, proposed to his girlfriend of six years last New Year's.

"She wasn't expecting it, and I was quite nervous — more nervous about proposing to her in front of 40 family and friends than about performing in front of 40,000 people onstage," Dorough told People earlier this year.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Helpless When She Smiles Premiere

The Premiere is set to be on 12th December on Yahoo! Music. Set your Clocks! Its gonna be a blast!

Billboard Review of Unbreakable

Backstreet Boys' No. 7 debut on The Billboard 200 with sixth CD "Unbreakable" makes clear how attentive the group's fan base remains 15 years after being pop radio's premium boy band brand. First release "Inconsolable" got a modicum of attention at adult top 40 and AC radio, but failed to cross to top 40. (Overseas love was more equitable; it reached the top 20 in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Switzerland.) "Helpless When She Smiles" has been pegged by pop programmers as the next to go with, which hits the mark as a consummate BSB ballad, amped with enough electric guitars to fuel the edge it needs to compete alongside Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and—ironically—boy band du jour Jonas Brothers. A worldwide tour launching next year is sure to prove that the chart game is less a measure of Backstreet's enduring relevance than the mania sure to ensue.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Top 10 Unexplained Phenomenon

It's quite nice...Follow the link!


'Flying Saucers' Around Saturn Explained

The formation of strange flying-saucer-shaped moons embedded in Saturn's rings have baffled scientists. New findings suggest they're born largely from clumps of icy particles in the rings themselves, an insight that could shed light on how Earth and other planets coalesced from the disk of matter that once surrounded our newborn sun.

Saturn's rings orbit the planet in a flat disk that corresponds to the planet's equator. Likewise, Earth and the other planets orbit the sun in a fairly flat plane that relates to the sun's equator. The planets, at least the rocky ones, are thought to have formed when bits of material orbiting the newborn sun stuck together, forming larger and larger objects that collided and coalesced.

Observations by NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed the Saturnian moons Atlas and Pan, each roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) from pole to pole, have massive ridges bulging from their equators some 3.7 to 6.5 miles (6 to 10.5 kilometers) high, giving them the flying-saucer appearance.

In principle, fast rates of spin might have stretched Atlas and Pan out into such unusual shapes, just as tossing a disk of pizza d ough flattens it out. But neither moon whirls very quickly, each taking about 14 hours to complete a rotation. Earth, far bigger, rotates in 24 hours, of course.

Carolyn Porco, a planetary scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., and her colleagues suspected these peculiar moons could be formed mostly from Saturn's rings, rather than just from fragments produced in collisions of larger moons, as some have suggested. The location of the ridges lined up precisely with the rings of icy particles in which they were embedded, findings which are detailed in the Dec. 6 issue of the journal Science.

After analyzing the shapes and densities of the moons from data captured by Cassini, Porco's team now finds Pan and Atlas appear to be mostly light, porous, icy bodies, just like the particles making up the rings. Computer simulations suggest one-half to two-thirds of these bizarre moons are made of ring material, piled up on massive, dense fragments of bigger moons that disintegrated billions of years ago after catastrophic collisions with one another.

These findings could shed light on the behavior of "accretion disks"—disks that build up as matter falls toward a gravitational pull.

"Accretion disks are found everywhere in the universe—around black holes, around stars, around Jupiter," said astrophysicist Sebastien Charnoz at University of Paris Diderot in France. He is the lead author of a related new study—also described in the Dec. 6 issue of Science—that shows how the Saturnian ice-clump moons elongated and bulged out into the flying-saucer shapes.

Understanding how the icy particles piled up to make these shapes could shed light on how matter in the protoplanetary disk that accreted around our newborn sun could have clumped together to make planets, Charnoz added.

Visit SPACE.com and explore our huge collection of Space Pictures, Space Videos, Space Image of the Day, Hot Topics, Top 10s, Multimedia, Trivia, Voting and Amazing Images. Follow the latest developments in the search for life in our universe in our SETI: Search for Life section. Join the community, sign up for our free daily email newsletter, listen to our Podcasts, check out our RSS feeds and other Reader Favorites today!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Winter's Here

Well, Its Winter Here (shivering! :)) Its quite cold here now, Wearing everything that could keep me warm...

Happy Winters!

Younis hundred helps Pakistan salvage draw

Younis Khan lodged himself firmly between India and a series triumph on the final day of the second Test at Eden Gardens, leading his side to an unlikely, morale-boosting draw. Younis, standing in as captain for the injured Shoaib Malik, hit his 15th Test hundred and fifth against India, accepting help from a familiar face as he kept Pakistan alive to fight another day. A 136-run partnership with Mohammad Yousuf dragged them from a peril to safety, both captains calling it a day at 214 for 4 with half an hour of play left.

India were disappointingly lethargic, except for brief periods in the afternoon or when Anil Kumble was involved. Kumble had brought the game alive in the afternoon, with two wickets. But as the two Y's came together with another century partnership - their ninth - even Kumble's tenacity wasn't to be enough.

Younis especially was determined: as captain, his side had to be rescued and following low scores against his favourite opponent, here was the perfect opportunity to rectify that. He was also familiar with the situation, having faced similar ones against South Africa recently. So familiar in fact that he graced the occasion with a third hundred in four Tests, each of them in the fourth innings of a Test.

It says much about his character and his batting that you can't call the innings a dogged, dour rearguard. There was much studious defence, but he never dawdled. What runs were on offer, were gladly taken. Having arrived in the first over after lunch, he brought up his fifty in the last over before tea.

After it, he seemed to speed up, pulling Zaheer Khan to bring up the fifty stand and continued in much the same manner through the session. Only Kumble posed a serious challenge, troubling him with googlies and trapping him plumb when in the 90s (Rudi Koertzen disagreed) but even he was driven and cut for pleasing boundaries. No shot better captured the innings than the reverse-sweep which brought up his hundred: defiant, unbowed and positive.

Yousuf meanwhile helped himself back into some form. He was unusually quiet to begin with, recognition of the pressure of the Test and his own lack of runs. But a fluid punch through point off Munaf Patel eased him gently into the role of Younis's second fiddle, one in which he didn't falter. By tea, he was set and after it was rarely hassled, choosing occasionally to stroke a cover drive, but opting generally to pat balls back.

Anil Kumble snared two wickets early to raise Indian hopes © AFP

India helped them with a surprisingly inert display after tea. The inactivity was captured best by the inside edge on to Yousuf's pad, which looped up in the air, barely a foot from two close-in fielders. Bizarrely, neither made even an attempt. Harbhajan Singh, the bowler, complained rightly, but perhaps not too much for he was flat through much of the day, mirroring Danish Kaneria's disappointing last-day performance at Delhi. He searched constantly, for the right angle, the right line, the right length, but fruitlessly.

Only Kumble it was who pushed and it was because of him India had a sniff at all. They had declared almost an hour into the morning, setting Pakistan 345 runs or 81 overs to survive. Zaheer got rid of Yasir Hameed before Kumble took over.

Second ball after lunch, Kamran Akmal was bowled by a rare, fair-spinning leg-break. The situation thereafter was made for Kumble: no real chance of the opposition chasing, a fifth-day surface and nervy batsmen naturally keen to push on, trying instead to defend. The appearance of threat was there in every ball, even if the actuality of it wasn't. Fielders encircled batsmen as a lynch mob might an unfortunate, dust flew up off the pitch, and Kumble was the centre of all focus.

Even though nothing happened for nearly an hour after that breakthrough - Harbhajan as much as a cussed Salman Butt to blame - Kumble was not to be denied. Coming round the wicket, he soon trapped Butt. He then replaced Harbhajan with Munaf Patel just after mid-day drinks, who produced in his first over what seemed then to be a pivotal moment. It was touched by genius as well, a slow off-break that nevertheless turned sharply enough to go through the defences of Misbah-ul-Haq, leaving Pakistan rocking at 78 for 4.

Both Patel and Kumble sniffed away, but it wasn't to last and as tea approached Younis and Yousuf dug themselves in. There they would stay after it, despite Kumble's best efforts.

Osman Samiuddin is the Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Result's Out!

I Got an A overall, At last i am out of that tension...

Thank God!

Zimbabwe to tour Pakistan

Warren Carne

Zimbabwe will tour Pakistan after the host country's general elections which are set for January 8. The Zimbabwe tour will comprise five ODIs and two first-class matches and was confirmed by a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official on Tuesday.

The tour request was made by Zimbabwe Cricket, according to the Reuters news agency.

The two first-class matches, which will be played before the one-dayers, will assist Zimbabwe in rejoining the Test fold after their self-imposed exile which began back in 2005. The PCB official said: "They want their players to get exposure in the longer duration of the game as they are not playing Tests at the moment."

The venues for the first-class matches have not yet been confirmed. The one-day internationals will be staged in Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Faisalabad and Sheikhupura.

Pakistan still in the game

Centuries breathe life into the series

Anand Vasu

December 2, 2007

Kamran Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq, with their centuries, breathed life not only in the match, but also the series © AFP

Pakistan needed runs from someone. Kamran Akmal and Misbah-ul-Haq proved to be the most desperate of the Pakistani batsmen and scored contrasting, yet equally valuable, centuries that forced India to work hard for gains. And, as is so often the case, luck went with the bravest when it was most needed. India fell into an old habit of making mistakes just when they had a chance to hammer home the advantage. With the follow-on now 59 runs away, which Anil Kumble might be reluctant to enforce with such a slim lead even should the option be available, Pakistan might just have done enough to reach safety.

But it was not always the case. Pakistan's heavy dependence on the two Ys, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, coupled with their combined failure would have given India heart early in the day. But there's little point dwelling on 150 for 5, for that's a situation that came up not through spectacular bowling or a dodgy pitch, but merely by some extravagantly generous batting. What breathed life into this match, and thereby the series, was the passage of play that followed the fall of the fifth wicket.

Misbah and Akmal are at very different stages in their careers; one is steadily making a name for himself after being made to wait long for a chance, while the other has found his reputation being steadily eroded by some disappointing wicketkeeping. In different ways, but with the same intensity and hunger, the two built a partnership that made all the difference.

It's easy to understand the pressure Akmal is under - his keeping has come in for criticism and ridicule in recent times with regular dropped catches - but it's difficult to understand just what he's thinking when he has a bat in his hand. Aside from being a compulsive hooker, Akmal seems only one shot away from self-destructing at any point, being insistent on opening the face of the bat and running the ball through the off side. The luck that favoured his bravery - a dozing Munaf Patel dropped a top-edged hook at fine-leg - finally ran out. On 119, his fourth century against India, and fifth overall, Akmal drove expansively at Harbhajan Singh and lost his off-stump, with the follow-on yet to be averted.

Misbah and Akmal are at very different stages in their careers; one is steadily making a name for himself after being made to wait long for a chance, while the other has found his reputation being steadily eroded by some disappointing wicketkeeping

Twice in the recent past, in his fledgling career, Misbah has taken Pakistan to the verge and then departed. The first was the famous scoop in the final of the ICC World Twenty20. Following that, in the first Test of this series, going well on 82 and taking Pakistan towards respectability, he ran himself out comically, leaping in the air to avoid the incoming throw. Now, he has a third chance to seal the deal. On 108, with the tail for company, Misbah needs to coax 59 more runs and see that the follow-on mark is passed.

For Pakistan, it was not merely a question of occupying the crease, for there was enough time left in the game for India's bowlers to do their thing, if the follow-on was enforced. To avoid the follow-on, Pakistan needed runs, 417 of them on the board, and India were aware of just how difficult it was going to be to set their plans in motion. "We understand that the Pakistan total in the first innings might be a big one. That's why we made 616 and made the follow-on target suitably large," Sourav Ganguly had said at the end of the second day. "But things can change very quickly on the fourth and fifth days and we have to bowl well and then make things difficult for them in the second innings."

Now that the follow-on has virtually been taken out of the equation - although it should not be ruled out altogether for India's bowlers have been in operation a day and a bit so far - the complexion of the match changes. It is now India who have to make all the moves if they want to force a result; finishing off this innings quickly, then setting a target, and finally having another go at Pakistan. That's daunting just to think about, leave alone going out there and doing it on a wicket that's still holding together.

Anand Vasu is an associate editor at Cricinfo